Class notes


Karen Blasi, MSSL ’10, is principal at Bucklin (Kan.) Elementary School.

Jama Budke, MAEd ’10, is a prekindergarten teacher at St. John’s in Beloit, Kan.

Tanner Gleason, BS ’11, is a police officer in Leawood, Kan.

Mandy Hammersmith, MAEd ’11, is a second-grade teacher at St. Marys (Kan.) Grade School.

Brad Kempf, MSSL ’11, curriculum and instruction, is principal at White City (Kan.) Schools. He previously was a social studies teacher and high school basketball and baseball coach at Tonganoxie High School.

Caitlin Murray, BA ’11, is a language arts teacher for the Chetopa (Kan.) School District.

Brett Potts, Ed.D. ’10, is principal of Pleasant Ridge Middle School, part of the Blue Valley School District in Overland Park, Kan. He was recently honored with an Outstanding Alumni Award from Pittsburg State.

Kaysie Rowson, MAEd ’10, married Scott Chrisman July 2, 2011, in Salina, Kan. Kaysie is an eighth-grade math teacher at South Middle School in Salina, where they reside.

Eric Sacco, MSSL ’10, is the prekindergarten-12 assistant principal at USD 224 in Clyde, Kan.

Lauren Spain, BSN ’10, married Michael Caffrey April 9, 2011, in Hutchinson, Kan.

Jessica Zehr, BS ’10, teaches computers at Ulysses (Kan.) High School.


Dr. Jason Bessey, ’03, and his wife, Dr. Lauren Bessey, have joined the Carondelet Medical Group Sahuarita office in Tucson, Ariz.

Paige Brown, MAEd ’09, is a kindergarten teacher at St. Marys (Kan.) Grade School.

Gerry Carter, MAEd ’05, is an industrial technology teacher at USD 273 in Beloit, Kan.

David Engelking, MASL ’02, is principal of Prairie Elementary School in Haysville, Kan.

Annette Evans, BS ’03, and Mark Riechel were married on Aug. 6, 2011, in Sharon, Conn.

Jade Geuther, BS ’07, is head softball coach at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee.

The Rev. Josh Gooding, BS ’04, is the pastor at College Heights United Methodist Church and serves as the United Methodist Pittsburg State University campus minister in Pittsburg, Kan., with his wife, Sarah (Adkins) Gooding, BA ’04.

Dave Hendershot, BA ’04, and Jill Gruver were married July 9, 2011, in Wichita, Kan.

Meredith (Zimmerman) Joiner, BSN ’03, is executive director of physician enterprise at St. Rose Ambulatory and Surgery Center in Great Bend, Kan.

Maria Pacheco, MBA ’05, is the vice president of mobile games at Atari in Los Angeles.

Brian Pekarek, ’09, building-level school administration licensure, is the superintendent of the Iola (Kan.) School District.

Tricia Richelle Riordan, MAEd ’04, and Cory James Kauffman were married July 16, 2011, in Kansas City, Mo. They reside in North Kansas City, Mo.

Clint Schutte, MAED ’00, is the assistant superintendent for finance for Haysville (Kan.) USD 261.

Shane Seeley, MASL ’06, is an assistant principal at Derby (Kan.) High School.


Jay Harris, ’91, assistant superintendent of administrative services for the Raymore-Peculiar School District, received the Distinguished Design-Leadership Award from Design Build Institute of America/MidAmerica Region for overseeing the Raymore-Peculiar’s East Middle School project.

Mark Kocour, BS ’93, is plant manager of the MGP Ingredients Inc. facility in Onaga, Kan.

Jeff Rogers, MBA ’95, is president of YRC Worldwide, a Fortune 500 company and one of the largest transportation service providers the world. He previously served as president of Holland, a subsidiary of YRC Worldwide.

Jeff Sims, BS ’95, MLA ’98, is head of football recruiting at the University of Indiana.


Dr. Jim Hignight, ’79, specializes in internal medicine and pediatrics as a physician at Mercy Physician Group in Independence, Kan.


Cheryl Lynn (Lawrence) Betz, BA ’69, MBA ’96, is the author of Lord, It’s Time for Just You and Me. In writing her book, she drew from memories of her life in Kansas, Kentucky and Washington and intermingled them with the many lessons she learned from her Midwest upbringing. The book was released on Sept. 30, 2011, and can be found in the Featured Books section of the publisher’s website,, or at Cheryl and her husband, William T. Betz, live in the Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky.


Dr. James L. Ruble, BA ’49, was honored with James L. Ruble Day on Sept. 13, 2011, in Overbrook, Kan. Ruble established and maintained a family medical practice from 1954 to 1993 in Overbrook. He has been a community volunteer, supporting schools, clubs and his church.

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