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2014 Hall of Fame

(Class of 1965) 
Luke Heesacker grew up in Rushville, Nebraska and reluctantly moved to Arvada with his parents in 1962 at the age of 15. He was enrolled at Arvada West High School for three years graduating with the second class at Arvada West in 1965. After high school, Luke served in the Army Reserve and began doing landscaping work in the area. His landscaping business brought him often to the Arvada Rent-Alls to rent equipment. Art Tidwell, the owner, asked Luke to work for him first part-time and then full time. In 1986, Luke and two junior partners purchased the business from the Tidwells. In 2014, Arvada Rent-Alls will celebrate their 50th year. As a business owner, Luke has been very generous and served the Arvada community in many ways. Luke chooses to work behind the scenes but his contributions are very visible throughout Arvada. In the Arvada Profiles he was quoted, “If I have a strength, it is that I help a little bit with a lot of different things. “ Luke has been involved with the North Jeffco Foundation (Apex) since 2000, the Arvada Economic Development Association, Soopers Credit Union Foundation, and on the business advisory group for Arvada West. Luke personally and professionally has received many honors: Arvada Business of theYear, the 2010 Lloyd J. King Entrepreneurial Spirit Award, the 2004 Arvada Profile of People Who Most Influenced Our first 100 Year, and the 2013 Arvada chamber of Commerce Man of the Year. Luke is a family man who shares his hobbies with his wife, Karen, son, Andrew, and 
daughter, Rachel.

ANGIE GUSTAFSON PARKER: (Class of 1967) After graduating from Arvada West High School in 1967, Angie Gustafson Parker received a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of Colorado. She taught elementary grades in Phoenix, Arizona as she worked toward her Master’s Degree in Educational Technology, which she received from Arizona State University; and later a Ph. D. from Arizona State University. Angie has served on the faculty of several colleges and universities. She was Chair of the Department of Educational Technology at Gonzaga University, Dean of Yavapai College, Dean of the School of Education at North Central University and Dean of Education at Anthem College Online. Angie’s professional focus for most of her career has been in the area of distance education. She was instrumental in developing virtual programs for three universities which are now being utilized by thousands of students around the world. She has published more than 40 major papers in peer-reviewed journals and juried presentations and served as a reviewer for several professional journals. She has been Director of Distance Learning for AT&T Literacy Center. Her research has taken her many places including: Hawaii, Argentina, and Chile. In 2009, she received a prestigious Fulbright Senior Scholarship for research on distance education in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. That research resulted in the development of new curricula to better serve the needs of educators throughout South Africa. Angie has also been active in the communities in which she has lived, serving on library and arts boards and chairing a local Better Business Bureau. She was appointed to the Arizona Educational Media Board and was elected a member of the Town Council for the Town of Prescott Valley, Arizona. Angie is currently semi-retired, teaching online courses for two universities and enjoying her grandchildren in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

DR. KATHLEEN SAWADA:(Class of 1970) Dr. Kathleen Sawada was the first of four daughters in the Ken and May Sawada family. She was born in an US Army Hospital in Osaka, Japan and traveled to many Army locations in her first 12 years. The Sawada family moved to Arvada in 1964 where she attended Fremont, Drake, Oberon and Arvada West High School. Upon graduating from Arvada West in 1970, Kathy received a scholarship to Temple Buell Women’s College for two years and then transferred to the University of Colorado Boulder, graduating in 1975 in EPO Biology. Her honors at CU included SPURS and Phi Beta Kappa. Kathy entered the workforce as a junior lab technician at Burroughs-Welcome Company in North Carolina. She worked down the hall from Trudy Elion, a 1988 Noble Prize winner in medicine. In 1977, Kathy was accepted into the School of Medicine at Wake Forest University. The challenge of paying for her medical education led to a career in the US Navy. She began her medical career with an internship at the Naval Hospital in San Diego and as a Medical Officer aboard the USS Hector with a crew of 800 including 80 women. To complete her service, she was appointed Chief Medical Officer at the clinic in Albany, Georgia. She entered dermatology residency at the Medical College in Richmond, Virginia and completed her boards in 1960. Kathy returned to Colorado in 1992 upon retiring from the Naval Reserve after 21 years. Kathy is the founder of Accent Dermatology and Laser Institute with her associate, Dr. Theresa Scholz. Kathy praised the Arvada West staff, especially the science and history departments for her high school education. 

MICHAEL KLUG: As a student at Arvada West High School, Michael was an outstanding student in the sciences and discovered photography and later holography. Michael developed his leadership skills as President of the Arvada West Rotary Interact Club. The club received recognition for the presentation on Interact Clubs at the Rotary District Program at the Broadmoor Hotel. Upon graduation from Arvada West, Michael entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1989 and a Master of Science degree from the Spatial Imaging Group in 1991. From 1991 until 1997, Michael worked as a Research Scientist in the media lab focusing on design and development of 3D holographic displays. In 1996, he co-founded Zebra Imaging Inc. in Austin, Texas. With over 26 issued patents, Michael is recognized internationally as an expert in the field of 3D display and holography. Michael and his mother, Ahnna, are natives of Arvada. As a youth, Michael spent a lot of time with his grandfather, Sam Spano, where he developed a healthy work ethic and a close relationship with his grandfather.  Using his childhood experiences on his grandfather’s farm in Arvada, Michael began volunteering with local, organic vegetable farmers to finance and develop operations. In 2013, he was elected as board member on Farmshare Austin, a nonprofit dedicated to offering education and training for farmers. Michael has a wonderful and supportive family. His wife, Michele, and sons, Sam (21) and David (19), are all involved in the science fields. His parents, Anthony and Ahnna, still live in Arvada close to Arvada West.

Janet Pease started her teaching career at Arvada West High School in the fall of 1968. She was a dedicated teacher and continued on the Arvada West staff until her retirement in June 2008 after 40 years in teaching. In 1970, Janet began helping students in the study hall she monitored. This set her on a course of being an academic advisor for Arvada West boy and girl athletes until she retired.  In 1990, she initiated an honors class in American History. As an Arvada West teacher, Janet seldom missed a sports or school event and still attends many events in her retirement. Janet Pease was well prepared for her teaching career. She graduated from Moline Illinois High School in 1962, the University of Iowa in 1966 with a B.A. as a political science major, and the University of Iowa in 1968 with a M.A. in American History. We commend Janet Pease for her dedication to teaching and especially for her support 
of students as a volunteer academic adviser.

JON SINCLAIR: (Class of 1975) Jon Sinclair, class of 1975, is one of the greatest American distance runners of all time. While at Arvada West, he was the state champion in the mile and two-mile run. He continued his education at Colorado State University, where he was twice selected as an All-American. Jon won the USA National Cross Country championship in 1980 and USA National 10,000 meter track championship in 1984. Jon’s athletic career has been marked by consistency and longevity. He participated in three Olympic trials, once in the 5,000-meter run and twice in the marathon. He has achieved more wins and placings than any other male runner in modern road racing history. He is the all-time leader in the Runner’s World rankings that began in 1979. Jon has represented the United States in many international competitions and still holds the  American record for 12 kilometers on the road. Through his business, Anaerobic Management, Jon Sinclair coaches athletes from all across the country. He is the co-author of the book “Training to Achieve Peak Running Performance” (2003). John was a co-founder of the Colorado Marathon, a multiple race event that brings thousands of runners to Fort Collins and a huge boost to the economy each May. Jon has been inducted into the Road Runners Club of America Hall of Fame, the Colorado Distance Runners Hall of Fame, the Colorado State University Athletes’ Hall of Fame and now the Arvada West Hall of Fame. Jon has remained in Colorado, living and working in Fort Collins with his wife, Kim Jones, who is also a former world-class marathoner.