The 2022 Honorees were honored as part of a 2023 Celebration. Click here to view photos from the event.
Here are the 2022 Alumni Honorees
For many years Steve was a successful high school girls’ basketball coach. He moved into the college ranks and coached women’s’ basketball at Mesa State in Grand Junction, Fort Hays State in Kansas and UCCS. After a coaching career, Steve was hired as the athletic director at UCCS. While there he raised millions of dollars for scholarships and for much needed improvements to the athletic facilities. The improvements included the soccer stadium and baseball field.
While a Kadet, Brian might have enjoyed his extracurricular activities a bit more than he should have (although his participation in basketball, baseball, and amazingly produced variety shows has been greatly diminished). Thankfully, he was nudged often enough and applied just the right amount of effort in the classroom to keep a handful of post-graduation paths open.
After graduation, his dreams of coasting into an early retirement from a ridiculously successful professional athletic career evaporated quickly. He meandered through a few colleges before finally receiving his BS in Physics from Colorado State University (which he pursued because he didn’t want to be an engineer). After spending a few years applying his scientific training working for Young Life as well as (occasionally) teaching math to squirrelly high school freshmen and sophomores, he begrudgingly fulfilled his engineering destiny. Somewhat unexpectedly, he discovered he rather enjoyed using both sides of his brain. A couple of other seldom used degrees later, he is still satisfying his inner nerd by solving interesting problems while working (and dealing) with equally interesting people.
He has four amazing kids that he loves endlessly, could not be more proud of, and who challenge and encourage him to be a better human being every day (any parent knows how to read between those lines). He is also thankful for many of life’s unexpected turns which have ranged from unforeseen heartbreak to unexpected love (Love you Barbara).
As he looks back at his Kadet years, he remembers the friends he made, the confidence he gained, the lifelong (albeit a bit delayed) love of learning, and the values that were modeled from the teachers and administrators who loved and cared for him as well as they taught him.
Fight, Fight, True! And Go Kadets.
Sean Donahue is a native of Colorado Springs. After graduating from Air Academy High School in 1992, he attended the University of Colorado at Boulder. He then attended Medical School at Des Moines University where he obtained his Osteopathic Medical Degree. Dr. Donahue performed Residency in Family Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona where he was selected Chief Resident and worked as a Hospitalist for three years. He then pursued further medical training by performing a second residency in Emergency Medicine at Stanford University and the University of San Francisco, San Francisco General Hospital.
Sean happily returned to Colorado Springs in 2009, and was hired by Emergency Medicine Specialist in 2009 and worked within the Memorial/University of Colorado Health System ever since. Dr. Donahue was the Medical Director of the Memorial Central Emergency Department from 2017-2022 and is also the acting Medical Director for multiple EMS Agencies in El Paso County. He served as the Inpatient Department Chief of Hospital Medicine at UCHealth from 2018-2022 and was most recently selected to be the UCHealth Memorial Healthcare System Chief of Staff. He is an Associate Clinical Professor for the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and routinely teaches medical students in the Emergency Department. His awards include Outstanding Clinical Teacher in Emergency Medicine (2017, 2020,2021,2022), and Colorado Springs “Top Doc Emergency Medicine” (2020, 2021,2022).
Sean is married to his wife Megan (Class of 1993) whom he met in high school. Sean says without Megan none of these accomplishments would have been possible. They have three children ages 16, 11, and 8. His family loves serving medical mission trips to Honduras every summer – Thank You to Pamela Sattler!
I graduated from Air Academy High School in 1992. After high school, I bounced around different colleges chasing the dream of playing collegiate baseball before settling down and receiving my undergraduate degree from the University of Southern Colorado. I went on to receive my Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from UCCS. I began a career in education as a fifth grade teacher at Taylor Elementary in District 11. With many great memories of my time as a student in District 20, I longed to come back to the district as a teacher. I was hired to teach fifth grade at Rockrimmon Elementary in 1998. I also taught fourth grade and became an assistant principal during my time at Rockrimmon Elementary. I left Rockrimmon to become the assistant principal at Prairie Hills Elementary. In a moment of, what are you thinking, I left the school setting to become the Energy and Sustainability Manager for District 20 which led to my current position as Director of Facilities for Academy District 20.
I enjoy spending time with my wife of 24 years, Danielle and my three daughters, Noelle, Autumn, and Easton. On any given weekend, I enjoy watching my girls participate and grow in their many different activities and every now and then I sneak in a camping trip with my girls. I cherish both my memories as a student in District 20 and the 25 years I have worked for the district.
After graduating from Air Academy High School, Natalie attended Colorado State University as a Boettcher Scholar. After getting a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Communication, Natalie moved to Los Angeles, California.
Currently, Natalie is a Writer/Director and Assistant Director in film and television and a graduate of the Director’s Guild of America Training Program. She is a single mom to her daughter Oliva.
Natalie produced and directed her first short film in 2000, The SharkTank Redemption, a parody of Frank Darabont’s The Shawshank Redemption. The film poked fun of life in a talent agency being much like life in a prison. HBO purchased and aired the film for six years. In 2004, Frank Darabont asked Natalie if he could include The SharkTank Redemption on the 10-Year Anniversary DVD extras of The Shawshank Redemption. Warner Bros brought the film, which can be seen on the DVD today.
Natalie has worked as an Assistant Director on multiple shows including CSI Miami, ER, The West Wing, Episodes, The Kominsky Method, as well as multiple movies such as Ocean’s 11 and Enchanted.
Currently, Natalie has just finished a graphic novel, Infinite, which she wrote and shot with her brother, Doug Van Doren. The 350-page novel was created with real photographs of actors and turned into digital art. Natalie also just completed directing two episodes of That Girl Lay Lay for Nickelodeon.
Natalie feels the education at AAHS was instrumental in giving her the tools to be successful. Thank you to the entire AAHS faculty.
Chad graduated with the Air Academy Class of 2002. After Air Academy, Chad attended and played college baseball at Lamar Community College and The University of Utah where he received his Bachelor’s in Exercise and Sport Science. He started his teaching career in Salt Lake City, where he taught Physical Education and coached baseball. He later returned to Colorado Springs where he had the pleasure to teach at AAHS before leaving to pursue a job in Administration. He completed his Master’s in Educational Leadership with a Principal’s Licensure. He is currently the Middle School Assistant Principal at Rocky Mountain Classical Academy in Colorado Springs. Chad and his wife, Clare, are proud parents to beautiful girls Sophie and Ella. His experience at AAHS was second to none and his teachers and coaches gave him the successful foundation of hard work, perseverance and grit. He is humbled and honored to receive this recognition.