2018 Alumni Recipient(s):
The El Reno Public Schools Foundation Thousands of Reasons Gala celebrating distinguished alumni and teachers is set for Nov. 26 at the Canadian Valley Technology Center. Doors will open at 6 p.m., with dinner served at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets are $20, with staff, teachers, principals and past recipients complimentary. Food is being furnished by Marilyn Arnold.
This is one of the foundation’s major fundraisers to support 100 percent of its programs.
This year’s honorees are Mike Mathews, Lisa Springer and J.P. Fitzgerald.
The foundation will also be introducing fall grants to teacher recipients as well as recognition of Teacher of the Year and District Teachers of the Year.
Mathews is a 1980 graduate of El Reno High School. He graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1994 with a bachelor of science degree in industrial safety and earned a MBA from Oklahoma City University in 2000.
He is employed as vice president of Oklahoma Gas and Electric Transmission and Distribution Operations.
Mathews is a Certified Safety Professional and a Registered Environmental Manager.
He has served as president of the board of directors for Wings, a community for adults with special needs, and president of the Oklahoma City chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers.
Mathews is the son of Tom and Bunny Mathews of El Reno. He and his wife, Shelly reside in Yukon. They have a son, Micha, and daughters, Megan Simpson and husband, Stephen, and Madison Mathews, as well as two grandchildren, Ellie and Easton Simpson.
Springer is a 1970 graduate of El Reno High School. She graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1974 with a bachelor of science degree in education and in 1978 with a master of science in geography.
Springer is a member of the Energy FC Advisory Board and Energy Assists Foundation board member.
Springer is employed with Mercy Health Oklahoma Communities. Her professional focus has been on achievement of shared recognition evidenced by her role as leader in a hospital that has been nationally named Watson Top 100 Hospital and Watson Top 15 Health Systems.
Springer is the daughter of the late Raymond and Bette Lorenzen. She and her husband, Bob reside in Oklahoma City. They have two sons, Robby and wife, Courtney, and Kyle, and two grandchildren, Jack and Tobin.
Fitzgerald is a 1984 graduate of El Reno High School. He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Oklahoma and graduated in 1998 from Southern Methodist University Southwestern Graduate School of Banking.
Fitzgerald has been recognized as Distinguished Honor Graduate of OBA Intermediate School of Banking and as one of the Top 5 Lenders on the Move – National Young Lenders Award.
Fitzgerald currently serves as market president of BancFirst El Reno. He is a former El Reno City Council member. He currently serves on the El Reno Chamber of Commerce board of directors, is chairman of the Redlands Community College Foundation Board, member of the El Reno Public Schools Foundation Board, member of the Great Expectations Board and Knights of Columbus.
Fitzgerald is the son of Atty Fitzgerald. He and his wife, Sonya, reside in Oklahoma City. They have a daughter, Macy Smith and husband, Joel, and granddaughter, Tatum Smith.
For more information or to purchase tickets to the gala, contact committee members Maribeth VonTungeln (206-8860), Debbie Harrison (834-5632), Jay Emory (850-1382) or Dana Gibson (820-3800).
Tickets will be available at the door or contact any board member.
2017 Alumni Recipient(s):
Jeff Wills, a 1981 graduate of El Reno High School, will be honored as the school’s Distinguished Alumni at a banquet set for Nov. 13.
The annual event will be held at the Lincoln Learning Center and will feature comments from BancFirst Vice President Jay Hannah as well as an auction.
The event showcases successful EHS grads who have made a difference in the lives of others, and serves to pay tribute to the teachers they encountered while in El Reno Public Schools. The event is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.
After graduating from El Reno, Wills earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. He would go on to found and serve as president of CV Medical Solutions from 1991 to 2006.
In 2011, OptionOne Infusion and Specialty Pharmacy was created and Wills serves as president and founder. Also, The Wills Group Consulting was created in 2006 and Wills serves as president of that organization.
In nominating him for the Distinguished Alumni Award, Tracey Wills said her husband gained a great deal from growing up in El Reno and attending school here.
“I believe the success he has accomplished in life and the impact he has made in the lives of others is largely attributable to his time in the El Reno School System,” she wrote in the nomination letter. “Jeff was blessed with incredible teachers that prepared him for college and taught him valuable life lessons. Jeff has continued to develop as a leader over the last 30 years and is looked up to by hundreds of people.
He serves on national boards involved in health care and was a past president and board member of the El Reno School Board for seven years.
2016 Alumni Recipients:
Richard Fogg has practiced law in El Reno for 51 years, with the 115 year old Fogg and Fogg firm. His family boasts EHS graduates from the first class of 1901 through four more generations. Fogg graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1963 with a BA in English/Letters and in 1965 with a Juris Doctorate. He then served in Vietnam from 1966-67, earning him the Vietnam Service Medal, National Service Medal, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal.
Fogg has served in a number of service-related areas, from two terms as El Reno City Council member, to Chairman of the Oklahoma Board of Bar Examiners and Chairman of the Redlands Community College Board of Regents. He has been involved in El Reno’s First Christian Church where he has served as an elder for 46 years. One of Fogg’s hobbies is photography, for which he twice earned Best of Show at the El Reno Arts Festival.
Vicki Russell Myers co-founded Russell-Murray Hospice, considered one of the top nonprofit hospice organizations in the state. Her nominee aptly noted that Myers “has been a tireless advocate for access to quality health care and jobs for all of Canadian County. She has voluntarily served many local, state and national organizations, all while bringing her expertise back into the community she loves.”
Myers graduated from then El Reno Junior College and later earned a BS from Mid-America Bible College in Business Management Ethics with a minor in Religious Studies. She has studied hospice and palliative care in London and Scotland and was licensed in 2009 as a clinical hypnotherapist by the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners. Her honors include Outstanding El Reno Citizen, and she has served El Reno education as a Regent for the Redlands Community College and El Reno Public Schools school board member.
Myers has been married to Mark Myers for 45 years. They have two daughters, Jani Jones and Holli Nelson, and a granddaughter.
Julie Erb-Alvarez is a graduate from Northeastern Oklahoma State University and obtained a Master’s degree in Public Health, Epidemiology in 1997 from OU Health Sciences Center. After graduation, Erb-Alvarez served in a number of health-related areas, including epidemiologist and director of the Oklahoma Tribal Center and area epidemiologist for Indian Health Service Oklahoma City area office. From 2004-2005 she served as epidemiologist at Belau National Hospital, Ministry of Health in Koror, Republic of Palau. From February of 2014 to March of 2015, she was deployed with the medical unit under supervision of the Office of the Surgeon General as the unit attacked the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, West Africa.
Erb-Alvarez currently serves as area epidemiologist for Indian Health Service, Oklahoma City area office. She and her husband, Naun Alvarez have been married for more than 13 years and have a daughter, Lili Mae, who will turn 10 in November.