Congrats to Susan German, Oakes, N.D., High School Band!

A small-town band from the heart of North Dakota makes a world of difference. That’s one of the reason’s Gov. Jack Dalrymple selected the group from Oakes, N.D., High School as his 2011 State Governor’s Band.

Students in Oakes’ band not only play proficiently, Dalrymple said, but they also perform annual community concerts and stage fundraising shows for breast cancer awareness and Haiti earthquake relief.

The 14- through 18-year-olds, under the direction of instructor, Susan German, performed for the governor, his wife and the entire school Friday.

Members of the Oakes, N.D., High School band perform for the governor, local dignitaries, community members and fellow students Friday. Gov. Jack Dalrymple selected Oakes as his 2011-2012 Governor's Band.

To greet the governor and his travel mates, Oakes residents created signs like this one which reads "From 'YOUR BAND' Welcome to Oakes Gov. and Mrs. D. ... You Rock N.D.!!" Signs posted on city streets, gas station marquees, classroom windows, etc., greeted the guests as they drove through the town of about 1,800 people.

First Lady Betsy Dalrymple takes in the myriad of welcome signs designed by students of Oakes, N.D. Public Schools. Gov. Jack Dalrymple like one of the signs so much, he removed it from the wall and asked to take it home.

Oakes mayor, and foreman of Dakota Valley's Oakes outpost, Monty Zimmer, addressed the crowd at Oakes High School's gymnasium, Friday. Zimmer said the students at Oakes High School work hard, and the governor's recognition was well-deserved.

For her hard work, the governor and Oakes community recognized Susan German, the director of the Oakes, N.D., High School Band. German graduated from Valley City State University in 1973. Since then, she taught at schools in Lisbon, Fullerton and Dickey before taking her current Oakes post in 1997.


Members in the news: Val and Mark Wagner, Clyde Reister

We know we have awesome members, so it’s no surprise to see them in the news.

The Val and Mark Wagner family, Monango

Our hearts break however, when it’s news of sick children. Good news, however, is that 2-year-old Eli Wagner, son of Val and Mark Wagner, Dakota Valley members who live near Monango, is now gaining weight like other healthy children his age. Diagnosed with ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC) deficiency, his little body can’t break down protein properly. So the boy can’t eat meat, which is ironic given his family raises cattle. Read more about Eli and his family here in The Jamestown Sun.

Clyde Reister, Streeter

The Reister name is recognized ’round the region for its quality meats, processing services and catering. The Dakota Valley members were recognized recently for success on their farm… and convincing people to drive more than 50 miles “to buy something good,” Clyde says in this article published in AgWeek.

Thanks for the tips, Pat Schaffer!

Do you know of a member in the news? Did you or someone you know receive an award? Get married? Have a baby? Maybe someone is ill and you want to get the word out?      I’d love to help! Email me, please, at