A Harrisonville High School graduate became the fifty-third alum inducted into the HHS Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame during Courtwarming activities at HHS on February 14.
Stuart Reece, HHS Class of 1990, has 24 years of teaching and coaching experience. He has been recognized in both areas with numerous awards and honors, however, it is the lessons he teaches beyond the classroom and court that make Reece stand out.
Reece has been the boys and girls tennis coach for Lee’s Summit North since 2003. As part of the program, he created Fun Fridays inviting any youth to enjoy tennis lessons provided free of charge by his players on Friday afternoons. From that, he developed a program through which LSN tennis players traveled to courts near Martin Luther King Junior Elementary School in Kansas City to provide free lessons for children in the inner city. His players also provide morning clinics in the winter at a Lee’s Summit middle school.
His and his players’ outreach work was recognized with the NAIA Team of Character Award and the WDAF/Fox4 Reaching for Excellence Award in 2016. Reece was also selected as a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIS) Coach of Character.
Reece also created a “no-cut” tennis program at Lee’s Summit North. This philosophy encourages all to participate to learn and enjoy a “lifelong sport.” In its first year, the no-cut program brought in 60 girls to the program (compared to 25). He developed a novice tournament so that all have the opportunity to compete. He was named a USTA National All-Star No-Cut Coach in 2016.
Finally, Reece adopted a “code” for LSN tennis which his players and parents receive at the start of the season and which are posted at the courts. The “code” states that “playing tennis by the code when you are on the court helps you make your match a positive experience for everyone. Living the code while you are off the court has the same effect.” An example of the code is making a call accurately on the court and in life this translates to living with integrity so that no one ever questions your judgement or decisions.
Reece current teaches health at Bernard Campbell Middle School in the Lee’s Summit School District. He has received the Lee’s Summit R-7 Teacher of Distinction Award (2017), and the Lee’s Summit R-7 Excellence in Education Awards (2016). He was also a Lee’s Summit Teacher of the Year finalist in 2016.
As a coach, he was the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Missouri Tennis Coach of the Year in 2014. He was also the United States Tennis Association (USTA)/Heart of America High School Coach of the Year in 2016. In 2013, he lead the girls’ team to become Kansas City’s only public school in MSHSAA tennis history to win a boys or girls’ state championship. He’s also served as a varsity assistant girls’ basketball coach at Lee’s Summit West and Lee’s Summit High School
Reece earned his undergraduate degree in secondary education/physical education from William Jewell College and his master’s in athletic administration, health and physical education from Northwest Missouri State University. In addition to Lee’s Summit, he’s taught and coached in the Hillsboro R-3, Northwest, and Macks Creek R-V school districts.
During high school, he was involved in math club, Spanish club, vocal music, scholar bowl, basketball and tennis at HHS.
Reece has been married to Rebekah for 23 years and have two daughters, Julia and Katie. Reece serves as a Deacon in the First Baptist Church of Lee's Summit and he helps sponsor Club-121 at Campbell Middle School.2019
A Harrisonville High School graduate became the fifty-second alum inducted into the HHS Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame during the rescheduled induction ceremony on Friday, September 6 at halftime of the varsity football game at Memorial Stadium.
The induction was originally scheduled for February, but due to winter weather had to be canceled. The Sept. 6th event included a public reception from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the Harrisonville Middle School cafeteria.
Denise (Massie) Davidson, HHS Class of 1981, will be the 52nd inductee. She recently retired after more than 30 years in law enforcement. From her beginnings as a dispatcher for the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, Davidson rose through the ranks from corporal, to detective, to detective sergeant to lieutenant, to captain. She was the first full time female patrol deputy.
She received training and was a member of the Metropolitan Area Major Case Squad; she’s a graduate of the FBI Command Leadership Program - “Law Enforcement Executive Development Association;” and she’s also a graduate of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Program – “Women’s Leadership Institute.”
Davidson has served as a member of the Cass County Child Fatality Review Board and conducts victim advocacy programs. Davidson has conducted many of the advocacy programs with Kim Case, an abduction and rape victim, whom Davidson interviewed following her ordeal many years ago. Case said, “The compassion and professionalism showed to me during the long interviews that took place after I escaped from my captors changed my life. The most important words that have ever been spoken to me were uttered by then Deputy Davidson that day; ‘I believe you, this is not your fault.’ Those words freed me to trust again.”
Davidson was honored with the 2017 Enoch B. Morelock Award in recognition of her outstanding moral character, service to law enforcement and her community. The prestigious law enforcement award is presented annually by the U.S. Attorney’s Office Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee.
Her community work includes serving as member and chair of the American Cancer Society - Cass County Relay for Life and board member for Hope Haven of Cass County, Blue Notes Booster Club, Harrisonville Athletic Booster Club, the Nazarene Church Daycare, and Bright Futures Harrisonville.
Davidson is married to Gary and they have four grown children, along with four grandchildren.2017Two Harrisonville High School graduates became the thirteenth class inducted into the HHS Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame during Courtwarming activities at HHS on February 24.
Dr. John M. Yohe is a 1954 graduate of Harrisonville High School. In high school, Dr. Yohe was involved in football and the Future Farmers of America. Upon graduation, Dr. Yohe was elected to serve as the Missouri State FFA Vice President for 1954-55; he was the first person from Harrisonville to serve as a FFA State Officer. He also earned his State FFA Degree.
Following high school, Dr. Yohe attended Graceland College to earn his associate’s degree then, the University of Missouri for his bachelor’s degree in Animal Husbandry and his master’s degree in Poultry Nutrition. He earned his Ph.D. in Crop Breeding from the University of Missouri as well and conducted some of his doctoral research in Orrissa, India.
Upon earning his doctorate, Dr. Yohe worked for the University of Wisconsin as a Plant Breeder - Research Specialist in northeast Brazil which was where he began his overseas work and continued in South Korea as Project Director with a USAID Project.
In 1977, Dr. Yohe became a research agronomist for US Agency for International Development (USAID) in Washington, DC, followed by time as the Chief of the Agricultural Production Division for the USAID Office of Agriculture in DC. In 1982, he served as a member of the USAID Presidential Team on agriculture development in Egypt.
Dr. Yohe retired in 2013 from the University of Nebraska after nearly 30 years of work for the University. He is well known throughout the world for his work in international agriculture and rural development. He has investigated farming, famine, and food throughout the world and helped develop new plant varieties for certain climates in the world.
He served as the director of the International Sorghum and Millet Collaborative Research Support Program (INTSORMIL) from 1984 to 2013 at the University of Nebraska. Under his leadership, INTSORMIL launched a new variety of sorghum in El Salvador that improves the quality of feed for cattle – increasing milk production and meat yield. This is just one example of his influence; his work has had a major effect on international agriculture helping improve food supplies in Africa and Central America.
He served as President of the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD) in 2003 and received the association’s Distinguished Service honor in 2013.
Dr. Yohe has lived in India, Brazil and South Korea and has traveled to more than 40 countries on research and development assignments.
He has been married to his wife, Bonnie for 57 years and they have four children, five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Dr. Yohe lives in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Roger Gardner graduated from Harrisonville High School in 1979. As the eldest son of the local agriculture teacher, he was very active in the Future Farmers of America organization. After his high school graduation, he served as the State Secretary and went on to earn his American FFA Degree. He was also a member of the newspaper staff and worked at the local radio station, KIEE.
Gardner earned his bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Education from the University of Missouri in 1983. He started working at the Brownfield Network (now Learfield) as a farm broadcaster, then moved on to help establish the Iowa State Cyclone Network.
Currently, Gardner is the Chief Culture and Communications Officer for Learfield, a leader in agriculture media and collegiate sports marketing. Among other things, the company owns the athletic multimedia rights to 125 major collegiate programs. He has served in multiple capacities with Learfield including Vice President and General Manager, Executive Vice President and COO, President, and Executive Vice President of Business Development.
According to the Learfield website, Gardner has been a key contributor in the company’s expansion in the collegiate sports multimedia space. He has helped negotiate multi-million dollar agreements with major universities and assisted in the purchase of complementary companies that have been incorporated into Learfield.
Gardner is also a civic leader, serving on numerous boards and committees including the Board of Directors for Special Olympics Missouri.
He was awarded the 2015 Citation of Merit Award from the College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources at the University of Missouri and participated in the college’s Executive in Residence program last year.
Gardner & his wife have established a scholarship endowment at the University of Missouri for students in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources in honor of their fathers, both of whom are Mizzou graduates, and he, and his brother John, sponsor a scholarship for a Cass Career Center FFA senior in the name of their parents – Stan and Marge Gardner.
He and his wife, Cheri, have been married for 33 years and they have two children. They live in Plano, Texas.
Inductees are selected based on their significant contribution to their community or their field of work. Nominations are accepted continuously with the deadline for consideration each year on October 31.2016 InducteesFour Harrisonville High School graduates became the twelfth class inducted into the HHS Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame during Winter Homecoming activities at HHS on January 22.
Daryl Bohannon is a 1969 graduate of Harrisonville High School. During high school, he served as the President of the Student Council. Following high school, Bohannon earned a degree in business and marketing from the University of Missouri.
Following graduation, he moved to North Carolina to work as a camp counselor at a camp for boys.
Mr. Bohannon returned to Harrisonville where he opened a Bowiler’s Restaurant in 1976. During his time as a business owner on the square, he was an active member of the Harrisonville Square Merchants Association.
In 1983, Mr. Bohannon began his 32-year career as a State Farm agent. Through his work, he has sponsored the Celebrate My Drive event and helped the HHS SADD chapter earn a grant to help fund activities. In 2012, he was recognized by State Farm as a Select Agent. During the years, he has received the company’s highest honors in quality production and growth - the Bronze Tablet, Silver Scroll, Golden Triangle, and Crystal Excellence.
Mr. Bohannon is active in the community. He is a charter member and past president of the Harrisonville Rotary Club. He was named Rotarian of the Year in 2000 and for many years he chaired the club’s biggest fundraisers - the BBQ booth at the fall festival and the youth basketball tournament. He also hosted Group Study Exchange teams and served as the co-chair Rotary District Conference in 1995.
He’s a trustee on the Harrisonville Public School Foundation and served as its president for two years. He’s also a Founding Donor with the Foundation.
Bohannon is a past member of the Harrisonville Board of Aldermen and the Harrisonville Park Board. In 2002, he was recognized for his volunteer service by the City of Harrisonville Parks and Recreation Department.
He’s been an active member of the Harrisonville Chamber of Commerce for 38 years serving on the board and various committees. The Chamber recognized him with the Community Educator Award in 2003.
In addition, Mr. Bohannon supports and has been involved with Young Life since it began in Harrisonville in 1994. He also coached youth baseball and basketball for many years.
He has been married to Barbara for 38 years and they have two children, Elizabeth and Ben, both Harrisonville High School graduates.
Karen Emmons graduated from Harrisonville High School in 1978. Following high school, Ms. Emmons earned her bachelor’s degree in home economics/journalism from the University of Missouri in 1982.
Ms. Emmons moved to New York where she worked as a researcher at Family Weekly magazine and as a researcher and reporter for LIFE magazine until 1989.
In 1990, she moved to Manila, Philippines where she worked for various media outlets, including NBC radio and The Kansas City Star. One of her assignments took her to Jordan where she reported on the last five weeks of the Gulf War for LIFE magazine.
From the mid-1990s to 2000, Ms. Emmons wrote feature stories about news and social issues while based in Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Manila (Philippines) and Bangkok (Thailand). Her work appeared in Time, People, The San Francisco Examiner, the Chicago Tribune, Reader’s Digest, The International Herald Tribune, The South China Morning Post and Development Asia.
Over the past 16 years, Ms. Emmons has covered a range of topics as an editor and writer, including child labor, bonded labor, domestic work, gender-based violence, child protection and family welfare systems, migration, human trafficking, health, nutrition, education, AIDS, microfinance, community forests, water, sanitation, solid waste management, climate change and natural disasters.
She contributed to two LIFE magazine books, entitled The Meaning of Life, through interviews conducted with celebrities, scientists, mathematicians and ordinary people in the United States, the Middle East and across South-East Asia on what they thought was the meaning of life. Working with a photographer each time, she created two books of portraits of people doing AIDS work, entitled Portraits of Commitment, first in South-East Asia and then across South Asia.
In late 2014, she and photographer Steve McCurry debuted their ongoing photo documentary project, No One Should Work This Way, which highlights the physical abuse of domestic workers from Indonesia, the Philippines and Nepal working in Asia or the Middle East. The pair worked on the project for 18 months. The work has been featured in CNN, The New York Times and several other newspapers in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East and is a traveling photo exhibition. Ms. Emmons also travels with the exhibition, speaking out about the abuse and the need for government ratification of the ILO Convention on domestic workers and for labor law protection of domestic workers.Ms Emmons has been in an exploding volcano in the Philippines, covered the massive tsunami disaster in Thailand and interviewed people who survived more than a week in earthquake rubble in the Philippines and Taiwan. She has been foolish, being threatened by a Crips gang member in Omaha, surrounded by a mob of angry Arab men five rings deep in Jordan, attempted a joke with a child rebel in a market in a remote corner of Cambodia, where she also drove, while six months pregnant, into a southern Khmer Rouge stronghold only a week after the military had supposedly run them out. She has sipped tea with the poorest of the world’s poor and with presidents and prime ministers. She has slept in a variety of stilted huts of ethnic and tribal peoples who have never seen the modern civilization she takes for granted. Excluding the missing companion, she is living the life she wanted.
Ms. Emmons currently lives in Bangkok.
Captain Randell Dykes was born and raised in Harrisonville, Missouri and is a 1980 graduate of Harrisonville High School. During high school he was active in band, newspaper and yearbook. Following high school, he worked full time for several years and then attended the University of Missouri where he earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering graduating magna cum laude.
Following his junior year of college, he was selected for the Navy's Nuclear Propulsion Program. Captain Dykes received his commission from Officer Candidate School at Newport, Rhode Island in 1988 followed by a year of graduate level nuclear power training.
During his time on sea duty, Captain Dykes served on seven U.S. Navy warships and deployed overseas numerous times, and participated in Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Inherent Resolve as well as other operations in support of national interests including U.S. Embassy support. Utilizing his nuclear expertise, he served as the Reactor Officer on USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65). In his warfare role as a Surface Warfare Officer, he commanded three warships: USS Devastator (MCM 6), USS RAMAGE (DDG 61), and USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17).
Ashore, Captain Dykes served on the Staff of the Chief of Naval Operations and the Staff of the Secretary of Defense, both located at the Pentagon. He also completed an instructor assignment at the Navy’s nuclear power training facility. He earned a master’s degree in National Resource Strategy at the Eisenhower School of the National Defense University.
Captain Dykes is currently stationed at the Naval Sea Systems Command Headquarters in Washington DC as the Chief of Staff for the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) which includes oversight of 17,000 scientists, engineers, technicians and support personnel located across the United States. NSWC provides research, development, test, and evaluation for the future Navy as well as engineering and logistics support for the operational fleet.
Captain Dykes’ personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards) and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards) in addition to various unit awards.
He has enjoyed strong family support over his 28 year career from his wife Leslie and their two sons, Alex and Scott. Captain Dykes and his family reside in Virginia.
Dr. John Gillen is a 1982 graduate from Harrisonville High School. While in high school he was active in sports, including football, basketball, track and baseball. He was a member of the National Honor Society.
He attended the University of Missouri at Kansas City where he played basketball and received his bachelor's degree in Pharmacy. He then completed his medical school training at the University of Missouri in Columbia where he received his doctor of medicine degree. He spent the next five years in Lexington, Kentucky where he finished his orthopaedic surgery residency in 1996.
Dr. Gillen joined an orthopaedic surgery practice in Belton, MO in 1996. Eight years later he started his own practice in Grandview, MO. He recently moved his practice back to the Belton area where he has been on staff at Belton Regional Medical Center for the past 20 years. He currently serves as the director of spine surgery at BRMC. He also has hospital affiliations with Cass Regional Medical Center, St. Joseph Hospital and Research Medical Center.
Dr. Gillen is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and a member of local and state orthopaedic societies including the Kansas City Orthopaedic Society, The Mid America Orthopaedic Society, The Missouri State Orthopaedic Society and the Brower Orthopaedic Society.
Dr. Gillen has received awards for patient care including a three-time recipient of the Compassionate Doctor Award, a four-time recipient of the Patient Choice Award, and listed in the Who's Who of American Doctors.
Dr. Gillen and his family - wife Kady, sons Jay and Jared, and daughter Jillian - live in Stilwell, Kansas.
HHS Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame inductees will be introduced to the community between the JV and varsity Wildcat basketball games on January 22 at approximately 7 p.m.
Inductees are selected based on their significant contribution to their community or their field of work. Nominations are accepted continuously with the deadline for consideration each year on October 31.
For more information, contact the Harrisonville Public School Foundation at 380-2727, ext. 1224.2015 InducteesThree Harrisonville High School graduates became the eleventh class inducted into the HHS Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame during Winter Homecoming activities at HHS on February 6.
William E. “Bill” James, Gina (Reece) Smith, and Nick Wesemann be formally inducted during a banquet on Friday, February 6 and will be introduced to the community prior to the varsity basketball game at approximately 7 p.m. that night. The Wall of Fame induction is sponsored by the Harrisonville Public School Foundation.
William E. “Bill” James graduated from Harrisonville High School in 1966.
He attended the University of Missouri at Columbia, and spent four years active duty with the United States Air Force, serving in Biloxi, Mississippi, Okinawa, Japan, and San Antonio, Texas.
From 1972-2000, Mr. James was Vice President Newspapers, Inland Industries, Inc., President of HLB Newspapers, Inc., President of Cass County Publishing, Inc. and publisher of the Cass County Democrat-Missourian. From 2000-2007, he was Vice President of Sales for Inland Newspaper Machinery Corporation and from 2007-2013, he was the publisher of the Daily Star-Journal in Warrensburg, Missouri.
He was a member of the Missouri Press Association and served as the Association’s president in 1988. He was inducted into the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame in 2001. In 2013, the Missouri Press Association established the William E. James Outstanding Young Journalist Award. Awarded annually, the aim of the award is to reinforce the importance of a journalist’s role by recognizing and nurturing talent to further promote quality journalism.
In 2012, Mr. James was appointed by Governor Nixon to the Missouri Military Preparedness and Enhancement Commission. He also served on the Census 2000 Complete Count Committee in 1999 and he was on the Missouri State Lottery Commission from 1990-2004, serving as the chair for 12 years. He was commissioner of the Missouri Senate Apportionment Commission in 1991.
Locally, Mr. James was an 18-year member and former chairman of Cass Medical Center Board of Trustees; a member and chairman of Cass County Industrial Development Authority; a member and past president of the Harrisonville Area Chamber of Commerce; and a member and past president of Harrisonville Kiwanis Club. Bill served on the Commerce Bank of Kansas City~Harrisonville Branch board for 20 years.
Mr. James passed away in November 2013. He was married to 2004 Wall of Fame inductee Mary (Brown) James who preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy, his sons, Alex and Doug, and daughters, Lesley Nasalroad and Charlotte Matthews, and seven grandchildren.
Gina (Reece) Smith is a 1980 graduate of Harrisonville High School. During her time at HHS, Mrs. Smith was involved in Student Council, National Honor Society, Band, Color Guard, and Journalism.
She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Education and a Master’s degree in Industrial Vocational Technical Education from the University of Central Missouri, where she currently teaches as an adjunct instructor.
Mrs. Smith began her career in education at the National Career Institute in Independence as a teacher and later as an academic dean. She also taught in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and spent time in the business field as a professional recruiter and a hotel sales representative.
She began her 26-year career in the Harrisonville School District in 1989 as a Basic Skills instructor in the at-risk program at Cass Career Center. She has worked at CCC her entire career including time as the Job Placement Coordinator, Adult and Community Education Coordinator, Title IV Financial Aid Administrator, Assistant Director and Director. She has served as Director for the last four years.
Mrs. Smith’s accomplishments while working at CCC include writing the proposal to begin the Adult Practical Nursing program at CCC, writing and receiving the Technology Centers that Work Grant twice, successfully working with U.S. congressmen and women from Missouri to resolve an ongoing issue that could have potentially ended Title IV funding for programs in Career and Technology Centers, and presenting numerous times at both the state and national level on career and technical education.
Mrs. Smith is a member of the Missouri Council of Career and Technical Administrators currently serving as vice president; she is the president of the Missouri Director’s Association; and a former president of the Missouri Placement Association.
Her community involvement includes serving on the Cass Regional Medical Center Board of Directors since 2010. She is a former member of Beta Sigma Phi International Women’s Association and is currently an ambassador for the Harrisonville Chamber of Commerce, for which she previously served as President. Mrs. Smith also has worked on various campaign/election committees, city & Chamber committees, and the Harrisonville Public School Foundation.
She was honored as the State of Missouri Placement Coordinator of the Year in 1993 and the Harrisonville Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year in 2013. She is an honorary life member of FFA and DECA.
Mrs. Smith is married to Chuck, and her daughter, Cayla Luzadder, also graduated from HHS.
Nick Wesemann graduation from Harrisonville High School in 2001. During high school, Mr. Wesemann was involved in band, drama, forensics, Destination Imagination, and National Honor Society.
He earned two Associate of Applied Science degrees - Culinary Arts and Food and Beverage Management - from Johnson County Community College. While at JCCC, he participated on the culinary team traveling the world for competitions.
He began his career as a line cook at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center and has worked for the past 10 years at The American Restaurant where he is currently the Pastry Chef responsible for creating all the desserts, testing them, and writing the menu. His style is called molecular gastronomy - a food science which investigates the physical and chemical transformation of ingredients that occur in cooking.
In 2014, Mr. Wesemann was recognized as a national semifinalist in the James Beard Foundation award for Outstanding Pastry Chef. The James Beard Foundation Awards are the highest honor for food and beverage professionals in the nation, often referred to as the Oscar of the food world. As a semifinalist, he is considered one of the top 20 pastry chefs in the country.
He has been featured in numerous publications including The Kansas City Star, KC Magazine, Spaces Magazine, and The Pitch. In December, he was one of the first 25 people recognized in the inaugural issue of twentyfive by bake magazine as a “major creative influencer of today’s vibrant American bakers and pastry arts scene.”
Mr. Wesemann was a guest chef for the 2012 and 2014 Friends of James Beard Charity Dinner. He works with local culinary students by chairing the Kansas SkillsUSA Commercial Baking competition and volunteering time to organize class demos and lectures at The Arts Institute in Kansas City. In 2010, Mr. Wesemann was part of a team of chefs who provided “A Christmas Carol” meal for a young man fighting cancer as part of the Elves of Christmas program.
Jenny Vergara, a local food writer and Founder of the underground supper club, The Test Kitchen, said, “Nick’s pastry skills are on par if not better than any large city in the county...he continues to push the boundaries in his field, enhancing the (Kansas City) food scene.”
HHS Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame inductees are selected based on their significant contribution to their community or their field of work. Nominations are accepted continuously with the deadline for consideration each year on October 31.
For more information, contact the Harrisonville Public School Foundation at 380-2727, ext. 1224.
Four Harrisonville High School graduates became the tenth class inducted into the HHS Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame during Winter Homecoming activities at HHS on January 24.
William F. Mills, Victor L. Blaine, Dr. Shaun Holden, and Kelli (Wolf) Moles will be formally inducted during a banquet on Friday, January 24 and will be introduced to the community prior to the varsity basketball game at approximately 7 p.m. that night. The Wall of Fame induction is sponsored by the Harrisonville Public School Foundation.
William F. Mills graduated from Harrisonville High School in 1972. He has been a business and civic leader in Harrisonville ever since.
Mr. Mills owns and operates Family Center with four locations including Harrisonville, Butler, Paola, Kansas, and Winterset, Iowa. He also was the developer for Mill-Walk Mall in Harrisonville.
Mr. Mills served as the mayor of Harrisonville from 1993 to 1995. During his tenure, he started the Mayor’s Christmas Tree fund to support the Ministerial Alliance. Today, he continues his governmental involvement as chair of the Planning and Zoning Board on which he’s served for 20 years. He’s also a director of the TIF Commission for the improvement of 291 Highway.
Within the community, Mr. Mills has volunteered and led several organizations. He is the past president of the Harrisonville Public School Foundation and continues to serve on that Board. He was a Founding Donor and continues to give to the organization through personally matching the donations made in the Mill Walk Mall Fountain.
He is the past president of the Harrisonville Rotary Club. Through Rotary, Mr. Mills participated in an international service project traveling to Ecuador to bring clean water to schoolchildren. He’s also organized the annual Casco picnic and hosted three foreign exchange students.
He is past president of the Harrisonville Area Chamber of Commerce. He was also a founding member of the Chamber’s Ambassadors program.Mr. Mills also serves on the Harrisonville Schools Financial Advisory Board and has actively supported and served on steering committees for district bond and levy campaigns.He is a 20-year board member of Wheatbelt, Inc., a national buying group. He is past president of the organization and currently serves as treasurer. This group and Mr. Mills himself were instrumental in the building of the KCI Expo Center and Holiday Inn, a convention facility near KCI airport.He’s also served on the Cub Cadet National Dealer’s Advisory Board and has been a director on the Commerce Bank board.Mr. Mills has been married to his wife Joy, also an HHS graduate, for 38 years and they have two sons – Keith is a 1998 graduate of HHS and Blake graduated in 2002.Victor L. Blaine is a 1983 graduate of Harrisonville High School. While in high school, Mr. Blaine participated in track and football and football is the area in which Mr. Blaine has made a significant contribution to the community of Harrisonville.For over 20 years, Mr. Blaine has been involved in youth football programs. He has served in leadership roles as President, commissioner, league-wide equipment manager, and board member of the Cass County Junior Athletic Association. He has coached in both the CCJAA and Harrisonville Youth Football League for 23 years.During his time in CCJAA, he was instrumental in two construction projects – a press box at North Park in Harrisonville and a press box and equipment storage building at Lion’s Park in Peculiar.However, Mr. Blaine’s impact goes beyond his leadership in the youth football league to those children and families he’s influenced as a coach. Their words describe it best.Former player Tanner Sutton said, “Just recently I won an award at the National Championship for NAIA Basketball. It was a scholarship that goes to an athlete that exhibits the Champions of Character – respect, responsibility, integrity, sportsmanship, and servant leadership. It is because of Coach Vic that I was even considered. He set the foundation for me and the rest of my teammates.”Former player Brandon Poole said, “Personally, growing up without a father, I was grateful to have Victor not only as a football coach but as a role model. He has a way of making hard work and sacrifice fun, even for men at a young age. Whether you had a father or not, Victor was a great role model who taught us how to work hard, be accountable, and be respectful.”Fellow Coach & Parent Doug Alexander said, “He instills values and principles that not only help the boys with athletics, but also life. He is always willing to pick up boys before practice, take them home after practice or games, provide equipment for those whose family could not afford to buy it, provide meals and snacks, and most of all he is always encouraging the boys to be their best. Before games he will ask, ‘What do I want?’ and the boys respond, ‘All we’ve got.’”Fellow Coach & Parent Brett Jones said, “He has never coached for the awards, he has coached for the rewards. Those rewards are the smiles on the faces of the kids he coaches when they achieve things they never thought possible for themselves because he cared enough to make them see it inside themselves. The other rewards are lifelong friendships he has developed because he sees the best in other people.”Fellow Coach & Parent Jeff Rudell said, “His sacrifices related to youth football, both in terms of time and finance, are staggering and compelling. If I had to estimate the number of lives, both in Harrisonville and throughout the county, that received some sort of benefit of his voluntary commitment to youth football, it would most likely surpass the population of Harrisonville.”Victor has been married to his wife Janet for 22 years. They have two sons – Zech and Tyler – both Harrisonville High School graduates. Victor also has a daughter-in-law and granddaughter, Leah and Addison.Dr. Shaun Holden graduated from Harrisonville High School in 1986. During high school, Dr. Holden was involved in National Honor Society and Student Council, serving as student body president his senior year. He graduated with a grade point average over 4.0 and presented the student address at graduation.He graduated from the six-year medical program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine in 1992 with a Doctorate in medicine and a Bachelor’s degree in biology. Dr. Holden completed his residency at Genesis Family Practice Residency Program.Dr. Holden returned to Harrisonville to work as a family practitioner at Harrisonville Family Medicine and is now a full partner. He is a also a certified wound care specialist. He’s served as director of Cass Regional Medical Center’s Wound Care Center for 10 year. The Center has recently moved into a new home at Rockhaven Medical Mall and will offer hyperbaric oxygen therapy.Dr. Holden is also the Medical Director for the Harrisonville Family Medicine Zone Wellness Center, which started last January. The program focuses on health, fitness, and motivation as prevention and treatment of disease and to improve overall health. With the program’s rapid growth in just a year, Dr. Holden has given up primary care and devoted himself full time to wellness medicine.In addition to his work, Dr. Holden has been involved in his community. He served a term on the Harrisonville Board of Education, served as Medical Director for the Life Choice Center, and is a member of the Antioch Southern Baptist Church where he is a Deacon, Sunday school teacher, and small group leader.Dr. Holden has been married to his wife Susan for 20 years. They have four children in the Harrisonville School District – Luke, a senior; Reagan, a sophomore; Peyton, a seventh grader; and Walker, a fifth grader.Kelli (Wolf) Moles graduated from Harrisonville High School in 2002 as valedictorian of her class. While in high school, Mrs. Moles was involved in National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, newspaper, and Student Council. She lettered in basketball, volleyball and soccer. She served as newspaper editor, student body president and FCA captain her senior year.Mrs. Moles graduated Summa Cum Laude from Missouri State University in 2006 with a degree in Accounting and minors in Economics and Spanish. While at MSU, she was selected to represent more than 20,000 undergraduates as Student Governor, the highest student office in the state's four-campus system. She founded Public Affairs Week, a university-wide event to promote civic awareness and engagement. Internships in the U.S. Capitol and on Wall Street heightened her interest in the social and institutional inefficiencies of the broader world. Mrs. Moles was also named one of Glamour Magazine’s Top 10 College Women and received Honorable Mention on USA Today’s All-Academic Team for her achievements in and outside the classroom. In 2008, she was honored by Missouri State with the Outstanding Young Alumni Award.Mrs. Moles went on to earn her Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard in 2011. She authored a chapter in the book “Passion and Purpose: Stories from the Best and Brightest Young Business Leaders” published by Harvard Business Review in 2011.Her career has included time in New York City working in public sector investment banking at JPMorgan. In this role, she worked on all financing and market access problems related to governmental and 501(c)(3) clients, focusing on healthcare. She then worked for Civic Consulting on economic development efforts in Chicago. Currently, she is a manager with McKinsey & Company in Chicago. She travels the US and abroad serving large corporate clients on topics ranging from strategy to operations.Mrs. Moles is also a Founder and the Chief Executive Officer of Project SPARK, a nonprofit dedicated to channeling the enthusiasm of busy professionals to solve global problems. SPARK is now in its eighth year with operations in New York and Chicago, and to date the organization has raised $150,000 and taken over 80 professionals to Africa to volunteer their vacation time and unique capabilities. Mrs. Moles has traveled to Guatemala and Africa multiple times in these efforts.
In addition to Project SPARK, she has served on the boards of Missouri State University, Global Action Project, iCouldBe.Org, and YWCA Board of Ambassadors.Mrs. Moles is married to Kyle, also a 2002 HHS graduate. They recently completed their goal of seeing 50 countries before turning 30 with a trip to Thailand. They are expecting their first child in April.2013 Inductees
Three Harrisonville High School graduates will become the ninth class inducted into the HHS Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame during Winter Homecoming activities at HHS on February 1.G.R. Milner, Ret. Lt. Col. Renee (Labitska) Holmes, and Dr. Hillary (Rolls) Kelly will be formally inducted during a banquet on Friday, February 1 and will be introduced to the community prior to the varsity basketball game at approximately 7 p.m. that night. The Wall of Fame induction is sponsored by the Harrisonville Public School Foundation.
G.R. Milner graduated in 1958 from Harrisonville High School as the salutatorian. During his youth, he was highly involved in 4H and band. He is a lifetime resident of Cass County.
Following graduation, Milner went to work as a bookkeeper at Henderson Burris Motors in Harrisonville. He worked in all facets of the business and at age 23 purchased shares of stock in the business. He was one of the youngest dealers in the nation to be given ownership approval by the Ford Motor Company.
He also graduated from the Ford Motor Company’s School of Accounting and their School of Retail Salesmanship.
In 1977, he became full owner and changed the name to GR Miler Ford Sales and in 1978, he moved the dealership from near the square to its current location on Cantrell Road. During this time, Milner grew the business to one of the largest Ford, Lincoln, Mercury dealerships in the state of Missouri and tripled the number of employees.
In 2012, Milner was honored by the Ford Motor Company for his 50 years as a dealership owner.
Milner was a member of the Missouri Automobile Dealers Association and served in numerous leadership capacities including serving as the association’s 60th president in 1998.
As a business leader in Harrisonville, he was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, Masonic Lodge, and Ararat Shrine.
Milner and his wife, Karazo, will celebrate 22 years of marriage this year. His family includes two children, three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
Lieutenant Colonel Renee (Labitska) Holmes, USMC, retired is a 1986 graduate of Harrisonville High School. While in high school, Holmes played tennis, was a member of the student council, Drama Club and National Honor Society.
She spent a 20-year career in the Marine Corp and retired in December 2012.
After high school, Lieutenant Colonel Holmes joined the Navy Reserves and earned her undergraduate degree in nutrition at Park College. Upon graduation she received an honorable discharge from the Navy and then went to Marine Corps Officer Candidate School. She began her career as a logistics officer and her first assignment was in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii as a platoon commander for helicopter support and beach landing teams. Lieutenant Colonel Holmes then went to Paris Island, South Carolina where she oversaw the training of Marine recruits at boot camp and then to Twenty Nine Palms, California where she served as Commanding Officer Material Readiness Company.
Holmes attended the United States Army Captain’s Combines Career Course where she graduated with honors and then was assigned to an acquisition tour in Quantico, Virginia where she was responsible for the development, testing, and delivery of individual combat gear such as body armor, helmets, boots, and flame retardant uniforms for soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq.
She earned her Master’s Degree in Management and Logistics from the Florida Institute of Technology in 2003 and graduated from Command and Staff College in 2005.
Her final assignment at MacDill Air Force Base was in Special Operations Command. She served as an acquisition officer for special operations vehicles, then became the Program Manager responsible for the development, testing, training, delivery and maintenance of over 5,000 military vehicles. As Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) became more prevalent, the team acquired Mine Resistant Armor Protected (MRAP) vehicles for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. During this tour, Holmes deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, UAE, and Qatar.
In November 2011, she was the first women to receive the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition Technology and Logistics Packard Award for Acquisition in an Expeditionary Environment. She has also received the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corp Commendation and Achievement Medals, and the National Defense and Global War on Terrorism Service Medals.
In addition to her accomplished military career, Holmes has run 10 marathons and nine ultra marathons (50 miles). She has been married for 22 years to Michael, who is also a retired Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel. They have a 13-year-old daughter named Mckenzie.
Dr. Hillary Kelly is a 1998 graduate of Harrisonville High School. During high school, Dr. Kelly was involved in marching band, tennis, National Honor Society and scholar bowl.
Dr. Kelly graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2002 with a major in brain and cognitive sciences and a minor in biology. She went on to earn her doctorate of medicine from Harvard Medical School in 2006.
While at MIT, Dr. Kelly was a member of the crew team, serving as captain of the lightweight women's squad during her junior and senior years. In 2002, she ran the Boston Marathon with a teammate. She was also a member of the MIT chapter of Alphi Phi, where she lived for four years. She served as the house manager and VP of house operations.
During Medical School, her research interests included genetic studies in patients with a neurodegenerative disorder similar to Parkinson's Disease called Diffuse Lewy Body disease. She also worked with neurosurgeons and radiologists at Brigham and Women's Hospital on using functional MRI in preoperative planning for patients with epilepsy and brain tumors.
Following graduation from Harvard Med, she completed a general surgery internship, followed by Radiology residency and Neuroradiology fellowship, all at Massachusetts General Hospital. She was Chief Resident of the Radiology Department, then Chief Fellow in Neuroradiology. She is currently an attending Neuroradiologist at Massachusetts General. Dr. Kelly is also an instructor of radiology at Harvard Medical School.
She has earned numerous awards and honors including the Brain and Cognitive Science Outstanding Scholarship award at MIT and the Radiologist-in-Training Award from the American Society of Head and Neck Radiology in 2011. She was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa while at MIT.
Dr. Kelly is also an accomplished researcher, author, and presenter. She has written numerous articles for medical journals, as well as book chapters based on her research. She is also a noted presenter who has traveled across the country.
Some of Dr. Kelly’s research focuses on using CT scans to evaluate the vessels of the brain in patients with intracranial hemorrhage. She has also focused on using CT scans in preoperative planning in patients undergoing surgery for hyperparathyroidism, a condition that interferes with the body's ability to maintain appropriate levels of calcium. Her interests also include medical education, and she serves as a lecturer and mentor in the Radiology Residency program at MGH. She also serves on the MGH Radiology Residency Selection Committee.
Dr. Kelly is married to Jason Kelly. They met at MIT and were married in 2009. Dr. Jason Kelly is a co-founder of a biotech start-up company in Boston - Ginkgo BioWorks. They have a daughter, Quinn, and currently reside in Cambridge, Massachusetts.2012 Inductees
Three Harrisonville High School graduates became the eighth class inducted into the HHS Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame during Winter Homecoming activities at HHS on February 10.
Judith (Smith) Reece, Dr. Ann Powell-Brown, and Judy (Spangler) Franklin will be formally inducted during a banquet on Friday, February 10 and will be introduced to the community prior to the varsity basketball game at approximately 7 p.m. that night. The Wall of Fame induction is sponsored by the Harrisonville Public School Foundation.
Judith (Smith) Reece is a 1960 graduate of Harrisonville High School.
Reece earned her bachelor’s degree in Education and her master’s degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Elementary Science from Central Missouri State University.
Her first teaching job was in a small two-room school in Dayton, Missouri. She taught sixth grade at McEowen Elementary School for eleven years.
She then moved on to the Kansas City Missouri School District where she began as a science resource teacher at the North Rock Creek/Korte, a magnet school for Environmental Studies. Reece was instrumental in the planning of not only the science curriculum, but the school itself which included several acres of land with walking trails, an amphitheatre, log cabin, and outdoor education building. She taught for eight years before moving up to Curriculum Coordinator and then Principal at the school.
She retired in 2006 after 30 years in education. In addition to her work in public schools, she served as an instructor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Central Missouri State University.
Reece’s focus throughout her career was environmental studies, specifically, the Amazon Rain Forest. She traveled to South America five times including trips to Ecuador, Peru, and the Galapagos Islands where she led a team of 15 Missouri teachers in training on ecosystems. As a result of these experiences, she wrote curriculum for elementary students and grants for teachers to further their education. She was a member of the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research and the Peruvian Amazon Biosphere Reserve.
Following her trips, she made numerous presentations at the local, state, and national level to share her experiences and knowledge with her colleagues. While at McEowen Elementary School, she established the sixth grade outdoor education program – three day event in the park which included numerous outdoor activities and guest speakers – which is still part of the sixth grade curriculum today.
Reece was married to her husband Larry for 41 years before he passed away in 2002. They have three children – Bret, Gina, and Wade -- six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
Dr. Ann Powell-Brown graduated from Harrisonville High School in 1965.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Reading from Central Missouri State University. Dr. Powell-Brown earned her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a major in Reading Education and a minor in Cultural Anthropology/Ethnic Studies.
Dr. Powell-Brown is currently a professor of Literacy Education at the University of Central Missouri; however, she began her career in education as part of the first integrated faculty at the last segregated elementary school in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Following college, Dr. Powell-Brown spent time traveling including time abroad in Taiwan. She taught at a Chinese girl’s college there.
For 26 years, Dr. Powell-Brown taught and supervised teachers in The Kansas City School District.
She and her husband also started a business together called American Media Enterprises, in which they promote best-selling authors all over the United States. Over the past 30 years, they have worked with thousands of authors including Walter Cronkite, John McCain, Al and Tipper Gore, Jim Lehrer, Jane Fonda, Patty Duke, Charlton Heston, Roy Disney, James Patterson, Brian Selznick, Lois Lowery, Stephanie Meyer, and many other well-known children’s authors, along with literary authors and several dozen Pulitzer Prize winners.
Since 1999, Dr. Powell-Brown has worked as a professor of Literacy Education at the University of Central Missouri where she teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses, advises graduate students, and does research and writing. She has presented at numerous national and international conferences including a presentation at the International Hawaii Conference on Education last month and conferences in Scotland, Canada, and China. She and her research partners won second prize last year for Faculty Research Days at UCM, and they have had a number of academic articles published in professional journals.
Dr. Powell-Brown and her husband, Dick Brown, have been married for 33 years and have a daughter, Alexandra, who is a college student.
Judy (Spangler) Franklin was born in Kansas City and moved to Harrisonville with her family when she was in the fifth grade.
After graduating from Harrisonville High School, she attended the University of Missouri–Columbia and holds dual bachelor degrees in Business Administration and Education.
Franklin taught at the Harrisonville High School for five years. She left teaching to pursue a career in accounting and in 1983 became a certified public accountant. She began her accounting career with a local Kansas City firm. She then took a position with the Harrisonville firm Dickey, Vansandt, Halbhuber and Cook and later became a partner in this firm.
In 1995, Franklin went into business for herself and opened the accounting firm of Franklin and Company, P.C. In 2009, the firm opened a second office in Raymore. The firm currently has nine employees, and offers accounting, income tax, payroll and software consulting services.
Franklin is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants. In addition, she is past president of the Harrisonville Rotary Club, the Harrisonville Public School Foundation, the Alumni Chapter of the University of Missouri – Cass County and the Kappa Rho Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi. She is also past treasurer of the Harrisonville Chamber of Commerce and the Cass County Council on Aging. Judy previously served as chairman of the bond election committee for the capital improvement campaign for the City of Harrisonville – Parks and Recreation Department. She served as a member of the Finance Council of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic church for ten years and is a current trustee for the Cass County Historical Society Trust.
Franklin has been married to her husband, Jim, for 38 years and they have three daughters, Erin, Jesica and Lauren. In addition, they have four granddaughters, Molly, Madison, Kaylee and Ella.
Three Harrisonville High School graduates will become the seventh class inducted into the HHS Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame during the annual Excellence in Academics Ceremony on June 10. The ceremony is sponsored by the Harrisonville Public School Foundation.
Luke Scavuzzo, Peggy (Bradley) Clum, and Representative Luke A. Scavuzzo will be honored.
Luke "Pops" Scavuzzo graduated from Harrisonville High School in 1945. During high school, he was a three-year letter winner in football, basketball and track. He attended the University of Missouri one year and graduated magna cum laude from Missouri Valley College in 1952.
During his time at Missouri Valley College, Scavuzzo played football for the Vikings. The team won 41 straight games from 1941-1948 during Scavuzzo's playing days. The 1948 team also won the National Championship. He, along with his teammates, was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. Scavuzzo was also inducted into the Missouri Valley College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994.
Scavuzzo served in the United States Navy from 1946-1948.
Scavuzzo and his family operated a business in Harrisonville for over 77 years beginning with Scavuzzo's Candy Kitchen located off the square to Scavuzzo's Price Chopper in Landmark Plaza.
He has been an active community member including two terms as a city councilman. In 1972, he served as Mayor Pro-Tem. He has also been a member of the Kiwanis Club, a volunteer with the Harrisonville Fire Department, a member of the Booster Club, and an announcer for Wildcat football games. In addition, Scavuzzo is an active member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church and is a member of the Knights of Columbus.In 1999, Scavuzzo and his brother, Salvatore, were presented the Missouri Municipal League Civic Leadership Award.
Scavuzzo and his wife, Sissy, will celebrate their 62nd wedding anniversary in August. They have three children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.Scavuzzo, his wife, his five siblings, three children, and four of his grandchildren are all graduates of HHS.Peggy (Bradley) Clum is a 1954 graduate of Harrisonville High School. During high school, she was involved in band, choir, glee club, plays, and student government.She began her career as a legal secretary for a local attorney. In 1967, she began her 32-year career in banking at Citizens National Bank. She retired in 1999 as Assistant Vice President of Commerce Bank. During her career, she served as consumer and real estate lending officer, merchant bankcard director, and senior partner coordinator.
Clum has been active in the community through many organizations and volunteer efforts. She was the first woman voted to the city council in 1975.She has volunteered with the American Red Cross, Twin Pines Country Club, the Chamber of Commerce, Boy Scout Troop 100, United Way, and Cass Regional Medical Center auxiliary.She has held leadership positions with many civic organizations including being an officer of Eastern Star, a past Worthy Advisor to Rainbow Girls, assistant treasurer and Founding Donor for the Harrisonville Public School Foundation, secretary of the Business and Professional Women's group, a trustee of the United Methodist Church, past president of the Chaldeans, and treasurer for the Oakland Cemetery Board.Her volunteerism and involvement have earned her numerous awards including the 1995 Chamber of Commerce Commendation for Community Service, the 1986 American Red Cross Outstanding Fundraiser/Public Relations Volunteer Award, and the 1989 Business and Professional Woman of the Year Award.In 1975, Clum was instrumental in the creation and organization of Student Government Day which is still an annual event for high school students. She also served on the steering committee responsible for the restoration of the Rockford One-Room Schoolhouse.Clum and her husband, Bill, have three children, two grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.Luke A. Scavuzzo is a 1974 graduate of Harrisonville High School. During high school, he was active in student government, football, tennis, golf, and basketball. He earned All-District and All-State honors as a defensive end for the Wildcats. He was also named a High School Prep All-American Basketball in 1974.After graduation, he attended Benedictine College. He returned home to continue work in the family business, Scavuzzo's Grocery Store. In 1992, he and his cousin, Mark, took over the family business and ran the store until it sold in 1999.Scavuzzo's civic involvement includes serving as a trustee on the Harrisonville Public School Foundation, member of the Harrisonville Public School Finance Study Committee, treasurer for the Harrisonville Athletic Booster Club, director for the Harrisonville Chamber of Commerce, president of the Harrisonville Baseball Association Board, and member of the Harrisonville Park Board. In 1982, he was named on one of the Outstanding Young Men of America.He has also been an active member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church serving on the Parish Council during the building of the new church and currently serving on the Building and Grounds Committee. He holds a 4th degree in the local Knights of Columbus.In November 2006, Scavuzzo was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives where he continues to serve the 124th district today. During his tenure, he has served on numerous committees including the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee, the Small Business and Rural Community Development Committee, and the Homeland Security Committee. He has co-sponsored 50 bills addressing issues such as elderly assistance, education, health care, the environment, state tax credits, and federal overtime standards.Luke is married to Harrisonville High School graduate, Candace (Christiansen) and they have two children.
2009 Wall of Fame Inductees
Four Harrisonville High School graduates became the sixth class inducted into the HHS Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame during the annual Excellence in Academics Ceremony on June 18. The ceremony is sponsored by the Harrisonville Public School Foundation.Vernon L. Walker, Marianne (Childress) Rusk, Edwin C. "Ed" Hartzler, and James H. Davidson were honored.Vernon L. Walker is a 1949 graduate of Harrisonville High School. Following high school, he joined the Naval Reserves and attended Finley Engineering School and the College of Commerce. After two years, he entered active duty with the Navy.Upon his return to Harrisonville, Walker earned his real estate broker's license and began buying and selling property on the south side of Harrisonville where the current Trade Fair and Walker additions now stand.He was also a farmer and cattle rancher who saw a need for a farm supply store and opened up Tractor Parts and Farm Supply in a small garage on South Commercial Street. That business grew and today is known as The Family Center in Mill-Walk Mall and includes seven additional locations throughout mid-Missouri, Kansas and Iowa.
In addition to his business life, Walker was very active in the civic organizations of Harrisonville. He was the Commander of the VFW Post, a member and President of the Optimist club, President of the Missouri State Realtor's Association, and a member of the United Methodist Church.He served on the Harrisonville Cass R-IX School Board for ten years, including a term as President. During his tenure, the district built McEowen Elementary School, Harrisonville High School and the Vocational School.Walker and his wife, Kay, celebrated their 56th anniversary this year. They have four children, all Harrisonville High School graduates, seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.Marianne (Childress) Rusk was one of three children born to life-long Cass County educators, Stephen and Virginia Childress. In 1954, she graduated from Harrisonville High School.Rusk has worked at several prestigious universities, both in the United States and England. She began her career at the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. While at Harvard, she also worked as a senior resident at Radcliffe College and in the Master of Arts in Teaching Program.In the early 1970s, Rusk spent four years in Student Relations at Harlaxton College in Lincolnshire, England. She played a key role in the founding years of the college's study abroad program.From Harlaxton, she went on to work at Abt Associates, a social science think tank in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She served as assistant to the President and Assistant Director of Human Resources for the organization which provides analysis and programs to deal with social issues including crime, education, housing, and medical care.In 1982, she moved on to Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts as the Vice President for Human Resources. She worked there for nine years before moving on to her present position.Today, Rusk is the Director of Human Resources for The J. Paul Getty Trust or "The Getty." She has served in this position for 18 years. The Getty is one of the premier arts institution in the United States and includes two museums, the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu, as well as the Getty Trust which provides a variety art education programs and support of art scholarship around the world.She and her brother, Dr. Dudley Childress - also a Wall of Fame inductee - established the Stephen and Virginia Childress Athletic Award at Harrisonville High School to recognized outstanding student athletes.Rusk and her husband, Dr. Jeremy Rusk, have three children and reside in Los Angeles, California.Edwin C. "Ed" Hartzler was a 1955 graduate of Harrisonville High School. While in high school, he participated in several sports. He attended Missouri Valley College and the University of Missouri. While at Missouri Valley, he played football on a team that made it to the Tangerine Bowl. Hartzler was also a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking, University of Wisconsin.He spent 30 years at Boatman's Bank (now Bank of America) in Belton. He began as an assistant cashier and worked his way to the top. The last nine years of his tenure with the bank were spent as President and CEO.Upon retirement from the bank, he served as the State Representative for the 123 rd District for 10 years. During his tenure in the House, he served on numerous committees including Veteran Affairs, Social Services, Medicade, Urban Affairs, Appropriations, and Banks and Financial Institutions.In addition to his professional life, he led an active civic life. His memberships include the Rotary Clubs of both Clinton and Belton-Raymore, Belton Lions Club, Belton Chamber of Commerce, Belton Jaycees, Belton Research Hospital Foundation, the Missouri Public Service Advisory Board, and the Richard Gebauer Base Community Council. He served in numerous leadership positions in several of these organizations.Hartzler was recognized with the Civic Leadership Award from the Missouri Municipal League, the Belton Chamber of Commerce Person of the Year and Earl Hougland Awards, and the Rotary Club's Sapphire Paul Harris Fellow.He and his wife, Mary Ann, lived in Clinton and had two children. Hartzler passed away on December 1, 2008.James H. Davidson is the Chair of the Public Policy Group of Polsinelli Shughart law firm. Polsinelli is a national law firm of 480 attorneys with its origins in Kansas City, Missouri.A 1960 graduate of Harrisonville High School, Davidson graduated from the University of Missouri Schools of Journalism (1965) and Law (1969). He was the Editor of The Maneater , the University student newspaper, and President of the Student Bar Association.He served as an assistant to Missouri Secretary of State James C. Kirkpatrick and U.S. Senator Stuart Symington, before taking on the role of Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate Government Affairs Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Relations chaired by Senator Edmund S. Muskie of Maine.In 1974, Davidson worked on an amendment to the Federal Freedom of Information Act which authorized U.S. federal judges to conduct an in-camera review of documents classified by the government to determine if the public interest would be better served by keeping the information in question secret or making it available to the public. He then helped direct hearings during the post-Watergate scandal period directed at uncovering the use of the nation's intelligence agencies to spy on American citizens. Following those hearings, Davidson was asked to draft a rule for the U.S. Senate to establish a committee to oversee the nation's intelligence agencies. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence was created in 1975.Following the election of President Jimmy Carter in 1976, Davidson advised the new administration on intelligence, privacy, and freedom of information policies. He then moved back to the Senate to serve as Chief Counsel and Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Administrative Practice and Procedure.In 1985, Davidson formed a firm in Washington, D.C. to represent companies and associations on legislation under consideration by the U.S. Congress, among them the American Newspaper Publishers Association and the Magazine Publishers of America. Today, he represents three national broadcast networks and two major cable network companies, along with trade associations in the newspaper, magazine, cable and advertising industries. Much of his work focuses on legislation and regulations affecting the First Amendment protection accorded to newspaper and advertising.Davidson is a member of the Missouri Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bar and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the United States Supreme Court.
He is married to Alison and they have four sons. They reside in Washington, D.C.
2008 Wall of Fame Inductees
Three Harrisonville High School graduates were the fifth class inducted into the HHS Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame during the annual Excellence in Academics Ceremony on June 5. The ceremony is sponsored by the Harrisonville Public School Foundation.Hugh C. Dunn, Verda (Peterson) Day, and Richard N. Bien were honored.
Hugh Calvin Dunn is a 1940 graduate of Harrisonville High School. He entered Missouri Valley College in 1941 with plans to play football and run track.In November 1942, he entered the Army with the 63 rd Infantry Division. Dunn could have chosen limited service because as a child, he lost sight in one eye. However, he chose to serve on the front line. While in Germany, Dunn was wounded twice in battle. He lost his left hand and lower arm. Dunn received the Purple Heart with cluster and Silver Star Medal for outstanding courage.He was discharged in 1945 and returned to Missouri Valley College. He played football and ran track all four years of his college career. As a football player, he led the Vikings and was heralded as the "one-armed quarterback". The team won 41 consecutive games and in 1948, Dunn earned the Williamson Football Award as the most valuable player in small college football.He earned a degree in Business Administration and went on to earn a Master's in Physical Education from the University of Missouri.Dunn taught and coached at Macon High School for 40 years. As head football coach, he ended his career with a record of 242-148-15 with six league championships and four playoff appearances. The football stadium in Macon is named after him.Dunn is a member of the Missouri State High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame, the NAIA Football Hall of Fame, the Missouri Valley College Hall of Fame, and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.
He is married to his college sweetheart, Peg and they have five children, 11 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. The Dunns reside in Macon.Verda (Peterson) Day graduated from Harrisonville High School in 1942. Day went on to college at the University of Missouri.She returned to Harrisonville with her husband, Bill, in 1949. She worked for a short time at the Cass County Extension Office, in the high school principal's office, and as a substitute in the 8th grade.In 1963, she became Harrisonville's first female city clerk. Day worked as clerk for 24 years. During her tenure, she served under six mayors and six administrators.She was actively involved with professional organizations throughout her career, serving as President of the Missouri City Clerk and Finance Office Association in the early 80s. She was appointed to serve on the state Records Board by the Secretary of State and served on the Board of Directors of the Missouri Municipal League for three terms.Twice during her tenure as City Clerk, Day took on the role of interim City Administrator.Day is highly involved in the Harrisonville community. When her children were growing up, she served as a 4-H leader and Cub Scout Den Mother.She organized and was a charter member of the Progressive Priscillas Extension Club. She served on the Cass County United Way Board and was a member of the Business and Professional Women's Club (BPW), serving as treasurer.For the past 10 years, Day has been a member of the Harrisonville Lions Club, currently serving as secretary and second vice president. She and her husband, Bill have twice been recognized by the Lions' Club International President.She is also an active member of the Harrisonville United Methodist Church serving on numerous committees and singing in choirs.Day was honored by the BPW as Woman of the Year in 1986 and by the Missouri Municipal League as Citizen of the Year in 1991.She and husband, Bill will celebrate 65 years of marriage in September. They reside in Harrisonville and have four sons, eight grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren. They enjoy walking and have completed at least one 10K in every state in the US.Richard N. (Rick) Bien is a 1975 graduate of Harrisonville High School. He earned a degree in public administration in 1979 and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri in 1983.Bien is an attorney with the Kansas City firm of Lathrop & Gage, L.C. and has served as Chair of the firm's Litigation Division and Business Litigation Department. His work focuses on class action defense, anti -trust, insurance, employee benefits and commercial litigation.In 2003 he served as the first non judge, lawyer chair of the ABA's Judicial Division and previously served as an officer of other ABA Divisions. He has served on the Missouri Bar Board of Governors and its Executive Committee.Bien has received numerous professional recognitions including: Best Lawyers in America, Missouri-Kansas Super Lawyer, Corporate Counsel Super Lawyer, and Best Lawyers in Kansas City by the Kansas City Business Journal, and Best of the Bar and Distinguished Recent Graduate from the University of Missouri School of Law. He received the American Jurisprudence Award in Torts and the Thomas E. Deacy Award in Trial Advocacy. He is also a member of Who's Who in American Law.Bien received the Public Service Award from the Kansas City Lawyers Association (LAKC). His work includes serving as President of the Young Lawyers' Section of the LAKC and the 10 th Annual Kansas City Corporate Challenge. He was director of the ABA's Young Lawyers Division of Affiliate Outreach Project, a program dedicated to involving young lawyers in public service.Outside of his professional work, Bien has volunteered with the Blue Valley School District, the Blue Valley Recreation Commission serving as Chair for two years, the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, and Leawood South Country Club serving on and leading various committees. He and his wife recently served as co Presidents of the Blue Valley North Parent Booster Club.In 1994, he was the keynote speaker for the eighth annual Excellence in Academics Ceremony.
He and his wife Cathy reside in Leawood, Kansas. They have four children.
2007 Wall of Fame Inductees
Six Harrisonville High School graduates will become the fourth class inducted into the HHS Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame during the annual Excellence in Academics Ceremony on June 14. The ceremony is sponsored by the Harrisonville Public School Foundation.Glenn Wright, Loyd (Gene) E. Roll, George A. Roupe, Dr. Stephen E. Jones, Darold E. Shelton, and Sidonie Garrett will be honored.Glenn Wright has been called the best major league shortstop of the 1920s and 30s.He graduated from Harrisonville High School in 1919 and attended the University of Missouri-Columbia on a football and basketball scholarship. However, in 1921, he was picked up by the Kansas City Blues, a minor league team.He played the majority of his major league career for the Pittsburgh Pirates. His arm earned him the nickname, "Buckshot." During his rookie season in 1924, he set the major league record for assists by a shortstop with 601. The record stood for 56 years, until it was broken by Ozzie Smith. As a Pirate, he also completed an unassisted triple play in 1925. The Pirates won the World Series in 1925 and lost to the Yankees in the World Series in 1927.Wright also played for the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox. Four times during his career, he hit over .300.After 14 seasons, Wright retired and spent the next 40 years as a manager, coach, and scout.Wright is a member of the Kansas City Blues Hall of Fame, the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and has been nominated several times for the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
Wright married Margaret Benn in 1930 and they had two children, Robin Wright and Jennifer Childers, both HHS graduates.He died on April 6, 1984 in Olathe , Kansas.Loyd (Gene) E. Roll is a 1953 graduate of Harrisonville High School.In high school Roll played on the 1951 and 1952 undefeated Wildcat football teams and was the 1953 Brutus Hamilton Award recipient as the outstanding HHS athlete. He earned a football scholarship to the University of Missouri-Columbia and was a four-year letterman for the Tigers, the leading ground gainer in 1955 and awarded the "Outstanding Back Award" by MU Quarterback Club.Following graduation from MU's College of Agriculture in 1957 Roll entered the US Marine Corps as a 2nd Lieutenant. He was stationed at Quantico , Virginia , Camp Pendleton , California , and San Diego , California . While in San Diego , he played on two national service championship football teams. He was released from active duty in 1960 with the rank of Captain.He joined Union Carbide Corporation, New York , New York in 1961 and spent the next 28 years holding positions of Technical Representative, Regional Manager, National Sales Manager--US and Canada , and Global Business Manager.He continued his career with Rhone Poulenc Ag Company, a French chemical company, until retirement in 1997. Under his guidance, Rhone Poulenc became the sole sponsor of the "Grown and Made in the USA --It Matters" campaign of the National Cotton Council and contributed $1.3 million to the program.He was also instrumental in the development and sales of the first genetically engineered cotton seed in the US , marketed as BXN Cotton, also the Gossym Comax Crop simulation model for cotton.Roll served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Cotton Foundation from 1988 to 1996.He is married to Dorothy Gauert Roll, a 1954 HHS graduate, and they have four daughters and 14 grandchildren. They reside in Raleigh , North Carolina.George A. Roupe is also a 1953 graduate of Harrisonville High School and an Eagle Scout from Harrisonville Scout Troop 240.He spent his entire career working in the nuclear power business serving electric utilities in the US and overseas.
Roupe earned a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1958 and his Master's in nuclear engineering from Stanford in 1959.Roupe served in the US Air Force for three years and retired with the rank of Captain. During his tour, he was responsible for nuclear power devices used in space applications.In 1962, he joined General Electric's Atomic Power Equipment Department. During his early years, he was involved in reactor licensing, nuclear fuel design, and proposal engineering.He later moved into the marketing area and in 1973 was appointed the General Manager of the Nuclear Energy Marketing Department of GE.Later in his career, he took on the role of General Manager for the Nuclear Fuel Projects Department and was responsible for the building of nuclear plants in the US and overseas.
While working for GE, he was awarded several US patents in the area of reactor fuel design.He retired from GE in 1998.
Roupe married Barbara Doyle in 1959 and they have two children and three grandchildren. He currently resides in Saratoga, California.Dr. Stephen E. Jones spent his life helping adults and children with disabilities throughout the world.He graduated from Harrisonville High School in 1962. He earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas , his master's in Psychology from Pittsburg State and a PhD in Psychology and Special Education from the University of Wisconsin.Dr. Jones served as staff psychologist in the Diagnostic and Treatment Unit of The Waisman Center on Mental Retardation and Human Development and as a Clinical Professor in the Department of Behavioral Disabilities at the University of Wisconsin.He served many years as the executive director of RFDF, Inc., a Madison , Wisconsin organization that provides assistance to individuals with developmental disabilities.
In 1998, Dr. Jones began working for Bethesda Lutheran Homes and Services and managed all its residential services nationwide.He earned distinction in his field as a founder of IMPACT, an international coalition of agencies whose mission is to help countries develop facilities for developmentally disabled individuals. Countries involved in the project included Romania , Latvia and Western Russia.In April 2002, Dr. Jones was married to Gail Jordan, each bringing two adult children into the marriage. Dr. Jones' twin daughters, Kimberly and Stephanie, blessed them with four grandchildren.Dr. Jones passed away on October 13, 2006 from an aggressive melanoma.
Darold E. Shelton is a life-long resident of Harrisonville who has a distinguished record of professional, civic, and community involvement.Shelton graduated from HHS in 1969. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia . He's also a graduate of the Louisiana State University School of Banking.He is a 32-year member of the Kiwanis Club and served as its President and a member of the Board of Directors.Shelton has also served on the Harrisonville Park Board for numerous years from 1977-83 and from 1993- 2006. He has served as chairman and vice chairman and was involved in the approval and construction of the Harrisonville Aquatic Center , the amphitheatre, and the Harrisonville Community Center.He's served as a member of the Harrisonville Booster Club, the Harrisonville Chamber of Commerce, the Harrisonville Fine Arts Council, and the Cass County Historical Society.Shelton is the chairman of the Harrisonville Cass R-IX School Improvement Corporation and recently completed a one-year term as the first chairman of the Cass County Economic Development Corporation.Shelton is also active with his collegiate alma mater serving on the Intercollegiate Athletic Committee for the University of Missouri , the MU Alumni Association Board, and as Cass County Alumni Chapter President.Shelton has worked in banking since 1973 and is currently the President of Allen Bank and Trust. He has led efforts to increase the bank's assets from $38 million in 1996 to $110 million today. He is also a member of the Missouri Bankers Association and has served on the organization's Board of Directors.Under his leadership, Allen Bank & Trust has provided the initial endowment for the Excellence in Academics scholarships and has become a Founding Donor in the Harrisonville Public School Foundation's General Endowment Campaign.Shelton is married to Dee and they have one child and one grandchild.Sidonie Garrett is an accomplished director of numerous productions both in the Kansas City area and New York City .She graduated from Harrisonville High School in 1982 and after a brief time at the University of Missouri-Columbia studying journalism returned to the Kansas City area and earned a degree from UMKC.Garrett worked onstage as a professional actor for several years until she decided to produce her own work and become a stage director. During that time she directed two plays off-Broadway in NYC, and lived for a brief time in Washington , D.C.Currently, Garrett lives in Kansas City and is the Producing Artistic Director of the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival. Her productions have included Twelfth Night, The Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Much Ado About Nothing, and King Henry V.
She also guest directs at the Unicorn Theatre, the Coterie, American Heartland Theatre, Civic Opera Theatre and with the Kansas City Symphony.
2006 Alumni Wall of Fame Inductees
Five Harrisonville High School graduates will become the third class inducted into the HHS Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame during the annual Excellence in Academics Ceremony on June 8. The ceremony is sponsored by the Harrisonville Public School Foundation.
George Monroe (G.M.) Allen, Dr. Jackson C. Moody, Professor James D. Idol, Jr., Leslie M. Crouch III, and Karren (King) Crouch will be honored.George Monroe (G.M.) Allen was a 1932 graduate of Harrisonville High School . He spent his entire life in the community and worked to improve the quality of life in Harrisonville.Allen worked in the banking industry, serving as President of Citizens Bank and Commerce Bank for 21 years.Following his retirement from banking, Allen was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives where he served for 10 years. During his tenure, Allen played an important role in securing improvements for Harrisonville and Cass County including the National Guard Amory, the Lawrence Smith Memorial Airport , the Casco Area Workshop, and Briarwood State School.Allen volunteered with the Harrisonville Fire Department for 55 years. He served as Fire Chief for 33 of those years. He also organized the Cass County Fireman's Association.Allen's civic involvement includes member and past commander of both the VW Post #4409 and the American Legion Post #42, member of Cass Masonic Lodge #147 A.F. and A.M., past president of the Kiwanis Club, Harrisonville Civic Association, Harrisonville Area Chamber of Commerce, and Cass County Bankers' Association, and Cass County chairman of the American Red Cross and March of Dimes.He was a recipient of the Chamber of Commerce's Individual of the Year award.Allen also served on the Harrisonville Schools Board of Education for eight years and helped obtain the district's vocational school. During his tenure on the board, Harrisonville High School and McEowen Elementary School were built.Allen played an important role in the fundraising which built the Harrisonville Youth Building , the Harrisonville Golf Course, and Memorial Stadium.He was a World War II veteran serving in the 13 th Armored Division and earned the Bronze Star for Valor.Allen was the first Boy Scout in Cass County to earn his Eagle Scout Award and remained active with the organization for 25 years.He passed away on January 13, 1999.Dr. Jackson C. Moody graduated from Harrisonville High School in 1943.Following graduation, Moody entered Westminster College in Fulton and later joined the Navy V-12 program at the school. Moody's Navy training took him to Columbia University in New York and to the Navy Communications School at Harvard University . He served on the USS Dayton until his discharge in 1946.Moody earned his MD from Northwestern University 's Medial School . He returned to Missouri and opened a family practice in Clinton, Missouri. A year after opening that practice, Moody moved back to Harrisonville where he opened a medical practice.In 1962, Dr. Moody moved to India and worked in a missions hospital for two years. His experience there with people suffering eye ailments prompted his return to the United States where he spent three years in an ophthalmology residency at the University of Missouri . Upon completing his residency, Dr. Moody returned to the region and spent three years in Nepal and two years in Afghanistan.
Dr. Moody returned to the United States and joined an ophthalmology practice in Silver City , New Mexico . However, he was not done with his missions work.In 1985, Dr. Moody went to Weligama , Sri Lanka , where he opened a small eye hospital. He stayed in Sri Lanka for two years and then returned to Silver City where Dr. Moody resumed his work in his practice. He retired in 1993.Professor James D. Idol, Jr. was a 1946 graduate of Harrisonville High School . He earned his undergraduate degree in Chemistry from William Jewell College and his M.S. in Organic Chemistry and Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry/Chemical Engineering from Purdue University . He completed further post graduate work at the University of Oklahoma and Harvard University . Purdue subsequently awarded him the Sc.D. Hon. degree.Idol is currently Professor II of Materials Science and Engineering, and Director of Polymer Science - Center for Advanced Materials at Rutgers University , where he conducts research on new plastics and energy sources. From 1988 to 2000 he was Director of the Rutgers Center for Packaging Science and Engineering.Prior to joining the Rutgers faculty in 1988, Idol worked in industry as Vice President and Director of Research and Development for Ashland Chemical Company 1977 - 1988, and before then with Standard Oil Company (Ohio) 1955 - 1977 in positions from Senior Chemist to Project leader to Research Manager. During his industry career he invented and directed research on new processes for key chemical raw materials essential to manufacture of widely used engineering and packaging plastics, gasoline resistant rubber, acrylic fibers and textiles, moisture absorbents, paints, coatings and adhesives. These processes and improved versions are now practiced worldwide in plants operated by 42 companies in 21 countries.In 1975 Idol received the Americal Chemical Society Creative Invention Award, and in 1979 the Perkin Medal from the Society of Chemical Industry, the highest honor given in the United States for research in applied chemistry. He has published 59 scientific papers, holds 122 U.S. and foreign patents, and is a frequently invited lecturer at universities including Stanford, California-Berkeley, Chicago , Northwestern, Ohio State and Yale. He was elected to the Plastics Pioneers Association in 1981 and to the National Academy of Engineering in 1986. Idol is past Chairman of the Board and a life fellow of the American Institute of Chemists. He received their Chemical Pioneer Award in 1968, and earlier in 1965 the National Association of Manufacturers Modern Pioneer Award. More recently in 1996 his patented acrylic process work was designated a National Historic Chemical Landmark. He was elected a fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science in 1988 and received the American Management Association Council Service Award in 1994.Idol has served on editorial boards for numerous scientific journals, on the advisory board for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and on U.S and international task forces on energy conservation, plastics in the environment, tracking toxic wastes, and others. He is listed in Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in America , American Men and Women of Science, Who's Who in Science and Engineering, and Who's Who in American Education. Idol has consulted widely for US and foreign Fortune 100 companies. He was elected a member of the Cosmos Club, Washington , D.C. in 1980.Leslie M. Crouch III graduated from Harrisonville High School in 1954. He earned his undergraduate degree in business from the University of Missouri-Columbia and served two years as an officer in the U.S. Navy. Following his service, Crouch returned to MU to earn his master's degree in Accounting and his Juris Doctorate law degree.He practiced law in San Diego , California for 18 years specializing in securities and tax law.In the early 1980s, Crouch and his partner purchased a motel company that has expanded to 35 locations with 3500 rooms throughout California and other southwestern states.In 2000, he and his wife, Judy, formed the Leslie M. Crouch and Judy A. Crouch Educational Foundation to provide scholarships to disadvantaged students who exhibit extraordinary motivation. This foundation has provisions to award up to 75 full scholarships each year in the future.Karren (King) Crouch is a 1971 graduate of Harrisonville High School . She attended the University of Missouri-Columbia where she earned a bachelor's and master's degrees in Social Work. She has spent the majority of her career as a clinical social worker working both with individuals on dialysis and with kidney transplants.Crouch has been active with the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) on both the national and state level for more than 25 years. She served on the National Board of Directors for nine years, as well as on its Executive Committee. She was chairperson of the National Patient Services Committee and during her tenure, the NKF developed several programs focused on advocacy, education, and rehabilitation which continue to impact patients around the country today. Crouch is currently the editor of the NKF's quarterly patient publication, Family Focus, which reaches over 300,000 people with kidney disease.She has been honored by the National Kidney Foundation with numerous awards. On the local level, she received the Volunteer of the Year Award from the K.C. Metro Chapter and the Kansas and Western Missouri Affiliate presented her the Galaxy Award. She was recognized at the national level with two Distinguished Service Awards, the Chairman's Award and with the National Kidney Foundation's highest honor for a volunteer, the Martin Wagner Memorial Award.Other honors she's received include the National Council of Nephrology Social Workers' President's Award and the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Social Work Outstanding Alumni Award for which she was the first-ever recipient.Crouch is also a member of the National Council of Nephrology Social Workers, for which she served as president. She is currently the president-elect of the Board of Directors for the Center for Practical Bioethics.Crouch is a past member of the Kansas City area Ronald McDonald Houses Board of Directors and its Executive Committee, the Life Options National Rehabilitation Advisory Council, the Missouri Kidney Program Advisory Council and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Promoting Excellence in End-of-Life Care Workgroup. She was also appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to its Advisory Committee on Xenotransplantation.
Crouch has served on the editorial boards of several professional journals, co-written a book chapter and published over 25 articles for professional publications. She has also made over 60 presentations at both national and international conferences.
2005 Alumni Wall of Fame Inductees
Six Harrisonville High School graduates became the second class inducted into the HHS Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame during the annual Excellence in Academics Ceremony on June 9. The ceremony is sponsored by the Harrisonville Public School Foundation.
Brutus Hamilton was a 1918 graduate of Harrisonville High School and an Olympic silver medallist.He began his athletic achievements in high school, leading the HHS track team to state championships in 1916 and 1917. In total, he won nine individual state championships during his high school career, placing him #2 on the Missouri State High School Activities Association's list of Most Career Individual Championships for Boys.Following high school, Hamilton attended the University of Missouri-Columbia, lettering in both track and football. In 1920, as a sophomore, Hamilton won the national championship in both the pentathlon and decathlon.In that same year, Hamilton qualified for the Olympics in Antwerp , Belgium . He took third in the pentathlon and won a silver medal in the decathlon. He also qualified for the 1924 Olympics, but was unable to compete due to injury.After graduation, Hamilton taught and coached track at Westminster College in Fulton , Missouri . In 1929, he became the head track coach for the University of Kansas.Hamilton moved to California in 1932 to take the position of Head Track Coach for the University of California-Berkeley. In 1932 and 1936, he served as an assistant track coach during the Olympic Games.
Hamilton was named head coach of the U.S. Olympic track and field team in 1952 and helped guide the team to gold medals in 14 of 24 events.He retired from Berkeley in 1965. He passed away on December 28, 1970.Hamilton is the only man to win an Olympic medal and to serve as head coach of the U.S. Olympic track team.Ronald Oesch graduated from Harrisonville High School in 1948. He is an accomplished biologist and speleologist, a scientist who explores and studies the mollusca, crustaceans, and caves of Missouri.Oesch earned his Master's degree in Biology from Central Missouri State University in 1965. He served as a biology teacher at Ritenour Senior High School for 11 years and worked for a not-for-profit educational organization for the next 22 years.Oesch was the principal investigator on several cave explorations which led to the discovery of fossils of many prehistoric animals including the wooly mammoth, the saber tooth tiger, prehistoric bison, horses, camels, and sloths. A newspaper from 1966 classified one of Oesch's expeditions as uncovering "one of the most important geological discoveries in Missouri ."Oesch has also spent over 40 years studying Missouri 's freshwater mussels, snails, and crayfish. He has published several works related to these studies. He has served on research teams to study and protect endangered species.Oesch has served as a consultant to the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, the Missouri Department of Conservation, and the Department of the Interior - U.S. Fish, Wildlife Service, and the Nature Conservancy.He is also a member of the Missouri Speleological Society, American Malacological Society and various environmental groups.Dudley Childress, Ph.D. is a pioneer in the field of prosthetics and rehabilitation engineering. He is a professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago and Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science in Evanston , Illinois . He directs the Prosthetics Research Laboratory and the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center in Prosthetics and Orthotics and serves as Executive Director of the Prosthetics and Orthotics Education Program, all at Northwestern.Childress graduated from Harrisonville High School in 1952 as the valedictorian. He went on to earn a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University, with a major in Electrical Engineering, and a minor in Biomedical Engineering.Childress developed the first self-contained myoelectric hand, an artificial hand which has its battery and wiring fully contained in the prosthesis. He also led the development of the "sip and puff" wheelchair for quadriplegics. The chair allows the user to control its movements by breathing in and out of a straw-like device. His most recent work has been in the development of an artificial foot, which can be manufactured in developing countries for those who have lost feet to land mines.
Currently, Childress' interests include the design and development of artificial hands and arms, studies of human walking, and mechanisms that assist walking.He has received numerous awards and honors for his research and is a member of many university committees, national committees, advisory councils, and professional societies and organizations, including the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. Childress has also been published extensively in various scientific journals and has been a featured speaker at national and international meetings.Charles (Chuck) McClain is a 1966 graduate of Harrisonville High School . He received his B.A. degree in physics with a minor in mathematics from William Jewell College and a Ph.D. in marine science from North Carolina State University . After graduate school, he spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington , DC working on field validation of satellite radar measurements of ocean sea states (wave heights).Since 1978, McClain has been a research scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt , Maryland . He specializes in the processing and interpretation of satellite ocean color data which is used to understand the distribution of microscopic marine plants (phytoplankton), photosynthesis, and carbon cycle processes.For the past 14 years, McClain has been heavily involved in the SeaWiFS (Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-View Senor) mission serving various capacities including Project Scientist, Calibration and Validation Manager, and Project Manager. SeaWiFS is the first satellite to routinely measure global plant (marine and terrrestrial) distributions (global coverage every two days). The project won the prestigious NASA-Department of the Interior Pecora Award in 2000 for "outstanding contributions to understanding the Earth's biology."His work on many other programs and missions has involved the development of software for satellite ocean color data processing and analysis. This software is used by researchers in nearly 50 countries and won the NASA Software of the Year Award in 2003.As a marine scientist, he has authored or co-authored over 90 journal articles and over 100 technical reports. He has been the technical representative on more than 60 NASA university grants and contracts.Connie (Burris) Hodges is the President and CEO of the United Way of Northeast Florida and was recently elected to serve on United Way of America 's National Professional Council.Hodges graduated from Harrisonville High School in 1967, earned her bachelor's degree in secondary education-social studies from the University of Arizona in Tucson , and earned her master's degree in social work-administration and planning from the University of Kansas .She began her work with United Way as the Vice President of United Way of Muskegon County, Michigan. She also spent time as the Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Jacksonville where she spearheaded efforts to secure funding for a community-wide resource center for youth mentoring programs.Hodges was named President and CEO of the United Way of Northeast Florida in 1998. Since then, she has led the organization in increasing campaign revenues by 46 percent and securing $8 million in human services grants.She has been instrumental in the development of new programming to benefit both the elderly and youth of the greater Jacksonville area. As a result of Hodges' leadership, United Way was successful in securing a $1 million grant from one of the country's most prestigious health-care grant makers, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This grant is focused on improving the communication and delivery system between the medical and community-based services for the frail elderly. Under her tenure at United Way of Northeast Florida , Hodges, in partnership with the Duval County School Board, has led the development and expansion of a nationally recognized program serving at-risk children and their families in 69 low income neighborhood schools.In January 2005, Hodges was selected one of 64 United Way CEO's nationwide to serve on the United Way of America 's National Professional Council. This council serves as a national leadership body for the Untied Way movement of 1400 member organizations, advising United Way of America 's president and providing leadership in building the United Way system.Dr. William (Bill) Atkinson is a medical epidemiologist in the National Immunization Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta , Georgia.Dr. Atkinson is a 1971 graduate of Harrisonville High School and received his medical degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine in 1977. He followed that with an internal medicine residency and fellowship in infectious diseases at the University of California . In 1986, he received a Master's degree in Public Health and completed a preventive medicine residency at Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans.He began his career as a CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer. He also worked as a medical officer in the epidemiology section of the Louisiana State Health Department and a faculty member at Tulane University.He joined the National Immunization Program (NIP) in 1989 and until 1994, he was responsible for measles surveillance and outbreak investigation for the NIP.Since 1995, he has been assigned to the Immunization Services Division, where he develops technical and training materials for immunization providers.He is the author or coauthor of 50 scientific papers and book chapters, including the NIP text, Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases and he's served as a lecturer on immunization on more than 500 occasions.
Dr. Atkinson is considered the "voice" of the National Immunization Program for public health immunization providers.
2004 Alumni Wall of Fame Inductees
Five Harrisonville High School graduates became the first inductees into the HHS Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame during the annual Excellence in Academics Ceremony on June 17. The ceremony is sponsored by the Harrisonville Public School Foundation.
John M. Foster, Mary L. (Brown) James, Paul Kartsonis, Rear Admiral Christopher E. Weaver, and Professor Scott R. White, Ph.D. were honored as part of the annual event at Harrisonville High School.
John M. Foster is a 1953 graduate of Harrisonville High School. He has worked and volunteered in Harrisonville since that time. Foster enjoyed a 33 year career as owner and general contractor of John Foster Construction Company. As a contractor, he worked as project manager for the restoration of the Sharp-Hopper Log Cabin and the construction of Hope Haven Women's Shelter. He also helped remodel the Youth Building and has overseen various building projects at the First Baptist Church of Harrisonville. He has also spent many volunteer hours with the Building Trades classes at Cass Career Center. Foster was the leader in the restoration of the Rock Ford School, which now serves as a Living History Classroom on the McEowen Elementary School campus.
Highlights of Foster's civic career include being a charter member of the Harrisonville Chamber of Commerce, holding the office of president in 1969, 1970, and 1972. Foster is also a charter member of the Harrisonville Rotary Club, serving as president, and also serving as a Rotary International District Governor in 1994-95. Foster helped organize and served as chairman of the Community Betterment Council in 1972-73, and served as chairman of the Cass County Historical Society in 2001. In addition, he has served on various boards and committees including the United Way, Airport Committee, Log Cabin Festival Committee, and Living History Festival Committee. Foster remains actively involved in his community, continuing to serve on Chamber committees and helping with many local Rotary volunteer projects.
Foster received the Civic Leader of the Year Award and the Harrisonville Chamber of Commerce Challenger Award in 2002.
Mary L. (Brown) James graduated from Harrisonville High School in 1967. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Education from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1971.
James currently serves as the President of the University of Missouri Board of Curators. She has also served as the Vice President and the Chairperson of Academic Affairs, Physical Facilities, and the Executive Committees on the Board of Curators.
In addition to her volunteer service on the Board of Curators, James has volunteered countless hours in the community. She served a 13-year term on the Harrisonville Park Board serving as Past Chairman and Vice Chairman. She is also past Vice-Chairman of the Cass Medical Center Foundation and Past Vice President of the Congressional Award Council of Missouri. In addition, James has served as president of the Harrisonville Athletic Booster Club and Cass County MU Alumni Association, secretary of the 17th Judicial Circuit CASA, and chairman of the Cass County Chapter of the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society. She has worked with the Belton-Ozanam Southland Cooperative Advisory Council as well.
James has received service awards from the Missouri State High School Athletic Association, Delta Gamma Fraternity, and the Harrisonville Chamber of Commerce's Partnership in Education Award.
James' professional career includes four years as an elementary teacher and 25 years as a Human Resources Manager for Cass County Publishing.
Paul Kartsonis is the owner/CEO of Bakers Man Productions in Burbank and Torrance, California. He graduated from Harrisonville High School in 1977.
Kartsonis founded Bakers Man Productions in 1990 to support the continued development of Profiles in Survival: A Reason to Celebrate. This television pilot for the American Cancer Society was a national campaign to educate about cancer and show that technology advances and programs were the key to survival. He was honored with the Sword of Hope and the Circle of Hope Awards by the American Cancer Society for his work.
Kartsonis is also highly involved in the area of emerging technology. In the early 1990s he developed a communications platform for a major government sponsored initiative known as the 'gigabit testbeds'. These high bandwidth trials were the proving grounds of the new 'information superhighway'.
Today the primary core of Bakers Man Productions is the development of internet and interactive content that ties in with commercial, film, and television development. Clients include ABC, ESPN, The Walt Disney Company, DreamWorks, SKG, McDonald's, Twentieth Century Fox and Columbia Tri-Star Home Video, and Universal Music & Video Group.
Kartsonis also the principal and founder of Bakers Man Technology Group, Inc., an application and software developer that creates business solutions for the entertainment industry, and Bakers Man Entertainment Group, Inc., an intellectual property and talent development entity.
Rear Admiral Christopher E. Weaver is a 1967 graduate of Harrisonville High School and a 1971 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He currently serves as Commander, Navy Installations.
Weaver served in Vietnam for two years and then returned to Navy school in San Diego. Weaver has served as Chief Engineer, Executive Officer and Commander. He also spent some time teaching at the Naval Academy. Until the Gulf War, Weaver was commanding officer of the USS Spruance, a Navy destroyer.
He attended the National Defense University where he studied business, economics, politics and government. In 1992, he earned his Master's in Public Administration from George Washington University.
Weaver spent time in the area of Installation Management, commanding the base in Norfolk, Virginia, as well as managing Naval bases around the Washington, D.C. area. Throughout his tenure in the Navy, he has served in all three major operational areas including Operations, Weapons, and Engineering.
Rear Admiral Weaver's personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation, National Defense Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Campaign and Service Medals, Southwest Asia Service medal and the Combat Action Ribbon.
Professor Scott R. White, Ph.D. graduated from Harrisonville High School in 1981. He proceeded to earn advanced degrees in Mechanical Engineering including his Bachelor of Science from the University of Missouri-Rolla, his Masters of Science from Washington University in St. Louis, and his Doctor of Philosophy from Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pennsylvania.
White is currently a professor in the Departments of Aerospace Engineering, Theoretical and Applied Engineering, and Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a member of the prestigious Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology in Urbana, IL.
White has gained an international reputation as a pioneer in the field of self-healing polymers and composites. In 2001, White announced the creation of a plastic which works like the human body to heal itself. Popular Science magazine recognized this achievement as one of the Top Ten Scientific Innovations in 2001 and White's research has been featured in scientific journals, on the front page of the Washington Post, ABC World News Tonight, on and the subject of a Discovery Channel special documentary called The Miracle of Plastics, and in as well as numerous many other scientific and popular publications and reports.
White has written over 140 technical publications and holds five U.S. and multiple foreign patents. He is a founding partner in CU Aerospace, a high-tech start-up company in the University of Illinois' Research Park. He was awarded the Tech Museum of Innovation award in 2001 for his contributions in materials research.
Wall of Fame List
Stuart Reece ('90)2019
Denise Davidson ('81)2017Dr. John M. Yohe ('54)
Roger Gardner ('79)2016Daryl Bohannon ('69)Karen Emmons ('78)Capt. Randell Dykes ('80)Dr. John Gillen ('82)2015William E. "Bill" James ('66)
Gina (Reece) Smith ('80)
Nick Wesemann ('01)2014
William F. Mills ('72)
Victor L. Blaine ('83)
Dr. Shaun Holden ('86)
Kelli (Wolf) Moles ('02)2013GR Milner (‘58)Renee (Labitska) Holmes (‘86)Hillary (Rolls) Kelly, M.D. (‘98)2012Judith (Smith) Reece (‘60)Dr. Ann Powell-Brown (‘65)Judy (Spangler) Franklin (‘70)2011No Inductees
2010Luke Scavuzzo (‘49)Peggy (Bradley) Clum (‘54)Luke A. Scavuzzo (‘74)
2009Vernon L. Walker (‘40)Marianne (Childress) Rusk (‘54)Edwin “Ed” C. Hartzler (‘55)James H. Davidson (‘60)
2008Hugh C. Dunn (‘40)Verda (Peterson) Day (‘42)Richard N. Bien (‘75)
2007Glenn Wright (‘19)George A. Roupe (‘53)Loyd (Gene) E. Roll (‘53)Dr. Stephen E. Jones (‘62)Darold E. Shelton (‘69)Sidonie Garrett (‘82)
2006GM Allen (‘32)Dr. Jackson C. Moody (‘43)Professor James D. Idol, Jr. (‘46)Leslie M. Crouch III (‘54)Karren (King) Crouch (‘71)
2005Brutus K. Hamilton (‘18)Ronald D. Oesch (‘48)Dudley S. Childress, Ph.D. (‘52)Charles R. McClain, Ph.D. (‘66)Connie (Burris) Hodges (‘67)Dr. William L. Atkinson (‘71)
2004John Foster (‘53)Mary (Brown) James (‘67)Paul Kartsonis (‘77)Rear Admiral Christopher E. Weaver (‘67)Professor Scott R. White, Ph.D. (‘81)