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2021 Homecoming Ceremony

The 2020 and 2021 Honorees are honored as part of the 2021 Homecoming Ceremony. 

Here are the 2020 & 2021 Faculty and Staff Honorees

I was born, raised and educated in Hawaii.  My B.A. in French (with a minor in Spanish and a teaching certificate) and my M.A. in French literature came from Colorado College and the University of Denver respectively.  I am married, the mother of three daughters and the grandmother of five grandchildren, ages 13-21.  I taught French for 42 years, 39 at AAHS.  For 26 of those same years I also taught part-time in the Education Department at Colorado College.  This was possible because of the full support of my AAHS administrators in this professional challenge; I relished applying world language methods and approaches I was teaching at CC to my own classroom.  Of course, teaching is nothing without a classroom of students and to this day, I miss my students’ energy, efforts, participation, fun, creativity, and willingness to learn another language.  Merci a vous tous!  And my interest now?  Traveling with my husband, enjoying time with my beautiful family, learning new languages, working on my French, reading, walking, hiking, swimming, gardening, and every day counting my many blessings.

 

I was blessed to teach for twenty-one years at AAHS.  I believe that creativity and the empowering of every student is critical to good teaching.  Fortunately, I discovered my philosophy was at the very heart of Air Academy’s vision and mission.  Principal Julie Fairley allowed me the freedom to explore and expand my creative self with such things as “Montage,” a student and faculty variety show, and to create new classes, i.e. Music Theatre and Dance, Guitar, Music Technology, and Contemporary A Cappella, just to name a few.  This incredible school, staff and faculty, coupled with risk-taking students and supportive parents, allowed wonderful things to happen.  While I was at AAHS, vocal music expanded to ten groups. Over one-third of the student body participated in the performing arts.  During my tenure at AAHS, individual students and groups excelled in numerous state and national competitions.  Many of my former students went on to pursue careers in the performing arts.  I continue to be a musician.  I performed as a music entertainer on cruise ships, compose and arrange music for high school and university groups and I helped create and chaired the Colorado All State Jazz Choir.  I have served as a judge and clinician for both a cappella and jazz festivals.  I am humbled to have been awarded the District 20 John Asbury Secondary Educator of the Year Award, inducted into the Colorado High School Activities Association Hall of Fame and to have had the Performing Arts Auditorium at AAHS named after me.  I am currently writing a humorous book about my wonderful wife Pattie.  I still believe that all people can sing and should. I was affectionately called “Fil” by many students.

 

Glenn came to AAHS in August of 1982 after marrying his sweetheart, Terry Boulter (AAHS Class of 1975), earlier that summer.  They have two children:  Bryan Hoit (Class of 2006) and Megan Evans (Class of 2009) – married to Christian – and two grandchildren, Payton (future Class of 2034) and Camden (Class of 2037). Glenn was the Head Track coach for 17 years and an Assistant Varsity Football coach for 25 years.  Glenn then moved inside to be the technical director of many great theater productions over a two decade span.  He also served as Auditorium Manager of Filsinger Hall for 21 years. A mathematics teacher by design, Glenn taught all levels of math during the 38 years he spent in the classroom.  He ended his career as a Calculus teacher at AAHS.  Glenn was a co-chair of the Math Department for 24 years. Glenn was extremely honored and humbled, when in May 0f 2021 the building known as “B” Building was renamed “Glenn Hoit Hall.”

Jack (Coach K) Klinsing grew up in Pipestone, MN.  Before going into teaching, Jack worked a variety of jobs including a heavy equipment operator, hospital orderly and substitute teacher.  Jack graduated with his teaching degree from the University of Northern Colorado.  After receiving his degree, Jack taught in Hettinger, ND and the Harrison School District in Colorado Springs.  In 1982 Jack became a KADET.  While at AAHS, Jack coached football, wrestling and track.  For sixteen years he was the chair of the Social Studies Department.  Jack and Susan have been married for 38 years.  They have a son, Matt, and a daughter Mitzi, a 1994 AAHS graduate. They are blessed with five grandchildren.

I was born and raised in Marshal, Texas.  My husband Ed, of 51 years, and I have three children, eleven grandchildren and one great-grand child. I obtained my BS in Mathematics from East Texas State University (currently called Texas A&M Commerce, TX) and my MS in Math Education from Florida State University, Panama City, Florida. The United States Air Force brought Ed and me to Colorado Springs in 1989.  In 1990, I started my teaching career at AAHS and retired from teaching in 2008. After retirement, for four years, I taught College Algebra at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.  I enjoy reading, gardening and teaching women’s bible studies at my church. I missed teaching students mathematics so much, that upon retirement, I opened a math tutoring business in my home – Amazing Grace Math Tutoring.  I continue to tutor students in mathematics through my business.

Joan grew up in Southern California and attended high school and junior college where Spanish was the dominate language.  She loved to listen to the spoken language and often, because she was studying the language, tried to speak Spanish with friends.  As a senior Girl Scout, Joan was selected to attend an international conference in Cuernavaca, Mexico.  The conference also piqued her interest in learning French. Joan graduated from UCLA (’61) got her teaching credential from CAL State Los Angeles and taught French and Spanish at Laguna Beach High in CA.  Prior to beginning that position she spent a summer living with a Mexican family in Mexico City and attending courses in Spanish.  Joan considers that one of the most valuable experiences in her life. After four years of teaching in Laguna Beach she was enticed into taking a professional position with a youth group called Adventures Unlimited.  She traveled about the western part of the United States and ended up in Colorado Springs and decided to go back to teaching and began her tenure at AAHS. District 20 was growing, so Joan decided to go to the University of Colorado and pick up an MA in counseling and guidance.  As more high schools were being added to the district she moved from teaching into counseling and laterally into pre-college counseling and guidance.  After retiring from AAHS she enjoyed 15 years in Oregon. In 2011 Joan returned to California.

Wayne was born and raised in Canada.  He came to the United States on a hockey scholarship at Ohio University where he was a goal tender.  Upon his graduation from college Wayne accepted a position at AAHS to teach physical education and coach hockey.  He, also, coached boys’ and girls’ soccer and boys’ golf.  Wayne retired from teaching in 2003, but continued to coach until his death in 2018. During his time at AAHS, Wayne had four state championship teams: three in hockey and one in boys’ soccer. Wayne was affectionately known as “The Voice of the Kadets.”  He was the announcer for football, boys’ and girls’ soccer, baseball, boys’ and girls’ basketball.  Wayne was enshrined into the Colorado Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2012.  In 2019, Wayne was enshrined into the District Twenty Hall of Fame as a Distinguished Educator and Coach.  Wayne and his wife Patricia have two children. Whitney and Andrew are both AAHS graduates.  Continuing the Marshall tradition, Andrew is the hockey coach at AAHS.

Danny Martinez spent 16 years in the U.S. Army. He served in World War II and the Korean War.  In 1959, Danny became the Head Custodian at AAHS.  After retirement he continued to support the students at football and basketball games.  The students at AAHS presented Danny with a special award, an Air Academy Kadet letter jacket, for being their “Number One Fan.”  Danny proudly wore the jacket to every event he attended.  Danny was beloved by students, staff and faculty.  Danny passed away in September 2005.

Jody was a lifelong teacher.  She taught in the English department from 1965 to 1991, serving as the department chair for many years.  Jody studied at Illinois State University and earned a master’s degree in administration at the University of New Mexico in 1957.  She graduated from college a semester early and immediately was hired to teach in a local high school, and so began her teaching career while only a few years older than her students.

Jody married her husband, Ed, and took a short break from teaching to have two future AAHS graduates, Kim (’76) and Kurt (’78).  

Upon moving to the USAFA in Pine Valley and with both children now in elementary school, Jody began teaching at AAHS.  For the next 25 years she taught English grammar and literature.  These years at AAHS were among the happiest of her life. Jody loved teaching, she loved and supported her students, and she worked very diligently at her craft.  She retired in 1991 after 25 years of service to AAHS and passed away in 2016.  Her former students remember Jody as an engaging and inspirational teacher who introduced many to a love of literature and English language.

“Coach Pete” came to AAHS in 1962 to teach industrial arts and coach track and cross country.  His teaching and coaching career spanned five decades.  He was happiest when working with young people. His greatest joy came from watching generations of students compete and graduate.Glenn was proud to be a teacher and coach.  His genuine concern and interest in his students’ lives served everyone well.  As one of his former students said, “He was never too busy to talk to me and to share his words of wisdom”. He was proud of the Industrial Arts program at Air Academy. He insisted that his students not only complete the work; but more importantly, to find ways that their learning would serve them throughout their lives. In addition to teaching, coaching was his second passion.  Even before running was popular, he saw the opportunity and benefits that would make a marked difference, both academically and athletically, in students’ lives.  As the track and cross-country coach, he reinforced the positives and the programs thrive to this day.

Glenn Peterson never met a stranger!  No matter the subject, he was interested in others’ thoughts.  He was a man of faith and joy and was always happy to share a conversation.  After Glenn retired from teaching in 1990, he continued to coach his beloved sport of cross country until 2014.

After Conrad, a Colorado native, completed his twenty year career in the Air Force, he started his twenty year teaching career in 1984 at AAHS.  Conrad received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Hawaii and his master’s degree from Chapman University.  While at AAHS he designed the World Regional Geography curriculum, started and sponsored The Wild Bunch, an environmental club and was the AAHS High Trails coordinator, which entailed selecting and supervising high school mentors for the District Middle School Outdoor Education Program. Conrad was twice selected by the AAHS student body as the Teacher of the Year.  To enhance his teaching skills in the Social Sciences, Conrad received two National Endowment for the Humanities grants and two Fulbright Scholarships. Conrad, lovingly known as Robes, enjoyed working with his students and is still in contact with many of them today. Conrad said he felt privileged to have worked with fellow staff, teachers and employees.  “Being at AAHS was a dream come true.”

During my 31 years teaching at AAHS (1965—1996) my students and I inherited two established publications — Jetstream, school newspaper, and Vapor Trails, our yearbook. Student photographers—young professionals—photographed all sports, academics, and activities. During these pre-digital days, they packaged and processed rolls of film and printed hundreds of photos in our closet-sized darkrooms. They popularized events from football games to speech meets— interviewing their friends, even teachers and librarians. "Opinion journalists" all of them!  

Speeding on base was risky with the ever-present Air Police. Years after retirement I confessed to Paul Angelico, our Activities Director, that I allowed students to sneak into hockey games without paying. After a respectful pause, Paul asked, “About how many?”

My teaching career ended on a "senior prank day" when a very kind student cautioned me: Don’t worry, we didn’t slash your tires, just let the air out.” I was honored! What a joy to have a life blessed with children! 

Richard was one of the first teachers to be hired by District Twenty.  Before coming to AAHS, Richard taught math for a year at the elementary level.  When he came to AAHS he was a member of the Science Department and taught biology for the remainder of his career.  In addition to his teaching assignment, Richard also worked in the Transportation Department helping with schedules and driving bus routes and the activities bus. During the summer months Richard taught Driver’s Education to District Twenty students.  Richard has three sons Michael, Rick and Jeffrey.  All three graduated from AAHS.

Although my teaching career began in the 1970’s at AAHS, in reality, it started long before that.  I can’t remember a time that I didn’t want to be a teacher.  By the time I reached high school, I was volunteering to tutor young boys at an orphanage in Denver.  While finishing my teaching certification, I was fortunate enough to be employed as a teacher aide at AAHS.  Once I became a licensed teacher, a friend at AAHS, later to become my husband, informed me that a teaching position would be available at AAHS.  I immediately applied for that position, was interviewed by Mr. John Asbury and was employed to teach social studies and English.  I spent twenty more years working with the most wonderful faculty and administrative staff that one could ever hope for.  My years at Air Academy High were most rewarding. I shall always treasure memories of my students and colleagues and being a part of the best educational institution I have ever known.

LaVonne Weinbender’s 28-year career in District 20 can be compared to a cross country run. From the starting gun to the finish line, LaVonne met and conquered the early familiar paths, managed the unexpected turns, persevered during the hill climbs, and achieved goals in the final satisfying yards.  LaVonne’s career as a physical education teacher began with traditional gender segregated curriculum – teaching boys’ physical education classes and girls’ physical education classes. LaVonne even filled the occasional program gaps monitoring study hall and directing band.

In 1972, LaVonne accepted a PE position at Air Academy. What marked the first in a series of unexpected turns in her career run was not only her arrival at AAHS but also the passage of Title IX. Unexpected turns, yes, but ones replete in opportunity. Physical education became a co-ed experience. LaVonne teamed with her AAHS PE colleagues to create and implement significant curriculum adjustments. Program expansion included classes that appealed to student needs and desires. Individual sports courses allowed all students (male and female, jock and non-jock) to try, learn, and develop physical fitness experiences which, for some, would become life-long fitness interests. LaVonne taught, monitored, and encouraged student participation in courses from tennis to bicycling. Classes in team sports from flag football to weights & fitness further expanded PE curricula. With Julie Fairley’s support, LaVonne created intramural programs which met during AAHS activity periods. Volleyball was the most popular with over 400 students participating.

LaVonne consistently sought and designed options that supported student participation in PE experiences. In addition to offering conventional sports choices, LaVonne helped create un-conventional alternatives. She was on the department team that designed the very popular “Rocky Mountain High” course which featured experiential learning on a ropes course and climbing wall and included rappelling in Cheyenne Canyon. Further supporting student access and success, LaVonne moved some PE curricula outside the school day and arranged opportunities for students to fulfill PE graduation requirements through evening fitness classes. Throughout her career, LaVonne never avoided the hill climbs. She coached the first Unofficial State Champion Girls’ Track Team in 1973. (Unofficial because keeping team scores might put too much pressure on young female athletes!) As AAHS girls’ sports programs evolved and expanded, LaVonne was involved in coaching volleyball, swimming, basketball, and track and assisting with other sports.

In 1987, after earning an MA in Education with principal endorsement, LaVonne accepted the Athletic Director position at Liberty High School and became one of only three female athletic directors in the state. LaVonne returned in AAHS in 1993 and served students, teachers, staff, and community as Assistant Principal. She supervised the completion of a $12,000,000 building remodel, instituted a freshmen orientation program, endorsed innovative attendance policies, developed, and taught professional development classes for teachers, and served on D20 committees in the continual development of curriculum.

Teacher, innovator, coach, leader, administrator, LaVonne challenged herself as much as she challenged her students, athletes, and colleagues. At retirement, when she broke the tape and crossed the finish line of her career, LaVonne said, “It was always about the people. AAHS had them all – the best of the best administrators, teachers, support staff, community members and always, always the STUDENTS. District 20 and AAHS gave me space to run my own race. The promise and potential of girls’ sports programs exploded throughout the 1970s and 1980s; how amazing it was to have the chance to be part of that history. I was blessed.”

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