Born in Kansas to a family of teachers Harry moved to
Mankato, Minnesota in 1963 and graduated from Mankato High School in 1969 and
Mankato State College in 1973 with a degree in Secondary Education.
Married to Claudia in 1974 and moved to Duluth in August of
74 to teach History and coach swimming in Proctor.
Sold insurance from 76 to 1978
Substitute teacher from 1979 to 1983
Teacher in Duluth from 1983 to 87
From 1987 to present, House Dad, snow sculptor, local
Also began a political career to rival Harold Stassen by
running against Mike Jaros in 1976 for the state legislature. It was the first
of seven unsuccessful political campaigns. Began turning the corner with an
election victory to the School Board in 1995.
1976, 1978 vs. Jaros, lost
Highlights and lowlights while serving on the Duluth School
Edison Schools begun 1997
Selection of a new Superintendent
Passing the 1997 excess levy
Avoidance of a strike in 1998
Negotiating biddable insurance
Surviving community meetings which
were held in early 2001
My mother’s father, George Robb, was the last of seven
surviving children born to Thomas and Lottie Robb in their home built into the
side of a hill near Salina, Kansas in 1987. All the children graduated from high
school, many became teachers, several attained post graduate degrees including
my Grandfather who earned his masters in History from Columbia University in New
York City. At age 30 he quit his job as a school principal and enlisted in the
Army to fight in WW1. He was assigned to be an officer in the 369th
Infantry Regiment, an all black unit raised on the streets of Harlem. He was
awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his services during the war.
I lived in Topeka, Kansas, when Brown vs. Topeka Board of
Education was handed down in 1954. I was a second grade student in the fall of
1958 when the black students from a segregated neighborhood school arrived en
mass to my elementary school.
In the fall of 1967 I was a junior in the all-white Mankato High School when my family acted as host to the school’s first black student in memory, an Ethiopian exchange student named Bedru Beshir. Bedru was probably also the first Muslim student at the high school.