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Winter 2016


Looking back on 75 years of nurturing abilities and changing lives.






limits on the

human mind and spirit.


or a moment, indulge with me in a story. You’ve probably already heard it, but if you’re like me, it becomes more powerful each time it returns to you. A child born without forearms or lower legs is delivered in a small town in northern Wisconsin, around the turn of the 19th century. Rejecting the prevailing attitudes of the times, the surrounding community accepts and embraces her, recognizing an auspicious potential that overshadowed any deficient physical gifts. With inexhaustible determination and a wisdom beyond her years, she quickly understands that the full measure of her life’s purpose couldn’t be confined by a disability… each struggle she would encounter must be met with fervent gratitude and great effort. So she proceeds forward. Abiding by her father’s advice, she pursues her education, graduating cum laude from the University of Minnesota in 1936. When the economic conditions of the Depression era threaten her ambitions to become a teacher, she confided her frustrations to a friend and former president of St. Paul Luther Academy, Pastor W.F. Schmidt. Schmidt implored her not to abandon her love of teaching, and sent a sterling recommendation letter on her behalf to the superintendent of a small, struggling school in Fargo. In 1938, Anne Helen Carlsen accepted a job at the Good Samaritan School for Crippled Children. “I bought myself a new dress and hat and a Greyhound bus ticket and headed west to Fargo. I had never been to North Dakota. I was offered $25 a month, plus room and board. I thought I was at the peak of my career,” she said. The peak of Dr. Anne’s career was nowhere in sight. In 1940, Lutheran Hospitals and Homes Society purchased the Crippled Children’s School and moved it to Jamestown. And for the eventful decades to come, she devoted herself to a familiar passion, that would touch countless lives in the classroom, community, and across the country: education.



At school, she was an inspiring and beloved teacher. She taught her students how to succeed in their studies, but more importantly, she showed them that independence was the highest achievement. In the eyes of the public, she was a tireless and treasured advocate. She informed the nation on the dignity enshrined in persons with disabilities, and catalyzed new discussions that would help empower marginalized populations. And in her own academic pursuits, she was a lifelong student. She never stopped learning, she never stopped expanding her mind to discover new ways to serve. Upon the shoulders of this giant we now stand. So for this edition of The Ambassador, we commemorate our 75th anniversary by reflecting back on our namesake, and looking forward to a bright future built on the principles she stood for. Much has changed in 75 years, as our organization expands its reach to impact individuals of all abilities with the best services available, yet be assured that one thing will always remain the same: every day, the Anne Carlsen Center continues to evolve, improve, and create to meet changing needs. Our mission demands this, our vision requires this, and our ability to serve depends on it. As always, the driving force that enables us to move forward are the generous supporters who believe in what we do. So thank you for helping us sustain a legacy, and here’s to 75 more years of nurturing abilities and changing lives.

Gratefully yours, Eric M. Monson


Sady is Soaring The talents of videographer Sady Paulson have gone global


n October, former Anne Carlsen Center prodigy was featured in a powerful new Apple commercial, promoting their latest line of accessibility-ready products.

The video, which premiered at a special Apple keynote event in Cupertino, California, begins with Sady at her computer. Born with cerebral palsy, Sady utilizes adaptive switches mounted to her wheelchair to type on the screen, “People think having disabilities is a barrier…that’s not how I see it.” Multiple scenes unfold, showing people with physical, hearing, and visual impairments working seamlessly with their Apple devices to communicate, take pictures, and interact with their environments.

Working side-by-side with ACC teacher Mark Coppin, Sady quickly began to hone her skills in video editing and cinematography, creating an impressive portfolio that would earn her a full scholarship at the prestigious Full Sail University in Florida. She graduated with honors and the admiration of her peers and educators last February. These relationships—coupled with her impressive achievement—have made Paulson an important advocate for Apple and their new line of accessible technologies.

Seeing his former student in the spotlight is Actual scene from the Apple commercial, exhilarating, but not “Sady.” Not only did Sady star in the clip, surprising for Coppin. she also helped produce it. “It is absolutely amazSady’s video poignantly ing. I always knew she emphasized a key theme had this drive and determination…all we needed of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s presentation: to make to do is to find the right tools to do these things Apple products easier for people with any type of she wanted to do” Coppin said. disability to use and enjoy. As a longtime Apple Apple has launched a new website to promote user, Sady has relied on these ongoing efforts their accessible technologies. You can see the since she first discovered her passion for film new features—in addition to Sady’s video—by editing in 2005. visiting As the video concludes, it’s revealed that this footage is part of a video project Sady is editing.



75 years in the



n September 23rd, the Anne Carlsen Center opened its doors to the community to commemorate 75 years of nurturing abilities and changing lives. Guests, staff and students gathered in the auditorium for an unforgettable day honoring the fruitful accomplishments of countless students and families served within these walls…and the dedication of the faithful visionaries who made it all possible. The morning bustled with activity, as the public enjoyed free breakfast and perused interactive display booths, attended by Anne Carlsen Center staff. Guests were educated on the innovative new approaches to enrich those we serve, while treasured heirlooms mingled among them, bridging the distant past with new possibilities. Overlooking it all, a portrait of Dr. Anne smiled proudly on the stage, casting a hopeful glance on the future of her enduring legacy.

Open the

Moving Memories of Dr. Anne


To reflect on Dr. Anne’s legacy, Nancy Stanger, Anne Carlsen’s niece, took to the stage for a poignant tribute to our namesake, who would have been 101 years old this year. Captivating the audience with vivid stories and personal accounts, Stanger portrayed her aunt as a brilliant and determined leader, abounding with compassion and a lifelong love of learning. Imbued with quiet grace and the rare gift of understanding her place in history, she challenged contemporary views about individuals with disabilities, and fought against policies that reinforced them. Her advocacy was just as powerful in the classroom as it was on the national stage; though she empathized with her students and the struggles they faced, Dr. Anne would never allow self-pity to obstruct their path to independence.

to an enduring


Watch Nancy Stanger’s presentation: visit


A N N E 1936


Anne Carlsen was 20 years old when she graduated from the University of Minnesota, cum laude, with a bachelor’s degree.


Born Nov. 4 in Grantsburg, Wis.


Lutheran Hospitals and Homes Society purchased the Crippled Children’s School and moved it to Jamestown, N/D. Construction began in the fall at Horseshoe Park on six acres purchased for $450.


Rev. W.B. Schoenbohm joined the Good Samaritan Society as superintendent of the Crippled Children School.

Anne Carlsen joined the staff as a high school teacher.




Nearly 1,000 people gathered Sept. 21 to help dedicate the new school. The original building cost $58,000 to construct and was paid for entirely with private donations. It opened its doors to 18 students on Sept. 22. The school included two modern classrooms, a craft room, library, therapy room, dining hall, recreation room,and dormitory for 35 children. Anne Carlsen moved to Jamestown and began her employment with the Crippled Children’s School.


Anne earned her Ph.D. in Education from the University of Minnesota and was named Child Guidance Director at Jamestown’s Crippled Children’s School.


After four summers at University of Colorado in Greeley, she earned her master’s degree. Her thesis was “A Reading Program at the Crippled Children’s School, Jamestown, N.D.”


Anne was named Administrator of the Crippled Children’s School.

She was a guest on the Lawrence Welk Show where she spoke about her work and the School. Welk’s orchestra also gave a benefit concert for the School.


Anne received the President’s Trophy as the Handicapped American of the Year from then vice president Richard Nixon.


Anne received North Dakota’s highest honor, the Theodore Roosevelt Roughrider Award from North Dakota Governor William Guy.


Anne was guest on NBC’s “Today Show,” interviewed by co-hosts Joe Garagiola and Edwin Newman.

C E N T E R 1975

Anne received the Gold Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement. Anne was inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame at Fullerton (Calif.) College.


The Board of Education of the Crippled Children’s School renamed the school to the Anne Carlsen School.


President Ronald Reagan appointed Anne to be vicechairperson of the President’s Committee on Employment of the Handicapped.


Anne received the “Woman of Conscience” award from the National Council of Women in New York City.

Anne retired as administrator. She was honored by the school and given an apartment on the campus.





The therapeutic swimming pool was completed.

The name of the school was changed to Anne Carlsen Center for Children to better reflect its broader scope of services.

A statue of Dr. Anne Carlsen and a child was dedicated at the front entrance of the school.

The focus on the Center’s programs expanded to include young people with multiple disabilities.


The School’s program was expanded to include services and placement for children with autism.


The School’s education services received accreditation as an elementary school from the prestigious accrediting agency, North Central Association.


2010 2002

The Center’s namesake, Dr. Anne Carlsen, passed away on December 22nd.

The Center began a five-year renovation project to enable it to better meet the needs of its children.


The Center became an independently-owned organization operated by a non-profit governing board of directors.

Construction began on a residential expansion, adding three residential cottages.

ACC initiates management of four offices (Fargo, Grand Forks, Devils Lake, Jamestown) in the state’s Early Intervention Program.


The name of the Center is changed to the Anne Carlsen Center to better reflect the variety of ages the Center serves.


Community-Based Autism Services are initiated. Therapy Canine Program with Champ, the service dog is initiated


Community-Based Autism Services are initiated.


ACC opens a Community Services office in Minot offering autism services.


ACC assumes management of Annie’s House at the Bottineau Winter Park to accommodate outdoor enthusiasts with physical and cognitive disabilities.

A new logo is also unveiled including her signature. A new solarium is completed. ACC opens a Community Services office in Grand Forks.


“Celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Anne Carlsen Center is a fabulous opportunity. I think she would be so impressed to know we are serving kids all across North Dakota. I think she would be so impressed to know that kids are integrated to their own schools and the Anne Carlsen Center is still helping them do that. To be independent…to be out in the world…to have those experiences that we all share. It’s just a great day to celebrate her and to celebrate the progress we have made in her honor. “ Nicole Poolman – Senator, 33rd District

The fact that the niece of Dr. Anne is here, and can reflect some of her personal life stories of Dr. Anne really brings it to life. It inspires us when you’re either at the Center or visiting family members who’ve benefitted from the Center's work. It's compelling to us. We’ve now established outreach centers throughout North Dakota. The number of people we’ve been able to reach now drives all of us to say, ‘We have to do this more. We have to do this harder.’” Harvey Huber – Chairman, Anne Carlsen Center Board of Trustees

“You have made such an extraordinary contribution to the state of North Dakota, to education and to human understanding that I was honored to be your guest.” Rep Byron L. Dorgan US Congress (1981)

“The employees are a vital part of who we are, and what we do. This day is about them. It’s about the people that we serve. It’s about the community that serves us. This is a day we set aside to observe the wonderful things that have happened for over 75 years. “ Eric Monson – Anne Carlsen Center CEO

Though renowned for her warmth and gentleness in the classroom, in the face of injustice, Dr. Anne was fiercely outspoken. Here's a letter written to the Governor of North Dakota, simmering with her classic wit and no-nonsense conviction.

Dear Governor,

Witnesses ofGREATNESS “It’s an exciting day, reflecting on the history and the many accomplishments of Anne Carlsen. It reflects the potential of this organization moving forward…the dreams, the plans, the things that are made possible by this incredible legacy…I’m really excited about what that means for the future of the Anne Carlsen Center." Tim Eissinger – Anne Carlsen Center COO

“I am impressed not only with the courage you have shown since childhood in overcoming your own handicap, but with the remarkable contribution you have made to the rehabilitation of handicapped children.” Dwight D. Eisenhower President of the United States 1959

“I admire Dr. Carlsen so very, very much. Here is a lady who had so much against her, who not only succeeded in developing herself beautifully, but is giving so much to others as well.” Lawrence Welk Big Band Leader

This is a letter of protest I want to write before I leave for the holidays in Palm Springs. As a citizen who pays taxes, I resent not being able to get into the state capitol under my own power. In June, I attended the meeting on the state advisory council on rehabilitation services, just as I did yesterday. I parked my car in the spot for the handicapped. First, I tried the doors which were supposedly automatic. They would not work. Then I went over to the old section straight off the registration desk where I’ve always been able to get in without any trouble before. New doors have been installed. The tension was so tight, that I couldn’t even budge the one door. I walked around to the other side and that was no better. Then I walked to the west part of the building, remembering that I could always get in there. Again, new doors had been installed, and the problem was still the same. I saw a young couple coming, so I waited until they could open up the doors. They happened to be friends of yours from Virginia. The tension on those new doors is just too tight. It would take only a matter of minutes to loosen that tension, so that a woman who is not an Amazon could get in. My most recent experience was yesterday, when I got a ride with another member. Fortunately, he was with me to open the heavy brass doors in the beautiful new administration building. The automatic doors were not working because of the fig trees in the lobby. The architect who dreamed of putting those in certainly qualifies for the book I’m going to write sometime, “Architects and the Other Damn Fools I’ve Known.” The matter of the doors has been brought to the attention of the Director of Institutions, who wrote a letter to our advisory group with no mention of any action being taken. That is the reason for this letter. Many years ago, I ran into the same situation in the Fargo Air Port in the women’s restroom. I brought it to the attention of the Northwest Airline ticket desk, and was told Northwest has nothing to do with that part of the building. I was referred to the airport manager. Three contacts with him brought promises but no action. A letter to the mayor brought immediate action. The next time I was there, the doors were easy to open, and have been ever since. As a republican governor in your state, I expect that you have as much power to change things as a democratic mayor did in his city. So at the next meeting in March, I anticipate not having any problem in getting into the capital. May I wish you a joyous Christmas. Dr. Anne Carlsen



BOARD OF TRUSTEES Bruce Furness Fargo, N.D.

Michelle Rodgers Hopkins, MN.

Matthew Hanson New York City, N.Y.

Thomas Rohleder Immediate Past/Former Chair Fargo, N.D.

Harvey Huber Chair Jamestown, N.D. Pat McCullough Treasurer Loretto, Minn. Robert Montgomery, M.D. Fargo, N.D. Sue Offutt, Ph.D. Cashton, WI. Nicole Poolman Bismarck, N.D.

This year, the Anne Carlsen Center raised over $100,000 at various com-

Myra Quanrud, M.D. Ex Officio Jamestown, N.D.

Sam Brownell Information Technology Director

Tim Eissinger Chief Operating Officer – Jamestown Campus

Daniel Johnson Chief Financial Officer

Margie Johnson Human Resource Director

Patrick Kirby Chief Development Officer Kresha Wiest Director of Mgmt. Systems Stephanie Nelson Director of Ideation Center

DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT — 701-952-5167 Patrick Kirby

Felicia Sargeant

Lori Kalgard

Rachel Schafer

Michelle Walker

Tracy Denning

Trenton Gerads

Logan Little

Chief Development Officer

Marketing/Special Events Coord.

Mark Your Calendars! Remember to mark your calendars for Thursday, February 9th and join hundreds of Anne Carlsen Center supporters in donating to our single largest fundraising event—GIVING HEARTS DAY!


Reesa Webb Centennial, CO.

Eric Monson Chief Executive Officer

Jody Vigness Senior Director of Community Based Services

munity fundraising events throughout North Dakota. From fancy dinners on the beach, to golfing “fore” good, supporters from all over purchased tickets, sponsorships and auction items to help raise money and give the gift of independence to the individuals and families we serve.

Patrick Kirby Chief Development Officer

Casey Stoudt Vice Chair Jamestown, N.D.


ACC Fundraisers Grow

For information on how you, your family or your business can help support the Anne Carlsen Center, contact:

Janet Seaworth Secretary Bismarck, N.D.

Watch your mailbox, e-mail inbox and social media sites for updates, promotions, matching gift information and fun videos to help you get inspired to give on this momentous donor day!

Associate Development Director

Associate Development Director

Associate Development Director

Development Operations Coordinator

Development Support Specialist

Communications Manager

THE AMBASSADOR Published by: Anne Carlsen Center 701 3rd St. N.W., P.O. Box 8000 Jamestown, ND 58402 1-800-568-5175

Notice of NonDiscrimination Policy: Anne Carlsen Center does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age or disability in employment or services.

Logan Little, Assistant Editor

If you would like to be removed from our mailing list, please call 1-800-568-5175, ext. 1015.

Paul Johnson, Designer Matthew Beilke, Special Contributor The Ambassador is a mailed, free of charge, quarterly publication for supporters of the Anne Carlsen Center.

Eco-friendly Ambassador The Ambassador is printed on an environmentally-certified paper. Each page has a 10% postconsumer waste content, and the inks utilized are Soy Inks.


Each year, The Anne Carlsen Center partners with businesses who share our passion for equipping children, adults and families to lead lives of empowerment and independence. We are grateful for the commitment and compassion demonstrated by each of these Community Partners.

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID FARGO, ND Permit #???

701 3rd St. N.W. P.O. Box 8000 Jamestown, ND 58402

Get Ready for ACC 2.0! After months of development, is ready to set sail. Beginning in early 2017, a rescaled and redesigned website will be launched to better enhance our visitors’ online experience. Updated content, featuring the latest information on our lifechanging supports and services, will reside in a beautiful modern layout, specifically designed to accommodate accessibility needs. Other features, including online navigation tools, a user-driven blog portal, robust contact forms and a comprehensive event calendar, will also be upgraded. You won’t want to miss our new digital home with all the great ACC content that’s fit to click. Check out and leave your feedback.

Connect with the Anne Carlsen Center on Facebook Become a fan, learn about upcoming events, and share your memories with fellow friends of the Center.

The Ambassador: Winter 2016  

Reflections: Looking Back on 75 Years of Nurturing Abilities and Changing Lives.

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