Westside Alumni Newsletter - Fall 2019

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FALL 2019

A publication of the

WESTSIDE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION alumni.wcsfoundation66.org

Dr. Mike Lucas, Superintendent Westside Community Schools, and Ricky Anderson ('05)

2019 Westside Open Honors Dr. Tangdall With not a cloud in the sky, it was a perfect day for the 200 golfers at the annual Westside Open at The Players Club. The Hawkins Sisters -- Kathryn (Hawkins) Anderson (’00) and Patricia (Hawkins) Stillmock (’05) -- were the Presenting Sponsors of the June 24 event.

This year’s Westside Open was dedicated to former Westside Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Jim Tangdall, who passed away earlier this year. Dr. Tangdall was instrumental in creating the Westside Hall of Fame Golf Outing which continues today as The Westside Open. Its goal was to provide Westside alumni an opportunity to gather and reminisce, and raise a few dollars to fund the Westside Alumni Hall of Fame. During dinner, Bob Belgrade (’76) who worked with Dr. Tangdall to create the golf outing, shared stories about Dr. Tangdall and how much he cared about Westside and the golf tournament. Steve Tangdall and Kris Greenwald, two of Dr.Tangdall’s children, also attended the dinner. Dr. Tangdall will be missed by all. There was no shortage of food and prizes for this year’s golfers. Dunkin’ provided donuts and coffee before the morning tee off. Everyone enjoyed a delicious burger and brat lunch. For those more adventurous souls, Julio’s provided margaritas and Patriarch Distillers delivered hard lemonade. For those folks who returned for dinner, Koley Jessen and the Doug Riley Family Foundation sponsored a fantastic prime rib dinner.

Rob Owen ('87) Chair of The Westside Open and Mark Dudley ('73)

In addition to The Hawkins Sisters, there are so many sponsors to thank including Americal (Putting Green), RBC Wealth Management (First Tee), American National Bank (Clubhouse ), One Source (Golf Carts), Jimi D’s Food & Spirits (Flight Prizes), Wilson & Washburn (Flight Prizes), Don & Millie’s (Flight Prizes) and Security National Bank (Door Prizes). The Westside Open was lucky to have the following donate prizes raffled off at the end of the day: Hotel Deco and Monarch Prime (Dinner & Room), All Makes Office Equipment (Office Chair), N.P. Dodge (T.V.), Terry Heskett Pro Shop (Scotty Cameron Putter) and The Players Club (Golf). All alumni, businesses and individuals who donated to make the day possible are listed on the Alumni Association’s Facebook page. We thank them for making the event so successful. We couldn’t do it without them. Funds raised at The Westside Open allow the Westside Alumni Association to recognize outstanding alumni at the Westside Hall of Fame Biennial Awards Banquet. Additionally, we are able to contribute to student programs at Westside High School, fund annual scholarships, as well as provide students and educators with equipment that cannot be obtained otherwise. The 2020 Westside Open is scheduled for Monday, June 29, at The Players Club. We hope to see you then!

Terry Heskett ('88) and Christine Tvrdik ('91)

Photo credits courtesy of Deb Kaplan

Troy Meyerson ('91) Scott Kroeger ('94) Lance Kugler ('93) Scott Ethington ('94)


FALL 2019 |

President’s Corner The 2019 Westside Open annual golf outing was another great success. I want to extend a tremendous “thank you” to the players who came out and had fun, our generous sponsors, and eager volunteers. This year was particularly exciting because it was held in honor of the late Dr. Jim Tangdall who had such a prolific impact on our district. I would also like to thank Rob Owen (’87) for his chairmanship the past six years. This event continues to support the mission of the Westside Alumni Association to connect and honor alumni, and to support the educational objectives of District 66. The chart below illustrates how we utilized our funding for this recent fiscal year ending August 31. Senior Breakfast 7%

Hall of Fame 25%

Scholarships 36%

Lucas Brings Excitement as New Superintendent Mike Lucas didn’t grow up dreaming of becoming a Superintendent. But as a little boy in single-parent household in the South, school was a constant source of comfort, reliability, and strength. August 5, Westside’s new Superintendent shared his personal story with an estimated 1,000 district employees at the first All Staff Back-To-School Event. He noted the specific names and stories of his teachers throughout the years who nurtured him, encouraged him, and at least once, saved him.

Dr. Mike Lucas

“Those teachers were heroes. You are heroes,” Lucas told Westside staff. Lucas went on to play sports and study education at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, before getting his first job as a 3rd Grade Teacher in 1994. Within a few years, he was promoted to Principal, first in Labette County, Kansas and then in West Point, Nebraska. He became Superintendent of Franklin Public Schools in 2003, then of York Public Schools in 2009, where he became one of the most respected, prominent leaders in the community. Lucas wanted to bring his wife, Leisl, back to her hometown of Omaha, and lead a school district known nationally for innovation, community engagement, and excellence. “Here at Westside, ‘pretty good’ is the enemy’,” Lucas told Westside employees. “Do you want a ‘pretty good’ surgeon? A ‘pretty good’ pilot? We want excellence in our schools, and I know we have it.” Lucas is hosting group events across the district, and will welcome city and state leaders as the district unveils two new facilities this fall. His consistent message is to remember the WE in Westside Community Schools.

Alumni Tailgate 9%

WHS Wish List 24%

I am looking forward to seeing fellow alumni at the free Alumni Homecoming Tailgate on September 27th! Please stop by for dinner and drinks prior to the highly anticipated Westside vs. Creighton Prep rivalry game. Finally, on behalf of the Alumni Association, we welcome Dr. Mike Lucas as he embarks on his first school year as Superintendent! Mike hit the ground running this summer and will be an ambitious leader for our schools. Go Warriors!

“Westside is about community, innovation and pride,” said Lucas. “When we wear that W, we are doing it for the Warriors who came before us, the Warriors with us today, and the Warriors who will come after us. We are Westside.”



Please Join Us For a Free Tailgate 5:00 pm » Homecoming Tailgate Celebration

Ricky Anderson (’05)

Burgers, Drinks, Tailgate Fare

» John L. Hoich Alumni House 1101 South 90th Street

7:00 pm » Westside vs. Creighton Prep Call (402) 390-2183 to RSVP

The 2nd annual Party on Pacific on August 16th at the John L. Hoich Westside Alumni House was another success with over 200 alumni and friends in attendance! The end of summer party featured live music by Envy, tasty food trucks and craft beers. All money raised will benefit students of Westside Community Schools. Photo credits courtesy of Deb Kaplan

Athletic Hall of Fame and Coaches Night of Distinction

The 2019 Westside Athletic Hall of Fame inductees competed in a diverse variety of sports, and followed different paths after high school and college. One connecting thread will forever unite them; their shared foundation of Westside High School. The 2019 inductees were honored during a special ceremony May 3, hosted by WOWT Sports Director and Westside alum Ross Jernstrom. Westside Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees BACK: Michael Cooper ('93), Rick Berkshire ('72) FRONT: Magnolia Howell ('02), Laurel (Karnes) Murphy ('02) Abby Johnson ('01)

Michael Cooper (’93)

Michael Cooper was a four sport athlete in his time at Westside High School, named Captain of the Shrine Bowl and Top Male Athlete of the Year by B’Nai B’rith in 1993. He continued football with a record-setting career at Iowa State University, and currently coaches middle school football in Missouri.

Magnolia Howell (’02)

Magnolia Howell is one of the best female track athletes in Westside High School history. A three time state gold medalist, she was undefeated her senior year. Magnolia competed for California State University Long Beach on a full-ride scholarship, then became a professional track and field athlete for Trinidad and Tobago. Magnolia has since competed at international events, qualifying for Olympic Trials finals in 2012 and 2016. She is currently training for a final Olympics bid, hoping to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Abby Johnson (’01)

Abby Johnson is considered the best softball player in Westside history. A Gatorade Player of the Year in 2000, she still holds several school records, and was named one of the Best 25 Softball Players in Nebraska History by the Omaha World-Herald. Abby played at Creighton University and professionally, before returning to Creighton to coach for eight years.

Laurel (Karnes) Murphy (’02)

Laurel (Karnes) Murphy was one of the best soccer players in Nebraska in the early 2000’s, named All-State Team Captain in 2002 and to the 25-Year All Nebraska Team by the Omaha World-Herald. An exceptional student as well as athlete, she played soccer at Yale University, finishing third all time in points and fourth in goals.

1999 Baseball Team Rick Berkshire (’72)

Rick Berkshire was honored for his contributions to Westside Boys Basketball spanning 40 years. A two sport athlete, Rick has never forgotten his Warrior roots, serving as a volunteer, assistant coach, and tournament organizer.

The 1999 Baseball Team led by Coach Bob Greco was also honored. This was Greco’s first high school Spring State Championship team. The team compiled a 23-5 record, led by several All-State players. Greco announced in May that he was retiring from Westside High School after an iconic 26-year coaching career.

WESTSIDE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION 909 South 76th Street Omaha, NE 68114-4599



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THE “W” NEWSLETTER WESTSIDE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION 909 South 76th Street Omaha, NE 68114-4599 402.390.2183 (Voicemail) | 402.390.2177 (Fax) alumni@westside66.net

2019 BOARD OF DIRECTORS President : Ricky Anderson (’05) Vice-President: Jason Hellman (’90) Treasurer: Marc Lowe (’76) Secretary: Phyllis (Donaldson) Choat (’65) Directors: Steve Achelpohl (’68) Rick Berkshire (’72) Mark Dudley (’73) Mike Guinane (’74) John Hoich (’76) Curt Huston (’81) Stan Jensen (’06) Richard Larson (’10) Rob Laughlin (’75) Beth (Williams) Leach (’98) Vinnie Morrissey (’05) Rob Owen (’87) Tom Thompson (’83) Meagan (Davis) Van Gelder (’88)

If you are a parent receiving this newsletter rather than the alumnus, please ask them to update their address with us.

November 2, 2019

CHI Health Center, 455 N 10th St. 6:00 pm - Cocktails & Silent Auction 7:30 pm - Dinner with Live Auction to follow Chairs Kelly and Kevin Buscher Kim and Matt Pape Stacey Schnauber

Honorary Chairs Joy and Gordon Watanabe

Foster Helps Students Reach Potential


Tyler Foster will be among the first to teach in Westside’s new Welding, Fabrication and Manufacturing Lab, helping to nurture a new generation of industry leaders.

When Tyler Foster (’04) attended Westside High School, students nationwide felt an increasing emphasis for all students: traditional college should be a universal next step for all. Now as a teacher and expert in trades at Westside High School, Foster has seen some of the fallout from that one-size-fits-all approach. “That isn’t the right path for all students,” said Foster. “Companies focused on engineering, welding, electricity, and more, are now seeing a massive worker shortage. Here at Westside High School, we are changing that.” Foster, the 2019 Schrager Distinguished Teacher from Westside High School, has been a key contributor to the new Westside High School Welding, Fabrication and Manufacturing Lab, opening this fall. The $1.2 million expansion was made possible through corporate donors to the Westside Foundation, many of whom hope to recruit the talented students now learning trade skills before they even graduate high school. “Our students are learning cutting edge technology and skills,” said Foster. “They are getting real-world experience, networking with and learning from industry experts like Tyler Owen (’90) with Owen Industries/PVS. To date, 33

Picture Courtesy Elsie Stormberg, Omaha World Herald

Lab Instructors John Bombec and Tyler Foster (’04)

donors have contributed to this lab, because they believe in our program and what our students can be for their industry.” Hopefully a few of those students will also return to Westside High School, inspired by the teacher who once walked the same halls they did. Tyler Foster is among the WHS Engineering and Technology staff members who will be the first to teach in Westside’s new facility, nurturing a new generation of industry leaders. “No matter what our students want to do next, whether it be attending college or joining one of Omaha’s most valued fields, we will help them get there,” said Foster.

Coach Lou Miloni Honored endowed scholarship in Coach Miloni’s name, as well as designing and unveiling the bronze plaque. The scholarship has already been awarded each of A great crowd of alumni, administrators, family and friends the last two years, and gathered at the high school in July for the unveiling of the will continue to be new bronze plaque in Coach Miloni’s honor. The plaque is given in the future. placed by the door of the wrestling area to honor Miloni Coach Lou Miloni and his enduring values, and to remind all future students On how Miloni feels and wrestlers of his contributions to Westside High School. about the scholarship and plaque: “Honestly, I never expected this to happen. Wrestlers are different than every other athlete. You form a lasting bond with your Spearheaded by the Louis J. Miloni Steering Committee, kids. I feel blessed to have been a coach to so many consisting of alumni and Coach Miloni’s friends, the great people who continue to support future wrestlers committee originally set the fundraising goal at $150,000. through the scholarship. Having a plaque that will be They are now proud to announce that $110,000 has been around long after I’m gone is really humbling, and again, raised toward their I can’t thank my wrestlers enough for that honor.” goal! With their early success, the committee was able If you are interested in joining other alumni and friends to establish a by making a gift toward the fundraising goal, please post-high school contact the Westside Foundation at 402-390-2133. It is safe to say that a great teacher and coach impacts thousands of students and athletes throughout his/her career. Wrestling Coach Lou Miloni is one of those great educators. He coached, taught and guided thousands of Westside students during his many years at Westside High School.

Thank you to everyone who has supported this fund!

JOIN THE The Club is the annual campaign through the Westside Foundation benefiting students and teachers throughout Westside Community Schools. In two short years, the Club has raised more than $210,000 for educational programs and innovative equipment. Last year was a banner year with over $91,000 raised by 301 members across the United States. Join your fellow alumni and friends by becoming a Club member.

2019 W Club Co-Chairs

Wendi (Sargent, ‘95) and Scott Kroeger (‘94) Patty (DiBaise, ‘81) and C.L. Landen (‘76) Tangdall Sisters (Laurie Kemp, ‘73 and Kris Greenwald ’86)


Get this “Omaha Westside” T-Shirt

Get other cool Westside Swag with your membership!

Join Today!

wcsfoundation66.org Invitation and details to follow

SAVE THE DATE 1965: 55th Reunion July 31 - August 1, 2020

Contact: Anne (Leigh) Hellbusch aeh1532@icloud.com

Upcoming Class Reunions 1960: 60th Reunion | October 2-3, 2020 Anyone who wishes to attend from Westside's first class of 1953 thru 1960 are welcome. For more information, please email Babs (Russell) Tracy at babsrtracy@gmail.com

2009: 10th Reunion | November 29, 2019 November 29: 7:00 pm Old Mattress Factory 501 North 13th Street Downtown Omaha, NE Contact Alyssa Moore, akmoore3434@gmail.com to purchase tickets

July 31, 2020 No-Host Gathering Spirit World 6680 Center Street Aksarben Village Omaha, NE

Class Reunions

1974: 45th Reunion

Carol (Incontro) Kline, Lorie (Boyer) Aust and Becky (Daisley) Reumund

1989: 30th Reunion

Gwen McGill, Susie Quist - Lapello, Dan Fishburn, Nancy Olson-Pierzchala, Marnee Dietrich-Jepsen

August 1, 2020 Dinner and Party Hilton Garden Inn 6737 Frances Street Aksarben Village Omaha, NE

If you have any photos or contact updates from your reunions, please email them to the Alumni Association: alumni@westside66.net


Chuck Garlock, Diane (Koborg) and Jeff Ferris


FALL 2019 |

1979: 40th Reunion

Jim Korff, Jana (Schmidt) Tanner, Lynn (Sopich) Bolton, Joni (Fredericton) Stalder, Ruth (Drake) Welch, Amy (Gordon) O’Connor, Cindy (Hartford) Bailey

Kurt Sage, Steve Koukol, Craig Patterson Camille (Patterson) Cadman, Dave Kalina, Joni (Fredericton) Stalder, Joan (Seman) Oetken, Amy (Gordon) O’Connor, Laurie (Bloom) LoBue, Marcie (Hagerty) Bergquist

1999: 20th Reunion

Chris Patil, Gwen McGill

Natasha (Hurkman) Kirk, Danielle (Kuzela) Empson, Grant Empson, Adrian Rider, Vanessa (Ryan) Macias Palomar, Brett Klusaw

Chris Hawkins, Colby Rinker, Stacy McElligott, Adrian Rider

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