Crusader Hall of Honor

Class of 2019

Class of 2019

Dr. Norman Brockmeier

Class of 1955 
Lutheran High School

Dr. Norman Brockmeier had an outstanding career as an educator, scientist, engineer and community leader. He considers himself a leading educator who also invents, patents and sells new technologies.
After graduating from Lutheran High School, Dr. Brockmeier obtained a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University in 1960. He served 3M in research for 3 years before obtaining his Ph.D. in chemical engineering and plasma physics from MIT in 1966. He then accepted a position at the University of Texas at Austin in the Chemical Engineering Department where he taught in the graduate program for five years.
In 1971, Dr. Brockmeier joined the Polymer Process Design Group of Amoco where it was his responsibility to write computer code used to design and model the operation of world-scale facilities for the manufacturing of Polypropylene and Polystyrene. He was the co-designer of facilities built in Japan, China, Europe, and the US Gulf Coast. During his 22 years at Amoco, he continued to publish research papers (52 scholarly articles in refereed journals) and lead international presentations around the world. He presented his work at conferences from Frankfurt, Germany to Beijing, China on the unique process he developed and patented.
In 1995, he founded his own company, Oakwood Consulting, Inc. with clients from around the world. Upon retiring he was hired by the Argonne National Laboratory to use his ingenuity for its Energy Systems Division. He was also invited to teach a capstone course in engineering design at The Ohio State University. In 1999, he was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineering. Dr. Brockmeier was a member of the American Chemical Society.
He presently lives in the western suburbs of Chicago. He is very active in community activities (local school board, etc.) along with being the captain of his senior golf team. He has very fond memories of and respect for his LHS teachers (Dr. Lange, Iris Guenther, Mr. Klinck) and their God-given skills. He initiated the Catherine C. and Norman Brockmeier Scholarship Fund at LHSN to assist students who are interested in careers in church-related teaching or as pastors. Currently at the top of his “list” is his appreciation for the faith development of his twelve grandchildren.

Dr. Nadine L. Verderber

Class of 1958
Lutheran High School
The uniqueness of Dr. Verderber’s career is earning degrees in the field of mathematics during the 1950’s. Role models for women during this era were usually limited to secretarial, elementary teaching, and nursing professions. She feels her greatest accomplishment was paying all the tuition for her high school, undergraduate and graduate work with savings, scholarships, assistantships and first sabbatical leave. 
After graduating from Lutheran High School, Dr. Verderber earned a B.A. in mathematics from Washington University in St. Louis in 1962. She continued her education at the University of Missouri - Columbia earning her M.A. in mathematics. She began her teaching career as a mathematics instructor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. 
After she had obtained tenure, she was able to obtain a sabbatical to work on her Ph.D. in Mathematics Education at The Ohio State University. Her dissertation is “Application of Certain Readability Techniques to Calculus Textbooks.” She returned to SIUE with a promotion to assistant professor. She became a full professor while teaching mathematics, FORTRAN, and Pascal computer languages. 
Dr. Verderber served as the chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at SIUE and is presently a professor emerita. She has articles published in the Mathematics Teacher and the World Book Encyclopedia. Her professional memberships include the Mathematical Association of America, the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Math Club of Greater St. Louis and the American Association of University Professors. She has served as a reviewer, program director and conference director in the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics organization.
Dr. Verderber has served in her local Lutheran church as a choir member, Sunday school director and treasurer. She also served as a pianist at a local nursing home. Some of her many fond memories from her high school days include participating in the drama club and being the only girl in a physics class.

Larry Kreyling

Class of 1962
Lutheran High School

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” This advice was given to Larry during his formative years at Lutheran High School. Key to Larry’s success in education, military service, and business were his outstanding leadership skills.
Upon graduation from Lutheran High School, Larry attended Wisconsin University-Stout, where he earned his B.S. and M.S. in industrial education. With encouragement from his high school baseball coach Jerry Visser and an anonymous donor, college education became a reality for Larry.
Larry began his teaching career at McCluer High School. He was drafted into service by the U.S. Army after five years in teaching. In the military, he received a number of recognitions and honors for his leadership and accomplishments. He returned to teaching at McCluer North. He was promoted to assistant principal and then became principal for his last ten years in education. He served in the Ferguson-Florissant District for 30 years.
Larry was named a “Consummate Professional” by the Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals and was Vice President of the Missouri State High School Activities Association. He was an assessor in the National Association of Secondary Principals Academy. He was a charter member of the St. Louis Principals Academy. In the service, he received the Army Commendation Medal and Good Conduct Medal. Larry served as Special Projects Coordinator with Dierbergs Markets. While working in the business community, he was selected as the “Business Person of the Year” by the North County School/Business Partnership. 
A highlight of Larry’s career was leading the smooth and successful transition to desegregate the all-black Kinloch High students into McCluer North High School. Prior to the start of the school year, Larry paired each new Kinloch student with a current McCluer North student and led the group through a ropes course/stress challenge program at SIU.
Larry presently lives on Kiawah Island, SC, with his wife of 52 years, Shirley. In retirement he serves on the Vestry Board of St. John Lutheran Church in Charleston as chair of the Christian Education Committee.
Larry gives significant credit to his LHS teachers Gerald Visser (shop teacher and baseball coach) and Irmgard Koch (English teacher) for their encouragement and support.

Gary Mantei

Class of 1973
Lutheran North

Gary expresses his gratitude for all of his coaches, especially Jim Manion, for helping him develop his character and work ethic. While he lettered in football (All Conference and All District) and track, he also played soccer and basketball. His favorite memory is the 6-2-1 football record (best in school history at that time).
After high school, Gary attended Central Missouri State University. After working 5 years in the printing and paper industry, he worked at CRH Transportation Inc. as a truck driver. He proceeded to work his way up to become the president/owner of the company. He grew the company to 175 employees and 5 facilities with 90 trucks.
Gary’s love for his Lord is reflected in a lifetime of connections with Lutheran schools and churches. Lutheran North, Lutheran South, Atonement Lutheran, Salem Affton, and Chapel of the Cross in St. Charles have all been blessed by the Mantei family. He was a member of the Lutheran High School Association Board, chairman of the Lutheran High School Association Golf Benefit, along with serving as an usher, basketball coach and a youth group leader.
Gary’s philanthropic nature is evidenced in many different venues beginning with the athletic programs at Lutheran North and Lutheran South. Folds of Honor, a charity that provides educational scholarships to children of fallen and disabled veterans, along with the Make-A-Wish Foundation are all organizations supported by the Mantei family. 
Gary and his wife Mary Beth founded the Zachary Mantei Scholarship Fund at Salem, Affton in memory of their son who passed away in 2015. Gary and Mary Beth have demonstrated a lifetime passion of helping others.
Gary gives credit and thanks to his parents, Marvin and Sue Mantei, for providing him with a Christian education, to his wife Mary Beth for her support the past 37 years, and to the many friends he formed during his high school years at Lutheran North.

Dr. Michael Ward

Class of 1974
Lutheran North

Dr. Michael Ward has served on and chaired numerous committees and commissions and has been active in local, state, national and international radiologic science organizations.
In Dr. Ward’s post-high school education he obtained his B.S. degree in Radiologic Sciences from St. Louis University (Magna Cum Laude). He completed a Master of Education Degree at the University of Missouri, St. Louis and returned to St. Louis University, where he earned his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration.
Dr. Ward is presently the Vice Dean for Student Affairs and Diversity and Professor at Barnes-Jewish College, Goldfarb School of Nursing. He has spent the majority of his career working with Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
At the state level of Missouri Society of Radiologic Technologists, Dr. Ward has held the offices of Treasurer, Vice President, President and Chairman of the Board. He was awarded the Mallinckrodt Award of Excellence, Life Membership, and was one of the first five members to be elevated to Fellow of the MoSRT.
At the national level Dr. Ward has served as Vice President, President and Chairman of the Board of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists. The ASRT designated him as a Life Member. He also was designated as a Fellow in the ASRT. He was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the ASRT Education and Research Foundation. He was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology and was elected as Chairman of the JRCERT Board.
At the international level Dr. Ward has served on the Board of Management for the International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists. He was elected as President of this organization for a four-year term and became the first American to serve in this capacity.
In terms of Dr. Ward’s interests, he shared that his travels took him over 300,000 miles of air travel, and he went to more than 25 countries as president of the ISRRT.

Chief John Hayden

Class of 1981
Lutheran North

St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden manages the second largest police department in the state of Missouri. He oversees a department of 1,350 officers and 465 civilian employees. He was appointed Police Commissioner on Dec. 28, 2017, as the city’s 35th police chief. Newsweek magazine posted an article in 2018 entitled, “Why St. Louis Chief John Hayden May Have the Toughest Job in America.” John is a 30-year member of the St. Louis Police Department.
After graduating from Lutheran North, John attended Washington University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He was also a member of the football team at Washington U. (Yes, he was an all-league tight end for the Crusaders.) He received a master’s degree from Fontbonne University in management. He also attended St. Louis University School of Law, where he completed 50 credits in its Juris Doctorate program.
Chief Hayden’s 30-year career is balanced with 15 years of investigative experience and 15 years of administrative work. He served as a commander in the North Patrol Division. He also served as the Executive Aide to the Chief of Police for seven years. He has served as the Commander of the Internal Affairs Division. He has extensive teaching experience in the Police Academy, where he served as both an instructor and training coordinator.
John is a member of the Police Executive Research Forum, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Major Cities Police Chiefs Association. He was recognized for his exceptional performance with a Chief’s Letter of Commendation in 2007. Throughout his career, he has been passionate about the pursuit of excellence in policing.
It comes as no surprise that at the Police Academy, John was responsible for teaching and developing training on a topic that is still his top priority, namely “ethics.” John has completed course work in Theological Studies at Covenant Theological Seminary. He has served as a Deacon at Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis since 1998. And yes, a Bible sits on top of his desk in the Police Headquarters building.

Dr. Ruth Gornet

Class of 1983
Lutheran North

Dr. Gornet’s identity is that of a mathematician, scientist, mother, wife, and Christian with the order depending on the moment. Without “overthinking” her identity issue, she sums up the real answer: “The grounding in Christian faith as part of the culture at LHSN helped the entire Gornet family to live like Jesus.” 
Dr. Gornet obtained her B.A. in Mathematics (Summa Cum Laude) and a B.S.B.A. in Actuarial Science (Summa Cum Laude) from Drake University in 1987. She continued her education at Washington University in St. Louis, completing her M.A. in 1989. She completed her Ph.D. in Mathematics at Washington University in 1993. Dr. Gornet also completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship with the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute.
Dr. Gornet began her teaching career at Texas Tech University in 1994 as an assistant professor. In 1998 she was a visiting professor at the University of Kentucky as part of the National Science Foundation (Professional Opportunities for Women in Research and Education) Program.  She returned to Texas Tech University as an associate professor in 1999. She became a member of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in 2001. Dr. Gornet found a home at the University of Texas at Arlington in 2002 and continues her career there.
Dr. Gornet is the author of 20 publications in mathematical research. She is active as an editor and reviewer for mathematical publications. Her awards and honors include: Outstanding Honors College Faculty Award, Mathematics Professor of the Year, Phi Beta Kappa at Drake University, American Mathematical Society Life Member, and Association for Women in Mathematics.
Dr. Gornet shares that her most important professional accomplishment is the international invitations to Israel, Germany, France, Italy, and Argentina to present her research. She has presented numerous lectures at various colleges and universities across the country. In all of her academic efforts she has demonstrated a passion for women to become a part of the mathematical community in various roles.
At LHSN, Dr. Gornet remembers learning computer programming on the Apple IIe, all of her math classes with Dr. Holschen, choirs and musicals with Mr. Marting, dramatic plays with Mr. Hoyer, and just hanging out in the hallways with friends. She also remembers receiving a solid foundation in her Christian faith. 

Dr. Simone Marie Cummings

Class of 1985
Lutheran North

Dr. Cummings is presently the Dean of the George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology at Webster University. She manages a budget of $38 million with responsibility for all business programs at the home campus along with three satellite campuses in St. Louis, metro campuses throughout the U.S., and ten international campuses. She balances these responsibilities with being a wife, mother and daughter.
After graduating from Lutheran North, Dr. Cummings received a full academic scholarship from Washington University. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in 1988, a Master’s Degree in Health Administration (MHA) in 1991 from Washington University School of Medicine, and a Ph.D. in Health Policy and Management in 1999 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Prior to getting her doctorate, Dr. Cummings held positions at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Regional Hospital, as well as Columbia Hospital for Women in Washington, D.C. She also taught at Simmons College in Boston and Washington University in St. Louis. She has served as a healthcare researcher and as a healthcare consultant. She began her career at Webster University in 2013 as an associate professor and became the MHA Program Director in 2014. She was Associate Dean in 2015 and appointed Dean of the Business School in 2017.
Dr. Cummings feels that juggling her professional career and her time with family and friends might be her greatest challenge. She takes great pride in the fact that the Walker School of Business had its accreditation reaffirmed for a full ten-year period in 2018.
Dr. Cummings also serves on seven different professional and community boards in the greater St. Louis area. Simone gives significant credit for her success to the strong academic foundation she received during her days at Lutheran North.

Sydney A. Cross

Class of 2007
Lutheran North

Sydney becomes the youngest member of the Crusader Hall of Honor after being nominated only twelve years after graduation. However, the past twelve years have been packed with intense academic work, five years of life experiences and the political culture of Washington, D.C., along with travel experiences in 17 countries. 
During her high school career, in addition to her excellent academic work, Sydney was involved in numerous leadership experiences. She plays the flute and previously held the school pole vault record for the girls’ track team. Her high school academic program allowed her to take a number of college credit courses, which in turn allowed her to graduate from college in three years.
Among her many passions is a lifetime membership in the Girl Scouts of America, beginning in kindergarten. She became a member of the Board of Directors for the Girl Scout Council of St. Louis as a teenager. She was on a Girl Scout sponsored trip in London when one of her traveling companions talked about Trinity Washington University. 
Sydney graduated from Trinity Washington University with a B.A. Degree in International Affairs (Cum Laude) in 2010. She proceeded to Howard University to earn a M.A. in Political Science (International Relations). While at Trinity she was Vice President of her freshman class. She also served as President of the Student Government Association and President of Trinity College Democrats. 
Upon graduating from Trinity, Sydney received the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellow. This award provided an education at Howard University and obligated her to three years of service in the State Department. She spent the first year in preparation for an overseas assignment for two years at the U.S. Embassy in Dar es  Salaam, Tanzania. In Tanzania, she served as a political officer. Her next assignment was at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, Mexico, where she served as a Consular Officer. She is presently in Washington, D.C., working for the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. 
Sydney’s many political experiences include: U.S. State Department in the Bureau of Administration, internships with Claire McCaskill for U.S. Senate and Jay Nixon for Governor, and the Democratic National Committee.
One year ago, Sydney spoke to the student body at Lutheran North about her role as a diplomat with the U.S. State Department. She credited Lutheran North for pushing her to achieve her dreams and thanked friends for supporting her along the way.