Bemidji SDA Church School

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Location: NW corner of Delton Avenue NW and 15th Street NW, Bemidji
Status: Closed
Editor: Kathy Joy Parke
Contributors: Marilyn Frishman-Cummings, Holly Parker-Ewert, Arlene Larson-Frishman, Ramona Roberts-Larsen

As the Bemidji Seventh-day Adventist Church rapidly grew from it’s humble beginnings, Christian education became an important priority for the members.  In 1920, a church school was started with Petrina Ruskjer (Larson) as the teacher of 10 students.  The school met in the teacher’s home on Delton and 17th Street.  This school continued to operate until 1936 when it was closed.  In 1950 a school was again opened, this time in the church basement at 9th and America with 17 students and Ramona Roberts-Larsen as teacher.  The church school continued there until 1956.  On April 23, 1955, the church voted to build a school on Delton Avenue and the new school was ready by September 1956.  An addition was later made to the school to accommodate the expanding number of pupils – the Review and Herald reported a ground-breaking for the addition on May 5, 1971 for a $22,000 addition of a 38 x 60 foot addition.  For a number of years a 9 grade (1-9), 3 teacher school was maintained with the Northome church lending additional support and students.  The school operated until 2002 when it was closed and eventually sold (the structure is no longer standing).

(Please report any errors to the website editor here)

  • 1919-1920 Petrina Ruskjer (later Mrs. George Larson)
  • 1920-1933 Unsure of teacher names
  • 1933-1934 Jonathan Peters
  • 1934-1935 Hedvig (Carlson) Nelson (Mrs. John Emil Nelson)
  • 1935-1936 Mary Wentworth
  • 1936-1950 School closed
  • 1950-1952 Ramona (Roberts) Larsen (Mrs. Don Larsen)
  • 1952-1954 Joann Morrison (later Mrs. Leo Johnson)
  • 1954-1955 Harry Holder and Ramona Larsen
  • 1955-1956 Harry Holder
  • 1956-1957 Vera (Custer) Johnson (Mrs. Erland Johnson)
  • 1957-1958 Vera Johnson and Velma Jenkins
  • 1958-1959 Esther A. Dukes (Mrs. Hiram M. Dukes, Pastor’s wife)
  • 1959-1961 Helen Godfrey (later Mrs. Teddie Pyke)
  • 1961-1970 Roberta (Veeder) Matelski (Mrs. Frank Matelski)
  • 1968-1980 David Larson, Jr.
  • 1970-1971 Ed Dickerson
  • 1971-1976 Dennis Ras
  • 1972-1973 Clara (Peterson) Erickson (Mrs. Emery Erickson)
  • 1973-1974 Evelyn Reisner
  • 1974-1976 Donna Ras
  • 1976-1977 Sue Bremson
  • 1977-1978 Glenn Ferguson
  • 1978-1979 Doone (Andrus) Isaacson (later Mrs. Ben Covell)
  • 1979-1981 Dale Pettibone
  • 1981-1999 Clinton and Leah Anderson
    (with assistance of David Larson, Jr. some years)
  • 1989-1999 Nancy O’Brien (Mrs. Joe O’Brien)
  • 1999-2000 Arlinda Cotton and Jim Dwyer
  • 2000-2002 Joy (Reeve) Fish (Mrs. Jonathan Fish)