Volume 18.2 Spring Winter2012 2015
a publication of the
WESTSIDE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
1101 South 90th NE Street Omaha, NE 68124 || 402.390.2183 | westside66.org 1101 South 90th Street Omaha, 68124 | 402.390.2183 www.alumni.wcsfoundation66.org
Westside Celebrates Hall of Fame and Lighthouse Leaders The Westside community came together on October 9 to celebrate seven outstanding alumni and supporters. The Alumni Association inducted Michael Cassling, Fred H. Hawkins, Jr., Kim Hawkins, Kimberly C. Krhounek, and James A. Woodland into the Westside High School Hall of Fame. Westside Community Schools awarded the Lighthouse Leader award to Michael F. Coyle and Mike Williams. The 2014 Hall of Fame inductees: Michael Cassling (’82): Mike graduated an All-American swimmer and during all four of his high school years, the swim team brought home state championships. Mike joined Cassling in 1985. He was appointed president in 1996. Today, Mike is the chief operating officer of Cassling and CQuence Health Group. Mike serves on the Board of Directors of the Salvation Army, Omaha Symphony, Omaha Performing Arts and Omaha Sports Commission. He is a member of the United States Strategic Command Consultations Committee, Bellevue University Strategic Business Committee, and Omaha Community Foundation Strategic Planning Committee. Mike also is an Ak-Sar-Ben Councilor. Nationally, Mike serves on the Broadway Dreams Board of Directors and The Salvation Army National Advisory Board. Fred H. Hawkins, Jr. (’68): Fred earned a business administration degree from Hastings College and joined his family’s business, Hawkins Construction, in 1972. He has served as vice president, treasurer, and president. He became chief executive officer in 2006. Fred has served the metropolitan community and state by being involved with a variety of organizations. He served as both a Governor and as a Coronation Ball Chairman for the Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben. Fred served as chairman of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce’s Governmental Affairs Committee
The Westside Hall of Fame inducted (from left to right): Jim Woodland, Fred Hawkins, Jr., Mike Casslng and Kelly Krhounek accepting for Kim Krhounek. Back row: Alumni Association President Jason Hellman and Superintendent Blane McCann.
and the Juvenile Diabetes Walk for the Cure. The River City Roundup named him a Grand Marshal. He was a member of the Hastings College Board of Trustees. Hastings College inducted Fred into its Pro Rege Society. Fred is currently on the Board of Directors of the Nebraska Game and Parks Foundation. Kim Hawkins (’72): Kim earned a civil engineering degree from Georgia Tech and joined Hawkins Construction Company in 1976. Kim earned his law degree from Creighton Law School in 1979. He serves as president of Hawkins Construction and Hawkins Equipment. Kim’s civic involvement includes serving as chairman of Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands and on the Board of Directors of the Westside Foundation, the Omaha Hearing School, and the Good Neighbor Foundation. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Omaha honored him with a Spirit of Progress Award and the UNL College of Business Administration named Kim Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998.
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Kimberly C. Krhounek (’84): Kim attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor’s degree in French. She earned her law degree from American University Washington College of Law, M.A. from American University School of International Service and received a Diploma from the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (French school of government). Kim has worked for the U. S. State Department as a Foreign Service officer since 1994. Her first U.S. embassy posting was to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Kim’s career has sent her to the United Nations, the Czech Republic, Egypt, and Iraq. Over the years Kim has handled sensitive policy issues from reconstruction of Iraq to deescalating crises in Ukraine and Gaza. Today, Kim serves as the Political Counselor at the American Embassy in Paris. Kim has been recognized for political reporting, (continued on page 2)
Happy New Year! 2015! Wow! That sounds crazy to me. I am still shocked when I see letter jackets with small numbers on the shoulder. What happened to the 80’s and 90’s? We hope you enjoy the winter edition of the “W”. The Alumni Association is working hard toward producing a newsletter that you are proud of and look forward to reading. We continue to tweak our format and schedule as we attempt to communicate “Warrior Pride”. To this end, we have decided to publish 3 editions of the “W” annually. These include a Fall, Winter, and Spring edition. Our plan is to deliver these to your mailboxes in January, May and September. We also elected to incorporate feature stories about happenings at Westside and alumni successes. This edition includes a story about our Football Program’s 2014 service projects, our 2014 Westside Hall of Fame Inductees, as well as our alumni who were recently elected to political office. If you have an idea you feel would make a great “Warrior Pride” story for the “W”, please let us know. With decades of successful alums, we would love to get your input on great stories. In fact, you could even write a story and send it our way. The Alumni Association belongs to each and every alumnus. If you want to be involved, or have an idea that could help us serve our alumni, please email email@example.com. I hope you enjoy our winter edition of the “W”. GO Warriors! Jason B. Hellman (’90)
The 2014 Lighthouse Leaders pictured here with Superintendent Blane McCann: Michael Coyle (left) and Mike Williams (right).
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anti-fraud work and for her involvement with the 2010 NATO summit. James Woodland (’66): Jim served as the Director of Science Education at the Nebraska Department of Education for 27 years. He retired in 2013. Jim’s responsibilities included the coordination, development, and implementation of Nebraska Science Standards and state science assessments. Jim holds a bachelor's degree in Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a master's degree in Education Administration from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. The 2014 Lighthouse Leaders: Michael Coyle: Mike has been president of the Westside Community Council, has served as legal counsel to both the Westside Community Schools and the Westside Foundation. Mike’s work has been recognized in the Best Lawyers in America and Chambers USA, America’s Leading Business Lawyers. Mike met his wife, Pamela Bloch, '79, while they were attending Creighton Law School. All
four of their children have attended Westside High School. Mike Williams (’72): Mike earned bachelor's degrees in criminal justice and business from the University of NebraskaLincoln. He has served as a Community Club president for Oakdale Elementary School and Westside High School. Mike has served on the board of the Westside Foundation since 2007. Previously, he served on the board of the Westside Alumni Association. Mike has helped with the school board election process by working on the District's caucus committee. Mike’s extensive list of civic volunteerism includes past service to Make A Wish, The National Kidney Foundation and The Boys and Girls Club. He currently serves on the Immanuel Communities Board of Directors and is a Trustee for the Boy Scouts. Congratulations to these outstanding individuals whose accomplishments and service reflect so well on Westside.
the Annual Alumni Homecoming football Tailgate was held on October 10, 2014 at westside. While the night was chilly, alumni and their families enjoyed burgers, brats and the good company of each other. The Warriors delivered a win beating Columbus 41-7. 2 | w e s t s i d e a l u m n i a s s o c i at i o n
Football Team Gives Back Off the Field
Westside football players traveled to Pilger, Nebraska to assist in tornado cleanup this past summer. Players spent the day cleaning debris out of a local farmer's field.
Written by Warrior Football Members, Spencer Jordan #45 and Grant Jordan #34, Class of 2016
Westside football is much more than X’s and O’s, touchdowns scored, and the pursuit of championships. Our Warriors strive throughout the year to be at their best long after the lights of Friday night have dimmed and the cheers of adoring fans have faded. At Westside, football has always been about more than the team's win/lose record; it is about hard work, academic achievement and
giving back through service to others. As a cornerstone of the program, Coach Brett Froendt encourages his players to give back to the community through service to others. Through the team’s community service efforts, the coach hopes to heighten the awareness of the importance of providing ‘service to others’ and to giving back to those in need of a helping hand. Coach Froendt states, “It is my goal through the program’s ongoing service efforts that we
individually, as a team and as a school, make a difference through our contributions to building a stronger community”. This past summer, thirty-five players went to Pilger, Nebraska to help with disaster relief following the devastating tornados that destroyed much of the farming community. This past season, players raised donations by wearing pink on behalf of all the team’s moms, family members, and friends either directly or indirectly affected by breast cancer. Additional funds were donated to the Women’s Council for Domestic Violence, the Susan G. Komen Foundation and to the new Champions Plaza. The team also created a video supporting the fight against domestic violence which can be seen at web address: http://youtu.be/4ZOXH04JWug. Individual academic classes also participate in their own community service projects. The Seniors conducted a food drive supporting the District Food Pantry, the Juniors volunteered time at Lutheran Family Services, the Sophomores performed maintenance for Project Harmony, and the Freshmen cleaned the Champions Plaza before homecoming. Our teams are champions every year because of our community service efforts. At Westside we are building more than football players. We are building future men of character, community leaders, husbands, fathers, and friends we, as the District 66 Community, can be proud of.
It's a new year which means another year of reunions. Visit our website at alumni. wcsfoundation66.org for all reunion information.
1965 - 50 Year: June 13, 2015 www.whs65.com 1970 - 45 Year: August 28-29, 2015 www.facebook.com/70WHS 1975 - 40 Year: October 2-4, 2015 www.facebook.com/groups/westside1975
Classes planning a 2015 reunion, please contact the Westside Alumni Association at firstname.lastname@example.org with your committee information and dates.
Members of the Class of 1957 held a reunion this Fall in Dallas, Texas. Attendees included Gene Utterback, Marny Meyer Yenzer, Buzzy Zschau, Julia Harvey Appell, Roger Fellows, Margaret Steinbacher Long, Dave Humphry, Janet Voss Golden and Rex Rehnquist. w e s t s i d e a l u m n i a s s o c i at i o n | 3
b u i l d i n g
EXCELLENCE Champions Plaza Celebration Friday, October 10, 2014
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Alumni athletes, coaches, donors, supporters and staff all gathered on October 10, 2014 to celebrate the Grand Opening of Champions Plaza at Westside High School. The new stadium entrance celebrates 60 years of athletic achievement and salutes the excellence, character and dedication of all Westside High School athletes and coaches. The Westside Foundation would like to thank everyone who worked on the project for their hard work and dedication to Westside Community Schools. Without our donors, supporters and volunteers, this would never have been possible. It is our hope that Champions Plaza will forever be a symbol of Westside Spirit for all our alumni and students. If you missed the grand opening celebration, please come and visit!
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Alumni Lace Up for 2014 Basketball Tournament
The 21st annual WHS Alumni Basketball Tournament was held on Saturday, November 29. Sixty-two participants registered to play, 52 men (9 teams) and for the first time, 10 women (2 teams). Classes represented ranged from 1976 to 2014. Proceeds from the players plus donations totaled $665 which will be used to support the Tom Hall Scholarship and the Vic Porter Scholarship for Warrior basketball players. For the second time in Alumni Tournament history, two women's teams competed. The players represented classes between 2006 and 2014. It was fun for the women who played as well brought a great aspect to the tournament. The challenge has been sent out to other female alumnae to participate next year! On the mens' side, the 2008 went 7-1 through the tournament which gained them a spot in the finals. The returning champions, the class of 2007, gained the other spot in the finals despite losing its last two bracket games to finish 5-3. In the finals, the 2007 team came from behind to beat the class of 2008, 12-9 and won for the third year in a row. A special thanks to Curt Huston (’81) who provided Little Caesars pizza for the event, as well as to Rick Berkshire (’72) who has organized the tournament every year. Rick has done a great job organizing the tournament which has grown every year. Rob Laughlin (’75) will chair the tournament in the future.
Winning Class of 2007 (left to right): Max Bridges, Sam Moser, Colt Anderson, Derek Fletcher, Kyle Fries, and Paul Siebold.
Lady Warrior alumnae included (front left to right): Kenzie Lammel (’12), Emily Wilkinson (’09), Marie Matthews (’14), Mallory Thompson (’14), Alexa Anderson (’11). (back left to right): Julie Berkshire (’06), Kellie Nelson (’07), Sarah Nelson (’10), Chaeli Greco (’09), and Kelsey Anderson (’08).
Warriors Win Fall Elections
November 2014 elections put Westside graduates into various rolls in our state and national government. John S. McCollister (’66) was elected to represent Legislative District 20 in the Nebraska Legislature. John served as President of McCollister & Company, which has been in business for 35 years. He also served as Executive Director of the Platte Institute for Economic Research. Governor Pete Ricketts (’82) was elected Governor of Nebraska. Pete worked for Union Pacific prior to joining the family business, T. D. Ameritrade, as a customer service representative. He went on to hold leadership roles in the company including Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, Senior Vice President of Product Development, Senior Vice President of Marketing, President, and Chief
Operating Officer (COO). In the fall of 2007, the Nebraska Republican Party’s central committee selected Pete as their national committeeman to serve on the Republican National Committee, a position he held until the fall of 2012. Brad Ashford (’67) was elected to represent District 2 in The United States Congress. Early in his career, Brad was hired as an attorney for the General Counsel’s Warrior alumni election winners (left to right, current and Office of the Federal Highway senior photos): John McCollister, Pete Ricketts, Brad Ashford. Commission in Washington Unicameral in 1986 where he served two terms D.C. He then settled in Omaha to join the law firm Bradford and Coenen. Brad before leaving and returning to serve another was first elected to the nonpartisan Nebraska two terms starting in 2006.
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From the Desk of
Maryanne Ricketts, Westside Principal
It seems like we just opened our doors for the 2014-2015 school year and suddenly we are almost at the end of first semester. Time flies when you are having fun! As you remember, Westside is an active place with so much going on between academics, athletics, performing arts, and the 70 student clubs and organizations you’ll find at the high school. There is definitely something for everyone. It has been a busy and productive first semester, and there are so many positive things to highlight that it would take pages to list everything. I’m including a few here, but always check out the District’s or Westside’s website to see all the events, awards, and recognition during the year. Some of our student accomplishments include: • Three students, two seniors and one junior, each scored a perfect 36 on their ACT test since June 2014. Of the 1.8 million students taking the ACT each year, less than one tenth of 1% —approximately 1,800 students—manage a score of 36. • Westside High School was the recipient of the Nebraska ARTS Award in recognition of exemplary arts in education. • Westside’s newspaper staff was presented with a Cornhusker Award, the Nebraska High School Press Association’s highest award for publication excellence. • The newly formed Westside Cycling Team competed in the Nebraska Interscholastic Racing Series this fall and brought home the championship. • Westside DECA received selection as the Nebraska Distinguished DECA Chapter of the Month for October. This honor now places Westside in the selection pool for Chapter of the Year, which will be announced in March 2015. • Westside had over 30 students chosen to participate in Nebraska Music Education Association All-State Conference Clinic in November. • Over 250 students participated in a fall sport. Members of our staff also were recognized this fall: • Sarah Schau, business teacher and department head, is one of four teachers in Nebraska to be named a 2015 Award of Excellence in the competition for the 2015 Nebraska Teacher of the Year. • Matt Rasgorshek was named one of the four Special Recognition Advisers in the Dow Jones News Fund National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year Competition. • Kristen Hogan was honored as the 2014 Nebraska Association of Teachers of Mathematics Rookie of the Year. In the December issue of the Warrior News, I wrote about Westside’s school spirit as more than just wearing our school colors, but as something that has been forged over a number of years, and is revealed through excellence in performance by our students in our classrooms, their strong participation in activities, and the relationships we find among students and staff. This spirit not only radiates from our staff, but from our parents, families, the community, and remarkable alumni. Thank you for your support, appreciation, and dedication to our Westside spirit of excellence! Sincerely, Maryanne Ricketts, Principal
CE LEN L E C EX Be a part of
Champions Plaza Buy a brick in the main walkway. Honor one another. Remember good times.
Large bricks available for $250 and small bricks for $125. Let the world know you were part of something special at Westside! Go to www.wcsfoundation66.org for more information.
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The Westside Alumni Association honors and recognizes all deceased alumni online at www.alumni.wcsfoundation66.org.
more information at alumni.wcsfoundation66.org
Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet Legacy Hall
May 20 Omaha Gives! www.omahagives24.org
WHS Commencement Ralston Arena
22nd Annual Westside Open Golf Outing The Players Club
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Westside Community Schools
Westside Alumni Association
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westside alumni association
2015 Board of Directors President: Jason Hellman (’90)
Westside Alumni Association The “W” Newsletter Westside Alumni Association 909 South 76th Street Omaha, NE 68114-4599
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Vice President: John Hoich (’76) TREASURER: Marc Lowe (’76)
golf outing june 29, 2015
SECRETARY: Phyllis (Donaldson) Choat (’65)
Save the Date!
Rick Berkshire (’72), Mark Dudley (’73), Mike Guinane (’74), Curt Huston (’81), Rob Laughlin, (’75), Beth (Williams) Leach (’98), Kristin Lynch (’89), Debbie (Moss) McGrew (’88), Martha (Williams) Nielsen (’82), Rob Owen (’87), Mark Sempek (’80), Tom Thompson (’83), Meagan (Davis) VanGelder (’88)
If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to the Alumni Association, please mail your donation to the address above, payable to “Westside Alumni Association”.
at The Players Club
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Westside Alumni Association Newsletter Winter 2015