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JUN 22 2000
Brandon Valley Chalienger
Where are they now?
Alumns share stories as they plan to attend BV all-school reunion
Brandon Valley High School will hold its first-ever all-school reunion July 1. Thirty-seven graduating classes wilt participate in the event. Brandon and Valley Springs school districts consolidated in 1963, forming the Brandon Valley School District. The Challenger asked some alumni to let us know how their lives have gone since they graduated. These are their stories.
Debra (Willard) Copelan, Brandon Valley HS Class of 1986
I graduated from Brandon Valley in 1986. After working various jobs in the Sioux Falls area, I moved to Los Angeles, Calif., in 1993. (Yes, I was here for the big earthquake.)
I worked in the car rental industry here for two years and then eventually moved to Chicago for five months.
Upon moving back to L.A. in 1996, I was given the opportunity to be the assistant for a travel agent who specialized in the music industry.
A year later, with my own contacts and my own bands in place, I became self employed.
I'm a travel agent who specifically books tour for bands or works with people who are affiliated with the music industry.
To date my client list includes, to name a few, Morrissey, Collective Soul. Oleander, Staind, Dishwalla, LL Cool J, and members of Danzig and Rob Zombie.
The first and only time I dated a client was the road manager for Third Eye Blind.
We married in 1998 and currently have no children. Happily, he still constantly tours with many different bands, and I have my business that keeps me busy 24 hours a day here in Los Angeles.
Debra (Willard) Copelan
Fred Rist, Brandon Valley High School Class of 1966
In 1970, I graduated from the School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City and married Tanya Lund. We graduated together from the Mines. We have two sons, Karl and John.
I began a 26-year career with 3M in St. Paul, Minn., and Menomonie. Wis. In 1996, my business unit was spun off into a company called Imation. Feb. 29, my project and job with Imation were terminated.
On June 1, 1 started with Medtronic. Inc. in Fridley. Minn. Medtronic is the largest maker of cardiac pacemakers in the world. I am working as a project engineer on a model that provides pacing and defibrillalion if needed.
Tanya, son Karl, and daughter-in-law, Anjanette, are ordained pastors in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Tanya began her ministry in 1996, and I expect to take early retirement (2008) and serve the church in some volunteer area. Where that will be will be up to God.
I have been blessed with an excellent career. I have done a number of interesting things and have traveled to Japan and Europe a number of times as part of my work for 3M.
Fred Rist, 1966 Fred Rist, today
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Devereaux Library. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.