Turning out distinguished alumni

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

It’s good to have Morenci’s Distinguished Alumni program back. Several graduates were honored in the past before the program came to a halt, but now it’s here again to give a glimpse of what a small town school can produce.

These four honorees provide a wide range of success stories. One graduate headed for the University of Michigan and later taught college students. Another worked as a stay-at-home mom for 20 years before heading back to college. She became a classroom teacher and eventually a school administrator.

Another graduate represents the rare example of someone who remained in her home town to begin a distinguished career and a life of service. Finally, one graduate attended a small school, started a career as a salesman, and eventually fulfilled the “American Dream” of working his way up to CEO of a large company.

Every time a new crop of alumni is honored, there are always some impressive résumés to read. Morenci High School has turned out some very successful people in a wide range of fields.

The first reaction to hearing about someone’s success is often along the lines of, “Wow, and he came from Morenci!” We should know better. Small schools such as Morenci and Fayette are very capable of providing excellent academic programs. The opportunities are there, and many students are willing to grab ahold and make the best of what’s offered.

 

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
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    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
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    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
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    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
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    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
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    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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