The Jefferson City Public Schools Foundation is hosting its annual gala Tuesday at the Capitol Plaza Hotel ballroom, and will be inducting several community leaders into the Foundation's Hall of Leaders:
The gala's reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the atrium, and dinner and the program will begin at 6:15 p.m in the ballroom. The theme is "Honoring Tradition-Building the Future."
The JCPS Foundation solicits and manages investments and distributes funds to support the JCPS district.
Last year's gala was the largest in attendance and in sponsorships, according to the Foundation's website, jcpsfoundation.org.
Dan Renfrow is a native of Jefferson City. After graduating from Jefferson City High School in 1984, he continued his education at Westminster College and earned a liberal arts degree in the dual majors of business administration and computer science. Since then, he has become a certified financial planner and a certified trust and financial advisor, and completed continuing education courses at Cannon Trust School. For more than 15 years, he has been employed at Hawthorn Bank in Jefferson City, and has served as the Senior Trust Officer and portfolio manager for the past 12 years.
He is a past president of the JCPS Foundation Board of Directors and the Rape and Abuse Crisis Services Board of Directors. He currently serves as a board member for the Cole County Residential Services and Central Connections and is a member of the Jefferson City Chamber of Commerce and the Jefferson City Host Lion's Club. He and his wife, Carrie, have two sons, Max and Mitch, both of whom are JCPS students.
Central Bank helps provide possibilities to local youth through its support of the Jefferson City Public Schools Foundation.
Central helps fund the Foundation through sponsorship of the annual gala, the Southwest Early Childhood Center and the Teacher of the Year program. The bank also serves as one of the district's Partners in Education. In addition, at least one Central Bank employee has served on the JCPS Foundation Board at any given time for most of the Foundation's existence.
Don and Linda Eisinger met in college at Central Missouri State University and quickly discovered they shared the common dreams and aspirations for higher education and a better life.
Don is a veteran and retired after a 36-year career with Missouri's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. His DESE career focused on programs for adult employment and training, adult basic education and literacy, and at-risk youth.
During her 37-year teaching career, Linda taught for 34 years in JCPS at North Elementary and West Elementary. She was honored in 2004 by being named Missouri State Teacher of the Year.
Linda and Don harbor a strong desire to recognize and reward teachers. Linda's meaningful experiences with the JCPS Teacher of the Year and the State Teacher of the Year programs, and the effect teachers had on each of their own lives culminated in a partnership with JCPS Foundation to support the District's Teacher of the Year program.
Now married for 44 years, Don and Linda enjoy spending time with their daughter, Dr. Laura Naught; son-in-law Bill Naught; and grandson Anderson.
Dennis Lock is a native of Washington, Missouri, and is a 1964 graduate of St. Francis Borgia High School. He continued his education at the University of Missouri, where he earned a bachelor of science in education in 1969 before earning a master's in education-curriculum and instruction in 1979.
In 1969, Lock entered the United States Army and served in the field of Military Intelligence in Vietnam and West Germany.
After an honorable discharge in 1972, he was offered a teaching position with JCPS, initially as a seventh-grade social studies teacher at Simonsen Junior High. His second year and the rest of his career found him on the third floor of JCHS teaching social studies.
He retired from JCHS in 2001, though still bleeds red and black. He continued his teaching career in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he taught and served as department chair at Silverado High School and Foothill High School from 2001-11.
He spent many years as student council co-sponsor, continuing a tradition of Jefferson City High School involvement in state and national student council organizations. He was selected as executive director of the Missouri Association of Student Councils in 1984 and served until 2001. He has also served as president and a member of the board of directors for national student council associations.
Among his many honors are the 1991 JCHS Marcullus dedication, the 1997 Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals Service to Secondary Education Award and the 2001 National Association of Student Councils Distinguished Service Award, as well as the 1997 Missouri Association of Student Councils Circle of Excellence award.
He enjoys retirement from his lengthy and distinguished career by traveling, watching Mizzou sports and leading a life of leisure.
Rod Nolke was a native of Roanoke, Missouri, and graduated from Salisbury High School in 1979 before he earned a bachelor of science in education at Central Methodist College. He continued his education at the University of Missouri and earned a master of education in educational administration in 1996.
His teaching career spanned 33 years, beginning at his alma mater in Salisbury as an assistant football coach for the 1982-83 school year. He then taught physical education, health and reading at St. Joseph Cathedral School for kindergarten through eighth-grade classes for three years before completing his career at West Elementary with JCPS. He spent 28 years at West School as a beloved physical education teacher and the director of recreational activities.
He was active in his community, serving as a member of the board of directors for the Columbia Youth Basketball Association. He also coached a wide variety of organizational sports for the Columbia Soccer Club, the Columbia Diamond Council and at Columbia Catholic School.
He enjoyed all things athletic, whether it was exercising at the gym, biking, playing softball and basketball, coaching youth sports, or attending sporting events. Most of all, he cherished his family, including his wife, Debbie, and daughters, Lauren Nolke and Korrin Nolke Wesley.
Cotton Walker is a native of Jefferson City and a 1984 graduate of JCHS. He earned a bachelor of arts degree with a double major in political science and history from Indiana University. He continued his education at the University of Missouri School of Law and earned a juris doctor in 1991.
He has been engaged in the private practice of law for 26 years, chiefly in his own Jefferson City law firm. He has served as a municipal judge for the Jefferson City since an election in 2011 and has also served as prosecutor for Jefferson City, as well as a municipal judge in several other Mid-Missouri towns.
He was elected president of the Missouri Municipal and Associate Circuit Judge Association and has served as a truancy court judge for the 19th judicial circuit, working closely with the local juvenile office and school personnel.
Among his community involvement is work as a board member and president of the Prenger Center Advisory Board for the Cole County Juvenile Office, volunteer at First United Methodist Church in the areas of youth leadership and the finance committee, and as a youth basketball coach for the past 20 years. He currently serves as a board member for the JCPS Foundation.
He and fellow JCHS graduate Debra Massengale Walker have been married for 23 years. They have two children, Jacquelyn and Quinn, the former a 2017 graduate of JCHS and the latter a freshman at Simonsen.