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Alumni Notes: Summer 2018


Dick and Jeanne (McDaniel) Sulley, both ’51, and Don and Sue (Wyrick) Larkin, both ’70, hosted dinner in December for the men’s basketball team after its 90-70 victory over SAGU Arizona in the Cactus Classic tournament in Chandler, Arizona,


Jerry Jones, ’64, was inducted into the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (formerly National Small College Athletic Association) Athletic Hall of Fame, in June, 2017, at Norfolk, Virginia. This was the initial Hall of Fame class. Jones is a member of the Hall of Fame at Kansas Wesleyan University and the Baker University Athletic Hall of Fame, and the Education Wall of Honor at Baker.

James Houston Turner, ’69, Wonderfilm Media, and TideRock Media have acquired the film and television rights to James Houston Turner’s bestselling Aleksandr Talanov series of action thrillers.


Marcos A. Mendoza, ’86, serves as the assistant director of legal and regulatory of affairs for Texas Association of School Boards and as the third-party administrator for the TASB Risk Management Fund. He received a dual appointment by the University of Connecticut School of Law as a Scholar in Residence and as an adjunct professor of law. He will teach Professional Liability Insurance on campus in Hartford, Connecticut, starting in the fall concurrent with his present position. His first law review article “Reinsurance as Governance” is extensively cited in the Harvard Law Review, and his second law review article, which addresses socio-legal private regulation of public entities, is forthcoming in 2019. He recently published a column in the Claims Journal outlining a significant new concept he developed for commercial property insurance coverage. He has a quiet life in Austin, Texas.

Joan Meyer, ’84, opened the Triune Canine Training and Event Center. The center provides training for dogs in obedience, tricks, manners, and agility.


P.J. Born, ’91, a science teacher at Shawnee Mission South High School in Overland Park, Kansas, has received the Teaching Environmental Stewardship Award from the Kansas City Environmental Education Network.

Denise M. Buenning, MSM, ’92, has joined Arch Systems, Inc. as its first chief operating officer.

Amy Mize, ’96, was named vice president of business development at KCAS Bioanalytical and Biomarker Services.

Ryan Seager, ’95, and his wife, Erin, operate an Office Evolution franchise at Executive Hills in Overland Park, Kansas.


Omar Guerra, MBA, ’07, has been hired by Allstar Surety to serve as senior underwriter and branch manager of the branch office in Kansas City, Missouri.

Andrew Hannon, ’09, was named one of the 50 Best Golf-Fitness Professionals in America by Golf Digest Magazine.

Jeremy Higgins, MASL, ’08, Shawnee Mission West associate principal, will become head principal at Shawnee Mission North next year.

Ben Jimenez, MASL, ’06, was named 2017 Kansas Principal of the Year. The annual award recognizes an outstanding middle school or high school principal who has succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students as well as demonstrating exemplary contributions to the profession.

Tony Lake, ’01 MASL, EdD ’09, has been hired to serve as superintendent of Lindbergh School District in Lindbergh, Missouri.

Sara Matthews, ’09, serves as the assistant women’s soccer coach at Kansas City Kansas Community College. She also coaches two high school–age club teams with KC Fusion, where she won a US Youth Soccer Region II Championship and was named 2017 Kansas Youth Soccer Association Girls Competitive Coach of the Year.Kendra Murphy, ’07, was named Centralia (Missouri) High School’s head softball coach.

Sarah Peterson-Herr, ’05, along with Lindsey Brown, ’13Rachel Haley, ’15Claire White, ’15, traveled to Indianapolis, Indiana, to help facilitate an Alpha Chi Omega Leadership Academy program to more than 600 undergraduate chapter leaders from across the country.

Monte Sparkman, ’02, of Richland Hills (Texas) High School was recently awarded the National High School Strength Coaches Association Regional Coach of the Year.

Matthew Wagner, MBA, ’05, has been promoted to senior vice president in the Human Resources Group with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Wagner joined the Bank in 2011 from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

Greg West, ’09, landed a spot on the United States World Cup Skeleton Team. West won both his races in Calgary, Canada, and had top-three finishes in Lake Placid, New York.

Debbie White, MBA, ’00, a former fiscal officer at Kansas State University, now serves as Peru State College’s vice president of administration and finance


Gloria Atanmo, ’13, continues to travel the world creating multimedia content as a travel blogger. Her book, From Excuses to Excursions: How I Started Traveling the World, was recently named the number one book the team from Matador Network, a travel publisher, wants to read in 2018.

Jordan Buscher, ’17, and Alesha Miller, ’13, recently traveled with the Church of the Resurrection. During the trip they visited the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Chris Duderstadt, ’13, Shawnee Dispatch sports reporter, recently received a 2018 Oscar Stauffer Award from the Kansas State High School Activities Association. He was named Sportswriter of the Year.

Danielle Fesler, MBA, ’17, serves as director for the Parks and Recreation Department in Warrensburg, Missouri.

Daniel Gomez, ’12, is a landscape and portrait photographer based in Portland, Oregon. His work can be viewed at and

Sunny Halsted, MSSL, ’16, was hired to serve as principal of New York Elementary in Lawrence, Kansas. She began her work as a paraeducator in the district over a decade ago.

Jim Joyner, ’16, was named the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association’s Sportscaster of the Year for his work at Mid Kansas Radio.

Melissa Kinzer, ’16, was named a Horizon Award winner for first-year teaching excellence by the Kansas State Department of Education. She teaches science for the Olathe School District in Kansas.

Scott L’Ecuyer, MSSL ’17, was named head football coach at Valley Center (Kansas) High School.

Amber Lund Smith, ’10, earned her PhD from the University of Kansas and is working on postdoctoral research at Stanford University School of Medicine in California. She was recently asked to write a review paper in the journal Nature.

Warren Swenson, ’13, was ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons in the Episcopal Church on March 12, 2018, at Sewanee: The University of the South, in Sewanee, Tennessee, where he graduated with a Master of Divinity in May.

Scott Vang, ’10, was hired by the El Dorado (Kansas) school district to serve as the district activities and athletic director. He will begin his duties on July 1.

Kevin Weakley, ’91, was elected to serve as the managing partner for Wallace Saunders Law Firm effective May 1. He is licensed to practice in the state and federal courts of Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma and also before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Rhonda Wedel, MAEd, ’13, was named one of USD 231’s Teachers of the Year for her work as a math educator at Pioneer Ridge Middle School in Gardner, Kansas. Wedel has presented on various topics for professional development and has received multiple awards and recognitions.

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