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.

 

  • 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.

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