Honoring Smith-Cotton alumni through the Distinguished Alumni Award
The Sedalia School District Foundation Distinguished Alumni Award has been established to recognize graduates of Smith-Cotton High School for outstanding achievements and contributions to society following graduation. These recipients reflect strong role models with strengths of character and citizenship to inspire and challenge today’s students.
The criteria for selection of this award are:
- Candidates must have graduated from Smith-Cotton High School at least 10 years prior to nomination.
- Candidates must have contributed to society, education and/or their respective communities in an exemplary manner.
- Candidates must have achieved outstanding success in any of the following areas: the arts, business, community service, humanitarian efforts, education or a profession.
- The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented every year during Homecoming weekend.
2018 Distinguished Alumni
Chuck Kempton, Class of 1978
Local business owner and civic leader, Chuck Kempton, has been named the 2018 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award. Chuck is a 1978 graduate of Smith-Cotton High School. Following high school he worked at local businesses in Sedalia until he joined the family business, Dugan Paints, in 1981 as a clerk, one of the three employees in the business. He began travelling to the Lake of the Ozarks pursuing long-term clientele while selling merchandise out of a van and evaluating the potential business opportunity in the lake area. He coordinated the design and development of a new store in Laurie, Missouri, driving from Sedalia to the lake six days a week to run the new operation. He then began exploring the potential of a store in Osage Beach, Missouri, which he opened in 1992. In 1997 Dugan’s purchased a paint store In Warrensburg and re-located the Sedalia store from 16th Street to Erika Ave. He was then general manager of four stores and three warehouses.
Since becoming sole owner of the business in 2000, he has expanded into floor coverings, renaming the business Dugan’s Paint & Flooring Center, and has grown from primarily a local paint store to an area leader in the paint, window treatment, and floor covering industry employing 50 people. One nominator wrote of Chuck’s business strategy, “Chuck Kempton’s belief that his customers deserve a quality product and impeccable service is a driving force behind his desire for all employees to know the products and how to serve people.”
2017 Distinguished Alumni
Mary McClure, Class of 1972
The Alumni Committee of the Sedalia School District Foundation has selected Mary McClure as the 2017 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award. Ms. McClure is a 1972 graduate of Smith-Cotton High School where she was a co-editor of the Archives; news editor of the school newspaper; president of the Future Teacher’s Club; a member of the Latin Club, Speech and Debate Team; and Spiz Pep Club. She graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Home Economics Journalism from the University of Missouri and a MBA from Harvard Business School where she was the vice president of the Women’s Student Association.
For more than 35 years, she has been a leader in the corporate and nonprofit sectors in Kansas City. Her notable record of achievements over a 20-year executive career at Hallmark Cards, combined with her service as a community volunteer, reflect her commitment to excellent managerial leadership, generous service to others, and significant contributions to society.
2016 Distinguished Alumni
Dr. Diane (Cordry) Golden, Class of 1974
Dr. Diane (Cordry) Golden is the 2016 recipient of the Sedalia School District Foundation Distinguished Alumni Award. The Sedalia School District Foundation Distinguished Alumni Award ceremony will take place on Friday, September 16, 10:30 a.m. in the Heckart Center for the Performing Arts at Smith-Cotton High School, 2010 Tiger Pride Blvd, Sedalia, Missouri. The public is invited to attend.
For over 30 years, Dr. Golden has been a leader, advocate, and policy writer in the field of special education. She was described by one of her nominators as “a truly unique individual and consummate special educator. She is a dynamic and holistic thinker whose contributions to the field of special education have been both significant and far-reaching. Her combination of bright intelligence, comprehensive knowledge, and force of character has resulted in many changes in Missouri and national policies and practices in the field of special education.”
The daughter of Sedalia School District educators, Ken and Charlotte Cordry, Dr. Golden is a graduate and the valedictorian of Smith-Cotton High School class of 1974. She graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Missouri-Columbia, a Master of Science in Audiology from the University of Central Missouri, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Special Education Administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
2015 Distinguished Alumni
Kim Anderson, Class of 1973
The Alumni Committee of the Sedalia School District Foundation has selected Kim Anderson as their 2015 Distinguished Alumni honoree. Kim graduated from Smith-Cotton High School in 1973. He is described as a humble man of great character and integrity who continues to be proud of his roots as a small town Missouri boy by those who nominated him. He is passionate about working hard to become better at all his endeavors and passes that passion on to those he works with.
Kim Anderson was hired as the 18th men's basketball coach in Mizzou history on April 28, 2014. The two-time Mizzou graduate (1979, '81) earned 2014 NABC National Coach of the Year honors after leading the University of Central Missouri to the 2014 NCAA Division II title.
Anderson has quickly gotten to work in Columbia with a vision for building a winning program centered on strong character on and off the court. The Tiger head coach’s 2015-16 squad will predominantly feature underclassmen who all represent crucial bricks in the program’s foundation.
2014 Distinguished Alumni
Dr. Alan Braverman, Class of 1979
The Sedalia School District Foundation has named Alan Braverman, M.D. as the 2014 Distinguished Alumni. Alan Braverman graduated in 1979 as the valedictorian of Smith-Cotton High School, where he was a pivotal member of the varsity soccer team, as well as captain of the swim and golf teams. He played trumpet in the marching, jazz and pep bands and also performed in several high school theater productions.
Dr. Braverman graduated with Distinction from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1984 with a B.A. in Biology. In 1985 he earned his M.D. from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School and also served as Chief Medical Resident. Dr. Braverman also completed cardiology fellowship training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
In 1991, Dr. Braverman joined the faculty at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO, where he is currently the Alumni Endowed Professor in Cardiovascular Diseases and Professor of Medicine. He is actively involved in the education of students, house staff and fellows at Washington University and serves as Director of the Inpatient Cardiology Firm at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He has been awarded Teacher of the Year by the Internal Medicine Residents on four occasions and the Clinical Teacher of the Year Award by the Washington University Medical Students Class of 2004. In 2011, Dr. Braverman received the E. Grey Dimond, M.D. Take Wing Award from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
He is a Clinical Cardiologist and has a particular interest in diseases of the aorta and Marfan syndrome and related disorders. He is the Director of the Marfan Syndrome Clinic at Washington University in St. Louis, serves on the Professional Advisory Board of the National Marfan Foundation and is actively involved in clinical research in Marfan syndrome and aortic diseases.
Dr. Braverman’s passion for work on Marfan syndrome is not without personal interest. His father, an orthopedic surgeon, did not know he had Marfan syndrome and died at the age of 46 of a ruptured aorta. All five of Dr. Alan Braverman’s siblings were tested and only one had inherited the disorder. His brother, David, has had two operations to replace a weakened part of the aorta enabling him to live a normal life.
Dr. Braverman serves as co-host of the Heartworks St. Louis Gala with his wife Rebecca. Heartworks St. Louis honors the work of pioneering surgeons and raises funds to support the National Marfan Foundation’s mission to fund research and treatment of Marfan syndrome, provide education to the medical community, enhance awareness and diagnosis, and to offer support to those living with Marfan syndrome for the highest possible quality of life.
Please join the Sedalia School District Foundation in honoring Dr. Alan Braverman on Saturday, October 18th. The Distinguished Alumni Ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m. in the Heckart Performing Arts Center at Smith-Cotton High School.
2013 Distinguished Alumni
Edith Morgan Donath, Class of 1940
Donald Donath, Honorary High School Diploma
Donald and Edith Donath spent their lives doing almost everything as a couple. It would be difficult to acknowledge one spouse’s accomplishments without recognizing the involvement of the other.
Edith Morgan graduated from Smith-Cotton High School in 1940. She attended Central Missouri State Teacher’s College for two years and began teaching in rural schools in Pettis County. She resumed taking college courses at night, during the summer, and by correspondence to receive her Bachelor of Science in Education with a Music Major. She later went on to receive a Master of Science in Education with a Music Major and a Specialist Degree in Elementary Administration.
She taught music in the Sedalia School District from 1953 to 1986 at Whittier and Washingtion Elementary schools as well as sixth grade music at Sedalia Middle School. Mrs. Donath has played violin with the Sedalia Symphony for over 75 years.
Edith and Donald W. Donath were married in 1947. During that year she was teaching at the Bothwell Rural School. John Bothwell had left instructions that the teacher of the school should be a “married person” and provided a small home, the “Teacherage,” adjacent to the school for the teacher and spouse to live in. Mrs. Donath describes it as their “honeymoon house.”
Mr. Donath withdrew from Smith-Cotton High School on December 12, 1941 to enlist in the military. With the assistance of Janet (Moriss) Sloan the appropriate paperwork was completed for Mr. Donath to receive his honorary high school diploma for Missouri veterans. On June 25, 2013 he received his diploma from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Missouri Veterans Commission.
Mr. Donath served in the Army as Staff Sergeant 20th Armored Division. He completed his service as a tank commander in the 20th Tank Battalion of Patton’s Third Army. He returned to Sedalia in 1946 and apprenticed at the Missouri Pacific Shops, but then decided it was time to begin classes at Central Missouri State Teacher’s College. He took and passed the GED without ever completing any classwork. He later received his Bachelor of Science in Education with a major in Physical Education, a Masters of Education in Elementary School Education, and a Specialist Degree in Physical Education all from Central Missouri State University. He received his Doctorate of Education from Oklahoma State University.
At Smith-Cotton High School, Mr. Donath taught Driver’s Education. He taught sixth grade at Horace Mann Elementary. He taught Physical Education at Washington, Heber Hunt, Whittier, and Mark Twain. He also offered PE during the evening hours at Jefferson Elementary and Hubbard School.
In 1970 Mr. Donath was contacted by the CMSU Physical Education Department chairman asking him to join the teaching staff as an assistant profession. From 1970 to 1986 he supervised and observed Physical Education students in their student teacher experience.
The Donath’s considered square dancing their hobby and shared their talents with many by providing lessons throughout Mid-Missouri. In 1993, Mr. Donath was inducted into the Missouri Federation of Caller and Cuers Hall of Fame for 46 years of calling and 41 years of cuering.
The Donath’s were presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award on October 5, 2013 at the Heckart Performing Arts Center. Mr. Donath passed away on June 6, 2014.
2012 Distinguished Alumni
Ron Ditzfeld, Class of 1966
Ron Ditzfeld is a 1966 graduate of Smith-Cotton High School. He is President of Ditzfeld Transfer Inc. Ron is very active in the Sedalia community serving on the board of several organizations including CHS Cooperative Workshop, Sedalia Airport and the SFCC Foundation. Ron’s civic and philanthropic involvement includes: JROTC program, Daum Museum at State Fair Community College, Sacred Heart Foundation, Child Safe of Central Missouri, Inc., Sedalia/Pettis County Development, Sedalia Bomber Baseball, Mid-Missouri Outlaws Football and local/nation-wide disaster relief efforts. In 2008 he was awarded the Freedom Torch Award because of his dedication to the Sedalia community.
“He feels strongly that it is important to give back to the community that has given his family so much. It is with humility that he continues the legacy he inherited from his parents, John and Bernice Ditzfeld.”-Shirley (Turner) McCown
Geraldine Teufel Schrader, Class of 1932
Geraldine Teufel graduated from Smith-Cotton in 1932. She returned to her alma mater as a music educator in 1938 and taught for 31 years in the Sedalia School District. In those 31 years she enhanced the lives of thousands of students. During her career, Mrs. Schrader taught at Horace Mann, Mark Twain and Smith-Cotton High School. In 1948 she became the official High School Director and Director of Music for the Sedalia Public Schools. Under her leadership she established the All-School Orchestra, joining all elementary schools in a joint performance. In 1962, Mrs. Schrader established the Madrigal Singers, a 16-voice a cappella vocal ensemble which was the predecessor of the New Score Singers.
“Achievements by an individual are what one normally associates with success. Lasting impact on one’s community and beyond is the real mark of distinction.” -Dan and Beth (Belt) Eckles
2011 Distinguished Alumni
William C. (Bill) Booth, Class of 1960
William C. “Bill” booth graduated from Smith-Cotton High School in 1960. He has made his career as a freelance musician and professional trombonist. He was nominated by several fellow classmates who indicated that Bill attributes much of his success to the education he received in the Sedalia School District. He writes of his CD entitled Balancing Act, “What is life if not a balancing act? Certainly the career of a freelance musician is exactly that. I would be remiss not to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to Bob Cummings and many fine teachers and mentors in Sedalia for helping me find and maintain balance in my life.”
Bill has had a long and distinguished career of entertaining literally millions of people in all 50 states and numerous countries by performing with the greatest entertainers, artists, and orchestras. Bill also completed three degrees, including two masters, and has shared his talent and experiences in the classroom.
During his career, Bill has performed in live concerts as lead trombonist with such artists as Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis, Jr., Barbara Streisand, Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, Tom Jones, Paul Anka, Sarah Vaughn, and Mel Torme just to name a few. He has also recorded with Ray Charles, Bruce Springsteen, Barry Manilow, Michael Jackson, Neil Diamond, Prince, Rod Stewart, Arturo Sandoval, and Johnny Mathis.
Bill has recorded phonograph records, tapes, CDs, and DVDs. He has performed in such historic venues as the Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hal, Lincoln Center, and the White House. He has performed and recorded for television shows, commercial jingles, and movie soundtracks. Those include The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, the Academy Awards, Dallas, Little House on the Prairie, NBC Nightly News, Sunday Night Football, Titanic, Jurassic Park, Toy Story, Avatar, and Star Trek to name a few of the over 1,000 soundtracks Bill has recorded.