Teachers and Apple Valley Graduates

Apple Valley High School, for four years, is our home. If you’re an athlete or an arts kids, you know what I mean. With practices and events, we can spend 12 hours a day here and barely even notice.

But for some students, Apple Valley High School is more than just a place to complain about sleep deprivation and homework–it truly is home. The following 12 Apple Valley alumni have graduated and come back to continue to make Apple Valley home for additional generations of students.



Jane Berenz


Jane Berenz

“It is hard to be the oldest.  I graduated in 1978 which was the second graduating class.  My freshman and sophomore year I attended RHS and then AVHS opened for my junior and senior year.  I was in the middle of the boundary angst of splitting into 2 high schools.”







Chad Clendening

“I consider it an honor and a privilege to be able to come back as a teacher and a coach to a school with a tradition like AVHS. Today, many of my closest friends are people I went to school with, played ball with, and have worked and coached with here at AVHS.”






John Christiansen

“Sports were a big part of my experience in high school.  Four years after HS graduation I started coaching boys soccer at Apple Valley with Scanlon.  I remember homecoming football games, Sadie Hawkins dance, dominating in badminton during racquet sports, also classes like accounting, Russian history, math and great wars.” 







Chris Scanlon


Chris Scanlon

“I graduated in 1997; loved being an Eagle!  Fondest memories were of hanging out with friends and teammates from my hockey and soccer teams. We had a tradition of success then just as we do today!”






Kate Olsen

“I had a great high school experience.   I had wonderful teachers, many who are now my colleagues. 🙂  And the friends I made during high school are my lifelong friends… I’m getting married this summer and my three maids of honor, strange, I know,  are all friends from high school!”




Dan Seppala

As I headed toward the end of my high school career, I debated between engineering and education. I decided to go to the U and pursue chemical engineering, figuring the U would give me flexibility in case I changed my mind. I did well in my engineering classes, but as I continued to coach volleyball and work with high schoolers, it became clearer to me that I did not want to be working isolated in a lab.  

During my student teaching experience I would meet with the teachers in my “cohort” at the U and hear all sorts of stories about other buildings, other administrations, other math departments, and it became even clearer to me than it already had been that Apple Valley High School is a special place.


Dalen Dirth

“Experience at AVHS was great. I played football, basketball, track & field. Also participated in a variety of classes from Phy. Ed to Tech computer classes and DP. Everyone was welcoming and encouraging. I was drawn back to pursue a career here to continue the excellence and determination that AVHS has given me.”



Jeff Flugum

“AVHS drove me into education.  I had great teachers, that gave me a great perspective on life.  I wanted to do the same for others for my career. 

I tried to be as active as I possibly could both in the classroom and outside of the school day.  I was played football, was in track and played basketball.”





Chris Sikich

“I had a great time at AVHS participating in different activities and athletics.  This allowed me to develop life long friendships.  One of the greatest memories I have a AVHS is playing hockey for 3 years and winning the State Championship my senior year in 1996.”






Michelle Gustafson

“I had so much fun in high school and I thought the teachers and coaches that were here were so caring and supportive.  When I started working as a school counselor I knew Apple Valley was where I wanted to end up.  Apple Valley has a sense of school spirit and community that you don’t find anywhere else and I wanted to have a chance to have a positive impact on students.”






David Swanson

“I truly enjoyed befriending my teachers and learning from them.  In the early days of my teaching career I was able to implement their wisdom into my classroom.  I hope what I have learned from them still benefits my students today.”







Bill Blatzheim

“I am so grateful to all of the wonderful teachers who were here at AVHS when I was a student, and I’m so thankful to be back as a part of this community. It is my hope that I can help to facilitate some of the same experiences and memories that I had as a student here in our students today.”







All 12 of these amazing teachers and coaches came back to impact the lives of generations to come. As students, we may not realize the impact high school has on us, but these alumni are examples of how Apple Valley High School can change lives. All 12 of them stated they actually felt prepared for college after they graduated. Don’t worry, writing all those research papers and speeches actually pays off!

Apple Valley is a school like no other, and they don’t just say that because they were students here. Even after different teaching jobs at different schools, something brought them back to AVHS. It’s a wonderful place to be. Happy 40th Apple Valley!