An English class achiever

BHS senior Connor Fogarty has been awarded with the Con Leifur Award, which recognizes students who have put both effort and time into the English department.

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On to greater things. BHS senior Connor Fogarty plans to go to St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. During high school, Fogarty has been a part of several high school activities – including the BHS HiHerald. “I have so many varied interests, whether it’s music, math, writing, programming or physics. I don’t want to start narrowing down just yet. That’s what college is for,” Fogarty said.

Scott Gotta, writer

Each year, one student from BHS has been chosen for the Con Leifur award. This award recognizes the senior that has contributed the most effort in the English department.

For the year of 2020, Bismarck High School senior Connor Fogarty has been chosen to receive the award as well as a 500 dollar scholarship.

“I’ve just always had the mentality of working and thinking hard about the tasks I’m given in class,” Fogarty said. “This goes especially for my English classes. I’ve been in Honors English 10 and AP English both junior and senior year, and through four years of learning English. I’ve been able to break down and pick up as much information as I can with what I’m given.”

The decision to award the student is made by all the English teachers, as they look at every senior and decide who has put forth the most effort in their English studies.

“I think part of the reason I’ve found myself enjoying and continuously putting effort into English is my writing skills,” Fogarty said. “I enjoy being able to express my full, uninterrupted thoughts to others, conveying the exact messages I want to convey. I never really took into account how well my skills in writing are until fairly recently, but as I’ve grown, I’ve learned that it’s important to write your thoughts down and to allow what goes on in your mind to be exposed to the greater world.”

Conrad Leifur, the original BHS graduate whom the award is named after, also recently passed away, making Connor Fogarty the first award winner after his passing.

“I feel like this award connects me with him more spiritually – almost as if I’m carrying the torch,” Fogarty said. “I wish I got to meet him, but I’m still glad to be honoring his legacy in this way.”

English studies go well beyond being a good writer. To be considered for the award, it is valued to have a strong connection with the teachers of the English department. 

“I’ve always been friendly with the teachers around me, and I’ve often felt a strong connection with the English teachers here, among others of course, so I’m glad to be able to say ‘thank you’ to them for not only showing me the way through my time at BHS but for allowing me to connect with them as well as the work,” Fogarty said.

As it turns out, the decision over the winner of the award was highly contested. This shows the commitment that many of the BHS seniors have put into their work and the lessons from their teachers.

“I’m glad to see that we’re all putting in what we can here at BHS,” Fogarty said. “I mean, I wouldn’t have been upset if any of them had won it instead of me. I think people like us [seniors], people who give that effort, deserve that recognition in some way, whether it be from teachers, the school or awards like this. I’m proud of us, and I’m sure we’re all gonna go on to do great things.”