Omaha South High School honored four alumni, a teacher and a community partner when new members were inducted into its Hall of Fame at the Livestock Exchange Building on Sept. 19. Those recognized include:
Anton Tasich (Class of 1949): He owns the award-winning Anton’s Coffee Shop, which has been in the same location in Springfield, Missouri, for 41 years. He was credited for helping put a smoking ban on the ballot in Missouri to eliminate smoking in public spaces. He has served in leadership positions for associations, lodges, temples and boards. He is involved in many charitable organizations and contributes funds to diverse causes.
Terry Bowman (Class of 1951): The U.S. Army veteran joined U.S. Rubber Co. in Omaha in the late 1950s and worked for its successors, Uniroyal Co. in Pittsburgh and USCO Distribution in California, until the company was sold in 1990. An award-winning manager, he started and owned Terry Bowman Group of Logistics, until selling his business in 2008 and retiring in Laguna Niguel, California. He is immersed in charity work and is a world traveler.
Judith (Henggeler) Spohr (Class of 1959): She taught in Nebraska at Columbus High School before moving to teach in the inner-city area of east Los Angeles for 37 years. She was recognized as a Master Teacher and received one of 20 Platinum Apple top teacher awards from United Teachers LA. She received UNK’s Distinguished Alumni award and is an avid South High School supporter, funding scholarships and other projects. She is involved in gluten-free baked products, mining and real estate operations.
Susana Lara (Class of 1991): She is an award-winning curriculum specialist at South High School. She is a Buffett Outstanding Teacher, Ike Friedman Leadership and Barrientos Scholarship award winner. She started Latino Leaders at Central High School and founded Generación Ñ, a scholarship program for students involved in Omaha Public Schools’ leadership clubs. She has helped create curriculum for the Spanish for Spanish Speakers program. She is very involved in community work in South Omaha.
The 2015 Distinguished Teacher award was presented to Dr. Antoinette “Toni” Turnquist, chief operations officer for Omaha Public Schools. She is renowned educator, administrator, writer and artist. She was an OPS Buffett Award winning teacher of studio art, art history, women’s studies and humanities for 39 years while serving more than three decades as South High department chairwoman of visual arts, foreign language, ESL and finally the merged fine arts department. She received the Omaha Chamber of Commerce Award Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in the arts.
The Community Award went to the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center and was accepted by Major Todd Thielke, senior officer of the Kroc Center and his wife, Major Catherine Thielke, officer for congregational life. The Salvation Army facility was selected because of its contributions to South High. Packer teams use the gym space, students have attended their junior/senior prom there for the past four years, and some have been employed at the center. Their state-of-the-art recreational facility has been used by South High staff and families to improve physical fitness.