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Vanguard Alumni Connection

news & events

Alumni Class Notes

Click here for all the pictures from the great event!

Vanguard Hall of Fame Induction 2022

The JUNE 2022 Class News Alumni Connection

Click here Alumni News June 2022

The Vanguard Spring Alumni Weekend included: the Alumni Council meeting on Friday, an Alumni Families Campus Tour, the Athletic Hall of Fame Selection Committee meeting, the Alumni & Friends Basketball Game, and an Alumni Happy Hour on Saturday.

Congratulations Preston Hughes (’16) Emergency Department RN at Baylor Scott & White Health and Alyssa King on their wedding, February 6, 2022. Photo by Faith Elliott Photography

Congratulations Audrey DeWitt (’05)! Audrey married Matthew Bearden, March 19th at Highland Park United Meth

Kate (’03) and Grant Goble (’02) announce the arrival of Jonah Duncan who made his late debut on March 5th weighing 8 lbs 4 oz and measuring 21.5 inches.

Alumni Ethan Marsh (’21), the 1st recipient of the Armina Bewley Scholarship, visited with Bill Bewley. Learn more about the Armina Bewley Scholarship and other scholarships here.

Dr. Daniel Mark (’07) was in Waco the weekend of March 5 for a visit, following his guest lecture at TCU on March 4 on “The Meranda Rights.” Daniel is a clinical and forensic psychologist at the Northwest Forensic Institute in Portland Oregon.

Congratulations Philip Koelsch (’11) Attorney at The Carlson Law Firm and Melissa Spin on their wedding, January 22, 2022, in Waco, Texas.
Our hearts go out to the Strickland Family and Vanguard Alumna, Alexandria Strickland (’11).
Click here to read more and send the family a condolence note.

Bethany Badeaux, J.D. (’91) accepted the position as Vice President of Wealth & Trust at Extraco Banks in Waco, TX.

Thank you, Melisssa Wray (’90) for helping our Mock Trial Team!
The Vanguard mock trial team fell just short of advancing to State, losing to the defending champion in a close, split-decision regional final round!

Eloisa Esparza (’98) joined Coldwell Banker Apex Realtors in January 2022. Eloisa will be working in the Waco area in residential real estate.

Elizabeth Watson (’21) has been inducted as a staff reporter and illustrator for the Yale Daily News. She covers breakthrough research for the Science & Technology section and contributes to the Illustrations desk for various sections and projects. Check out this link to view some of the stories she’s written.

Alumni Tennis Mixer Oct 2, 2021!
Thank you Vanguard alumni, friends, families, and faculty member, Mrs. Flowers. What a great way to get to know the team while playing some great tennis!
Vanguard Alumni and Alumni Parents at the 25th Anniversary
Dr. Kent Starr Golf Tournament on Nov. 1.

Lacy (Coker) Kessler (’00) was interviewed by Julie Hays (KWTX) about her practice, Deerwood Women’s Health & Wellness, which she opened in 2012. The practice offers new technology which she refers to as “the most exciting advancement for women’s health that she’s witnessed in her career.” Dr. Kessler, an OBGYN, was featured in the March 2020 Alumni Connection.

Congratulations, Nathan Kent and Kaity Cummings (’15) on their recent wedding!

Announcing the birth of Hazel Elizabeth Twomey, born to John and Carolyn (Raymond) Twomey (’07) on 12/14. 7 lbs. 2 oz.

Kelsey Hickok ( 2014)
Content Manager for Bandolier was recently quoted in a number of articles in AdAge. Read her comments on “How Gen Z is pushing workplace change” – Click here
Trevor Hickok (’19) – New Album! All the songs are written by Trevor.
For a preview of My Mama, My Girl – Click Here

Henry Boehm (’15) second from the left, has accepted a new role for JP Morgan in New York, after spending the past two years in the firm’s Houston private banking division.

Jonathan Dallas (’12) visited Bill Borg on campus. Jonathan is doing a Neurosurgery Resident at LAC+USC Medical Center at the University Of Southern California. His highlight has been “being able to use my prior skills to help people in a job that I enjoy doing.”

Andy Cox V (‘18) is currently serving as the Scholastics Officer of the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M University. His responsibilities include creating and enforcing academic policy for 2,100 cadets in addition to collaborating with his Commandant staff counterpart. He is also the commanding officer for Space Delta Zero, a Space Force special interest unit within AFROTC and the Corps of Cadets designed to prepare cadets for futures in the space defense industry and military. He was selected as one of the engineers for AggieSat to design and build a lunar rover proof of concept whose design will be admitted to NASA for approval. If approved, the lunar rover will clear landing zones for NASA’s Artemis program to put man back on the moon. Andy is majoring in Computer Engineering and minoring in Astrophysics and Cybersecurity.

Jen Jollif (’88) is excited to announce that her first novel has made it out into the world! “Fogrunner” is a tale of adventure and growth set in a place where map reading and adventure skills are keys to success.” Jen is an artist, author, and orienteer living in Alaska. She was featured in the March 2021 Alumni Connection. Fogrunner is available on Amazon.

Kathryn Smith (’18) was awarded a 2021 Waco Rotary Club Scholarship. Kathryn was on the Dean’s list at Southwestern University in Georgetown in the Spring and Fall Semesters in 2020. She is majoring in Kinesiology with a minor in Psychology and is due to graduate early in December 2021. Upon graduation, she plans to continue her education in Physical Therapy. Kathryn was an athletic training intern and senior class president at Vanguard. She currently serves in the Counseling & Health Center and is a student worker supporting the football team at Southwestern.

John Kyle Cooper (’15) graduated this spring with a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Rochester in New York. During his Master’s program, he conducted a research study that resulted in a thesis on the “Effects of Audio-Visual Congruence on the Auditory Brainstem Response to Speech.” This work will be published with his primary professor, Dr. Ross Maddox.

Kyle has been awarded the prestigious Belgian American Educational Foundation (B.A.E.F.) fellowship to pursue a PhD in Neuroscience at the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven) in Belgium. He will continue to investigate the neuroscience of hearing and learn how to improve current hearing aid technologies.

Kaylee Cooper (’21) and Kyle Cooper (’15), an Eagle Scout with Troop 308, participated in the ceremony confirming Kaylee. Dr. Linda Livingstone, Mrs. Ellie Morrison, and Congressman Pete Sessions made special presentations.

Lilia Adra (’14) graduated with a Ph.D. in Pharmacy from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.
Lilia was fortunate to match with her top choice PGY1 program with Albertsons Companies in Denver, Colorado. The program is a community-based residency where residents develop as community practitioners after a full year of training, while bridging clinical pharmacy and community practice. Lilia is looking to continue as a patient care pharmacist on the corporate level with the hopes of teaching in addition.

Christina Kersten (’17) graduated cum laude from the University of Rochester with a B.S. in mechanical engineering. Christina will be pursuing an M.S. in aerospace engineering at Georgia Tech in Fall 2021

Kaylee Cooper (’21), earned Eagle Scout rank in April and was confirmed during an Eagle Court of Honor on June 6, 2021, for Scouts BSA (Boy Scouts of America) Troop 308G. She is one of the first female Eagle Scouts of McLennan County and is among the inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts in the nation. Kaylee accomplished all of the requirements for Eagle Scout rank in 2 years when BSA included females into Scouting in 2019.

Kaylee plans to study Visualization in the Department of Architecture at Texas A&M University in the Fall.

Annie (Mathis) Elequin (’14) recently accepted a position for her dream job working on developing a decentralized, encrypted messaging app. It’s called Beeper. “I’m optimistic that the technology it uses will be the foundation for many apps in the future. Also, it bridges your other messaging apps together, which is pretty cool 🙂 This photo is a bouquet my mom gave me for my first day of work!”

Congratulations Catherine Holley (’17)! Catherine graduated with high honors (3.9) from UT with BA in Plan II and a BA in Health & Society with a minor in McCombs Business foundations.

Catherine is working at Berkeley 2 Academy tutoring students and guiding them along the college admissions process and will pursue a Master of Public Affairs at LBJ school.

Commander Jody Smotherman (’94) retired from the United States Navy after 23 years. Jody went to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, and studied Aerospace Engineering. After graduation, he completed flight school in Enid, OK, and Pensacola, FL, and was selected as a Helicopter Pilot. He has been stationed in Guam (twice); San Diego (twice); Annapolis, MD; Norfolk, VA; and Carlisle, PA.

Jody and his wife, Courtney, live in Annapolis, MD. He looks forward to continuing his flying career in the airlines.

Eric Wessinger (’94), president/CEO of Richards Supply was featured in an article in the July/August 2021 issue of Industrial Supply Magazine. Eric took over the business that his father built, becoming its president in 2013 and CEO in 2019.

Britain Brunner (’05) was promoted to Chief at Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). Britain will be managing PHMSA’s Hazardous Materials Safety R&D program. The R&D program directs basic and applied research for the purpose of minimizing risks associated with the transportation of hazardous materials. PHMSA’s R&D investments in hazardous materials helps to shape the future of the organization with an effective, efficient, and aggressive focus on initiatives that produce the most successful safety solutions.

George Eichenberg (’18) was accepted into the highly competitive Investment Fund Management program in the Tulaske College of Business at the University of Missouri. The Mizzou Investment Fund is a roughly $1.6 million portion of the university’s endowment portfolio managed by a select group of undergraduate and MBA students who learn research and valuation methods used by professional equity analysts and apply them while managing the IFM portfolio.
George is a senior finance major and is part of the Cornell Leadership Program in the business school. He’s on track to graduate with honors in Spring 2022. He is interning in the treasury department at the corporate headquarters of Independent Financial in McKinney.

Prayers for Rebecca Bond Kennedy (’10) and her new baby. She has had a wild ride during her pregnancy and time in the NICU. They are temporarily moving from Austin to Boston to get their son, Bond, the best care at Boston Children’s. Please keep their family in your prayers! Click Here

Prystyn Covington, Class 2020 is currently a chemistry major with a concentration in drug design with a history minor. She is currently working in a research lab developing drugs for auto-immune diseases. Prystyn fell in love studying drug action and mechanisms while working at a lab last semester and this summer. She also worked at the Memphis Crisis Center (& suicide hotline). She recently got a job at Methodist LeBonheur Hospital where she’ll be working as a patient care assistant. In her free time, she rides for the Rhodes equestrian team.