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Longtime Mundelein Trustee Named ‘Distinguished Mundelein High School Alumni’

Mundelein Trustee Ray Semple, was among ten Mundelein High School graduates recently honored as “Distinguished Alumni,” chosen from a field of 35 nominees for the first annual Distinguished Alumni Award Ceremony and Banquet held at the Double Tree Hotel in Mundelein.

All were recognized for their individual career achievements but according to Superintendent Dr. Kevin Myers, the common thread among all of them was “their Mundelein High School education and the way they have all done things outside of their professions to contribute to making this a better world.”

“We hear about so many of our alumni every year who are making positive contributions to the world,” said Superintendent Kevin Myers. “We thought it was time to begin honoring those graduates in a public way and to share their stories. This will also serve as an inspiration for our current students,” Dr. Myers added.

Those inducted into the Distinguished Alumni Class of 2017 included the following:
Zaneta Stinson Adams, ‘95; Britt Hanson, ‘95; Tami Haukedahl, ‘76; Deirdre Healey, ‘81; Jay Hightower, ‘94; Hemal Patel, ‘94; Gary Schnurrpusch, ‘65; Raymond Semple, ‘79; The family of Nicole Suveges, ‘88, who was killed in the Iraq Ministry Building in 2008; and James Swanson, ‘67.

Nominations for the next Distinguished Alumni Class Inductees will open early in 2018.

Here are the brief bios for each of the honorees:

Zaneta Stinson Adams, Class of 1995: US Army veteran; attorney at law with Williams Hughes PLLC; Challenge America Advocate and spokesperson. Founder of Women Injured in Combat [WINC].

Britt Hanson, Class of 1995: Hematology/Oncology Physician; Volunteer work with Lake County Stormwater Management and with project to help protect Bartlett Ravine and Lake Michigan.

Tami Haukedahl, Class of 1976: Founder and Owner of Hauk Fitness; Deputy Chief of Police, Elgin Community College. Raises money and donations each year for the Palatine Township Food Pantry – four truckloads of food this past year.

Deirdre “Dee Dee” Healey, Class of 1981: Director, Mission Support Division, Office of Safety and Mission Assurance at NASA Headquarters; panel member, UN Conference on Arms Control; guest speaker at Brookings Institution Women’s Leadership Program.

Jay Hightower, Class of 1994: Just completed 20 years in government service – as Sergeant in the US Marine Corps. and now as a senior Federal Air Marshal. Served in the elite Security Forces/Counterterrorism Battalion guarding nuclear weapons; created the “Cheer Dad” movement for fathers of cheerleaders at Grayslake Central High School where his daughter cheered.

Hemal Patel, Class of 1994: Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, University of California at San Diego; Chair, Recruitment and Admissions Committee, UCSD School of Medicine; Research Pharmacologist, VA San Diego Healthcare System.

Gary Schnurrpusch, Class of 1965: Senior Maritime Analyst/Senior Naval Simulation System Modeler, Office of Secretary of Defense Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation Directorate Simulation Analysis Center [SAC]; Forty-eight years in the US Navy and Defense Department; Board of Directors, George Mason University, Friends of the Center for the Arts.

Raymond Semple, Class of 1979: Village Trustee, Village of Mundelein; National Account Manager, Equifax; longest-serving trustee in Mundelein history; serves as Mayor Pro-Tem; has played Santa Claus in Santa’s Village in Mundelein for 25 years.

Nicole Suveges [posthumous], Class of 1988: Nine months active duty, US Army, during Bosnian War; US Defense Department Social Science advisor to Human Terrain Team in Iraqi Freedom 2006 and 2008; Killed in Iraq Ministry Building June 24, 2008; Awarded Defense of Freedom Medal July 11, 2008 by US Secretary of Defense.

James Swanson, Class of 1967: Senior Executive Service with Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC; Active service with US Air Force 1971-2003; Attained rank of Brigadier General; CEO, Naples Children Education Foundation.

Photo Caption: Row 1: Tami Haukedahl, Ed Suveges [father of honoree Nicole Suveges], Zaneta Stinson Adams, Hemal Patel, Deirdre Healey. Row 2: Britt Hanson, Ray Semple, James Swanson, Gary Schnurrpusch and Jay Hightower.

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