Alumni Committee

JENI BECKEL LINDBERG, CHAIR – I am a 1973 graduate of Austin High and have lived my entire life in Austin except for 6 years in Fremont, NE. My grandmothers, as well as my parents and their siblings and my siblings, are all AHS graduates. I am very proud to be a Packer. I retired from the high school in 2015 and used every opportunity to give the students a quick history lesson about the building. My husband, Brad, retired from Hormel in 2015, and we have 2 grown sons, Scott and Michael. We have three grandsons and a granddaughter in Grants Pass, OR.

DAVID SIMONSON, VICE CHAIR– I was born and raised in Austin, Minnesota, graduating from Austin High School in 1970. I graduated from the University of Minnesota and played five years of football in the NFL before returning to Austin in 1979. I worked for 27 years on the Austin Police Department before retiring. My wife, Connie, taught in the Austin Public Schools for 32 years. Our three children also graduated from Austin High School and all three are now public school teachers. I enjoyed working on the Austin School Board for 19 years and take great pride in our Austin schools.

TIM RUZEK –  I’m a 1999 Austin High graduate who was involved in basketball and football in high school before focusing my senior year on being an editor for The Sentinel. I worked for 7 years as a news reporter at the Austin Post-Bulletin newspaper. In 2010, I started public relations and development work for The Hormel Institute, a University of Minnesota medical research facility in Austin focusing on cancer research. Since 2016, I have been the water plan and outreach coordinator for the Austin-based Cedar River Watershed District and Mower Soil & Water Conservation District. I enjoy local history and have researched and written about the opening of Austin High’s 1921 section (the north end). My wife, Heather, is a teacher for Austin Public Schools. We have two daughters, Aubrey and Estelle, attending Austin Public Schools.

EDWINA ERSLAND HARDER – My husband, Eric, and I graduated from Austin High School in 1983. I have such great memories of Austin High—sporting events, band/orchestra, Austinian. . . Being a part of the Alumni and Friends organization helps preserve AHS’ rich history. I’m proud to be a Packer!

DEEDEE DUGAN MARX  – I am a 1968 graduate, and have lived in Austin my entire life except for attending Mankato State College. My parents and sister are also graduates of Austin High School as are my two sons. I retired from the Austin Public School District after 35 years of teaching physical education and health as well as coaching a variety of girls’ sports. I have 6 wonderful grandchildren, and enjoy spending time with them. I’ve been a member of the Austin High Athletic Hall of Fame Committee for 12 years, and chairperson for the past 10 years. I also volunteer in numerous organizations in the Austin community! I am proud to be a member of the Alumni and Friends Committee.

MARIE ANHORN CANO – I am a graduate of the class of 1960 with great memories of classes, school activities, attending athletic events and, of course, classmates. After attending the U of M – majoring in Spanish, I left for Mexico and spent over twenty years in Mexico D.F. and Saltillo, Coahuila with my husband and three children. I returned to Austin in the 80’s and our children Jeff, Andrea and Matt all graduated from AHS. Additionally, I had the honor of teaching Spanish at AHS and RCC. I retired from teaching in 2008. I am looking forward to working with the Alumni Association to help keep our alumni connected.

CECE STRATTON KROC– I am a member of the class of 1977 and have been married for 40 years to fellow 1977 grad Joe Kroc. We have three children: Lindsey and husband Jason Campbell (Class of 1999), Erin (Class of 2000), and Joe and wife Sarah Ewing (Class of 2004 and 2009). We’ve also been blessed with five beautiful and rambunctious grandsons! I was employed for 24 years with the Austin Public Schools as a teacher and then instructional coach, while husband Joe was the supervisor of the Electric Department supervisor at the Austin Utilities. Both of us were born and raised in Austin and are proud of the education that our family has enjoyed here. So happy to be a part of this committee that continues to support the students of the Austin Public Schools!

KATIE NELSON ULWELLING –  I graduated from Austin High School in 1969 and then attended Austin Community College (now Riverland). After receiving my teaching certificate from the University of Minnesota in 1974, I returned home where I served as Teacher for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing for Austin Public Schools until my retirement in 2013. My three children benefitted from the wonderful learning opportunities provided by our district, and I currently have two beautiful granddaughters who attend school here. As a member of the Austin Alumni Association, I continue to promote activities which help support quality educational programs for students of all ages.

MIKE RUZEK, Emeritus– We have the same mission as the first AHS Alumni Association that started in 1894. That is, in practical terms, to make connections-alumni connecting with other alumni, the current students and the Austin community. This has resulted in the recall of good memories, the inspiration of successful alumni and opportunities to give back. I’ve really enjoyed the 18 years of being a part of this association, and I am satisfied that we continue to make a positive difference in the lives of people who associated with Austin High School.

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