Sacred Heart Cross

Fall 2023 Class Notes


Patricia Turner ’69 retired from her role as senior grants specialist at the University of Arkansas Division of Research and Innovation in January 2023.

Steve Eck ’77 celebrated his 1,000th win as a basketball coach while coaching the Kapaun Mt. Carmel Crusaders on Dec. 2, 2022.

Mark Jolliffe ’92 is now superintendent for Perkins County School District in Grant, Nebraska.

Kim Reazin ’97 is teaching special education for USD 101 in Erie, Kansas.

Julie Wright ’98, M.S.Ed. became the new CEO at La Familia Health in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on Feb. 20.

Ami Angell ’99 was chosen as a District of Columbia Community Partner of the Year for 2023 and also received the Chief of Police Award in May 2023 for her work in training the entire DC Metro Transit Police Force in opioids and Naloxone administration, which has resulted in many lives being saved.

Audrey (Jenkins) Herbst ’99 was recognized in October 2022 during Principal Appreciation Month by her employer USD, 418 McPherson School District.

Jesse Howes ’99 is the new warden as of August 2023 at Lansing Correctional Facility in Lansing, Kansas.

Jennifer Miller ’99 is now the principal at Clearwater Intermediate-Middle School, USD 264 in Clearwater, Kansas.

Todd Martz ’00 became full professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego.

Laura Cherry ’01 was appointed pastor of the Elgin, Wauneta and Sedan United Methodist churches in southeastern Kansas in July 2023.

Karen (Rasmussen) Kendrick ’01 presented “Signs of Low Vision and Fall Risk Prevention” at the Sensing and Aging Symposium held at Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas on Oct. 20, 2022.

James Bleecker ’02 is the new associate director of Catholic education for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.

Matt Seimears ’02 has been promoted to serve as the interim provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Eastern Oregon University.

Zandra Sawatzky ’02 joined the board of directors at Bethel College, beginning a six-year term in January 2023.

Brian Fleeman ’03 was named president of the Kansas Association of Nurse Anesthetists in October 2022.

Renee (Crist) Duxler ’04 is the new president and CEO for the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce as of April 2023.

Lesia Dipman ’05 retired from her superintendent role at Larned State Hospital in August 2023.

Michelle Drinnen ’05 married Chase Mutz on Sept. 9, 2022.

Melody Garcia ’05 started a new role as family and community wellness agent for the Lyon County Extension Office in Emporia, Kansas in April 2022.

John “JJ” McGuigan ’05 released a new single titled “Save My Life,” the second single from his latest EP, “Time To Survive.” His music can be heard at

Ponka-We Victors ’05 retired from 12 years of service in the Kansas House of Representatives in January 2023.

Lara ’06 and Sara ’07 Crow welcomed Avery Matthias Crow to their family via adoption in October 2022.

Molly (Smith) Brown ’08 teaching certificate recipient was named Teacher of the Year at Eisenhower Elementary in Great Bend, Kansas, in October 2022.

Erika Clausing ’08 was named the Kansas Music Educators Association’s Southwest District Outstanding High School Music Educator in December 2022.

Aimee Lakin ’09 was recognized as Quality Teacher of the Month in January 2023 by USD 446 Independence, Kansas as a Tri-County Inter-related teacher.

Gimmie (Maze) Jansonius ’10 accepted the role of Twin Creeks Extension district director and community vitality agent serving Norton, Decatur, Sheridan and Graham counties in Kansas.

Gilbert Still ’09, ’11 is the new principal at Dodge City Middle School in Dodge City, Kansas, as of the 2023/24 academic year.

Matthew Biehler ’10 was chosen to be an assistant coach for the Kansas Shrine Bowl west team in January 2023.

Amber Pyatt ’10 married Devin Heimberger on July 29, 2023.

Megan Gaston ’11 is the new superintendent at Elk Valley USD 283 as of July 1, 2023.

Heather Burke ’12 became a foster parent recruiter for Adams County Government.

Ian ’12 and Meghan (Jost) Cummings ’12 welcomed baby Cooper to their family on June 30, 2023.Vestal Teeter ’12 is the new K-12 principal for Southern Cloud USD 334 Miltonvale Schools in Miltonvale, Kansas.

Luke Barnwell ’13 joined the Texas Tech University men’s basketball coaching staff as assistant coach in Lubbock, Texas.

Erin Schmidt ’13 is now a veterinarian and medical director at Animal Kingdom Veterinary Care Center in North Liberty, Iowa.

Mallory (Hurst) Syverson ’13 is now a senior casualty adjuster at Allstate.

Omar Landeros ’14 became a field training officer for the Los Angeles School Police Department in January 2023.

Sara (Ast) Efinger ’15 and her husband, Jonathan, welcomed their first child, a baby girl named Claire, in November 2022.

Charles Le ’15 was the recipient of a Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers of the Year Achievement Award in the Achievement – Career (22+) category.

Jessica Sponsel ’15 married Aaron Gouvion on Jan. 14, 2023.

Tyler Thompson ’15 is now the assistant principal at Parsons High School, USD 503 in Parsons, Kansas.

Trey Thompson ’15 is the new principal of Labette County High School, USD 506 in Altamont, Kansas.

Justin Ralph ’16 became an English teacher at USD 266 Maize, Kansas in May 2022.

Wesley Williams ’16 married Rebecca Bromley on Sept. 24, 2022.

Kristine (Rowe) Young ’16 is now an APRN with CarePoint Hospital Medicine at Wesley Medical Center.

Alec Hampton ’17 completed medical school at Kansas City University of Medicine College of Osteopathic Medicine and has entered residency at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita Family Medicine Residency Program at Ascension Via Christi in Wichita, Kansas.

Tyler Mies ’17, ’18, ’20 is the new head men’s wrestling coach at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas.

Jacob Wayman ’17 was recognized by the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce with the Exceptional Young Leader honor in April 2023.

Darrell Clifton ’18 was recognized as USD 466 February Quality Teacher of the Month in Independence, Kansas.

Matthew Cooke ’18, ’20 was ordained as a deacon in May 2023.

Easton Herring ’18 is now a defensive coach for Wichita State University softball.

Camden Hoover ’18 received a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development National Research Service Award Predoctoral F31 Fellowship and is studying microglial cells at the University of Notre Dame.

Caleb Kuestersteffen ’18, ’20 was ordained as a deacon in May 2023.

Taylor Spear ’18 is now head baseball coach for USD 493 Columbus Junior/Senior High School in Columbus, Kansas.

Linnea Baggett ’19 became the director of development for Envision Inc. in March 2023.

Maria Somes ’19 illustrated the children’s book “The Story of Father Kapaun: A True War Hero” written by Maria’s sister-in-law, Leah.

Jesus Banuelos ’20 was ordained as a deacon in May 2023.

Jacob Birnbaum ’20 is the new boys basketball head coach at Ponca City High School in Ponca City, Oklahoma.

Monica Blanco ’20 received the Kansas Horizon Award from the Kansas Department of Education in January 2023.

Megan Mayeux ’20 became director of pastoral care at St. Bernards Medical Center in Jonesboro, Arkansas in January 2023.Jack Schafer ’20 is the new digital community specialist for Institutional advancement at Newman University.

Arunie Siyavong ’20 opened her own sonography business, Glimpse of Love, in October 2022 in Wichita, Kansas.

Cameron Cates ’21 is the new men’s head basketball coach at Jackson State Community College in Jackson, Tennessee.

Audra Gebelin ’21 is now teaching sixth grade science at USD 503, Parsons Middle School in Parsons, Kansas.

Braxtyn Stewart ’21 started a new role as women’s basketball assistant coach for Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, beginning August 2023.

Morgan (Carter) Gard ’22 now teaches second grade for USD 101 in Erie, Kansas.

Mary Skillman ’22 is now a sixth grade teacher at Yates Center Elementary, USD 366, in Yates Center, Kansas.

Jordyn Shields ’22 is now teaching art at USD 503 in Parsons, Kansas.

Amber Hands ’23 is now the assistant men’s and women’s tennis coach at Lubbock Christian University in Lubbock, Texas.

Caleb Harris ’23 is teaching middle school religion and English at Christ the King Catholic School in Wichita, Kansas, beginning fall 2023.

Arianna Raga-Simoes ’23 is now the head men’s and women’s tennis coach at Cowley College in Arkansas City, Kansas.