Inherited disease: Soderholm has retinitis pigmentosa, a stage of blindness that is inherited. He and two siblings have the disease. He was diagnosed with the problem in 1999 after having trouble seeing and catching the ball as it neared him during pickup basketball games.

 

Education experience: Soderholm started his career as a social studies teacher during the 1986-87 school year. He also worked in the special education department and also served as dean of students. “I’ve done a little of everything, and I’m good at nothing,” Soderholm jokes.

 

Lending an ear: He moved into his role as a counselor for the 1996-97 school year. He has grown accustomed to students entering his office in tears. “I have a special place in my heart for those who don’t fit in with society,” Soderholm said. “To see them improve is gratifying.”

 

His outlook: “Life is always going to deal a person tough situations. I don’t want to be defined by what I can’t do, but what I can do.”

RON HAGGSTROM