On Saturday, September 24, as part of Minnetonka’s Homecoming Weekend, Minnetonka Public Schools and the Minnetonka Alumni Association hosted their thirteenth annual Alumni Awards event at Minnetonka High School. The event was emceed by Minnetonka High School Principal Jeff Erickson, and the honorees spanned more than 50 years – from the class of 1963 through the class of 2016.
“The Alumni Awards are a celebration of the rich history of Minnetonka High School,” explained Erickson. “It is our opportunity to recognize the outstanding achievements and contributions that our graduates and former faculty members have made and continue to make in our community.”
Being honored this year:
Dr. Courtney (Heniff) Albinson, from the class of 1992, received the Distinguished Alumni Award. Courtney is a nationally recognized leader in sport psychology and serves as the Director of Sport Psychology Services at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
Also receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award was Bruce Goetz, from the class of 1963. Bruce spent 43 years at Northland College developing the innovative curriculum that has transformed it into one of the most prestigious environmentally focused schools in the nation.
The recipient of the Distinguished Service Award is James Turner, class of 1969. An experienced anesthesiologist, James traveled annually to Guatemala with a volunteer surgical team for 20 years to help those without access to proper medical treatment, until retiring in 2018.
Receiving the Young Alumni Achievement Award is Alexa Bussmann, class of 2016. Alexa has served in a multitude of nonprofits and social advocacy organizations across numerous communities, including founding Novel Hand, an online publication dedicated to bridging the gap between activism and impact.
Also receiving the Young Alumni Achievement Award is Dr. Brett Cornell, class of 2007. Brett set a department record at Drexel University by earning his PhD in 3.5 years. He currently works at Inari Medical in California, where he develops devices that may help prevent venous disease, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms.
Inducted into the Skippers Hall of Fame, which recognizes achievements in the arts, academics or athletics, was the 2001-02 Girls Soccer Team. The team completed its regular season undefeated and won the Classic Lake Conference Title, the Section Championship and the 2001 Minnesota Class AA State Championship. The 2001 Minnetonka Girls Soccer team included: Shelly Bury '02, Natalie (Coleman) Neil '02, Alyssa Crum '03, Leah Eide '03, Chelsea Gordan '02, Erin Horan '02, Becky Junkermeier '03, Katie Junkermeir '02, Allison (Kellogg) Kuhl '02, Shelby Lieffers '05, Lindsey MacDonald '04, Courtney Michel '02, Lauren (Moore) Moberg '02, Maggie (Olson) Porter '02, Nancy Powaga '02, Lauren (Ruegemer) Snover '02, Amy (Seubert) Dawson '04, Molly (Shelp) Barkus '03, Brooke (Sherer) Livingston '04, Caitlyn (Welle) Pulitzer '03, manager Steve Boran '03, coach Kieran Monaghan and assistant coach Andy Moll.
The Alumni Association also recognizes former faculty members who inspired in students a passion to excel with confidence and hope. Inducted into the Faculty Hall of Fame this year was Bill Keeler. Bill taught science at Minnetonka’s middle and high schools from the late 1950s to the early 1990s and made it his highest priority to cultivate his students’ curiosity and encourage them to pursue their individual interests.
Congratulations to all of this year’s award winners. Know a Minnetonka Alumni or teacher who deserves recognition? Visit www.minnetonkaschools.org/alumniawards to learn more and submit a nomination.