Some other notes I jotted down to share include the fact that KHS has recently scored #1 in Math scores in the State of MO in schools with over 200 students and #2 in the State in English. KHS is considered to have the best journalism program in the State also. This doesn't surprise me as KHS has always had excellent journalism programs, students and teachers. The "Call" and "Pioneer" have always been award-winners; remember Mrs. Conley? She was a real task-mistress! The Missouri Teacher of the Year 2010-2011 is KHS' Chemistry Teacher Roger Becker, a KHS teacher since 1990. (seems like they'd wait til the school year is over to elect the best teacher, what if he messes up?)
Patrick Jackson, the band/orchestra teacher and the one who took the KHS Orchestra to Carnegie Hall, was present at the induction ceremony, introducing Emily and commenting about the caliber of the students. Obviously he's a great teacher too!
The highlights of the evening for our class were of course the induction of our classmate Judge Gary Schmidt who had a stellar career in the judicial system, and has been a staunch supporter of KHS65 for many many years, and the induction of classmate Paula Faulk's husband Rodger Riney, founder of ScottTrade. For me personally another highlight was the posthumous induction of John F. Yardley, a leader in the early space program and a colleague and friend of my father for over 30 years at MDC. One of my best friends' husband's cousin was also inducted, making another treat for me to meet Ted Almstedt and his wife Barbara. Mr. & Mrs. Earl E. Walker (KHS39 & KHS38) are well-known Kirkwood school benefactors and I am told are the parents of KHS65 classmate Tom Walker. I didn't know Tom well at KHS and am still not positive they are his parents, but they are the parents of 4 KHS alums so I don't want to leave them out; whether or not they are Tom's parents, they have done an awfully lot for the Kirkwood School District!
Students gave their time to serve as guides during the inductees' campus tour, to serve punch and hors d'oeuvres and escort the inductees off the stage with their awards after their acceptance speeches. They were all just charming and YOUNG! It was a memorable night, I wish everyone in our class could have been there.
For those of you in St. Louis, you might check the coming year's Opera Theatre schedule as John McDaniel (KHS79), another inductee, will be conducting 'Daughter of the Regiment' from 5/28 to 6/26 with single tickets going on sale 2/26; and in April he will be conducting 'Catch me if you Can' on Broadway. John is a charming and gracious fellow whom I had the pleasure of meeting at a Symphony concert - he autographed my CD "From KHS79 to KHS65" which I thought was so fun!
Herewith is Gary Schmidt's acceptance speech which I coaxed him into sharing - he had to cut it a bit on stage, some were way too long and he was trying to follow the requested time allowance - but he did get most of this said!
I promise you I’ll be short. Ginger Fletcher threatened me if I went over three minutes, and my family promised to help if I even got close to that.
I am a fortunate child, with much for which to be grateful, and I am truly thankful.
Kirkwood High School was a fabulous educational opportunity. I owe a heartfelt “thank you” not just to the great teachers, but to all the school board members, administrators, and staff. Thanks for your time and efforts, both past and present.
Not only did I get to go to Kirkwood High School, but I had wonderful parents too. Kirkwood residents Arthur and Mittie Schmidt are alive, doing very well, and here with us tonight. If we had a hall of fame for greatest parents, they would be there.
I was lucky to be in a fabulous class in 1965. We had 23 National Merit Finalists and Semi-finalists. State Champions galore, including Jim Olson, the best distance runner of the decade not named Jim Ryun. We had an Olympian who competed for Iceland. We had people of coming accomplishment such as Nelson Wainwright & Larry Ferree. Our unofficial class historian, Leslie Canavan, is here tonight. Truly a person was fortunate to be in the Class of 1965.
For the most part our class was a group of genuinely nice people. Teenage cruelties were far less than they could have been, and those classmates would try to help you when you needed advice on important problems such as should you wear socks with penny loafers.
Today you can still get great advice and counsel from these friends. For me, Tom Holley and the Reverend Joe Marting come quickly to mind.
Many of the Class of '65 have continued to hang out together, drawing hundreds to class reunions.
I told you I was fortunate. Forty years ago I married the best thing to ever come from Webster Groves High School. She has been an equal partner in everything we’ve accomplished. Thank you Chris, for all the help and patience.
I want to report something I have seen to you that has nothing to do with good fortune. The Kirkwood system today is outstanding; and in my opinion better than ever.
A few years ago a group of alumni took a tour of Kirkwood High School. During that tour Principal Dave Holley spoke of future challenges, and what Kirkwood was doing to meet them. I was totally stunned by the incredible vision and forethought of the Administration. I walked away thinking, “Kirkwood cannot be in better hands than the current leaders.” I mean that sincerely.
Ginger Fletcher, thank you for the many courtesies. Thank you to the Committee for the honor of letting us be here tonight. I remain proud to be, and always will be, a Kirkwood man."
Gary's write up in the Program Book:
Gary Schmidt graduated from Westminster College in 1969, where he was an All-American runner & Scholastic All-American. Following military service, including duty in Vietnam, he graduated from law school in 1974. Mr. Schmidt was first elected as a judge in 1978, and he served as a judge for 20 years. He received the Irvin A. Keller Distinguished Service Award in 2007 from the MO High School Activities Assoc. In 2002, Judge Schmidt succeeded U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia as the Distinguished American Jurist, an award presented at Mississippi State University. Following retirement from the bench, Judge Schmidt served 4 years as Corporations Counsel for the State of Missouri, and then was the Acting Director of Fraud and Noncompliance for the State. [He lives in Jefferson City.]So classmates, we are batting 1000, (Jim Olson was inducted last fall in the Athletic HOF.) let's nominate another of our stellar athletes for the Spring 2012 Athletic Hall of Fame - send ideas, talk it up with your friends. Wouldn't it be GREAT to have another KHS65 member in the next HOF? Nominations open in January. Let's MAKE KHS65 A HABIT in the HOF!