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Alumni News & Notes: Winter 2023


Baker’s Beta Tau Chapter of Kappa Sigma turned 120 years old on February 2. They will be celebrating their big day at STAG on Saturday, May 20.


Legendary broadcaster and voice of our Baker Wildcats, Tom Hedrick, ’56, was interviewed on Fox4KC about his time as a broadcaster for the Kansas City Chiefs during the very first Super Bowl, in 1967.


Michelle (Tuller) Swain, ’87, married Troy Heidner on Dec. 28, 2022, in a surprise wedding. The bride was accompanied by many Baker alumni friends and family.


Gretchen (Buehler) Bixler, ’91, was the Section 5 winner of the NFHS Outstanding Music Educator award. Bixler is a vocal music teacher at Eisenhower High School in Goddard, Kansas.

Maradeth (North) Frederick, ’99, was appointed by Governor Kelley to be district judge of the 11th Judicial District of Kansas sitting in Cherokee County.

Gary Renshaw, ’90, was inducted into the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in January.

Larry Smith, ’96, the assistant principal at Central Middle School in Kansas City, Kansas, was the lead official at the Sugar Bowl. Larry has been officiating NCAA D1 football games in the Big Ten Conference for several years.


Evan Durnal, ’05, was announced as a member of the 44th Kansas City Tomorrow Leadership Class by the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City.

Dr. Luke Thompson, ’05, enjoyed being part of the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs. He serves on their medical team.


Matt Brock, ’11, was named defensive coordinator at Mississippi State University.

Bailey Conklin, ’17, United Soccer Coaches marketing and communications manager, was awarded National Staff Member of the Year.

Kathryn Cooper, ’18, serves as the assistant branch manager of the Monticello branch of the Johnson County Library System.

Meredith Hodges, ’12, obtained her clinical licensure in late 2022 and is a licensed clinical professional counselor.

Erica McDonald, ’14 MAED, ’21 MSSL, was recently named principal at Cottonwood Point Elementary in the Blue Valley School District.

Vanessa Thomson, ’13 MAED, a second-grade teacher at Chapel Hill Elementary School in Gladstone, Missouri, was surprised at a school assembly with a Milken Educator Award. Read More.

Rachel Wheeler, ’19, will receive her doctorate this summer in occupational therapy.

Christina Woodworth, ’19, was promoted to clinical project manager at IQVIA. She is responsible for research trials and lead and site management while working closely with drug manufacturers.

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