(Editor’s Note: The following article was submitted by Big Lake High School.)
The Big Lake High School Hornet Hall of Fame has inducted the Class of 2023.
The Hornet Hall of Fame recognizes some of the outstanding Big Lake graduates who have embraced the “Hornet Way” in their lives. They have demonstrated the characteristics of honesty, integrity, and strength of character expected of our alumni. Within their life’s work in each of his or her communities, these individuals have successfully shown exemplary citizenship while educating and inspiring others to reach their highest levels of achievement.
The inductee Class of 2023 includes: Dolores “Dee” Juhl Leslie from the Class of 1960 and Eric Petersen from the Class of 1987. Inductees and their family were recognized at a Hall of Fame induction ceremony before the Big Lake Homecoming football game on September 22nd.
Dolores “Dee” Juhl Leslie (Class of 1960) has been living in and giving back to the community of Big Lake most of her life. She has been a resident of Big Lake since 1947. While in high school she was involved in band and choir while also being editor of her senior yearbook. Dee was the representative for Girls State during the 1958-59 school year. She has been a member of Saron Lutheran Church since 1963, taught Sunday School, and served as the church superintendent while also giving time to the church’s council and building committees. She has been a Charter Member of the Big Lake Lioness-Lions Club for 40 years, and has also volunteered for many summers with Big Lake Spud Fest. Uniquely, Dee earned the Minneapolis Aquatennial Association Commodore’s Award in 1997. Continuing to contribute to our strong community, Dee worked in Big Lake Elementary Schools from 1967 - 2000, and in 1998, she was awarded the Secretary Appreciation Award by the Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association. Dee received the Boreas Rex LXXX Medallion in 2016 as the King of the St. Paul Winter Carnival for Outstanding Volunteer to the City of Big Lake. Dolores is married and has three children, six grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.
Just like his father Ewald, Eric Petersen (Class of 1987) has made it his priority to give back to the community in which was raised. Eric began his Big Lake High School experience in the band and basketball programs. While in school, he worked on the family farm with his parents and five siblings. Beyond BLHS, Eric has been the proud owner of McPete’s Sports Bar and Lanes since 1998, an establishment that was awarded Big Lake Business of the Year in 2020. Eric is a proud member of the Big Lake Lions Club, the Knights of Columbus and also partners with many local non-profit organizations, booster clubs, chambers, and sports teams in fundraising projects. Eric feels honored to serve his hometown. He is married to Stephanie and has two amazing stepchildren, Brennen and Anissa, who also graduated from Big Lake High School.
Applications for 2024
The committee for the Hornet Hall of Fame is now accepting applications. The committee will recognize some of the outstanding former students who have embraced the “HORNET WAY” since graduation. They have met our mission in their growth as a citizen to his or her community. Please take time to nominate a former BLHS graduate that is deserving of this honor to be inducted into the Hornet Hall of Fame. Applications can be found on the Big Lake Schools web page under the “Community” tab or on the Big Lake History Facebook Page.