Lake Superior College will recognize this year’s graduating class at commencement exercises at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center (DECC) on Monday, May 15. More than 700 degrees, diplomas, and certificates will be awarded to the class of 2017.
Graduation is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. in the DECC Symphony Hall.
A pinning ceremony for graduates of the LSC Nursing Program will be held at 12 noon in the Harborside Ballroom. Family and friends are invited to attend.
Commencement guest speakers include Minnesota State Trustee Louise Sundin who represents the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, alumni Bethany Helwig and Senator Erik Simonson.
Guest speaker Senator Erik Simonson represents District 7, which includes most of the City of Duluth. He was first elected to the Minnesota Senate in 2016 after serving four years in the House of Representatives. He has served as a firefighter with the Duluth Fire Department for 27 years, and currently serves as an Assistant Fire Chief. He and his wife have two children and reside in Duluth, where he has lived his whole life. He attended Lake Superior College beginning in 1987, enrolled in general education courses and worked at LSC in the 1990s teaching in the Fire Tech Program as well as in Industrial Safety for the Customized Training division. Senator Simonson graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business from the College of St. Scholastica in May 2016.
Minnesota State trustee Louise Sundin is the executive vice president of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO. The organization represents more
than 80,000 organized workers in the nine-county west metropolitan area. A career ninth-grade English teacher in Minneapolis, Sundin served 25 years as a national vice president of the American Federation of Teachers and 22 years as president of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers Local 59. She is a co-founder of TURN, the Teacher Union Reform Network, that works to transform unions into agents of change and she is co-chair of Great Lakes TURN.
Sundin is currently chair of the Board of The Guild, an approved authorizer of public charter schools in Minnesota. The Guild is the only charter school authorizer in the country that was created by a union. The goal of The Guild is to create and support excellent charter schools for Minnesota’s children where teacher voice, leadership and professionalism is an expectation embedded in the design.
Sundin is founder of Math Online, a unique and free homework helpline to assist students in doing their math homework via computer. She hosted her own radio program, “Education Matters” for more than three years and served 22 years on the United Way Board.
Guest speaker Alumni Bethany Helwig graduated from Lake Superior College in 2009 with an Associate of Arts degree and
later returned to earn her Legal Secretary Certificate. She has worked as a criminal paralegal for seven years in Cloquet and continues to do so while also operating Brightway Books, a company she established last year. She has published several books, including two in an ongoing series, The Curse of Moose Lake and more recently The Bite of Winter, which feature local settings such as Moose Lake and Duluth with a paranormal twist. (Discover more about her books at brightway-books.com and bethanyhelwig.com.)