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Neenah’s Hall of Fame Grows Larger

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Neenah’s annual Hall of Fame banquet, which took place at the Bridgewood Conference Center on

Bridgewood Conference Center hosted the Hall of Fame ceremony, which many companies and families sponsored.

Sept. 30, welcomed five new members.

Bill Dunwiddle, Kathy Hagerstrom, Robert Keller, David McLaren and John Schneller were all honored at the ceremony, joining the 17 previous inductees. “We have the opportunity to thank Hall of Fame inductees for leaving their legacy,” Superintendent Dr. Mary Pfeiffer began, “212 degrees create steam and steam can power a train.”

The honorees’ steam allowed them to create change during their time at Neenah High School (NHS). Later on, it caused a community member to nominate them for the Hall of Fame.

(Photo courtesy of Neenah Joint School District)

The first honoree, Dunwiddie, taught social studies at NHS from 1948-’83. “He approached teaching at Neenah the way he approached everything else in life . . . really plunging in, fully engaged, always looking at the bright side of things, ” his son, Peter, said while accepting the nomination. He made a much broader impact by entering the City of Neenah Park and Recreation Commission in 1964.

(Photo courtesy of Neenah Joint School District)

Hagerstrom scored 1,219 points in girls’ basketball while at NHS, successfully leading the team to the 1978 WIAA state championship. “Life is to be lived forward and looked at backwards,” Haegerstrom said humbly while accepting her place in the Hall of Fame. She fought tears while expressing her gratitude toward teammates and coaches from her past. “Create a culture, be positive and be excellent,” Haegerstrom concluded.

(Photo courtesy of Neenah Joint School District)

Keller, another honoree, is the chairman of J.J. Keller and Associates; however, many students are thankful for his position with the J.J. Keller Foundation because of the gracious distribution of scholarships for higher education. In a message to inspire students, Keller said “work ethic and dedication are key.”

(Photo courtesy of Neenah Joint School District)

The fourth honoree, McLaren, was a WIAA state champion in shot put during track and field season. Notably, he also played football and made it to state semifinals in 1988. Later in his career, he earned two national titles in shot put.

(Photo courtesy of Neenah Joint School District)

Finally, Schneller’s son spoke on his behalf. Schneller passed away in 1978, though not before influencing the community. Schneller played for the Detroit Lions championship team in 1938, even after earning a basketball scholarship while at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He supported the United States in wartime aboard the U.S.S. South Dakota. During his battles, he survived seven bullet wounds and mustard gas. Even at home, Schneller found himself in interesting situations. He wound up “after hours with a local gangster,” according to his son. Of course, Schneller is most known for his company, Schneller and Associates.

Touch of Class performed at the ceremony in front of the honorees, community members and fellow students. Megan Altekruse, Caleb Feavel, Eddison Flottemesch, Mindara Krueger-Olson, Abbegayle Lane, Grass Moss, Emily Roberts, Mckenna Seegers and Jaxon Spiegelberg represented NHS thanks to the array of extracurricular activities in which they involve themselves.

“We’ve had some really amazing people that graduated from here and it’s nice for them to get recognition for their accomplishments,” Altekruse said.

From left to right: Flottemesch, Feavel, Spiegelberg, Lane, Moss, Roberts, Seegers and Altekruse.

Dunwiddle, Hagerstrom, Keller, McLaren and Schneller join the ranks of George Edmund Bergstrom, Tom Berven, Joe Braun, Theresa Cheng, Laura Ryan, Ron Einerson, Wellington Hsu, Zuhdi Jasser, Ole Jorgensen, James Keating, John Keating, Jean Kessler, Wayne Kreklow, Patricia Westphal, John Whitlinger, Thomas Weisner and Ivan Williams.

To recognize someone formerly or currently in the Neenah Joint School District who has contributed to athletics, the arts, or academics, nomination forms are available online.

 

 

 

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Neenah’s Hall of Fame Grows Larger”

  1. Aimee Roekle on February 22nd, 2018 10:17 AM

    It’s always good to hear about what Neenah alum are doing post-graduation. I’m honored every year to play for this event with Touch of Class, and I enjoying meeting the people whose footsteps I’m walking in. I hope to one day make such an impact in the world that I might make the Hall of Fame as well. I noticed that the inductees or representatives all tend to be very good speakers. Good communication skills does appear to be a common trait in successful people.

  2. Anna Koerner on February 28th, 2018 10:08 AM

    Great article! As a student who is about to graduate from Neenah High, it is so inspiring to read about those who have graduated and gone on to do great things within our community. I appreciate the fact that not only ‘well-known’ people in the community are inducted into our Hall of Fame, and it is important that we recognize those people who give back to the community that they grew up in. I especially enjoyed Dr. Pfeiffer’s quote about steam in the beginning, what a creative starting point! I hope to see more of these articles as the Hall of Fame continues to grow.

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