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KerryOn: Hall of Fame

On October 1, 2022, I had the honor of introducing my dad as a Hall of Fame inductee for his childhood high school. During my speech, his grandchildren (many of whom were close to high school age themselves) were able to glimpse into the past. The 60+ years of aging melted away, and the young athletic boy shone through.

There are lessons you can learn as a daughter to a Hall of Famer, especially one who thrived in baseball, football, and basketball. And mind you, Robert “Bob” Fierke has three daughters who were involved in multiple sports throughout high school and college. While we didn’t get the chance to see our dad play in high school, we did learn many lessons he taught us from the experiences of growing up on a farm. The one Bob had as a student athlete in Villard and the hobby farm he lives in today in Northern Minnesota. Here are the Lessons Learned:

Strength - You've shown that both physical and mental strength can make a difference. This is done by stepping up on a court, pitch, field. Whether you feel like it or not, dig deep - plant seeds in the spring and harvest in the autumn. This shines through when newspapers refer to you as “Slugger” with a 640-batting average for most of the baseball season. You showed everyone mental and physical strength by hitting the ball so high and by running so fast you could make it to second base before the outfielder could even see where the ball landed.

Discipline - You've taught the value of grit and hard work. There are no excuses for rain, sleet, snow, wind, sunshine. You just show up and practice and bring your best to each game. The cows need to be fed, the bales need to be hauled, the garden needs to be tended. You provided this example by regardless of the position you were playing in football, you were all over the field scoring on both offense and defense. Your pleasure of intercepting a pass and running it back for a touchdown is still a favorite memory. This discipline paid off as you became the first Villard Mallard inducted to the Minnesota All State 8-man football team as a defensive back in 1960.

Resourcefulness - You've shared the value of thriftiness and rolling up your sleeves. This is the importance to "use what you have", it doesn't need to be the newest or the best. You can always find what you need in the shed or barn. You can still be an all-star with shoes you wore the past three seasons and balls that have seen better days. It truly doesn't matter what it costs when you approach something with your heart. You used your resources, your speed and quickness, playing strong defensive basketball. Providing your team with a winning season by shutting down your opponents’ high scorer during the games.

Humility - You've modeled the value of quiet accomplishment. You do the chores needed to be done and move on. Never in my life growing up did you talk about the “good old days of high school” yet you accomplished more during a sport season than most athletes who dedicate a year of training. People remember your achievements and the impact you made based on your actions, specifically when Coach Blaine, a 2015 Hall of Fame inductee, remembers you in all three sports 60 years after you graduated and still calls you a “coaches dream”. You are humble, you are kind, you are a leader.

And although many of the people in this room are just meeting you today and learning of your Hall of Fame athletic accomplishments. You have made an impact on their lives by being you and leaving a legacy in the community with your Strength, Discipline, Resourcefulness, and Humility.

I hope this KerryOn shines as a bright reminder that the achievements of today can be celebrated many decades later. That, my friends, is legacy.

Dedicated to Robert “Bob” DeVere Fierke, Minnewaska Area Schools Athletic Hall of Famer

KerryOn Questions

- If you were to be inducted into a Hall of Fame, what kind would it be?

- How would you like to be introduced as an inductee into this Hall of Fame?

- What type of impact can you make today that could be celebrated in the future?

The Kerry behind KerryOn

My name is Kerry K. Fierke, Ed.D. (pron. Fear-Key) I have a unique combination of skills and experience – decades of fast-paced corporate experience in Fortune 100 companies and large health care organizations, combined with the academic rigor of a highly ranked research university. My focus is supporting others to create their own path to leadership development, lifelong learning, and a unique leadership legacy. Take a moment to focus on leadership, then KerryOn!

To see all KerryOn's and other leadership stuff, visit

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