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Distinguished Alumni

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It is the privilege of the D.C. Everest Alumni Association to recognize the recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award — persons who have excelled in their profession or made a positive impact on their community.

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D.C. Everest Distinguished Alumni

Andrew Becker - 2011 Inductee - 1989 Graduate
Andrew Becker

Andrew Becker graduated from D.C. Everest High School in 1989 and went on to earn a bachelor's degree in communications from Concordia College (Moorhead, MN) in 1993. During his years at D. C. Everest Andrew lettered in football, track and field and orchestra and subsequently participated in football and track and field at Concordia College (Moorhead, MN) where he again lettered in both sports. During his college football career Andrew was named most outstanding freshman player, was elected twice as all-MIAC was also named team co-captain his senior season.

Andrew's professional career began in Fargo, ND working as an Account Executive at a pioneering athlete-training company named Acceleration Products, Inc where he focused on sales and marketing for the company from 1994 – 1999. Andrew moved back home to the Wausau area in March 1999 to join the family company, Becker Communications, Inc. and marry his high school sweet heart, Heather. Currently he is part owner (with his brother Joel and sister Ann) and Vice President of the company his father started in 1968.

Over the years, Andrew has continually developed his passion for leadership skills and working with kids through the game of football. With a perpetual positive outlook Andrew has always felt it his duty to serve and be a positive influence in the community that has given him so much. Since returning to the Wausau area Andrew has been involved in many ways, including service as the D.C. Everest Alumni Association President along with being a board member of the D.C. Everest Education Foundation, and currently with his service as the President of the Everest Youth Football League (EYFL) since 2006. He is also a 2002 graduate of The Leadership Wausau program. Andrew's passion for community involvement and leadership promises to continue as a dedication to those who have helped shape his life through Christianity, education and athletics.

Andrew is a proud graduate of D.C. Everest High School and strongly believes he is who he is today because of the people who have surrounded him throughout his life including his parents, his siblings, his coaches, his teachers, his lifelong friends, his colleagues, his pastors, his beautiful wife and children and most importantly his savior Jesus Christ.

Alaric Piette - 2017 Inductee - 1997 Graduate
Alaric Piette

Upon graduating from D.C. Everest in 1997, Alaric Piette joined the U.S.Navy with the goal of becoming a Navy SEAL. In 1998, his goal became a reality and he reported to SEAL Team TWO in Virginia Beach, VA. Alaric deployed with SEAL Team TWO twice — once prior to September 11 and once after.  After his final deployment, Alaric became an instructor at Naval Special Warfare Group TWO Training Detachment, Assault Cell.  There he provided advanced training in close-quarter-combat, urban warfare, vessel boarding search and seizure and small arms proficiency to outgoing SEAL platoons.

He left the Navy in 2004 and attended Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA; upon graduating, he attended Georgetown University Law Center. While at Georgetown Law, he found his calling as a criminal defense attorney and returned to the Navy as a Judge Advocate upon completing his law degree. He's tried 15 courts-martial through to verdict, representing Sailors accused of a range of crimes.  Because of his passion and skill he was hand-selected to serve as the military lawyer for an international capital murder/ terrorism case.  He is currently representing a high-value Guantanamo detainee at the Military Commissions.  He lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his wife and four children.

Ben Bliven - 2018 Inductee - 1995 Graduate
Ben Bliven

I am a proud graduate of DC Everest High School, class of 1995. After high school, I attended UW Eau Claire receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. I worked briefly for the Dane County Sheriff’s Office before returning home to work for the Wausau Police Department in 2000.

During my career at the Wausau Police Department, I have worked as a Patrol Officer, Drug Investigator, Patrol Lieutenant, Administrative Lieutenant, Patrol Captain, Deputy Chief, and Chief of Police. In 2011, I received a Master’s Degree from Seton Hall University in Human Resources Training and Development. Additionally, I completed executive development through Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command in 2009 and the FBI National Academy in 2017.

I married another 1995 DC Everest graduate, Danielle Thompson, and together we have two children, Lily and Alex. In my free time I enjoy coaching youth athletics, volunteering in the community, serving on various boards of directors, and traveling with family.

I believe in the goodness of people and in the nobility of policing. As police officers, we have opportunity every day to make a positive impact in the lives of others. There is no greater purpose in life than making positive impact and helping to grow a community.

Chad Felch - 2009 Inductee - 1990 Graduate
Chad Felch

Chad Felch graduated from D.C. Everest High School in 1990, where he played defensive back for the football team that won State in 1989.  He went on to earn BS degrees in Chemistry and Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.  

After graduating, Chad began his career supervising production at a veterinary pharmaceutical manufacturer, followed by working in an industrial hygiene laboratory, before taking on his current role as a research and development chemist for Siemens Water Technologies.

During his ten years at Siemens, Chad has developed more than 100 inventions.  He has authored or co-authored 12 patents to date that have been issued or are in progress.  In 2007, Chad was presented the Siemens Inventor of the Year Award, for his contribution in developing an environmentally friendly process that reduced and the amount of hazardous waste produced in the oil sands region of Alberta Canada. 

Chad has helped to inspire future scientist by donating his time to help students at D.C. Everest and UWSP with science experiments and internships, as well as giving demonstrations for students at elementary and high schools.  He is also active in the United Way and his church.

Chad and his wife Jen live in Kronenwetter with their daughter Chloe and son Brayden.

Carol (Hettinga) Bassuener - 1997 Inductee - 1960 Graduate
Carol (Hettinga) Bassuener

Carol (Hettinga) Bassuener is the assistant director of Residence Life for the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.

Carol is an active member of the La Crosse community. She plans the Wide Post Prom party, and is a member of the organization for Campus Women, American Association of University Women and the La Crosse Public Schools District-Wide Parent Council.

Charles Geurink - 2005 Inductee - 1962 Graduate
Charles Geurink

Following graduation from D.C. Everest High School in 1962, where he earned All-Conference and State awards along with letters in both wrestling and football, Chuck Geurink earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1966 from the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

After teaching architectural technology for several years, Chuck joined the Madison, Wisconsin, architectural design and construction firm of Marshall Erdman and Associates in 1977. His responsibilities over those 28 years included serving as a project director, regional manager of the Dallas, Texas, region for three years, and currently serves as Senior Vice-President with responsibilities for business development of this national company. Locally, he developed healthcare facilities for the Marshfield Clinic including the Wausau Center and the St. Michael’s expansion in Stevens Point. He has also been the principal in charge for the development and building of healthcare facilities throughout the U.S.

He is currently a member of the University of Wisconsin-Stout Foundation and an active alumni and Stout S-Club member for his college alma mater. For eight years he served as president of the foundation for Covenant Lutheran Church in Stoughton, as well as serving on other committees and doing volunteer work. He continues to be a church volunteer and community supporter.

Chuck is proud to be an eternal Evergreen and credits his love of design, construction and sports to his high school teachers, his strong family traditions and educational foundation. Of particular influence were his high school teachers and especially coaches, Mr. Steihm and Mr. Curtain. Chuck has been married to his wife, Jeanie, 41 years and share two children and 4 grandchildren.

Chris Osswald - 2013 Inductee - 1980 Graduate
Chris Osswald

Chris Osswald graduated from D.C. Everest High School in 1980. While at D.C. Everest Chris earned letters while participating in football, wrestling and track. After D.C. Everest, Chris went on to the University of Wisconsin Madison on an Athletic scholarship earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications. At the University of Wisconsin he was a three-year letter winner, one year as a defensive tackle and two years as an offensive lineman. His senior season he was named Co-Captain by his teammates. In 1985, Chris joined the NFL with the Washington Redskins. Chris feels very fortunate to have been involved in athletics and to have had the opportunity to be mentored by coaches like Wayne Steffenhagen, Fred Lehrke and Dave McClain. 

In 1999 Chris founded Applied Laser Technologies, LLC a metal fabrication business located in Weston. The business manufactures a variety of products that are used in many different industries around the country. Chris has partnered with Wally Osswald and Brian Thuot to grow the business which currently employees 96 people. 

Since moving back to the D.C Everest School district, Chris has enjoyed volunteering as football coach and working on community projects like the Stiehm Stadium renovation and the Greenheck Fitness center.

Chris resides in Rothschild with his wife Jenny who has been a strong supporter in his career and raising their children Rachel and Max. Chris is proud to be a graduate of D.C. Everest and believes many of his successes in life are attributed to the mentoring by the teachers and coaches at D.C. Everest along with the relationships he has with his classmates from 1980.

Chris Peterson - 2007 Inductee - 1990 Graudate
Chris Peterson

Chris Peterson graduated from D.C. Everest High School in 1990, where he earned All-Conference and State awards in football. He went on to earn a BS in Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He continued his education at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee completing his medical degree in 1998. Later that year he began his intership in internal medicine at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. He completed a residency in internal medicine as well as fellowships in oncology and hematology, all at the University of Wisconsin.

In the summer of 2005, Chris accepted a position with the Aspirus UW Cancer Center in Wausau. He is board certified in internal medicine, oncology, and hematology. He has been serving the greater Wausau area since 2005. He is currently active within the Aspirus Foundation, the charitiable arm of Aspirus. Chris is also the Vice Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Aspirus and frequently works with trainees in the family practice program. Throughout his years of training Chris has volunteered his time with local high school football, tutoring, and in a clinic for the underserved.

Chris and his wife Kris live in Rib Mountain with their two daughters.

Chuck Heise - 2009 Inductee - 1985 Graduate
Chuck Heise

Chuck graduated from D.C. Everest in 1985. During his time at Everest he lettered in Wrestling, Football and Track and was a state Wrestling Champion in 1985. Thereafter he attended the University of Minnesota where he was a Big Ten Wrestling Champion in 1990. In addition, he was awarded the Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor as well as an NCAA post graduate scholarship that year. From there he entered the University of Minnesota Medical School and received his M.D. Degree in 1994. He then began his residency in general surgery at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  From there his surgery training continued in England as well as back to the University of Minnesota, specializing in colon and rectal surgery. 

In 2002, he returned to Madison and joined the surgery faculty at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, where he is currently an Associate Professor of Surgery. In addition to treating many patients, he has published numerous articles in his field of surgery, is actively involved in surgical research and continues to teach surgical trainees and medical students on a daily basis. He has received several awards including being named repeatedly as a “Best Doctor in America” and Madison Magazine’s “Top Doctor” Selections. 

He is forever grateful to the teachers and coaches of the D.C. Everest School district for providing a solid yet memorable athletic and academic foundation. Chuck currently lives in Madison with his wife, Heather, and two children.

Beth Kohnert - 2019 Inductee - 2006 Graduate
 Beth Kohnert

Beth Kohnert graduated from D.C. Everest High School in 2006. Beth earned her Associates Degree in Human Services from Northcentral Technical College and her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services from UW-Oshkosh.

During her time at D.C. Everest High School, Beth was able to take part in many educational opportunities and experiences.  Through Key Club, Beth became a Big Sister through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, never realizing how much the program would become a part of her life and change her career path. Having enjoyed her experience of being a Big Sister in high school, Beth completed her college internship at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northcentral Wisconsin in 2009. She began her full-time career at the organization as the D.C. Everest & Mosinee Enrollment and Match Support Specialist in 2012 and was promoted to Program Director in 2015. She is very passionate about working with children that are facing adversity. Beth feels it is important to educate others on the struggles children face each day and the resiliency that must built in them in order for each child to achieve success in life. That is why she became an ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Interface Trainer.

Collaboration is the key to success in working with any non-profit organization. Beth works closely with many other community groups and organizations, including United Way of Marathon County, North Central Health Care, Marathon County Health Department and school districts within our area.

Beth and her husband, Len, are the proud parents of Violet, Maddy and Thomas.

Dave Krieg - 2004 Inductee - 1976 Graduate
Dave Krieg

After graduating from DCE, Dave attended Milton College where he was the starting quarterback for four years, lettered in baseball, and earned a Marketing Management degree.

After college Dave was acquired as a free agent by the NFL's Seattle Seahawks where he was the starting quarterback for 12 years. In all, Dave enjoyed a successful 19-year NFL career which included three trips to the pro bowl in 1984, 1988, and 1989. He is also currently ranked in the top ten all-time in three highly celebrated categories for quarterbacks in the NFL including career passing yards, career passing completions, and career touchdown passes. On September 26, 2004, Dave became the eighth member of the Seattle Seahawks Ring of Honor when he was inducted at halftime of the Seahawks game against the San Francisco 49ers at Qwest Field.

Dave has given countless hours and resources towards charitable contributions during his career including Boys and Girls Clubs, March of Dimes, United Way, Muscular Dystrophy Children's Hospital, United Cerebral Palsy, and to D.C. Everest Scholarship funds. Dave is quick to point out that he is proud of this community and very thankful of where he is from.

Dan Zagzebski - 2006 Inductee - 1980 Graduate
Dan Zagzebski

Dan Zagzebski’s commencement speech at his DC Everest graduation in 1980 said “Live each day to your Fullest” and he has certainly followed that direction. Dan’s inspiration for this statement came from his High School classmate Ray Pozorski who died his junior year of cancer.

Dan graduated from University of Wisconsin –LaCrosse with a BS in Finance and received a Masters Degree in Business Administration from University of Notre Dame. While at Notre Dame, he developed a national Consulting Company (Complete Source) serving the business needs of Alternative Health Care professionals. Dan was an integral part along with area Chiropractors in the development and creation of Allied Health of Wisconsin.

In 1994, Dan partnered with Randy Lewis purchasing Lemke Cheese and Packaging and saw significant growth during their years of ownership. The company played an impressive role in developing manufacturing skills and bilingual programs for the Southeast Asian workforce. Lemke received the State of Wisconsin Development Award for their commitment to the Southeast Asian Community. Dan and Randy sold Lemke Cheese and Packaging in 2003 to Great Lakes Cheese of Hiram Ohio. Dan continues to pursue, his entrepreneurial passion... mentoring and participating in new business ventures.

Since High School, Dan has volunteered his time and service to local youth leadership programs, youth sports, and his church. Dan along with Chris Osswald founded the Wayne Steffenhagen Everest Sports Foundation. In addition, Dan was an active participant of the Steihm Stadium Community Project.

Dan resides in Weston with his wife Dana who has been a strong influence in his career and the raising of their three children, Koleman, Konrad and Ingrid.

He attributes his strong family values and achievements to the remarkable traditions of the the DCE School District, his high school sports coaches, Mr. Chopp in Student Council and Mr. Holt in Key Club and his parents. Dan credits the school district for helping individuals and families to “Live each day to their fullest.”

Dave Junion - 2004 Inductee - 1979 Graduate
Dave Junion

Dave is well known as one of the very best and most creative photographers in our area. Anyone who has had the experience of working with Dave knows of his energy and charm. He is one of the lucky ones who does what he loves. Dave first learned his photography skills in 5th grade when Don Rahne introduced him to a camera.

In high school, Dave credits Jim Evers with teaching him how to capture images and strive for quality. Over the years Dave has contributed much time and effort to those in need as well. One day of shooting is donated for the Children's Miracle Network and every Christmas he shoots 100 sessions and raises $10,000 for the Children's Service Society.

He also donates class time to area school districts for business classes, art and photography. He supports local school programs such as athletics, arts, musicals, plays and music programs. Dave also created a program for free senior class portraits for those who cannot afford them. A national speaker and photographic consultant, he talks on creativity, digital technology and marketing.

Dave is also known a one of the first in the nation to pioneer the use of digital technology in the portrait industry and continues on the cutting edge.

Dennis Holt - 2017 Inductee - 1961 Graduate
Dennis Holt

Dennis graduated from UW-Madison and then returned to the Everest area to serve as a teacher and coach at D.C. Everest (DCE) from 1976-2004. During his tenure at DCE, he was recognized as the district teacher of the year (1989). He also served as a DCE cross country and track-and-field coach for 40 years. Coach Holt’s boys’ track teams earned two WIAA state championships in 1994 and 1996, were the WIAA state runner-up in 1995 and were named Regional champions 13 times. He also coached 11 individual/relay state champions. His boys’ track teams won 13 Wisconsin Valley Conference (WVC) indoor championships, 11 WVC relay championships, and 7 WVC outdoor championships. 

Coach Holt was largely responsible for building the Cross Country program at DC Everest, leading numerous individuals and teams to the WIAA State cross country tournament.  He was recognized as coach of the year in 1987, 1989, and 1994.  In 2011, Coach Holt was inducted into the Wisconsin State Track and Field Coaches Association Hall of Fame and in 2017 he was recognized as a D.C. Everest coaching legend. Coach Holt and his wife live in Rothschild and are the proud parents of three children and six grandchildren.

Donald Hintz - 2001 Inductee - 1961 Graduate
Donald Hintz

Don Hintz became President of Entergy Corporation on January 1, 1999, responsible for Entergy’s 67 gas-fired power plants, 10 nuclear power plants, 7 coal-fired power plants, 5 hydro-electric plants, 15,000 miles of transmission lines and worldwide power plant development and construction.

Hintz joined Entergy in 1989 as executive vice president and chief operating officer of System Energy Resources, Inc. In 1992 he was named president and chief executive officer of Entergy Operations, Inc., responsible for Entergy Corporation's nuclear program. His other Entergy roles have included positions on the boards of directors of several other Entergy subsidiary companies.

Outside of Entergy, Hintz serves as a director of the Nuclear Energy Institute and of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, as well as on their executive committees, and was formerly on the Accrediting Board of the National Academy for Nuclear Training. He is also a director of the American Nuclear Society, Southeastern Electric Exchange, and Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited. He received the American Nuclear Society's 1995 Utility Leadership Award, given to recognize those professionals in the industry who have assumed and demonstrated a leadership role in rapidly changing times of competition, regulatory change, and cost effectiveness.

While in Jackson, Mississippi, he served as a director on the State Public Education Forum, Junior Achievement Board, Central Mississippi Growth Foundation and was active in the Habitat for Humanity. He served as Corporate Recruiting Chairman for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation in New Orleans in 2000 raising over $400,000 for the Foundation, and is Honorary Chairman of the 2001 Walk to Cure Diabetes.

Hintz presently serves as a director on the Entergy Charitable Foundation Board. In 2000 this Foundation contributed $9 million to hundreds of non-profit organizations working in our communities. Although special emphasis is given to programs that address those that are the most vulnerable in our communities – the children and the poor, the funding program areas also include: education, health and social services, arts and culture,   community improvement and enrichment.

Hintz's 30-year utility career began with Wisconsin Public Service Corporation where he held numerous positions before being named senior vice president - power production, responsible for all generation for the company.

Hintz served in the U.S. Navy from 1966 to 1971, in the nuclear submarine program. His educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin, the Utility Executive Program at the University of Michigan, and the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

He is married to Arlene Mary Hack who also graduated from D.C. Everest in 1961.

Jeff Zollpriester - 2008 Inductee - 1976 Graduate
Jeff Zollpriester

Jeff Zollpriester graduated from D.C. Everest High School in 1976. Jeff played baseball for D.C. Everest and was a 3-year Starter. After graduating from high school, he began his career in the grocery industry. Jeff became store manager of a local grocery store in 1980, and in 1988, he became partners in the Quality Foods store located on Business 51 in Schofield. In 2000, Jeff was appointed General Manger overseeing the five Quality Foods stores in central Wisconsin, and in 2008, was named Chief Operating Officer for the Quality Foods organization.

Jeff has received various awards throughout his career. In 1998, out of 30 independent IGA grocery stores supported by the Copps Warehouse in Wisconsin, Jeff was awarded 'Retailer of the Year.' In 2004, he received the Wisconsin Grocers Association 'Excellence in Operations' Award, and in 2008, out of all IGA National Retailers, Jeff is being honored in the top five. Jeff is also on the IGA Coca Cola Advisory Board for training and education development.

Throughout the 20 years in the D. C. Everest community, he is very thankful for the support of the community and is proud to have employed so many young professional students from D.C. Everest schools. Jeff feels the real success of his business has been the hard work and commitment from his associates. Jeff and his wife, Carrie, live in Weston and have three daughters, Ashley, Melanie and Melissa. They have all actively worked at Quality Foods and have greatly contributed to the success of the business.

Jon Felch - Inductee 2020 - Graduation 2019
Jon Felch

Jon Felch, Class of 2000, is president of J & D Tube Benders in Weston, a custom manufacturer and distributor of tubing and tube assemblies for customers around the world. In addition to his full time employment at J & D, Jon joined the D.C. Everest High School Varsity Basketball coaching staff in 2016 as the head Junior Varsity Coach and an Assistant Varsity Coach. A passionate advocate for youth sports, Jon serves on the Everest Youth Basketball Board and as an Everest youth baseball and basketball coach for his two son’s recreational and travel teams.

Outside of his employment as a manufacturing leader and coach, Jon finds time to give back to the community through his involvement with various charitable and business organizations including United Way and the Central Wisconsin Metal Manufacturers Alliance (CWIMMA). Jon has a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A) degree from UW-Green Bay with a minor in Political Science. He and his wife, Katie, have three children: Cade (11), Dane (8) and Eden (4).

Judy (Adams) Swank - 2009 Inductee - 1966 Graduate
Judy (Adams) Swank

Judy graduated from D.C. Everest High School in 1966. She completed four years of undergraduate studies at UW Madison and then one year at the University of Illinois in Chicago. She graduated from the University of Illinois in Chicago in 1971 with a degree in Pharmacy. Judy was employed by a number of pharmacies throughout the Rhinelander area.

She also served the community in a number of ways including coaching junior high school track and high school Nordic skiing, hosting numerous foreign exchange students, being an active member in the Rhinelander Area Ski Trails Association (RASTA), the Oneida County Biking and Walking Trail Council and she sat on the board for the Oneida County Eco Business Park development. She also served as the Honorary Chairperson of the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life in Rhinelander. Judy was recognized by her community via the Paul Harris Fellowship given by the Rhinelander Rotary Club in 2008. Most recently a newly constructed shelter on the Washburn Ski Trails was named in her honor. The things she dedicated her life to reflect her belief in a physical lifestyle and Emersonian ideal of self-reliance.

Judy passed away as a result of ovarian cancer on February 25, 2009. She is survived by her husband Lee Swank of Rhinelander, her son Adam Swank of Duluth, MN.

Kathy Persen Still - 2019 Inductee - 1984 Graduate
Kathy Persen Still

Kathy Persen Still is a 1984 graduate of D.C. Everest High School, where she was fully engaged in the school's academic, athletic, and music programs.  Prior to graduating in the top ten-percent, she captained the marching band’s color guard, led the band as drum major, and lettered in three sports.  

She has been a part of the senior leadership team at the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs since 2013, currently serving as assistant deputy secretary. Kathy served 24 years on active and reserve duty in the United States Army, retiring as a major. While in the Army, Kathy led the development of a unique medical-care unit for injured returning veterans. This first-in-nation, interdisciplinary approach met a significant challenge and became the standard protocol for the Army Medical Command. Enlisting as a private, Kathy was commissioned into the Military Police Corps following Officer Candidate School and later held several command positions as well as staff positions at the battalion and brigade levels.

She also served as an aide to two ranking members of the Wisconsin State Assembly and a ranking member of the Wisconsin State Senate. Kathy is a graduate of UW-Milwaukee and the University of Wisconsin Law School.

Michael Salsieder - 2007 Inductee - 1970 Graduate
Michael Salsieder

Born and raised in Rothschild, Wisconsin, Michael Salsieder was part of the D. C. Everest graduating class of 1970. Mike is a six-time letter winner in high school basketball and baseball. Mike graduated Summa Cum Laude from St. Norbert College in 1974 with a BA in Economics. He then attended the University of Notre Dame Law School (JD) and the Notre Dame Graduate Business School (MBA) graduating in 1978.

In March 2005, Mike became the President & General Counsel of Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork, one of the largest manufacturing companies in North Central Wisconsin, and one of the premier window and door manufacturing companies in the United States. Before joining Kolbe & Kolbe, he served 24 years as Vice President & General Counsel of a number of manufacturing companies across the United States. Mike has been instrumental in the renovation of the Rothschild Pavilion, as well as many other local charities like Habitat for Humanity, the Heart Walk Campaign and high school scholarships.

Mike is a lifetime “Wisconsin” sports fan and also enjoys golf, basketball and fishing. He and his wife Mary have been married thirty years and have two sons Daniel and Joseph.

Melissa Langbehn - 2003 Inductee - 1980 Graduate
Melissa Langbehn

Melissa Langbehn graduated from D. C. Everest High School in 1980. She earned a journalism degree from UW-Oshkosh and began her broadcasting career in Central Wisconsin.

As a news anchor at WAOW TV-9 in Wausau, Melissa's newscasts and reports have won top honors from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association and Associated Press. She has repeatedly taken home top honors as "Favorite Television Personality" in the Wausau TV market.

In addition to her journalism work, Melissa has taken on leadership roles in numerous non-profit and volunteer organizations.

Melissa married her high school sweetheart, Dave Klein, and they have a son, Justin.

Melissa remains a proud D. C. Everest Evergreen!

She says the teachers, coaches and friends she met while attending school in the district gave her the academic foundation, support and confidence to pursue her dreams.

Kristine Gilmore - 2010 Inductee - 1986 Graduate
Kristine Gilmore

Dr. Kristine Gilmore graduated from D.C. Everest High School in 1986 and earned a bachelor’s in education from UW-LaCrosse. Her master’s and doctorate in Educational Administration were attained at Edgewood College. Kristine began her career at CESA 3 and returned to D.C. Everest as assistant principal at the junior high from 1997-2000. She then served as Evergreen Elementary and middle school principal and was named the district’s Superintendent of Schools in 2003. She is currently a board member for the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators and an Adjunct Professor for Edgewood College Doctoral Program.

Known throughout her career as an advocate for students and their educational program, Kristine works collaboratively with administration, teachers, and community to improve student learning. She continually strives to involve parents and the community to achieve district goals, promoting goodwill, understanding and acceptance of the district’s programs, positions and needs. Kristine is known for her open-door policy and for listening and responding to opinions and views of the community members. Passionate about making this a great community, she has been a board member for D.C. Everest Education Foundation, St. Clare’s Hospital, United Way, YMCA, Junior Achievement, Chamber, and Northcentral Technical College.

Kristine is proud to be an Evergreen along with her husband, Jim, and three children. She is grateful for the incredible opportunity to serve this district and community.

Pamela Tietz - 1999 Inductee - 1974 Graduate
Pamela Tietz

Ms. Tietz received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, her master’s degree in Health Services Administration from the College of St. Francis, Joliet, Illinois. She attended the Mayo Management School, and received sub-specialty training at the Center for Advanced Training in cell and molecular biology, Washington DC and the Department of Cell Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.

Pamela is employed as a Research Supervisor in the Center for Basic Research in Digestive Diseases at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. She has authored 20 manuscripts that have been published in widely read medical journals. She is currently a member of the American Association of Healthcare Executives.

Her community service involves providing meals for the homeless through the Dorothy Day House Organization and she organizes an annual city festival Drum & Bugle Corps show.

Patricia Newby-Richter - 2005 Inductee - 1967 Graduate
Patricia Newby-Richter

After her 1967 graduation from D. C. Everest, Patricia Newby-Richter spent several years in the travel industry. From 1971-73 Pat and her husband, Joe, spent time in the Philippines with the United States Peace Corp. They again returned to the Philippines as missionaries in 1984 to work in agriculture and organize a church.

For the last 12 years, Pat has been the office manager for Farms International, a program that provides revolving micro loans to Christians in poverty to start income-generated projects and become self-supporting. This work has taken the Richter’s to several countries of extreme poverty and sometimes danger, including Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Thailand. More than 25,000 families have been helped by the revolving loan program, which has its headquarters above the Richter’s garage in Knife River, MN.

Pat and Joe have been married for 36 years and share four children and 5 grandchildren. Pat says the best part of her life after high school has been marrying her high school sweetheart.

Patrick Braatz - 1979 Graduate - 2001 Inductee
Patrick Braatz

On April 1, 1980 Patrick D. Braatz made history with his election to the D.C. Everest Area School District Board of Education as the youngest person ever elected to the Board at the age of 18, Braatz was a Freshman in college at the time of his election. Braatz was re-elected three times and served 4 different terms as President during his 11 ½ years of service on the Board. While serving on the School Board Braatz served as a member and Chairman of the C.E.S.A. #2 and #9 Board of Controls and was active member of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards.

Braatz graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a Minor in Economics. Following his graduation he became a Commercial Insurance Agent for Manson Insurance Agency of Wausau where he remained until Governor Tommy Thompson appointed Braatz to serve as Marathon County Register of Deeds in 1989. During his 22 month tenure as Register of Deeds Braatz, brought computerization to the office as well as improving the offices processing times for real estate transactions from weeks to 3 days.

In 1991 Governor Thompson again tapped Braatz and appointed him Director of the Bureau of Health Professions of the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing. In 1992 Braatz was promoted to Administrator of the Division of Health. As administrator he is responsible for the overall responsibility for 23 Boards/Councils who are responsible for the regulation and licensing of health professions in the State of Wisconsin where he serves today.

As a Junior at D.C. Everest, Braatz was named a delegate to the Wisconsin American Legion Badger Boys State Program held in Ripon, Wisconsin. Since 1979 Braatz has served as a volunteer counselor with the program and was honored for over 23 years of service to the program. In 1994 Braatz established a scholarship to send one junior student to attend the Badger Boys State Program.

In 1988 he established two $300.00 scholarships for graduating seniors from D.C. Everest High School in honor of his parents Dale & Carla Braatz to Freshman students attending the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Braatz is currently a member of the UWSP Alumni Association Board of Directors, Stevens Point, WI. The National Board for Respiratory Care State Licensure Committee as well as their National Recredentialing Commission, Lenexa, KS. A member of the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy Council of Board Administrators as well as a member of the Federations Education Committee, Arlington, VA. He was recently named to the Board of Directors of the Foreign Commission on Credentialing of Physical Therapists, Arlington, VA.

Braatz is completing 20 years of service as a Member of the United States Selective Service Board Local #38, Marathon County. He has served as a member of numerous local community. Braatz currently maintains a home in Schofield and Madison, Wisconsin.

Phil Schoenborn - 2010 Inductee - 1967 Graduate
Phil Schoenborn

Dr. Phil Schoenborn graduated from D.C. Everest in 1967. He lettered in football and wrestling. He went on to earn an undergraduate degree in 1973 from UW-La Crosse in Biology. Phil graduated as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota in 1979. He practiced for a number of years in both Wisconsin and Minnesota before opening Bay View Veterinary Clinic in 1996 in Mukwonago, WI. With his own business, Phil is able to support various local sports teams and other charities. His clinic sponsors an annual animal-related fundraiser to provide money for local animal rescues and Humane Societies. He is an active member in numerous state and national professional veterinary organizations.

Phil is a member and the Wisconsin Representative of the Christian Veterinary Mission. Their mission is to assist people in third world countries to raise healthier animals so those individuals will have more available resources for food and schooling for their families. Through CVM he has traveled to Haiti, Honduras, Ghana and the Dominican Republic giving farmers the knowledge and skills to care for their animals. CMV has also given him the opportunity to assist in training sessions with veterinarians in other countries to learn practical skills used to help them have better careers.

Phil is proud to be a DCE graduate. One lesson he learned while a student was to never give up. Since he was not a natural athlete, he had to work hard to be successful in sports. His teachers and coaches taught him the value and benefit of perseverance. They believed in him when he doubted himself and they taught him to reach for the stars and never give up. This attitude has served him well, first in sports, then in his studies and career as a veterinarian.

Phil and his wife, Kathy (Stone DCE 1969), have two grown sons and two grandsons and reside in Mukwonago, Wisconsin.

Sarah Kamke - 1999 Inductee - 1961 Graduate
Sarah Kamke

Sarah Kamke has served her community and the school district with distinction. She was the first woman to be elected to the Schofield City Council in 1977 and was later the first woman elected as Schofield City Mayor.

She also serves on the county board as well as many other community and civic committees. Sarah was responsible for the completion of the new Grand Avenue and the new shopping center which has helped create strong economic growth in the Schofield area.

Sarah has been a strong advocate of the school system for many years, volunteering her services on many projects.

Stacey Marcell - 2017 Inductee - 1994 Graduate
Stacey Marcell

Stacey Marcell is a licensed arborist, degreed horticulturalist and advocate for the environment. Upon graduating from D.C. Everest, she attended the UW-Madison and earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Horticulture with a minor in Business Management. Three weeks after graduating from the UW, she relocated to Connecticut where she worked for SavATree. In 2000, Stacey became a State of Connecticut licensed arborist and began an active career in the arboricultural field, cultivating a reputation as one of Connecticut’s premier arborists. She also became an active member of the Connecticut Tree Protection Agency.

In 2007, Stacey started her own firm — Northeast Horticultural Services — an organic landscaping firm that creates native and sustainable landscapes and provides conservation-minded planning and consultation for residential and commercial clientele. The company focuses on taking care of trees, encouraging good stewardship of the earth and reducing the amount of synthetic pesticides in the environment. Her company is one of ten Connecticut firms to have earned accreditation from the Tree Care Industry of America (TCIA).

In 2008, she earned accreditation with the Northeast Organic Farming Association. Stacey earned a designation as a Tree Risk Assessment Qualified Arborist from the International Society of Arboriculture in February 2010 and in 2014 she received her certification as a Certified Tree Care Safety Professional with TCIA. In 2015 Stacey completed the Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council’s Leadership Program for Contractors and placed second in the “Bear’s Den”, Connecticut’s version of “Shark Tank”. Northeast Horticultural Services currently has 30 employees and gross annual revenues of nearly $3M dollars. She has spent more than 20 years beautifying properties in Fairfield County, Connecticut and her next goal is to be recognized as one of Connecticut’s top 100 employers

Susan Reetz - 2006 Inductee - 1981 Graduate
Susan Reetz

Susan Reetz graduated from D.C. Everest High School in 1981. She went on to earn a BA and an MA in Communication from UW-Stevens Point where she also taught scriptwriting. She was named the 2005 UWSP Division of Communication Alumna of the Year for her commitment to the field of communications and for her efforts in helping others. 

In 1996 she and Pamela Rucinski founded Rucinski & Reetz Communication, a Kronenwetter based company dedicated to providing quality writing, video directing, and producing services to local, state, and national clients. Susan is committed to serving her community and has lent her skills to social issue video projects in addition to her regular projects for corporations, government, and nonprofit clients.

She has worked with local resources and scores of D.C. Everest students to produce programs on teen alcohol and drug abuse prevention, gangs in small towns, Methamphetamine demand reduction, Ecstasy awareness, and a music video depicting drug endangered children scenarios. Her work has received numerous local and international awards. 

Susan married fellow DCE Alumnus Clark Reetz ('79) in 1986 and they live with their three children in Rothschild.

Todd Bohm - 2011 Inductee - 1985 Graduate

Todd graduated from D.C. Everest in 1985 where he lettered in football, track, and was very active in band. He earned a bachelor's degree in Broadfield Social Studies from UW Eau Claire in 1989, earned a Master's degree from UW Superior in Education Administration in 1996, and is currently enrolled in the doctoral program at Edgewood College.

After teaching and coaching at Eau Claire Memorial High School and Tomahawk Middle School, Todd returned to the D.C. Everest district where he has been an Assistant Principal at the senior high school for the past 16 years. As an advocate for students, Todd is passionate about ensuring that every student has the best experience possible during their high school years. Todd played an integral role in the formation of the D.C. Everest Alternative High School and adult diploma program. Currently, Todd is also coaching varsity football and track in which he was part of Division 1 football championships in 1998 and 2003 and has advanced multiple athletes to the state track meet. Todd is President of the D.C. Everest Alumni Association, Vice President of the D.C. Everest Education Association, board member for the Wounded Warriors in Action project, is Chairperson for the Athletic Capital Improvement committee, and led the fund raising campaign for the Holt/Peterson jump facility. Todd is married to his wife Dawn who is an English teacher at D.C. Everest Junior High School and has two children - Samantha and Chayden.

Todd is very humbled and honored to receive this award. "I am proud to bleed 'green' and always dreamed about returning to work in the D.C. Everest School District. The influence of so many great teachers and coaches from elementary through high school has had a huge impact on the person I am today."

Todd Martens - 2013 Inductee - 1980 Graduate
Todd Martens

Todd K. Martens is a Circuit Judge in Washington County, Wisconsin. He graduated from D.C. Everest Senior High School in 1980. After attending the University of Wisconsin—Marathon Center for two years, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Wisconsin—Madison in 1984, received a Master’s Degree in Psychology there in 1985, and a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1988.

After graduation, Todd practiced law for three years at the Milwaukee law firm of Quarles & Brady. In 1991, he began a 19-year career as a prosecutor, initially as an Assistant District Attorney. In 1999, Governor Tommy Thompson appointed him Washington County District Attorney. He was then elected District Attorney in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008 before being appointed Circuit Judge by Governor Jim Doyle in 2010. He was then elected to a six-year term as Circuit Judge in 2011.

As District Attorney, Todd tried more than 175 criminal jury cases, and handled dozens of homicide or attempted homicide cases along with scores of sexual assault and violent felony cases. As Circuit Judge, he presides over criminal, civil, probate, juvenile and family law cases.

Todd served as Washington County Bar Association President and on the Executive Board of the Wisconsin District Attorneys Association. He volunteers at an area food pantry and domestic violence advocacy organization, and has served as President of the Boards of Directors of both the Washington County United Way and Council on AODA. He enjoys travel, running, cross-country skiing, and is very good at avoiding yard work.

Todd is married (since 1984) to Lori Hanes (also DCE class of 1980); they have lived in the Milwaukee area since 1988, and have a daughter Katie. Todd and Lori both have fond memories of D.C. Everest, and Todd is very grateful to be recognized as a distinguished alumnus.

William Fish - 2008 Inductee - 1968 Graduate

Bill Fish graduated from D.C. Everest in 1968. He began working at McDonald's in Schofield in 1966, which his dad managed. He continued to work there after high school while attending NTC. In 1974, along with his father and 2 brothers, he opened a McDonalds Franchise in Marshfield, WI. Over the years, Bill has opened 5 other McDonalds in the Wausau and Rhinelander area, as well as, purchasing the original McDonalds in Schofield that was built in 1959 from Bill Foley.

Over the 34 years as a McDonald's Operator, Bill has hired hundreds of students, many from the D.C. Everest Area. Four of his employees have gone on to become McDonald's Owner/Operators.

“The D.C. Everest School system taught me respect and discipline. I still have the highest regard for the teachers and coaches in the D. C. Everest School District.” Bill lives in Rothschild with his wife of 35 years, Sharon. They have two children, Dan and Laurie, and one grandchild. Bill is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Wausau Area Chamber of Commerce and board member of the Marathon County Crime Stoppers. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Peoples State Bank. He received the Citizen of The Year award in 1989 from the South Area Business Association. Bill also donated toward half the cost of the Zamboni for the Greenheck Center.