Morenci's Distinguished Alumni to be honored 2011.04.06

Written by David Green.

Four Morenci alumni will be honored April 16 at the annual Morenci Education Foundation dinner. Two graduates from the 1950s, one from the 1970s and another from the 1980s are in line to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award.

alum.sampsonJack Sampson

Jack Sampson graduated from Morenci High School in 1953, sampled college life at MSU and Adrian, but after a tour of duty in Korea, he became a journeyman painter. He traveled to Alaska, Montana and Oklahoma before returning to Morenci in 1956.

Jack is known in Morenci as an extraordinary volunteer. From more than 40 years in the kitchen of the American Legion to the North Morenci Schoolhouse restoration project, Jack has assisted in many areas.

His retirement in 1998 gave him more time to volunteer and that’s when he got involved with the school house project with John and Peggy Zachel.

Among his numerous efforts, he has also painted the interior of the Stair Library Annex and the high school athletic building.

Dr. John Geisler

John Geisler, a retired professor from Western Michigan University, graduated from Morenci High School in 1956.

alum.john.geislerHe earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Adrian College and followed that with a Master of Education in counseling from the University of Toledo in 1966 and a Doctor of Education, also from University of Toledo, in 1968.

He taught at Madison High School, the University of Toledo, Central Michigan University, and Western Michigan University where he remains as a Professor Emeritus.

Over his career, John has researched and published numerous articles relating to his counseling career as well as given presentations to various professional associations. Most recently he has been sharing his passion for local history with a program titled “The Sauk Trail/US 12 – Then and Now.”

John remains involved in his church, condominium board, the Adrian College Alumni Association, and Habitat for Humanity.  In 2002 he was honored as a Distinguished Alumni from Adrian College. In addition, he has also received recognition from Central and Western Michigan Universities as well as professional associations.

Teresa Foster

Teresa Foster graduated in 1976 and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice and social work  from Siena Heights College. She later earned a master’s degree in counseling from Siena.

alumni.fosterWhile working on her thesis about alcoholism awareness, she completed an internship as a counselor at a crisis center in Madison Heights, Mich. She wrote and produced a 30-minute program for area broadcast utilizing area experts in a panel discussion format.

She returned to school in 1994 to earn a master’s in human resource development from Western Carolina University.

For the past seven years she has worked in human resources and health care administration for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

She has also been active in Rotary International, the Chamber of Commerce and her church. She has served as a literacy tutor.

Wendee Wolf-Shlarf

Wendee Wolf-Shlarf, a music teacher for 23 years in the Traverse City Area Public Schools, has served as varsity and junior high choir director and general music instructor. She has created a Choral Composer-In-Residence Program where students are involved from beginning to end with new compositions.

The 1980 Morenci graduate studied music education at Albion College and then at Michigan State University, specializing in vocal music and conducting.

alum.wendeeHer professional experiences include serving on the faculty of Interlochen Arts Camp, conducting with the Michigan Ambassadors of Music tours of Europe, conducting Michigan School of Vocal Music Association (MSVMA) honor choirs at Midwestern Music Conferences, and serving on various committees for the Michigan Department of Education Fine Arts Curriculum.

Wendee is an active member and past president of the MSVMA and is an active adjudicator and current chair of the Michigan Music Conference Planning Committee. In 2005 she was named MSVMA Teacher of the Year.

Wendee is also active in the music program of  the Central United Methodist Church.

  • Front.pokemon
    LATEST CRAZE—David Cortes (left) and Ty Kruse, along with Jerred Heselschwerdt (standing), consult their smartphones while engaging in the game of Pokémon Go. The virtual scavenger hunt comes to life when players are in the vicinity of gyms, such as Stair District Library, and PokéStops such as the fire station across the street. The boys had spent time Monday morning searching for Pokémon at Wakefield Park.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.soccer.balls
    BEVY OF BALLS—Stair District Library Summer Reading Program VolunTeens, including Libby Rorick, back left and Ty Kruse, back right, threw a dozen inflatable soccer balls into the crowd during a reading of “Sergio Saves the Game.” The sports-themed program continues on Wednesdays through July 27.
  • Front.art.park
  • Front.drum
  • Shadow.salon

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016