Hall of Leaders - 2003

Julie Marrone

Dedicated leader of volunteers within the district Served as President of the Two-Mile Prairie PTA, Oakland Junior High PTA, and President of the Hickman High School PTA and Columbia Council of PTA’s.

Chaired numerous committees at the schools her children attended, and recently served on the committee that re-drew high school boundary lines.

Organized PTA events at both the elementary and junior high school levels that have won national PTA honors as Outstanding Unit Awards.

Serves on the Executive Board for the Missouri State PTA and is the chairperson of the Missouri State PTA Convention to be held in Columbia.

Polly Hendren

Volunteer for the CASA (Columbia Aeronautics and Space Association) Program at Hickman High School for 8 years, devoting over 6 hours a day, five days a week.

Oversees CASA’s Public Affairs Office, contacting the media and proofing all student work while also organizing field trips, fundraising, grant writing, and heading-up a mentoring program that recruits adult volunteers into the program.

One of the largest providers for the many financially challenged students in the CASA program funding student projects.

Joan Bay

Active volunteer in CPS for over 2 decades, serving as President of both the Rock Bridge Elementary and Jefferson Junior High School PTA’s.

Elected to Columbia Board of Education in 1984, served for 14 years and served as board President from 1988-1990,

Served on Facilities Planning Committee, Rock Bridge High School PTA, Booster Club, A+ Advisory Committee, and Senior All-Night Party.

Dr. John Stolt

Joined the Columbia Public Schools in 1967 as Assistant Principal of Jefferson Junior High School and served as Principal at Jeff from 1971-1978.

Become Associate Superintendent of Schools in St. Joseph.

Returned to Columbia in 1984 as Associate Superintendent for Instruction and remained with the district until his retirement in 1991.

Developed a number of innovative programs and initiatives – established a comprehensive staff development program, directed the implementation of the Parents as Teachers program, placed an emphasis on health education as part of the curriculum, established a gifted program, initiated a district-wide Drop-out Prevention Task Force, and a Reading Recovery Program.

Harold (Hank) Steere

History teacher and Assistant Principal at Hickman High School before becoming Associate Superintendent for Instruction, a post he held for 22 years until his retirement from CPS in 1984.

14 years with the Missouri North Central Association, retiring as Associate State Director in 2000.

Continues to volunteer at Douglass High School and Russell Boulevard Elementary School, and teaches adults to read in the Laubach Literacy Program.

In the central office, guided curriculum development, supervised the expansion of special education, initiated the first coordinated staff development efforts in the district, and provided leadership in the State by helping with the development of the original Performance-Based Teacher Evaluation model.

Dr. Kenneth Clark

Began as Principal of Hickman High School in 1965, a post he held for 25 years.

Hickman was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in 1985 with an Excellence in Education Award and was visited in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan.

Attended all the plays, all the musical concerts, all the athletic events, all the Honor Society induction events – indeed, all the activities which gave Hickman’s students the extra dimension of educational opportunity.

Innovative principal in the areas of curriculum development and course scheduling.

Dr. Muriel Battle

Began teaching first grade at Douglass in 1956 after graduating from Florida A & M University; transferred to West Junior High School in 1962, where she taught social studies for 13 years.

Assistant principal at West Junior High in 1975, and principal in 1978.

Associate Superintendent for Secondary Education in 1992, a post she held until her retirement in 1997.

Donna Pierce

Graduated from Hickman High School and Stephens College.

Began career in 1985 with Day Runner, becoming National Sales Manager of Premium Sales.

In 1995, began work for the Columbia Daily Tribune as Features Editor, then as Food Editor and Columnist.

During her tenure, she received numerous national awards for her food writing.

In 2001 she became Food Editor of the Columbia Missourian and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Journalism, before moving in 2002 to the Chicago Tribune as Assistant Food Editor and Test Kitchen Director.

Member of several professional organizations and is in frequent demand at food writers’ symposia and conferences across the country.

Heath Meriwether

Graduated from Hickman High School.

Graduated from UMC with journalism and history, Masters of Arts in Teaching from Harvard.

Reporter with the Miami Herald.

Became executive editor of the Miami Herald in 1983; during this time, the Herald won five Pulitzer Prizes

Moved to the Detroit Free Press as executive editor in 1987, and the newspaper won two consecutive Pulitzer Prizes in 1989 and 1990, as well as numerous other national and state awards.

Became publisher in January 1996.

Serves on the national Board of Directors of the American Press Institute and more than 15 other regional and national non-profit boards with particular emphasis on issues regarding children, technology, health care, education, and the environment.

Claire McCaskill

Graduated from Hickman High School.

Graduated from UMC with bachelors and law degrees.

Clerk for the Missouri Court of Appeals.

Assistant prosecutor in the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office.

Elected in 1982 to the House of Representatives representing Missouri’s District 42 in Kansas City.

Elected in 1990 for an At-Large Seat on the Jackson County Legislature.

Served as county lawmaker before being elected County Prosecutor in 1992.

Elected as Missouri’s State Auditor in 1998.

Leader in numerous state and national professional organizations.

Volunteers in community organizations in the areas of drug prevention and intervention.

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