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Outstanding Alumni

Jim Beasley

  • Is Senior Vice President of Willbros USA, Inc., managing pipeline projects around the world including a 220-mile crude oil and products system in Iran, a high-pressure water pipeline in Colorado, and a heated fuel oil system in Georgia.
  • Served on the Board of Directors of the MU Alumni Association.
  • Received the Missouri Honor Award from the College of Engineering and was in the first class of the MU Civil Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni.
  • Provided leadership for Boy Scouts of America activities, Goodwill Industries of Tulsa, Trout Unlimited, and a number of conservation organizations.

Carolyn Cochran Clark

  • Became the first woman partner of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCoy, a noted Wall Street law firm, in 1977 and has spent her entire career with the firm.
  • Was the first woman named president of the Harvard Law School Association.
  • Is or has been on the advisory boards of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Central Park Conservancy, the Museum of Modern Art, and the New York Public Library.
  • Has been an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, is a member of the American Law Institute, and a Regent and Fellow of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.

Leo Lewis III

  • Is the Associate Athletic Director at the University of Minnesota.
  • Was a star football player at Hickman and the University of Missouri, going on to play for the St. Louis Cardinals professional football team, and the Minnesota Vikings.
  • Has received numerous athletic awards.
  • Established the Lewis Sports Foundation, a service organization dedicated to providing young people with the necessary life skills to be successful in education and sports.

Richard Mendenhall

  • Is owner of ReMax Boone Realty in Columbia and Jefferson City.
  • Served as president of the National Association of Realtors, the largest professional trade association in the world and was recognized for his service to the real estate profession as Missouri Realtor of the Year.
  • Served as president of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce and president of the Regional Economic Development Commission.
  • Received the Athena Award of the Women’s Network of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce and the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award of the Great Rivers Council for his service to Boy Scouts.

Retired Educators

Michael Bancroft

  • Served as an English teacher at Rock Bridge High School for over 20 years and also as the District Language Arts Coordinator for 5 years.
  • Appointed Assistant Professor of Education at Central Methodist College to be the Director of Clinical Experiences and teach methods courses upon his retirement from Columbia Public Schools.
  • Served on numerous leadership teams at the building and district levels and has been described as a leader of teachers.
  • Shared his expertise though developing curriculum at the district and state levels, placing and supervising student teachers, publishing articles in professional journals, and serving as an instructor for the Missouri Scholars Academy, Truman State University, and Columbia and Central Methodist Colleges.

Mary Ann Gates

  • Taught English (all levels) at Hickman High School for 27 years.
  • Selected as national merit Presidential Scholar Teacher of Influence in 1990 and 1996 and the Columbia Community Teachers Association Outstanding Educator.
  • Shared with the profession through presenting at state writing conferences and participating in the National Council of Teachers of English.
  • Developed a course, Man and Myth, for the MU Independent Study Curriculum.

Vernon ‘Hap’ Whitney

  • Named Director of Physical Education and Athletics for Columbia Public Schools in 1981 and then Director of Competition for Show Me State Games after his retirement.
  • Held various positions at MU including Head Wresting Coach, Assistant Athletic Director, Director of Support Services, and Assistant Professor of Physical Education.
  • Recognized as Columbia Public School Educator of the Year and the Missouri State Athletic Director of the year by the Missouri Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.
  • Received the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Award of Merit and the Gerald Linneman Lifetime Achievement Award and was a finalist for the National Athletic Director of the Year Award.

Mary C. (Khaki) Westerfield

  • Taught English (all levels) and chaired the Language Arts Department at Hickman High School and was the Secondary Language Arts Coordinator for the Columbia Public Schools.
  • Serves as the Coordinator of Field Experiences, the Liaison for Fellows Program, and Instructor in the MU College of Education.
  • Received the “Most Influential Teacher” Award from University of Missouri and University of Chicago, 1990, 1991, and 1992 and recognition as the Columbia Fund for Academic Excellence Outstanding Senior High Teacher.
  • Contributed to numerous professional development activities for teachers including publishing in professional journals, presenting at state and national meetings, and advising the State Board of Education and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.


Amelia Cottle

  • Served as president of the Rock Bridge High School Bruin Booster Club, an organization supporting all student athletes.
  • Took the role of the team parent who organized buses, tailgates, team meals and the football program for the Football Booster Club.
  • Supported the Rock Bridge High School Choir and Show Choir Boosters by putting together the music booster program and attending all school plays and musicals.
  • Attended every PTSA meeting and worked to encourage all of the supporting groups of Rock Bridge High School to work together in an efficient and effective manner.

Lisa Lang

  • Has been actively involved in the Columbia Public Schools – Grant Elementary, Smithton, West Jr., and Hickman – for the past 25 years.
  • Made all of the costumes for one of the plays at Grant, cutting, sewing, and fitting until each was perfect.
  • Served many years as chair of the teacher appreciation committees for Grant, Smithton, West, and now Hickman.
  • Chaired “Funesta” at Grant, helped with the theater productions at Smithton, and assisted with registration at West and Hickman.

Lynn McIntosh

  • Served as co-chair for many years of the Hickman concession stand, the major fund raiser for the Hickman PTSA.
  • Has co-chaired the set-up for the Hickman Hog Roast for three years.
  • Is a long-time supporter of Hickman musicals.
  • Has persuaded volunteers to continue to work for schools for years after their children have graduated from Hickman.

Reggie Rieger

  • Served as the Volunteer Coordinator for PTSA at West Junior High, recruiting volunteers and organizing all volunteer efforts.
  • Was known as one of the most dependable volunteers for the music department at West Junior High, Smithton Middle School, and Rock Bridge High School.
  • Donated countless hours to help students who came to the health room at Fairview Elementary and Smithton Middle School.
  • Helped coordinate and assist with the health fairs and school health screenings.

Special Service

Charley Blackmore

  • Developed and maintains a database containing more than 32,000 Hickman Kewpie graduates.
  • Assembled and administers the Kewpie Classmates Web site with more than 3,600 registered Kewpies, which brings everyone who goes to the site a little closer to Columbia regardless of where they live.
  • Provides an invaluable resource for reunion committees.
  • Instigated and coordinated two very successful major fund drives for Hickman High School.

William (Bill) L. Fairman

  • Founder of FairCom Corporation, headquartered in Columbia, which supplies a full range of database software to programming professionals worldwide from school library systems, 911 emergency systems, credit card processing, factory automation, accounting systems to space agency data tracking.
  • Served as President of the Columbia Public School Foundation Board for several years.
  • Was treasurer of the Foundation for many years, producing financial records and numerous reports for tax purposes, district business office, and portfolio updates.
  • Developed and maintained data bases as needed by the Foundation.
  • Assisted in the review of requests for Foundation grants.

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