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CollegiateLife Alumni Newsletter


2012-2013 Head of School’s Year in Review By Mary Beth Marchiony It’s been fun reminiscing about the wonderful 2012 – 2013 school year we had at Topeka Collegiate. Our students, faculty and staff, alumni and families all contributed to a year of accomplishments and growth for our school and our students. Our ongoing success is the result of the dedication and loyalty of so many people. I am reminded daily of how fortunate we all are to be part of this treasure in the city of Topeka! Our Core Competencies give us direction; they outline for us what we want our graduates to look like when their time with us is completed. These competencies shape our curriculum and guide all the work students, teachers, staff, and families do together in the school. I’d like to share with you some wonderful examples of what we did together this past year to develop these competencies in our students. Topeka Collegiate students become. . . (Continued on page 3)

Topeka Collegiate

est. 1982


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2013 Congratulations and Thank You!

(Photo: Nathan Ham)

Jett and Tim Elmer -2-

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Life-long Learners: Our graduates are curious, self-motivated, and have a passion for learning. Our students become accomplished writers during their time at Collegiate. Tyler Swaffar (7th grade) won the Learning Quest essay contest last year. Korbin Kido, Mia Lee, India MacDonald, Chris Gernon and Dalton Van Aalst won five of the six prizes in the Martin Luther King “I Have a Dream” essay contest. We don’t know what content knowledge they will need in the future, but we know they will be ready to take risks and be learners. We had lower school students win the school Spelling Bee and Geography Bee. Sho Glashausser (4th grade) placed 3rd in the Shawnee County Spelling Bee and Joseph Hawker (5th grade) represented Collegiate at the State Geography Bee. The SUMday competition was a Collegiate success story: Our students won 16 medals. In Math Olympiad we had students win two gold pins and two silver pins for their work during the year. One 6th grader (Kai Glashausser) placed third among all 6th graders in the state. Of course our math students relished the opportunity to celebrate Pi Day on 3/14! Leaders: Our graduates lead by example and motivate people to unite, collaborate, and make informed and ethical choices. They are confident in who they are and their role in the world. Our STUCO students had a year full of activities and success. They hosted a Lock In, which nearly 50 middle school students attended. In October they wore pink and hosted a morning meeting for their peers to promote Breast Cancer Awareness. The 8th grade worked with Anne Courtney in the fall on the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens. We honored our studentathletes in the spring at a year-end program. They learned from former student-athlete and current TCS parent Elmer Robinson how athletics builds character and leadership skills. Humanitarians: Our graduates are culturally aware, empathetic, and are compelled to act on issues of social concern. They appreciate diversity in the community and demonstrate concern for the well-being of all people Collegiate 7th graders spent time at Heifer International in the Global Village. They hosted a simple supper to describe for the community the experience and the work Heifer is doing in the world. Two members of the class also described the program and its impact to the members of the South Topeka Rotary this fall. Throughout the year we have examples of students working for the good of others in our community. The Pre-K sent 45 blankets to the Rescue Mission and -3-

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the 1st graders donated 65 sets of pajamas as a result of their PJ Day. The 2nd grade class collected 83,622 pop tabs (66 pounds) and donated them to the Ronald McDonald House. The 4th grade donated $1,077 to UNICEF, raised with a bake sale and through Trickor-Treating for UNICEF. Our middle school students created a human billboard for the Great American Smoke Out. Throughout the year we partnered with Landon Middle School’s “In a Pinch” program and collected food for Landon students who are foodinsecure. All our students were fortunate to be able to learn about the work two alumni are doing. Chase Hamilton ’03 and Aly Woodbury ’03 visited to describe their work in Africa and South America. Innovators: Our graduates are creative visionaries who are connected and engaged in the issues and trends that shape our future. Our science students competed in school-wide and state science fair competitions. Edward Baker (7th grade) won 1st place in physics and Charlie Lathrop-Allen won 3rd place in zoology at the state competition. Our second graders created innovative approaches to their rockets to see who could launch it the farthest! Technologists: Our graduates possess the skills and ability to adapt to the rapidly changing technological environment Thanks to the generous support of school donors, our 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds now have iPad minis for use in their classrooms. This summer our campus became wireless— giving us increased opportunities for research. Our faculty had the opportunity to work with the Director of Education Technology from Catherine Cook School in Chicago this summer to learn how to utilize this new technology in the classrooms. Critical Thinkers: Our graduates develop the ability to find and think critically about information. They can synthesize and analyze information from a variety of sources, and have facility with ideas and abstractions. We hear from graduates that History Day is one of the most lasting intellectual experiences of their Collegiate career. Once again we had students compete at the state, regional and national level of National -4-

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History Day. We had five students place 1st or 2nd at State. Adam Cole, Chris Gernon, Amber Schmidt, Kevin Bethea and Tyler Swaffar earned the right to compete at Nationals this summer at the University of Maryland. Our MATHCOUNTS team placed 4th at the chapter competition and Kai Glashausser was 8th as an individual.

Collaborators: Our graduates have excellent interpersonal skills so they can work with others effectively to accomplish common goals. Ms. Baldwin took a group of students and their families on a herpetology field trip to collect samples. She also took the 5th grade to Hidden Pond’s Stone Nature Center to gather data on galls for Kansas State University. Our 3rd graders again researched the rainforest. Along with their families, they traveled to Omaha to visit the zoo. They worked together to create their own rainforest and became docents for visitors on Earth Night. This year we introduced an After School Adventures class in band. A group of students worked together to give two concerts during the school year. Our production of The Music Man Jr. brought together most of the middle school students in a wonderful rendition of this time-honored classic. Communicators: Our graduates express themselves effectively and confidently in speaking and writing, in a variety of forms and to a variety of audiences. The 8th graders participated in the White House Decision Center at the Truman Library. They presented their plan for the end of the war in Japan. They also participated in Model UN. Throughout the year, our students showcased communication skills through the arts. A group of middle school students placed 5th at the Music Memory contest at Kansas State University. Seven students earned Superior ratings at the Fine Arts Festival, and members of the choir sang in venues throughout Topeka in December. Developing communication skills were on display throughout the year as students in each grade presented their class assemblies. Our 8th grade Coffee House was filled with poignant moments and fond recollections of their First Grade Poetry Tea, presented again this year by the first grade class.


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Citizens of the World: Our graduates understand the world’s geography, history, culture, and current issues from multiple perspectives. They interact respectfully and responsibly with people within our nation and around the world In the spring of 2013 we hosted Peace Corps Day. We had volunteers who served around the world, from Nicaragua to South Korea and West Africa, with us to describe their experiences. Our second graders again hosted the Feast of Nations. Our Kindergarten students explored Africa, Asia and Australia in their weekly units. Our 5th graders hosted adults from TARC on May Day. Michael Einspahr ’10 spoke to our students in the spring about his Eagle Scout project. He installed a Peace Pole at Collegiate, part of a world-wide project promoting peace. These are just a few of the many exciting moments of the past year. We are fortunate to have incredible faculty members who inspire children every day to develop these nine Core Competencies. The tradition of excellence continues and makes Collegiate an exceptional school where children “Experience the Difference” throughout their careers here. I encourage you to follow us on Facebook and check the school’s website ( frequently for news and updates about life on campus. We love having alumni return to visit. Come share your expertise with us as Aly and Chase did last year. As always, we thank you for all you do to make Topeka Collegiate an extraordinary school.


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Ahoy! TCS Eagles Reach Safe Harbor With a grateful salute to our Come Sail Away Auction Co-Captains, Lovica Pourmirza and Brandi Wells (pictured with Board President Michel’ Cole and Head of School Mary Beth Marchiony), we are happy to report that our ship, the TCS Eagles, made it into port with auction proceeds exceeding our goal. Thank you to Jett and Tim Elmer (with daughter Stacy ‘95) for letting us honor their three decades of leadership and commitment to our school. They are the second couple to be honored as inductees into the Topeka Collegiate Hall of Fame. Daughter Bridget ’91 couldn’t be at the auction, but sent her parents a video tribute, as did old friends including former Head of School Michael Roberts, former Board President Bob Ihrie and U.S. Health and Human Services Director Kathleen Sebelius. We appreciate those who attended, those who couldn’t come but supported the event in other ways, and all those who worked so hard to make the evening a success. One of the highlights of the auction came when language arts teacher John MacDonald, a KU fan, offered the opportunity to ride with him at K-State’s popular Harley Day. Lucky winner Adam Cole ’13 rode with Mr. Mac on a perfect fall day in October with the roar of the Harleys and the roar of the crowd in their ears.


(Photos: Caitlin Seals Schwanke ‘03)

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A Question of Innocence The Innocence Project is a non-profit legal clinic dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people through DNA testing, and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice. Law students like Amelia Maxfield ’02 (center), in her second year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School, handle case work while supervised by a team of attorneys and clinic staff.

Amelia Maxfield ‘02 thinks nothing of walking into a maximum security prison to talk with convicted murderers and rapists. She does it at least once a week as part of her work with the Innocence Project. Amelia and other law students work to investigate claims of innocence from people for whom they represent the last chance at exoneration. Most of their clients are poor, forgotten, and have used up all legal avenues for relief. The Innocence Project clinic can take only a fraction of the hundreds of cases that are filed. Most are murder or sexual assault cases where the hope is that biological evidence still exists and can be subjected to DNA testing. Some cases involve areas where the science has advanced since the original trials - Shaken Baby Syndrome and arson, for example - providing possible grounds for new trials. All cases must meet one test: Is the convicted person innocent? “We have to be convinced of their innocence,” Amelia says. “It can’t be a lack of due process, or a technicality. It has to be ‘You’ve got the wrong guy.’” And there has to be an avenue for legal relief. “I believe some clients are innocent, but their legal options are already exhausted.” Amelia and her partner are working on nine cases. All but one of their clients are serving life sentences. Each case is at a different stage; screening, tracking down witnesses, investigating, drafting motions. Amelia is preparing a motion to be heard in January arguing that the court should review the evidence in a client’s case. -8-

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Many of the Innocence Project’s clients settle for plea deals. It’s not ideal, Amelia says, but if they are given the option of immediate release or staying in prison while fighting the injustice, they often choose freedom. “I’d probably do the same,” she admits. Every once in a while, clients are exonerated and released from prison. Of one such case, Amelia says, “The judge didn’t even apologize. We had to buy clothes for the man. Exonerees get even less support than felons released after parole. And it’s really hard for someone who’s wrongfully imprisoned to sue the state.” The Innocence Project is working on legislation to change that. “I feel like I’m really making a difference in individual clients’ lives,” says Amelia. “We’re exposing endemic, systemic problems. We’re having an impact on the legal justice system as a whole. I could do this for the rest of my career.” Whatever kind of law she eventually practices, Amelia is grateful for the real-life experience. “It’s not for some class, it affects someone’s life,” she says, “which gives me confidence and will make me a better attorney.” She won’t forget her clients. “Two of my current clients dropped out of school in the ninth grade, grew up with gang violence, were swept up in police lineups for youth crimes. But they’re resilient. I’d probably just give up and be really angry. But they’re leading productive lives in prison, getting an education. They haven’t given up when everything is stacked against them. They’ve resolved to keep working. That’s something I’ll hold on to.”

Leading the Way

Members Randall Bowman

2013-2014 Board of Trustees

Kathy Damron Jill Dykes, Esq.

President Richard J. Wells

Mary W. Etzel


Timothy Liesmann, Esq. ‘95

Jodi Boyd

Raghu Malay

Brandan Kennedy, MD

Madan Rattan


Elmer Robinson

Susan H. Garlinghouse

John Sorrenti


Anita Valdivida

Payam Pourmirza

Stephanie Valley Robin Wolgast

Past President Michel’ Philipp Cole

Head of School Mary Beth Marchiony -9-

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Leading from the Front By Blake Whitaker ‘98 Blake Whitaker ’98 (left) is a captain in the US Army Reserve and works as a Senior Academic Advisor at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. It was August 5, 2012, a Sunday morning. I had been working late nights all week at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. My slumber was interrupted when I received a call at 5:00 a.m. from my best friend’s mom. I knew that no one calls at five in the morning with good news. Richie Kent (T) ‘98, my best friend since we were both in Pre-K at Shawnee Country Day School (now Topeka Collegiate), was serving in Afghanistan as an infantry platoon leader. Cathy Kent told me Richie had been wounded and would be on his way home from Afghanistan soon. Richie had been leading his soldiers on a patrol through a village in a very hostile area. Being the type of officer he is, Richie was leading from the front. In one fateful instant, his life changed when he stepped on a well-concealed Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Richie sat up to discover his right leg had been traumatically amputated just below the knee and that he had sustained significant damage to his right arm and his left calf. He did not panic; he confronted the situation with calmness, comforting his soldiers and assisting in his own care. Over the next days and weeks, Richie went through a series of surgeries and hospital transfers going from Afghanistan to Germany to San Antonio. When I finally got to see my friend in an intensive care unit in San Antonio, he was improving but still had a long road ahead of him. What was immediately clear was that he did not intend to let his injuries limit him at all. Since that point, Richie has been scuba diving, skydiving, skiing, and much more, proving to both himself and others that he can still take part in all of those hobbies he enjoyed so much before he was injured. He has made it clear to me that he simply focuses on moving forward with his life. He has been my example of mental toughness. Less than two months after Richie’s injury, my father passed away. Against the advice of his doctors, Richie travelled to Kansas, and was there to support my family and me through the ordeal. In the face of challenges that would destroy other people, Richie has emerged as an example to his fellow soldiers and those outside the military of how we do not have to let the tragedies in our lives define us.

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Less than a year after his injury, Richie was standing next to me on my wedding day as my best man. Richie plans on staying in the Army and continuing to serve his country. He is considering a career in military medicine, hoping to care for soldiers just as he was cared for. Not only is Richie’s story one of resiliency but it is one of selfless service. So many gifted young people are presented with so many opportunities to be successful that they often overlook those in public service because they are dangerous or do not pay as well as those in the private sector. Richie’s story is not a cautionary tale about military service; rather it is one that demonstrates that we need committed, determined, and intelligent young people to step up, and like Richie, lead from the front.

9 8 76 5 4 3 2 1 0 BY THE N UMBE RS 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9




of the class of 2009 is attending college

of the class of 2009 won scholarships to their college of choice

of the class of 2009 were honored by the National Merit Scholorship Program

12% of the class of 2009 (3 of 21) are Kansas Governor’s Scholars (Top 1%)

3 of the 5 all-school officers at Washburn Rural High School are TCS alums

5 consecutive Topeka High valedictorians have been TCS alums

14% of the class of 2010 are National Merit Semifinalists

Topeka Collegiate alumni represent 2% of Topeka-area high school seniors, yet they make up 25% of National Merit Finalists - 11 -

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Alum Works to Improve Lives Chase Hamilton ’03 (right) was a college student on vacation with his family in Peru when his life changed forever. “It was my first time witnessing truly gripping poverty,” he says. “I remember thinking, ‘I have to get back here.’” Chase did return, volunteering with medical aid organizations over the next several years but he became frustrated with the Band-Aid approach, however well-intentioned. In 2011, Chase formed his own non-profit, the Coalition for Global Community Health, or CGCHealth, which seeks to address the root problems of health issues in the Peruvian Amazon. As Chase explained to the Lawrence Journal-World, “The group conducted a needs assessment and discovered that water contamination was community members’ greatest concern. CGCHealth works primarily with the city of Belén, Peru, where 50,000 people live in shacks built on large stilts or floating logs to withstand yearly 15to 25-foot flooding. And while it might seem contradictory for a community with so much extra water, almost 98 percent of Belén residents don’t have access to clean water.” “The rise of diarrhea and other gastrointestinal diseases there is really devastating,” Hamilton says. “One hundred seventy-six of every 1,000 children will die before they’re five, and 30 percent of those deaths are caused by problems linked to contaminated water.” To combat the problem, CGCHealth researched effective, inexpensive water filtration systems. This summer, Chase led a group of three KU undergraduates and one medical student on a five-week health education and clean water initiative. Families seeking help for illnesses caused by drinking contaminated water were offered a four-day health education course taught by the KU students and Peruvian medical students. At the end of the course, participants were given a water filter. CGCHealth was able to provide clean water solutions to 80 families and more than 450 people. During his three-month stay in Peru, Chase spent time in the homes of people he worked with, and hired two of them who are now working to advance CGCHealth’s goals while Chase and his team are back in the US. As a result of sharing local cuisine, Chase was hospitalized for four days, diagnosed with two intestinal parasites. Although the government hospitals were on strike, he was able to receive treatment at a private hospital. Chase is currently in the US, raising money for the non-profit that has become his passion, and applying to medical schools. In March, he will return to the Peruvian Amazon to begin another clean water and health education initiative. You can learn more about CGCHealth at - 12 -

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Class of 2009 Makes its Mark Cain Mathis was named a National Merit Finalist, putting him in the top tier (less than one percent) of the nation’s high school seniors. He also kept a streak alive as the fifth consecutive Topeka Collegiate alum to become Topeka High School’s valedictorian. In his commencement speech, Cain said “Topeka High has given thousands of students, from greatly varied backgrounds, the opportunity to succeed in any field. In the years ahead, I encourage you to find places like Topeka High where you can continue to perfect your individual talents. Find an atmosphere that lays the opportunity to succeed at your feet and asks: To what lengths are you willing to go in order to achieve your goals?” Cain is a Kansas Governor’s Scholar (top 1%), one of three in the TCS class of 2009, and Topeka Capital-Journal’s AllState Academic Team Honorable Mention. Cain accepted a fellowship to study at New York University’s Abu Dhabi campus in the United Arab Emirates, where he’s majoring in economics and Arabic. Luke Miltz was elected student body president at Washburn Rural High School and was honored with the McElroy Award at graduation. In his acceptance speech, Luke challenged his classmates: “Do not limit your interactions with the people you meet by the way you stereotype their character (not even that redheaded kid who sings in the hallway and wears those orange pants.) More importantly, do not let your own potential be limited by the way people stereotype your character.” Luke won academic and vocal scholarships at Baker University, where he is a freshman. Cody James and Alix Welch were honored as National Merit Commended students, putting them in the top 5% of high school seniors. Cody is a Shawnee Heights High School honors graduate, and won academic scholarships to the University of Kansas, where he is a freshman in the Honors Program. Alix graduated with honors from Washburn Rural High School and earned academic scholarships. She is a freshman at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Joe Vosburgh was elected senior class president at Topeka High School. He was named a Kansas Governor’s Scholar (top 1%), graduated with superior honors and earned academic scholarships. His college choice is Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Christine Ebeling was honored as a Kansas Governor’s Scholar (top 1%). She graduated with superior honors from Topeka High, with academic and music scholarships, and is now a freshman at Oklahoma City University.

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Class of 2009 College Choices and Scholarships

Congratulations! 76% of the Class of 2009 won scholarships to the colleges of their choice. (Photo: Nathan Ham) Blair Armstrong University of Kansas: Lawrence

Academic Scholarship – New York University

Academic Scholarship – University of Kansas

Friends of the Topeka High Library Scholarship

Megan Beard

Cody James

University of Alabama: Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Ryan Brinker University of Kansas: Lawrence

Christine Ebeling Oklahoma City University: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

University of Kansas: Lawrence Academic Scholarships – University of Kansas

Connor Kean Washburn University: Topeka Desmond Scholarship – Washburn University

Manuel Pusitz Scholarship

Garvey Scholarship – Washburn University

Katherine “Kem” McHugh Scholarship

Edwin Linquist

Academic Scholarship – Oklahoma City University

Bailey Evans

The Kings College: New York, New York Presidential Scholarship – The Kings College

Cain Mathis New York University: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi Fellowship – New York University National Merit Scholarship National Merit Scholarship – University of Texas-Dallas National Merit Finalist Scholarship – University of Alabama National Merit Scholarship – University of Houston Patterson Scholarship – University of Kentucky Henry J. Putnam Scholarship – Kansas State University

Riley Mickelsen Kansas State University: Manhattan Pepsi Scholarship Foundation Scholarship – Kansas State University

New York University: New York, New York - 14 -

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Manuel Pusitz Scholarship

Natalie Shinn

Crimson and Blue Scholarship – University of Kansas

Washburn University: Topeka

Topeka Alumnae Panhellenic Scholarship

Academic Scholarship – Washburn University Theater Scholarship – Washburn University

Luke Miltz Baker University: Baldwin City

Sam Tillona

Presidential Scholarship – Baker University

Fitchburg State University: Fitchburg, Massachusetts

Academic Scholarship – Baker University

John and Abigail Adams Scholarship – Fitchburg State University

Choral Scholarship – Baker University Grainger NMSC Corporate Scholarship

Joe Vosburgh

Mackenzie Morrison

Duke University: Durham, North Carolina

University of Kansas: Lawrence

Chancellor’s Scholarship – University of Kansas

Annabel Pringle Scholarship Leadership Scholarship – Kansas State University

Alix Welch Georgetown University: Washington DC

Noah Oswald

Academic Scholarships

Washburn University: Topeka

Hannah Wilson

Meredith Ricks

University of Kansas: Lawrence

Niagara University: Lewiston, New York

Crimson and Blue Scholarship – University of Kansas

Athletic Scholarship – Niagara University

Anne Wyre

Devin Rot

University of Kansas: Lawrence

Emporia State University: Emporia

Provost Scholarship – University of Kentucky

Eversole Memorial Scholarship

Foundation of Excellence Scholarship – University of Alabama

Cooper Self

Crimson and Blue Scholarship – University of Kansas

Midland University: Fremont, Nebraska Scholar Athlete Scholarship – Midland University

Marshall Sheetz Manhattan Area Technical College: Manhattan

Chris Shields University of Kansas: Lawrence

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Class Notes

(T) indicates students who transferred before graduation.


Tim Snarr moved back to Topeka from Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and daughter Grace. Tim’s job allows him to work from virtually anywhere, so the family chose to return to Tim’s hometown with its more leisurely pace.


Nick Twemlow (T) is a writer and filmmaker who lives in Iowa City. Nick Twemlow (T) with Mrs. Hoyt Twenty-eight years ago, he was a middle school student at Topeka Collegiate. Back in Topeka for the recent Kansas Book Festival, which featured his book of poetry Palm Trees, he stopped by to speak with 5th through 8th graders about poetry and the creative process, and was reunited with his Middle School Math Teacher Phyllis Hoyt. He signed a copy of his book for the library, describing TCS as “one of my favorite places.”


Jody Snarr Kauffman and her family have been settled in Cincinnati for eight years after living in Virginia, San Diego and Connecticut. She has been teaching preschool for the past six years. Her husband Jody Snarr Kauffman and family Jeff is a software engineer and just accepted a new job with a small company in order to pursue more business development. Son Nicholas is a high school - 16 -

sophomore who plays football, basketball and violin. Alexandra is an eighth grader. She plays volleyball, basketball, and is involved in theater. Jacquelyn is in sixth grade, and plays soccer, basketball and lacrosse. Jody says, “I’m a parttime preschool teacher and fulltime mom and chauffeur. It is very hard to believe how quickly time flies. My kids are the ages I remember so clearly at Shawnee Country Day School (now Topeka Collegiate) and high school.” Andy (Jonathan) Rupp is a patent attorney and the in-house patent counsel for Vestil Manufacturing in Angola, Indiana. He is married with three stepsons.


Sara Rupp Pensgard is the Library Director at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia. Sara’s husband David is teaching at Liberty University in Lynchburg while working on his PhD. Kansas Waugh and his family have moved to San Francisco from Chicago. Kansas oversaw the successful launch of a bike sharing program in Chicago and his company asked him to do the same in the Bay Area.


Bridget Elmer and her husband Lyman Edwards live in St. Petersburg, Florida, where Bridget has recently opened a book art studio. While St. Pete is her home base, Bridget travels frequently to conduct workshops and classes.


Katie Freeman married Billy Hutchens in August at Lake Tahoe. Katie asked her brother John Freeman ’98 to serve as

Katie Freeman marries Billy Hutchens

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“brother of honor,” replacing the traditional maid of honor. The wedding party arrived at the reception by wooden boat and were piped from the dock to the outdoor venue by a bagpiper, a nod to the groom’s degree from Notre Dame and to both Katie and Billy’s Irish heritage. The couple lives in Chicago where Billy is a lawyer and Katie sells residential real estate. They are planning a mid-winter honeymoon to Thailand to escape Chicago’s cold weather.

League of Kansas Municipalities. The couple lives in Lawrence and Ann works at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

The Gandhi sisters: Anji, Ann ‘94, Anita and Alka ‘87

Karli Keller completed her MBA at Cornell and has moved to the Bay Area to take a job with Intel.



Brooke Borel is wrapping up work on her first book, to be published sometime in 2014. She describes it as a popular science history about the bed bug. Brooke went on a three-week research trip for the book to the UK, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany last spring, spending time with entomologists and pest controllers, interviewing them about their work with bed bugs. She says the most memorable experience was helping Brooke Borel holds a Madagascar a PhD student collect hissing cockroach while researching a book in Germany bed bugs from the attic of an apartment complex near Prague. It was home to around 1,200 mouse-eared bats, which are protected by the government. “I spent my time there hunched over, collecting bugs with tweezers, while the bats screeched and peed on my head,” she says. “That story will definitely be in the book!” Brooke also continues to write for magazines and online publications including Popular Science, Slate, and most recently, Aeon Magazine.

Samantha Crow Quist has had one busy year! After 18 months of preparation, she officially opened her internet startup, Copywriter Central, for clients to hire top-tier writers online. She and her husband Jake also welcomed the newest and cutest member of their family, George Daniel Quist, on August 19. A few weeks after that, true to her interests in encouraging technology education and women in leadership, Samantha Crow Quist and family she took a role running the Technovation Challenge, the world’s largest technology entrepreneurship program for girls. Stacy Elmer left her high-profile job posting at the White House for a return to academia, but not before introducing her family to President Obama in the Oval Office (a courtesy extended to departing National Security staffers). Stacy has relocated to the Harlem neighborhood of New York City with her dog and cats (Sterling, Louisiana and Professor Longhair) to earn a master’s degree in international security at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Despite living in New York, she still faithfully cheers for her New Orleans Saints. Stacy made it back to Topeka in March

Ann Gandhi married Michael Koss in early January on the Caribbean Island of St. Maarten in a small family ceremony officiated by her sister Anita, then celebrated with a reception in Kansas City a week later. Michael is an attorney from Haddam, Kansas who works for the - 17 -

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to help honor her parents, Jett and Tim Elmer, who were named to the Topeka Collegiate Hall of Fame at the TCS Auction. She looks forward to another visit Elmer family at the White House home over the holidays before departing in January for a month-long social entrepreneurship project in Hyderabad, India.

research to the mathematics of embryonic heart development.


Kelly Farmer is a veterinarian currently staying home with her daughter until she finds a vet practice that will allow plenty of flexibility. When daughter Blakely Louise celebrated her first birthday in early November with a “Barnyard Birthday Bash,” Kelly’s TCS classmates Stacy Elmer ’95 and Cameron Ellis ’95 were invited. Kelly and her husband Sean Blakely Louise Brough Brough celebrated their two-year wedding anniversary in Aspen, Colorado at the same resort where they honeymooned, and made a pact to return every year. They bought and are restoring a 1921 home in Liberty, Missouri’s historic Prospect Heights.


Kerstin Nordstrom is at the University of Maryland doing research as part of a postdoctoral program. She earned her PhD in physics from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010. Last summer, Kerstin was one of two media fellows chosen by the American Association for the Advancement of Science to spend the summer at a media outlet writing articles. She wrote some 30 articles on scientific topics ranging from songbird - 18 -

Jessica Cook is engaged to John Fisher, a fellow Teach for America alum who is now the Executive Director of Stand for Children Arizona. He proposed in San Francisco in April and the couple will be married in Phoenix in January. Jessie works as a Director of Strategy for Teach For America. During the past two years, she has worked to improve the organization’s performance management structures by redesigning the management system for regional Teacher Leadership Development teams. She now devotes her time to helping develop TFA’s approach to insight generation and innovation support. Alexis Rowe is a second year law student at Drake University in Des Moines, working in the law library and as a junior staff member of the Drake Law Review. This summer she interned at Iowa Legal Aid on the Legal Hotline for Older Iowans, providing legal advice under the supervision of staff attorneys. Sarah Temple is back at work as an emergency room physician in Sarasota, Florida following the birth of five-month-old Will. Sarah’s husband Angus Mugford still works for IMG Academy, a private athletic training institute for youth, high school, collegiate and professional athletes, but now also oversees mental conditioning personnel for all branches of the Special Forces across the country. Sarah reports that Will is “growing like crazy, happy and healthy. We are completely smitten and convinced he is the happiest and best baby in the world! Our dog and cat have both adjusted well and seem very fond of Will as well.” William Bruce Mugford

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the past few years. The two now operate as So What? Press, which publishes not only their own comics, but others’, as well. You can buy their books locally at Astrokitty Comics in Lawrence or at

Claire Adams is working fulltime as a professional musician. She’s part of the music group Katy Guillen & the Girls. The group will represent Kansas City at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee in January 2014.

Mack Schroer recently completed a mural for the Berryton Methodist Church and learned he has been named one of 12 finalists in the competition to create a mural commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board decision.

Alexandra (Bixler) Blasi is in-house counsel for the Kansas Department of Commerce and a member of Topeka Festival Singers. In her spare time, she keeps up with friends, family and community activities.

Allison Viola Loftus has taught fifth, sixth and seventh grade in her education career. Now she’s moved up to eighth grade and is teaching US history. Her goal is to get her students more involved with National History Day. In fact, participation is now a requirement for all advanced classes. Not surprisingly, Allison’s motivation is based in her Topeka Collegiate experience. “History Day was always one of my favorite things about my studies at TCS,” she says. “I remember all of my projects. The lessons I learned in the research process have proven to be invaluable.” Allison called on TCS classmate John Freeman ’98, a multi-year National History Day winner, to help introduce her class to the challenge and fun of historical research. Allison is also sponsoring her school’s National Junior Honor Society. This summer Allison and her husband Brian traveled to the Pacific Northwest – Vancouver, British Columbia, Seattle and Portland. They had a wonderful time exploring Portland with Chris Yorke ’98 and his wife Susan.

Alex Bleiberg has moved to Chicago to begin work on his master’s degree in social science at the University of Chicago. John Freeman and his wife Kim moved from Chicago to Kansas City in April. John is working at Sagacious, a software consulting firm, and Kim as an orthopedic nurse at St. Luke’s South. They bought a house and are happily preparing for the arrival of a baby boy around Valentine’s Day. These two University of Kansas alums say one of their first purchases was a KU onesie for their little Jayhawk. In August, John and Kim John and Kim Freeman were part of his sister Katie Freeman Hutchens’ ’93 wedding party in Lake Tahoe, John serving as “brother of honor” and Kim as a bridesmaid.

Wesley West accepted a job at Citibank in New York City after two years at JPMorgan Chase. He is a Senior Vice President in the Corporate Treasury unit, which he explains as “helping Citi pass the regulatory stress tests all banks are required to go through.” After traveling the world as a bank consultant, then renting a place in New York, Wes is now a homeowner. He bought a condo in the DUMBO district (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), a neighborhood just across the East River from Manhattan with spectacular views of the city and the Brooklyn

Dave Kelly (T) was working in film production until 2010 when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The good news was that the level of cancer with which he was diagnosed was easily treatable. The bad news was that it sidelined his career for about a year. Once he got back on track, Dave wanted to try something new. He met his partner, artist Lara Antal, who rekindled a love of comic books. The two self-published a book called Tales of the Night Watchman. The business has grown steadily over - 19 -

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Bridge. As an MIT alum, Wes felt a personal connection to the death of the MIT campus police officer killed by the Boston Marathon bombing suspects in April. “It’s a real blow to the MIT community,” he says. “I worked with the campus police when I was running the suicide hotline. Those guys were amazing police officers who wanted a bit of a quieter life that involved nothing more hazardous than telling nerds to turn down their music.” In May, Wes delivered the commencement address at Topeka Collegiate graduation. (see p. 37) Blake Whitaker is a captain in the US Army Reserve and works as a Senior Academic Advisor at Texas A&M Blake Whitaker and bride Danielle Mauldin University in College Station, Texas. He will graduate in May with his PhD in British History. In May, Blake married Danielle Mauldin. Best friend, former Topeka Collegiate classmate and fellow officer Richie Kent (T) ’98 served as his best man. (see p.10)

Chris and his bride have joked about their sojourn in Palau as a year-long honeymoon, but he says it’s “probably better described as a study abroad expedition or a self-imposed fellowship. Either way, it’s an important chance to get out of our comfort zone and have an adventure!”


Nathan Bammes is in his second year of internal medicine residency at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He’s enjoying his work with St. Luke’s Mid-America Heart Institute’s cardiovascular outcomes research group, but says between residency, research and studying, he’s very busy. Happily, he recently cut his commute time from 45 minutes to maybe three. Maria Maldonado is in the third and last year of her master’s program in social work and public health at Washington University in St. Louis. She has her sights set on finishing her practicum next semester in Paris!


Chris Yorke married Susan Reid in Washington’s Olympic National Park in August. The two left the following month for a honeymoon in Malaysia en route to a year in Palau, where Susan took a job as counsel to the Supreme Court. Palau is an island country located in the western Pacific Ocean. Chris, who had been working as an architect in Portland, Oregon, says Chris Yorke marries Susan Reid he plans to work on independent projects – writing, teaching, and maybe building another treehouse. Chris interned with a famous treehouse designer before graduate school and designed the treehouse at Topeka’s Kansas Children’s Discovery Center. - 20 -

Ashley Giroux Wassom and her husband Derek are proud parents to Mya Marie, who just celebrated her first birthday. The family lives in Olathe and Ashley says, “I can only hope that Mya gets the same sort of educational, nurturing experiences that I received at Collegiate.” Ashley was quite the artist during her middle school days and is now an active artist Mya Marie Wassom with work displayed in galleries all over the US. See her work at Rebecca Kopp is now Development Coordinator for Individual Giving at National Public Radio in Los Angeles. Sarah Sellers is at the New York law firm Martin Clearwater & Bell, practicing medical malpractice defense. She is an active member and volunteer with the New York Junior League. After extensive genealogy research, Sarah and her mother were recently inducted into the

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Sarah Sellers and Breana Tutuska


National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and she plans to become an active member of that organization. During the past year, Sarah traveled to Aruba and to Paris for the French Open. Next year she hopes to go to Wimbledon! Sarah served as a bridesmaid in her former classmate Breana Tutuska’s ’00 June wedding at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Shruti Challa (left) appears on Art TV, Sri Lanka’s CNN affiliate

Shruti Challa is just back from a three-week speaking tour in Sri Lanka and India. She was invited by the State Department to give a series of lectures on entrepreneurship to students, aspiring entrepreneurs, accelerators, incubators, business organizations, and investors. She spoke about topics ranging from early-stage marketing and product development to broader messages like innovating locally. Shruti was interviewed on Art TV, Sri Lanka’s CNN affiliate.

Robbie Adams works at Yahoo! as a quality assurance analyst in finance. He lives in Omaha, Nebraska, as he has since graduating from Creighton University in 2009. He volunteers for Big Brothers Big Sisters and has been with his “little” for two-and-a-half years. “We try to do activities that he normally cannot do with his family,” says Robbie. “We play basketball regularly and I’m teaching him how to play tennis.”

Emily Heronemus recently finished an undergraduate fellowship in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine at KCUMB and is currently in her final year of medical school. She has decided on Family Medicine and is applying to Family Medicine residency programs.

Sarah Bellows-Blakely won a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship, a highly competitive, merit-based grant to fund doctoral students conducting research in other countries. Sarah is working on her PhD in African History at Washington University in St. Louis. She has embarked a full year of research for her dissertation about girls’ rights in Kenya. The grant will fund 12 months of research in Kenya and in Europe. In Nairobi during September’s shopping mall siege, Sarah characterized it as “sad and scary,” as she reassured family and friends she was safe. Even before the mall attack, Sarah was tear-gassed as an innocent bystander “walking by a peaceful protest police were trying to break up.” There are highlights, too, she says, like “meeting interesting people and the fresh and delicious food.” Sarah also completed Topeka’s Tinman Triathlon (her first) in June.

Asona Lui passed her medical boards this summer and is looking forward to beginning her research on breast cancer and the additional years of study that will lead to her PhD. Asona is also planning her wedding to fiancé Marco Chacon. Ann Moenius moved to Chicago to work for Trunk Club, which she describes as “a rapidly growing technology startup that’s disrupting the traditional retail industry.” She loves her big city life and enjoys working with clients across the country. In her spare time, Ann volunteers for her college sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and is helping establish a new chapter at nearby Elmhurst College.

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Rohit Parulkar has lived in Washington DC since graduating from Washington University in St. Louis in 2009. He worked for a think tank during the health care debate, doing health care policy research. He calls it an interesting but frustrating time. Rohit now works for LivingSocial, which he describes as a Grouponlike tech startup, young and fast-paced. “I’ve been learning a lot about databases, web development and programming,” he says. “It’s definitely great to get back to my math and language roots!”


Daniel Bleiberg is in his second year at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin and works at a local policy research and legal advocacy organization called Texas Appleseed, which addresses economic and social justice issues throughout the state. Daniel and former TCS classmate Eric Giroux ’02 broadcast a weekly podcast about fantasy football which Daniel says “occupies a wholly inordinate amount of my time and gives Eric, myself, and Andrew Herrera-Thomas ‘02 a wonderfully institutionalized means to stay in touch.”

Project clinic, which was a fulltime job during the summer, less so this fall, but still time-consuming. (see p.8)


Stephanie Atwood graduated from Harvard Law School in May, lives in New York City and works as a tax lawyer at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. Jordan Carter is a second year law student at KU, serving as an intern for a federal judge in Kansas City, writing for the Law Review and acting as a teaching assistant for the legal writing program. She spent a fantastic summer interning at Shook, Hardy & Bacon in Kansas City where she “learned a lot about litigation and had tons of fun exploring Kansas City.” Chase Hamilton has spent the last three years developing a nonprofit organization, CGCHealth, which works to address health issues and improve lives in rural communities and impoverished urban areas of the Peruvian Amazon. This summer Chase led a five-week health education and clean water initiative in Peru. (see p.12) Katherine Heflin has moved to Boston to begin graduate studies at Harvard’s School of Public Health in the Policy and Management Department with the eventual goal of serving disadvantaged populations through policy work. In August, she served as a bridesmaid in TCS classmate Jackie Hoyt Landis’ ’03 wedding in Topeka.

Eric Giroux bought his first house and is living in Lawrence with his girlfriend Jackie and son Jackson, now six and in first grade. Jackie and Eric co-coach Jackson’s recreation league soccer team. Jackie is a nurse and played soccer at Mizzou. Eric works from home, splitting his time between working for a Wisconsin-based digital marketing agency specializing in web development for car dealerships and managing his Internet publishing business which partners with USA Today Sports Digital Properties. Eric stays in touch with fellow members of the TCS Class of ‘02 Daniel Bleiberg ’02 and Andrew Herrera-Thomas ’02. “We are in a fantasy football league,” explains Eric. “Daniel and I now broadcast a weekly podcast where we discuss fantasy football and other miscellaneous musings.”

Marc Heronemus has been accepted to KU’s School of Medicine, where he begins in July. Meantime, he continues work at KU Medical Center in liver research. Marc moved to Kansas City in August after working at Chicago’s Northwestern University in kidney transplant research for the past year and a half.

Amelia Maxfield is a second-year student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School. She’s halfway through a year-long Innocence - 22 -

Jackie Hoyt married Jim Landis in late August surrounded by her family, friends and many former TCS classmates. Her sister Jenny Hoyt Storck (T) ’97, married last summer, was her sister’s maid of honor. Following a honeymoon in Cancun, Mexico, Jackie and Jim moved to

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in Alaska. Eric Wang began medical school at Georgetown University School of Medicine this fall. “It has pretty much consumed my entire life,” he says, “so I don’t really have time for anything but school, but I definitely plan on taking an elective abroad at some point in the next few years.”


Bride Jackie Hoyt with mom Phyllis Hoyt and TCS friends Aly Woodbury, Elise Monaco, Kathy Heflin, Jordan Carter, Celina Garay, Jenn Stueve, Christina Gitto

Erin Atwood is a first year student at the University of Kansas Medical School. As an alum of KU Med, Erin’s father Michael got to “coat” her at her white coat ceremony.

Washington, Missouri, near St. Louis, where Jim works as a youth minister. Scott Kresie graduated from Fort Hays State University with a bachelor of science in networking and telecommunications, and works for Century Link in Holton. He married Taylor Adkins of Salina in May, in Minneapolis, Kansas. After a honeymoon in Negril, Jamaica, the couple is at home in Topeka where Taylor is completing a degree in elementary education. Their goal is to move closer to Scott’s family farm in Meriden. Charles Lee has returned to the US from Seoul, South Korea after two years of teaching English to fifth and sixth grade public school students through a government program. His responsibilities included lesson planning, teaching 24 hours a week, running winter and summer English camps and teaching after-school programs for low-proficiency English students. Charles went to Korea right after graduating from Boston College with degrees in English and economics. He has relocated to Los Angeles to work for a few years before applying to business school. He’s reunited with his sister Jane Lee ’04 and his girlfriend, and looks forward to finding a job that combines his passion for education and business. Caitlin Seals Schwanke teaches gifted and language arts at Chase Middle School in Topeka. She is developing a new performing arts program, teaching elective classes and running after-school programs. Caitlin is also working on her master’s degree in special education with a concentration in gifted, talented and creative, and attended national conferences this summer. She and her husband Matt Ellis also spent two weeks

Erin Atwood with her parents at coating ceremony

Cassidy Carpenter became Cassidy Belz in July when she married Daniel Belz in Kansas City. Many Topeka Collegiate alumni helped celebrate their happy day, including the bride’s sister and maid of honor Shelby Carpenter ’08, bridesmaids Erin Atwood Bride Cassidy Carpenter with sister and maid of honor Shelby Carpenter (far left) and former TCS ‘04 and Liz classmates Erin Atwood and Liz Brownback (right of Cassidy) Brownback ‘04, and Austin Gideon ’04, who read from Massachusetts Chief Justice Margaret Marshall’s majority opinion allowing gay marriage in that state: “Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family... [It] is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition.” The newlyweds honeymooned in Cancun, Mexico and are now back at school, she in the second year of a PhD program in Clinical Child Psychology at the University of Kansas, he at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, where he will graduate in May. - 23 -

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Hunter Ellsworth (T) spent his spring semester studying in Belgium, then returned to graduate from K-State with a degree in mechanical engineering. He credits Mrs. Hoyt and the TCS math program with making his academic journey easier. Up next: graduate school and a degree in biomedical engineering. Austin Gideon is enjoying all San Francisco has to offer before moving to Little Rock, Arkansas in August to begin work for The Stephens Group, a private equity fund. He will be joining the firm as an associate and working across a variety of industry groups including energy and technology. The team of 20 is made up of great people, Austin says, and he looks forward to working with them, to being closer to home (about a six hour drive to Topeka) and also being closer to brother Nick Gideon ’08, a sophomore at Sewanee: The University of the South in Tennessee. Blair Paxson married Blake White in September, 2012 in Kansas City. The couple now lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, where Blair works at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront in sales and catering and Blake works at TBA Communications in sales.

Sam Zlotky (center) with bandmates

Sam Zlotky is in school at Washburn University, working, and playing drums with the band Monk’s Wine. In his spare time, Sam works on producing music with the goal of making a five-track EP (extended play) of electronic dance music.


Laura Politi graduated from KU in May with a degree in international studies and is now working for the Spanish government in Las Islas Baleares, Spain. She is teaching English while working on her Spanish. Laura is in Spain for a year, but may stay two. After that, she plans to pursue a law degree and work with either international law or women’s rights.


Quentin Chediak is a senior at the University of Kansas with a dual major in math and physics and a job working as a research assistant for his physics professor. David Gast is a senior at Creighton University who will graduate in the spring with a degree in health care administration and business. This summer he worked as a runner and clerical assistant in a 15-person law firm in Omaha. David is considering law school but may look for work in health care policy.

Blair Paxson marries Blake White

Tess WilsonGay graduated from Washburn University and is pursuing a master of fine arts degree in Tess Wilson-Gay onstage creative writing at Chatham College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a two-year program. Before leaving Topeka, Tess starred in a local theater company’s production of Private Eyes with then Middle School Head Travis Lamb.

Sjobor Hammer is a senior at Case Western Reserve University studying cognitive science. She was accepted into the Integrated Graduate Studies program and has begun working on her master’s Sjobor Hammer at alumni reunion with Emily Park degree in cognitive - 24 -

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is the education director of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority, is an active member of Mortar Board senior honor society and is a pitcher on the Stephens softball team. Emily spent the summer working as the media relation intern for the Kansas City T-Bones Independent Baseball Team. She worked in the press box writing game Emily Park interns with Kansas City day stories and press T-Bones releases, among many other duties. This fall, Emily is interning with Inside Columbia Weddings Magazine. She is set to graduate in May and plans to work in the communication field focusing on sports or bridal journalism.

linguistics. Sjobor is serving as president of her sorority, Sigma Psi and is leading the effort to organize a leadership conference for the well over 600 local sorority chapters from around the nation. Elizabeth Kresie is a senior at Creighton University, majoring in biology and minoring in history. She assists in scientific research on bird embryos, serves on Creighton’s College of Arts and Sciences Student Senate executive team, is an active member of Delta Zeta sorority and the allGreek honor society. She served on Creighton’s Core Revision Task Force, a group responsible for creating the university’s new core curriculum and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, the academic honor society, as a junior. Away from school, she volunteers at the Nebraska Medical Center, working with staff and patients in the radiation oncology department. Her goal is a career in medicine. Elizabeth looks forward to serving as maid of honor in Sarah Padgett’s ’06 wedding next summer.

Cameron Seals Schwanke is continuing work on his aerospace engineering degree as a senior at Wichita State University.

Alyssa Memmo is a senior in music business at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, but is spending her fall semester in New York City, interning at a record company and a management company and living in student housing just off the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn.

Katie Zlotkty is a senior at Washburn University’s School of Nursing and will graduate in May with her bachelor’s degree in nursing.


Jonah Freed is a junior at Macalester College majoring in international studies and philosophy with a minor in political science and a concentration in human rights and humanitarianism. This fall, he’s studying in Granada, Spain, taking classes in international relations, political science, and philosophy in Spanish. He left for Europe two weeks early to travel with a high school friend and visit another friend in Germany. He spent a Jonah Freed with mom Ann Russell few days in Paris and

Sarah Padgett is engaged to marry Samuel Turpin in June in Kansas City. The couple plans to live in Lawrence while Sam pursues a PhD in statistics at KU. Sarah has accepted an entry level structural engineer position with Kiewit Power Engineers in Lenexa. She will go to KU part-time to earn her master’s degree in structural engineering. Last year, Sarah led the Missouri University of Science and Technology’s Steel Bridge team to nationals for the first time in 12 years. The competition challenges civil engineering students to design and build a steel structure that meets client specifications and optimizes both performance and economy. Emily Park is a senior fashion communication major at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. She works as the Communications Director for the student-run publication Stephens Life Magazine, - 25 -

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visited several cities in Germany. Last year, Jonah was active in chess club, which he co-founded with a friend, Habitat for Humanity and Oxfam. This summer Jonah worked at an immigration law office doing a variety of tasks including country condition research for asylum cases. Daniel Kennedy is a junior at Washington University in St. Louis, where he applied for and won a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship. The research program provides grants for original undergraduate research in the humanities and social sciences. Daniel began his research in Guatemala this summer. He will continue next summer, and his research will form the basis for his honors thesis. Daniel explains, “My research focuses on the Guatemalan operations of a US-based child sponsorship organization. The child sponsorship industry generates millions of dollars every year and depends on the sale of sponsorships, a process through which donors make monthly payments to sponsor a child. The sponsorships are marketed and sold through personal narratives that appear in online catalogs. In my project I explore the way in which Guatemalan sponsorship workers insert their own ideas of race and poverty into these narratives.” Next semester, Daniel plans to study abroad in São Paulo, Brazil. Katherine Linquist (T) has published a book -The Twelve-Day Christmas of Silverlenne Forest. She’s been working on it since she was 12. Katherine’s first editor was her middle school language arts teacher, John MacDonald. Katherine says she sought Mr. Mac’s advice and bounced a lot of ideas off of him in those early days. At her book launch party, the two laughed about the fact that for everyone else in the class, there was a 200-word minimum on journal entries. For Katherine, always an avid writer, Katherine Linquist (T) publishes the Mr. MacDonald book she began in Mr. Mac’s class - 26 -

had to set a 2,000 word maximum! This fall, Katherine is a trainee with Inlet Dance Theater, a creative professional dance company in Cleveland, Ohio. David Wang is a junior at Washington University in St. Louis and the starting goalie on the soccer team, David Wang with children he tutors rated 16th in the country in September. He is working in an on-campus lab “modeling the mechanics of the receptorligand bond of the Notch Receptor on human cells.” David serves on the executive board of a program that sends students to tutor children at local elementary schools. Twice a year they invite the children to visit Wash U.


Patrick Elisha had several attractive choices when he chose to leave Park University to continue his piano studies elsewhere. He was accepted at Juilliard, Boston University and the Eastman School of Music, and offered the Vladimir Horowitz Scholarship at Juilliard, but chose to accept the Premier Young Artist Award at Indiana University where he is studying at the Jacobs School of Music. “It’s an honor to be accepted into Professor Menahem Pressler’s class,” says Patrick. “I look forward to studying with this rare and legendary artist.”

Maura McGivern (front row, fourth from right) boosts her team to victory on her 20th birthday

Maura McGivern is having a great sophomore volleyball season at the University of Tulsa, the Division I school where she is on a full athletic

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magazine, and in the top singing and acting groups. Christine Ebeling is a freshman majoring in vocal performance at Oklahoma City University, where she was awarded academic and vocal scholarships. She joins her mother and grandmother as a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority. Christine is a Governor’s Scholar (top 1% in the state), graduated with superior honors from Topeka High, and served as president of Robed Choir. (see p.13)

scholarship. On her 20th birthday in October, she recorded a career-high 11 kills and had a .391 hitting percentage as the Golden Hurricane swept their opponent to extend a seven match winning streak. The week before, Maura recorded a career-high 18 digs. Last year, Maura’s team won Conference USA’s regular season and tournament and received a bid to the NCAA where they lost in the first round. When not playing volleyball, Maura is studying business. Dayna Memmo (T) is a sophomore at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she is on the crew team.

Connor Kean is a freshman at the University of Kansas, where he earned academic scholarships. Bailey Evans earned a scholarship to New York University and is continuing her academic career in the Big Apple. She was editor of the Topeka High World and graduated with superior honors.

Allesandra Politi is a sophomore at KU. She lived in a scholarship hall as a freshman. This year, she’s pursuing photography as a part-time job, and working at an Italian restaurant. This summer she and her family traveled in Italy for a month, visiting friends and family.

Cody James is a National Merit Commended scholar attending Kansas University in the Honors Program. He graduated with honors from Shawnee Heights High School and earned an academic scholarship to KU. (see p.13)

Anika Reza is a sophomore at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, triple majoring in economics, political science and public policy, with her sights set on pre-law. She is active in SMU’s Muslim Student Association and the Circle K International Club, a community service organization. This summer, Anika interned at the Shawnee County District Attorney’s office.

Soren Lamb (T) graduated from Washburn Rural in May and is now studying at Washburn University, planning to major in psychology, then seek graduate degrees at KU. Eddie Linquist is attending The Kings College in New York City, having received its Presidential Scholarship. The Kings College is a very small school based in the Wall Street district. Eddie is interested in business and the prospect of Wall Street internships as early as sophomore year attracted him to the school.

Marissa Wiley is a sophomore at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University majoring in dance and attempting to earn a minor in business as well. She’s a member of Delta Phi Epsilon, a sorority founded at NYU. After graduation, she plans to pursue a master of fine arts degree in dance. Marissa is also a student representative for Tisch and helps new students transition into the dance program.

Cain Mathis gives a whole new meaning to going away to college! This National Merit Finalist is studying economics and Arabic on the Abu Dhabi Fellowship at New York University’s Abu Dhabi campus in the United Arab Emirates. Cain was Topeka High School’s valedictorian, and graduated with superior honors. He is a Kansas


Megan Beard is a freshman at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, rooming with TCS classmate Colby Beardmore (T). Megan was initiated into the Delta Gamma sorority this fall. Ryan Brinker is attending KU in pre-law after graduating from Topeka West. He was in ROTC, graduating as a captain, editor of the literary - 27 -

Cain Mathis as Topeka High’s Trojan

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Governor’s Scholar (top 1%) and an All-State Academic Honorable Mention. After a soccer injury sidelined him senior year, Cain took on the role of Topeka High’s Trojan mascot at sporting events. (see p.13) Riley Mickelsen graduated from Topeka High School with superior honors and was yearbook editor and senior class secretary. She is a freshman at Kansas State University, studying nutritional sciences pre-med, with a minor in leadership studies. She hopes to win a seat on the student senate. Luke Miltz is a freshman at Baker University where he earned academic and vocal scholarships. Luke made his mark on Washburn Rural High School. He was elected student body president, voted prom king, was honored as the McElroy Scholar, Luke Miltz and Alix Welch have been friends since they met at TCS named to the National Honor Society and graduated with honors. Under his leadership, Washburn Rural students raised money and made a donation to the Easter Seals Capper Foundation to help families living with disabilities. (see p.13)

academic career on a swimming scholarship at Niagara University in New York. Like Topeka Collegiate, Niagara’s mascot is an eagle.

Meredith Ricks (second from left) and family

Cooper Self earned a scholar athlete scholarship to Midland University in Fremont, Nebraska where he wrestles for the Warriors. He graduated with superior honors from Topeka High School as a member of the National Honor Society. As a Midland freshman, he is studying business finance and accounting with the goal of finishing college in three years, then beginning work on his MBA. Cooper represented Kansas at National History Day in the senior individual exhibit category, marking the fourth time he has competed at the competition finals, twice in middle school, twice in high school. Chris Shields graduated from Blue Valley Southwest High School in Overland Park, with former TCS classmate Skyler Yee (T). Both are freshmen at KU.

Mackenzie Morrison graduated from Topeka High School with high honors and college scholarships, as captain of the swim team, a member of the National Honor Society, a cheerleader and a choreographer for SRO, the student talent show. She is a freshman at KU and pledged Gamma Phi Beta sorority. Noah Oswald graduated from Washburn Rural High School and is attending Washburn University. Meredith Ricks continues her athletic and - 28 -

Natalie Shinn graduated from Washburn Rural High School with honors, as a member of the National Honor Society, and earned theater and Skyler Yee (T) and Chris Shields academic scholarships to Washburn. As a freshman she landed a role in a fall Washburn University Theatre production. Joe Vosburgh is one of three Governor’s Scholars (top 1%) in the TCS Class of ‘09, and was elected president of his senior class at Topeka High School. He graduated with superior honors as a member of the National Honor Society. Joe is a freshman at Duke University this fall. (see p.13)

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Scholar roll, and a member of the National Honor Society. He is also on the Missouri Valley Swimming all-academic team. He is manager of the women’s swim and dive team and a member of the robotics team. Nick spends most of his extra time in the pool with his club swim team (Topeka Swim Association), but he also has enjoyed volunteering the last three summers at the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center.

Alix Welch is a National Merit Commended scholar and honors graduate of Washburn Rural High School. She earned academic scholarships and is a freshman at Georgetown University. She was selected to sing with the Grace Notes, an a cappella women’s group. At her math professor’s suggestion, Alix applied for a job in the math department and was hired. (see p.13) Hannah Wilson earned a scholarship to KU, where she is a freshman. Hannah is a Tri Delta Sorority pledge. She graduated with honors, as a member of the National Honor Society, from Washburn Rural High School.

Alec Berryman is a Washburn Rural High School senior, captain of the varsity soccer team that is ranked first in Kansas and 22nd in the nation in a preseason poll. He is the Student Body Treasurer, a member of Student Council and a returning freshman mentor. He was recently named a Kansas Honor Scholar. He is keeping up a rigorous academic schedule while looking at colleges offering biomedical engineering degrees. This summer, Washburn Rural’s soccer team traveled to Burlington, Iowa and St. Louis, Missouri for tournaments, and for the first time in school history, won both.

Anne Wyre graduated from Topeka High School with high honors and earned a trio of scholarships, one of them to KU, where she is a freshman.

2010 Megan Anderson is a National Merit semifinalist, one of three in her TCS graduating class of 21. She choreographed the jazz dance in Topeka High’s SRO and performed a contemporary dance solo. “I am excited to be cheering on the varsity squad once again,” she says, “as the football team goes to the playoffs and we prepare for competition. I am dancing competitively and will be traveling in the spring. My most recent accomplishment is completing all nine of my college apps so I can rest over winter break!” Megan was recently named a Kansas Honor Scholar.

Mike Einspahr knew when he first saw a Peace Pole that he wanted to install one for his Eagle Scout Project, and he knew where--Topeka Collegiate School. Michael’s vision was realized in May when he dedicated the pole as students watched. Michael explained that the Peace Pole Project started in Japan in response to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There are now tens of thousands of Peace Poles the world over as international symbols Mike Einspahr’s Eagle Scout project brings him back to TCS of peace. The message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” is inscribed in the three languages students learn at TCS, English, Spanish and Latin.

Nick Badsky is a senior at Washburn Rural High School where he’s a standout member of the swim team. Nick Badsky (left) celebrates swimming success Last year, the team won city and league championships and Nick made all-city first team, all-league first team and was a state finalist, placing third in the 100 freestyle. He is on the Outstanding - 29 -

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David Gernon is a senior at Topeka High, a Kansas Honor Scholar, a class STUCO representative, president of the National Honor Society, varsity soccer player, vice president of the math honorary society Mu Alpha Theta, and member of the National English Honor Society. David and fellow TCS alum Mariella Kennedy ’11 co-founded the Coalition Against Hunger, a Topeka High club seeking to raise awareness about the problem of hunger and trying to address it in their school and community.

Frankie Memmo (T) is a senior at Moravian Academy near his home in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania. He is captain of the cross country team and is busy with college applications. Irene Nicolae is a National Merit semifinalist, vice president of the student body at Washburn Rural High School and a Kansas Honor Scholar. With two other TCS alums, she helped the Rural Quest Team to a championship victory last year. Irene and her doubles partner placed ninth and the Washburn Rural team Irene Nicolae with young friends on third at the state tennis her medical mission to Kenya tournament last year. This summer, Irene went to Kenya for a medical mission trip.

Josh Greene is a National Merit semifinalist, one of three in his TCS graduating class, and a Kansas Honor Scholar. He was a member of last year’s Josh Greene rows for Washburn Rural champion Quest team at Washburn Rural, and a member of the rowing team. Josh was the third highest scorer in the state last year on the AMC (American Mathematics Competitions) 12 test. Maria Kingfisher is a senior at Topeka High School where she had a busy fall as co-director of SRO, the annual talent show that is directed, choreographed and performed by students. More than 120 people were involved in this year’s show, Space Jam at the High, which featured Maria Kingfisher and Megan Anderson individual acts, small collaborate on Topeka High production ensemble performances and two dances with the full cast. “I loved every minute, even the stress-filled rehearsals with the always-rowdy cast,” says Maria. “I am so proud of the cast for what we accomplished. It was a fantastic challenge and I learned a lot about the responsibility of being a leader.” Maria also sings with the elite Madrigals. - 30 -

Federico Pettinella is a senior at the International School of Prague (ISP), the oldest and most respected independent school in the Czech Republic, in the second and final year of the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma program. As higher level courses (corresponding to AP courses in the US system), he chose computer science, mathematics and physics. Federico recently completed a 40-page mandatory IB research paper in computer science and is set to pursue Federico Pettinella with siblings Savia (T), Leonardo a university (T) and Dario on vacation in Italy degree in computer science after graduation in May. He is looking at universities in the United Kingdom, but also exploring opportunities in Germany or Switzerland. Beyond academics, he is active in sports and was the only recipient of the ISP Athletic Scholar award for the last two years

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because of “outstanding achievements in athletics, scholarship and leadership.” Carter Petty Washburn Rural’s Champion Quest team includes Josh is a senior Greene (left) Irene Nicolae (center) and Carter Petty (right) at Washburn Rural High School. He and two former TCS classmates helped propel Rural’s Quest team to the championship last year. Carter is also involved in Scholars’ Bowl and robotics. He has volunteered at Stormont Vail for the past five years and served as a freshman mentor for the past two. Like most of his classmates, he’s busy with college Kansas Honors Scholars are in the top 10% of their classes at Washburn Rural and Topeka High: applications. (back row) Alec Berryman, Sahil Rattan, Alex Millhuff, Josh Greene (front row) David Gernon, Dylan Cox, Megan Anderson. Not pictured: Caty Field, Grayson Manley, Irene Nicolae

Sahil Rattan is co-president of the student body at Washburn Rural High School, where he is a senior, and was recently honored as a Kansas Honor Scholar. He is an avid debater. Last year, he and his partner took third at state, qualified for nationals and made it to the late elimination rounds. This summer, Sahil went to a five-week debate camp at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and took top honors among the participants. He is president of the Young Democrats and active in Science Olympiad, forensics and math club.


Elena Blum is a junior at Topeka High School and a dedicated volunteer. She gives her time every weekend to the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center, where she’s a gallery assistant, and is president of the Topeka council of the Youth Volunteer Corps. Elena recently shared

a national award with four other students for a video they produced called YVC: Something for Everyone, depicting the value of volunteering. She is one of only 17 teens in the US and Canada Elena Blum (center) at alumni reunion with Mariella Kennedy, Cheyenne Kahler, Ariel to be selected for Smith, Sofia Kennedy the YVC’s first-ever international Youth Volunteer Board. Elena sings in Robed Choir and continues her work with the Link Crew, mentoring freshmen as they transition from middle to high school. This summer Elena traveled to Grand Bahama Island with TCS classmate Shaylene Rees ’11 and her family.

Ella Brown Richards greets Mrs. Moyer on a visit to TCS

Ella Brown Richards is a junior at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, California, where she is taking

on leading roles in theater productions. She volunteers at a camp for children and adults with social and developmental disabilities. Skyler Dykes is a junior at Topeka High who was accepted at several Skyler Dykes joins voices with Christine Ebeling select summer vocal programs. She chose the Oberlin Conservatory of Music’s Vocal Academy in Oberlin, Ohio, and had a wonderful experience. Last spring, Skyler sang with fellow TCS alum Christine Ebeling ‘09 at Christine’s Topeka High senior recital. Skyler sings with the Madrigals and was tap choreographer and assistant director of SRO, Topeka High’s student-run variety show, this year. Last year she participated in State Choir and took third place at NATS (a four-state regional vocal - 31 -

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competition). This year, she took second. Skyler is starring as Mother Superior in Topeka High’s production of The Sound of Music this fall. Mariella Kennedy is a junior class representative in student government at Topeka High and cofounder, with fellow TCS alum David Gernon, of the Coalition Against Hunger. The CAH teamed up with the Topeka Collegiate Student Council for a fall food drive that collected 25,696 pounds of food for a local food bank. She is involved in National English Honor Society, Drumline, AFS (student exchange) and French club. Savia Pettinella (T) is a junior at the International School of Prague (ISP), in the first year of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. Her higher level courses are English language and literature, economics and chemistry. After 11 years of Spanish, she took up French as her third foreign language. Savia’s heart, however, belongs to arts and photography, which is why she is thinking about a university degree allowing her to pursue her creativity in Europe. Savia has become a very passionate volleyball player and won first place with her ISP team at the tournament for all Central and Eastern European schools in Kiev, Ukraine, in April. In just the past year, Savia visited San Sebastian in Spain on a study trip, attended a student-led conference in Skopje, Macedonia, and participated in another varsity volleyball tournament in Moscow, Russia. Ariel Smith is a junior at Topeka High, is involved in choir and theater, and serves as vice president of the Thespian Troupe. Last spring, Ariel won the best crew member award, based on votes for the entire theater staff. She also works on the tech crew for Ballet Midwest’s twice-yearly performances. Ariel thanks Topeka Collegiate for allowing her to get her start in theater performing in class assemblies. Last year, Ariel was involved with Link Crew, a nationally-recognized student mentor program focused on helping freshmen transition into high school.


Jenna Brownback is a sophomore at Washburn - 32 -

Rural High School and has been elected by her classmates to serve on the Student Council. This summer Jenna and Laura Nicolae ’12 traveled to China. Andy Brownback, Jenna Brownback, Laura

Sofia Kennedy is Nicolae at the Great Wall a sophomore class Student Council representative at Topeka High school, active in band, AFS (student exchange) and French club. She performed in SRO, the student-run variety show, and is playing in the pit orchestra for The Sound of Music this fall.

Laura Nicolae is a sophomore at Washburn Rural High School where she is an elected STUCO representative, and competes on the math, Scholars’ Bowl, tennis and debate teams. As a freshman, she posted the best win-loss record on the debate squad and is continuing debate this year in the varsity division. She volunteers at VIDA Ministry, teaching English classes to Hispanic adults as they transition to the American workforce and culture. This summer, Laura traveled to China with TCS classmate Jenna Brownback. Sage Pourmirza has appeared in a number of stage productions at Washburn Rural High School, where he’s a sophomore, and in community theater. He followed his turn as JoJo in Seussical the Musical with a part in Neil Simon’s Fools, Sage Pourmirza in Grease then the role of Sonny in Grease, and this fall, he starred as Jem in To Kill A Mockingbird, a role he has wanted to play since reading the book in middle school at TCS. Jordan Schwerdt is sophomore class president at Washburn Rural High School, and served as a freshman representative last year. She maintains

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a rigorous academic schedule, tutors children, performs community service and is in her second year as a member of the Dancin’ Blues dance team. At National Dance Alliance camp, Jordie was named an All American and chosen a Top Gun Kicks Winner both years. Jordie is a student teacher at her Topeka dance studio. Dance competitions have taken her all over the country as a winning competitor and assistant choreographer. Jordie Schwerdt dances at Washburn Rural

High School Alumni Leaders Our alumni are leaders in their high schools. These students have been elected by their peers to represent them in student government this year. Washburn Rural High School

Topeka High School

Co-Student Body President

Class Representatives

Sahil Rattan ‘10

David Gernon ‘10 Mariella Kennedy ‘11

Student Body Vice President

Sofia Kennedy ‘12

Irene Nicolae ‘10

Chris Gernon ‘13

Student Body Treasurer Alec Berryman ‘10 Sophomore Class President Jordie Schwerdt ‘12 Class Representatives Jenna Brownback ‘12 Laura Nicolae ‘12 - 33 -

Collegiate Life

Alumnae Entrepreneurs Blog about Technology One Founder’s Journey from Idea to Product to… Pregnant? (From Women 2.0) By Samantha Crow Quist ’95 Samantha is the founder and CEO of Copywriter Central, an online marketplace that matches businesses’ freelance writing projects to top-tier writers. She also worked on Google’s Product Management team, founded an editorial business, led marketing for an internet startup, and graduated from Stanford University. Copywriter Central first launched publicly in June. I first found out a few months ago, just as I was preparing to launch our beta to early clients. Of course I was excited — I had wanted this! — but the reality of how it would impact my career as one of a tiny minority of female, bootstrapped, self-taught-developer, startup founders in Silicon Valley hadn’t quite sunk in. There was no going back now: I was pregnant. When I first had the idea for Copywriter Central over a year and a half ago, I knew the traditional formula for startup success by heart: you’re supposed to form a team, join an accelerator, raise money, etc. But that formula didn’t work for me. I didn’t have a team lined up, or angel funding, or even much coding expertise. What I did have was a solid idea, a computer, a fascination with the lean startup methodology, some encouraging advisors, and a whole lot of impatience — I wanted to get a product out there and see people start using it, like yesterday. So, I got to work. First, I bought Michael Hartl’s book on Ruby on Rails and taught myself to code. That took a few months and tested my (im)patience to get my product out the door, but it was satisfying work — there’s nothing quite like building something from scratch and the instant gratification of seeing the results appear onscreen. I was hooked. I spent the next few months in market testing mode, refining my idea and practicing my Rails. I learned what would motivate our future clients and drive our writers. I made long lists of prospective users and scheduled phone calls with almost anyone who would talk with me. I sketched out dozens of wireframes and talked through them with users. By October 2012, armed with my newfound coding skills, an idea I believed in, and a solid understanding of my market, it was finally time to start building the product. I coded and hacked until I had a fully functioning website with all the early features I had envisioned — sweet! Things were looking good — our early beta clients loved getting matched to top writers and our early writers loved having work delivered to their inbox. I thought I’d run a few user tests and be ready for a public launch by January 2013. But there were a few usability bugs. Okay fine, there were actually a LOT of bugs. It took several more months to fix everything, working closely with our writers and clients to iron out the kinks, until the product was finally ready to go in May. Meanwhile, I had become… well, huge. Early in my pregnancy, I had thought that if I just kept things under wraps, my pregnancy wouldn’t hurt my career. Don’t ask, don’t tell? Well, at some point it becomes tough to hide that giant watermelon under your blouse. And anyway, my company’s premise is all about facilitating a better life for high-initiative people who strive to live on their own agendas and work the hours they choose from wherever they are. Similarly, startup - 34 -

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founders set our own schedules and hours, too. As I thought about it more, I realized that I may actually have the perfect career for becoming a new parent. It was time to stop hiding. Whether it’s a pregnancy, a family emergency, a surgery, or a breakup — life happens. So, startups happen and life happens, and the most successful startup founders figure out how to make them both work at the same time. This week, Copywriter Central launched to the public. We didn’t get here via the traditional startup-founding formula. In fact, I don’t know of any other technical, self-taught, solo, bootstrapped, and female startup founders in Silicon Valley (though I’m sure you’re out there!). But we did get here. And the truth is, my company doesn’t care if I’ve known how to code for years or just learned recently, it doesn’t care if I’m married or pregnant or gay or straight, it doesn’t care what path I took to get here, and it doesn’t even care how big my founding team was or how many investors I have. What matters now is simple: have we built something people really want? If we get that part right, everything else will come.

They Key to Entrepreneurial Success in South Asia (Excerpted from TechCrunch) By Shruti Challa ’01 Shruti is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur. She has built several social consumer companies. She was recently part of a small team acquired by Groupon in 2011. Her most recent venture is called Mentorzen, which is an expert marketplace. Entrepreneurs from South Asia are obsessed with Silicon Valley, as is much of the world these days. Social media and mass media have combined to create the perception that geeks from the Bay Area are a breed apart. The combination of skinny jeans, hipster glasses and confident personalities like Dave McClure or Steve Blank, it seems, is irresistible. But this style has nothing to do with building a great company. Solving important problems does, and for anyone not in Silicon Valley, that means focusing on their own markets and not what seems to be cool. Countries like Sri Lanka and India have what it takes to be uniquely brilliant and entrepreneurial. South Asian entrepreneurs need to know and believe this. If they do not, South Asia will never become a center for innovation, creating the game-changing products and services their local economy demands and our global economy could benefit from. I say this having spent the last couple of years traveling across India and Sri Lanka connecting with the startup community, recruiting local talent for my own venture, and listening to more than 200 pitches. I recently spent three weeks visiting with accelerators, incubators, and institutes on behalf of the State Department’s Specialist Speaker Program and discovered that founders’ obsessions with the Valley prevents them from solving local problems. The paradox I’m seeing is this: The bulk of the world’s economic growth will come from regions like India and China, and although they may have cyclical slowdowns, these markets are - 35 -

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necessary to the world economy. In India, the story is not just about tech support and engineering offices. Product startups have been developing through accelerators and incubators. And various business communities are developing their own nationwide programs to support fledgling companies. Solving large local problems is one easy way for Asian startups to differentiate and sustain a competitive edge. But if the best entrepreneurial minds here are trying to copy the next Snapchat, they probably won’t be building products that the market truly demands in India. And the region won’t live up to the hype. Silicon Valley is amazing. It’s why so many of the world’s smartest geeks flock here. However, it’s amazing because it supports the needs of our well-developed economy. South Asia should stop glamorizing the Valley and start looking within to find solutions. Only then will genuine innovation evolve. After all, there is much we could learn and gain from places like Sri Lanka and India.

Collegiate Life Credits Written by:

Design by:

Mary Beth Marchiony Head of School

Keli Huddleston Trinity Marketing Group

Mary Loftus Development Director

Printing: Courtesy of Security Benefit

Contributors: Shruti Challa ‘01 Samantha Crow Quist ‘95 Blake Whitaker ‘98

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Collegiate Life

Alum Delivers 2013 Graduation Address Wesley West ’98 was a standout math student at Topeka Collegiate, the top scorer on the 1997 MATHCOUNTS team, which placed first in the state. In high school he captained the Kansas math team at national competitions, participated in debate and forensics, and was valedictorian of his Topeka High class. He went to MIT, where he majored in economics. Following graduation, Wes worked for First Manhattan Consulting Group, traveling the world to help banks increase profitability. He spent two years with JPMorgan Chase as a vice president setting retail bank strategy. In the spring, he moved to Citibank where he is a senior vice president in the Corporate Treasury unit. Here are excerpts from the commencement address: I encourage you to dedicate yourself to a small number of activities where you can really shine. It’s a great way to meet people, and you’ll never do wrong by improving your repertoire of skills and experiences. Here’s the kicker: dedication looks awesome on a college resume.

(Photo: Nathan Ham)

You live in an age of hyper-competition with your peers. Especially as you start thinking about colleges, you’ll probably see the newspaper articles about that one student who founded a bunch of clubs, traveled to Africa and Haiti to build houses for orphans, wrote academic journal articles at their two unpaid internships, and still managed to be valedictorian. I have two thoughts: 1.

These students are very rare. That’s why there are newspaper articles written about them.


These stories resonate because those students demonstrated undeniable dedication to the activities they pursued.

You need to focus on that second point and figure out how you are going to show dedication, commitment, and growth in something you absolutely love. I tell you this with eleven years of experience reviewing thousands of resumes for MIT and my employers: all else being equal, the person who shows grit and determination; the person who has bled and cried for their cause; the person who has clearly put in long, hard hours even in those dark days where it wasn’t fun at all… that person’s getting the callback, the job offer, and the admissions spot every time when compared against someone who tries to pass themselves off as community-minded because they spent junior year’s spring break as a hospital candy striper or someone who is clearly intelligent but flits from interest to interest without completing anything. There are no cheat codes in life and hard work shines through like a beacon in the dark that can be seen from miles away. So don’t ever stop challenging yourself: it reflects better on you if you get a B in an AP class than to get A’s in joke classes. And never, ever take credit when somebody else did your work for you. Here’s one shortcut, though, that I wish I’d realized way earlier than I did: you can always ask for help. Teachers, advisors, and upperclassmen are almost always willing to help if you can get over yourself to ask for it. I probably made my high school and college careers three times as difficult as I needed to because I thought too highly of myself to ask a professor or teaching assistant for after-hours assistance. You can find the full text of Wes’s graduation address at

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Congratulations Class of 2013

The Class of 2013 and the High Schools They Have Chosen

Photo: Nathan Ham

First row: Erica Isabela Self: Topeka High School Alexis Nicole Kahler: Topeka High School Hannah Grace Dykes: Topeka High School Second row: Satchel Colfax Pennington: Topeka High School Lauren Hillary Fricke: Washburn Rural High School Isabel Christine Huckins: Topeka High School Gabrielle Elizabeth Fager: Washburn Rural High School

Noor Kyasa: Washburn Rural High School

Christopher Kenneth Gernon: Topeka High School

Peter Lawrence Sumners: Pembroke Hill School, Kansas City, Missouri

Back row:

Third row:

Chase Francis Hochard: Topeka High School

Joseph Liam McGivern: Hayden High School

Mason John Hamilton: Jackson Heights High School, Netawaka, Kansas

Dalton James Van Aalst: Washburn Rural High School

Job Elysha Kemp: Northside High School, Roanoke, Virginia

Adam Philipp Cole: Topeka High School

Jackson William Palmer: Topeka High School

Bryce Paul Valley: Washburn Rural High School

James Nathaniel Warren III: Topeka High School

Toma Dimitriu: Topeka High School

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Middle School Honors and Awards 2013 Class Address

Job Kemp Physical Education Award Noor Kyasa Technology Award

Bryce Valley Art Award

Hannah Dykes Music Award Toma Dimitriu

Mac Rives Award

Chris Gernon

Science Award Debra Pakaluk Award

Bryce Valley

Toma Dimitriu Spanish Award Head of School Award

Chris Gernon

Adam Cole Latin Award

Chris Gernon

Character Counts Award

Noor Kyasa Language Arts Award Susah H. Garlinghouse Humanitarian Award

Lauren Fricke

Lauren Fricke Mathematics Award

Bryce Valley

Student Council Gavel

Chris Gernon History Award

Erica Self - 39 -

Collegiate Life

Topeka Collegiate School Annual Report 2012-2013*

* The Development Office has made every effort to check the accuracy of this report. We sincerely regret any errors or omission that may have escaped our notice. Every contribution to TCS makes a difference and is deeply appreciated. If there is an error in the way we have listed your gift, please contact Mary Loftus at 785.228.0490 or - 40 -

Collegiate Life

Topeka Collegiate School

Annual Report 2012-2013 Expenses Salaries & Benefits Fundraising Administrative & Office Financial Aid Facilities Instructional Support Total

$1,828,498 156,647 136,190 172,567 34,376 38,872 13,358 $2,380,508

$1,522,344 70,505 52,630 239,109 304,097 319,870 $2,508,555




ct io


Revenue Tuition & Fees Auction Annual Fund Extracurricular Activities Other Fundraising Interest Miscellaneous Revenue Total






lF ua nn



istrati ve & O ffice

Other Fu nd


Misc ella




s Re

venu e

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al A

ci nan

Fa Ins cil tru cti iti on al S es up po rt

Tuition & Fees

lar ur rtiiceus c a r t x i E Activ

Salaries & Benefits

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Profile: The Morrison Family Ask Jared Morrison why he and his wife Heather give so generously of their time and financial support to Topeka Collegiate, and he doesn’t hesitate. “We just love it here!” he says. “It’s clear that the teachers are invested in the kids, which in turn, makes us want to invest in the school. It’s something we choose to do. We feel blessed to be in the position we’re in and we want to support things that are important to us.” When they moved here from Kansas City in 2008, these two Hiawatha natives were not new to northeast Kansas, but they were new to Topeka. With few friends and immediate family in town, Topeka Collegiate became their family. Third grader Aidan was three-and-a-half years old. His parents didn’t intend to start him in school so early but a visit to TCS changed their minds. “It feels like family,” says Jared. “I remember clearly when Aidan began Jr. Pre-K. The fellow TCS parents were an immediate resource, a support system. Everyone’s made the choice to be here, they’re all invested in this place and their children’s education. We came to rely on this community of like-minded families.” Valuing education came naturally and early for the couple, who think they met in kindergarten, although neither remembers the exact moment. Heather’s father spent a 40-year teaching career in elementary education, mostly in a 4th grade classroom in Hiawatha’s public schools. “It’s a small town where everyone is very involved in their children’s school lives and activities,” she explains. “Topeka Collegiate actually replicates the environment we grew up in, where the importance of education was always modeled and emphasized.” Heather and Jared are co-chairs of the 2013-14 Annual Fund campaign with friends and fellow third grade parents Mende Barnett and Pete Vobach (Madisyn). It’s a role they admit is a bit out of their comfort zone, but Jared explains, “We want to do everything we can to help. This school is the number one thing in our children’s lives and we recognize the importance of Annual Fund. We want our children and everyone else’s children to have as much success and as many opportunities as we can make possible for them.” Both Heather and Jared work long hours, she as an obstetrician-gynecologist, he managing environmental programs at Westar Energy, yet they volunteer precious free time to lend support to their sons’ activities. Jared coaches Kindergartner Liam’s soccer and basketball teams and has in the past assisted with Aidan’s soccer team. “I just want them to have the opportunity to play with friends,” he says, “and it works better when parents are involved.” The Morrisons helped make TCS history as part of the largest-ever single bid on a school auction item. The year was 2012. Alum Brad Garlinghouse (T) ’85 traded bids with the Morrisons until he won the “KU Basketball Experience”. The auctioneer got the go-ahead - 42 -

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to sell the item again. All eyes turned to Heather and Jared, both KU alumni. Up went their bid number. The crowd erupted. “It was a fun night,” they say, smiling at the memory. “We were comfortable with the dollar amount because we knew where the money was going.” That auction honored school founders Susan and Kent Garlinghouse, the first inductees into the Topeka Collegiate Hall of Fame. This fall, they issued the Garlinghouse Challenge Match to encourage increased support of Annual Fund. Heather and Jared are committed to building on the Garlinghouse legacy. “We and our children are benefitting from the investment they made decades ago,” Jared points out. “They set the foundation. We have to continue to build on it in every way we can.”

“We want our children and everyone else’s children to have as much success and as many opportunities as we can make possible for them.”

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2012-2013 Annual Fund Leadership Chairman Sherry Miltz Class Captains Sherry Miltz Angela Griffith Sherry Rentfro Amy White Dawn Brosa Kelli Gonzales Nikki Kemp Winnie Kimata Alex Glashausser Mindy Bowman Mary Etzel Dawn Magee Kris Bethea Tyler Lathrop-Allen Lynette Palmer Amy Spurgeon-Hochard

Thank you to the Topeka Collegiate community for coming together to achieve something remarkable: 100% participation by the Board of Trustees, faculty/staff and school families. Your generosity helped us raise $136,190 in the 2012-2013 Annual Fund campaign.

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Collegiate Life

2012-2013 Honor Roll of

Annual Fund Contributors Jennifer MacLeay and John Sorrenti

Soaring Eagle Council $10,000 and above

Donna Swaffar

Susan and Kent Garlinghouse

Jakica Tancabelic

Kathy and Bruce Myers

Jane and Richard Tilghman Brandi and Richard Wells

American Eagle Council $7,500 to $9,999

President’s Council $750 to $1,499 Golden Eagle Council $5,000 to $7,449

Anonymous (2)

Sharon and Howard Fricke

Jodi and Todd Boyd

Charlene and John Gernon

Dawn and Bernard Brosa

Maureen and Bob Ihrie

Erin and Micah Forstein Mary Loftus and Glenn Freeman

Founders’ Council $2,500 to $4,999

Ximena Garcia and Craig Gernon

Alison Hill-Langham ‘86 and Brian Langham Isolde and Stefano Pettinella

Yumiko and Alexander Glashausser Jeanne and Paul Hoferer Marta and Brandan Kennedy

Stephanie and John Valley

Stephanie and Scott Mickelsen Patty and Kevin Nocktonick

Zap the Gap $1,500 to $2,499

Inke Paetau-Robinson and Elmer Robinson

Deborah and Bradley Aboud

Wesley West ‘98

Heather and Pat Birkbeck

Eva Brown and Meredith Williard

Mary Lou and Jim Birkbeck Michel’ and Jim Cole

Head of School’s Council $500 to $749

Nicoleta and Vlad Dimitriu Jett and Tim Elmer

Anonymous (5)

J.T. Johnson, Jr.

Elisa Corbett and Adrian Caracioni

Dawn and Shawn Magee

Eileen and Pat Doran

Tracey Goering and Dennis Mahan

Jill and Christopher Dykes

Mary Beth and Jim Marchiony

Cynthia and David Einspahr

Heather and Jared Morrison

Mary and Noel Etzel

Suchitra and Suresh Ram

Cheryl and John Fager Melissa and Steve Fuhrman - 45 -

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Karen and Patrick Gideon

Phyllis and Brent Hoyt

Linda Hill

Karen and Andrew Linn

Tamara and Matthew Kahler

Lanny and Bryant Moyer

Manjusha and Nitin Kulkarni

Karen and Bill Padgett

Tiffany and Tim Liesmann ‘95

Chris Ramsey

Sushmita Veloor and Raghunath Malay

Rosa and Ed Sanderson

Swapna Mamidipally and Subrahmanya Nimishakavi

Laura and Greg Schwerdt Anita Valdivia

Lynette and Chris Palmer Penny and Richard Plamann

Friends’ Council $50 to $249

Sabukun Nahar and Rehan Reza Ronald Smiley

Anonymous (6)

Kyesuk Kim and Radu Teodorescu

Mireille and Lucien Abboud

Asha and Sanjay Tripathi

Lamees Mohdali and Bahaa Abu Bakr

Aparna Avasarala and Kaluri Vasu

Lesley Ash ‘96

Mende Barnett and Peter Vobach

Kim and Rick Baker

Susan Voorhees and Richard Maxfield

Ruth and Eugene Bammes

Julie and Toby Wegner

Connie and Bill Barnes

Cathie and Tom Wiley

Julie and Mark Bernal

Jill and Lonnie Williams

Kelley and Jason Berryman Virginia Bockwitz

Benefactors’ Council $250 to $499

Xianqun and Chris Boiteau Mindy and Randall Bowman

Anonymous (2)

Karissa and Kenneth Boyd

Merrill and Jay Befort

Amy Campbell

Don Boyd

Jordan Carter ‘03

Mary DeCoursey and David Brennan

Tonya and Patrick Crawford

Lyn Huffaker and Craig Cowley

Maura and Lewis Dingman

Sridevi Donepudi and Brian van Doren

Lorie and Brian Duncan

Colleen Dougan

Betty and Jack Elliott

Kellie and Darrel Dougan

Anita Frank

Robert Dubois

Gail and Benjamin Franklin

Kelli and John Gonzales

Jaime and Tony Frederick

Joanne Harrison - 46 -

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John Freeman ‘98

Sonja Czarnecki and Eric McHenry

Katie Freeman ‘93

Marlene and Ron Montgomery

Sue and Shanti Gandhi

Tally and James Moore

Pere Garlinghouse ‘00

Dené and Zachary Mosier

Charles Glashausser

Melanie and John Mullican

Lisa and Joseph Goularte

Kanna Naka

Stephanie and Matthew Grubb

Linda and Kenneth Park

Veronica and Antonio Gutierrez

Sandra Pellegrini

Rachel and Larry Hargreaves

Kathy and David Petty

Jenni and Andy Harrison

Karen and David Kapusta-Pofahl

Amy Spurgeon-Hochard and Michael Hochard

Haritha Duggaraju and Bhaskar Ramaraju

Jackie Hoyt ‘03

Jessica and Travis Reed

Danielle and David Huckins

Sherry and Jeremy Rentfro

Rachel and Kenny Hundley

Priya and Dave Sandir

Briana Jackson

Dianne and Takayoshi Sands

Shelby and Brett Grau-James

Athena Andaya and Gordon Self

Fareeha and Bilal Khan

Tammy and Shaun Schmidt

Camille Davis and Timothy Kelly

Kay and Bradley Siebert

Nikki and Maurice Kemp

Laura and Neal Straus

Gwen and Robert Kennedy

Serece and Peter Sumners

Elisabeth and David Kensinger

Donna Kirk-Swaffar and Steve Swaffar

Winnie Kimata

Melinda and Brian Theis

Emma Kuntz ‘93

Lori McMillan and David Tiemens

Marjorie and Tyler Lathrop-Allen

Katrina Van Aalst

Jane and Junyu Lee

Cynthia White-Warren

Elain and Kurt Level

Neva Jean and Harry Washington

Edward Lohf

Kansas Waugh ‘90

Suzanne and John MacDonald

Nancy and Rob Weigand

Chris MacDonald

Judy and Robert Welch

Marjorie and Robert MacLeay

Jessica Wendt

Maryam and Osman Malik

Amy and Sean White

Kate and Lee McGee

Judith and Frank Wielandy

Eileen and Mark McGivern - 47 -

Collegiate Life

Anne McCoy Wilson (T) ‘93 and Brian Wilson

Sarah Pruden

Sue and John Wine

Samantha Crow Quist ‘95 and Jacob Quist

Joni Hamilton and Chris Woltje

Katrina Ramirez ‘04

Blake and Robert Zachritz

Shannon and Gerick Thompson

Elizabeth and David Zlotky

Meera and David Watson

Associates’ Council $1 to $49

Our Organizational Partners

Anonymous (4)

Aboud’s Catering

Michael Armstrong

BNSF Railway Company

Mary Kate Baldwin

Catherine Cook School

Karen and Lee Benson

Corefirst Bank and Trust

Kristin Bethea

Del Monte Foods

Jo and Ryan Boswell

Federal Home Loan Bank Topeka

Robert Catlin

Gencur Svaty Public Affairs

Michelle and Daniel Decker

Girl Scouts Troop #7085

Barbara and Jimmy DeLisle

Hill’s Pet Nutrition

Lanette Farmer


Melanie Finson

Kokari Foundation

Shannon and Joseph Gabel

Pace Butler Corporation

Marilyn Kido and Brian Giesy

Parrish Hotels Corporation

Cassandra and Nicholas Ginapp

Security Benefit

Cheryl and Stuart Hamilton


Kimberlie Hardy and Wayne Guthrie

Valley, Inc. Realtors

Crystal and Ron Kiely

Valley Self Storage

Tracie and Travis Lamb


Becky Leeper Susan Buder Horan Memorial Fund

Sarah Lewis Julie Lippold Jannis and Miguel Martinez

Daniel Burke

David McCoy

Susan and Kent Garlinghouse

Rachel Lindbloom and Allen Macfarlane

Kristen and Brad Garlinghouse (T) ‘85

Carey and Thomas Monaghan

Kristine and Mark Garlinghouse

Laura and David Morris - 48 -

Collegiate Life

Debbie Ward

Katie and Matthew Garlinghouse ‘90 Kimberley Garlinghouse-Jones and Eliott Jones Meg Garlinghouse

Auction Professional Development Fund

Dick Patterson Fund

Kim and Rick Baker Deana and Rich Beardmore

Eileen and Patrick Doran

Heather and Pat Birkbeck

Susan and Kent Garlinghouse

Meredith Williard and Eva Brown

Mary Loftus and Glenn Freeman

Margaret and Tim Carkhuff Michel’ and Jim Cole Kellie and Darrel Dougan

Myers Family Scolarship Fund

Stacy Elmer ‘95 Jett and Tim Elmer

Kathy, Bruce, Michael ‘05 and Madison Myers ‘08

Mary and Noel Etzel Kelly Farmer ‘95


Lanette Farmer Barbara Gannaway

Deborah and Bradley Aboud

Susan and Kent Garlinghouse

Dawn and Bernard Brosa

Ximena Garcia and Craig Gernon

Eva Brown

Karen and Patrick Gideon

Warren Daughtridge

Christy and Alex Grecian

Mary and Noel Etzel

Jeanne and Paul Hoferer

F&F Productions, Inc.

Tamara Kahler

Gail and Benjamin Franklin

Krizia Camlet and Pablo Kennedy ‘03

Mary Loftus and Glenn Freeman

Marta and Brandan Kennedy

Susan and Kent Garlinghouse

Daniel Kennedy ‘07

Tracey Goering and Dennis Mahan

Cheryl and David Kingfisher

Julie Lippold

Alison Hill-Langham ‘86 and Brian Langham

Mary Beth and Jim Marchiony

Tiffany and Tim Liesmann ‘95

Sherry and Eric Miltz

Karen and Andrew Linn

Erin and Joe Pennington

Mary Loftus and Glenn Freeman

Rees’ Fruit Farm

Sushmita Veloor and Raghunath Malay

Security Benefit

Mary Beth and Jim Marchiony

Stephanie and John Valley - 49 -

Collegiate Life

Lila McClaflin

The Miltz Family

Jane and Stan Metzger

The Mullican Family

Sherry and Eric Miltz

Lynette and Chris Palmer

Heather and Jared Morrison

The Ram Family

Linda and Gary Nantz

Linda and Norval Spielman

Carla Klem and Mike Orozco

Brian and Melinda Theis

Erin Bess and Joe Pennington

Jane and Richard Tilghman

Kelly and Eric Swan

Beth and David Wittig

Jane and Richard Tilghman Stephanie and John Valley Mende Barnett and Pete Vobach Beth and David Wittig Founders Fund Joyce and Don Allegrucci Meredith Williard and Eva Brown Dina and Channing Cox Karen Rooney Cuevas and Ignacio Cuevas Erin Bess and Joe Pennington Cherie and Richard Davis Bridget Elmer ‘91 and Lyman Edwards Gail and Benjamin Franklin Mary Loftus and Glenn Freeman Susan and Kent Garlinghouse Patrick Garrett Josephine and Max Halley Kathleen and Lawrence Hortenstine Rebecca Kopp ‘00 Saritha Jasti and Venkata Koppada Monique Pittman-Lui and Nason Lui Tracey Goering and Dennis Mahan Mary Beth and Jim Marchiony - 50 -

Collegiate Life

- 51 -

Collegiate Life

Topeka Collegiate

Non-Profit Org US Postage PAID Permit # 9 Topeka KS

est. 1982


2200 SW Eveningside Drive Topeka, Kansas 66614

Save the Dates Alumni Family Reunion

Auction 2014

Friday, December 20, 2013 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. TCS Commons

Saturday, May 3, 2014 Ramada Hotel

Friends and Family Night


Friday, April 11, 2014 5:30 - 8:00 p.m. Topeka Collegiate School

Thursday, May 22, 2014 10:00 a.m. Topeka Collegiate School

Do You Know a Future Eagle? For information or to schedule a tour, contact: Admissions Director Paula Huff 785.228.0490

or visit our website:

Keep in Touch Please check us out and like us on Facebook: Topeka Collegiate School and Topeka Collegiate Alumni

Collegiate Life 2013  
Collegiate Life 2013  

Topeka Collegiate's "Collegiate Life" Alumni Newsletter.