Inducted Saturday, September 21, 2013
Ken Tangen graduated from Lisbon (N.D.) High School in 1948. During high school he was involved in drama, music and sports and was class president for two years. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Concordia College, Moorhead, in 1958.
Tangen worked as an assistant store manager and store manager, and he was in pharmaceutical sales before beginning his 50-year career in education. Tangen taught for four years in Greenbush, Minn. In 1962, he began teaching English at Moorhead High School, where he taught for 30 years, mentoring fellow teachers, engaging students, providing for active learning, and preparing students to be lifelong learners. While at Moorhead High School, Tangen also served as the Student Council advisor for 20 years and founded the Knowledge Bowl team, which he coached for 14 years. The Knowledge Bowl team competed at the national competition for seven consecutive years.
Tangen was named the Moorhead Teacher of the Year in 1992. He also earned many Student Council and Knowledge Bowl awards over the years.
During his teaching years, Tangen was involved with Moorhead Education Association, now Education Moorhead, and he completed graduate-level courses at University of North Dakota, Minnesota State University Moorhead and North Dakota State University.
Following his retirement from the district in 1992, Tangen worked for 16 years at Concordia College and Minnesota State University Moorhead as a student teacher supervisor. Additionally, he revamped the practicum program at MSUM.
Tangen served on the Moorhead Police Commission, the Moorhead Charter Commission and as a Scout leader. He is a Kiwanis member and has been an active church member. Tangen is involved in state and local activities with REAM, the Retired Educators Association of Minnesota, and he is a past member of the Moorhead High School Hall of Honor committee. Tangen continues to advocate for Moorhead High School and high school students.
Ken and his wife, Mary, have four adult children, Eric, Bob, Julie and Kirsti, and 13 grandchildren. Tangen lives in Moorhead, Minn.