EFD Parade returns for 25th annual event

By Sarah Nigbor

ELLSWORTH – The 25th annual Ellsworth Fire Department Parade will return to the streets at 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14 with recently retired Ellsworth High School Principal Mark Stoesz as the grand marshal.

The parade entry form can be found on the EFD Facebook page. People don’t need to pre-register, however; they can just show up at the registration booth at the former junior high (254 S. Chestnut St.) anytime that day between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Stoesz retired from an impressive 30-yearplus career at Ellsworth High School on June 30. He is known throughout the community as a champion of children, treasured colleague and mentor.

Stoesz came to EHS in August 1990 and taught history, social studies and psychology for 17 years. While teaching, he also served as athletic director for five years.

Stoesz taught in his hometown district, Butterfield-Odin (southwest of Mankato) for three years before jumping the border to Wisconsin. He attended Bethel University where he played football, but transferred to and graduated from Minnesota State University at Mankato. He earned a Master’s degree in history from UW-River Falls in 1995 and a Master’s in school administration from Mankato in 2002.

After earning his Master’s in school administration, he “sat on it a bit” before making the leap from the classroom to the princi- pal's ovce, a role he held for 14 years. “I’d been the department chair and was always in leadership positions,” Stoesz said in May. “It was a natural progression for me to pick that up. But I love the classroom a lot. I sat on it a full five years before I went into ad ministration. I really love the classroom and teaching.”

Stoesz also coached for many years and counts leading students to state competitions in football, girls basketball and girls golf in the 1990s as favorite memories. He brought the Advanced Placement (AP) program to Ellsworth and taught the district's first AP classes.

Wife Lesley, with whom he shares two daughters, also retired at the end of the school year after teaching Spanish and German for 25 years at EHS. The pair also chaperoned prom every year and led many students in the International Club on trips around the world. They hope to continue leading and inspiring tours and travel for the community.

Stoesz promised he wouldn’t be leaving Ellsworth and that people would see him at community events. Well, he was right. Make sure to say hello to the grand marshal on Aug.

14. And bring a bag for candy!

Retired Ellsworth High School Principal Mark Stoesz will be the grand marshal for the 25th annual Ellsworth Fire Department parade on Aug. 14. Photo by Sarah Nigbor

August 2, 2022