Five former Waterloo High School students dedicated to making the world around them a better place have been chosen as the exceedingly worthy fifth class of the WHS Legacy Wall.
This year’s honorees are the late Ed Gardner, Waterloo Junior High School principal (1984-2002); William Warren (WHS Class of 1957); Jim Bicklein (WHS Class of 1983); Dr. Minh-Bao Le Mundschenk (WHS Class of 2003); and Jonathan Naber (WHS Class of 2007).
The WHS Legacy Society will host an open house to present awards and honor this newest class Thursday, Sept. 6, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., in the WHS foyer outside the auditorium.
The public is invited to attend.
Naber spent his entire youth in the Waterloo School District and was the WHS Class of 2007 valedictorian. While a model student at WHS, Naber was highly involved in academic clubs and teams including German Club, National Honor Society, Sunday Scholars, Math Team, captain of the Scholastic Bowl Team and was a Sister Cities ambassador exchange student to Porta Westfalica, Germany
Naber won a Waterloo Optimist Club Award and was an Illinois State Scholar.
But it was when Naber left Waterloo to attend University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that he blossomed and discovered the passion that would become his career – and his life.
At U of I, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering in 2011. He continued his education at Cranfield University in England, completing coursework in engineering and management of manufacturing systems in 2014.
He earned a master’s degree from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine at the University of London, earning a M.Sc. in Public Health in Developing Countries from the Royal Society of Medicine, of which he became an associate member in 2014.
Naber has founded and led several companies working to bring low cost, high quality, easily customizable prosthetics to developing counties.
He is currently chief program officer of the Range of Motion Project, working in Guatemala and Denver, Colo., to provide high-quality prosthetic care to people facing barriers to access.
“I am honored to be considered for the WHS Legacy Wall,” Naber said of his nomination. “It is hard to believe that over 10 years have passed since I graduated from WHS, and it is exciting to take stock of all that has transpired since then.
“The four years that I spent at WHS laid down much of the foundation—both academic and philosophical—upon which I completed my further studies and launched my career in the nonprofit sector…
“I hope I can serve as an example to Waterloo’s high school students, families and community members, specifically that anyone can accomplish their mission in life, no matter where they are from or what struggles they face.
I am very interested in getting WHS and wider Waterloo communities involved in our mission to serve people with amputations in Guatemala. Thank you and onwards to mobility!” Naber said.
Edward L. Gardner
Gardner served as principal of Waterloo Junior High School from 1984-2002.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1968 from Illinois State University and a master’s degree in 1976 from Western Illinois University in educational administration.
During his career, Gardner was nominated for and won many awards. But it was the honor bestowed on him by the Waterloo School District that ensured Gardner’s more enduring legacy — the naming of Gardner Elementary School in 2010.
Gardner was an avid runner, having placed in several 5Ks and running in the Go! St. Louis marathon. He taught adult Sunday school at his church for 31 years and was chairman of deacons for 10 years as well as a member of the church building committee.
Gardner was married to Rosalie, and together they had two children, Jason and Paula Gardner and Jennifer and Travis Lallemand, and one grandson, Luc Lallemand.
Throughout Gardner’s career, his primary aim was to know his students. His greatest joy came from watching them in all their endeavors and encouraging them to be their best. He tried to live his life as an example for them to follow.
He saw his school, students and teachers as family, and he worked to support them all.
Gardner saw his primary purpose in life to live as a servant of God.
The memorial money raised at his funeral has provided $15,000 in scholarships awarded to 15 WHS students since 2004 with the air of encouraging them to live with faith in their daily lives.
Students from five churches in the Waterloo area have received the scholarship.
Minh-Bao Le Mundschenk
Mundschenk was a member of the WHS Class of 2003. While at WHS, she was a member of the National Honor Society was a member of the all-state band and was a drum major.
Mundschenk attended U of I, where in 2007 she earned a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. She went on to earn her Doctor of Medicine in 2011 from Southern Illinois University.
She completed a plastic and reconstructive surgery residency in 2017 at Washington University School of Medicine, and in 2018 a microvascular reconstructive surgery fellowship at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
She is employed at Kaiser Permanente in Sacramento, Calif.
She is married to Ryan Mundschenk and they have one child, Archer Mundschenk.
Throughout the years, she has stayed close to her WHS alumnae best friends.
“I am so honored to receive this recognition!” she said.
Bicklein is a graduate of the WHS Class of 1983. While a WHS student he earned a scholar-athlete award, was named to the Cahokia Conference All-Star Basketball Team and was Jaycee Basketball Player of the Year.
He earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from University of Missouri-Rolla, where he was a member of Phi Eta Sigma Honorary Society and Sigma Chi Fraternity.
He began his career with Anheuser-Busch in 1988 as a project engineer and served in a number of roles in both the corporate office and the brewery.
After serving as an assistant brewmaster for seven years, in 2009 he was promoted to senior brewmaster. In 2014, he became general manager of the St. Louis Brewery — the largest Anheuser-Busch brewery in the U.S.
Jim developed a specialty beer, “63118,” which was chosen in a national Anheuser-Busch brewmasters’ competition and sold as a seasonal offering nationwide.
Bicklein married fellow WHS 1983 graduate Beth Saul in 1989 and they have three children: Sarah, Luke and Daniel.
He enjoys spending time with his family on their farm. He is an active member of Concord Presbyterian Church and Maple Leaf Gun Club.
William R. Warren
Warren was a member of the WHS Class of 1957.
Upon graduation, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Southern Illinois University.
He also completed studies at The Basic School, U.S. Marine Corps, Command and Staff College, U.S. Marine Corps, and various professional military schools.
While a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, Warren achieved the rank of colonel. He was awarded three Purple Hearts, which are presented to members of the Armed Forces who have been killed or wounded in action.
He also received three Bronze Stars for heroic or meritorious achievement or service, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, three Vietnam Gallantry Cross awards for deeds of valor or heroic while in contact with the enemy, and other various campaign and achievement medals.
Upon retirement from the U.S. Marine Corps, Warren became the terminal manager and operations officer for Port Royal, S.C.
Warren married fellow WHS Class of 1957 graduate Judy Binder and together they have two children: Amy Pharr of Duncan, S.C., and the late Captain William Warren, U.S. Marine Corps.
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