2021 Homecoming Ceremony
The 2020 and 2021 Honorees are honored as part of the 2021 Homecoming Ceremony.
Here are the 2020 & 2021 Alumni Honorees
Patty entered AAHS her sophomore year when classes were held in the Airmen’s Barracks. Her junior year began in the spanking new AAHS building, which was a big improvement. She graduated as valedictorian, and credits the amazing faculty for inspiring her academic pursuits. She continued her education at Stanford University, and through a Stanford program, attended the University of Nantes, France. It was there that she met her future husband. After working in Paris for a year, she returned to the USAFA and was married in the Cadet Chapel. The couple then received graduate degrees at the University of Minnesota, and then had a two year posting in Quebec, Canada. With their year old daughter, they moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, for 25 years. Two more children arrived while Patty taught French at the grade school, high school and university levels. She also had a tutoring and translation business. She taught Aerobics and dance for fifteen years, became a tennis fanatic, and returned to Colorado to ski a few times each year. Patty’s husband was transferred to Houston, Texas, where they currently live. Patty retired, and now pursues tennis and Pilates. She loves to travel and to visit her three children and four grandchildren. Patty’s favorite memories of AAHS are the friendships formed with a group of girls in her class. These friendships have lasted over 60 years and are kept alive through communication, reunions, and many trips together. Except for her family, these are the most important people in Patty’s life.
Pati Tudor Davidson’s association with AAHS is long and deep. As a 9thgrader from Woodmen Valley, she joined Black Forest and Academy kids for the first year of AAHS in the former Pine Valley Country Club. 10thgrade became more exciting with the arrival of the AFA dependents, and classes in the “Airmen’s Barracks.” The new facility in Pine Valley was completed in time for junior year, and she graduated in 1961 from the newly-accredited Air Academy High School. Graduating from CSU In 1965, she came home to AAHS and taught English for 4 eventful years.
In 1969, Pati and her artist husband, Ken Davidson, opened a small art studio & Mexican imports shop (“the Margarita”) in Colorado Springs. Indulging a passion for cooking, (and to avoid boredom) she also served homemade soups and breads. After two and a half years expanding in three directions in the little shop, they scaled down and moved up. It took two years (from 1972-74) to design and build the current “Margarita at Pine Creek” on family property on Woodmen Road. It started as a small restaurant, 2 leased “gift” shops and Ken’s studio/gallery. Food and events eventually absorbed the shops and metamorphosed into the current restaurant and patios. (Ken died in 1993. His talents are seen and felt around the Margarita grounds and buildings). The Margarita at Pine Creek is the oldest (47 years) same-owner restaurant in Colorado Springs. In the 2021 Gazette “Reader’s Choice Awards,” the Margarita at Pine Creek won “Best Fine Dining” and “Best Al Fresco Dining.”)
Pati turned the cooking over to partner/Chef, Eric Viedt in 2002 and continues to host several meals a week and get in the way much more often. She has remained in touch with former classmates, students, teachers and AAHS staff, in and out of the restaurant.
Her involvement in the CS community includes: Citizens’ Goals, Star Bar Players, TheatreWorks, CS Philharmonic (previously CS Symphony), the Uncle Wilber Fountain, Chefs’ Gala, Citizens’ Project, the Independent Restaurant Cooperative, and the Colorado Farm and Art Market. (The Margarita hosts CFAM’s organic Market outside the patio on Saturdays.)
The granddaughter of 4 Colorado pioneers, Pati has worked to encourage the arts and education of the city we have all loved.
I came to Colorado Springs in 1968, just in time to start my sophomore year at AAHS. After high school I attended the University of Colorado in Boulder and graduated with a Business and Accounting degree. I earned a CPA and worked for an international accounting firm and later worked in the oil and gas industry. While at CU, I met my husband, Gary, and together we operated several businesses including a big game hunting lodge in Colorado, commercial salmon fishing operation in Alaska and now we own a farm near Hudson, CO. The last twenty-five years have included raising and training springer spaniels for hunting and field trials where I participate as a national judge and the volunteer finance officer for the National Spaniel Club. AAHS provided a great foundation for everything that came after high school. My thanks go to Ron Eason, Sue Bornhauser and the rest of the faculty.
After graduating from AAHS, I received my BA from the University of Northern Colorado in 1975 with a dual major in Journalism and Psychology, and a secondary teaching certificate. I was a reporter for three newspapers in Colorado and California before attending Washburn Law School in Topeka, KS, and graduating with honors in 1983. During my law practice from 1983 through retirement in December 2018, I was a partner at two different law firms in Durango, CO. I began in civil litigation and commercial law and ended my career representing three banks, three water districts and two electric cooperatives in Southwest Colorado. I volunteered for many Durango non-profits. I also currently serve on the Board of Directors for First Southwest Bank. My first wife, Stephanie Dial, and I have three children and three granddaughters. My second wife of ten years, Holly Hagan, and I live on our land outside of Durango where I enjoy reading, writing, music, gardening, photography, yoga, backpacking, and travels in both my four-wheel drive camper and abroad. I fondly remember my classmates, teachers and coaches at AAHS, particularly Judy Sekera, the Jetstreamsponsor and Mike Lynch, the basketball coach. I was a guard on the first AAHS basketball team to qualify for the State Tournament.
Jerri Lou Craig is an inspiration for each of us. Jerri excelled in her studies at AAHS, and was active in Forensics and Debate, literary magazine, newspaper, Montage, dramatic productions, student council, National Forensic League, National Honor Society, science, Spanish, Spirit Club, and 4-H. She was an AAHS valedictorian, with a 4.0+ GPA, and received a Boettcher Scholarship to study pre-med at the University of Denver. During her two years at DU, Jerri became a certified EMT, served on the crisis/suicide prevention team, yearbook staff and was a member of the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority. In addition to her academic accolades, Jerri served as secretary of the Colorado 4-H Council, attended National 4-H Council, participated in the National 4-H Citizenship Trip to Washington, D.C. and National 4-H Congress. She was a 4-H Colorado and National Champion Public Speaker. In 1980, Jerri Lou won the Miss Colorado National Teenager Pageant, placing second in the essay/speech competition on “What is Right about America.” Jerri’s heart condition tragically took her life in October 1982. She loved life, her family, friends, schoolmates and faculty. Jerri strived to set a high standard for others to follow. Jerri will always be missed by those who knew her.
Jed attended Pine Valley, Mountain View, AAJHS, and AAHS. He is in his 36thyear serving public education—a career he chose in large part because of the exemplary education he received in ASD20. He remains incredibly grateful for his former students, athletes, teachers and coaches. After graduating, he earned a B.S. in Geology and a teaching certificate at Colorado State University. A career highlight was teaching science/mathematics at AAHS and Liberty. He also coached girls’ soccer, golf, and hockey before becoming an athletic director at Liberty. He then served various administrative roles in Poudre and Douglas County School Districts before becoming the superintendent in Woodland Park. In 2015, he was honored to receive the Colbert Cushing Award for providing exceptional service as a superintendent. He earned a M.S. in Kinesiology/Astronomy (CU) and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership (CSU). Currently, he is serving as an assistant superintendent in Scottsdale and as an adjunct professor at UCCS teaching the Administration Licensure Program for aspiring superintendents and special education directors. Go Kadets!
I am a proud Kadet of the Class of 1981. I enjoyed sports and was blessed with a great group of friends that I enjoyed spending time with. Maybe too much time behind the Rock, but don’t tell anyone. I am very grateful for the dedicated teachers and coaches that were part of my development at AAHS; they all made me a better person and helped me grow. I was fortunate to get a scholarship to play football for the University of Missouri and I graduated in 1986 with a BS in Recreation Services. In 1987 I married my beautiful wife and fellow Kadet Shelley Caceres Lockwood. That was the best decision of my life. We have been happily married for 34 years. We have two children, our son Ryan and our daughter Keleigh, both of which have brought us countless blessings and challenges to enhance our life. I worked for the City of Colorado Springs, starting as a seasonal employee and working my way up to Golf Manager. It was a fantastic career that I retired from after 28 years of service. AAHS was an awesome experience for me. My best friends, who I still hang out with and my wife all were found at AAHS. I probably had too much fun, but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. I still Fight, Fight True for the Silver and Blue. I am very humbled and honored to be recognized at Homecoming.
I am a former AAHS All American Basketball Player, collegiate UCLA basketball player, NBA Player and European basketball player. When my playing days were over I founded the Conditioned Minds Foundation, Inc., an interactive cognitive, physical, and behavioral training organization designed to help youth perform at their best in their sport, academics, and social environments. Conditioned Minds is responsible for delivering turn-key solutions using comprehensive interactive and experiential support approaches to student athletic development. My curriculum has been used with collegiate athletic programs, high schools, middle schools, non-profit organizations, school administrators, coaches and parents. My leadership camps have been known around the country as one of the most intense mental and character building camps one can attend. I was inspired by the teachers, coaches and administrators at AAHS to not only follow my dreams, but to paint a bigger picture than a canvas allows.
Tyson Nunn is the President and CEO of Nunn Construction. Tyson’s involvement with Nunn Construction began at a young age. When he was just nine years old he was already part of the Nunn Construction team, watching Ray and Nancy Nunn spend countless hours building the company. As a teen, and during his college years, Tyson worked as a laborer at his father’s company. Working mostly on concrete and foundation crews, he gained experience from hours of working in many aspects of the construction industry. Upon graduating from Colorado State University with a degree in Construction Management, Tyson worked for a large Design Build firm in southern California. After several years, he returned to Colorado and Nunn Construction and gained experience working in all departments of the company.
Tyson also has a great love for the outdoor life and his family. Tyson enjoys spending time with his wife Susan and his two children, Ava and Mason along with fly-fishing, running, mountain biking and skiing while passionately building, creating, and making a difference in his mountain home community.
While at AAHS, Adrienne was involved in Forensics, Technical Theater and Lacrosse, as the manager. After AAHS, she went on to attend the University of Northern Colorado, earning a BA in Communications and Journalism and a Master degree from the School of International Training – part of World Learning in International Education. Adrienne spent six months abroad in Austria and Greece after being chosen as 1 of 2 individuals to represent CO as part of the International 4-H Youth Exchange Program. After participating in this program, she spent six months traveling throughout Colorado speaking to 4-H youth about her experiences. These experiences abroad are what ultimately led her to start a career in Higher Education specifically within the International Education field.
Adrienne has spent the last ten years within the field of International Education at a variety of higher education institutions, including the University of San Francisco, Savannah College of Art and Design and finally ending up at the University of California Santa Cruz. She has spent time in the roles of International Admissions Recruiter, International Student Advisor and currently is the Assistant Director of International Student Services at UCSC, where she is primary point of contact for the 2000 plus international students studying at the university and those campus partners who work with them. Adrienne lives in Santa Cruz, CA but enjoys returning to Colorado Springs frequently to spend time with her family.
Dan Walsh graduated from AAHS in 2000 and headed up the road to the United States Air Force Academy where he played Division I soccer and graduated with a degree in Behavioral Science – Human Factors Engineering. Dan then served 8 years as an Intelligence Officer and Program Manager primarily focusing on Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operations across the globe. Dan left the Air Force in 2011 in the rank of Captain to pursue his passion in the sports industry.
In 2011, Dan returned to Colorado Springs as an assistant coach for Colorado College men’s soccer team prior to moving to Washington D.C. to join D.C. United (Major League Soccer). While there, he coached two youth teams (U11, U12), ran the sports camp and training programs – seeking talent for D.C. United’s Academy system. In 2015, he packed up his Jeep and, along with his wife, Hadley, moved to Portland, Oregon. Currently, Dan works at the Nike World Headquarters and currently serves as the Director of Portfolio and Operations for the Consumer & Marketplace team within Global Technology. Dan holds an MBA from Colorado State University and a Master’s in Sports Industry Management from Georgetown University. Dan and Hadley have two children – Emmy (3), Quinn (1) and love Colorado (where they met!).
While at AAHS, I was a member of the award winning A Capella group, “Out of the Blue.” I was also a member of the National Honor Society and Yearbook committee for several years, while conducting an independent study in piano and teaching dance classes on the side. I went on to attend Westmont College in California where I received degrees in Psychology and Art, followed by a doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology. As a licensed Psychologist I was the President of the Santa Barbara Psychological Association and served on the board of directors for many years. I have provided consultation for numerous organizations and I am an adjunct faculty member. I have been in successful private practice for the past 10 years in Santa Barbara. My life is guided by my Faith in God and my close relationships with family and friends. I enjoy hiking, yoga, playing the piano, art, traveling, good food, snuggling my dog, helping others and putting my feet in the ocean whenever I can.
Dr. Matthew Rioth graduated with the legendary Air Academy Class of 2001 and matriculated at Harvard for his undergraduate studies in neurobiology. After graduating with high honors he joined the laboratory of the eminent cancer researcher Dr. Judah Folkman. Subsequently Matt went on to medical school at Vanderbilt and stayed there for his internship, residency and fellowship in medical oncology. During that time he also earned a graduate degree in biomedical informatics, and also got married with AAHS classmate Matt Murphy as his best man and many fellow Kadets in attendance. He was awarded the American Society of Clinical Oncology Young Investigator Award in 2016, and joined the faculty of the University of Colorado School of Medicine. During his time on faculty he developed an international reputation as an expert in the care of ocular melanoma as well as the use of biomedical informatics to advance cancer research He has served on many national advisory boards, is the author of over 50 book chapters, research articles and conference presentations, and in 2020 was elected as a Fellow of the American Medical Informatics Association. Currently he is the senior director of medical oncology at Syapse, a technology company that uses real world data to accelerate clinical cancer research. He lives in Hanover, New Hampshire with his wife, Dr. Meghan Rioth their four children, and an ever-expanding menagerie of animals. He humbly accepts this award and wishes to express his gratitude to his classmates and teachers at Air Academy High.
While at AAHS, Meghan participated in Peer Partners and Teacher Cadet. During that time, she gained experience working with students with disabilities and teaching in a second grade classroom. Meghan began volunteering with Special Olympics and helped with Extended School Year during the summer. After high school, Meghan completed her teacher’s degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Disability Studies at the University of Wyoming. Upon graduation, she went back to get her Master’s in Special Education K-12. Meghan taught Moderate Needs, Kindergarten through second grade, for two years in the Fountain Fort Carson school district, before she became a Significant Support Needs Teacher in Academy District 20. As an SSN teacher, she focused on inclusion and supporting classroom teachers with modifications. Her program became a Model SSN program for the Colorado Department of Education. After three years of teaching SSN, Meghan became a District 20 Kindergarten teacher where she continues to focus on inclusion and meeting the needs of all students. Meghan’s continued professional goal is to build a classroom of inclusive and empathetic learners regardless of grade or ability.
As a student, Brandon was known for his involvement in the Marching Band and Wind Ensemble, National Honor Society, JROTC, Cross Country, Track, and Ice Hockey. After graduating from Air Academy, Brandon became a cadet at the US Air Force Academy. There he discovered a passion for foreign languages and cultures and received a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Area Studies and a Minor in Russian language. After commissioning as a Second Lieutenant, Brandon began a career as an Intelligence Officer. He later went on to study at Angelo State University and received a Master of Security Studies. He has spent his career studying threats to Air Force assets like the F-22, KC-10, and MQ-9. His love for foreign studies and national defense led him to graduate the rigorous US Air Force Weapons School and he now works at Creech Air Force Base as a tactician and threat expert. Brandon and his wife, Samantha, currently live in Las Vegas where they are learning to enjoy the hot summers in the desert.