The Southwestern Educators Hall of Fame was established in order to honor alumni who have excelled and obtained significant success in the field of edcuation. The college is known for having a quality education program and for producing outstanding graduates. It is the intent of the college to honor graduates who excel in their respective fields of study.
The Southwestern College Educators Hall of Fame was established in 1999 through a gift received from the estate of Marjorie Smith. Ms. Smith was a 1927 graduate who had taught mathematics at Lyons and Dexter, Kansas for twenty years. It is the intent that this hall of fame honor Southwestern College graduates who have made significant achievements in the field of education.
Tabatha Rosproy ’09 a 13-year early childhood educator, and the first preschool teacher to ever be named National Teacher of the Year. She was awarded this honor in 2020 and has spent the last several years speaking for organizations around the country, elevating the work of early childhood educators and the students and families they serve. Tabatha is passionate about social-emotional learning, working with families, and empowering educators to be advocates for their field. Tabatha is well-known for helping to create a full-day public preschool classroom inside of a nursing home in Winfield, Kansas called “Cumbernauld Little Vikes” and loves to work with schools to create intergenerational partnerships. Tabatha has transitioned into a new role with Kansas Parent Information Resource Center where she travels the state training schools on best practices in Early Childhood Education and Family Engagement. She resides in Olathe, KS with her husband Tim.
Barbara White ’80, a 2020 inductee into the Kansas Teachers’ Hall of Fame inductee, earned her bachelor of arts degree in elementary education from Southwestern College and her master of arts degree in educational psychology with an emphasis in gifted education from Wichita State University. She began teaching in Belle Plaine School District and in 1984, was asked to teach Kindergarten and to inaugurate the district’s Gifted Education program as a Gifted Facilitator for K-8, which was later expanded to include grades K-12. She worked in a variety of positions in the elementary school until her retirement in 2018. She also held supplemental
positions while in Wellington as the District Technology Instructional Resource Coordinator from 2005-2015 and the high school varsity/junior varsity cheer coach from 2004-2010. She served as the cheer coach at Southwestern College from 2009-2011 and as the Director of Cheer and Dance at Southwestern from 2012-2013. She also served as an assistant instructor at Southwestern College, instructing international students from China and Saudi Arabia. Barbara was a Kansas Master Teacher District Nominee in 1991. She was the Kansas Teacher of the Year (KTOY) Congressional Region IV Awardee and state Finalist and member of the state KTOY team in 1995. She was a Presidential Award of Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching (PAESMT) state Finalist in 1996. She received the Richard LeMaster Teacher of Excellence Award USD 353 in 1996 and the Friends of Special Education USD 353 Golden Apple Award in 2015. She served on the State Steering Committee for Kansas Teacher of the Year for 1996 and was the Co-Chair of the KTOY Congressional Region IV Celebration and member of the Kansas Exemplary Educators Network from 1996-2011. She also served on the Visitation Teams for North Central Accreditation in the years 1996-2002. The beliefs that have guided and influenced Barbara White’s 38 years of teaching are that every student is of inestimable worth,
every student can learn and master new knowledge, and every student deserves the opportunity to discover the joy of life-long learning.
Brent Wolf ’03/’15 grew up in Augusta, enrolled in Southwestern, and has lived in Winfield ever since. He graduated with a bachelors degree in elementary education and a minor in Leadership studies from Southwestern College, as well as a master’s degree in education from Baker University, doctoral coursework from Kansas State University, a Building-level Administrator Certificate from Pittsburg State University, and a doctorate in educational administration from Southwestern College. Wolf has taught elementary and middle school for 16 years before stepping into his role as the Principal at Derby Hills Elementary School in Derby. He also teaches as an adjunct professor at Baker University, Southwestern College, Wichita State University, and Cowley College. In 2017, Wolf was Derby Public School’s Secondary Teacher of the Year. That year, he also was named Region IV Teacher of the Year and was a finalist for Kansas Teacher of the Year. Wolf serves on several committees through the Kansas State Department of Education. He currently is a member of the Higher Education Review Committee which accredits Kansas colleges’ education programs. Recently, he has become a member of the Kansas Teacher Recruitment and Retention Committee. Wolf is also on his second four-year tearm on Winfield’s Board of Education. Brent is married to Megan (Galliart), Southwestern class of 2002, and has three children: NorahKate, Cal, and Leo. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, eating at restaurants, listening to podcasts and playing the piano.
Lynn (Bales) Hunter
Lynn (Bales) Hunter ’75 worked in the USD 465 Winfield public school system her entire career and has recently retired. Hunter has personified each of the four parts of Southwestern College’s vision statement: intellectual growth and career preparation, individual development and Christian values, lifetime learning and responsible citizenship, and leadership through service in a world without boundaries.
Hunter strived to have her class content always be relevant to the students—their world, their goals. She extended her curriculum to include the timeliest topics of today, including anger management, drug and alcohol abuse prevention, STD and sex education, abusive relationships and domestic violence identification and prevention, immigration, and the environment among others. She brought the world into her classroom, utilizing community professionals as resources and speakers and creating role-playing opportunities for students to test and apply their knowledge in real-world scenarios. She also believes in encouraging students to take stands on issues that they passionately believe in and giving them opportunity to have a voice. She passionately and fiercely lives a full life of service and commitment to higher ideals and ethics. She has taught and continues to teach her students that their lives matter in so many ways and that they have to power to positively impact their community, country, and world on a daily basis.
Ruth Franklin McKeefery
Ruth Franklin McKeefery ’45 graduated from SC with a bachelor of arts degree in sociology/psychology and was a member of Pi Gamma Mu, National Social Science Honor Society. McKeefery enjoyed a career in university education alongside a lifelong commitment to building programs of volunteers to enhance health and education of adults and children. Upon completion of a Doctor of Education Degree, she served as the Academic Dean of Thomas Edison State University. She developed degree programs at the associate, baccalaureate, and master’s level. She also worked with the Washington D.C. American Council on Education, traveling to military bases in the U.S., Europe, and Asia to review educational programs.
After retiring from Thomas Edison State University in 2000, McKeefery moved to Orlando, Florida and developed Shepherd’s Hope Health Services with St. Luke’s United Methodist Church and became the Volunteer Director for four years. This program offers free medical assistance to individuals without health insurance, whose income falls at or below the poverty level. While serving as the director, she secured $500,000 in financial assistance from 15 philanthropic foundations in Central Florida, and a million-dollar grant from Robert Wood Johnson that supported the Health Centers for the following five years. Each year, the Ruth McKeefery Volunteer Awards go to the outstanding volunteer medical doctor, nurse practitioner, registered nurse, and lay volunteer in Orange County. McKeefery served as the first director of IMPACT (Innovative Ministry with Parents, Administrators, Children and Teachers). She created the program in 2008 at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, which annually provides training for 42 volunteers to serve in the fourth grade at three public schools in Orange County. The City of Orlando recognized the many years of volunteer service that Ruth has given with a “Volunteer of the Year” Award in 2014.
Marilyn McNeish Award 2022
Ralph Hanna ’60 graduated from SC with bachelor of arts degree in education after receiving an associates degree from Cowley College. His first teaching and coaching job was in Bushton, KS, where he taught math and coached football, basketball, and baseball. Three years later, Hanna received the opportunity to return to Winfield to teach and coach. After teaching and coaching for several years, he was encouraged to gain a Masters Degree, which he did at the University of Alabama, and returned to Winfield to become a senior high counselor. Two years later, he spent a year at the University of Florida to achieve his Specialist in Education degree. He returned to Winfield in 1970 to help establish the Special Education Cooperate for Cowley County, which he led for nine years. In 1976, he completed his Doctorate of Education.
In 1979, he left the school district and became the local State Farm agent for Winfield, where he continued to support the youth and school districts of Cowley County. He served in several community organizations and on the board of the USD 465 Foundation. He retired from State Farm in 1999. Hanna married his high school sweetheart, Annetta in 1955 and had four children. She died in December of 2000. He later met and married Robin Belden in 2003. They enjoyed golfing, traveling, and following the lives and activities of their grandchildren. Ralph loved hunting and fishing, which he enjoyed with his family and friends right up to his death in May of 2019.
Janet Marie Doud
Janet Marie Doud (Ph.D., ’16) has shown her passion for education and supporting the success of all students as this passion has evolved over 24 years as an alternative high school science teacher, middle school science teacher, high school counselor, district ESOL specialist working with preschool to the post-graduate students in Kansas and abroad, high school assistant principal, to now a middle school principal. In recent years Doud has taught graduate level education ESOL and technology courses through Southwestern College, Emporia State University, and Kansas State University with students from Mexico. She continues to present at various conferences on the topics of technology and collective efficacy. Her passion for education is only second to the passion she has for her family and faith.
Judy (Martin) Haynes
Judy (Martin) Haynes ’67 is an award-winning teacher whose innovation and creativity have inspired her students and promoted music education for nearly four decades. Haynes taught vocal music at Coldwater and Protection (Kansas) for 23 years, and at Circle (Benton, Kansas) for 15 years. There she wrote all kindergarten through sixth grade music programs with speaking parts for each student, as well as original music for these musicals. She also wrote the original song for a 2014 KMEA performance, and directed the Coldwater community Easter cantata for 25 years. She was South Central District of the Kansas Music Educators Association Outstanding Music Teacher in 2010, and the Circle district teacher of the year in 2000-09. She and Ron Haynes ’67 are parents of four children, all educators.
Gary King ’63 had a lasting impact on Southwestern College’s presence in the computer age. As professor of computer science and director of information services, he not only taught generations of students, he also was instrumental in the college’s academic and administrative computing choices. He earned his doctoral degree in business information systems from The Union Institute in 1991, experiencing first-hand the benefits of online education, then championing those benefits as SC established its Professional Studies program. He began his career as an accountant before finding his calling in information technology. After early employment in California he returned to Kansas as an analyst/programmer for General Electric in Winfield, later becoming the first director of information services at SC. He was the first PS director of curriculum and instruction and retired as professor emeritus in 2016.
Joe Coles ’72 is a speaker, consultant and teacher. Joe has been a devoted educator for over 40 years working as a teacher, counselor, coach, athletic director, and administrator. He has been a presenter at schools, in communities, and at conferences throughout Kansas, the Midwest, and the nation. For the last 10 years, he has shared his passion for making education and organizations better as a presenter at conferences that include the National Association of Secondary Principals, Rachel’s Challenge, Cal Ripken Foundation’s coaches and captains training, and state school boards. He received the 2008 Outstanding Service Award from Kansas Association of Elementary School Principals. He co-authored There Are No Bullies and is an instructor for 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Chuck Haag ’72 taught and coached for 43 years in public schools in Valley Center and McPherson, Kan., and in Mt. Pleasant, Winnsboro, and Temple, Texas. He was awarded the Temple High School Teacher of the Year Award in 2009 as well as the Temple Daily Telegram Golden Apple Award in 2013-14. This award is given annually to teachers nominated by students from school districts in the newspaper’s central Texas distribution area. He had been nominated two previous times. He coached Temple High School to the 1992 Class 5A Division II state football championship. In 1993, Temple was a state semi-finalist, and in 2014, they were state finalists. He also helped coach teams to numerous district championships, bi-district championships, and area championships.
Kris (Grooms) Trimmer ’75 encouraged her students in all aspects of their development during four decades of teaching. In addition to requiring academic excellence in the social studies classes she taught, Kris was co-founder and director of Academic Spirit Week when she taught at Douglass High School from 1976-1980, and at Winfield High School (1997-present) she organized the annual Staff Choice Awards that have recognized more than 100 students for their contributions to the school. She was Student Council sponsor for 12 years, and three times WHS hosted the regional conference. Her emphasis on leadership resulted in a collaboration with Southwestern and Legacy to develop Kids Impacting Cowley County, and as Spirit Squad sponsor, she organized school-wide Viking Pride assemblies. The Winfield-NEA recognized her as Master Teacher in 2005.
Marilyn McNeish Award 2018
Bill ReQua ’70/’06 has spent 31 years in public education. Teaching social sciences and coaching a variety of sports, he was a faculty member at Coldwater Junior High and Elementary, Valley Center High School, and Udall High School. His coaching duties included being head basketball coach at Udall from 1983 to 1985, and at Valley Center from 1985 through 2000. In these positions he was notable for never missing class and always holding his students accountable for their actions and work. After earning his master’s degree in special education from Southwestern College in 2006, he joined the staff of the Chisholm Life Skills Center in Wichita. His efforts in special education with students with behavior disorders has made a difference in the lives of those individuals, nominators say.
Chitra Harris ‘10 started her teaching career in India and was a well-loved and respected teacher and administrator by the time she moved to the United States in 2004. She earned her master’s degree in education from Southwestern College in 2010. A science teacher at Wichita South High School, she was the recipient of the 2015 Excellence in Public Service Award for her innovative, hands-on lessons that engage students as they learn about forensic science-- she transforms her high school classroom into a crime scene during South’s Science Field Day, inspiring elementary students to try science. She is former president of the Wichita Asian Association, a board member of Asian organizations, and was the first winner of the Wendell Mohling Foundation scholarship.
DeAnne (Hastings) Heersche ’84 began her career at Chaparral High School where she was hired by her own principal to teach sophomore English. She moved to the Anthony-Harper school district as assistant superintendent in 1994 and in 1999 began her career as an education consultant with Kansas service centers. Heersche received the Outstanding Service Center Educator Award in 2008 while working with The Service Center in Clearwater. She has been a service center director, a department chair, and a professional development team chair. Her participation on state-level committees includes the Kansas Professional Learning Team. DeAnne has worked with regional education laboratories to provide school improvement training throughout the nation. She is the only Kansas trainer for Lions Quest.
Joy (Weigle) Will ’69 taught preschool and kindergarten as she began her educational career, establishing a highly successful Wee Too Preschool in Wellington and directing a Summer Challenge program for five years. She then taught kindergarten and preschool at Wichita Collegiate School for nearly a decade before entering a more adventuresome phase of teaching. This new phase would include stints in schools around the globe—in Kuwait (Kuwait City and Rumathayia), Sudan, Pakistan, Mali, and Nigeria. She taught students in situations ranging from a model school in Kuwait City to a combined classroom at the Anglo Ashanti Gold Mine in the wilds of Mali. Joy embraced cultural diversity, promoting ethnic appreciation and awareness and leading teams of teachers to achieve educational goals and objectives.
Kathryne (Cooper) Delcarpio ’74 first taught in a student teaching program that prepared students to work in inner-city schools, an indicator that in her future career she would be dedicated to disadvantaged students. She began in New Orleans where she taught English to inner-city high school students, most from project housing. Kathryne was then assigned to a school for teen-aged expectant mothers. In this placement, she learned to work around enrollment issues, doctor appointments, and deliveries. In 1979 she transferred to a small rural public high school, where nearly all of the students lived in poverty. With no money for extra-curricular activities, she raised funds for an annual senior play by holding dinner theatres. After retirement in 2007, she continued her role in education as an adjunct college instructor and as a volunteer adult ESL and citizenship instructor for immigrants seeking to become U.S. citizens.
Florence (Cutter) Metcalf ’63 grew up on her parents’ Kansas farm near Hugoton. In addition to her bachelor’s degree from Southwestern College, Florence earned a master’s degree from Kansas State University in 1983. Florence completed 27 years as a Family and Consumer Science teacher at Hugoton Middle School, retiring in 1999. In addition to being a teacher, Florence is committed to service. As she taught, Florence served on the Stevens County Extension Council board for 13 years and received the Kansas Friend of Extension Award in 1998. Florence was instrumental in bringing public television to the 16 counties of Southwest Kansas in 1990 and has served on the Smoky Hills Public Television board since 2008. Florence also served six years on the Board of Directors that organized the Kansas Agricultural and Rural Leadership Program. Florence is a member of the Southwestern College Board of Trustees.
Robert “Bob” Nispel
Robert “Bob” Nispel ’57 began his teaching career in Fredonia, KS. In 1959, Bob began teaching business at Horace Mann USD 259 (Wichita) where he became a vice principal in 1965. In 1967, Bob was named assistant budget director for USD 259. Eventually, he was promoted to executive director of financial services/district treasurer. When he retired in 1991, he received the Kansas Association of School Business Officials Distinguished Service Award, the highest award presented to an individual. Though Bob was considered one of the top three experts on school finance in the state of Kansas during his three decades as a teacher and administrator in USD 259, he remained a teacher at heart, explaining complicated issues in a simple, understandable way.
Marilyn McNeish Award 2016
Danielle Shioyama ’10, ’14 is the High Needs Interrelated Teacher at Roosevelt Elementary School in Arkansas City, where she works with students with challenging behaviors and learning difficulties. After graduating from Drury College, Danielle taught fifth grade for six years while earning a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Southwestern College in 2010. Danielle has extensive experience and training in special education, including the completion of her master’s degree in Special Education at Southwestern in 2014, participation in Tertiary Behavior Supports Team training and data collection through TASN, and training in the Orton-Gillingham multisensory approach to phonics. Danielle is often asked to be a part of district trainings and in-service meetings. Danielle presents, or co-presents, to USD 470 and Cowley County Special Education Service staff on topics such positive behavior supports, visual supports, and challenging behaviors.
Gyla (Brock) Conklin ’58 taught preschool and kindergarten 48 years and served more than 1,000 children. After teaching first grade for three years in Hutchinson, she was preschool coordinator for two preschools in Wichita. Gyla then owned and taught in Mrs. Conklin’s Preschool for 25 years. She taught kindergarten and preschool for another 15 years in Rolla, Kan., and completed her teaching career at Heritage Christian School in Hugoton, Kan., serving for three years. Gyla proudly served as a commencement speaker for seniors at Rolla High School whom she taught in kindergarten. “I learned so much from them,” she says of her students. Gyla is in Who’s Who in American Teachers.
Cheryl (Bernard) Schasteen ’71 has been an active teacher and leader since she graduated from Southwestern in 1971. Cheryl taught fifth grade in LaCygne, Kan. (1971-74), special education in Gardner-Edgerton District 231 (1974-1989), first grade at Edgerton Elementary (1989-2012), and kindergarten at Wellsville Elementary (2012-2014). Throughout her career, Cheryl served on numerous district committees, chairing the math and reading committees at Gardner-Edgerton. Cheryl also served as a state-level QPA resource person and was selected as USD 231 representative to the Metropolitan Instructional Leadership Program with the Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City. Recently, Cheryl developed and helped pilot the Common Core math and reading curricula in two schools.
Kenneth E. Valentine ’70 served education for forty-four years. He began his career as a math teacher and coach at Hardtner Junior/Senior High School. (Dick Merriman, who would become president of Southwestern College, was among the students in Ken’s first class.) In 1974, Valentine became counselor at Wichita County High School in Leoti. In 1978, he began serving in the Andover public schools where he remained for fourteen years before accepting a position in the Douglass public schools. At Douglass, Ken served his first fourteen years as school counselor and the past nine as a math teacher and was also an adjunct math teacher at Butler County Community College where he was named Outstanding Faculty Member. Ken was nominated for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
Frank D. Davidson ’79 began his career in education serving in the Peace Corps at the Escuela Agropecuaria de San Juan Bautista, located in rural Paraguay. Following his Peace Corps service, he moved to Arizona in 1982. For 11 years, he was an elementary school teacher and principal. In 1993, he was appointed assistant superintendent for instruction for the Casa Grande Elementary School District, and he has been superintendent since 1997. Davidson received awards as the Superintendent of the Year for Large School Districts (Arizona School Administrators, 2000), the Business Leader of the Year (Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce, 2003), and the state Superintendent of the Year (American Association of School Administrators, 2006). His district has earned five “A+” Awards from the Arizona Education Foundation. Davidson has co-authored two books and is active on several boards in Arizona.
John W. Marshall ’70 considers himself lucky to have started his career as a principal in a school reputed to be the worst in the district. Hills Elementary School had seen the deaths of two principals but with strong staff leadership already in place, Marshall was able to move quickly and put successful new programs into place. These included the first functioning Family Resource Center in the state of Iowa; an early childhood preschool; and the first extended day kindergarten in the Iowa City schools. During his tenure Hills received two FINE Awards (First In the Nation in Education) as well as a National Blue Ribbon Award School designation. Marshall was recognized in 1997 by the National Association of Elementary Principals for excellence in education but is most proud of the staff members he hired who have gone on to be respected administrators themselves.
Ronda J. (Sims) Marshall ’70 taught in the same Iowa City Community school (Northwest Junior High) for all but one year of her 39 years as a junior high language arts teacher. She describes her predominantly seventh grade students as “challenging but also eager to learn, volatile but also steady and loyal, scared but also willing to take risks, secretive and reserved but also honest and open.” Marshall has also taught workshops for gifted students, and at the university level has lectured on reading methods for all secondary pre-service teachers. Highlights of her career included chairing a year long, in-depth NCA accreditation study; giving the faculty address at the school’s 25th anniversary community celebration; and working at Princeton as a national scorer for the initial round of National Board Certification portfolios in Early Adolescent English/Language Arts. She was presented the Literacy Teacher of the Year Award by her peers in the Iowa Council of Teachers of English.
Marilyn (Stanton) Davidson ’63 taught kindergarten and first grade in Hays, Kansas, for 43 years. An energetic teacher who loves children and constantly motivates her students to do their best, Davidson has created hundreds of hands-on materials. She often incorporates musical activities into the academic curriculum, and frequently involves parents in her classroom. Through the years she has shared her knowledge and ideas by teaching workshops, Telenet classes, Project T.E.A.C.H., and classes at Fort Hays State University. She was inducted into the Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame in 1997 and was a Master Teacher at Roosevelt Elementary School.
Diane Nickelson ’95 began her career in elementary education following graduation from Kansas State University in 1983. She has spent her tenure in education enmeshed in education reform, beginning with A Nation at Risk and continuing through No Child Left Behind. During her 14 years teaching first and second grade in Wellington the state adopted QPA, presenting her with the first of many leadership opportunities. She completed her Master of Education degree at Southwestern College and in 1996 became a fifth-grade teacher in Clearwater. She was an assistant principal for five years, then a principal for an additional seven years. Nickelson received her doctorate in educational leadership in 2010 and is assistant principal at Clearwater High School.
Bobby Joe Slade ’57 spent nearly all of his 45 working years in education. He has been a recreational therapist, an elementary teacher, and worked with the Area Manpower Institutes for Development of Staff (AMIDS). He was coordinator, assistant director, and director of the Dallas Skills Center in the Dallas Independent School District, as well as assistant principal at the Sequoyah Learning Center and at Roosevelt High School. He also served as assistant principal of Skyline High Schools, one of the largest high schools in the state of Texas.
Marilyn McNeish Award 2013
Vicki L. (Sims) Hitchcock ’72 began teaching elementary classroom and music in 1972, but found herself drawn to children who struggled with learning. That led her to a master’s degree in special education with an emphasis in learning disabilities. Until her retirement in 2010 she was a teacher for 38 years, with 341/2 of those spent teaching the ever-changing population of special education students. She taught in Newton, Joplin (MO.), El Dorado, Andover, and Wichita. Her classes included those with mental handicaps, those in the autism spectrum, students struggling with behavioral difficulties, and those who needed difficult learning modalities.
E. Katherine (White) Davidson ’38 taught public school music in northern Kansas before marrying, then continued teaching school music in the Cowley County rural schools in the 1950s. Moving to classroom teaching in Arkansas City in the mid-1950s, she continued her career until the mid-1980s. In the early 1960s Katherine attended a summer session in Washington, D.C., on a National Science Foundation grant for Egyptian studies applicable for her social studies classes. In 1972-73 she was named a Jennings Scholar, honoring her outstanding classroom teaching. In pursuing teaching practices that would enhance knowledge and challenge her students, Katherine was an on-going student studying music, foreign languages, history, and social sciences in higher education institutions. She firmly believed learning should be undertaken as a pleasurable and privileged pursuit.
Angela C. “Anne” Farmer ’97 started her teaching career at Udall High School in 1997, then moved to Douglass High School where she taught through 2005. That year she was named Kansas Congressional Region 4 Secondary Teacher of the Year and was part of the 2005 Kansas Teacher of the Year Team that spoke at schools throughout Kansas. She moved to Missouri and began teaching at Fort Osage High School in Independence, Mo. Anne was named Fort Osage High School Teacher of the Year in 2010, and Fort Osage District Teacher of the Year in 2011. Anne has received more than $3,000 in grants to help students publish poetry anthologies. She also created a blogging project bringing together students from different schools and demographics to discuss common themes in a common text.
James D. (Jim) Wilson ’67 had a 24-year career in Kansas that began with teaching and coaching and grew to include being an athletic director, a secondary counselor, a junior/senior high principal, and a superintendent. He was Kansas Rural and Small Schools Administrator of the Year, twice recognized as a Master Teacher, and was president of the Kansas School Counselors’ Association. A superintendent in Colorado for 16 years, Jim received the Colbert Cushing Award for outstanding service to his professional organization, was president of the Colorado Association of School Executives, and president of the Colorado School Superintendents’ group. Jim also created and developed the Demont Award Recognition Program for rural and small school administrators. Wilson has traveled extensively as a speaker and entertainer in his alternate persona of “The Colorado Cowboy.”
Marilyn McNeish Award 2012
Andrew M. Brenn '01/'06 earned his degree in physical education from Southwestern College then began working as a paraprofessional through Cowley County Special Services Cooperative in the spring of 2002. Since then he has been employed as an IRC teacher at Winfield High School. After earning a master’s degree in special education, he also has taught evening classes at SC. He has been head football coach at Winfield High School for six years, and has also coached football 10 years.
Yvonne (Osgood) English ’60 earned her master’s degree at Louisiana State University with the help of an education scholarship provided by a Southwestern College alumnus, the first step in her distinguished teaching career. Most of this career was spend at Flagstaff (Ariz.) High School, where she taught a variety of business classes and advised the Future Business Leaders of America. The Flagstaff FBLA chapter was a consistent award-winner at regional, state, and national conferences and competitions. English served as her district’s chairman of the technology committee and the Vision Team, wrote the Vocational Office Practice Curriculum for the district, and wrote a grant that provided for the first networked classroom in the Flagstaff schools. She retired in 1997 and now enjoys being a volunteer in church and community.
Lynn A. (Watkins) Felts ’77 has taught art at the elementary and secondary levels since her graduation from Southwestern College. During this time (most of it spent in the Winfield schools) she has been recognized as a superb teacher – as National Association of Art Educators (NAEA) 2007 National Secondary Art Educator of the Year; as NAEA Outstanding Western Region Secondary Art Educator in 2005-06; and as Kansas AEA Outstanding Secondary Art Educator in 1998-99. On the local level she was recognized as the Outstanding Young Educator in Winfield in 1985, and as a candidate for the Governors’ Award in 2002. In 2008 Kansas legislators recognized her achievements in art education. Her students have won numerous awards in art competitions and have received scholarships to prestigious art institutions.
Lonnie Allen Howerton ’69 and his family moved 12 times in his first three years of school. He overcame this challenge (eventually earning his doctorate in education from Pepperdine University) and has devoted his life to helping others overcome similar challenges. As an active duty Marine from 1969 to 1992, Howerton taught basic English and math to his battalion so that these Marines could earn high school diplomas. His post-military passion has been teaching in an alternative school in Orange County, Calif. These students come from juvenile hall or court schools or have been removed from public schools for breaches of discipline. Despite these challenges, more than 90 percent graduate from high school over an average of five years. Howerton also organized a top-selling DVD that explores learning styles in alternative education.
Thomas G. “Tom” Mundinger ‘72 began his career as a fifth-grade teacher, then was elementary principal in Mound Valley, and elementary principal in Baldwin City from 1983 to 2009. He was selected by Kansas State University to receive the 1996 Kansas Rural Education Outstanding Administrator Award. He has served on numerous executive boards, including the Kansas Association of Elementary School Principals, United Schools Administrators, and DCCA, as well as serving on numerous state committees. Mundinger presented at the USA annual conference and the KanLEAD Evaluation conference, as well as presiding at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics convention. Highlights of his career include earning the Standard of Excellence on all state assessments for seven consecutive years, developing the MARS (Math and Reading Success) program, and having the opportunity to plan, construct, and open a new school.
Clinton “Trilly” Trillingham (1900-1992) ‘21 was Los Angeles County superintendent of schools from 1942 until his retirement in 1967. He served as a teacher, principal, and superintendent in Kansas school before moving to California in 1930. The Los Angeles County Superintendent’s office grew to be the largest county unit in the United States during his 25-year administration. He was president of the California Association of School Administrators in1945 and the American Association of School Administrators in 1958. He served on the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Children and Youth and was a delegate to two White House Conferences. Trillingham helped from a Career Guidance Center for Los Angeles County students and received national recognition for his work from Vice President Hubert Humphrey.
Lois C. (Dryden) Vasey ‘49 taught grades one, two, and three in School District 163, Park Forest, Illinois, from 1956 to 1981. The parents in this city were upward bound in the business world, causing a 25% turnover of students each year. Vasey served on district committees and had a leadership role at the George William College Outdoor Education Center, as well as planning the elementary science curriculum. Her classroom was used as a laboratory for a new reading program, and she supervised students during their practice teaching year. She taught summer school and cooperated in professional organizations. The highlight of her career was her involvement in the voluntary desegregation of the district during the early 1970s.
Marilyn McNeish Award 2010
Kimberly I. "Kim" Mercer '86 has provided social work services to Winfield youth and families since 1986. She has been a social worker at Lowell and Country View Elementary Schools, and coordinator for the district’s social work programs. She also was director of the social work program at Southwestern College, where she was recipient of the Fassnacht Outstanding Faculty Award and the SGA Faculty Citation. Through her profession Mercer practices her commitment to ethical decision-making and social justice as well as advocacy for children.
Sally (Mann) Cauble ‘72 has been a child advocate for most of her life. As a teacher, she held position in Fredonia (Kansas), Wichita, Memphis, and Liberal (Kansas). While in Memphis, she developed a language program to meet the individual needs of her students. While serving on the Kansas Foundation for Vision Awareness board, she helped develop a “Seymour Safety Vision Program” that was used across the nation. Cauble served eight years on the Liberal school board and nine years on the Southwestern College Board of Trustees. She also developed a successful and ongoing nonprofit latchkey program for the Liberal area. Cauble was elected to the Kansas State Board of Education in 2007, representing 41 counties of western Kansas in District 5.
Gary L. Rhodes ‘72 was an educator in USD 465 (Winfield) schools for 28 years. During 18 years as a teacher at Whittier Schools, he was directed of adult education for Cowley Country Community College, Winfield, for most of these years. During the following decades, he served as principal at Whittier, Country View, Webster, Lowell, and Stephenson Elementary Schools. He also was director of Title 1, coordinator of the Reading Recovery Program, and served as district hearing officer. He was a speaker at state and national conventions during these years. Following his retirement from USD 465 in 2000, he taught in USD 358 (Oxford). Rhodes was mentored by SC professor Ed Foster and Superintendent Bill Medley, and learned from his students, teachers and administrators.
D. Jean (Jones) Wilson ‘58 was a highly-honored music teacher in Colorado. In 1986 she received a Distinguished Teachers award from the Denver public schools and a Celebration of Excellence award from the Colorado State Board of Education. She was named a Colorado Master Teacher by the educational publishing division of Rand McNally and Company. Wilson’s choir was invited to perform at the United States Bicentennial celebration and performed at a naturalization ceremony in 1991. For this performance they were awarded the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge Honor Medal in 1992. Wilson’s music curriculum always included music from the five periods of music history; all of her classes learned to appreciate and perform music of brotherhood, peace, love of our country, and sacred music.
H. Bertram Keller
H. Bertram Keller spent nearly all of his 89 years in teaching, guiding and encouraging young people. After graduation, he returned to his hometown of Valley Stream, New York to teach high school English, drama, public speaking, debate and journalism. In addition to often being voted the school’s “Best Teacher,” he founded the school newspaper and its drama club and produced more than 70 sell-out plays and musicals. His students went on to significant career as playwrights, novelists, actors, writers and composers. Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie got his name from Bert Keller, as one of Keller’s former students was one of show’s original four writers. He later worked in administration but continued to earn “Best Faculty” honors. He retired in 1986 and passed away in 2004.
Bruce J. Williams
Bruce has taught public school strings and orchestra in South Dakota, Kansas and Texas. As a music educator, he has nurtured students and groups in performance as well as in competition at state and area music festivals. He has delighted in seeing the turn-around of students thought unreachable and has known the joy of then performing with the same appreciative students. In each teaching locale, Williams set an example as a performer as well as serving as concertmaster and section leader, in local orchestras. He has served as Kansas state orchestra chairman and as region orchestra chair of his professional organizations. He also adjudicates music competitions and placements in honor orchestra.
Larry R. Williams
Larry spent 45 years as a music teacher in elementary, junior high and senior high schools, and at three colleges. His first 18 years were spent teaching band, orchestra and humanities in Ottawa, Topeka and Lawrence, and later was called to rebuild the high school orchestra and direct the Southwestern College orchestra in his hometown of Winfield. Later, Williams taught in Kansas City, Kansas, and was a string specialist for that city’s school system. After retirement from public schools in 1995, Williams undertook another orchestra building position at Baker University, and remained there for 10 years. He has been the Kansas Outstanding Young Educator; was inducted into the Kansas Music Educators Hall of Fame and the Kansas American String Teachers Association Hall of Fame. He also served as president of the Kansas Music Educators Association.
Marilyn McNeish Award 2008
Kathryn (Heitschmidt) Cavalier '69 knew from the time she was in middle school that she wanted to be a special education student. She began her career during the first year Kansas mandated special education classes, teaching six years in Mulvane with elementary educable mentally handicapped students. A 17-year break to raise a family ended when she accepted a position in Pampa, Texas, working with students diagnosed as emotionally disturbed. The one-year probationary position stretched into a 17-year tenure, during which she fell in love with the challenge of meeting the needs of these high school students. She describes the special education experience as exhausting and invigorating, frustrating and satisfying, with days that are hopeless and others full of hope.
Elizabeth (Arisio) Baumgart
Elizabeth entered Southwestern College expecting to study for the ministry but was being equipped for what became a ministry in education. As a young teacher in Harlem, she experienced first-hand, the abandonment of children by society. Later, in Los Angeles, she became principal of a trouble school in Watts. In the 1970s, she was chosen by the Los Angeles Board of Education to develop criteria for a magnet school and became its first principal. This school served as a model for more than 100 other magnet schools. She has been designated a master teacher at the district and university level, giving her the opportunity to teach other teachers. Baumgart has run a Christian-oriented management consulting firm, a job-counseling business, and has been a professor and adjunct professor at the university level.
Hazel (Palmer) Dole
Hazel Dole ‘52 taught school 44 years in several schools in Sumner and Cowley counties, and completed her illustrious career in Wichita. She taught her students life values as well the prescribed curriculum. She was a pioneer throughout her career, beginning when she was the first married female teacher in Geuda Springs. She was active in the Presidential Physical Fitness program, encouraging students to be fit for life’s challenges. Her interest in children carried over to her involvement with her church, where she enjoyed working with young people. A master gardener, Hazel helped with founding of Botanica in Wichita following her retirement. The Dole Center for Teacher Education at Southwestern College is named for Hazel and her husband, Jim. She died in 2005 at the age of 93.
The Dole Center for Teacher Education in Southwestern College is named after Mr. James Dole and Mrs. Hazel Dole.
Minerva (Smith) Van Arsdale
Minerva has taught hundreds of elementary school students in Belle Plaine, Kansas, Clarksville, Tennessee, and Laramie, Wyoming. She has collaborated with University of Wyoming professors at state, national, and international presentations on reading, and is co-author of published articles including, “Mrs. Van’s Story: An Exploration of the Meaning Changes in a Teacher’s Professional Life” In 1996 Van Arsdale was named the Milken Family Foundation National Educator; and in 2004, she was selected by her peers as Albany County School District One and Albany County Education Association Teacher of the Year.
Marilyn McNeish Award 2007
Linda Weir-Enegren '69 attended Southwestern College in 1965-66 before graduating from the University of Kansas and Wichita State University. She began her advocacy for children’s issues in 1972, a time when children with severe disabilities were routinely excluded from public education. She has pioneered numerous programs for children, including Rainbows United, a ground-breaking program to teach basic skills to children with severe disabilities. She also established a home training program for children with disabilities in northwest rural Kansas, organized the Wichita-Sedgwick County Commission on the Status of Children and Youth, and established the Wichita Community Work Release Program. She co-founded Roots and Wings and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Sedgwick County, and is a founder of Pathways, a program for children growing up in alcohol or drug abusive homes. Her awards include recognition at the White House as one of 10 Outstanding Young Women of America in 1977. Linda and her husband, Phil, are parents to seven children through birth and adoption.
Mary Lou (Bauer) Martin
Mary Lou is a retired Kansas music educator who has taught in elementary and middle schools in Great Bend, Arkansas City, Buhler, Winfield, and Wichita school districts. She also has been an independent piano teacher and adjunct keyboard and music education faculty member at Southwestern College. Martin’s career high points include accompanying and touring with the Kansas Boys Choir (based in Hutchinson), for five years and founding and directing the award-winning Walnut Valley Youth Choir, Winfield, for seven years. She continues to adjudicate and conduct children’s choir clinics and is program coordinator for Arts Partners in Wichita.
William C. “Bill” Medley
Bill distinguished himself, both as a teacher and as a school administrator. After teaching mathematics and social studies for several years (interrupted by military service during World War II), he became an assistant principal (later principal) at Winfield Junior-Senior High School. He was principal at Lawrence High School from 1965 to 1973; then principal at Corcord High School in Wilmington, Delaware for eight years, before becoming superintendent of USD 465 (Winfield) in 1981. He retired from this position in 1994. Medley was inducted into the Kansas Teachers’ Hall of Fame that year in recognition of his service to education and to the community.
Tillman H. “Curley” Vaughan
Vaughan taught and coached in the Winfield school system from 1919 until his retirement in 1958. During this period, his tennis teams won 27 state championships in singles or doubles. Obituaries following his 1966 death touted Vaughan as “the man who developed this city into the Tennis Capital of the Midwest.” An inspiring and impressive teacher, Vaughan taught science subjects and was vice principal and principal, as well as coach at Winfield. During World War II, he organized the “Victory Corps” to prepare men and women for service in the military.
Marilyn McNeish Award 2006
Geoffrey G. Moon ’97 serves as coordinator and evaluator for gifted children in Gallup McKinley County (New Mexico) Schools, one of the largest districts in the nation. He has worked to develop the Frasier Talent Assessment Profile, which identifies gifted students with greater equity across linguistic, ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic boundaries. Moon is becoming recognized as a national leader in the area, and presents workshops helping other teachers with the process of identifying and serving students with special needs.
Cindy (Batt) Goertz
“Cindy has been actively involved in school improvement during her 37 years in public education. A reading teacher at Winfield Middle School since 1981, Goertz designed, implemented, and coordinated the Discovery School program for sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade students. Now in its 14th year, the program is for high risk students who “discover” themselves in a new way in a small class environment. She believes the task of educators is to find and nurture the potential in each child.”.
Grady N. Kimbrell
“Kimbrell taught business courses and coordinated students’ in-class work with their on-the-job after-school work activities during his early professional years. Later, he directed the innovative cooperative work experience program of three high schools in Santa Barbara, California. As an early user of computer technology, Kimbrell’s research into on-the-job work activity led to the development and publishing of a career interest inventory used in career guidance. He has written more than a dozen textbooks. His focus has always been to help each young person find meaning and purpose as a productive member of society.”
Marilyn (Edwards) Shaw
“Marilyn began her teaching career in 1975, and since has taught at levels from kindergarten through college. She was selected to be a part of the 2000 Leadership Institute in Discrete Mathematics at Rutgers University; and participated in a summer-long NASA Program at Edwards Air Force Base. Shaw’s involvement with women educators’ organizations has led to programs including Literacy in the Laundromat Program, the Linus Blankets Program, and a high school graduates’ scholarship program. She believes that true knowledge is that which is learned, understood, and pieced into one’s own patchwork of life.”
Marilyn McNeish Award 2005
Nancy (Carroll) Juhlin ‘71 dropped out of college in 1969, following her junior year, to marry and join the Peace Corps. She and her husband served as volunteers in Chile until 1971 when they returned to the U.S. Juhlin graduated from SC in 1973, and after a stint as a special education teacher in Maine, began her career with Winfield public schools in 1978. Her first classroom was in the basement at Country View Elementary (with the occasional snake). From 1979 to 1995, she was an interrelated teacher at Winfield High School teaching learning disabled and emotionally disturbed students. Juhlin then became the assistant director of Cowley County Special Services Coop, visiting and working in classrooms and schools throughout Cowley County.
“Pat’s strong interpersonal skills and keen sense of humor bridge communication with a multi-ethnic and multi-generation population. Pat’s high standard of integrity and commitment to school, family, and community are among her most admirable characteristics. She is a true resource and leader of learning for her students.”
“Ron has not only taught music, but also inspired and influenced many other young people to major in music and follow in his footsteps. He is the kind of person who makes a difference, whatever he is doing, wherever he goes.”
Shirley (Stewart) Ross
“Shirley is a dedicated professional known for giving endless hours, and most of all, her heart to her students. She has mentored student teachers and is highly respected by anyone who is fortunate enough to work with her. Those who know her can attest to her unselfish kindness, graciousness to all people, her deep compassion, and her dedication to children.”
Marilyn McNeish Award 2004
Marvin Estes ’66 is a committed and dedicated educator and leader for all children including special education students. He always considers the special education students as part of his district and not just Coop kids. Marvin cares that all children learn. All children in his vocabulary always includes special education students.
“Ron is a credit to his profession and his former college, having dedicated his life’s work to the future of the children in Kansas for over 40 years as a teacher, building principal, and superintendent. All who know him, naturally look to him for leadership. He is a man who exemplifies the importance and relevance of education by the way he leads and lives.”
“For close to 30 years, Kathi has exemplified the qualities of an outstanding educator. She teaches and models honesty, respect, courage, perseverance, self-discipline, compassion, loyalty, responsibility, and trust which are developmental not only in teaching content and self-worth; but also essential to the strength of the entire community. Kathi uses music to teach core curriculum, life skills, values and love of life. She shows students that music is all around and encompasses our whole world.”
“During the last 36 years, Sheldon taught and was a principle in elementary and middle schools in Albuquerque. He was a pioneer leader and innovator in the district. He personified the educator, leader, and principle that we all aspired to be. Sheldon’s kindness and understanding support is legendary. His modeling, his experience, and his compassion led the way for an extraordinary fruitful environment for children.”
Marilyn McNeish Award 2003
Louise (Simpson) Reimer ’68 graduated from Southwestern College in 1968 with a degree in elementary education. From 1968 to 1975 she taught at Lowell Elementary School in Winfield while working on her Master of Arts degree at Wichita State University. In 1978 she earned her certification in special education (Behavior Disorders) from Emporia State University and since 1990 has taught children with special needs for the South Central Kansas Special Education Cooperative in Pratt, KS. Ms. Reimer was nominated by Bruce Givens, the Director of the Special Education Cooperative. Mr. Givens states, “Louise Reimer is a dedicated teacher of exceptional learners. She has accepted every challenging assignment I have presented her…she is an outstanding provider of ‘specially designed instruction’.”
James Dole ‘53 has evidenced through practice and by example, a commitment to excellence in the teaching of youth of all ages over a period of 59 years. He embellished his lessons with personal experiences and observations, we fondly called “Doleisms”. He truly “lived what he taught”. Jim Dole is a true teacher at heart, and more than willing to share his knowledge with all of us.
The Dole Center for Teaching and Education is named after Mr. James Dole and Mrs. Hazel Dole.
“For more than 35 years, Ken has provided his students with artistic vision, outstanding choral literature, and impeccable musicianship. He has made memories and touched lives of the students he has conducted in a powerful way. Ken holds a quality found in a true educator -- he most enjoys witnessing the successes of his students. He is one of Southwestern’s most extraordinary and outstanding music educators ... he brings honor to his alma mater.”
Dr. Dan Kahler
“During the last 51 years, Dan has dedicated his life to helping others though education. As an educator, he hears everything, forgets nothing, and leads the rest of us to understand deeply our craft by taking us on a passionate journey. He embodies the highest standards of dedication, knowledge, professionalism and excellence. If there is such a thing as a ‘living legend,’ it is Dan Kahler.”
Marilyn McNeish Award 2002
Sharilyn (Hogue) Hill ‘87 obtained her Social Work degree from Southwestern College in 1987. After that, she moved to Hutchinson, Kansas, and focused her work with special needs students by working at the Reno County Education Co-op. Her work there continues to make a difference in the lives of many students in the Buhler and Haven Unified School Districts.
Sheryl Huber Lloyd
“Sheryl has dedicated twenty-five years to the children of the Solano Beach School District, and I cannot imagine our district without her. Sheryl is an outstanding educator, a gifted music teacher, and a committed district leader. Over the years, Sheryl has helped create an excellent music program for our students, written a number of musical productions for children in Kindergarten to sixth grade, and continuously pursued additional resources and training to benefit her students. Sheryl helped to design and implement Connections – our district’s successful summer program, integrating the visual arts, music, theatre, dance and creative writing. Clearly, the quality of Sheryl’s work speaks for itself.”
Dr. David McGuire
“For over 30 years as a band director and university professor, Dr. McGuire exemplified the Builder spirit by motivating students to do better than their best. Whether performing, conducting, or teaching, he led by example. His students continue to produce excellent musicians across the country, and by the dozens, they have written testimonials to his professionalism, dedication to teaching, and ability to treat each person with kindness and compassion. His professional and personal integrity, his unstinting efforts on behalf of music education, and his leadership on the local, state, and national levels make him a perfect candidate for his honor.”
“Eleven years of service as an educator. She served as the Executive Director and the leader teacher for the Community Learning Center, a program for at-risk high school and middle school students in Cowley County. Her ability to assist students’ work through the negativeness they bring to this stage of their education has been extremely unique. Through her firm but fair approach, students develop social skills new to them. Scores of students have earned hundreds of high school credits under Fran’s guidance. Dozens of her students from whom graduation was deemed improbable, if not impossible, have walked across the stage at their local ceremonies. Fran O’Keefe is a great educator. She teaches people to care, to believe in themselves, to preserve.”
Charles Kent Garhart
Marilyn McNeish Award 2001
After earning his doctorate, C. Kent Garhart ’59, worked as a school psychologist with the Manhattan school district and later worked at Drake University. Throughout his career he was assistant superintendent for the Junction City school district; superintendent for the Ellsworth school district for eight years; and director of the special education program in Garden City for many years. His oversight of the special education program developed it into an outstanding program that benefitted special needs students in the area. After retiring, he continued to work as a school bus driver in Garden City because he loved being in the school environment.
“Thirty years of service as an elementary music teacher. At Valencia Park Elementary, San Diego, California, she has become our major technology resource; she has written grants that have secured close to a million dollars of funding in performing arts and technology. She has taught courses at the university level and been a provider of district in-service. She is one of those teachers who has been a constant learner.”
Twenty-eight years of service. Presently, a teacher of six, seventh, and eighth grade earth science, life science and physical science at Topeka Collegiate School. “He is the kind of teacher that others aspire to be. He has published over fifty articles and is an accomplished photographer. Mr. Miller’s passion and involvement in the sciences is realized by each of his students over the years. Consequently, all have a greater awareness of the sciences around them, and many have become involved in science as an extracurricular activity, or even as their life’s passion.”
Fifty-four years of total service as teacher, administrator, and member of the State Board of Education. “Mr. Musick was interested in every teacher, every staff member, and every student in the district. He followed the activities of students; visiting with them almost every day at lunchtime. He has been a strong supporter of community and church activities. We feel that we would not be the educators we are today, if Mr. Musick had not taken us under his wing and guided us in our careers as life-long educators.”
Brilla Highfill Scott
Forty-one years as teacher/administrator and head of the United School Administrators of Kansas. “Brilla is a professional in every sense of the word. Her unique melding of personal and professional qualities has enabled her to bring an excellence to her work that far exceeds job expectations. If one were looking for a model for future educators, they would be well advised to look at Brilla. She has made significant contributions to education in Kansas by bring not only a strong advocate for quality education, but also by mentoring women administrators throughout the state.”
“Thirty-three years of service as a music, drama and media teacher at Jeffersonville Youngsville Central School. Mr. Wooddell’s true recognition comes from his commitment to his students. He has shared with them a wealth of knowledge music, drama and media, and enthusiasm for learning and encouragement for accomplishing established goals.”