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Colonel Matthew Peach (posthumous)
Matthew “Matt” Peach was born in 1928 in McBaine, Mo., and attended a one-room schoolhouse during grade school. He graduated from Douglass High School in 1946. He earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Tuskegee Institute and a master’s degree in personnel management from Troy State University. Matt was Columbia’s first African American military aviator promoted to the rank of Colonel in the U.S. Air Force.
Col. Peach earned his pilot wings in 1957 and became a command pilot in 1972. During a thirty-year career with the U.S. Air Force, Col. Peach flew missions all over the world, undergirding a love for international travel. While serving in Vietnam, he was rescued in Laos after a reconnaissance mission. His many military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Air Force Commendation Medal. In 2006, he was recognized as an honored guest by the Salute to Veterans Corporation air show in Columbia.
Upon retirement from the Air Force, Col. Peach began a second career as a certified financial planner. He served as treasurer of the Heart of America Chapter/Kansas City of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., for nearly two decades. He passed away at age 88 on April 15, 2017, in Kansas City, Mo.
Adam Beckett attended West Junior High School and is a graduate of Rock Bridge High School. Adam earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Missouri-Columbia and his medical doctor degree from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, followed by a residency at Resurrection Hospital in Chicago. Adam served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1995-1999 and served as an infantry platoon commander in the First Marine Division. He has been an attending emergency room physician at the University of Missouri Hospital and Clinics since 2006 and an attending physician at Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital since 2020.
Adam is the founder and president of Global First Responder (GFR), a nonprofit international medical relief organization. Global First Responder connects medical professionals in the U.S. with international services and medical care in places of critical need. Since its founding in 2011, the all-volunteer organization has provided healthcare and humanitarian services to more than 50 countries including Haiti, Kenya, Cambodia, Jordan, Ethiopia, India, the Congo, Morocco, Liberia, Ukraine and Turkey, among others.
Donna Claycomb Sokol
Donna Claycomb Sokol is a graduate of Rock Bridge High School. Donna is the pastor of Mount Vernon Pace United Methodist Church in downtown Washington, DC. Since her appointment to the congregation in July 2005, the congregation has transitioned to a growing one composed of many young adults working to make a difference in the nation’s capital. She previously served as minister of congregational care at First United Methodist Church in Hendersonville, NC, and as director of admissions at Duke Divinity School. Prior to joining the ministry, she spent three years on Capitol Hill, serving on the staffs of U.S. Congressman Eric Fingerhut and U.S. Senator Tom Harkin.
She earned her undergraduate degree from William Woods University, a master of divinity from Duke University and her doctor of ministry degree from Wesley Theological Seminary.
Donna is the co-author of “A New Day in the City.” She serves as a member of the Duke Divinity School Board of Visitors and regularly speaks about leading change and congregational renewal.
Stephanie Price is a graduate of Fairview Elementary, Smithton, West Junior and Hickman High School. She is a board-certified child psychiatrist in Charleston, SC, where she works as an attending physician at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also works in private practice to treat those experiencing personal anguish.
She played varsity tennis at Hickman and was the first player to medal in each of her four years at the state tournament. She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Massachusetts, where she received a tennis scholarship and played #1 singles and #1 doubles for the team. She holds a doctor of osteopathic degree from the Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine, and completed psychiatry residency training at Indiana University and a fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina.
Stephanie is the recipient of many honors and accolades, and is dedicated to community involvement, including international service learning through medical mission trips.
Sally Cooper Myers
Sally Cooper Myers attended Grant Elementary, West Boulevard Elementary, Jefferson Junior High and Hickman High School. Sally served as a Miami University faculty member and administrator for 30 years, as director of the Recreational Sports Facility and Office of Recreational Sports program. During her tenure, she served as the senior instructor in the Department of Physical Education for Women and coached the Gymnastics Club. She retired in 1997 with emeritus status.
She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, with a bachelor of science degree in physical education, and a graduate of the University of Southern California, with a master’s of science degree in education.
Sally is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Outstanding Miami Woman Faculty Member for outstanding undergraduate teaching, the Regional Award of Merit from the Intramural Sports Association, and the Outstanding Student Affairs Service Award.
Lt. Colonel Marcella Ng
Marcella Ng is a graduate of Jefferson Junior High and Hickman High School. She is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army and was the nation’s first African-American woman airplane and helicopter pilot in the U.S. Armed Forces in 1979, at the age of 23. Her first assignment was in Stuttgart, Germany, where she was the first woman and the first African-American woman assigned to the unit. She was the 55th woman to receive aviator’s wings in Ft. Rucker, AL, out of 48,000 total officer graduates through 1979 from the Army Aviator School.
She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was a member of ROTC and served on the drill team.
Marcella and her husband, retired Col. Dennis Ng, own and operate Mililani Woods LLC, a special events and wedding venue. Her likeness can be found on a mural permanently displayed at Lambert St. Louis International Airport, Black Americans in Flight: A Tribute to African American Achievements in Aviation from 1917 to the Present.
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 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 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.