Distinguished Alumni Bios



Scott Leiendecker is one of the nation’s leading entrepreneurs in elections technology and innovation. In 2021, he received the Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Heartland Region.
A former election director, Leiendecker founded KNOWiNK in 2011 with the creation of the Poll Pad – technology that has transformed the election experience for voters. The Poll Pad allows for seamless voter check-in and verification that is dramatically reducing wait times for voters and saving money for taxpayers with efficiencies for state and local governments
Leiendecker has grown KNOWiNK into a thriving technology company that employs over 150 people with over $60 million in annual revenue. KNOWiNK technology is now being used in a third of U.S. states and Washington, D.C. 
 In 2021, the St. Louis Business Journal named KNOWiNK the fastest-growing private business. Previously, the company was listed in the Top 10 fastest-growing private businesses by the publication. In 2015, KNOWiNK was listed in the St. Louis Business Journal as one of 10 startups to watch.
An expert in elections, Leiendecker previously served as Election Director for the City of St. Louis becoming the youngest Election Director to serve St. Louis in this leadership role where he managed an average $2.5 million annual budget and 25 full-time employees.
As Election Director, Leiendecker implemented the Help America Vote Act in St. Louis City and transformed the Election Board with a series of reforms that replaced outdated and outmoded systems with efficiencies to protect voters and taxpayers. These reforms earned him the praise of the St. Louis City Mayor and Board of Alderman for his leadership for helping restore the public trust in the election process. He was also honored with resolutions by the Missouri House and Senate for his commitment to fair and transparent elections.


Jim Mayer is a renowned musician who has been touring, songwriting, and recording with Jimmy Buffett's Coral Reefer band since 1989. With Buffett, he has appeared on television, including The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, and The Today Show. Additionally, he has shared the stage with Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown, James Taylor, Ringo Starr, Paul Simon, and many others.
Mayer is also a children's advocate, songwriter, author, and founder of IM4U Learning, a music-based social-emotional learning platform for educators of young children. He has presented his IM4U learning program at national educational conferences, live performances, and workshops for over 50,000 children and their educators in the U.S. and Europe. As a public speaker, he has co-presented a panel discussion and workshop at Harvard University on using art, music, and play to transform communities.

  • International Songwriting Competition Winner – Children's Music (2014)
  • Two #1 Children's Music Hits, Kids Place Live Sirius Radio (2004, 2007)
  • XMNation Award – Best New Kids Artist (2005)
  • Opening act for Chicago and Moody Blues on national tours with band "PM." (1988)
  • Co-wrote and recorded Warner Bros. PM album, featuring "Piece of Paradise," a top-10 Billboard hit (1988)
Mayer was born in Tamil Nadu, India. His parents, James and Selma "Sammy" Mayer, were Lutheran missionaries before returning to their hometown of St. Louis, with their eight children, seven of whom graduated from LHSS. At age 17, Mayer received a National Endowment for the Arts grant for jazz study. From 1981 to 1983, he attended the St. Louis Conservatory of Music.
Mayer’s musical career began at LHSS, playing basketball games, learning to read sheet music, participating in an ensemble, and performing on stage. He has fond memories of singing in the choir under Mr. Engelhart, in the band under Mr. Eischer, and in drama under Mr. Reiss.
He is grateful that he attended LHSS with chapel every morning. Though he did not know at that time what the power of God could do, being in a place that included faith in the daily lives of students gave him a sense of belonging and possibility. He is grateful to South for providing a supportive environment during his formative years.


Linda McQueen is a multisport athlete and a long-standing coach who loves the Lord with all her heart. She began playing softball at a young age and in middle school at Ascension, she participated in Ongoing Ambassadors for Christ, which fueled her passion for the Lord and being a witness for Him. At Lutheran South, she grew as a student and athlete, weaving the Lord into all aspects of her life. She was a member of the National Honor Society, was the first female Post-Dispatch Scholar Athlete at Lutheran South, and was chosen to the 1976 All-American girls basketball team of Lutheran schools. 
McQueen attended Meramec Community College, where she played field hockey (club sport), basketball, and softball.  She was an All-Conference player in basketball and softball. In 1977, the basketball team finished 9th in the national tournament; then in 1978, the softball team finished 2nd in the nation. During college, two international selections came about, 1) the 1978 MCC basketball team was chosen to play the China national team during its USA tour and 2) Linda was selected as an alternate to the 1979 USA Pan Am National Softball team (won the gold medal). She then attended Southwest Missouri State on a softball scholarship, and also played on the field hockey team. In 1980, the softball team finished 9th in the D1 National Championship. In 1979, the field hockey team won the DII National Championship, and in 1980 finished 2nd in the nation. McQueen played in five college National Championships.
In 1990, McQueen began coaching softball at Lutheran South as an assistant coach. After 10 years, she became the head coach, and she is completing her 25th year as head coach (35 years total). She has more than 400 wins as head coach, and over 500 wins total with the program. During her tenure, the Lancers have secured four 3rd place finishes in State and one State Championship in 2002. McQueen was awarded the 2001 High School Coach of the Year and the 2009 Midwest College Athletic Conference Softball Coach of the Year. She has been inducted into four Halls of Fame: St Louis Community College Meramec HOF 2007; Missouri Sports Hall of Fame (Team inductee) 2010; St Louis Softball HOF 2018; and Missouri HS Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame 2019. 
McQueen has been teaching PE for more than 20 years at Our Savior and Abiding Savior Lutheran schools. She has always been active in her church in various ministry areas as a Sunday school teacher and youth leader. Her passion is leading FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes). She has been part of the Metro St. Louis FCA for more than 20 years and over 10 years at Lutheran South and 3 years at ASLS. In all ministries, she tries to encourage the athlete or student in their walk with the Lord and their relationship with Him. McQueen thanks the Lord for all the gifts He has given her and prays that they were used and continue to be used for His glory. The softball field and athletic arena are her mission field.
McQueen has been married to Jerry for over 40 years. They have two daughters, Julie (LS ‘04) and Michelle (LS ‘07), and six grandchildren, Nora, Elizabeth, Ty, Kenley, Hattie, and Bo. She is blessed by her family and loves spending time with them!


Terry Palisch is the vice president of technology and engineering at CARBO Ceramics and the 2024 Society of Petroleum Engineers President. After completing his bachelor’s in petroleum engineering at the University of Missouri-Rolla, Palisch worked as a senior petroleum engineer with ARCO in Alaska and as a petroleum advisor with ARCO in Algeria. In 2004, he joined CARBO Ceramics, and in his current position leads a team of technologists dedicated to developing and championing new products and services, as well as advising clients on completion/fracture optimization in the oilfield, foundry, mining and agriculture businesses.
Palisch has authored or co-authored more than 50 SPE papers as well as multiple peer-reviewed journal articles. He holds several proppant-related patents with more pending and was recognized as a Distinguished Member of SPE and received the award for Distinguished Service. He serves on the advisory board for Missouri University of Science & Technology’s Petroleum Engineering Department. He is a recipient of the university’s Distinguished Alumnus Award and was inducted to the Mining and Metallurgy Academy.
Palisch and his wife Sandy have been married 35 years, and have three grown sons – Zack (Air Force Pilot stationed in Germany), Austin (Lead Petroleum Engineer – Liberty Energy in Midland) and Jacob (computer science major from Stanford and a master’s degree from Texas A&M, currently a minor league pitcher in the Chicago White Sox organization).
Palisch spent many years coaching his sons’ basketball and baseball teams. He is an active member of Concordia Lutheran – Garland, TX, where he has served as Treasurer, Congregation President, Elder, and Head Elder, as well as several other volunteer positions.
His parents, Ted and Barb Palisch taught their entire careers at Green Park and were huge supporters of LHSS, and one of his sisters, Brenda, is a current GPLS teacher.


Sharon Quick, MD, MA, is retired from work as a pediatric anesthesiologist and critical care physician, and now is actively involved in medical ethics issues, particularly working to oppose medically assisted suicide and promote good palliative care. She is the daughter of Fred and Lola Moellenhoff. She attended Salem Lutheran for grade school and graduated from Lutheran High School South (LHSS) in 1980 as co-valedictorian. Four younger siblings later graduated from LHSS. She received a degree in Molecular Biology from Vanderbilt University in 1984 and was awarded the Founder’s Medal for academic achievement in the College of Arts and Sciences. Her college expenses were funded in part by selling custard and Christmas trees at Ted Drewes Frozen Custard during summers and winter breaks. She attended Washington University School of Medicine followed by residencies in Pediatrics and Anesthesiology at UCLA. She completed fellowships in pediatric anesthesiology and pediatric critical care at Children’s Hospital in Seattle in 1997. She was board-certified in pediatrics, anesthesiology, and pediatric critical care. She worked as an Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital for two years while her husband completed his family practice residency. While in Pittsburgh their two children were born, and subsequently they moved to Bonney Lake, WA, near her husband’s family, where she was appointed as Clinical Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at the University of Washington School of Medicine. 
Unfortunately, Sharon developed a medical condition that precluded working as an anesthesiologist and critical care physician. While grieving the loss of her career identity, her faith provided a launching pad for spiritual growth and newfound freedom in knowing that her worth did not depend on what she did, but only upon being loved by God. Realizing that she had been doing what she wanted and asking God to bless it rather than looking to where God was working and joining Him, she poured herself into homeschooling her children and teaching high school biology, chemistry, and physics to homeschool students. In addition to occasionally tutoring homeschool students in math, she is returning to the homeschool cooperative classroom at her church this fall to teach high school biology. 
During her years of training, she had exposure to many different teachers and found the greatest teachers to be those who love both their subject and their students. Some of the best were in her formative years at LHSS. A teacher’s love for the subject matter is contagious. Mr. Pfund and Mr. Bauer inspired her love of the sciences. Mr. Reck’s college prep was the best writing class she has ever taken, and Mr. Meyer was a better calculus teacher than her college professors. Doc Prahlow taught history like a college class and helped his students participate in the story rather than just learning facts and dates.
In 2002, Sharon began testifying in public hearings on bills with medical ethics impact. She returned to school in 2018 to work on a Master’s degree in Bioethics at Trinity International University, which she completed in 2022. She has given numerous presentations on various bioethical topics, had several opinion pieces published in newspapers, and is most active in fighting medically assisted suicide. In May she was a presenter for a webinar opposing assisted suicide sponsored by Americans United for Life, and she remotely gave a presentation for the Christian Medical Association of Latvia’s first conference. In the past three years, she has provided testimony opposing assisted suicide legislation or helped physicians try to stop state medical organizations from becoming “neutral” in twelve states and Scotland. She was recently made President of the Physicians for Compassionate Care Education Foundation and is embarking on rejuvenating this organization to not only oppose assisted suicide but to promote good palliative care. She hopes to work with churches and community groups to help members learn how to support others during the end-of-life process. She has been the Washington State Director for the American Academy of Medical Ethics since 2003, is an Associate Scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, and is on the Medical Advisory Council for Care Net of Pierce County. If God opens a door, she would like to teach Bioethics at the university or graduate level in the future. 
“I loved learning at LHSS and also acquired a love of basketball. When I meet friends from my high school days, it seems like we pick up where we left off. The dedicated faculty at LHSS had a huge impact in teaching me not only subject matter but how to be a good teacher. I never anticipated how much my experience at LHSS would impact what I am now doing.” 


Captain Theodore (Ted) Schroeder, USN Retired, completed a 31-year career as a nuclear submarine officer. He was born in Wauseon, Ohio, to Rev. Theodore (LHS Central ‘57) and Ellen Schroeder and has two sisters, Kristen (LHSS ‘84) and Naomi (LHSS ‘86). After living in Ohio and Minnesota, the family moved to St. Louis, where Ted entered the 5th grade at Green Park Lutheran School. He was confirmed at St. Lucas Lutheran Church, where his mom was a first-grade teacher, while his dad was an editor and writer at LCMS.  
Schroeder always enjoyed science and learning how things worked, so he took almost every science class LHSS had to offer, enjoying Ms. Jauss’ biology class and Mr. Rusch’s anatomy and physiology class. However, his favorite was senior year physics with Mr. Bauer. After that class, he knew he wanted to be a mechanical engineer. LHSS science department along with the math background provided by Ms. Guenther and Mr. Meyer built the base he needed to succeed in engineering and nuclear submarines.
Schroeder graduated from Lutheran South in 1985, and then in 1989 graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Missouri Rolla with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering.  Prior to graduating, he was accepted into the U.S. Navy Nuclear Power Officer Candidate Program in 1988 and was Commissioned in 1990 via Officer Candidate School. He also earned a M.S. in Ocean Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology Joint Program with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (MIT/WHOI), graduating in 2002. 
Schroeder’s operational assignments culminated as Commanding Officer (Captain) of two submarines USS Pennsylvania (SSBN 735)(Gold/Green) and USS Ohio (SSGN 726)(Blue). His other sea tours include Executive Officer of USS Parche (SSN 683), Navigator on USS Alaska (SSBN 732)(Gold), and the USS Baltimore (SSN 704). He joined the small group of submariners (less than 5%) who were selected for Major Command and led the Trident Training Facility in Bangor Washington. His other staff tours included Chief of Staff for Commander Submarine Group Nine, Deputy Commander of Submarine Squadron Nineteen, a tour working the Navy budget in the Pentagon, and as an intelligence analyst in the Office of Naval Intelligence.
During his career, Schroeder conducted a number of submarine deployments one of which was awarded the highest honor of a Presidential Unit Citation and one the Meritorious Unit Citation along with eight Strategic Deterrent Patrols. He also received numerous awards and is most proud of those received by his sailors, including the Battle Efficiency “E”s as the best crew in the Squadron by the USS Pennsylvania and USS Parche. After retiring from the Navy, Schroeder worked for Naval Undersea Warfare Center Keyport where he assisted in the development of maintenance programs for the Navy’s Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) programs.
He lives in Poulsbo Washington with his wife Shannon and daughters, Anna and Kyla. The family enjoys the outdoor opportunities the Pacific Northwest has to offer. As an avid outdoor enthusiast, runner, and backpacker, he has covered much of the area on foot. He completed numerous road and trail races including two marathons and two 50Ks. Schroeder has also completed numerous backpacking trips including crossing Olympic National Park over four times (at least once with each of his daughters) and has only a few trails left to hike on the peninsula.  
Schroeder volunteers with a number of groups to further social justice. This includes the Racial Justice Task Force in Suquamish UCC and being a leader in the Multifaith Coalition for Restorative Justice, and Kitsap Equity Race and Community Engagement (ERACE) Coalition, groups working toward race equity and improving the Washington justice system.  He also volunteers to help with environmental conservation as a member of the Olympic Park Advocates, The Mountaineers, and the Washington Trails Association. 


Richard Schuessler, PhD, Director of the Cardiac Surgical Research Laboratory, retired after an accomplished 35-year career at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. As a professor of Surgery & Biomedical Engineering, Schuessler’s focus was on the surgical treatment of cardiac arrhythmias. His contributions were instrumental in the development of the Cox-Maze procedure—the first cure for atrial fibrillation. As laboratory director, Schuessler also served as a teacher and mentor for the many students, residents and research fellows who worked in the Cardiothoracic Surgery Research Laboratory over the years.
Schuessler grew up in St. Louis, the son of a mechanical engineer, and studied mathematics at the University of Missouri—Rolla in the 1970s, earning a BS and MS in Computer Science. His interest was not in “computers for computers’ sake,” but in numerical analysis and differential equations. The math Schuessler took became so complex and abstract that it was difficult to explain it to peers outside of his classes. As he completed graduate school at Rolla in 1974, Schuessler craved something more applied. He was still interested in solving complex math problems but wanted to use that knowledge for a more practical application.
Around that time, Schuessler saw a brochure for a PhD program in bioengineering at Clemson University in South Carolina. Much of the foundation for bioengineering and electrophysiology was rooted in mathematics similar to what Schuessler had studied at Rolla, but this program would allow him to work on research that could help improve
lives. Schuessler applied and was accepted and began a summer assistantship immediately. As part of his work, he traveled from Clemson to the Medical College of Georgia, where he met John Boineau, who would become his long-time mentor in cardiac research. Boineau was at the forefront of the surgical treatment of Wolf-Parkinson-White
syndrome, a condition affecting the electrical conduction system of the heart. Because of Schuessler’s interest in electrophysiology, joining Boineau’s laboratory after graduation was a natural fit. Schuessler received a National Research Service Award (NRSA) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), funding his research with Boineau.
Schuessler, together with Boineau, came to Washington University in 1984. The two were recruited by the new Division Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery, James Cox. 
This all-star team of researchers focused on finding a surgical cure for atrial fibrillation (AF). Schuessler used new developments in mapping and imaging technology to better understand what AF looked like in the heart, and what it would take to make the heart beat normally again. The treatment, known as the Cox-Maze Procedure, involves making a series of safe and effective scars to permanently block the electrical signals triggering the irregular heartbeat.
The breakthrough moments in Schuessler’s long and accomplished research career have led to a greater understanding of the heart’s electrophysiology and the surgical treatment of problems with cardiac arrhythmias. Over the next 20 years, he continued to innovate and modify the pioneering work of the Cox-Maze procedure.
This development led to the Cox-Maze IV procedure, a less invasive, more widely used procedure that is now the gold standard for the surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation, and the only operation to receive an FDA indication for the treatment of atrial fibrillation.
One of the proudest moments of Schuessler’s career was finding that the surgical treatment of AF led to patients living longer. Now in retirement, Schuessler spends time with his wife—who was an administrator for the laboratory—traveling, visiting national parks, practicing photography, and staying busy with his grandchildren.


James Arthur Trulaske (Jim) is an investor, inventor, engineer, and entrepreneur. As a child, he demonstrated that he had a creative mind when he invented an alarm tripwire system for his bedroom. As a teenager, he mastered mechanical skills where he completely disassembled and rebuilt car engines. These “inventive” skills would carry over when he went to work for the family business, True Manufacturing Company, Inc. While there, he developed a method of
installing insulation in the walls of the commercial refrigerators that were assembled at the plant; that revolutionized the business. As a result, Jim founded True Food Service Company, Inc., where the very first restaurant food service refrigerators were manufactured. 
With his passion for fitness and athletics, Jim developed an advanced in-home treadmill in his basement in 1980 which gave birth to a company, called True Fitness Technology, Inc., which has grown into a multimillion-dollar, nationally known company that specializes in “cutting-edge” athletic equipment.
Other endeavors include the founding of Vision Technology which made medical magnification machines to assist patients struggling with macular degeneration. In recent years, he began a partnership with Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc., developing intellectual property and a myriad of inventions. Today, Trulaske is developing a new technology for the golf
industry that will greatly enhance performance on the course.
Trulaske was born and raised in St. Louis and attended St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Des Peres for grade school. While at Lutheran South, he was involved in athletics as a member of the football, tennis, and track teams. He particularly excelled in football, where he was named “All-Metro” his senior year. He went on to attend Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota from 1972 – 1974 to play football, but after a serious injury, he returned to St. Louis where he enrolled at Maryville University, graduating with a BA in Business Administration with a concentration in Art in 1977.
In 1995, Trulaske and his wife Kim began a foundation that is designed to finance new ministries and have helped launch numerous new works in the Kingdom. One such endeavor was a new church start in suburban Chicago that grew to 3,000 attendees. Furthermore, they have provided educational funding for children during mission trips to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and have been contributors to Lutheran Family and Children’s Services. The Trulaskes have been married for 45 years and have three adult children Michael, Daniel and Elizabeth, and one grandchild Natalie. They live between St. Louis, Sullivan, Missouri, and Sarasota, Florida. One of his favorite memories at South was attending varsity basketball games and rooting the team on to many victories.

Class of 2021

John D. Eckrich '65

Dr. John Eckrich is a life-long St. Louisan serving the community as a physician for the last 45 years. He is a graduate of Mt. Calvary Lutheran Grade School and graduated as valedictorian from Lutheran High School South in 1965. He graduated with a B.A. from Washington University. He went on to medical school at the University of Missouri, graduating cum laude. He served an internship and residency at the University Hospitals in Columbia, Missouri. He then served a fellowship in Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at the University of Chicago. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology. In 1978, he returned to St. Louis joining Grandel Medical Group and later Southwest Medical Group where he worked until retirement. He served on numerous civic, professional and religious boards during this time.

His medical practice included care of many LCMS clergy, teachers and their families, including the faculty and students at Concordia Seminary. Having observed and cared for professional burnout in a substantial number of professional church workers, he founded Grace Place Wellness Ministries in 1999. Grace Place provides encouragement and wellness education to church professionals to inspire and equip them to lead healthy lives. Grace Place has served more than 10,000 LCMS pastors, teachers and spouses through this program over the past 22 years.
Since retirement, John has authored four books on wellness: Vocation and Wellness; Fear Anxiety and Wellness; Resilient Aging and Wellness; and most recently, Family Wellness published by CPH in 2020. He travels the country as a lecturer and instructor on wellness topics from a Christian physician’s perspective.

John is married to Kathy, and they have three children and two grandchildren. John and Kathy live between St. Louis and Aspen, Colorado. as they strive to live resiliently with energy and purpose into the next chapters of living and serving.

My deepest and most colorful memories of Lutheran South really revolved around the music and drama experiences shared by us in those initial years of the high school. I lived for both the choir hours with Henry Englehardt, and in the Junior the and Senior years the opportunity to be in the operettas including The Pirates of Penzance and The Gondoliers. In preparation for the Gondoliers, Mr. Englehardt actually took us to a professional performance at Kiel Auditorium, I believe, and I have no doubt it enormously enlivened our version of this English classic. The Christmas concerts under his direction had a lasting impact on our collective and individual soul.

Furthermore, under the direction of Rev. Richard LaBore, I had the chance to experience live theater and acting. In my senior year, that led to playing the part of—your guessed it, John Eck—in the play Luther. The lessons learned about communication, diction and presence in front of a crowd have served me well from the doctor’s office, to the board room, to public speaking settings even to this day.

Coupling these arts experiences with tennis and cross country and incredible academic preparation in science, math, literature, languages and religion, Lutheran South was as complete petri dish for growth and nourishment into adult life and service. 

Hal H. Haenel '76

Hal H. Haenel is a three-time Olympian and world champion in his sport, a noted Hollywood executive and an esteemed voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Academy Awards). Through both his career and sailing he has traveled the world and met kings, movie stars, rock stars and world-class athletes.

During his four years at Lutheran South, talented art teachers like Conrad Carlton and Richard Reiss played a pivotal role in developing Hal’s interest in the arts – which he parlayed into an extraordinary career in the motion picture industry. After all, there had to be something better than scooping custard and selling Christmas trees at Ted Drews Frozen Custard, the launching pad for many South students.

After graduating from South in 1976, Hal progressed from Meramec Community College to Columbia College Chicago, where he graduated in 1981 with a BA in Film and Photography. Somehow along the way he was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Piedmont College in Athens, Georgia.

With degree in hand, Hal ‘got his kicks on Route 66,’ traveling from Chicago to Los Angeles where he piled all his earthly possessions, including a saxophone he couldn’t play, into a convertible MGB. He landed an entry-level job at Cine-Pro [R1] in Hollywood, where he filmed commercials with Danny Thomas and rock videos with John Cougar Mellencamp[R2]  and other renown rock stars in the ‘80s. His expertise and burn for the industry grew, leading to a long-term role in stage production management at Hollywood Center Studios, home to notables like George Burns and Lucille Ball. Among his most noteworthy gigs was the Jeopardy show, where he appeared in a cameo role with Alex Trebek. Hollywood Center Studios is now a host studio for many Netflix films.

Hal went on to join 20th Century Fox, and soon was tapped to be President and GM of Studio Operations, managing all the back-lot operations groups on the 55-acre campus. Recognized across the industry for his leadership and dedication to the movie and TV profession, Hal was honored by being selected as a voting member of the Academy in 2016.

Throughout his career, Hal also pursued another life passion: sailboat racing after learning to sail on the mighty Mississippi. He competed for the United States and medaled in two successive Summer Olympic Games. He won a silver medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, took gold in the Star class event at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, and won the Star-Class World Championships in 1995 in Laredo, Spain.

His success as an Olympic champion led to his role as a torch bearer for the 1996 Olympics, where Hal ran the torch in the St. Louis leg, handing it off to Jackie Joiner-Kersee.  Hal also qualified for the USA Olympic sailing team and marched in the opening and closing ceremonies in Atlanta. The team did not medal that year, but during the sailing event in Savannah, Hal met his soon-to-be wife, Amy Benton. Hal and Amy currently reside in Savannah and have two children, Holden and Maren.

Endearingly called Hollywood Hal, he has three LHSS sisters Diane (Haenel) Grunseth ’75, Lynn (Haenel) Finer ’75 and Ruth (Haenel) Doering ’78.

Linda Lockhart '70

Linda Susan Lockhart was born in St. Louis, Missouri, baptized and confirmed at St. Philip’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. She is the eldest daughter of Cornelious and Laura Lockhart.

Linda attended Lutheran schools from kindergarten through high school. In 1970, she became the first African-American student to graduate from Lutheran High School South. 

She attended the University of Missouri, Columbia, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1974.

After college, Linda started on what would become a 45-year journey as a reporter, editor, editorial writer and other positions at daily newspapers. She worked at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Milwaukee Journal, the St. Paul (Minnesota) Pioneer Press, the Wisconsin State Journal and The Capital Times, both in Madison, Wisconsin. 

She worked at the St. Louis Beacon, an online-only news organization and at St. Louis Public Radio, an affiliate of National Public Radio. She retired in 2019.

In 2020, Linda returned to the newspaper business as interim managing editor of The St. Louis American. After three months in that interim position, she re-retired in 2021. 

Linda is married to Steve Korris. They have two children and two grandchildren. Her sister, Cornelia Lockhart Levels, is a graduate of Lutheran High School North.

Linda is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, ELCA, in Kirkwood, and since 2016 has served as a member of the Central States Synod (ELCA) Council.

To God be the glory.

Kathleen L. Odegard '76

Kathy (Johnson) Odegard was born in Valparaiso, Indiana to Tom and Adrienne (LHS Central ’53) Johnson. The family moved to St. Louis when she was four. She attended Webster Gardens Lutheran Grade School (now part of Christ Community Lutheran School) and was confirmed at the Lutheran Church of Webster Gardens, where she is a member today. A 1976 graduate of Lutheran High School South, she was appointed to the United States Air Force Academy in the first coed class. She graduated in 1980, one of 97 women in a class of 1,590. From there she entered Air Force pilot training, flying T-37 and T-38 jets. After 18 months of training, she was assigned to Strategic Air Command and flew the KC-135A and KC-135Q Stratotanker. She conducted aerial refueling all over the world, for every aircraft in the Air Force inventory, including the SR-71 Blackbird. In 1987, Kathy became a pilot for American Airlines. Still a trailblazer, as fewer than 2% of the 12,000+ pilots were women, she flew the Boeing 727 and MD-80. 

Kathy is married to Keith Odegard, a fellow 1980 Air Force Academy graduate. He served in the Air Force as a flight surgeon and orthopedic surgeon. Twenty-four years and nine Air Force moves later, they settled in St. Louis. All three of their children graduated from South (Steve ’07, Dean ’09, and Emily ’14). After 15 years of commercial flying for American Airlines, Kathy resigned to focus on family activities and have more time to volunteer. She has served in a variety of roles at church, in schools, on boards (including the Lutheran High School Association) and in the community. 

Living and traveling all over the country, as well as abroad, kindled Kathy’s interest and insights in cross-cultural outreach and service. Most recently she has worked with Christian Friends of New Americans, led the Lutheran Church of Webster Garden’s Missions Team, partnered with Bethlehem Lutheran Church outreaches, and guided servant teams to Belize. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Kathy put the finishing touches on two books: Life in the Logbook and Fly High & Free. She strongly believes we are blessed to be a blessing and looks forward to seeking new opportunities to learn and serve in the name of Christ.

“I felt protected and nurtured at South. The day my grandfather died, the song at chapel happened to be “For All the Saints.” Wow! Mr. Pfund and Mr. Bauer were enthusiastic, motivational role models – huge factors in my embrace of the sciences. While a lab assistant, we may or may not have spiked Mr. Pfund’s coffee with a little something extra . . . Our very small marching band put on a football half-time show in 1972 intending to spell ‘VOTE’ but only had enough people for ‘VOT’. The Lancerettes had to form the ‘E’! I always enjoyed the camaraderie, coaches, and competitiveness shared by my field hockey and basketball teammates. Looking back, I appreciate how we learned from both success and failure, with laughter and tears, all the while feeling the love of God around us.”

Class of 2020

Fred Mark Kuhlmann - LHSS ‘66

Mark Kuhlmann is a lawyer, and former general counsel and business executive at McDonnell Douglas Corporation.  Following the merger of McDonnell Douglas and Boeing, he became president of SSE, a software company based in St. Louis.

Kuhlmann attended Washington University, where he earned his bachelor of arts degree, and later his doctor of jurisprudence (JD) degree from Harvard Law School. He is a member of the Missouri Bar and the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, and previously the American Corporate Counsel Association, the American Law Institute and the American Bar Association. He also is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa.

He was an associate attorney at the Stolar Partnership from 1973 to 1975.  He joined McDonnell Douglas in 1975 as a corporate tax attorney and rose rapidly through a variety of management positions. He served as corporate counsel-financial matters, associate general counsel and corporate assistant secretary, staff vice president and associate general counsel.

He joined McDonnell Douglas Health Systems Company in 1987 as executive vice president and was named senior vice president and general manager a year later. He was promoted to senior vice president and general manager of McDonnell Douglas Systems Integration Company in 1989 and was named president of the company later that year. He returned to the corporate office in 1991 and became senior vice president-administration, general counsel and secretary.  In that role, he was responsible for all of McDonnell Douglas’ legal and corporate administrative functions and was a member of the corporation’s Executive Management Council.

Kuhlmann retired in 1997 from McDonnell Douglas after its merger with Boeing. In 1998, he joined Systems Service Enterprises, Inc. (known as SSE), a software service company based in St. Louis which conducted application development, network services and classroom and computer-based training. Over the years, SSE continued to transition as the IT industry continued to change. Kuhlmann started at SSE as its President and Chief Operating Officer. In 2004, he became Co-CEO and Chief Operating Officer and later Vice Chairman. He retired from SSE in 2013, but continued to provide legal services for a few more years.

Kuhlmann has chaired the boards of several organizations including, the Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis, Lutheran Charities Association of St. Louis, the Lutheran Medical Center, Grace Place Wellness Ministries, and the Lutheran High School Association. He has served on many other boards including Thrivent Financial, the Concordia Seminary Regents Council, the Municipal Theatre Association of St. Louis (the MUNY), the United Way of Greater St. Louis, the Advisory Board of the Hildebrandt Institute of Legal Management and Concordia Plan Services. Kuhlmann served as president of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Des Peres, where he and his wife, Barbara, are still active members. The couple has two children, Matthew Kuhlmann and Sarah Kuhlmann Morgan, both graduates of Lutheran South.

“Lutheran South was a wonderful place to attend high school. I enjoyed many close friends, but particularly appreciated the faculty. What we might have lacked in the most up-to-date lab and other equipment, we made up for in the quality and dedication of our teachers. I particularly remember Tom Johnson as my freshman homeroom teacher who also coached my freshman basketball team to an undefeated season, and Roy Pfund who could make science interesting even to someone whose interest was not in science. I can still recite the dative and accusative prepositions in German thanks to Rev. Kutscher, and my math teachers, including Elizabeth Spencer and Iris Guenther were excellent. I’ll always remember Jack Faszholz who agreed to coach South’s first soccer team with no background in coaching soccer. We may not have been very good, but we had a great time with Coach Faszholz.”

Peter Mayer - LHSS ‘76

Peter Mayer is a guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, touring musician and recording artist in Nashville, Tennessee. With his unique writing style, distinctive voice and virtuoso musicianship, Mayer creates compelling and soulful music for an electrifying live performance. Mayer has released 13 albums to date and tours year round with the Peter Mayer Group. He is the lead guitarist in Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band and has shared the stage with a variety of artists such as James Taylor, Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.

As a young child in Tamilnadu, India (where his parents were Lutheran Missionaries), Mayer had a passion for music. Drawing musical influence from his upbringing, Mayer’s music evokes melodic notes such as music and lyrics of The Beatles, traditional Indian music, church hymns and jazz standards. After moving back to the United States, he went on to study formal theory and composition and taught jazz guitar as a faculty member at Webster University. In 1988, Mayer released his debut album for Warner Brothers Records with the group PM. Working with producer Elliott Scheiner (Steely Dan, Aretha Franklin, Bruce Hornsby) – this album produced the single “Piece of Paradise,” charting to number eight on Billboard.

Mayer began touring with Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer band in 1988 as lead guitarist, a position that he holds to this day. He regularly tours with his own bands, including The Peter Mayer Group, The Peter Mayer trio and Peter Mayer’s Songs of Faith. Two years ago, he had the opportunity to share the stage with Paul McCartney at a fundraiser. It was a highlight of Mayer's career as McCartney played a pivotal role in his desire to play music. 

Mayer has joined with many charities through the musical world in raising awareness and resources for issues such as the environment and world social issues. He has served on the ELCA Malaria Board and has assisted with raising funds for “Always Being Made New.” He belongs to First Lutheran in Nashville.

Herm Meyer - LHSS Basketball Coach of 1973 State Championship team

Herm Meyer served as the Math Department chair at Lutheran South for 35 years, and as the varsity basketball coach for 26 years. He is the only coach at Lutheran South to lead the basketball team to a state championship, helping the school grow and prosper in its beginning years.

Meyer was born in Alliance, Nebraska in 1936 and moved to Michigan in 1949. He spent his high school years at Rogers City High School, where he was a two-time All-State basketball player. He attended Valparaiso University on a basketball and academic scholarship. Upon graduation, he was awarded a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship to study mathematics at Stanford University. He returned to Valparaiso as assistant to the athletic director and completed coursework to teach and coach at the secondary level.

In 1961, Meyer accepted a position at the newly established Lutheran High School South. He continued his education by receiving a National Science Foundation grant to Bowdoin College, where he received his master’s degree in Mathematics. Upon his arrival at Lutheran South, parents and students were in need of a focal point around which the community could unite and grow. His establishment of a strong mathematics curriculum and a successful basketball program did just that.

In 1973, the South basketball team had a 30-1 record during its season and won the state championship in a 76-62 battle against Kansas City Manual in the famed Hearnes Fieldhouse at the University of Missouri.

"The reason I think we won this tournament is that we played better as a team, totally unselfishly," Meyer was quoted as saying.
Meyer continued coaching until 1988. He retired from teaching in 1996. He and his wife Patti are active members at Resurrection Lutheran Church, where they have attended for 49 years. The church was instrumental in supporting and encouraging Meyer during his time coaching and teaching at South. 
One of his favorite memories from his tenure at South, however, isn’t necessarily the state championship or the math program he built. It is the love and support shown by his students.

“When retiring from coaching in 1988, the players on my last team raised the necessary money at the dinner auction for the initial naming rite of South’s gym as the ‘Coach Herm Meyer Gym.’ This was a very special honor at the conclusion of my coaching career.”

Rebecca Pallmeyer - LHSS ‘72

Rebecca Pallmeyer is a federal judge in the U.S. District Court and the first woman to serve as Chief Judge in the court’s 200-year history. President Clinton nominated her to the federal bench in 1997. She was confirmed by the Senate the following year and has served as a judge for the Northern District Court of Illinois for more than 20 years.  Judge Pallmeyer has presided over dozens of civil and criminal trials, including the public corruption trial of a former Illinois governor.
Judge Pallmeyer believes her education at Lutheran South and the teachers there prepared her for college and success.  (She notes that, like many students, she had many family members who attended LHSS. All five of her siblings attended Lutheran High School, as did aunts, uncles, and cousins.)  After graduating in 1972, Judge Pallmeyer won the National Merit Scholarship and attended Valparaiso University in Indiana. She majored in history and humanities was enrolled in Christ College-the Honors College, graduating in 1976.  She met her husband, Dan McAdams, in Christ College, and the couple was married the year after graduation. Dan is a professor of psychology at Northwestern University in Evanston.
Rebecca continued her education at the University of Chicago, where she earned her law degree in 1979.  Following graduation, she served for one year as law clerk to Justice Rosalie Wahl of the Minnesota Supreme Court.  In 1980, Rebecca and her husband moved to Chicago, where she began her legal career practicing with a commercial law firm in Chicago. In 1985, she became an Administrative Law Judge with the Illinois Human Rights Commission—a state agency that adjudicates civil rights claims (chiefly claims of employment discrimination and housing discrimination).  In 1991, she was selected by federal district judges to serve as a U. S. Magistrate Judge. Then in 1998, she was confirmed by the Senate for a seat on the federal trial court in Chicago. In July 2019 she became Chief Judge of the U. S District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, one of the largest federal courts in the nation.
Judge Pallmeyer has won numerous awards and recognitions, including, most recently, the Chicago Diversity Scholarship Foundation’s Unity Award, the Chicago Inn of Court Joel M. Flaum Award, and the Chicago Phi Beta Kappa Association Distinguished Service Award.   She is active in legal and judicial organizations, including the American Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, and specialty bar groups. She is the Seventh Circuit’s district judge representative to the United States Judicial Conference, the governing body for the federal courts. She is a member of the Board of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and has served for many years on the National Council for Christ College, the honors college at Valparaiso University. She currently serves on the Advisory Council for the Salvation Army Residential Center, a facility that helps persons who have served criminal sentences return to society. Judge Pallmeyer and her husband have two grown daughters and are active members of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Chicago, an ELCA congregation just steps from Wrigley Field. 
Asked about her best memories of Lutheran South, Judge Pallmeyer recalled that she “loved being in chapel every day, but especially on the days when the brass quartet played, sometimes irreverently, as we all gathered for worship. I loved being among the faithful fans attending soccer games. I have vivid and happy memories of singing in ‘inner choir’ (later known, I think, as ‘Choraliers’), performing Christmas carols one year in the main hall of the terminal at Lindbergh Airport.  All of my teachers were terrific. I remember Ms. Guenther patiently trying to get me to understand trigonometry. I remember Mr. Grundman, teaching us all to recite the names of the twelve tribes of Israel (still hammered into my head: ‘Reuben, Simeon, Levi, . . . ‘) I didn’t know how much I liked science until I took Chemistry with Mr. Pfund (who was like an uncle or father to so many of us) and Physics with Mr. Bauer. Mr. Pfund and Mr. Bauer drove to Chicago for the ceremony when I was sworn in as a district judge in 1998. What an honor!”
“Rick Barton, my teacher senior year, kick-started my interest in current events and American history. That interest continues to this day, and so has my friendship with Mr. Barton, whom I came to know years later as a fellow alum of Valparaiso University. And the high school musicals, directed by Henry J. Engelhardt, were a highlight of every year.  I had a small but fun part in Brigadoon, and I still remember the bright green dress I wore for my big scene.”

Dr. Kurt Senske - LHSS ‘77

Dr. Kurt Senske serves as Chief Executive Officer of Upbring (formerly Lutheran Social Services of the South), a multifaceted, multi-state, social service agency with an annual operating budget of more than $100 million and 1,000 employees. During his tenure at Upbring, he has been responsible for more than quadrupling the size of the agency and steering the once-troubled agency back to financial strength.

Dr. Senske completed his undergraduate work at Concordia University Texas and Valparaiso University in Indiana, majoring in Accounting with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. He holds a law degree from the University of Illinois College of Law, a master’s degree in International Relations from Schiller International University in Paris, France, and a Ph.D. in Government from the University of Texas at Austin.

Prior to his work at Upbring, Dr. Senske served as Assistant to the President at Concordia University Texas. Dr. Senske also practiced law in Chicago with several law firms, including the firm of Hinshaw & Culbertson. He has served as a senior staff member and consultant for candidates and government leaders at the local, state, and national levels in both the Republican and Democratic Parties.

Dr. Senske’s extensive board service includes having served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Thrivent Financial, a Fortune 500 financial services organization. He currently serves as Chair of the InFaith Community Foundationand on the Board of Lutheran Hour Ministries. He also has served on the Board of Directors of the The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod.

Dr. Senske is the author of four books, Wine and the Word: Savor and Serve; The Calling:  Live a Life of Significance;Executive Values: A Christian Approach to Organizational Leadership, and Personal Values. His forthcoming book is titled, The CEO and the Board: The Art of Governance as a Competitive Advantage. A gifted public speaker, Dr. Senske has also been a guest columnist on a variety of issues for newspapers and magazines, as well as a regular commentator on television and radio. Dr. Senske and his wife Laurie live in Austin, Texas, and are the proud parents of their daughter Sydney and son-in-law Cody.  

“As I reflect back on my time at LHSS, it is increasingly clear how God intentionally utilized so many teachers and friends to prepare me for my various future vocations. I recall an accounting course where my teacher, Nola Fischer, went beyond the call of duty to encourage me and helped me to consider accounting as my college major. There was an independent study course with Dan Harms where I researched and became interested in the workings of the stock market.  Jack Faszholz and Roy Pfund gave me confidence both on and off the baseball field. Larry Torbeck always had an encouraging word. Maybe most important, even though I haven’t lived in St. Louis for a while now, my friends and classmates from LHSS remain family. There is something special about LHSS – its mission, its faith inspired education, and its commitment to its students, that I will always treasure. It is so much more than just a high school, for which I will forever be grateful.”  
Providing excellence in a co-ed, Christian high school in Saint Louis, Missouri.