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A life-long love affair

In 1967, a gallon of gas cost 33 cents, a movie ticket was $1.25 and Don Thompson began his teaching career at Bottineau High School. He stayed for seven years. Thompson retired as Dakota College at Bottineau's physical education director in May 2011 after teaching there for 37 years. If 44 years as a professional educator were not enough, Thompson continues to teach for Minot State University's Center for Extended Learning on Minot Air Force Base.

"I love the mix of university students when I teach at Minot Air Force Base. The military personnel are more dedicated than the usual traditional age students — they have a purpose because of their age, are more focused and have less outside distractions," Thompson said. "They have had different life experiences. The military students can add to and actively participate in class because they are 'older-than-average students.'"

Thompson has taught macro and micro economics as an MSU adjunct faculty member for approximately 12 years. MSU asked him to become an adjunct when it needed another economics instructor but did not want to hire a full-time instructor. He teaches five sessions a year with two eight-week sessions a semester.

"I enjoy teaching ... I always have," Thompson said. "I personally deal with Sue Krebsbach (Minot Air Force Base program coordinator) and Debbie Brothers (MSU Division of Social Science administrative assistant), and they are marvelous to work with. I am treated very well."

While in Bottineau, Thompson was an advocate for student-athletes through his work as a coach, athletic director, referee, and game official. As a DCB campus leader, he was involved in committee work, mentoring and community service such as outreach presentations to area civic organizations and high schools. His civic involvement is shifting as he recently moved to Willow City.

Thompson received his bachelor's degree from Mayville State and his master's degree from North Dakota State University.