by Cori Hilsgen
St. Joseph resident Peter Hamerlinck is organizing other Apollo High School graduates to help form an alumni association.
He and about a dozen people met for a meeting March 1 at Apollo High School to discuss what he had outlined as the mission and purpose of the proposed St. Cloud Apollo Alumni Association.
Hamerlinck said discussions at the meeting included:
- Making Apollo High School alumni available for educational collaborations with current Apollo High School students
- Identifying alumni who would be available to speak with students at the school
- Establishing post-secondary scholarships
- Creating alumni-focused homecoming activities
- Alumni working with school district staff to share their post-Apollo High School stories
- Becoming the central point for dissemination of class-reunion information
- Identifying candidates for the Apollo High School Activities Hall of Fame and designing an Academic Hall of Fame
The group also discussed what the potential structure of the St. Cloud Apollo Alumni Association could look like, from leadership to committees.
Hamerlinck said he has received many telephone calls and emails from people who were unable to attend the March 1 meeting but who are interested in being involved in the association.
He said he decided to form and activate the alumni association because an alumni association allows a chance for alumni to give back to their high school and provide valuable assistance to future graduates.
An association also allows alumni to remain connected to the cities they were involved in during their high school years.
Hamerlinck said he has had many discussions during the past few years with Apollo High School alumni who really felt an alumni association is a good idea. After several discussions with Apollo High School Activities Director Dave Langerud, Hamerlinck decided to move forward with forming the association.
Hamerlinck, a 1984 Apollo High School graduate and a St. Cloud State University graduate, has lived in the Pleasant Acres addition by St. Joseph for 20 years.
He is a past president of the Kennedy Community School Parent-Teacher Association and was a member of the St. Cloud School Board from 2011-14. Hamerlinck received various awards, including the Award of Excellence from the Minnesota Elementary Schools Principals Association, the Achievement in Education Award from the St. Cloud Morning and Noon Optimist Clubs and the Partners in Education Award from School District 742.
He has one daughter who graduated from Apollo High School and another daughter and stepson who are currently attending there.
Hamerlinck works as an account manager for a technology company and also does some work for the Apollo High School activities department. His wife, Amy, works at the St. Cloud Veterans’ Administration Hospital.
The next meeting for the St. Cloud Apollo Alumni Association will take place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 22 in the Principal’s Conference Room at Apollo High School. People should enter Door Number 7.
Hamerlinck said organizers hope to continue to build upon the March 1 discussions.
Anyone who is interested in becoming part of the group forming the St. Cloud Apollo Alumni Association can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hilsgen is a contributing reporter for the Newsleaders. The central Minnesota native is a wife, mother and grandmother. She has a Bachelor's degree in Organizational Management and Communication from Concordia University – St. Paul, MN and enjoys learning about and sharing other people's stories through the pages of the Newsleaders.