Dr. Alan Kohrt
(Another in a continuing series spotlighting Aurelia High School, which will graduate its 120th and final class on May 15)
AURELIA - Aurelia High School has seen many students graduate in its 120 year history of commencement ceremonies. Many of those graduates stayed in town after their graduation or returned to town after college or service time, and many became business people in their hometown.
Realizing this is an incomplete list, here are just a few AHS graduates who subsequently became part of the Aurelia business community : George,Charles, and Mark Wharton; John and Brian Lockin; John and Jack Christensen; Tim Hills; Dennis and Pam Allen; Ron and Dian Anderson; Dutch Honsbruch; Bob and Mike Forbes; Jeff Bowen; and three AHS grads who have recently joined the Aurelia business community - Leah Wieland Neimeier, and Kasey and Tadd Reilly. Pastor Bruce Rapp, a 1965 AHS grad, has also chosen to minister to the needs of his hometown.
Dr. Ann Bryant Borders
Many other AHS graduates, too numerous to even attempt to list here, have also pursued the career path of farming the rich land surrounding their home town, often the very land on which they lived as children - the so-called "home place." Many, many others have gone into teaching and coaching, many even choosing to teach at their former school in Aurelia.
Among other notable teacher-coaches, AHS grad John Westphal went on to a 38-year Hall-of-Fame career as a boys basketball coach at Humboldt and Albert City High Schools, and Pat Miller has had a successful career as a girls' basketball coach at Odebolt-Arthur/Battle Creek-Ida Grove, where he also serves as High School Principal.
I include all of these good people because I certainly don't want to overlook their accomplishments, as I note the following distinguished Aurelia High School graduates whose post-AHS achievements have also been
noteworthy on perhaps a more "global" scale.
These distinguished Aurelia High School grads include the late Douglas Ohlson, a New York-based artist respected throughout the art world; Dr. Alan Kohrt, who is a well-respected physician in the field of pediatrics; Dr. Ralph Plagman, the Superintendent of Schools for the Cedar Rapids School District; Dan Huseman, who has served as a Representative in the Iowa House for 16 years; Capt. David Allen, a much-decorated Naval veteran; Dan Peterson, long-time Band Director at Truman State University and co-founder of the Iowa High School Jazz Band competition; Gary Anderson, whose prize-winning photo of the aftermath of the 1989 Crash of Flight 232 was turned into a statue, which now stands in Sioux City; Dr. Ann Bryant Borders, assistant professor of maternal-fetal medicine at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine; Bill Whitney, who served as a senior faculty member at the prestigious Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and his brother, the late Tom Whitney, who invented the hand-held calculator while employed as an engineer at Hewlitt-Packard, and was an early investor in Apple Computers.
All of these AHS graduates, along with many others, have proven that a good early educational foundation, even (or especially?) if obtained at a small Iowa school, can lead to great accomplishments.