The following is the fourth in a series on Independent School District 549 retirees for the 2022 school year.
A groundbreaking coach and teacher at the Prairie Wind Middle School has decided to retire after 36 years of service to Independent School District 549.
Darrel Pederson recently announced his retirement at the end of the 2021-22 school year. Pederson held a variety of positions in the school district. He taught sixth grade for 10 years, second grade for 10 years, third grade for eight years and fourth grade for eight years.
Pederson was named the 2011 Heart of the Lakes Elementary Teacher of the Year. Pederson is a Concordia College Hall of Famer as well, being inducted into the Cobber Hall of Fame in 2012.
Also, during his time with the district, Pederson led the Yellowjacket girls basketball team to its first state tournament appearance in 1991. The Yellowjackets defeated the defending champions in the first round of that tournament.
It’s one of many favorite memories for Pederson with Perham Public Schools. He added he enjoyed building relationships with all the wonderful students and staff throughout his career with ISD 549.
Pederson said he will continue to work on his farm and officiate basketball during his retirement. He also plans on taking several hunting and fishing trips throughout the year.
When asked what advice Pederson would give to any new and aspiring teachers, Pederson said, “to build strong relationships early in the year and to believe in yourself at all times. Always empathize with your students and be flexible at school. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and get a good mentor who is positive.”
Pederson said he is grateful for the opportunity to work in this district for the past 36 years.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed working here every day and appreciate all the opportunities that I was granted. I have always been so proud to say that I teach in Perham,” Pederson said. “I have been blessed to work under outstanding leadership and with a very competent team throughout my career. My end goal was to always leave on top in the teaching profession and still love working with children as much as I did the first day I started. Honestly, I can still say, ‘I love teaching!!’ That is why I would never miss a day of school and always tried to come with a positive attitude every day.”