Patriot Award given to Bismarck principal

Published: Feb. 21, 2023 at 7:48 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - A Bismarck Public Schools administrator was pleasantly surprised Tuesday afternoon with an award to recognize him for his support to servicemembers in the National Guard, but this isn’t his first time receiving the award.

Simle Middle School teacher and National Guard member Kalli Swenson nominated Simle Middle School Principal Russ Riehl for the Patriot Award for the second time. Swenson says during the pandemic she was away from teaching to serve in another capacity for the Guard, and even in a time of major uncertainty for schools, Principal Riehl took it all in stride. She says other teachers who have spouses who serve are also cared for with understanding and compassion.

“It’s more than just me, I just happen to have the opportunity to put in the award with a lot of information, but it really represents a wide range of us, not just myself,” said Swenson.

The Patriot Award is given to supervisors or bosses who provide support through flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families or otherwise going above and beyond in support of those serving in the National Guard.