For the first time in it’s 104 year history, the Randolph School Board gave an honorary degree to a former student who didn’t graduate. 

That student was Arnold Felton, who was supposed to be a part of the Class of 1945, but left school in 1944 and never turned back.

Surrounded by family, the board and Superintendent Mike Kelley held a special moment during their regular meeting on July 19 to recognize Felton’s life and accomplishments. 

Surrounded by family, the board and Superintendent Mike Kelley held a special moment during their regular meeting on July 19 to recognize Felton’s life and accomplishments.

Felton’s impact on the Randolph community is unlike many others. Felton was a write-in candidate that was elected to the school board, serving as Treasurer for 12 years. 

During that time as on the school board, he gave high school diplomas to his children Doug (Class of 1964), Denny (Class of 1969), and Dorry (Class of 1972).

Felton also helped the district get an addition on their school in 1971. A plaque with Felton’s name can still be seen in the school today. 

Felton was also selected in 1970 to be the representative from the Randolph School District to charter the now Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount. 

Along with his time on the school board, Felton has served on the Randolph Volunteer Fire Department, Randolph Township Board, and Bank Board of Directors for First National Bank (now Merchants Bank) in Cannon Falls.

Felton’s daughter, Dorry, spoke after he received his degree, thanking Kelley and the board for giving him the honorary degree. 

Dorry Felton thanked the Randolph School Board and Superintendent Mike Kelley for giving her father, Arnold Felton, an honorary degree during their board meeting on July 19. 

“People want to leave a legacy because they want to feel like their life mattered,” Dorry said. “Dad’s life was blessed by the good Lord. He did not plan on creating a legacy, but he lived his legacy and tonight we honor him.”

The board paused their meeting after Felton received his degree to have refreshments and treats.

Other board news:

  • The board recognized the Randolph Baseball team for finishing fourth in state competition, their best finish in school history. The team was unable to attend due to prior conflicts. 
  • The board recognized Vanda Pressnall for her 20 years of service as the School Board Member of Intermediate School District 917, representing the district. Pressnall opted to received the recognition outside of the board meeting. 
  • The board unanimously approved school board officers' salaries, directors' salaries, regular school board meetings for the third Monday of each month, school district counsel, the official newspaper, official bank depository, financial investments, facsimile signature, and the compliance statement. 
  • The board unanimously approved substitute teacher pay at $135 per day. 
  • The board unanimously approved the use of the Federal mileage rate for district paid meeting. 
  • The board unanimously approved the hiring and resignations for multiple positions. 
  • The board approved the hiring of fall coaching positions, 4-1, with Heather Siebenaler voting against. There was no discussion. 
  • The board approved the contract for Kent Peine for the 2021-2022 school year. 
  • The board unanimously approved the annual external user access recertification. 
  • The board unanimously approved the 10-year long-term facilities maintenance plan for the district.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Thank you for taking part in our commenting section. We want this platform to be a safe and inclusive community where you can freely share ideas and opinions. Comments that are racist, hateful, sexist or attack others won’t be allowed. Just keep it clean. Do these things or you could be banned:

• Don’t name-call and attack other commenters. If you’d be in hot water for saying it in public, then don’t say it here.

• Don’t spam us.

• Don’t attack our journalists.

Let’s make this a platform that is educational, enjoyable and insightful.

Email questions to

Share your opinion


Join the conversation

Recommended for you