While attending Denfeld, Peter Bergman was known for his athletic prowess. Giving much credit to Waldemar Johnson, he set Denfeld records in shot put and discus in six meets his senior year and was named All-State in track. He was named to the All-City and All-State football teams in 1958, and also honored as Denfeld’s Homecoming King. He graduated in 1959.
Bergman went on to the University of Minnesota on a football scholarship, and was a member of the 1960 National Championship team, but was injured and came back to Duluth to finish his education at UMD, graduating in 1963. At UMD he set a school record in the discus.
He taught sixth grade in Osseo for one year, and married Barbara Siverson, a teacher and 1960 Denfeld graduate. They returned to Duluth to raise their family.
He taught at Birchwood Elementary and developed the first Individualized Education Program there. He was accepted into the National Defense Education sponsored Master’s Program at Arizona State and got his master’s degree in 1968, returning to work with emotionally disturbed students at the Human Development Center. He got his administration certification from UMD in 1972.
Bergman became an elementary school principal in Duluth serving at Gnesen, Kenwood, Barnes, Lincoln, Lakeside, Rockridge and Nettleton Magnet Schools. He is most proud of the reorganization of Barnes into a primary school and Kenwood into a middle school, and the reorganization, development and implementation of the first magnet school in Duluth at Nettleton. He was there for 15 years and saw it grow from 225 students to 608 during his tenure. This magnet model was then used throughout Duluth and the state of Minnesota.
He was a member of the Kappa Phi Delta, Phi Delta Kappa, Duluth Principals’ Association and Minnesota Elementary Principals’ Organization. He served for four years for Residential Services Incorporated and was chairman of the board for Blandin Principal’s Leadership Program for 10 years.
Bergman is active in his church, serving in various leadership capacities, cooking, and singing in the choir. He and his wife retired in 1998. They have four boys and live at Pike Lake when not traveling with their children and seven grandchildren in their motor home.
of Fame Members