Class Notes


Here's recent news from Jewell alumni. Send us your update via our Class Notes Submission Form.

1960s

Dr. Bob McKanna, ’64, from Inverness, Illinois, has fully retired. He now buys and sells Lionel trains on eBay.

Peggy (O’Neill) Brandes, ’65, of Indianapolis, Indiana, is a retired music teacher and former assistant to the president of a national education foundation.

Larry Matthews, ’65, of Wendell, North Carolina, represents Jewell’s Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity Chapter in the Order of Merit, the international fraternity’s highest alumni award. He is one of four men from Jewell in the Order, joining Dr. Richard Harriman, ’53; Walter Holt, ’82; and Chris Leaver, ’94. Less than 400 men of the more than 300,000 initiated members, have ever been recognized in Lambda Chi’s Order of Merit.

1970s

Linda (Higginbotham) Schaller, ’72,  is the director of programming for the San Francisco Dance Film Festival.

1980s

Scott Burton, ’84, has been named the Criminal Justice Program director for the newly established undergraduate and graduate curriculum at Dallas Christian College in Dallas, Texas. Scott has more than 17 years of college and university teaching experience and is currently a tenured professor of criminal justice at the College of Southern Nevada. He is retired from a 25-year federal law enforcement career.

Jody Jensen Shaffer, ’86, had her newest picture book, “Creep, Leap, Crunch! A Food Chain Story,” released in December 2023 from Random House Children's Books. It has been named an Outstanding Science Trade Book for Students K-12 by the National Science Teaching Association.

2000s

Dr. Christopher Strelluf, ’02, edited the “Routledge Handbook of Sociophonetics.” It is the definitive guide to his area of research and includes 28 chapters written by 57 leading scholars of sociophonetics working across 16 countries and six continents. He also wrote the handbook’s introduction and coauthored a chapter on sociophonetics and Chinese. He resides in the United Kingdom working for the University of Warwick.

Kristen Ellis Johnson, ’05, was selected for the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity’s 2023 Pathfinders program through her work as an environmental attorney at Stinson LLC in Kansas City. The Pathfinders program is designed for attorneys considered to be emerging leaders within their organization and the legal profession.

Andrew Johnson, ’05, is the recipient a 2022-2024 studio residency at Charlotte Street Foundation in Kansas City. During his residency at Charlotte Street he has also received an Arts KC Inspiration Grant in support of his writing, as well as a Rocket Grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for his multimedia public art installation Closure Is Not Justice. His essays have recently appeared in The Sun, Commonweal and KC Studio Magazine.

Nick Ruble, ’05, of Lee’s Summit was promoted to partner at the law firm of Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice, LLC, where he serves as vice chair of the firm's Employment and Labor Practice Group.

Dr. Melissa (Guillory) Koonce, ’07, completed her Doctor of Musical Arts from Boston University. She is an orchestra teacher in the Independence (Missouri) School District.

Rebecca Dillon, ’08, was named the 2023 Teacher of the Year at Eureka (Missouri) High School, where she has taught for seven years. She is in her 15th year in education and completed a master’s degree in educational technology from Capella University in 2022.

Scott Hopson, ’09, was promoted to senior trust investment officer with Arvest Wealth Management in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. He joined the company in 2014 and holds the designations of Certified Trust and Fiduciary Advisor (CTFA) and Accredited Fiduciary Investment Manager (AFIM).

2010s

Jessica (Schwalm) Woodward, ’10, received the Atlas Award from her team at CACI, Inc. for her contributions as a geospatial analyst/Q.C. finalizer. She resides in Monument, Colorado.

Nick Griffin, ’12, is the new head football coach at Eldon (Missouri) High School. In his career, he has been on staff for teams that went to four conference championships, won two district titles, had an additional district title appearance, a state quarter-final appearance and a state semifinal appearance.

Kurt Webster, ’12, is the new offensive coordinator at Shawnee Mission Northwest (Kansas) High School. His previous football experience included being the head coach at Chapman (Kansas) High School, defensive coordinator and assistant coach at Shawnee Mission West.

2020s

Rachel Bell, ’22, is a policy analyst in Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s Government Affairs Division. Prior to this role, she was a constituent service coordinator.

Darby Lynn Slaughter, ’23, started the Master of Divinity program at Wake Forest University.

2023 Class Notes

  • 1940s

    Bill Luce, ’48, of Springfield is retired as a United States Air Force Lieutenant Colonel. He reports he turned 96 years old in September 2023 and is still going strong.

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  • 1950s

    Mary Lou (Riggs) Palmer, ’54, reports she’s nearly 91 years old with many wonderful memories of Jewell. She lives in Fernandina Beach, Florida, with her daughter.

    Dr. Robert Chow, ’59, and Rosalind (Kwok) Chow, ’60, live in Walnut Creek, California. Robert is a retired neurosurgeon and Rosalind is a retired laboratory technician.

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  • 1960s

    Bill Dreyer, ’60, received Jewell’s John F. Truex Award for Lifetime Service during Homecoming. He resides in San Antonio.

    Dr. Connie (Crank) Price, ’63, is enjoying retirement near her two sisters in Lawrence, Kansas. She sends classmates greetings on their 60th reunion best wishes to Jewell faculty, staff and students.

    Rev. Dave Nicholson, ’64, is taking life easy in New Berlin, Illinois. He is a retired hospital chaplain who is mostly concentrating on family but also helps churches that need occasional worship leadership or hospital visitation.

    Katy (Koller) Doran-McNamara, ’66, a widow since 2013 (Dr. J. Glen Doran, ’66), remarried in 2022 to Joseph B. McNamara. They reside in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

    Bill Lewis, ’67, has been retired from teaching high school special education and English in Florida since 2008. In 2004 he moved from Kansas City to central Florida west of Orlando.

    Phil Haverstick, ’68, and Dolores (Erskine) Haverstick, ’70, are enjoying living in a retirement community in Ashburn, Virginia.

    John Jackson, ’68, of Farmington is retired and recently returned from Warsaw, Poland, as part of a Future Leadership Foundation team hosting partners from 11 countries. FLF exists to help develop Christian leaders globally.

    David Michael, ’68, is a retired educator and resides in Gallatin.

    John O’Brien, ’69, of Independence is 82 and retired after working 45 years with two American airlines. TWA sent him to Saudi Arabia for 10 years to help start an airline and while there he met his wife of 45 years. On weekends, he taught computer science for 30 years at area community colleges and then spent weekends with his church feeding homeless people.

    Rick “Rabbi” Sherman, ’69, is a retired teacher and coach residing in New London, Connecticut. He was the Connecticut Wrestling Coach of the Year in 1998 and was inducted in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2005. Since retiring, he has become a big fan of women’s basketball, especially UConn, and has been battling health issues in recent years.

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  • 1970s

    Peggy (Arnold) Dominy, ’70, of Warrington, Pennsylvania, is retired and living with metastatic breast cancer.

    Jack “Red Jack” Hembree, ’70, is retired and lives in Grain Valley. He invites friends to look for him at football and basketball games to catch up.

    Kay (Harrison) Sealock, ’70, of Pittsfield, Illinois, is a retired teacher.

    Linda (Boswell) Tragesser, ’70, was appointed executive director at Southwest Illinois Metropolitan & Regional Planning Commission.

    Dr. Mark Luce, ’71, of Fayettevillle, North Carolina, Is retired from U.S. Army Special Operations Command.

    Sherry (Kennedy) Biron, ’72, retired in 2020. She and her husband spend January through March in Tucson, Arizona, and enjoy their home at the Lake of the Ozarks the rest of the year.

    Dennis Bunch, ’73, retired from full-time church ministry and from teaching at Liberty North High School (Missouri). He serves as a substitute teacher at Liberty North and helps with the athletic programs.

    Charleen (Shepard) Ayers, ’74, is still performing as a singer/actress and teaching voice at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas.

    Dr. Ollie Malone, Jr., ’75, of Plano, Texas, returned to his primary occupational passion as president of Olive Tree Associates, the organizational consulting firm he founded in 1993. For nearly seven years, he served as vice president of human resources at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

    Sarah (Gambill) Tipton, ’75, is a retired pharmacist. In 2020, she self-published a book, “Finding Truth in a World Full of Lies,” formatted as a 10-week Bible study (Amazon). She has been married to Bruce Tipton for 42 years, and they are enjoying life in San Diego County and traveling. They have one daughter.

    Kathy (Huston) Wiebe, ’75, has lived in Wichita, Kansas, since the ‘80s, currently serving as the director of marketing at Barclay College in Haviland. She also provides advertising and marketing for her husband, a serial entrepreneur in the aviation business. They have two daughters and gained three grandchildren last year.

    Steve Wilson, ’75, is president of Marriage Matters Now ministry and resides in McKinney, Texas.

    David Alonzo, ’76, of Kansas City, is retired. He is an elder at Central Presbyterian Church and is Jewell’s 2023 Distinguished Alumni Service Award recipient.

    Judy (Starks) Luxton, ’76, is retired. She was recently cast as Yente in “Fiddler on the Roof” at Springfield (Missouri) Little Theatre and also is playing Vernadette in “Sweet Delilah Swim Club” with Hide Tide Theatrical in Springfield.

    Peggy (Finley) Munroe, ’76, of Houstonia is retired. She helped turn a 100-year old barn on her family’s farm into an event space barn, Younger Finley Barn at Marshall Junction.

    Diana (Crain) Snowden Caraher, ’77, is retired and living in Kansas City. She recalls 50 years ago getting ready to move on campus and working at Worlds of Fun the first year it opened and also at Macy’s credit department downtown to support herself. She loved her years at Jewell, and sons, Jason Snowden, ’02, and Jeremy Snowden, ’05, and late husband Jon Snowden, ’98, are also alumni. 

    Debbie (Barr) Dumler, ’78, is retired and lives in Russell, Kansas.

    David Eshelman, ’78, taught in the Lee’s Summit School District for 10 years and then was a sales representative for Houghton Mifflin and McGraw-Hill for 20 years. He also taught at Truman High School (Independence) for two years and currently drives students for All Point Transportation in the Blue Valley (Kansas) School District.

    The Honorable Dr. Stephen Hemphill, ’78, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Jewell at 2023 Commencement. Retired from the State Department, his humanitarian and philanthropic efforts continue to take him around the globe, in support of Jewell students and organizations promoting peacebuilding, human rights, leadership and international relations. 

    Dr. Murray Jennex, ’78, was included Stanford/Elsevier's list of the top 2 percent of scientists in the world for the fourth straight year. He is a management information systems professor emeritus at San Diego State University and is a clinical professor of information systems at West Texas A&M.

    Steve Street, ’78, retired from Clayco as vice president in charge of higher education in January 2023. He and Fran (Cox) Street, ’79, reside in Mahomet, Illinois.

    Dave Zeiler, ’78, retired to Bradenton, Florida, after 22 years in the radio industry and 27 years as an attorney.

    Shawn Buller, ’79, retired five years ago after working 28 years at the Miami VA Medical Center as a Board Certified Music Therapist. He’s been a dancer with the physically integrated dance company Karen Peterson and Dancers for the past 18 years.

    Graham Houston, ’79, is employed by ALH Home Renovations. In October 2022 he moved to a part-time position as a first step toward retirement in 2024 and to spend more time with family. He says it has been a wonderful transition, allowing more time to support his brother who has Parkinson’s, love on his grandkids and expand opportunities for cycling.

    Jeff Ross, ’79, of Winchester, Kentucky, released a new book, "Next Step Devotions" (Amazon, Kindle). The collection of 366 discipleship lessons is based on passages from every New Testament chapter followed by prompts for spiritual growth.

    Patricia (Griffith) Wever, ’79, worked as a RN for 40 years at Hedrick Medical Center/ St. Luke’s Health Care System, Chillicothe, retiring in 2020. She married her high school sweetheart, Greg, and they celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary in July. They are blessed with a son, two daughters and four granddaughters

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  • 1980s

    Robin (Cox) Ankrom, ’80, is in her 44th and final year of teaching elementary music at Falls City (Nebraska) Public Schools.

    Mary (Cacioppo) Bittner, ’80, recently moved back to Kansas City after living in Arizona and Colorado since 1990. She is retired from IBM.

    Tom Wideman, ’80, of North Kansas City recently retired as resident coordinator at McCrite Plaza. He continues his work as a part-time chaplain in between travels with his wife, Sally (Burnidge) Wideman, ’80, and family, Jolee (Wideman) Miller, ’04, and Andrew Wideman, ’08.

    Dr. Dana (Mathany) Blalock, ’81, is a dentist and owner/founder of Sleep Better South Carolina in Charleston and is expanding to Bluffton.

    Dr. Jeff Buscher, ’81, received Central Seminary’s 2022 Alumni Award for Ministry Excellence. He was cited for exemplifying Central's goal of serving humanity, working for systemic change by partnering with others without regard for social, economic or faith status. Jeff serves as community impact coordinator for the United Way of Lewis & Clark Area in Helena, Montana. He earned his Doctor of Ministry at Central in 2016 while serving as Jewell's chaplain.

    Chris Hunter, ’81, of Farmington, New Mexico, is principal of Cornerstone Business Solutions, after a career in international electric utility and mining finance. Married 40 years, Chris and Katie have two grown daughters.  

    Byron Motley, ’81, is a producer of the documentary "The League" about the history and legacy of the Negro Baseball Leagues. The film has been accepted into the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City in June 2023 and will be released in various theaters nationwide in July and on major streaming platforms and networks, including Apple and Amazon. Motley has partnered with Academy Award winner Questlove, Mark Cuban and director Sam Pollard. The tales of Byron's late father, Bob Motley, Negro League umpire and Congressional Gold Medal Honoree, is featured in the documentary.

    Holley Powell Smothers, ’81, of Rocky Mount is still a National Board Certified Teacher and works for Pearson to score certification components, the assessment center component and maintenance of teacher certification. She also has a health and wellness business to help people over 40 live a healthy lifestyle as they age.

    Jeffrey Reed, ’82, of Marysville, Ohio, retired in 2021 after 35 years with BASF Corp. He now enjoys working part time at a farm-to-table.

    Stephanie (Craig) Whitehead, ’82, resides on a homestead where her family produces most of what they eat. She educated their daughter at home and has helped her self-employed husband with two successful businesses, the first a flower shop and greenhouses and, after retirement, a cleaning company. The are very active in their church and enjoy volunteering.

    Jim Kopp, ’83, received the 2023 Operator’s Meritorious Service Award from the Missouri Section of the American Water Works Association. He has dedicated his career to promoting and providing safe drinking water for the City of St. Louis Water Division, starting in 1986 as a chemist and now serving as laboratory director. 

    Dennis Parker, ’84, is retired after 32 years working for the IRS. He lives in Kansas City.

    Dr. Brad Carter, ’85, was named associate provost for outreach and engagement at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.

    John Tweeddale, ’88, was recognized by Yahoo finance and INvolve in 2020 and 2021 in the top 50 OUTstanding global executive allies. He serves as global executive sponsor for Pearson Spectrum and is on the board of directors for Greater Boston PFLAG.

    Kimberly (Bernard) Grebner, ’89, has been employed with Missouri State Technical Assistance Team since 2014 and a supervisor since 2019. STAT is a statewide special victims unit investigating crimes against children. In 2021 she was appointed to an FBI Child Exploitation Task Force in the Kansas City Field Office and assigned to the St. Joseph Resident Agency office.

    Jeff “Dupo” Hudson, ’89, has been in the car business for 32 years, currently as service manager at Honda of Tiffany Springs in Kansas City North. The Sigma Nu alumnus earned eight letters at Jewell in football and track and field and has held the discus school record since 1988.

    Mary Jane (Verderber) Leytham, ’89, married Rob Leytham, ’90, on June 10. She is employed with Main Street Financial and they reside in Kansas City.

    Doug Perry, ’89, founded Fellowship of the Martyrs as well as the Liberty Disaster Relief to care for needs in the community. He has written eight books and posted nearly 2,000 videos on YouTube.

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  • 1990s

    Dr. Susan Chambers, ’90, the retired executive vice president and chief people officer for Walmart Inc., received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from William Jewell in 2022. Her many professional and humanitarian efforts include mentoring women entrepreneurs in Africa, speaking on culture and community building, and leading nonprofits and educational boards.

    Rob Leytham, ’90, was named the 2022-23 Liberty Schools Support Employee of the Year in recognition of his effort as the CARE (Calming and Recovery Environment) room teacher at Ridgeview Elementary School. He recently published his ninth book, “The Feeling is Bright: Self-Regulation Through Rhythm and Rhyme.” He is certified in neuro-rhythmic trauma therapy and has been interviewed on podcasts across the country about his use of drumming, rhythm and mantras to teach self-regulation and social skills to elementary school children living in trauma.

    Ange (McMullin) Rush, ’90, of Lee’s Summit has worked for Sun Life (previously Assurant Employee Benefits and Fortis Benefits) for 25 years, currently in knowledge management. She assists with training, writing department guidelines and providing training for mainframe system enhancements. She looks forward to upcoming travels during her company- provided six-week sabbatical.

    Dr. Brian Still, ’90, was named vice provost for online learning at Texas Tech University. He previously served as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and chair of English. His son, Jack Still, is a 2021 Jewell alumnus and the Faculty Award Winner.

    Shara (Clevenger) Brice, ’91, of Shawnee, Kansas, is the executive director of Gift of Life.

    Rev. Bill Peters, ’91, joined the staff of Fellowship of Wildwood (Missouri) Church as the director of senior adult ministries.

    Kristi Soligo Fleshman, ’91, celebrated 25-plus years of selling real estate in the Kansas City area.

    Dr. Shannon Cate, ’92, began teaching 6th-12th grade English at the Ready Program, the Illinois Region 9 alternative school. She continues coaching academic writers, editing translations into English and tutoring Japanese clients learning English.

    Dr. James Dixson, ’92, opened his dental practice in Liberty 20 years ago. One of his four children, Gracie, is in her third year of the three-year nursing program at Jewell.

    Dr. Karen Seat, ’92, was named one of two inaugural recipients of the University of Arizona’s Distinguished Head/Director’s Award in 2022 and was conferred the title Distinguished Scholar. She is associate professor of religious studies, head of the Department of Religious Studies and Classics and director of the School of International Languages, Literatures and Cultures.

    Warner Bailey, ’93, is in his 12th year with the Boonville (Missouri) School District as the choir teacher for grades 6-12. He earned a Master of Music Education last year from the University of Missouri and received the Missouri Choral Directors Association Outstanding Director-West Central District Award in 2021.

    Lesa Marshall, ’93, is a nurse on the Cardio Progressive Care Unit at University of Kansas Health System.

    Ed Moore, ’93, of Minnetrista, Minnesota, was recently promoted to AVP of Security - Identity and Access Management for Carnival Corporation.

    Dr. Larry Wigger, Jr., ’93, was awarded a Ph.D. in Economics from University of Missouri-Kansas City with a Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics.

    Todd Barton, ’95, celebrated five years as minister of music at First Christian Church of Kearney.

    Andrea Brandes Newsom, ’95, was recently named senior associate general counsel at Indiana University. She and her husband, Adam, reside in Indianapolis.

    Jerry Nixon, ’95, became a senior product manager for Microsoft SQL Server. He teaches computer science at Colorado Christian University in Denver where he and his wife Kyndall (Van Eaton) Nixon, ’95, live with their youngest daughter, Jeri Anna Jewell Nixon. He also runs one of the longest running and most successful tech events in Colorado, Denver Dev Day, for software developers.

    Dewayne Gandy, ’97, of Springfield is president of Falcon Broadcasting.

    Dr. Randy Oliver, ’97, was named principal at Joplin High School for the 2023-2024 year. He most recently served as an associate principal at Van Horn High School in Independence where he was named Missouri Assistant Principal of the Year and finalist for NASSP National Assistant Principal of the Year in 2022.

    Sara (McClung) Ross, ’98, is in her 13th year as the library media specialist at Dogwood Elementary in Kearney.

    Brian Webster, ’98, was named assistant principal for Kearney Middle School for 2022-2023. He has taught math and science at the school for more than 15 years.

    Joy Painter Harvey, ’99, is the coordinator of library services for the Lincoln (Nebraska) Public Schools. She previously taught special education.

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  • 2000s

    Dr. Kevin Boyd, ’00, joined the Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse, Wisconsin, in 2021 as a dermatopathologist and pediatric dermatologist.

    Kristen (Vibbert) Jenkins, ’00, has worked as a program manager with Tetra Tech for 15 years. She lives in northern Virginia with her husband, Ryan, and children, Anya and Braiden. They celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary in the fall with a trip to Italy.

    Jana (Litecka) Magnuson, ’01, started an accounting consulting firm, APT Consulting LLC, in Kansas City after 20 years in corporate accounting.

    Zach Smith, ’01, and his FIJI pledge class celebrated their Silver Owl (25 years of membership) in April at the Zeta Phi Chapter House. The annual Pig Dinner took place on the 175th anniversary of the fraternity’s founding. He resides in Denver, Colorado.

    Dr. Brooke Whitworth, ’01, received the Outstanding Science Teacher Educator of the Year Award (Level 1: 0-10 Years Experience) from the Association of Science Teacher Education in January 2023, and in March received the National Science Teaching Association Fellow Award. Whitworth is an associate professor in science education at Clemson University. 

    Justin Wenger, ’02, finished his 10-year career as the head baseball coach at Rockbridge County (Virginia) High School. He serves as the senior director of engagement for Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc., where he was been employed since 2002. He and his wife, Lauren, continue to live in Rockbridge County with their four children Aubrey (13), Madilyn (8), Colson (5) and Lincoln (2).

    Dr. Martha (Ziegler) Carletti, ’03, was named the 2023 Distinguished Educator of the Year at Benedictine College (Atchison, Kansas) where she is an associate professor of biology.

    Eric Bunch, ’04, was re-elected to a second term on the Kansas City, Missouri, City Council in June 2023. He and his wife, Kaitlyn, live in Midtown with their children, Liam (10), Vivian (6) and Helen (6).

    Mandy Yeates, ’04, and her family have returned to Kansas City after 10 years in Denver, Colorado, and she looks forward to reconnecting with Jewell friends. She is employed by HCA Midwest Health.

    Brandon Buhlig, ’05, is a senior infrastructure engineer at H&R Block in Kansas City.

    Anthony Shop, ’05, saw the digital marketing agency he co-founded, Social Driver, receive the Marketing and Communications Firm of the Year award from the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency. His business is based in Washington, D.C., with four additional offices across the nation.

    Dr. Kevin Uhrich, ’05, completed his Doctor of Ministry in Worship Leadership from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City. His doctoral project was titled "Developing a discipleship methodology to equip Concord Baptist Church of the need for intergenerational worship according to biblical principles." Kevin is the associate pastor of church music and worship arts at Concord Baptist Church in Anderson, South Carolina.

    Tom Eisenhauer, ’06, of Liberty recently accepted a new role with Strickland Construction working in project development and construction sales.

    Heather Jones-Brown, ’06, was promoted to the assistant chief diversity officer for staff equity at Grinnell College (Iowa). She also was awarded the President's Volunteer Service Lifetime Achievement Award for performing 4,000 hours or more unpaid acts of volunteer service.

    Dr. Joshua Hastey, ’07, assistant professor in the Robertson School of Government at Regent University, had his first academic book published with Routledge Press. "China, Faits Accomplis and the Contest for East Asia: The Shadow of Shifting Power" explores China's use of faits accomplis and offers the first formal model for the use of faits accomplis by rising powers.

    Shawn James, ’07, and Andrea (de Regnier) James, ’07, welcomed a third daughter, Kiernan Ivy, on July 12, 2023. Shawn works as a clinical dietitian for Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, and Andrea is an elementary music teacher for the Girard, Kansas, school district. They reside in Pittsburg, Kansas, with their two other daughters, Viola and Elsie.

    Trent Figg, ’08, was named Calvin University's first head football coach in 2023 as the school adds football to its lineup for competition in fall 2024. In his first stint as head coach, he has collegiate coaching experience as Southern Arkansas, Jewell, Missouri State, Hawaii and Oregon.

    Vanessa (Ayers) Thomson, ’08, was the only teacher in Missouri to be named a Milken Educator by the Milken Family Foundation. The award, which includes an unrestricted $25,000 cash prize, honors early- to mid-career education professionals for their achievements. Vanessa teaches second grade in North Kansas City Schools and in 2021 was one of six Regional Teachers of the Year for Kansas City.

    Scott Hopson, ’09, earned the Certified Trust and Fiduciary Advisor (CTFA) certification. He has been part of Arvest Wealth Management in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, since 2014

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  • 2010s

    Ashton Botts, ’10, serves as senior manager of contracts at Perceptyx, Inc., and is an actor and director in Kansas City, represented by Moxie Talent Agency.

    Krysten (Waeckerle) Olson, ’10, works for the Greater Kansas City Coalition to End Homelessness.

    Laura (Andreas) Behler, ’11, and her husband started Saint Giles Christian Academy in Leavenworth, Kansas, where she serves as the school nurse and a teacher. The couple has four children and reside in Leavenworth.

    Sarah (Barlow) Broughton, ’11, and Jared Broughton, ’11, reside in Lee’s Summit and welcomed their second child, Stevie June, on May 16, 2023. Sarah is employed by Saint Luke’s Physician’s Group.

    Rev. Abby Pratt, ’11, is a family services coordinator at Midwest Transplant Network.  She resides in Liberty.

    Jason Massey, ’13, was appointed partner of Assurance Services at Weaver & Tidwell LLP, a Texas-based national accounting firm. A CPA, Jason focuses on audit services within the alternative investments and financial services industries.

    Drew Mitrisin, ’13, was recently elected to the City Council in Overland Park, Kansas, representing Ward 2. Overland Park is the second largest city in Kansas.

    Dr. Edward Scott, Jr., ’13, received the American Psychological Association Distinguished Dissertation in Qualitative Inquiry Award. He completed a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology: Applied Developmental Science at the University of Virginia and accepted a tenure-track faculty position as assistant professor of social work at the University of Houston, Graduate College of Social Work.

    Chris Stathos, ’14, was promoted to director of partnership development for the Kansas City Chiefs. He completed his ninth National Football League season with the Chiefs and has been with the club's partnership team since graduating from Jewell.

    Annie Birzer, ’15, is a nurse in Interventional Radiology at University of Kansas Health System. She is married and has a baby, Daisy.

    Hailey Hankins, ’15 and M.S.Ed. ’20, was named the Independence School District Teacher of the Year. She was selected by a panel of community members who interviewed all 29 Teachers of the Year from each school in the district. Hailey teaches 5th grade at Fairmount Elementary and is currently working on a second master’s degree in elementary math.

    James Milam, ’15, has been promoted to a human capital senior consultant in Deloitte’s Government and Public Services practice. He began his career with Deloitte in 2019 after earning an MBA from William & Mary. In October 2022 he and Sara Thane were married in Montana and now reside in Nashville.

    Dr. Ruonan Zhao, ’15, completed a Ph.D. in Anatomy and Cell Biology from the University of Kansas Medical Center.

    Emily Daniel, ’16, is one of 15 doctoral students selected to receive the University of Kansas’ prestigious Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellowship, a fully-funded four-year award. She is a first-year doctoral student in biomedical science.

    Stella (Wilson) Seitz, ’16, of Oklahoma City is employed by United Health Care and was named a member of the Nextgen Under 30 Oklahoma in 2021.

    Gretchen Britt, ’17, has been a registered nurse for 20 years and now serves as vice president of information technology at Liberty Hospital.

    Marissa (Brackman) Decker, ’17, has been working as an ICU nurse since graduating. She and her husband, Matthew reside in Overland Park, Kansas, and just welcomed a son.

    Dr. Larissa Dougherty, ’17, completed a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from Dartmouth College in June 2023.

    Madeline Douglas, ’17, was appointed to the Biden-Harris administration as the director of scheduling for Education Secretary Miguel Cardona in February.

    Ariel Hutcheon, ’17, of Virginia completed a master’s in clinic mental counseling in 2020 and is now completing a Ph.D. and residency of counseling.

    Emmeline Talbot, ’17, is an occupational therapist with Veteran Affairs and lives in Medford, Oregon.

    Dr. Aaron Brake, ’18, graduated from the University of Kansas Medical Center (M.D.) and began his residency in neurology at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

    Mykayla Moeschen, ’19, graduated with a Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner, from Rockhurst University and began working as a nurse practitioner in oncology at Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City in May. She welcomed a son on Jan. 1, 2022.

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  • 2020s

    Christina Vogler, ’20, is in her fourth year of teaching at Maple Park Middle School and Winnetonka High School (North Kansas City District). She is a proud member of Cardinalis, Jewell’s professional choir, and worked with Youth Chorus of Kansas City for three years as an assistant director and music director for various local musicals. She is active in her church and in church music in Kansas City and will soon be starting a master’s degree in biblical counseling.

    Logan Peterson, ’22, completed her nurse residency at KU Medical Center in July and got married this fall.

    Miriam Allen, ’23, was accepted to the Washington University (St. Louis) Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

    Kaci Behrens, ’23, was accepted to the Des Moines University Doctor of Occupational Therapy program.

    Morgan Brown, ’23, serves as an events coordinator for Stanley M. Herzog Charitable Foundation in Smithville.

    Jayme Coon, ’23, serves as an analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

    Maxwell DeMint, ’23, was recently hired at Meara Welch Browne as an accountant.

    Kaley Drewry, ’23, was accepted to Washburn University School of Law for fall 2023.

    Kaitlin Edwards, ’23, works as an environmental science and agriculture instructor at Summit Technology Academy in Lee's Summit.

    Jason Emerson, ’23, was hired by Northrop Grumman as a subcontractor specialist in Melbourne, Florida.

    Eli Engledow, ’23, is pursuing his M.D. the University of Washington School of Medicine at Spokane.

    Grace Faulkner, ’23, was accepted into the William Jewell College Master of Arts in Teaching program.

    Zoe Foreman, ’23, is a caseworker at Comprehensive Mental Health Services in Kansas City.

    Gabrielle Fournier, ’23, teaches English to students ages 5-12 in Spain through the North American Language and Culture Assistants Program.

    Alyssa Hash, ’23, was accepted into the chemistry graduate program at Texas A&M.

    Alexandra Herring, ’23, was accepted to the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.

    Brandon Homan, ’23, was hired as a coastal engineer for Freese and Nichols in New Orleans, Louisiana.

    Carlos Lopez, ’23, was hired by Grant Thornton LLP Kansas City as a tax associate.

    Carly Mantia, ’23, was accepted to the D.O. program at Kansas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Wichita.

    Jolee McMullin, ’23, works as a neonatal ICU RN at Children’s Mercy Hospital Kansas City.

    Olga Morales, ’23, was accepted to University of Kansas where she will get a master’s in journalism and mass communications.

    Cynthia Petrosino, ’23, was hired by the Social Security Administration in Kansas City as a legal assistant.

    Grace Pierce, ’23, is a RN in the progressive care unit at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio.

    Meghan Schneider, ’23, was hired by the Keyence Corporation of America as a sales engineering in the Kansas City office.

    Caroline Staebell, ’23, was hired by Travelers Insurance in Overland Park, Kansas, as a claims adjuster.

    Kari Tott, ’23, teaches second grade in the Excelsior Springs School District.

    Morgan Tuttle, ’23, will complete an MLitt in Playwriting and Dramaturgy at the University of Glasgow.

    Kathryn Wagenheim, ’23, was accepted to the University of Kansas Medical Center Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

    Elizabeth Wilson, ’23, is pursuing a Master of Information Science degree through University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

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