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A unique path

(L to R) Betsy and Reed Perkins with oldest daughter Phoebe

Oliver Francies

Betsy Perkins is a unique person. She is a dentist in the Air Force serving at the Grand Forks Air Force Base as one of only two dentists on it. Every day as a comprehensive dentist for her can be quite different seeing and helping a lot of people on a daily basis. Perkins is married to the only declared DFL Candidate (to date) running for State Senate District One, her husband Reed. Together the Perkins family has two daughters, Rosalind (who is called Rose) and Phoebe whom Reed also serves as a stay at home dad for. Reed also has training as a science teacher and has taught classes on the Air Force base as well.

She and Reed had been friends for about six years before they married. Throughout their time together they always seemed to spend time chatting with each other, getting to know more about their perspectives on life. Like Reed, Betsy likes to give back to those around her and is interested in science. In college at Drake, Betsy chose to further her studies in cell biology and worked as a civilian with the Air Force doing research for NASA. She appreciated how she was treated as a civilian and was given a lot of autonomy to pursue her research goals. As time went on, she wanted to be a doctor but also wanted to have the best of both worlds. That is, she wanted to pursue her career after getting an eventual biochemistry degree but also wanted to have a family and a home life of some sort.

Being a dentist became a way for Perkins to pursue those dual goals. After encouragement from a past graduate of her biochemistry program at she looked for a way to become a dentist and chose the Air Force as the best way to serve and become one. In addition, being married to Reed has been a part of her career. Throughout Betsy’s residency time in the Air Force, Reed was staying at home with their kids as needed so Betsy could work the 100-hour weeks that her residency in comprehensive dentistry demanded. Reed is “always reliable and dependable” and “to know Reed is to like Reed”, according to Betsy.

The Perkins family lives together in East Grand Forks and is a wonderful example of how dual support can help everyone in a family thrive. Regardless of political ideology one could say that the Perkins family, lead by Betsy who serves our country through helping others on a daily basis, and Reed who has spent his life as a science teacher and advocate for others set daily examples on what it means to be good community members because at their core. They are both people trying to do the right thing. On the example they are setting for their children and regarding their life of service, the Perkins family showcases the best of East Grand Forks.

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