LPS Alumni

ALUMNI

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LPS grads go on to do incredible things! Enjoy these spotlights of just a few of our amazing Livonia alumni and what they’re up to now. (Know someone who should be featured? Please email lulaszek2@livoniapublicschools.org)

Samuel Klos, Stevenson 2013

Sam attended Buchanan Elementary, Riley Upper Elementary, Holmes Middle School, and Stevenson High School (2013). He graduated from Wayne State University’s College of Nursing in 2019 with a Bachelor’s in the Science of Nursing (BSN).

He started at St. Mary Mercy Hospital in 2014 working in the kitchen, became a Patient Care Technician (PCT) in 2016, and started as an RN on the Cardiac unit in 2019.

Regarding working at the hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sam said, “I had only been an RN for 10 months when COVID-19 cases started filling the hospital. 3 East, the unit I work on, became the first designated COVID-19 unit in the hospital. As patient acuity rose, my colleagues and I were given crash courses on how to manage patients on ventilators and medications we were not used to using. We were fortunate enough to have adequate supplies of PPE which was not the case at other facilities across the country. While many of us were scared, the Livonia community kept our spirits up with plenty of food and words of affirmation. I am thankful to be able to serve and continue to serve the people of this community.”

Sophia Lynch, Stevenson 2014

Sophia was recently featured in the Livonia Observer for her new short film, “Leaving Michiana.” Sophia wrote, directed, co-produced and starred in the film. Sophia has also worked in production on the set of “Barry,” an Emmy Award-winning HBO comedy. 

Read more about this Hollywood-bound alumna here: https://www.hometownlife.com/story/life/community/observer/livonia/2021/08/17/livonia-stevenson-graduate-premieres-short-film-leaving-michiana/8148668002/?fbclid=IwAR1ikr8T4InM5e_dP7IdL5XJues0oSI8A4IgyNKwtMIut6JNF69fqWOhwfI 

Robyn Hinchman, Stevenson 2013

Robyn attended Webster Elementary, Frost Middle, and Stevenson High schools. She attended the University of Michigan, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Space Engineering. She was heavily involved in the Michigan Aeronautical Science Association (MASA), a student team specializing in the design, manufacturing, and launching of sounding rockets. Fun fact, she was the president of the team during the year they won the worldwide competition!

Robin spent two summers as a propulsion engineering intern at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. After graduation, she moved to Cape Canaveral Florida, to work as a launch engineer at SpaceX. There, she helped refurbish many flown Falcon 9 rocket boosters and prepared them to fly again several times over. 

Now, she is still at SpaceX, but has moved to Los Angeles to work as an Integration & Test Engineer. In this role, she specializes in the final assembly and checkouts of the Raptor rocket engine, which will hopefully carry humans to the Moon and Mars!

Derek Kevra, Stevenson 2003

Derek attended Coolidge Elementary, Riley Middle School and Stevenson High School. You can catch him on the local news because he works as a Meteorologist at Fox 2 News.

Reflecting on his journey and how his experiences at LPS prepared him, Derek says, “After college, my career took me to some really fun places; working as a meteorologist in Oregon (where I met my wife!) and then in New Orleans (where I discovered Mardi Gras!).  Working as a meteorologist in the TV News industry is interesting because while there is a very large science component to it putting together the forecast there is also a “performance” component to it when the TV light goes on.  It’s at this time that I’m even more grateful for my experiences with LPS.  As far back at Riley Middle School I was involved with the stage plays/musicals with Eric Stromberg all through High School with Michael Corliss. Being on stage helped me learn how to communicate with an audience – and how to ad lib in case things go wrong!  All of the skills have helped get me to where I am today.”

Erin Liepa, Stevenson 2007 

Erin moved from Livonia to Geneva, Switzerland. Reflecting on life abroad, Erin says, “Living abroad has made it possible for me to pursue a career and a lifestyle that I love. I live in Geneva, Switzerland, and moved here in 2011, after graduating from Michigan State University. Shortly after I moved here, I began working in global health and infectious diseases at The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, where I still work today. The Global Fund is an international organization under the broader umbrella of the United Nations and its associated institutions. We invest more than four billion dollars each year in global health, primarily through grants to low and middle-income countries.  In my current role, I am working on the Global Fund’s next Strategy, which aims to end AIDS, Tuberculosis, and malaria as public health threats by 2030.  The language spoken in Geneva is French, but my current work is primarily in English. Outside of work, my husband, friends, and I enjoy an active life in Switzerland. We count more than forty nationalities in our wider friend circle and enjoy spending time on Geneva’s lake in the summer, skiing in the mountains in winter, and travelling together in between. Work has taken me from Nigeria to Tanzania to Burkina Faso (and more!) and outside of work, my travels have taken me from Russia to Argentina to New Zealand to the Kingdom of Tonga, and beyond.”

Erin credits her experiences as a LPS student with preparing her to be a global citizen. “My interest in international affairs took hold from a young age and was nurtured at Livonia Stevenson, where I was in Global Education and studied French and Spanish. After high school I continued to pursue these interests, attending the James Madison College at Michigan State University, and graduating with two degrees: one in French, and one in Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy.  Some of my favorite memories from Livonia Stevenson were participating in MAMUN, a Model United Nations conference, where I am now a staff member and chairperson. I have volunteered as a staff member at MAMUN every year for the past fourteen years since graduating from Stevenson, and even while living abroad, I have been able to return to Michigan to participate in MAMUN each year, and to connect with each new class of Livonia Stevenson students. In 2017 I was Livonia Stevenson’s commencement speaker, an honor and a privilege for which I will always be grateful!” 

Marissa Kreutzfeld, Franklin 2010 

Marissa is clerking for a judge who sits on Michigan’s highest court. She attended McKinley Elementary School, Emerson Middle School, and Franklin High School. 

She’s had a wide variety of experiences early in her judicial career. “While my focus has always been on social injustice, I felt compelled to work in the judiciary, where my passion and interest always laid, and where I felt that my skills would be of the most use to society.  I was fortunate to be hired to work a two year term at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upon my graduation in 2017, which was based in Atlanta, GA.  I never saw myself living in the South, but I really enjoyed my time there.  Atlanta is full of wonderful people and is an extremely fun place to live in your mid-20s.  But, I was a bit homesick and wanted to be closer to my family, with whom I have always been close.  I was lucky enough to secure a job starting in September 2019 with Judge Anica Letica at the Michigan Court of Appeals as her law clerk.  While I enjoyed my time with Judge Letica, I was eager to continue advancing through the judiciary and work with other young lawyers.  I found that opportunity when Justice Welch was elected in November 2020 and was looking for clerks to join her in January 2021.  I have been there ever since, and really love my job helping shape the law for the State I love so much.”  

Sheryl Ann Crespo, Churchill 2013

After graduating from Churchill in 2013, Sheryl Ann Crespo moved to New York City to attend Columbia University, which launched the start of a fantastic career — from the gaming industry to building technology teams.

“While I entered as a biomedical engineering major — a choice inspired by my biology teacher through the MSC program, Mr. Meloche — I eventually switched to study computer science and evolutionary biology. I founded Columbia’s Game Design and Development organization — a passion project that eventually drove a career move into the gaming industry. My journey into computer science began with taking a research fellowship at Columbia’s History Lab, conducting machine learning research (natural language processing) on government documents. When I graduated in 2017, I did similar work in the pharmaceutical space, but left after the company was acquired to work as a first hire in a gaming intelligence startup. Given my involvement in the gaming industry, I fell into semi-professional cosplay, promoting for companies including Blizzard and Team 17 at various events and conferences. After building up and managing the engineering team, we were acquired by Nielsen, where I led software engineering efforts for Nielsen’s sports vertical. Since then, I have taken a position as Director, building a tech team from the ground up at a post-investor logistics company; aiding a 50-year-old family-run freight forwarder undergo its digital transformation.”

April Maas, Churchill 2006

April recently moved home to Michigan after a decade in New York City. She works as a fundraiser at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Her high school friends have remained friends for life. 

“I often tell people that my high school experience was much like High School Musical – including people randomly breaking into song in the halls – in a good way. Churchill set me up for success in life, and also gave me my most lasting friendships. All my friends were joiners, probably too much so. From Marching Band to The Charger Herald, National Honor Society and musical theater – I believe these early collaborative and leadership experiences helped us all establish the ambition that continues to drive us 15 years later. The academic rigors of Churchill served us well, propelling us through college, and for several of us, grad school too. My core group of high school friends have gone on to diverse careers in finance, fundraising, medicine, film, and more. We have scattered across the country, but many of us have found our way back to southeast Michigan in the past year.

Without a doubt, the most valuable thing we walked away with was our friendships (plus the many new friends and partners we brought into the fold along the way). My closest friends from Churchill continue to support and challenge me and know me deeper than almost anyone – we have an enduring bond that cannot be replicated. Long lunches at Sushi House, late night coffee in downtown Plymouth, and concerts downtown – all wonderful memories from our high school years, but we continue to make new ones each year. I know we are incredibly privileged to have received an excellent public school education, and truly enjoyed our high school experience. Few are given such an opportunity.” 

Brandon McCullough, Franklin 2000

Livonia City Council Member (current term – January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2023)

I spent my childhood roaming the streets of South Livonia on my 1992 GT Mach One BMX. I was a regular at Wonderland Mall, Cutting Corner, Daly, Bread Basket, Senate Coney Island and too many more to name. I attended elementary school at Cleveland, middle school at Emerson and high school at Franklin.

During my days at Franklin, I was blessed to meet my beautiful wife Kacie, who to this day claims the only reason she agreed to go on a date was that I was the captain of the Franklin Hockey team. She is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a degree in Special Education. She loved the education she received from Livonia Public Schools so much she joined the team and is teaching at our alma mater, Franklin High School, in the resource room. Following my incredible Livonia Public Schools education, I attended Lawrence Tech and obtained a degree in Construction Engineering and graduated with honors.

My professional career really took off in 2008 when I served as the Director of Construction for Habitat for Humanity. During my employment, our affiliate renovated and built over 65 homes across Macomb County providing safe housing for many deserving families. My biggest accomplishment at Habitat was leading a project to create Macomb County’s first LEED for Homes Platinum certified project.

Currently, I serve as the Facilities Manager for the Northville Township with the overall management of the Facilities Management Division. This division is tasked with the operations, capital planning, and construction management for all the township’s facilities and grounds. 

My wife and I purchased our family home in Burton Hollow Estates in 2009 and in 2014, we welcomed our one-of-a-kind daughter Harper (Harps) Rose. We are convinced that she will be both the Captain of the USA Women’s Olympic Hockey team and the President of the United States.

Kelly Walblay, Franklin 2011

Kelly is an Epidemiologist at the Chicago Department of Public Health. Her role during the pandemic focused primarily on tracking COVID-19 cases and responding to outbreaks in healthcare settings, specifically nursing homes throughout Chicago.

Reflecting on her work during the pandemic, Kelly said, “Serving in the public health sector during this time has been a whirlwind. I honestly never thought I would be responding to a pandemic in my entire epidemiology career let alone within the first five years. This experience was (and still is) challenging… It has been a time where it truly required “all hands-on deck” and you are working in a fast-paced and high-stakes environment. Even with these challenges, this experience has been a rewarding one. Rarely are you able to see your work validated as impactful and during this time, my team and I contributed directly to city policies and strategic decisions made throughout the course of the pandemic. Although the response was not perfect, I am honored to work alongside such a passionate, devoted team. They all have worked tirelessly for the past two years because they genuinely care about what happens to the communities they serve, and I know this dedication will continue indefinitely, even long past the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

Lisa Keith, Stevenson 1997

She attended Taylor Elementary, Holmes Middle School, Stevenson High School (1997), and graduated from Madonna University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice.

After college I was hired by the Department of Homeland Security where I worked as an immigration and customs inspector at the Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (The U.S. Government established Ports of Entry in foreign countries, known as “Pre-clearance”, where international passengers clear U.S. immigration and customs prior to arriving in the U.S.) I lived in Montreal for five years and I have lots to say about this experience, but in short, I learned more during this time than I ever did in college, made lifelong friends and learned to speak French along the way.

In 2007, I was hired as a special agent by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); and, following a grueling academy, I moved back to Detroit. HSI is the principle investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security with over 6,800 special agents located in 220 cities across the nation and 86 international offices around the globe. HSI investigates transnational criminal organizations that threaten or seek to exploit the customs and immigration laws of the United States. During my career, I have investigated human rights abuses, most notably, a suspected perpetrator in the 1994 Rwandan genocide where I traveled to Rwanda to interview survivors and witnesses; I became a subject matter expert in child exploitation crimes with over 100 investigations involving the sexual exploitation of children; and finally, the investigation I am most proud of is the first ever federal prosecution of 18 U.S.C. 116, Female Genital Mutilation, which led to the State of Michigan enacting its first criminal statute for FGM. In 2017, I was promoted to supervisory special agent. I have supervised investigations involving human trafficking, human smuggling, immigration fraud, human rights violators, financial crimes, narcotics smuggling, and matters concerning national security. Most recently, I lived in Washington, D.C. for an 18 month assignment working for executive leadership at HSI; and a temporary assignment to Operation Allies Welcome at Ft. McCoy, Wisconsin to assist in the largest humanitarian effort in U.S. history following the evacuation of nearly 100,000 Afghan refugees from Afghanistan in August 2021. I have the greatest job in the entire world and I am profoundly grateful for it.

I always knew what I wanted to do in life. My interest was criminal justice, but when you’re young, and female, it can be hard to imagine what that looks like. My dream was to be a special agent. Interestingly, I was very shy growing up. I talk about this part of me often because my shyness could have prevented me from realizing my biggest dream. I worked very hard, and still do, to always push myself outside of my comfort. When you do that, the most powerful growth happens. Finally, I credit my supportive and encouraging parents for my success. They told me I could do whatever I wanted and I believed them.

Garon Cockrell, Churchill 1998

Award-winning Screenwriter, Best-Selling Author, Podcaster/Producer, LGBTQIA, Twitch Streamer

Garon Cockrell is an award-winning screenwriter, producer, best-selling author, blogger, and podcaster living in Los Angeles, by way of Michigan, and chasing that dream of conquering the entertainment industry. He has a lifelong love of pop culture, film, music, games, books, and nearly anything horror related.

You can find him all over the internet on Twitter, Twitch and Instagram @MyNameIsGaron and as a cast member on the award-winning podcast “Never Not Funny” hosted by Jimmy Pardo.

Matt Fournier, Franklin 1993

Franklin High School class of 1993. 

Married to Tammy Fournier (Schaffer) also class of 1993. 

Children: Katie (Franklin 2018), Cal (Franklin 2019) and Caden (Franklin 2022). 

After graduating from Franklin, Matt went onto Wayne State University and earned his bachelor’s degree in Physical Education while pitching on the baseball team for four years. He was hired into Livonia Public Schools in January of 1999 and taught his first eight years at Randolph Elementary School. He then moved to Emerson Middle School where he has been for the past 16 years as a Physical Education and Health teacher. 

He also holds a master’s in education from Marygrove College in 2001 and has taken master’s plus classes from Fresno Pacific. 

He has been the varsity baseball coach at Franklin High School since 2007 and has been serving on Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association as a board member since 2019. Matt was selected as the MHSBCA East All Star game coach in 2019. 

Carrie (Creehan) Hanshaw, Stevenson 1991

Carrie attended Marshall Elementary School, Holmes Middle School and Stevenson High School (1991).  After leaving LPS, she attended the University of Michigan and earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.  She then began working at Ford Motor Company in the Front End Accessory Drive Department.  While working at Ford, she earned a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Dearborn.  She continued to work at Ford for eight years.  After meeting her husband, Jamie, at Ford, she became a stay-at-home parent in 2002.

While staying home with her two daughters, Carrie spent countless hours volunteering in her new community of South Lyon.  She was a Girl Scout leader for both girls, leading the girls on many campouts, square dances and charity events.  She even had two Scouts earn their Gold Award.  Her younger daughter was born with Down syndrome and that lead her on a new path volunteering with many Down syndrome and special needs advocacy groups.  She is also heavily involved in the South Lyon swim community.

Carrie also spent eight years on the South Lyon Community Schools Board of Education, seven years as secretary and one year as president.  While representing all students, she brought awareness for students with disabilities and was a major supporter of inclusive education.  Since completing her final term on the board, she has been working at South Lyon High School as a guest teacher.

Annamaria Koncz, Stevenson 1995

“My parents, sister and I came to America in 1981 from Hungary.  My parents barely knowing the language, starting a new life in a new country! My parents enrolled me into Hungarian folk dancing at the age of 7 so I could remember my roots.  I was being taught Hungarian at home and English in school. I would perform at Cobo Hall and Toledo festivals until the age of 18.  

“Stevenson High School allowed me to go to the Livonia Tech/Career Center from 1993-1995 where I became certified in computer programming, and interactive screen design. Although I didn’t end up being a computer programmer, it made me very computer literate. I loved going there.  It was very interactive and fun!  The teacher was one of my favorites, Mr. Vince.  I even visited him after I graduated for a while.  After graduation, I then went to Oakland Community College in Farmington Hills, MI, and got my business admin degree.

“I never married, love boating and traveling, and have a cat called Bandit. I worked for a company where I had to cold call and warm call people on the phone.  I broke the record in sales in both departments in 2 years.  Then off to start as a leasing consultant for an apartment complex and within 3 months they gave me my own title of assistant property manager and I went to a different site. I was later promoted to property manager. I was a successful property manager most of my life, but I wanted more.  I got my license in health insurance and did that for a while.  I also became a mortgage broker.  I traveled around the United States doing the Y2K for computers.  Remember that?  I was also an extra in the movie Killing the Irishman! Pretty much a jack of all trades until I finally settled; well for now anyways on one. With property management in my belt, I thought it would only be fitting to become a real estate agent. I was already doing the work with apartments, why not houses?  I got my real estate license in 2006.  Now work for Clients First Realtors in Canton. Been serving the Livonia area and surrounding areas ever since. If you need a real estate agent that speaks both Hungarian and English, I’m your girl!”

Diana (Stapleton) Gorman, Franklin 1993

Diana went to Adams Elementary, Riley Middle School and Franklin High School graduating in 1993. After graduating from Eastern Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration – accounting in April of 1997, she started working for U.S. Customs as a Regulatory Auditor.  At that time, U.S. Customs was a part of The Department of Treasury. As a Customs Auditor, she reviews the paperwork needed by a company to have their merchandise cross the border or come into the United States from overseas. She also makes sure that they are paying the correct amount of duties and fees to the Government and valuing their merchandise properly. Being in the Detroit Area, this branch mostly audits automotive companies. There are Regulatory Audit branches in 26 cities around the country. While working for Customs, Diana attended the University of Michigan Dearborn and got her master’s degree in finance. In 2005, U.S Customs changed its name and became U.S. Customs and Border Protection and is now part of The Department of Homeland Security. In June of this year, Diana was awarded for her 25th year of service to the U.S. Government.

Diana and her husband, Wade, have two children, Haley (2021 Franklin graduate) and Jack (Franklin Class of 2023). Over the years, Diana has been very involved in the PTA/PTSA at her children’s schools and currently is the treasurer at Franklin High School.

Dan West, Franklin 1991

Born in Detroit and moved to Livonia at age 13 and attended Emerson Middle School and Franklin High School, Class of 1991. While in school, Dan wrote for student newspaper and played baseball.

For 21 years, Dan has been married to Amy, a teacher at Allen Park High School. They have two daughters: Janie, 18, Stevenson HS, Class of 2022 – student-athlete at Hillsdale College playing softball, and Natalie, 15, heading into sophomore year at Stevenson HS – student-athlete playing varsity volleyball. They also have four nephews and nieces within LPS (three in school now, 4th graduated from SHS this year).

Dan has been the president of Livonia Chamber of Commerce since November 2006. The Livonia Chamber is a nonpartisan, nonprofit trade organization that has served Livonia business community since 1950. It currently represents 960 members with a focus on regional collaboration, building the future workforce, and fostering a culture of inclusion. One of its longest-running initiatives is making families and students aware that most future jobs don’t require a four-year university degree. There are plenty of great careers available to young people interested in skilled trades, medical trades and information technology and only need to complete an associate degree or certificate program.

He previously worked as a newspaper reporter for 12 years, the final three years at the Livonia Observer, and holds a bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University.

Dan has a love of sports and served as the sports public address announcer for Stevenson HS football and other sports for 16 years. He also coached travel softball for several years. His other volunteer activities including being an adult leader for the annual Boy Scout camp at Mackinac Island and serving on several nonprofit boards within the Livonia community.

“My job basically involves being a cheerleader for my hometown. I love my job and working with so many community-minded people who are focused on solving problems and helping others.

“I try to be a cheerleader for others for local business owners and as a coach and scout leader for young people. With all people, you try to support them with their frustrations and help them learn and move forward on their journey.

“I love Livonia because it is a like a big, small town. When you go to the store, go to a high school game, go to a restaurant, or walk in the park, chances are you will run into someone you know. It gives you that small town feel where you feel like you belong to the place, but there is so much to do in our city or nearby.”

Sue (Stapleton) Pulice, Bentley 1985

Sue attended Adams Elementary, Riley Middle School and was in the last graduating class out of Bentley in 1985. She remembers being excited to graduate but it was also a bit sad knowing the school was closing for good! She loved growing up in Livonia! Going to CB swim club and riding her bike for miles with her friends are some of her best memories. Sue still has close friends from those days! After Bentley, she went on to get a BS in Engineering Arts/Packaging from Michigan State in 1989 and went back to MSU again for a MBA in Materials and Logistics Management, completing it in 1993. Sue married her high school boyfriend, Gino, in 1995, who is a 1984 Bentley grad.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree, Sue went to work as a Packaging Engineer in Puerto Rico for Warner Lambert Inc. She really liked her time on the island, it was beautiful, and the people were so friendly. There are many lively festivals on the island as well, which she loved! After returning to Michigan and completing her MBA, she went to work for the Purchasing Department at The Detroit Medical Center. Sue enjoyed her time as a buyer, “I remember discussing things over a luncheon. Now a days the vendor/client relationship is so different!’ she said.

Sue left the DMC when she and Gino started a family. They have three kids, Lukas, who is a pilot in the Air Force (and fellow MSU alum), Sierra, who is a GVSU grad and Medical Lab Scientist, and Leah, who attends Eastern Michigan University studying Interior Design/Construction Management.

Currently, Sue works for Washtenaw Community College and really enjoys it! Community colleges are a great option for many high school seniors. She loves being around academia and one of her favorite activities in any new city is to walk around the local college campus. Last year on a meandering road trip home from NYC, she made her daughter walk around Yale, Harvard and Cornell! Campuses are so lively, historical and beautiful. Sue loves to spend as much time outdoors as possible – hiking, biking and kayaking.

Marie Hosep, Franklin 2017

Marie attended Emerson and Franklin then went to Schoolcraft College for two years and is now getting a Bachelor’s in Psychology at GVSU. Marie is currently a Psychiatric Technician at Pine Rest in Grand Rapids. 

In 2020, Marie, a 20-year-old college student at the time, felt called to help a woman over 2,000 miles away. Continue reading to find out about what she did to help this complete stranger in her time of need.

“Shortly after the George Floyd protests began, a school of self-defense, ran by a black woman and predominantly attended by people of color, was burned down in Long Beach, California. (I mention race because, with that demographic, it’s highly unlikely that a Black Lives Matter protester is responsible, and it was likely an act of race-based arson by a non-person of color.) 

“I saw the business owners posts about losing the business she built up alongside her father for 25 years and I was touched. I was able to get ahold of her and set up a GoFundMe in her name. I donated the last $15 I had to my name to start it off and sent it into social media. It gained traction incredibly fast, raised $20,000 in less than two hours, and just kept climbing. Today, it sits at over $166,000!

“I got a significant amount of media attention for this and did interviews throughout August and September of 2020. Then, the producers of the Kelly Clarkson Show reached out to me. I was on the show and got to talk to Kelly and the audience about the fundraiser and why I did it!”

Below are links to Marie’s appearance on the Kelly Clarkson Show as well as a few major news channels in Los Angeles that covered the story.

https://www.nbc.com/the-kelly-clarkson-show/video/woman-meets-strangers-who-raised-160000-to-save-her-business/4249057

https://www.cbsnews.com/amp/losangeles/news/michigan-college-student-raises-100k-for-long-beach-business-burned-during-sunday-riots/

https://www.sistersletter.com/work-money/through-the-fire-protests-pain-and-providence

https://abc7.com/amp/george-floyd-looting-long-beach-jiu-jitsu/6233646/

Dave MacFarland, Stevenson 2002

Dave’s LPS education included Jackson Center preschool, Buchanan Elementary, Riley Middle School and

Stevenson High School. “I had a wonderful experience throughout my time at LPS. I feel very fortunate to still have great relationships with so many past teammates and classmates. My favorite single program I was involved in was definitely Global Education while at Stevenson. Many of the teachers became my favorites and the curriculum was made up of subjects that I’m still interested today. I always enjoyed (before Covid) going back to help the seniors on mock interview day. Both of my parents were LPS teachers then administrators, so I was always taught the value of not only a great education but to give back in meaningful ways. Crazy to think my class just tore it up together for our 20th reunion last month!”

After graduation, Dave received his bachelor’s in communications with minor in public relations from Eastern Michigan University. He is currently in his 8th year of practicing real estate as the lead agent with MacFarland & Company Home Sales powered by Keller Williams Advantage. It primarily services western Wayne, southern Oakland and eastern Livingston Counties. “I love what I do because it lets me consult and advise families how to make a smart investment into what is likely going to be their single largest financial asset. I also enjoy the excitement of helping clients work through what their future holds so we can identify the right home for their lifestyle now and then.”

In his professional career, Dave has racked up many awards and accolades: KW Advantage Rookie of the year in 2015; Hour Magazine: Real Estate All Star in 2019, 2020, and 2021; Real Producers Magazine Top 300 in 2019, 2020, and 2021; and Top 3% in production in Michigan in 2019, 2020, and 2021.

Dave is married to Maureen (SHS 2006) and they live in Livonia with their 16 month old daughter, Rose. “I’ve always felt very lucky in life and yet I’ve never felt the joy and fulfillment that I do now. I found my perfect partner and together we’re having the time of our lives with our sweet, smart and curious little girl. When I’m not hanging with my girls or at work you can find me at the gym, a softball field or having fun while playing bad golf.”

Dave’s keys to success at home and work: 

“I don’t take myself too seriously. I put one hand forward to find those that are where you want to be while holding one back to help those wanting to be where you are.”

Mark McConnell, Stevenson 1986

LPS graduates are leaders in our community! Judge Mark McConnell attended Marshall Elementary, Holmes Middle School, and Stevenson High School (Class of 1986). Today, he is a Judge for the 18th District Court in Westland. 

He describes his journey saying, “While I did not have a high grade point average in high school, I truly believe LPS provided me with a great education and foundation for me to graduate from Bowling Green State University. This foundation helped me graduate from the University of Detroit School of Law with honors. 

I worked for the Michigan Court of Appeals as a research attorney for two years, thirteen years for Angelo A. Plakas and Associates, and the last thirteen years as a Judge. LPS gives current students the tools to reach goals like these as well. While at Stevenson, I most enjoyed watching football and basketball games, and competing in tennis and cross country.” 

Diane Kohn, Stevenson 1979

LPS alumni make their mark on the world! LPS grad, Diane Kohn, is the Chief of the Economic Section at the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Diane got her start in LPS, attending Clay Elementary, Holmes Middle School, and Stevenson High School (Class of 1979). After studying International Economics and Spanish at Valparaiso University, she’s had a varied career working in international and community development.

Describing her journey, Diane says: “I got bored and went to law school, getting my JD at 41 and going to work for the anti-corruption group Transparency International. I eventually found my way to the Department of State and the Foreign Service, leading me to work in Washington, DC, Nigeria, Lithuania, Romania, and DRC. It’s a fascinating world!”

Diane’s words of wisdom to current students: “It’s okay to change your mind. Just because you pick one career path doesn’t mean you have to stay with it forever. Stay curious and seize opportunities.”

And finally, some of her favorite memories from LPS: “Singing in Ma’s Kids and musicals at Holmes with Martha Kuykendall and Cathy Stage, in Lowell Everson’s choirs at Stevenson, and working on the Stevenson Spotlight with Janet Mendler.”

Pictured in her slide above: Diane on the right with the pilot after flying in a BatHawk wildlife tracker in Virunga National Park, DRC.

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