Five WWU Graphic Design seniors recently became Adobe Certified Associates after successfully completing Adobe’s design software certification program. Their semester-long study and preparation culminated in passing Adobe’s rigorous qualification exam. Congratulations to seniors Megan Scheming, Madison Jarrell, Meagan Long-Smith, Leah English, and Joey Carbone, along with their Graphic Design professor, Bob Elliott.
The William Woods Collegiate DECA team (with faculty advisor, Professor Forster) has won some international-level awards! The International Career Development Conference (ICDC) presented the William Woods team with both the Chapter Leadership Passport Program Award – Diplomat Level (one of only two chapters in Missouri to earn the award at the international level) and the Community Service Award (the only chapter from Missouri to earn this award). Three students also brought home individual awards. Nina McKee ’19 and Baylie Borman ’18 received the Academic Honor Award; Borman and Ida Jacaway ’18 received the Chapter Leadership Award; and McKee and Borman received the Individual Leadership Passport Program Award in the Gold Diamond and Blue Diamond levels., respectfully.
Ashley Pendleton ’18 (A double major in Education and English Education from Willard, Mo.) received the 2018 Robert J. Greef Award from the Missouri Council of Teachers of English on February 16 during the Write To Learn Conference in Osage Beach, Mo. The Robert J. Greef Award is presented annually to outstanding seniors from Missouri colleges and universities that demonstrate academic excellence in the field of English education, leadership, character and participation in department activities. The award was established in honor of a former Missouri Council of Teachers of English President Robert Greef, who was an outstanding teacher at the University of Central Missouri. Beyond excelling in the classroom, Ashley is also a member of the President’s 20 committee.
Steve Middleton, Director of the William Woods Athletic Training Education Program and Assistant Professor in the School of Science and Health, was recently featured in an “Alumni Spotlight” by the University of St. Augustine (Florida) for Health Sciences.
Baylie Borman ’18 (a Business Administration major from Kingdom City, Mo.) was recently awarded a national scholarship by the Order of Omega based on her leadership, academic performance and service to the campus and local community. The Order of Omega is a Greek honorary organization recognizing only the top three percent of juniors and seniors in fraternities and sororities. The scholarship program was established to recognize academic achievements, participation and leadership in campus organizations, citizenship, and service to Order of Omega and the campus community. Ms. Borman’s scholarship is one of 135 scholarships the Order is awarding to deserving individuals from 86 campuses in the United States and Canada. Five student delegates from William Woods attended the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values Annual Central Leadership Conference and National Black Greek Leadership Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana on February 8-11.
Paige Bichsel ’20 (an ASL Interpreting and ASL Studies major from Quincy, IL), Nicole Hohlt ’19 (ASL Interpreting and ASL Studies, from Hillsboro, Mo.), Samantha Keizer ’18 (Elementary Education, from Decatur, IL), Maddie Klinkey ’21 (Equine Administration, from Campton Hills, IL) and Thomas Carbone ’20 (Communications, from Cedar Hill, Mo.) represented the Woods at the conference, where participants experienced four days of educational programs presented by university administrators and other professionals from across the country. Topics included general leadership, strategic planning, marketing, social justice, risk management, values and ethics, service learning and ethical leadership.
The William Woods Speech and Forensics Team recently had strong showings at area competitions versus other university teams. The Speech Team competed at the 20th Annual Scott Jensen Gorlok Tournament at Webster University on January 27 and 28, with Bryce Fletcher ’21 (Biology, from St. Charles, Mo.) winning fourth place in Program Oral Interpretation and winning Top Novice while also placing fourth in Poetry Interpretation. The WWU Forensics Team took fifth place as a team at the McKendree University Purr-fect Pals Furr-ensics Tournament on February 10. Fletcher and Jessie Trapp ’18 (Communications, from Fenton, Mo.) represented WWU, with Fletcher earning Top Novice in Poetry Interpretation in addition to seventh place, Program of Oral Interpretation, Persuasive Speaking, and After-Dinner Speaking.
William Woods Alumni
Gerald Chambers MEd ’08 has been hired by the Ozark Board of Education as the district’s executive director of student services for the 2018–19 school year. Chamber will be returning to Ozark after spending four years at Sparta Elementary as its principal.
Becky Newlin ’90 was appointed as the new controller for Superior Ag, an Indiana-based farmer-controlled cooperative. Newlin received a bachelor of arts degree in accounting from William Woods and has served as senior director of finance at United Benefits Advisors in Chicago since 2013.
Justin Copley MEd ’11 has been announced as the new Houston High School principal. Copley has seven years of experience, including his current role as principal at Plato Schools.
Dr. Gabe Edgar MEd ’01, EDS ’01 has been promoted to the new director of finance for the St. Joseph School District in St. Joseph, Missouri. He is currently the superintendent for the Marceline R-V School District. Edgar also serves as a graduate program instructor at William Woods, where he teaches classroom management and school supervision, school finance and curriculum, and education administration.
Cassie Cordray MEd ’06 has been elected as North Central Missouri College’s Teacher Education Instructor. Cordray comes from Pleasant View R-VI School District where she was the first-grade teacher for nine years.
Brandon Eggleston MEd ’04 has been named the new superintendent of the Seneca schools in Seneca, Missouri, after serving as the principal of Joplin High School.
On April 18, William Woods alumna Katie Finely Cauwenbergh ’08, an elementary education major and kindergarten teacher at Bartley Elementary in Fulton, Mo., was named the 2018 Fulton Public School’s Teacher of the Year.
Jeff DeBourge ’10 was promoted to the position of consumer banking officer at the Central Bank of Boone County. DeBourge graduated from William Woods with a Bachelor of Science degree in Paralegal Studies and Management and began working with the bank in 2008 as a customer service representative.
Jared Wallace MEd ’12 was named principal of the South School in Warsaw, Missouri for the 2018-19 school year. Wallace began his teaching career with the Hermitage School District, then worked for seven consecutive years as a physical education teacher and Head Coad of the Wildcats Boy’s Basketball team.
Tamitha Ritter EDS ’07 is the Fordland R-III School District’s new principal for grades 7-12. She has spent the past six years serving at Gainesville as the 7-12 principal.
Troy Patterson MEd and EDS ’09 received the Missouri Association of Secondary Schools Middle School Principal of the Year Award for the Northeast Region.
Brad Blackman EDS ’06 will be stepping into his new role as the superintendent of the Chaffee School District in Chaffee Missouri, after serving as principal for 10 years at Chaffee High School.
Kerri Jenkins ’96, MBA ’98 currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer at the new main campus for St. Mary’s Hospital in Jefferson City, Missouri, as well as its Chief Nursing Officer. Jenkins was a recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from Central Methodist University this year and has proven herself a leader in private hospital administration in the Midwest.
Amanda Munson MEd ’04 has been hired as the new Houston Middle School principal after serving as a former high school counselor from Willow Springs.
Cody McCann MEd ’17 was selected as Mark Twain High School’s new athletic director.
Sara Sicht EDS ’10 has been elected to lead Benton STEM Elementary School starting next year as their new principal, since serving as the assistant principal at Parkade Elementary School.
Philip Pohren, a current William Woods EDD candidate, has been recently elected as the new principal for Eugene Field Elementary School.
Brett Hieronymus MEd ’06, EDS has been hired as the new principal at Heber Hunt Elementary School for the 2018-19 school year.
Maggie O’Leary ’12, a dressage instructor at Sara Schmitt Dressage in New Jersey, was named to the USEF Developing Athlete Program for Combined Driving. She began the sport of combined driving a little over a year ago and has also earned her USDF Silver Medal and is working towards a Gold Medal. O’Leary also qualified for the USDF Regional Championships at Intermediate 1.
On April 8, the Missouri Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA) held its annual conference. They presented Athletic Director of the Year Awards to only eight people — four of whom are William Woods alumni. They included: Chad Lang Lawson MEd ’09, activities director and assistant middle school principal for Lawson R-XIV School District; John Martin MEd ’17, district and high school activities director at Jackson High School; Jason Abner MEd ’09, activities director for Clinton High School; and Jason Smith MEd ’08, activities director at Troy Buchanan High School. Additionally, Larry Dean Carter ’85, a retired administrator from the Meramec Valley R-3 School District who earned his teaching certificate from The Woods, was the recipient of a Distinguished Service Award, which is presented to a small group of people in recognition of service to interscholastic athletics.
Belinda (Bush) May ’87, a product liability and litigation partner at Dentons (the world’s largest law firm), was sworn in as president of the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO). In one of her first presidential acts, she presided over the inaugural Trilateral Memorandum of Understanding between Canada, Mexico, and the United States, to improve product safety alignment for product safety authorities. An English Communications and Political Science major at William Woods, May was also part of Alpha Chi Omega and a member of the Student Alumni Council. She went on to earn her JD from Washington University School of Law, where she was a member of the Law Review. She splits her time between St. Louis and Washington, DC.
Jessie (Logan) Yankee MBA ’11 was named the new director of Missouri Women’s Business Center.
Tracey Williams MEd ’04 was named the new principal of Hickory Hills Elementary in Springfield, Mo.
Amy (Mundwiller) Epple BA ’03, the director of Sedalia Parks and Recreation, was honored with the Missouri Park and Recreation Association’s Associate Fellow Award. Read more
Mark Burlison BS ’08 (and current EDD candidate) was named the new principal of Blue Ridge Elementary School in Columbia, Mo.
Brock Crowley MEd ’13 (and current EDD candidate) was named the new assistant director of post-secondary education at the Career and Technology Center in Cape Girardeau.
David Jones MEd ’01, EDS ‘04 was recently named as principal of the Ninth Grade Center by the Lincoln County R-III Board of Education in Troy, Mo. Mr. Jones’ 22 years in education include serving as a teacher, summer school principal, and assistant principal in the Boonville, Fulton and Troy school districts. He also serves as the president of the Rise Above Scholarship Foundation and recently completed his term for the Missouri Assistant Secondary School Principals board of directors.
Nathan Reid ’05, MEd ‘07 is the owner of American Family Insurance – Reid &Associates in Osage Beach, Mo., where his agency recently was awarded the AFLIC Millionaire’s Club Honors Award, All-American for outstanding sales, Gold Key Commercial Award for Outstanding Business Insurance Sales and American Star Customer Excellence Award for outstanding customer service scores from its clients, all for 2017. Reid’s business has already expanded to a second location in Osage Beach thus far in 2018, after growing to serve over 3,500 clients and billing over $3,000,000 in annual sales since opening in 2012, establishing itself consistently as one of the top three insurance agencies in mid-Missouri.
Dr. Gina Loudon ’90 and her family recently relocated to Palm Beach, Florida, where she has been chosen to serve on the Donald Trump for President Media Advisory Board. An author and regular commentator on Fox News and Fox Business, Dr. Loudon’s new book, “Mad Politics: Keeping Your Sanity In A World Gone Crazy,” will come out this fall. She gave the commencement address at William Woods in May 2015.
Barbie Banks ’05 was recently named to the Columbia Business Times “20 Under 40” list for 2018. The listing recognizes Columbia, Mo. professionals who are “leaders and rising stars” in the area, who are under 40 years of age. Ms. Banks has served as the director of the Citizen Jane Film Festival in Columbia, which champions women in the arts by screening films made by female directors and connecting festival goers to movies by women around the world, since May 2016.
Rhea Welch ’80 recently retired from 28 years teaching at the Ivan K. Garrison Alternative School, a satellite school for the Four Rivers Special Education District in central Illinois. She received the Distinguished Service Volunteer of the Year award from the State of Illinois for volunteer work with adults with developmental disabilities. Welch was also included in Who’s Who in American Education and Who’s Who in American Women, and many of her students were recognized throughout Illinois for flawless community service through a student volunteer initiative she created.
Cristina Irwin EDS ‘14 was named as the new Superintendent of the Licking, Mo. School District in January. She previously served six years as an elementary school principal and twelve years a teacher, most recently in St. Elizabeth, Mo.
Tyler Anderson ’11 has been hired as pitching coach for the Orem (UT) Owlz, the Rookie League affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels baseball team. A two-year standout pitcher for William Woods in 2009-2010, Anderson’s career has included playing professional baseball in Australia for two seasons, serving as a pitching coach at the collegiate level at Dartmouth University and St. Louis University, and serving as an assistant coach for the U18 Australian National Team that competed at the 2017 Baseball World Cup.