North Dakota’s Teacher of the Year Rappels Down Black Building to Raise Money For Charism

Leah Juelke rappelled to support North Dakota's teachers


FARGO, N.D. — During her time in the Army, Leah Juelke rappelled down many things, but never a building in the heart of a city.

“At first, right when you get to the top, right at the edge, it actually is quite scary. For a second, I thought ‘what am I doing?’, but once you get going down, and you really get a rhythm, then it’s not so bad,” said Juelke.

The last year has brought Juelke to new heights.

One year after she was named Fargo’s Teacher of the Year, she earned North Dakota’s top teaching honor this winter, and even got to attend a space camp in Alabama.

As she began to descend down the building, something that eased her was seeing her husband and her two kids cheering her on.

“That made me feel really good, made me feel confident. My one–year–old and my seven–year–old were looking at me, and I just thought ‘I have to do this, I’m going to do it for them and everybody else and all the teachers,” said Juelke.

Juelke had to rappel 110 feet from the top of the Black Building, but she said she did it in order to motivate her students for the upcoming school year.

As someone who teaches English language learners at Fargo South, Juelke also rappelled to support Charism, an organization that helps at–risk children in the metro.

“We have such a great relationship with the schools, and working with the teachers daily, we see the amount of work that they put in as teachers. So to have her here is really special and we’re so glad she’s able to do it,” said James Nagbe, the Development Director at Charism.

With the first day of school on the horizon, Juelke hopes this experience inspires other teachers.

“Everybody’s getting ready to go back to the classroom, and so a little support for them and appreciation, that’s really what I’m out here for today,” said Juelke.

80 participants, including North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer, rappelled down the building throughout the day to raise funds for Charism.

Categories: Community, Local News, North Dakota News