Class Notes: Winter 2011

November 13, 2011

Class Notes


Richard Holle ’61/’62 (Houston, Minn.) generously donated more than 600 hundred volumes on China and Chinese culture to the Darrell W. Krueger Library in September. He speaks fluent Mandarin, Japanese, and Spanish. The 2011 Distinguished Alumnus also has a new book, A Seed Not Watered.

Harry Sieben ’65 (Hastings, Minn.) has been selected as a 2011 “Super Lawyer” by the magazine of the same name. Only 5-percent of lawyers in Minnesota are named to the list each year. Harry is an attorney at Sieben, Grose, Von Holtum & Carey. He was a member of the Minnesota Legislature for 14 years and rose to Speaker of the House, where he championed environmental legislation. Harry also served in the U.S. Army and Minnesota National Guard and achieved the rank of major general.

Lynn (Schumann) Theurer ’68 (Winona) was recently named to the Winona County Fair Hall of Fame for her long career as community health director for Winona County Public Health Department and involvement in the community. She was instrumental in organizing a countywide emergency response team and has served on numerous community boards and organizations. The WSU nursing graduate retired in 2010.


Amanda Bagniewski ’72 (La Crosse, Wis.) and Joe Gillett were married on June 18. Amanda works for Rochester Public Schools while Joe works at RTP in Winona.

Steve ’73 and Terri (Ryan) ’77 Kingsley (Vienna, Va.) made the move to Washington in 1985, when became chief of staff to friend and college roommate, Congressman Tim Penny. Twenty-six years later, Steve and Terri are still in Washington. Steve is head of government affairs for Pearson, the international education and publishing company. Teresa, from Goodhue, Minn., and an elementary education major at WSU, operates a daycare center. After Penny left Congress in 1992, Steve joined, NCS, an education testing company, as a government relations consultant. He was asked to lead Pearson’s Washington office when it acquired NCS in 2000.The Kingsleys have five children and all live and work in the Washington area. Kelly, however, took a similar route as his parents. He graduated from Winona State in 2000, where he also met his wife, Rebecca (Griffin) Kingsley ’01. Kelly, a political science major, returned to Washington and works for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Michael Rockers ’77/’84 (Honolulu, Hawaii) is the new superintendent of Hawaii Catholic Schools. He has worked as an educator for 34 years in Minnesota, Arkansas, and South Carolina. He earned his bachelor’s in elementary education and master’s in counseling at WSU, and doctorate at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. In 2005, he was named principal of St. Francis School in Hilton Head, S.C., and was named the state’s Private School Principal of the Year.



Ronald Andro ’81 (Gibsonia, Pa.) has been named the new senior vice president and chief operating officer at Baltimore Washington Medical Center (BWMC). He comes to BWMC from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Mercy Hospital where he served as vice president of operations. He received a master’s degree in health systems management from Rush University in Chicago and a bachelor’s in nursing from Winona State.

Kathy Nieman ’81 (Mequon, Wis.) is proud that daughter, Alanna ’11, also earned her degree at WSU. Kathy earned her degree in education at Winona State, while Alanna graduated summa cum laude with degrees in mathematics and mathematics – secondary education. “Thirty years later, my daughter did what I did, only better,” says Kathy.

Lisa Seifert ’83 (Corinth, Texas) was recently featured for her success as head coach of the Southern Methodist University volleyball team. She has served as the team’s lone coach since its inception in 1996, and over her 16-year career has mentored 21 all-conference honorees and two All-Americas. Last season, her team went 25-6 and ranked in the top-25 nationally. Lisa played volleyball and softball while earning her bachelor’s in physical education at WSU.

David Matlon ’84 (Bloomington, Minn.) has been promoted to vice president of sales at Western National Insurance Group in Edina. David has been with WNIG for 20 years and was most recently assistant vice president of marketing.

Dave Rubenstein ’86 (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), a trustee for the WSU Foundation, married Camille on August 20 in Park City, Utah. Dave is the founder of California Ethanol & Power, which is working to develop the first sugar cane ethanol facility in the U.S.

Renae Ekstrand ’87/’00 (Dickinson, N.D.) joined Dickinson State University as an assistant professor of education. After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees at WSU, she is working on her doctorate in educational leadership and administration at Bethel University.

Lisa Taylor Snyder ’88 (Merrill, Wis.) has been named superintendent of the Lakeville (Minnesota) Area Public School District. She was previously superintendent in Merrill, Wis., and previously worked in the Holmen and Sparta schools in Wisconsin and in the Winona district. After receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees at WSU, Lisa earned her doctorate in education at the University of Minnesota.


David Anderson ’94 (Rochester, Minn.) is the new assistant principal at Winona Senior High School. He taught high school English for 16 years, mostly at Byron High School. He continues to reside in Rochester with his wife, Nicole (Szura) Anderson ’94 and their son.

Darin Lottig ’94 (Lake Geneva, Wis.) is taking his illustrious boys basketball coaching record to Lake Geneva Badger High School. Darin previously coached at East Troy, where he compiled a 122-59 record in eight seasons, with a 99-18 mark over the past five seasons.

Andrea Pitkus ’95 (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) received her PhD in health informatics at the University of Minnesota. After earning her medical technology degree at WSU and working at Duke University Medical Center, she began the clinical lab science program at Minnesota before moving to its doctoral program in health informatics. Andrea says she currently works for a fellow WSU alumna, Deb Konicek, as a clinical informatics consultant at the College of American Pathologists.

Marc Spieler ’95 (Houston, Texas) and his wife, Shelly, welcomed son Benjamin Mykel on August 5. He joins sister, Coral, and brothers Max and Noah.

Justin Barrientos ’98 (Winona) was nominated for an Upper Midwest Regional Emmy award as part of the HBC-TV 25 team that covered Winona State’s women’s basketball game against Augustana on March 2. Justin was play-by-play announcer for the eight-person crew. It was the second Emmy nomination for HBC, the other coming in 2005 when Justin was also nominated for play-by-play.


Jocelyn Bevis Braun ’00 (Madison, Wis.) welcomed Finnley Arvid on May 12. Finnley joined big brother Fischer Lawrence.

Amy Szotkowski Kaufmann ’00 (Chippewa Falls, Wis.) was recently featured in the Chippewa Herald after she and her husband, Martin, started a business providing braces and prosthetics to animals. The couple’s story also appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, People magazine, and USA Today. The Kaufmanns say they have worked with 8,000 animals in 25 countries over the past seven years. Amy earned her degree in education at WSU and taught for eight years before beginning her business with Martin, who is a certified pedortist.

Joshua Byrnes ’02 (Osage, Iowa) is campaigning for the newly created Iowa House District 51. He won the 2010 election for District 14 and served on the Environmental, Economic Growth, and Environmental Protection Committees and is vice chair of Ways and Means. He is currently chair of the Agriculture and Industrial Technology Division at North Iowa Area Community College.

Ted ’03 and Sarah (Givot) ’04 Benson (Peoria, Ill.) welcomed their daughter, Hailey Elizabeth, on July 1, She joined Carter, aged 3, and Abby, aged 2, as young Warriors fans.

Jessica Brockberg ’03 (Mankato, Minn.) and her husband, Rick, recently had their first child, Madison Katherine, who was born on May 14.

Amanda Hanson ’03 (Holmen, Wis.) joined the Winona Health Urgent Care Clinic in June. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing at WSU. Amanda previously worked at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center and has served as an adjunct faculty member at her alma mater.

Malachi Johnson ’03 (Rochester, Minn.) welcomed son Cashton (Cash) on May 5, 2009.

Stephanie (Castellano) Johnson ’04 (Milltown, Wis.) and husband, Nick, welcomed their second child, Grant Joseph, December 9, 2010. He joins big brother Aiden.

Chad Steinmetz ’04 (Eau Claire, Wis.) has been elevated to principal at Bloomer High School from his assistant principal position. Chad graduated from Bloomer in 1992. He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and principal’s certificate at WSU.

Mindy Boberg ’06/’11 (Winona) recently joined the Otolaryngology Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s at WSU and was previously a registered nurse at Mayo Clinic. In addition to being a clinical nurse specialist, Mindy is also an advanced practice nurse prescriber.

Sarah Malenke ’06 (Fountain City, Wis.) married Kelby Radatz on September 3. Sarah is employed at WinCraft, Inc. in Winona while Kelby works at Fastenal.

Dustin ’06 and Emily (Lueth) ’07 Sadnick (St. Paul, Minn.) were married on June 25 in Winona. Emily is a campaign specialist at Internet Broadcasting Systems while Dustin is an associate sales representative at MEDTOX. Both Emily and Dustin earned degrees in mass communication at WSU.

Elizabeth (Sullivan) Sand ’06 (Lake City, Minn.) married longtime boyfriend Jason on July 9. Elizabeth works as a high school special education teacher in Lake City.

Elissa Wisniewski ’06 (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) has been named head softball coach at Libertyville High School. A business administration major and softball standout at Winona State, Elissa previously was pitching coach at her old high school, Stevenson. She works full-time in finance for the Pactiv Corporation, a consumer food service and packaging company in Lake Forest.

Katie Katterheinrich ’07 (Maple Grove, Minn.) married Mike Pogatchnik over the summer. Katie is employed at Target Corporation as a senior tax accountant. Mike is a senior tax consultant with Deloitte.

Jenny Rognrud ’07 (Savage, Minn.) and Kyle Lyngstad were married in October. Jenny works for the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District as a paraprofessional is pursuing a master’s in elementary and Spanish education. Kyle works as a systems engineer at Oak River Technology.

Kara Wester Cook ’08 (Denver, Colo.) and Jon Cook were married on August 4. Kara graduated with a nursing degree and is a labor and delivery nurse at Rose Medical Center. Jon is the creative arts pastor at Sanctuary Christian Fellowship.

Daniel Glenn ’08 and Britty Dautel ’09 (Minneapolis, Minn.) were married on July 29. Daniel earned his degree in communication studies while Britty graduated with a degree in mass communication.

Justin Kunferman ’08 (Eau Claire, Wis.) married Amanda Eisold on August 12. Justin works with the Parks Department in Eau Claire; Amanda is an insurance accountant.

Jacob ’08 and Melissa ’09 Vogel (Albertville, Minn.) welcomed their first child, Lillian, on June 18.

Erik Jensen ’09 (Onalaska, Wis.) has received his Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation. He works as an accountant in the Winona office of Hawkins, Ash, Baptie & Company, LLP.

Amelia Kasten ’09 (Rochester, Minn.) has been named head coach of the St. Charles girls soccer team. A forward, Amelia was a first-team All-America for the Warriors and three-time All-Central Region Scholar Athlete.

Holly Sutton ’09 (Elk River, Minn.) has accepted a physical education teaching position at Rogers High School after working there last year as head girls soccer coach and track coach. (Read about Holly and her girls soccer team in the Spring 2011 issue of Currents).

Don Vieth ’09 (High Point, N.C.) has been named athletics multimedia coordinator at High Point University. He will oversee all video production for the university, including live streaming and post-production. He was director of sports broadcasting and new media at Winona State.

Amanda Waller ’09 and Rob Bergmann ’09 (Minneapolis) were married in October in Galena, Ill. Amanda earned her BS in Tourism and Recreation and works as a human resource specialist for Hilton Hotels in Bloomington. Rob graduated with a degree in Geology and is co-founder of Big Rock Exploration, a rare minerals exploration company.

Trevor Carrier ’10 (Winona) married Kayla Schultz on October 1. Trevor works for Lewiston Public Schools and also at Fastenal.

Chelsey Jorgenson Johnson ’10 (Dover, Minn.) married Cameron Johnson on July 30. Chelsey works for the Stewartville School District while Cameron works at Winona Health.

Dani Morcomb ’10 (Rushford, Minn.) and Brad Gorder were married on September 24. Dani works at Merchants Bank; Brad at Rushford Foods.

Adam Wilder ’10 and Heather Nelson ’11  (Mabel, Minn.) were married on September 17 in Canton, Minn. Heather works at Merchants Bank while Adam is employed at Cenex Harvest States and attends Saint Mary’s University.

Heather Pierce ’11 (Winona) has been named the Warriors’ new head tennis coach, a year after she graduated as NSIC Player of the Year. Heathr compiled a 17-2 overall record as a senior while leading WSU to the championship match of the NSIC Tournament. She was a first team All-NSIC performer in each of her four seasons and was Freshman of the Year in 2008.

Brady Strangstalien ’11 (Westby, Wis.), a standout golfer for Winona State, won the La Crosse Tribune County Amateur Golf Championship in August with the lowest ever 36-hole score and lowest ever one-day score. Brady was a three-time NSIC champion for Winona State.


About Winona State University

Founded in 1858, Winona State University is a comprehensive public university with more than 8,500 students. The oldest member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, Winona State offers 80 undergraduate, pre-professional, licensure, graduate, and doctorate programs on its three campuses: the original Main Campus in Winona, the West Campus in Winona, and Winona State University-Rochester.

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