Archived Story

Iverson concert is Thursday [UPDATED]

Published 9:34am Wednesday, January 22, 2014 Updated 11:37am Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Jim Iverson was a music educator for 35 years — with 28 of those years spent in the Fergus Falls School District.

During Iverson’s time in our District, the music department received many honors. These honors included being named a Grammy Signature School, 100 Best Communities for Music Education (twice), three performances at the Minnesota Music Educators Association Convention, four performances at the International Lions Parade with two first place finishes, a performance at the National Cherry Blossom Parade, a performance at the 2009 Inaugural Parade, and 25 consecutive years of Fergus Falls High School students participating in the all-state ensembles.

When he retired from the Fergus Falls Public Schools in 2012, the Fergus Falls Band Boosters, community, and alumni of the band program donated money to commission renowned composer Sam Hazo to write a piece of music in his honor. About six weeks ago that piece arrived and the High School’s Wind Ensemble has been working on it ever since.

On Thursday, this piece will be premiered under the direction of composer Sam Hazo at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium at the Kennedy Secondary School.

During his three-day visit to Fergus Falls this week, Sam Hazo will be working with all the students in our band program.

The concert on Thursday will feature bands from grades 6-12, who will play music written by Mr. Hazo — with several of the groups being directed by Mr. Hazo himself.

In addition, the concert will begin with a performance from an Alumni Concert Band under the direction of Mr. Jim Iverson.

Unfortunately, this unique concert experience may present some issues. Our biggest issue is seating, as approximately 400 students are participating in the concert along with 75 alumni.

Because of this large participation, students who are not performing on stage will be watching a live stream of the concert in supervised music classrooms.

If you plan on attending the concert we encourage you to show up early, as we expect a packed house. Admission for the concert is $6/adults and $4/students K-college.

The concert will be available for viewing via Park Region Television and


NAEP tests

Our Fergus Falls Middle School eighth graders have been selected to represent schools across the nation by participating in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

First administered in 1969, NAEP is the largest nationally representative assessment of what students know and can do in various subject areas.

It is administered by the National Center for Education Statistics, within the U.S. Department of Education. NAEP is different from state assessments because it provides a common measure of student achievement across the country.

The results of NAEP are released as The Nation’s Report Card, which provides information about student achievement to educators, parents, policy makers, and the public.

In our school, the NAEP assessment will be given on February 6, 2014.

The test is taken by a random sample of eighth grade students in the following areas: civics, geography, U.S. history assessment, or a science pilot assessment.

In addition to answering questions in one of these subjects, students will be asked some questions about themselves and their educational experience.

These questions provide contextual information for the assessment, as well as information that may be related to students’ learning.

If you would like to view sample subject area and student questions, please visit

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