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JIM GEHRZ � jgehrz@startribune.com Minneapolis/April 20, 2006/4:00PM The new Minneapolis Public Library in downtown Minneapolis will soon open. The library has an extensive collection of books and other historical materials, including: rock star Prince Nelson in his sophomore yearbook, 1976, Central High School, one of more than 1,000 yearbooks.

Jim Gehrz, Star Tribune

Who'd get your vote for a Minneapolis high schools hall of fame?

  • Article by: COREY MITCHELL
  • Star Tribune
  • September 13, 2011 - 2:43 PM

Who would you nominate for a Minneapolis high schools Hall of Fame?

Anoka High inducted its first Hall of Fame class last week, a 24-member group that included a former Miss America and six Olympians. There were so many potential nominees that everyone managed to overlook Rep. Michele Bachmann, Anoka Class of '74, even though she's one of the leading candidates for the Republican nomination for president.

The competition could be just as rugged in Minneapolis, a school district with more than 130 years of history.

Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist and physician Peter Agre was a Roosevelt Teddy. So were former Gov. Jesse Ventura and Toni Stone, the first woman to play Negro League baseball.

Robert Cabana, director of NASA's Kennedy Space Center and a former astronaut, graduated from Washburn High. Fellow Millers include National Public Radio host Michele Norris and producer and songwriter James (Jimmy Jam) Harris.

He and Terry Lewis, a state track champ and football star at North High, have produced and penned chart-topping hits for decades. Like Lewis, actor Robert Vaughn and The Time's lead singer, Morris Day, are North High Polars.

A former Miss America, actors, musicians and other prominent figures are among tens of thousands of Minneapolis Public Schools alumni.

And who can forget musician-actor-entertainer Prince, who, as Prince Rogers Nelson, graduated from the now-defunct Central High School?

Former Gov. Floyd B. Olson would be a candidate from North High. So would Pro Football Hall of Fame member Sid Gillman, former DuPont CEO Irving Shapiro, civic leader and businessman W. Harry Davis and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Harrison Salisbury.

But how would they stack up against the star power of South High's telegenic trio: actors Rachael Leigh Cook and Josh Hartnett and HGTV host Genevieve Gorder?

And how about a fantastic foursome from Southwest High? Miss America 1977 Dorothy Benham, former hockey coach Dave Peterson, who later coached the U.S. Olympic squad, Lizz Winstead, co-creator of "The Daily Show," and actor Peter Graves, best known for his work in the television series "Mission: Impossible," but also winner of two state track championships in the hurdles.

Edison High graduate C. Wayne Courtney, a former Edina mayor, coached Roosevelt High to back-to-back boys' basketball titles in the 1950s, at times pounding his alma mater, the Tommies, along the way.

Mike Hegstrand, a Henry High Patriot, wrestled under the nickname "Hawk" as part of the Road Warriors tag team, one of the most popular duos in professional wrestling history.

Do you know a classmate, friend, relative or next-door neighbor who'd merit consideration? A titan of industry or your favorite Twin Cities author?

Have we overlooked one of Minneapolis' favorite sons or daughters, or a teacher, coach or administrator who educated, led and inspired students for decades?

Several school board members and state legislators are district graduates. How about a nod to one of your local elected officials?

Let us know what you think.

Please send suggestions, and justifications for them, and maybe even a yearbook photo, via e-mail or Twitter.

We'll publish a column later this year with some of the most creative responses.

Corey Mitchell • 612-673-4491 • corey.mitchell@startribune.com Twitter@StribMitchell

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