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SCS Foundation ready to honor another batch of Schuyler Community Schools alumni

February 21, 2019 GMT

Navigating the halls of Schuyler Central High School, students have the opportunity to look into a trophy case sporting Kyle Emanuel memorabilia.

The Schuyler native and former student, now playing linebacker for the Los Angeles Chargers, is a daily representation of what a small town kid can accomplish with some natural ability and a lot of hard work.

“Maybe some kids will see that and aspire to be one of those,” Schuyler Community Schools Superintendent Dan Hoesing said of successful individuals. “Why (do we have the trophy case)? Because we want kids to understand that is who you could be.”

Since 2014, the Schuyler Community Schools Foundation has honored former Schuyler students who have gone on to do big things locally or in their given professions. Beginning in 2015, three alumni have been honored annually on high school graduation day in May.

“We are thrilled to be able to tell the stories of our graduates and to inspire some of our younger people to guide them on to doing great things with their lives,” said Sheri Balak, who serves the nonprofit organization. “We are always excited to celebrate their accomplishments.”

Recipients of the award are selected by a committee comprised of students, staff members and a seven- to 10-person Distinguished Alumni Committee, Balak said.

Previous recipients of the award include:

Alden A. Abraham, businessman/attorney; Jeffrey W. Krejci, banker/NU Football Hall-of-Famer; Robert J. Brichacek, electrical engineer; Christopher R. Langemeier, state senator; Frank J. Dudek, professional engineer, Robert D. Legler, NASA engineer; Richard G. Folda, attorney/business owner David F. Reinecke, former Schuyler mayor/business owner; John M. Gerrard, U.S. district judge Cristobal Salinas, Jr., Ph.D. educator; Darryl J. Gless, Rhodes scholar/educator; James and Delores Sindelar, benefactors; Dale M. Grotelueschen; veterinary educator Lawrence Vrba, international jewelry designer Heidi E. Hamilton, educator Kim D. Wolfe, and Michael G. Heavican, chief justice of the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Currently, the foundation is asking community members to step up in regard to making nominations for this year’s selection committee to choose recipients from. Those believing they know someone deserving of this honor are being asked to visit the Schuyler Alumni & Foundation website at www.schuylercommunityschools.org/Domain/13, click on the “Alumni” tab, then click on “Distinguished Alumni Nomination” to complete and submit the nomination, released information from the SCS Foundations says.

Forms are also available from the Office of the Superintendent, 401 Adam St., and by contacting Shelley Friesz at 402-352-3527 or shelley.friesz@schuylercommunityschools.org.

The criteria for this award are outstanding leadership, service, or scholarship and significant contributions to the community, state or nation. Only nominees who attended Schuyler Community Schools 10 or more years ago are eligible for this award. Nominees may be living or may be honored after death.

Nominations may be submitted by individuals or groups and should include biographical information, date of graduation, list of achievements, nominee’s or family representative’s contact information and at least two signed letters of recommendation. Nominations must be received March 1 at the Office of the Superintendent by mail or online.

Hoesing noted that there is never a shortfall of talented and deserving nominees.

“I think that Schuyler has been a school that has a great tradition and proud history and graduates that have distinguished themselves and done some pretty big careers and held (some) very prestigious positions,” the superintendent said. “When you are a (state) Supreme Court judge or working for NASA, it’s a big deal.”

He added that the award isn’t just for those who have impressive job titles, but also for people who may be a little behind the scenes making big strides locally in a variety of ways.

“They recognize not only those (career) positions, but these are also people that have worked to make Schuyler a better place,” Hoesing said. “It’s not always a huge career, but making a difference over a period of years. Some of these people might not make one huge contribution but do a lot of little things that add up to be a big thing.”

Sam Pimper is the news editor of the Schuyler Sun. Reach him via email at sam.pimper@lee.net.