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Technical Scholarships

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Burns Welding Scholarship

Board Member Polly Gustafson Presented the 2023 Burns Welding Scholarship to Lea Hasbargen.

Rodney Burns had a knack for fixing things and always had an idea on how to design and fabricate steel as well as teaching young people the trade. The Burns Welding Scholarship is awarded to a Lincoln High School graduate that was a member of the FFA club and will be continuing their education in a Technical program. 

Diane Burns established this scholarship in memory of her husband.  This is the second scholarship established by the Burns family.  The Nick Burns Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually through Lincoln High School.

Michael Holmer Memorial Scholarship

Charles Berry were presented with the 2023 Michael Holmer Memorial Scholarship by Holly Haugen.

The Michael Holmer Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a Lincoln High School graduate/graduates who will be attending a technical school, studying automotive repair/mechanics, and who have a GPA of 2.5.

Michael Holmer was an avid hunter and fisherman.  He enjoyed the outdoors and had a passion for snowmobiling.  He liked farming with his Grandpa, driving the tractor and bulldozer, fixing cars, welding and shop class at school and was a ‘hands on” person.

Michael was a Lincoln High School Senior who passed away October 2008 as a result of a vehicle accident. The family advocates the use of seat belts.  This scholarship was established in his honor by his family and the community.

Jerry Jenkins Memorial Scholarship

Reece Janisch was presented with the 2023 Jerry Jenkins Scholarship by Robyn Morey & Dana Jenkins.

Jerry Jenkins was born in Kenmare, ND and moved to Thief River Falls with his family when he was a young child.  He was a member of the Lincoln High School class of 1970.  In 1972 he hired out on the Soo Line Railroad working along side his dad and brother where he worked until his retirement in 2008.  Jerry was a blue collar worker that believed good hard work and good hard play should have a nice balance, and gave his all to both, although his family always came first.  He had a knack for making everyone feel special being generous in spirit and gentle of heart.  His life was taken in a car accident on July 12, 2010. 

This scholarship was started by his daughter's co-workers, and will be kept going by family and friends.

The scholarship is for a Lincoln High School senior who will be pursuing a career in trades and must maintain at least a C average.  

Robert G. Kauppila Memorial Scholarship


2023 Robert G. Kauppila Scholarship is awarded to Senna Holten.

The Thief River Falls Education Foundation has announced the establishment of the Robert Kauppila Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship will be awarded to a Lincoln High School graduate who is enrolled in a community, technical or trade school.

Robert (Bob) G. Kauppila was born in Thief River Falls.  He attended Northrop and Knox Elementary Schools and Lincoln High School graduating in 1967.  He went on to attend Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis.  He started his working career in carpentry and construction before beginning his military service in the U.S.Army in 1969.  He served in Vietnam from August of 1969 to September of 1970.  Bob was very proud of his service to his country.  He received many military honors such as the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and Combat Infantry Badge (CIB) as well as other medals.

After being discharged he spent most of his working career in Wyoming doing construction.  He had a love of carpentry and took joy in helping others with their many projects.  He loved the outdoors and spent much of his free time hunting and fishing. 

Bob enjoyed playing and watching all kinds of sports. Bob started playing hockey on the outdoor rinks in Thief River Falls and played and coached hockey in Wyoming while living there.   

He returned to Minnesota and continued working construction.   He was active in veterans’ affairs and was past commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW Post 2793) in Thief River Falls. 

In 2013 Bob was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) attributed to his military service in Vietnam.  He fought a courageous battle against this fatal disease and passed away in August of 2013.  

Bob’s family has set up this scholarship in his memory to help Lincoln High School students wanting to continue their education. 

Blake Torkelson Memorial Scholarship

Brett and Danita and Torkelson Presented Colton Braun with the 2023 Blake Torkelson Memorial Scholarship.

Blake Torkelson felt that life should always be fun!  He loved hunting of any sort. Waterfowl, deer, coyote, or the occasional squirrel in the back yard, Blake was on the pursuit.  He was hard working, dedicated and always happy to help a friend in need.  Blake enjoyed helping on the farm, working on his vehicles, four-wheeler and snowmobile.  After graduation, Blake starting working with Bergstrom Electric as an apprentice and with that experience he knew what he wanted to pursue in life.  Most of all, Blake loved making people laugh.

Establishing this scholarship are Blake’s parents Brett and Danita and his sister Kora, Blake’s classmates of 2013, Danita’s classmates of 1994, and from the proceeds of donations given in Blake’s memory.

This scholarship will be awarded to a Lincoln High School graduate who is enrolled in a technical program or apprenticeship program, preference will be given to a student pursuing the electrical field.  $500 is paid directly to the school second semester or to the apprenticeship program.

Keith Spangler Memorial Scholarship

The 2023 Keith Spengler Memorial Scholarship was presented to Destiny Krueger by Mike Barry.
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