Hall of Leaders - Alumni

George Galbreath

George Galbreath is a Hickman High School graduate who currently serves as the art department chair at Westlake High School in Atlanta, Georgia. Throughout his 15 years of classroom teaching, including three years at Rock Bridge High School and 12 years with the Fulton County School District in Atlanta, he has maintained a career as a working artist. During his tenure as an art teacher at Rock Bridge High School, his passion for art allowed George to leave a lasting impact on many lives.

George received his bachelor of fine arts in graphic design from Howard University. He received a fellowship from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he completed his master’s of education in curriculum and instruction.

His work is regularly displayed in the Atlanta area, and he has received numerous awards for his creations. He was awarded Best in Show in 2015 and Honorable Mention in 2016 at the Georgia Art Educators Association exhibit. George also was a 2016 and 2018 Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series semi-finalist. He is the co-founder of Urban Art Expression (UAE) Youth Artists Program, a non-profit dedicated to developing artistically talented youth outside of the classroom and beyond the academic school calendar.

Dan Knight

Dan Knight is a graduate of Columbia Public Schools, having attended Fairview Elementary, Jefferson Junior and West Junior High Schools, and Hickman High School. Dan has served as the Boone County Prosecuting Attorney since 2007 and will begin serving his fourth term in 2019. In this role, he guides the prosecution of all criminal cases and has also personally prosecuted thousands of cases. He leads a staff of 41 employees, including 14 assistant prosecutors. Prior to his appointment as prosecuting attorney, Dan served as an assistant prosecuting attorney and as first assistant prosecuting attorney.

Dan received his undergraduate degree in business administration and his law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. At MU, he was also a varsity tennis player during his undergraduate years.

Dan was recognized in 2012 by the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys as the Prosecutor of the Year. He served as president of the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys in 2014 and currently continues to serve on its board of directors. He is a member of the Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri board of directors and has served on the boards of the Voluntary Action Center and the Central Missouri Humane Society.

Katie Mustard

Katie Mustard is a graduate of Hickman High School. Katie has joined the Netflix International Production Team as the head of physical production for feature films and television series from Europe, Middle East and Africa. She will be relocating to Amsterdam this fall with her husband and son. Katie’s passion for filmmaking can be seen with the many movies she has produced, including 38 movies, 20 short films, four feature length documentaries and dozens of commercials. She has produced multiple films for the Sundance International Film Festival, with her ninth film premiering there in 2014. Her first feature length documentary, American Shopper, was filmed in Columbia.

Katie attended film school at the University of Southern California, where she graduated with honors with a bachelor’s degree in cinema-television. She also is a graduate of the master’s in producing workshop in Tel Aviv, Israel, where she began collaborations with producers from around the world.

Katie is represented by the United Talent Agency. In 2015 she was named by the entertainment industry’s leading trade publication Variety as a Top 10 Producer of the Year and was honored as a cultural ambassador for U.S. embassies in third world countries as part of the American Film Showcase.

Susan Ford Robertson

Susan Ford Robertson is a graduate of Hickman High School. She practices law in Kansas City at The Robertson Law Group, LLC, where she serves as appellate counsel assisting trial counsel across the nation in all phases of all complex civil litigation. She has over 160 published federal and state appeals. Susan is an elected fellow in the American Academy of Appellate lawyers, and she is the first and only female attorney from Missouri so elected. She also is an elected fellow of Litigation Counsel of America and is the only Missouri attorney to be serving on the Super Lawyers Advisory Board of Directors.

Susan received a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a law degree, both from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She serves as vice chair of the Kansas City Streetcar Authority. Susan is also past president of the Missouri Board of Law Examiners, past president of the Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers, past chair of the Appellate Judicial Retention Committee and past member of the Missouri Supreme Court Advisory Committee.

Among her many honors, she is the recipient of the 2011 Women’s Justice Awards Litigation Practitioner of the Year, the Kansas City Legal Leader Civil Justice Award and the Missouri Bar President’s Award. For the past 10 years, she has consistently been named to the Top 100 Missouri Lawyers, Top 50 Kansas City Lawyers and the Top 50 Missouri and Kansas Women Lawyers by Super Lawyers.

Jeff Harris

Jeff Harris is a Columbia Public Schools graduate who has served in all three branches of Missouri government. Jeff was appointed to the 13th Circuit Court in 2016 and elected later that same year. In his position as circuit judge, Jeff presides over civil and criminal cases. Prior to his appointment to the court, Jeff served as the policy director for Gov. Jay Nixon. Jeff also was a member of the Missouri House of Representatives, serving Columbia’s 23rd District, and served as both House Minority Leader and House Minority Whip. He was the first Boone Countian since the 19th century to lead either party in the Missouri House. He previously was a Missouri Assistant Attorney General and worked in private practice for the international law firm Bryan Cave.

Jeff is a graduate of Cornell Law School, where he was a member of the Cornell Law Review. Jeff received his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University, magna cum laude, where he also played on the varsity golf team. He also completed the Senior Executive Program at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.

He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Hickman High Super Kewp Award. Jeff is a graduate of Jefferson Junior High School and Hickman High School, where his first leadership role was as the sports editor for the Purple & Gold newspaper. He and his wife, Katie, also a CPS graduate, have two children enrolled at CPS.

Jon McRoberts

Jon McRoberts is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Missouri where, in partnership with the Missouri Department of Conservation, he coordinates a large-scale white-tailed deer research project in Missouri. Jon has conducted wildlife research on giant pandas in western China for the Smithsonian Institute, has radio-tracked leopards in the Kalahari Desert for South Africa’s Centre for Wildlife Management, and conducted a multi-year wildlife investigation on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula—where his seven years of CPS Spanish classes were invaluable.

Back in the office, Jon has been the lead author of multiple peer-reviewed scientific journal articles, has given invited wildlife research presentations throughout the U.S. and Mexico, is a contributing author to Cornell University’s Birds of North America and Birds of the Neotropics, and has served as a consultant to Mexico’s federal wildlife authority.

Jon earned a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife from the University of Missouri-Columbia, as well as a master’s of science and doctorate in Wildlife Science and a MBA, all from Texas Tech University. Jon attended Russell Elementary and then was in the inaugural first grade class at Mill Creek Elementary. Jon saw his second school opening when he was in yet another inaugural class at Gentry Middle school, and then attended Jefferson Junior High and Rock Bridge High School, where he received the W. Wayne Walker Outstanding Graduating Senior Award. The diversity of experiences offered by CPS have served Jon throughout his life. For example, the Critters program, sponsored by CPSF, helped foster Jon’s early interest in wildlife.  Jon and his wife, Katrina, also a CPS graduate, reside in Columbia.

Sara Parker Pauley

Sara Parker Pauley was appointed by the Missouri Conservation Commission in 2016 as the director of the Missouri Department of Conservation, making her the first female director in the department’s 80-year history. She previously served as the director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. She also has worked as a project manager for D.J. Case & Associates, a natural resources communications firm. She worked with federal and state agencies on policy development, marketing, and environmental compliance. She also served as chief of staff to former Missouri House Speaker Steve Gaw.

A lifelong conservationist and an avid hunter, Sara has been an executive committee and board member of the Conservation Federation of Missouri. She was a member of the board of the American National Fish & Wildlife Museum, where she served as director of conservation programs. She has published a number of articles on wildlife and natural resources management and was honored with the Bass Pro Conservation Partners of the Year Award.

A native of Columbia, Sara received both her bachelor’s degree in journalism and her law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and did post-graduate studies in Australia as a Rotary Fellow. She is a graduate of Hickman High School.

Shana Farr

Shana found her love of music and theater growing up in Columbia, where she participated in church and Columbia Public School choirs and later attended the University of Missouri-Columbia. Shana continued her education and performance career on the East Coast, and also began a second successful career in the jewelry design business.

-Attended West Boulevard and Fairview Elementary, West Junior High and Hickman High School

-Bachelor of music, magna cum laude, Pi Kappa Lambda, Boston University School for the Arts

-Gemological Institute of America, Diamond Certificate

-Performance appearances including: Feinstein’s at the Regency; New York City Center; Jazz at Lincoln Center; York Theatre; Symphony Space; 54 Below; Crazy Coqs (London); Pittsburg Civic Light Opera; Missouri Symphony Orchestra; South Shore Symphony Orchestra; Metropolitan Room; Laurie Beechman Theatre; Kranzberg Arts Center, St. Louis

-Debuted her album Out of the Shadows to a rave review in the Wall Street Journal

-Conducts Master Classes in Performance

-Recently on the Board of The American Songbook Project, a not-for-profit organization that takes Broadway and Cabaret performers into schools in the New York area.

-Founded Shana Farr Designs, New York, in 2009. Designed, developed and introduced a line of silver and genuine gemstone fashion jewelry into the direct-to-consumer market; completely recouped initial investment within the first year.

-Served as Director of Merchandise for The Aaron Group, New York, Vera Wang Project, and in various high-level capacities for Harry Winston Inc., New York.

Said of Shana Farr…

“Lots of students have a high level of talent and a love of the great standard songs of American music. What one does with that talent is a totally different thing. Shana MADE her career. And she not only MADE a singing career, she made a second artistic career as a jewelry designer whose work is sophisticated, beautiful and sells very well. What does it take to accomplish TWO major careers in New York City where the competition is so extraordinarily keen – and often cutthroat? It takes guts, talent and a foundation that is grounded in Midwestern pluck, confidence and VERY HARD WORK. The arts – and particularly the performing arts – are very difficult to break into. I think Shana’s deep belief in her talent kept her going through the years it took her to receive the recognition from the New York critics and the public she aspired to. How often do you hear critics talking about elegance, beauty, humor and clarity in describing contemporary pop singers? Yet those are the qualities that are remarked on time after time in reviews of her work.”

James M. Miller, Professor of Theater, University of Missouri

Mitchell Humphreys

Mitchell Humphreys is a physician and professor of urology at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Az., who attended Columbia Public Schools and the University of Missouri-Columbia for his undergraduate and medical degrees. Among his many career successes and medical advances, Dr. Humphreys and his colleagues pioneered the first minimally invasive surgery for prostate cancer.

-Attended Grant Elementary and West Junior High

-United States Air Force Academy graduate, Biology, 1994

-Bachelor of science degree, magna cum laude, College of Agriculture, University of Missouri-Columbia, 1996; Member of Honors College, University Scholars, Gamma Sigma Delta (honors fraternity) and recipient of multiple scholarships

-M.D., School of Medicine, University of Missouri-Columbia, 2000; recipient of Ian Thompson Memorial Urology Award, Jerome McCullough M.D. Scholarship and the Elmer C. Pepper Scholarship

-Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine Internship, General Surgery, 2001; Resident, Urology, 2006; Chief Resident and Instructor in Urology, 2006

-Indiana University School of Medicine, Fellow, Laparoscopic Endourology, Mayo Foundation Scholar, 2007

-Presently serves as a consultant, professor of urology, and the fellowship director of Endourology and Minimally Invasive Surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Az., with full faculty privileges in clinical and translational science at the Mayo Graduate School.

-Honors include the Patients’ Choice Award, given to the top five percent of national physicians based on patient ratings and feedback, 2011-2013

-Outstanding Young Physician Award, Alumni Association, MU School of Medicine, 2012

-Board member, Columbia College Board of Trustees, Columbia, MO.

Said of Dr. Humphreys:

Through teaching, researching and practicing medicine, Mitchell Humphreys enjoys a career marked by successes. He and his colleagues pioneered the first minimally invasive surgery for prostate cancer. He belongs to a multi-institutional NIH-funded group study designed to detect and treat kidney stone diseases. He helped found an international research consortium that addresses pressing clinical research questions and founded a non-profit group to deliver medical care to places in need globally. Humphreys has not forgotten his Columbia heritage. He is a member of the Columbia College Board of Trustees, where he is valued for his innovation and insight. Humphreys embodies the very spirit of Outstanding Alumni Award, as well as CPS Foundation goals of enhancing academic excellence in public schools.”

– Dr. Scott Dalrymple, President, Columbia College


Lora Lynn Iannotti

Lora Lynn Iannotti is an assistant professor at the Washington University George Warren Brown School of Social Work, where her current research focuses on program evaluation and impact modeling of undernutrition, infectious diseases, and poverty. In project sites in Haiti and East Africa, she is studying the combined effects of interventions designed to prevent undernutrition, improve water and sanitation, and foster economic development.

-Attended Parkade Elementary School, Jefferson Junior High, and Hickman High School

-Bachelor of arts in political science, University of Missouri-Columbia, 1990

-Master of arts, foreign affairs, University of Virginia, 1992

-Ph.D., international nutrition, The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg

-School of Public Health, 2007

-Worked on global hunger and undernutrition issues for more than ten years for various organizations, including the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, USAID/LINKAGES project, the U.S. Congressional Select Committee on Hunger in Washington, D.C., and several non-governmental organizations.

-Joined the faculty of the Brown School/Institute for Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis in 2009, where she teaches and conducts research in Haiti, Ecuador and Kenya on micronutrient deficiencies in young children.

Through my life adventures, I have been buoyed by the education and friendships received at Columbia Public Schools. Sometimes when I write, I hear the voice of a beloved English teacher correcting my sentence structure, or as I carry out statistical analyses, feel the soothing logic of algebra and computer science lessons learned long ago. And then, of course, there are the warm memories of time spent with dear friends who remain in my life today. Nothing has been important than this foundation. I recognize that I am privileged to pursue my passions and know that at the base of this was a childhood and education received in Columbia.”

– Lora Lynn Iannotti

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