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2018 Homecoming Ceremony

2018 Distinguished Kadets

Left to right back row: Robert Case, Class of ’78; Brink Spear, Faculty; Rick Shaw, Faculty; Julie Foster, Staff; Judy Williamson, Faculty; Bill and Nancy Galloway, parents of Benjamin Galloway, Class of ’08; Bradley Monger, Class of ’98; Max Stucky, Class of ’68; Oleta Goodrich and family, Staff; Kent Peterson, Class of ’68. Left to right front row: Karen Brody, Class of ’78; Alli Roiko Wintterle, Class of ’08; Robin Mellon Koldenhoven, Class of ’88; Jason Buhler, Class of ’88.  Photograph courtesy of Air Academy student Dylan Bedard.  

Here are the 2018 Faculty and Staff Honorees

Mike served AAHS as a building maintenance professional.  Mike was born in Taos, New Mexico and graduated from the Santa Fe Indian School.  After high school, Mike served in the U.S. Army Medical Corp.  Mike was stationed at the Schofield Barracks in Oahu, HI.  He was sent to Korea and returned to Hawaii where he completed his service.  Mike returned to Taos Pueblo and married his childhood sweetheart, Celestina.  They have five children.  Mike and his family moved to Colorado Springs where he worked on the USAFA for twenty years.   After his employment at AAHS, Mike returned to Taos Pueblo where he has proudly served the Taos Pueblo in the roles of Pueblo Sheriff, Pueblo Lieutenant Governor, two terms as the Pueblo Governor, and is a lifetime Taos Pueblo Councilman.

Julie was born in Newport News, Virginia.  Later in life, she moved to Colorado Springs where she met and married her husband Phil. Julie and Phil raised three AAHS graduates:  Jim, Ron, and Sharon.  In 1972, Julie was hired as a paraprofessional by AAHS librarian Lucy Wilson. Julie remained in the Kadet family until she retired in 1996. After her retirement from AAHS, Julie co-founded NAMI-CS, did volunteer work and helped Phil remodel homes.  Julie enjoys traveling, running, biking, hiking, gardening, genealogy and spending time with her family. Julie says the years at AAHS are forever etched in her memory as some of the happiest of her life.

Oleta was born and raised near Branson, Colorado.  After high school, she graduated from Central Business College in Denver.  In 1946, she married Max Goodrich and they had three daughters all of whom graduated from AAHS.  In 1965, Oleta became the secretary for high school principal, John Asbury.  She continued in that position for 22 years serving principals John Delventhal, Bob Duffy and Julie Fairley.  Oleta retired in 1986, after 27 years in District 20.  The priorities of her life have always been her faith, her husband, and her daughters.

Becky was an AAHS special needs educator.  She was a strong advocate and mentor for the students she served.  Becky is being honored posthumously.

I am a musician and educator.  I was a band director most of my career and spent my last 10 years in education as an Assistant Principal at Mountain Ridge Middle School and Denver School of the Arts.  Twenty Six years of my time in education was spent in District 20 with 16 of those being at Air Academy High.  I have been very involved with service organizations that support student growth, most notably, Colorado Music Educators Association (CMEA), Colorado Bandmasters Association (CBA) and Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA).  Rick served as the band director at AAHS from 1984 until 2000.  His bands won numerous state awards and participated in the Tournament of Roses Parade on January 1, 1992.

Imagine that Brink Spear’s old 1964 AAHS letter jacket also tells the story of his life as a teacher.  Obviously, the big blue letter A with its pins and bars tells of his youth, but it is the big silver A on the opposite side that tells of his career, a career spent walking the same halls he did back then.  Very little silver is visible on this letter, however, because of all the pins and bars that represent the subjects, sports, and clubs that he taught, coached, and sponsored over the more than a quarter of a century at AAHS. 

Three most important additions to the jacket are the silver felt stars representing three mentors who through words and especially through actions taught him how to be a teacher.  The first star is the John Asbury Star, named after John Asbury, his high school principal at AA, who demonstrated to his students that, in addition to demanding rigorous classroom work, an educator must care personally for each one of his or her students.  The second star is the Fairley Star.  Julie Fairley, AA’s irrepressible principal in the 80’s, showed that a school full of love and laughter from the administration through a dedicated faculty and staff to a lively student body can result in high academic, athletic, and social achievement.  The third star is the Pierson Star, for it was Greg Pierson, AA’s principal in the 90’s, whose constant thinking of new and different ways to challenge his faculty and staff to take risks in order to become better teachers, learners, and ultimately better people was couched in true kindness and thoughtfulness. Following the guidance of these three stars helped Brink realize that teaching wasn’t his job but his calling. 

Above the stars are two silver felt apples, the smaller one representing the year he was recognized as Air Academy High’s Teacher of the Year and the larger one representing the year he was presented the Academy School District 20’s John Asbury Secondary Teacher of the Year Award.  

What he cherishes most about his jacket, however, are the signatures, crammed together in every possible remaining space of the jacket, all of the students he taught, coached and touched over his career at AAHS, for they all truly touched him.

Just imagine a letter jacket like that!

Judy grew up in Florence, CO and graduated from the University of Northern Colorado.  She was married to Harold Williamson for 56 years.  He was also a teacher, coach, and guidance counselor.  Judy has two sons, Kyle and Kurt and twin grandsons, Carter and Reese.  

Judy found her passion for teaching when she realized how much she loved helping her elementary school classmates learn about fractions.  She had an excellent high school English teacher and thought she wanted to teach English.  However, after one year in college, she realized how much she missed studying and learning mathematics.  

Judy began her career teaching at the junior high level.  She was given classes of students that struggled with learning and therefore, not liking math.  She realized she needed more skills in order to help these students learn about a subject that for them wasn’t fun.  She joined a group of Denver teachers who were working on developing activities that would provide different approaches to learning mathematics.  She continued using these techniques as a foundation for expanding her classroom teaching methods.  

In 1976, Judy joined the staff at AAHS.  During those 20 years, she is most proud to have started the Advanced Placement Calculus program.  During her years of teaching AP Calculus, the school had one of the highest passing rates in Colorado.  The AAHS Math Team dominated other Colorado High Schools and the Mathematics Department was recognized for working as a team by the district. 

Judy said, “I am very proud of all those accomplishments but what was most important to me was the look in a student’s eyes when the light bulb went on.”

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