Thornapple Kellogg’s First Annual Distinguished Alumni
Your TK Alumni Association is extremely proud and honored to have presented awards to the following individuals for their outstanding achievements after graduation from Thornapple Kellogg. Each honoree has gone above and beyond in their chosen fields. They have earned significant distinctions and given back to their community and this school.
Honored at the TKHS September 2017 Homecoming:
Mr. Robert Wenger, Class of 1950, Leadership in the area of Agriculture
Bob credits his high school teachers Art Smalley, Elton Lawrence and the FFA program for launching his outstanding career. He went on after high school to earn his American Farmer Degree and was named Outstanding Young Farmer. Bob has received numerous leadership awards, served as Barry County Commissioner and on Thornapple Kellogg’s School Board. He has been with Farm Bureau for over 65 years and is a contributing life long member of the United Methodist Church. Bob was named HOMETOWN hero in 2010. Congratulations Robert Wenger!
Mr. Robert Bender, Class of 1954, Leadership in the area of Military and Public Service
Bob Bender graduated from Michigan State University in 1958 and went on to serve in the United States Navy as a pilot, aircraft and mission commander. He was a staff officer at NATO Headquarters in Brussels and retired as a Navy Captain. Bob was elected six terms to the Michigan Legislature, was Chairman for the Michigan Aeronautics Commission and served as Chairman for Barry County Board of Commissioners. He was the Bovine Tuberculosis Eradication Coordinator for the State of Michigan. Bob, and his wife Carol, served in the Peace Corps in Russia and have made annual house building trips to Guatemala. Congratulations Robert Bender!
Mrs. Sharon Myers Schondelmayer, Class of 1955, Leadership in the area of Community Service
Sharon worked for Thornapple Kellogg in the Library Department for 23 years with pride, enthusiasm and passion. She has a reputation for going Above and Beyond while working with TK’s staff and students. Sharon volunteered for over 31 years keeping score at the Boys’ Varsity Basketball games. She travelled to away games, worked at endless track meets and volleyball matches. Sharon was a founding member of the MIddleville Track Club and a lifelong runner. She exemplifies a zest for life and is a role model for students today. Please help us thank her for her many years of service to Thornapple Kellogg! Congratulations Sharon!
Mr. Donald Williamson, Class of 1957, Leadership in the area of The Arts
Don credits many TK teachers, coaches and administrators who affected the direction his life would take; However, it was his art teacher, Edna Bender who encouraged him to pursue a career in art at Kendall College of Art and Design. Don went on to become a professor of Art at Kendall College. He served as Dean of Faculty and taught for 29 years. Don’s most visible art is “The Reclaimed Spirit” sculpture & park in front of McFall Elementary. He served on TK’s School Board for 20 years, is the past president of the Middleville Lion’s Club and Thornapple Area Enrichment Foundation. Don currently serves as president of the TK Alumni Association and we are honored to have his leadership. Congratulations Don!
Mr. Bill Rich, Class of 1969, Leadership in the area of Education
Representing Bill Rich today are his parents, Maggie and Keith Adams, his daughter, Courtney and her husband Brian and his grandchildren, Ebbie and Ryan. Mr. Bill Rich spent his entire educational career here at Thornapple Kellogg. He first was hired as a reading teacher and coached volleyball, track and cross country. Bill left the classroom to become Director of Reading and finally, Principal of McFall Elementary. Bill served as secretary for the Michigan Reading Association and held many leadership roles during his career. He was involved in the National Principals’ Association, gave presentations at the national level and always returned home to TK to share, teach, model and listen. We are honored to recognize Bill Rich as a Distinguished Alumni and extend our gratitude to his family.
Congratulations to all the honorees and their families
The Thornapple Kellogg Alumni Association invites you to nominate candidates for the Distinguished Alumni Award.
This award honors and recognizes alumni who exemplify the values, the traditions
and the successes of Thornapple Kellogg High School.
- Must be a graduate of Thornapple Kellogg High School
- Graduated at least ten years from nomination date
- Posthumous nominees will be accepted
- Nominations may be made by anyone- colleague, teacher, coach, classmate and/or community member
- The nominee must have made a significant contribution to their community, field of work and/or have been recognized for an outstanding achievement, accomplishment, contribution or act that has had a profound and positive effect.