LHWHS Recognizes Alumni Who Have Achieved “Hero” Status In St. Louis

The Ladue Horton Watkins High School (LHWHS) Distinguished Alumni Committee, in conjunction with the Ladue Education Foundation (LEF), has selected 17 recipients of the first award to recognize and honor alumni who have made significant contributions to the St. Louis community in their fields.

Called Ladue Local Heroes, all of the honorees listed below are Ladue School District alumni who graduated between 1952-2007 (the years of current eligibility), and are recognized as St. Louis leaders in business, athletics, volunteer activities, education, philanthropy, law, media, and the arts.

The creation of this new award stems from the realization that the 57 recipients to date of the LHWHS Distinguished Alumni Award were mainly exceptional graduates who made a major impact at the national and international levels.

Selection committee co-chair Dr. Eric Hahn, a LHWHS ’75 graduate and current faculty member who has been involved with the award program since its inception in 2002, explained, “When reviewing the high caliber of accomplishments from Ladue School District graduates, it was a challenge to distinguish between incredible and ‘merely amazing.’ The alumni who stayed in—or returned to—St. Louis to share their intelligence, passion and creativity tended to be overlooked for Distinguished Alumni awards in favor of their counterparts scattered across the globe leading projects of broader notoriety, such as the director of the National Institute of Health Genome Project.”

“The Ladue School District has produced some of the most important philanthropists and community volunteers in our hometown, who work tirelessly and successfully to improve the quality of life for its citizens and for our great cultural institutions,” noted co-chair Katy Zachritz Mullins, a LHWHS ’66 alumna, local business owner and co-founder of the Ladue Alumni Association.  “We felt it was time to recognize the success and achievements of Ladue grads making a difference right here.”

The selection process for this inaugural award has been facilitated by the enthusiastic participation of Kristen Wild, executive director of the LEF, who, though not a Ladue alumna, has two children attending Ladue Schools and is endlessly fascinated by the proud history of the district. “I am constantly impressed not only by the obvious quality of a Ladue School District education, but also by the deep family ties among generations of Ladue Schools students and parents.”

Eric, Katy and Kristen, along with LHWHS Distinguished Alumni founding co-chair Janet Rothman Steinback (LHWHS ’69), and selection committee members Charles Mems (’02), Janie Handelman Spirtas (’85) and Connie Travagliante Strobach (’66, retired Ladue Coach), are proud to present the members of the LADUE LOCAL HEROES inaugural class of 2017:

CHRISTINE BUCK MASON – 1970. Four decades as an on-air personality at KPLR 11; recipient of four Regional Emmy awards and Silver Circle award from National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences; involved with Mathews-Dickey Boys and Girls Club, Backstoppers and Children’s Miracle Network.

MARSHALL COHEN – 1979. Co-Founder (along with 1979 alumna, Carla Scissors) and Executive Director, Lift for Life Gym and Lift for Life Academy, the first charter school in St. Louis; focused on helping at-risk youth in St. Louis City, Marshall has received numerous honors, including Colin Powell Medal for Community Service, St. Louis Jewish Light 2012 Unsung Hero Award, and Ladue News 2011 Champion for Children.

ANDREW DIELMANN – 1972. Broker/Owner of Dielmann Sotheby’s International Realty, the only Sotheby’s in Missouri; nationally recognized, award-winning expert in residential real estate; past involvement in the Ladue Alumni Association (past president), Ladue Education Foundation, Humane Society of Missouri, and Missouri Botanical Gardens.  

JEFF FOX – 1978. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Harbour Group, where he has worked in multiple capacities since 1985; current or former board member of United Way, Backstoppers, Fair St. Louis, Fox Family Foundation, St. Louis Zoo, First National Bank of St. Louis, Humane Society of Missouri, Missouri Life Sciences Research Board, and St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

ROBERT FRITSCHLE – 1982. Senior Master Sergeant Missouri Air National Guard (retired); Manchester, Missouri Police Department Lieutenant (retired); graduate of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Academy; Volunteer Unit Commissioner for Boy Scouts of America; life member of Air Force Association, United States Naval Institute, Missouri National Guard Association, National Eagle Scout Association and Eagle Scout Association of St Louis.

MAYOR BARRY GLANTZ – 1978. Mayor of Creve Coeur since 2012; served on Creve Coeur City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission for 17 years; President of Municipal League of Metro St. Louis; member of St. Louis County Building Commission and East West Gateway Council of Governments; award-winning, residential architect; former President of Glantz and Associates Architects.

JAN GOLDBERG GOLDSTEIN – 1973. Philanthropist; 35 years of extensive service to St. Louis organizations, including St. Louis Zoo (past president of Zoo Friends), St. Louis Art Museum, Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis, St. Louis Fashion Fund (founding board member), and Gateway to Hope (founding board member).

JIM HALLIBURTON – 1977. Swimming champion – Ladue Horton Watkins High School (undefeated in high school, Missouri State Champion), Indiana University (Big 10 Champion), USA National Team (#1 in the world in the 100 butterfly); Hall of Fame Coach – 19 years as head coach at Rockwood School District, 15 years head coach at St. Louis University (currently); one of eight college swim coaches with 500 wins; inducted into Missouri Athletic Club Hall of Fame in 2009.

JASMINE HUDA – 1997. St. Louis television news personality, currently anchoring at KTVI; Edward R. Murrow Awards for Journalistic Excellence, both national and regional; named “Best TV Newsperson” by St. Louis Magazine; community involvement includes American Heart Association, Metro St. Louis Heart Walk, NCJW Back-to-School Store, Crisis Nursery and Veiled Prophet Fashion Show.

SALLY KLEARMAN KATZIF – 1969. Thirty-eight years of volunteer community service in the St. Louis Metro area, concentrating on aiding victims of domestic violence; board member, officer and/or officer of NCJW, Legal Advocates for Abused Women, College Bound; Leadership St. Louis 2010-2011, Woman of Achievement in 2013.

JUDGE ELLEN LEVY SIWAK – 1981. Circuit Court Judge for the 21st Judicial Circuit of Missouri; member of the judiciary since 1999; Fellow of National Advanced Science and Technology Adjudication Resource Center; past President of St. Louis County Bar Association; Director of National Association of Women Judges; awards include Washington University Distinguished Alumni and Missouri Lawyers Media Public Official Award.

ROBIN MELMAN FEDER – 1969. Executive Director of Central Institute for the Deaf (CID) since 2003; 40 years in teaching and development at CID; responsible for doubling school enrollment as executive director and for coordinating fundraising of over $56 million; mentors disadvantaged St. Louis youth; member of National Association of Fundraising Professionals.

MARY PILLSBURY WAINWRIGHT – 1965. Professional soprano who has performed for U.S. Presidents and world leaders in New York City; President/Owner of Mary Pillsbury Fine Jewelry since 1978; St. Louis philanthropist – Washington University’s Pillsbury Theatre, annual music scholarship and Pillsbury Concert; Missouri Baptist University’s Pillsbury Chapel, and Don and Mary Pillsbury Wainwright Performance Hall; Leukemia and Lymphoma Society board, founder of the Diamond Ball; awards include 2012 Leukemia and Lymphoma Society National Woman of the Year and St. Louis Women of Achievement.

ELLEN REDLER ALPER – 1976. Executive Director of National Council of Jewish Women St. Louis since 2004; 35+ years of working/consulting in nonprofit and trade associations; advocate for underserved women, children and families in Missouri; JPro Visionary Award 2016.

RASHAD ROUNDS (“Wizdom”) – 2001. Dance choreographer; worked with Usher, Jonas Brothers, Jamie Foxx, R Kelly and others.  Featured in the movie Dance Flick with the Wayans Brothers; performed on Dancing With the Stars; owner of Famous Fresh Dance Studio in St. Louis, helping area youth reach dreams in performing arts; continues with professional dance opportunities in Hollywood, California.

SUSAN SANDERS BLOCK – 1970. Interior designer and business owner of The Designing Block; one of the leading philanthropists in St. Louis; current or previous member or officer on numerous charitable boards, including St. Louis Fashion Fund, Junior League, Women of Achievement, Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund, St. Louis Zoo Friends, St. Louis Art Museum, Dance St. Louis, Epworth Child and Family Services; chaired countless benefits for organizations such as St. Louis Symphony, COCA, Crisis Nursery, Junior League of St. Louis; awarded Woman of Achievement and Washington University Distinguished Alumni.

NICK SMITH – 1980. Owner/Director Camp of Taum Sauk for two decades, where several generations of local children have attended and benefited from the unique and caring experiences in residential summer camping since 1958; American Camp Association accredited, Nick has received the Young Professional Award; active Ladue School District and Ladue community volunteer.

An awards presentation and luncheon is scheduled to honor these individuals on Friday, February 17 from 12-2 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center at Ladue Horton Watkins High School.

Open to the entire community, reservations may be made online here or by contacting the LEF at lef@ladueschools.net or 314-983-5334.


For more information about the awards or to schedule interviews with any of the recipients, please contact Kristen Wild at 314-983-5334.