Bemidji High School's Holly Vind aims to do well by her family, pursue teaching
For Holly Vind, several things run in the family. Once she graduates from Bemidji High School, she will follow in their footsteps by attending the University of North Dakota for elementary education.
BEMIDJI – For Holly Vind, several things run in the family.
Once she graduates from Bemidji High School, she will follow in their footsteps by attending the University of North Dakota for elementary education.
“I’m thinking of becoming a teacher and possibly moving on to become a principal,” Vind said. “My whole family is made up of teachers, so I’m continuing that legacy onward.”
Throughout the past year, Vind has had a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into running a school district as one of the student representatives for the Bemidji Area Schools Board of Education. Her interest in becoming active arose during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I started watching the school board meetings online and it kind of sparked my interest,” Vind detailed. “I like the way (the board) works and how it’s the basis of all the decisions made, and I thought there really needed to be good student input for the decisions that are about kids.”
She underwent the application process that included a written submission where she detailed her schooling background and reasons for applying. This had to be submitted with a transcript, a letter of recommendation from a teacher and employer, and her application had to be signed off by her principal before being interviewed by Superintendent Jeremy Olson and board members.
“The application process was very rigorous and sitting down in an interview with your superintendent and chairman of the board is kind of scary,” Vind noted. “They asked me a list of questions from student fees to dress codes. It was pretty nerve-wracking, but then they selected their student reps and I was one of them.”
As one of her highlights throughout her time at BHS, Vind has learned that there’s a lot more behind the classroom than many people may think.
“It’s a whole other world just to make a classroom run, just to make a school function,” she added.
Musing on music
Music is another family affair in which Vind has remained active.
“My entire family is musical,” she said. “I grew up with an instrument in my hand, so I just decided to continue that through school to have another way of connecting with people.”
As a clarinetist, Vind highlighted the marching band’s 2022 season and the successes that came along with it.
“We never left a parade empty-handed. We always walked away with a trophy and we actually won our first grand champions this summer, which was like out of this world,” she said. “I’m definitely sad to be leaving my friends, especially the music program. We’re one big family.”
Vind credits band director Derek Wickum as a mentor throughout her musical endeavors, adding, “these last four years, he’s been a pretty predominant leader in my life and I’ve always looked up to him.”
Outside of school, Vind noted a close connection to her grandparents who even appeared in her senior pictures with her. Vind’s grandfather was a teacher in Crookston, and his path from childhood to adulthood has been a source of inspiration for her.
“My grandpa, he didn’t have the best home life when he was younger and he kind of fell in a line of family that were alcoholics,” Vind said. “He told himself at a very young age he did not want that for himself and he started working and building houses at the age of 12.
“He hitchhiked to North Dakota to find jobs. He has been non-stop working … and just seeing his success and how he did it himself was really cool to see.”
Vind turned to her grandpa’s example when she went through one of her greatest hardships. Her dad was diagnosed with cancer and passed away while she was in sixth grade.
“Trying to balance school life while having a terminally ill parent is really difficult,” she said. “I looked at my grandpa and I saw what he did with his life and I had two roads to take.
“I could either sit and wallow and feel sorry for myself that my dad died … or I could use that to my advantage and learn from the hardship of that, push through it and continue on to help other people who might be struggling.”
As she moves on from the confines of high school, Vind’s biggest motivation is to do well by her family.
“We work hard for what we have and I just want to be successful in the eyes of my family,” Vind left off, “and be the best version of myself that I can be to make them proud.”
Bemidji High School’s graduation will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 27, at the Sanford Center.