Category Archives: An Eye On Alumni

Alumnus Heads Conservation Partnership Between Wash U, Zoo, Botanical Garden

Washington University, the St. Louis Zoo and the Missouri Botanical Garden are launching a new partnership to bolster their collective conservation efforts, and our very own Jonathan Losos, Class of 1980, will lead the program.

The Living Earth Collaborative is undertaking the goal of slowing down and halting the extinction of plants and animals by sharing research among the three entities.

Jonathan received his tenure at Washington University before moving on to continue his research at Harvard.

As the Post-Dispatch reported, “Losos — who is also a popular author — has been touted as the kind of rare scientist who can translate complex biodiversity science to laymen and policy leaders.”

For more about this story, visit the Post-Dispatch article here.

Alumnus & Playwright’s Third Play to Debut on Broadway in Chicago

Hollye Levin, Class of 1972, an accomplished playwright, will have her third play, “A Taste of Things to Come”, debuted on Broadway in Chicago beginning in March 2018. See here for details.

Background

It all began in the Ladue School District. Hollye attended Old Bonhomme Elementary and then West Ladue Junior High, where she was on the cheerleading squad and began to play guitar and write my own songs. Her first professional job as a guitar player was at a lounge in Euclid when she was 16.

“I got my first paid gig because the ‘regular’ guitar player had the flu, and he called me to take over a few nights,” she says. “I was nervous, thrilled, but then said, ‘I’m not ready!’ And he said, ‘If you are not ready now, you never will be!’ I got paid $60 that night, and it suddenly hit me that I might have a future as a songwriter and guitar player.”

Second Novel of Alumnus Ed Protzel to be Published in February

Ladue Alumnus Ed Protzel’s sequel to his darkly ironic historical series, DarkHorse Trilogy, will be released and in stores on Feb. 2, 2018, by TouchPoint Press. Honor Among Outcasts offers a glimpse into a time and place that pit neighbor against neighbor in America’s most bloody conflict—the Missouri-Kansas border war of 1863.

As much morality tale as history lesson, Honor Among Outcasts weighs the bonds of friendship and loyalty against personal risk, using actual events such as Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence, Kansas, and the Union army’s infamous Order No. 11.

In addition, Protzel’s futuristic thriller, The Antiquities Dealer, was just acquired by the same publisher and will be released next year.

Protzel, of University City and a graduate of Ladue Horton Watkins High School, Class of ’64, has completed three novels, five original screenplays for feature film and developed scripts/projects for 20th Century Fox. The first book in his DarkHorse Trilogy, The Lies That Bind, was his first published work; the trilogy will conclude with Something in Madness. He holds a master’s in English literature/creative writing from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Alumnus to Participate in 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Forum

Class of 1989 alumnus Stephanie Hammond Smith will travel to Oslo, Norway, to participate in the Nobel Peace Prize Forum on Dec. 11. She is scheduled to participate on the discussion panel to talk about the state of affairs concerning indigenous peoples in the world.

Ladue Schools Today Spotlights LEF and Alumni Association Partnership

​Check out the latest edition of Ladue Schools Today, where host Don Goble discusses the new Ladue Education Foundation and Alumni Association partnership with LEF Executive Director Kristen Wild, Ladue Communications Assistant Bailey Otto, and Past LEF President Julie LaBonte.

Ladue Alumna Publishes Memoir, Credits Ladue Schools for Dream Education

Ladue Class of 1965 alumna Joy Passanante has recently published a memoir she had been working on for 12 years entitled Through a Long Absence: Words from My Father’s Wars.

The tale is told through her father’s eyes and is set against the backdrop of World War II. It takes place for the most part in North Africa and Europe during World War II, where Bart (Joy’s father) was a young physician and while Bart and Bertie were separated from each other for two years and eight months. There are also several sections that take place in St. Louis.

Joy shared the impact that attending the Ladue School District had on her success:

“I’ve thought over and over about what those Ladue schools gave me all my adult life. Like many parents whose parents were immigrants to this country,  mine moved into the Ladue School District (Chevy Chase for us) when I was five so that my sisters and I would be assured an excellent public education. They got what they had dreamed for. And I received something that, in retrospect, seems like a dream-education.

Alumnus Publishes First Novel, Bases Character & Setting on Ladue Schools

Michael Currinder (Ladue Schools Class of ’83) has recently published his first novel for young adults titled Running Full Tilt. Praised by Newbery medal winner Jack Gantos as “a quick read with a kick at the finish,” his novel sensitively and memorably captures a teen runner’s relationship with his older brother who is autistic. The novel is set in Ladue Horton Watkins High School circa 2006, and the Coach Gorsky character is based upon former Ladue Schools track coach legend, Phil Brusca. The American Library Associations Booklist publication recently awarded the novel a starred review stating, “The characterizations are complex and realistic, with sensitively depicted virtues and flaws, evoking empathy and sympathy in the reader. Currinder’s novel is poignant and powerful, with a story that is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Michael ran cross country and track at Ladue Schools, and earned a college athletic scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His first novel is a hybrid of his collective experiences as a competitive runner and as an adolescent with an autistic sibling. Michael is currently living in Tokyo and is teacher and track and cross country coach at The American School in Japan.

2013 Graduate Annie Kopp Attends Emmys with Late Night Show

Annie Kopp, 2013 graduate, was at the Emmys on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, with the show Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. For those of you that do not know her, she’s the one in the teal dress 4th from the left. Go, Annie!

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee is a leading late night show that covers Washington politics, spotlights stories throughout the states and travels around the world to cover international news.

Alumna Sheila Michaels Remembered as Champion of Title Ms.

Ladue Schools 1957 alumna Sheila Michaels passed away recently, and soon after her death, she was widely recognized and will be remembered for her championing of the title “Ms.” and for bringing the term back to popular use. See the following obituaries for Sheila’s story.

New York Times

Washington Post

Reuters

The Times of London

SBS (Australian news)

Ladue Schools 2016 Graduate Featured on KSDK for Rowing

Check out this neat feature by KSDK on Ladue Schools 2016 grad Hunter Wallace! Hunter is a national champion in rowing with fellow rower and Clayton grad Will Lerwick.