Supt. Ness: Hall of Fame inductees

Homecoming is all about welcoming our alumni back to school and to the community. During the event, the 544 Education Foundation and Activities Department introduced the 2018 Distinguished Alumni and Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees prior to the start of the Friday night football game. (Congratulations to the Otters for an excellent win over Perham!)  The actual induction ceremony was held on Saturday, September 29, where Craig Olson served as Master of Ceremonies.

Each inductee (listed below) gave a speech and received a copy of the plaque that will be hung in the Activities Hallway at the Kennedy Secondary School.  

Shannon McKenzie – Class of 1982 lettered in 4 sports – tennis (captain), basketball (captain), golf and track. She was a member of the French Club, National Honor Society and was selected Homecoming queen. She competed on the Women’s Professional Tennis Tour; was an executive producer for The Tennis Channel; director of Product Development for NBC Sports, NBCUniversal Media, LLC – worked on the 2016 Summer Olympics, Sunday Night Football, Premier League, Nascar, Tour de France, 2018 Winter Olympics and 2018 Super Bowl.

Sharon (Mjelde) Landrud – Class of 1970 has been a Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHH) teacher and now facilitates educational services for 325 DHH students in 140 schools, along with serving as a district-wide reading specialist (now retired). She served as adjunct faculty instructor at the University of Minnesota in their Education Department (taught prospective DHH teachers).  She was awarded the “United States Master Teacher of Deaf/Hard of Hearing Students” award. Sharon also published a book of children’s songs.

Katie Weiss Hanneman – Class of 1993 was a 6-year letter winner in golf with two top-ten finishes in the Minnesota State High School Golf Tournament. From 1993-1997, Katie played Division I Golf for the Gamecocks at The University of South Carolina.  After graduation, Katie began her professional level play, most notably on the Futures Tour – the developmental tour to the LPGA.

From 2000-2002 Katie was the Head Women’s Golf Coach at East Tennessee State University. In 2002, The University of Minnesota hired Katie as the Head Women’s Golf Coach. Katie now serves as a Head Coach for The USA Jr. National Golf Team, a Trainer for the Positive Coaching Alliance, a coach for the Orono Spartans Middle School Golf team and runs Hanneman Golf Academy in Minneapolis.  

Curt Reinan – Class of 1957 was named MVP of the Otter basketball squad as a junior. In his senior year, he set a season school scoring record of 462 points in Otter basketball which he held for 29 years. He helped lead the Otters to a 27-1 record that year and 3rd place in the Minnesota State Basketball Tournament. He was named to the All Tournament Team as well. Reinan also played on the Otter football team as a junior and senior, during which the team went undefeated. After finishing college, he joined the US Air Force for a twenty year career during which he became a fighter pilot flying the F-4 Phantom. He served seven overseas tours, including one in Vietnam. During his Air Force career, he earned an MBA and entered the business world upon retirement.

Mike Hilley – Class of 1986 played his junior and senior years as part of the Otters Boys Basketball Team, who went 41-6 and Mike participated in the 1986 State Boys Basketball Tournament. Mike led the Otters in scoring both years. He led Fergus Falls in 1986 with a scoring average of 22.1 points per game and led the team in rebounding, steals, field goal percentage and served as one of the three captains.

Statewide recognition for Mike included First Team All State and one of five finalists for Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball Award in 1986. Mike also participated in the Outstate-Metro All Star series where he was leading scorer in the series. Hilley accepted a full scholarship to play basketball at NDSU and was a two-year starter. He transferred to Concordia College in Moorhead after his junior year and was named MVP and Most Inspirational Player his senior year.