Summer Cancellations

We are optimistic about the prospects for our summer banquets (Athletic Hall of Fame, Pathways to Success Distinguished Educator and Distinguished Alumni) being scheduled later this summer.  We are excited about these programs and will inform the public when decisions are made.

We Are A Community Committed To Its Children

Special Events

Brookside Administrative Offices, Community Ed and Alternative Learning Center
Brookside Administrative Offices, Community Ed and Alternative Learning Center

Pathways to Success / They Lit the Way Recognition Banquet

The Education Foundation of Albert Lea and Albert Lea Area Schools is in the process of planning the Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Educators banquet.  The Foundation will be “Celebrating 21 years of Success in 2021” with all who attend this year’s banquet.  Nominations for Alumni and Educators may be submitted from the web sites referenced above.  We encourage the public to submit nominations and request that they are made by July 10 so that adequate preparations may be made.

Recipients of this year’s awards will be recognized at the Education Foundation’s Pathways to Success and They Lit the Way Celebration on Thursday, October 14, 2021 at Wedgewood Cove, Albert Lea, Minnesota.  

The event will begin with a social gathering/cash bar at 6 p.m. followed by ‘hors d’oeuvres’ or dinner and program at 6:30 p.m.  Questions about the event should be directed to Brad Kirchner, President of the Foundation board of directors at the Foundation email address  Registration form will be available from this site as soon as plans are final.

The following morning Friday, October15, the 2021 Distinguished Alumni will lead an open discussion with members of the senior class in an assembly at Albert Lea High School.

Distinguished Alumni awards are given annually to graduates of Albert Lea High School who have achieved success in the area of Business and Economic Achievement or Humanitarian and Public Service Achievement.  In addition, awards may be given posthumously to candidates in either of the categories.

Due to Covid there were no recognitions in 2020. The 2019 Distinguished Alumni follow:


Dan Dorman  '81

Dan Dorman '81

Local Contributor

In honor of his commitment and passion to Albert Lea and public education


Thomas Ehrhard  '76

Thomas Ehrhard '76

Public Service

In honor of his career as a national security professional, professor, and mentor for over four decades, including thirty years in the United States Air Force and later as a Pentagon senior executive and strategy advisor.

Sarah Gutknecht  '81

Sarah Gutknecht '81


In honor of her endearing and generous spirit, leadership in the pediatric nursing profession, and her passionate drive to advocate for children.

Shelly Ibach  '77

Shelly Ibach '77


 In honor of her commitment to executive leadership, business development and retail expertise.