Austin High School Alumni Association and Friends

Reunion Handbook

Upcoming Class Reunions

Class of 1953
September 7 & 8

Contact: Barb Flaherty

Class of 1968 50th
August 3 & 4

Contact: Cathie Sayles

Class of 1973
August 24 & 25

Contact: Jeni Lindberg

Class of 1978
August 10 & 11

Contact: Randy Bailey




The Austin High School Alumni & Friends Association was created in 1993 under the umbrella of the APE Foundation. Our mission is “Preserving the Past and Planning the Future.” This was the mission of the first Austin High School Alumni Association that started in 1894, and like them, we make connections. We provide opportunities for alumni to connect with other alumni, current students, and the Austin community. This has resulted in the recall of good memories, students' being inspired by successful alumni, and the alumni and friends of Austin High School, in grateful appreciation, choosing to give back.

Every year we plan the Distinguished Alumni Celebration to coincide with Homecoming. Established in 2002, it was designed to honor recipients who have contributed to society in an exemplary manner and serve as positive role models for students. The family of one of those recipients, Richard Eberhart, donated the money so that the Eberhart Poetry contest could be held each spring.

We also are responsible for the informational mini-biographies and photos that explain the names of certain buildings and rooms that are part of Austin Public Schools.  Those are hung in the gym lobby at Austin High School by the “Floor on the Wall," which also was established by the AHS Alumni & Friends Association. The money received from the sale of plates for the “Floor on the Wall” goes into the Huntting Endowment that provides funds for APE grants. We have a museum located on Austin High’s west side.  We publish the P.S. Post Sentinel twice a year. 

Membership in the Alumni & Friends Association will help us to continue “Preserving the Past and Planning the Future." An annual membership of $15 is a tax-deductible donation.

Membership Form-Join Now!

Austin Alumni Association Committee






Left to Right: Steve Kime, Nicole Caporale, Tim Ruzek, Rosie Seltz, Jayna Heimark, Joan Diggins,
Dave Simonson, Becky Astrup, DeeDee Marx, Katie Ulwelling, Jeni Lindberg

JENI BECKEL LINDBERG, CHAIR – I am a 1973 graduate 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 work at the high school and use every opportunity to give the current students a quick history lesson about this building. My husband, Brad, works for Hormel, and we have 2 grown sons, Scott and Michael.

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 Schoo,l 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.

BECKY ANDERSON ASTRUP, SECRETARY - My husband, Dan, and I graduated from Austin High School in 1976. Our 3 children are also AHS graduates. I was involved in cheerleading and choir and remember attending every possible event that I could get to. I joined the AHS Alumni and Friends Association to stay connected with AHS and to give back to this wonderful school that I and my family received so much from.

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. That led me to spend much time working at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's student newspaper before I graduated from there and started working for 7 years for the Austin Post-Bulletin newspaper as a reporter. In summer 2010, I started a new job doing public relations and development work for The Hormel Institute, a University of Minnesota medical research facility in Austin that focuses on cancer research. My wife, Heather, is a teacher for Austin Public Schools. We have a 2-year-old daughter, Aubrey.

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!

ROSIE SELTZ – I graduated from Winona High School but did teach at AHS along with my husband, Dick. I taught Journalism, Academic Practices and Writing for School plus being the advisor for The Sentinel and Austinian. Dick taught Civics and American History and was an assistant basketball coach and head baseball coach. Our 4 children- Steve, Louise, Sam and Andy-are all AHS graduates. I still enjoy being connected with Austin High School.

DEEDEE DUGAN MARX  – I am a 1968 graduate, and have lived in Austin my entire life except for attending Mankato State College.   My parents were 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 2 wonderful grandchildren, and enjoy spending time with them as well as doing lots of volunteering in the Austin community!  I enjoy being part of the Austin High Athletic Hall of Fame Committee and look forward to being part 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 35 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 (Class of 2004).   We’ve also been blessed with four beautiful and rambunctious  grandsons!  I have been employed for 20 + years with the Austin Public Schools as a teacher and now  instructional coach, while husband Joe is the supervisor of the Electric Department at 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!

NICOLE WINTER CAPORALE - I graduated from Austin High School in 1998.  I went on to get my undergraduate degree in education from UW-Eau Claire and my Masters from Hamline University in St. Paul.  After teaching abroad in Kazakhstan and Guatemala for a few years, I returned to Austin and have been working as an English as a Second Language teacher at Southgate Elementary School ever since!  My husband, Jonathan Caporale and I are expecting our first child in September 2014.

KATIE NELSON ULWELLING - I was born and raised in Austin.  I graduated from Austin High School in 1969 and then attended Austin Community College (now Riverland).  I received my Bachelors’ degree from the University of Minnesota in the areas of Elementary Education and Special Education (Deaf/Hard of Hearing).  I received my Masters’ degree from the University of St. Scholastica.  Before retiring in 2013, I served as Teacher for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students, ages birth through 21, for Austin Public Schools.  In 2000, I was a top ten finalist for Minnesota Teacher of the Year.  I have three adult children who attended school in Austin, as well.  My greatest joy, currently, is acting as the proud grandmother of two darling granddaughters and one extremely handsome grandson.  I feel it was an honor to be educated in, and later serve as an educator for,  Austin Public Schools.  As a member of the Austin Alumni Association, I look forward to supporting and promoting activities which will help provide 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.




Nomination Form

Deadline date is June 1, 2018

Established in 2002, the Distinguished Alumni Award was designed to honor recipients who have contributed to society in an exemplary manner, who have achieved outstanding success in business, a profession, the arts, humanitarian efforts or community service and who serve as positive role models for students. The nominee must have graduated from AHS at least 10 years prior to receiving the award.

2017 Distinguished Alumini Recipients
Michael Morrison, Class of 1964
Dr. Kurt Potach, Class of 1972

2016 Distingquished Alumni Recipients
David Hodge, Class of 1966
Ardell Brede, Class of 1957

2015 Distinguished Alumni Recipients
Col. John Lund, Class of 1947
Dr. Dale Anderson, Class of 1952

2014 Recipients
Marlou Garbisch Johnston, Class of 1960
Wendell King, Class of 1958

2013 Recipients
Jocelyn (Joy) Morgan Dey, Class of 1963
Thomas Murphy, Class of 1976

2012 Recipients
June Kjome, Class of 1938
Peggy McLaughlin Keener, Class of 1956

2011 Recipients
Nancy Jordan Eitreim, Class of 1960
Timothy Hoopman, Class of 1963

2010 Recipients
Earl Butler, Class of 1960
Phyllis Dankers Yes, Class of 1959

2009 Recipients
Rhonda Voight Montgomery, Class of 1968
Paul Erickson, Class of 1974

2008 Recipients
Mary Dunlap Wennes, Class of 1958
David Simonson, Class of 1970

2007 Recipients
Jamey Weichert, Class of 1975
Tom Nelson, Class of 1963

2006 Recipients
Jerry Anfinson, Class of 1955
David House, Class of 1968

2005 Recipients
Cindy Howden, Class of 1977
Richard Knowlton, Class of 1950
Patty Thatcher Montgomery, Class of 1961

2004 Recipients
Richard Eberhart, Class of 1921
Teri Hall, Class of 1969

2003 Recipients
Charles Wilson, Class of 1939
Juanita Cockrum Hayes, Class of 1964
Mark Cady, Class of 1971

2002 Recipients
James Huntting, Class of 1945
Marno McDermott, Class of 1956







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