Category Archives: An Eye On Alumni

Ladue Grad Becky Sauerbrunn To Lead Team at Olympics

Becky Sauerbrunn and teammate Meghan Kilngenberg celebrate their win over Japan. Photo by Jonathan Hayward, courtesy of the Cavalier Insider.

Becky Sauerbrunn and teammate Meghan Kilngenberg celebrate their win over Japan. Photo by Jonathan Hayward, courtesy of the Cavalier Insider.

One of Ladue Schools’ own graduates, Becky Sauerbrunn, is headed to Rio in August to compete in the Olympics as a co-captain for the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team!

The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team is No. 1 in the world, having won the 2015 World Cup against Japan in Vancouver, British Columbia.

When asked how the two competitions compare, Becky told 101 ESPN: “You’ve got the World Cup that’s just for women’s soccer, and so it’s wonderful to have that spotlight just on your sport and the pressure that’s just on you. And then with the Olympics, it’s wonderful to be apart of something bigger and having all these other athletes from all these other disciplines. There’s more a sense of community and camaraderie, and that makes it really special, too, because you’re sharing something that’s bigger than just your sport.”

Becky is a 2003 graduate of Ladue Horton Watkins High School, and she recently visited the school’s girls soccer team to cheer them on at a match.

Becky was a distinguished LHWHS athlete, lettering all four years in soccer, volleyball and basketball. She was named 2003 Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year, 2002 and 2003 Parade All-American, 2002 NSCAA Adidas (U-17) All-American and 2001 NSCAA Youth All-American.

Becky attended the University of Virginia. Currently, she plays for FC Kansas City in the National Women’s Soccer League.

To read more about Becky, visit her page on the U.S. Soccer website.

Alumnus Takes on Unique Historic Home

Bequette-RibaultHank Johnson, a 1961 Ladue Horton Watkins High School alumnus, found his calling about an hour south of St. Louis, in the historic little town of Ste. Genevieve, Missouri. Hank and his wife founded Chaumette Vineyards & Winery in the town back in 1989. Then, in 2013, Hank bought one of the most architecturally historic structures on the continent, the Bequette-Ribault house, and restored it to its original condition.

The home dates back to 1808, and was built by French settlers in the typical homebuilding style of the time. The structure is actually built with the logs standing vertically in the ground, called poteaux-en-terre, or posts in the earth.

Hank and his wife realized there were some improvements that would have to be made to restore the home. Watch the video below for an overview of the changes the couple decided needed to be made when they bought the home.

Ladue Grad Named 2016 NCAC Newcomer of the Year

Michael WielanskyA Ladue graduate is making a name for himself at The College of Wooster for his performance on the baseball team. Michael Wielansky, a freshman shortstop and 2015 LHWHS graduate, was voted the 2016 North Coast Athletic Conference Newcomer of the Year and was recognized with all-conference honors.

According to the program, Wielansky has been a sensational addition to the program, hitting at a .392 clip with 17 doubles, five triples, seven home runs, and 51 RBI. He leads the league in several significant categories, including runs scored (56), hits (69), homers, and RBI, and sits fifth in average, second in doubles, tied for third in triples, second in slugging percentage (.665), eighth in walks (26), third in on-base percentage (.474), and third in stolen bases (17). As impressive as his offensive numbers are, Wielansky’s defense truly separates him as the slick-fielding shortstop: he has a school-record 156 assists while posting a .964 fielding percentage at the most challenging position.

Congratulations, Michael!

Becky Sauerbrunn Visits Ladue Girls Soccer Game

“Ladue High is in the midst of what could wind up being the best season in the history of its girls soccer program.

One of the world’s best players has taken notice.”

This introduction makes you want to read more, right?! This is the lede to an article published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about 2003 Ladue graduate and co-captain of the U.S. Women’s National Team Becky Sauerbrunn’s visit to a Rams game.

Becky watched the girls soccer team win 2-1 Friday at Belton and then took time to meet with the players after the game.

“It was kind of like our motivation to get up and start playing a little bit more than we were,” Hayden Hunt, a senior midfielder and captain, told the post-dispatch. “So we got to win a pretty dramatic game in front of her, which was exciting.”

Click here to read the full story!

 

 

LHWHS Grad Named National Champion in Impromptu Speaking

One of Ladue Horton Watkins High School’s graduates, Jerome Gregory, was named the National Champion in Impromptu Speaking at the National Forensic Association’s National Tournament! This was his second national championship.

Jerome, Class of 2013, placed 3rd in Persuasion and Informative Speaking, 4th in Rhetorical Criticism and was a quarterfinalist in Extemporaneous Speaking and After Dinner Speaking. He also placed 2nd in the Individual Pentathlon (individual sweepstakes).

When he was named the national champion in Impromptu, Jerome won the first trophy in a limited prep event in 20 years for Bradley University.

Congratulations, Jerome!

Alumna’s Work Shown on Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Ladue Schools alumna Candace Shacklette, Class of 2010, had her work shown on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on March 31! Candace does graphic design in New York City for Jazz at Lincoln Center. The background images and album cover that Colbert holds during the musical performance were created by Candace! The musical guests were Wynton Marsalis, Lil Buck, & Jared Grimes. If you would like to see more of Candace’s work, visit her website.

LHWHS Alumni Ed Protzel Sees Book Published

After more than 10 years in the making, Ladue Schools Alumnus Ed Protzel’s darkly ironic historical novel, “The Lies That Bind – DarkHorse Trilogy, Book 1,” has been published.

Protzel, of University City and a graduate of Ladue Horton Watkins High School, Class of ’64, has written five original screenplays for feature film and worked developing film scripts/projects for 20th Century Fox. He has a Master’s degree in English Literature/Creative Writing from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and a B.A. in English from the University of Hawai’i. The novel is based on his screenplay, which was recognized by the Missouri Playwrights Association and had brief Hollywood exposure.

On Thursday, June 23, Ed will be reading from and signing copies of his book at Left Bank Books in the Central West End.

Alumnus Passed First Round of American Idol Auditions

Congratulations to Ladue Horton Watkins High School alumnus Brandyn Burnette, who auditioned on American Idol with a song he wrote entitled “Lost.” All three judges voted to send him along to the next round. Brandyn even got a hug from Harry Connick Jr.

Brandyn is a 2008 graduate of LHWHS, and was a member of Choir and performed in the Spring Musical, West Side Story with a lead role as a senior.

We all wish him luck on his musical journey!

For more information about the audition, click here.

LHWHS Grad Volunteers, Recognized at Veiled Prophet Ball

Emily Dove, a 2014 LHWHS graduate, was featured in Town & Style’s recent edition for her participation as a maid at the 2015 Veiled Prophet Ball and her dedication to service.

Dove’s record of giving back includes assisting the fundraising efforts of the Bay Harbor Foundation in Michigan and volunteering as a Spanish translator and an English teacher at various orphanages in Chincha Alta, after an earthquake struck the Peruvian town, according to Town & Style.

Ladue Alumni Sports Committee Volunteers Around the Holidays

The Ladue Alumni Sports Committee volunteered with St. Louis Arc in assisting special needs bowlers at their annual Christmas Party at Olivette Lanes this past weekend on Saturday, Dec. 12! St. Louis Arc is a local nonprofit United Way agency that provides support and services to more than 3,500 adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

This group of alumni will also be volunteering at the Breakfast with Santa event at Wellspring Church in Ferguson this Saturday, where they will serve a pancake breakfast, pass out gifts and take photos!