Alumni Notes: Spring 2016


Naomi Estopy Mitchum, ’51, is a consultant in special needs and church environment. She recently wrote the book Every Child Can Bloom in the Classroom, the second in a series about meeting needs in churches and the community. More information is available at


Ron Bogle, ’74, is president and CEO of American Architectural Foundation in Washington, D.C., and spoke about how school design process can enhance student achievement at the first-ever White House Summit on Next Generation High Schools last fall.

Rose, MBA ’97, and Ed “Sneezie” Schneeberger, BA ’70, both retired from federal service on January 28. Rose was employed by the U.S. Small Business Administration and Ed was a U.S. administrative law judge assigned to Norwalk, California, by the Social Security Administration. Before their federal service, Rose and Ed opened a law office in Ed’s hometown of Leavenworth, Kansas, after having served in the U.S. Air Force together. Although they live in California, Rose and Ed continue to be members of Baker’s Wildcat Football Quarterback Club and return to Baldwin City for at least one football game each year, as well as attending the annual Alumni Weekend and Alpha Chi Omega and Kappa Sigma STAGs. Rose and Ed have two children, Noel and Carmen. Carmen is a dual Baker graduate with both a BS and an MBA. Upon his retirement, Ed had a courtroom in Los Angeles named in his honor.


Ruthie Goldey, ’85, rewrote and published an abridged version of Johanna Spyri’s Heidi to include the novel’s original messages of faith and religion. More information is available at

Philip Gronemeyer, BS ’81, and his wife, Donna, live in Amarillo, Texas. Philip is a paraprofessional for Amarillo (Texas) ISD and does woodworking with a Gronemeyer Gallery store.

Janeane Houchin, ’84, is an assistant professor of nursing at Kansas Wesleyan University. She has been a registered nurse since 1986 and specializes in teaching in pathophysiology and medical surgical nursing.


Don Austin, ’93, is in his second year as superintendent of schools for California’s Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District, which was recently named the No. 16 school district in the country.

Darren Beck, ’91, became a published author when his book, Smart Energy: The Future of Power Storage, was released last fall.

Mark Curry, MBA ’94, is the founder of Executive Pride, the nation’s first organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender business executives. An online industry veteran and entrepreneur, he serves as CEO of SOL Partners and is the founder of MacFarlane Group, a service provider to the online finance sector. His philanthropic activities focus on reinvesting in disadvantaged communities and supporting efforts to serve domestic abuse victims through organizations like the Hope House in Kansas City and De La Mesa a la Calle, a charity he started in Puerto Rico to serve the hungry and homeless. He lives in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Nate Houser, ’94, was named the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s NAIA Midwest Regional Coach of the Year after leading Baker’s men’s soccer team to an 18-4-1 record and a final ranking of No. 11 in the NAIA Coaches’ Top 25 poll.

John Thomson, ’95, is the co-founder of PayIt, a company that helps the initial pain-point of working with the DMV and streamlining services for other government agencies, including those that manage permitting, taxes, licenses and citations.


Emily Brush, ’06, married Curtis Newman on Nov. 6 in Leavenworth, Kansas. As a student, Emily was a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority.

Jade Geuther, ’07, is the new softball coach at Reinhardt University in Waleska, Georgia. She previously led Cardinal Stritch University to a 44-12 record in 2015, including a 19-3 record in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Britton Hart, MASL ’03 and EdD ’13, is the new principal at Emporia (Kansas) High School. He previously was the assistant principal and athletic director at the high school.

Tom Herrera, ’02, owns and operates Casa del Sabor, a Topeka, Kansas, business that produces a line of Mexican food flavorings. He began selling flavorings based on his family’s recipes in Topeka grocery stores and specialty shops in 2014.

Cynthia Rapp Sandhu,’03, was selected as a participant for the National Endowment for the Humanities institute at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies at the University of Oxford in England in 2014. She spent five weeks on location with 25 other faculty members from across the U.S. studying Jews in Medieval England. In January 2015, Cynthia was awarded the President’s Mission Award for her work to expand internationalization through study abroad, curriculum integration of international perspectives and on-campus events at San Juan College, where she teaches history and ethics as an adjunct instructor.

Amanda Shafer, MBA ’07, served four years as a captain in the U.S. Air Force. She is a registered nurse at Memorial Health Systems in Abilene, Kansas.

Brandon Simmelink, MASL ’07, is principal at Hesston (Kansas) Middle School. He previously served as the assistant principal and activities directory at McPherson Middle School.

Kasey Stertz, BS ’08, has been honored by International Sculpture Center with the Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award. She was recognized in the October 2015 issue of Sculpture magazine and at

Tammy Thomasson, EdD ’08, is the new Louisburg (Kansas) High School principal. She has been an elementary teacher and a middle school principal in two school districts, Baldwin and Wellsville. At Wellsville, she also worked as the district’s curriculum director.

Juli Watson, MAEd ’09 and MSSL ’14, was selected as “20 under 40” in Topeka Business magazine for excellence as the assistant principal at Highland Park High School.

David Whittaker, MBA ’08, was named chief information officer of Park University in Parkville, Missouri.


Brad Barnes, ’13, is the producer for 101ESPN’s afternoon show, “The Fast Lane,” in St. Louis, Missouri.

Carly Berblinger, BA ’15, is teaching in Arkansas after being accepted into Teach for America 2015 teaching corps. Teach for America is a national nonprofit working to expand educational opportunity for students in low-income communities. Corps members commit to teach in high-need urban or rural public schools and become lifelong advocates for educational equity.

Dawn Callahan Dennis, ’12, is a process consultant for the St. Joseph (Missouri) School District.

Earl Glase, ’14, is a compliance analyst for the state of Kansas.

Kristy Hamit, MSSL ’13, has joined Scranton (Kansas) Attendance Center as the principal and district curriculum director. She previously taught seventh- and eighth-grade social sciences at Overbrook Middle School from 2004-2009, sixth grade at Carbondale Middle School from 2009-2012, and was vice principal at Carbondale Attendance Center 2012-2015.

Brittany Hines, ’12, became the new girls basketball head coach at Nickerson High School, and ended a 47-game losing streak in her third game leading the team. Hines played basketball at Baker from 2009-2011, setting the single-game scoring record with 34 points and tying the school record for most 3-point field goals made in a game (7). She was a second team all-conference selection and Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete as a senior.

Alyse Menghini, BS ’15, is a third-grade teacher at Central Elementary School in Holton, Kansas.

Megan Rosa, ’14, was recognized by the Central States American College of Sports Medicine with a Best Master’s Student Award for her excellence in research on liver disease and obesity.

Leslie Rupell, MBA ’12, is an account executive for Townsquare Media. She and her husband, Doug Rupell, live in Greeley, Colorado.

Rachel Sachs, MBA ’10, was selected as “20 under 40” in Topeka Business magazine for her accomplishments as director of life operations at Advisors Excel.

Rachel (Hawkins) Shuck, ’12, is a senior alumni relations consultant for Pennington & Company.

Adelyn Soellner, MSSL ’10, is the principal at Wheatland Elementary School in Valley Center, Kansas. She previously was principal at McCandless Elementary School in Hutchinson, Kansas.

Bryan Williams, MSSL ’14, is a teacher at Abaarso School of Science and Technology in Somaliland, Africa, a boarding school that features primary tutoring for children from surrounding villages and cities as well as orphanage tutoring for children in the neighboring city of Hargeisa, Somaliland’s capital.

Krystal Wiltz, MBA ’10, was selected as “20 under 40” in Topeka Business magazine. She is the director of development and marketing for the Boys & Girls Club of Topeka.