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Francisco Huerta ’14 selected as a Distinguished Teacher

Francisco Huerta ’14, a ninth-grade world history and reading teacher within the Noble Network of Charter Schools, was recently selected as one of 14 new educators to join into its Distinguished Teacher program.

Francisco Huerta

The Noble Network of Charter Schools includes 18 nonprofit charter public schools that prepare roughly 12,000 students for college success each year with excellent teaching, rigorous academics, and comprehensive wraparound supports.

“This is the highest honor that an educator can receive within our network,” Huerta, an Eli Lilly Scholar who majored in psychology and minored in religion and economics, told Wabash Magazine.

The Distinguished Teacher program provides an industry-changing approach to celebrating and rewarding teachers who are achieving an exceptional impact with students, according to a news release. Among other benefits, each winner receives $10,000 annually for as long as they remain teachers at Noble. 

“We launched the Distinguished Teacher program in 2018 following years of prior research on how to best identify, celebrate, reward, and learn from Noble’s most impactful educators,” Constance Jones, CEO of Noble, said in the release. “This year, we’re delighted to announce 14 truly outstanding teachers who both cultivate and lead transformational classroom spaces that empower our students to live exemplary lives.”

Distinguished Teachers applied for the program by submitting written narratives and a portfolio of artifacts including comprehensive data. Finalists then participated in classroom observations and debriefs, student surveys, a panel interview, and reference checks over the course of several months.

“The final round was an hour-long panel interview akin to the Wabash Senior Comprehensive Exam,” Huerta said. “It was an incredibly stressful process.”


Roy Sexton ’95 appointed as treasurer to the LMA Board of Directors

Roy Sexton ’95 has been appointed as treasurer of the 2021 Legal Marketing Association (LMA) Board of Directors. LMA represents thousands of legal marketing and business development professionals in 48 U.S. states and 24 countries.

Roy Sexton

“Being on the LMA Board of Directors is the apex of one’s volunteer leadership within the Legal Marketing Association and is significant in advancing the legal marketing profession as a whole,” LMA Executive Director Danielle Holland said in a news release.

Sexton, director of marketing at Clark Hill Law, has nearly 20 years of experience in marketing, communications, business development and strategic planning.

He has been heavily involved in the LMA as a regional and international leader and serves on numerous nonprofit boards and committees including the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Ann Arbor, Royal Starr Film Festival, Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit and encoremichigan.com.  

“I am honored to serve on the 2021 LMA Board of Directors, and I look forward to the opportunity to help guide the association’s important work,” Sexton said in the release. “LMA will continue to provide outstanding programming and opportunities for professional development and networking to our members and advocate for our profession, locally, regionally and internationally.”

While at Wabash College, Sexton majored in English and theater and was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha and involved with the Wabash Theater, the Bachelor and Student Senate.

Sexton’s LMA appointment became effective January 1, 2021.


Mike Raters ’85 named Mt. Vernon Middle School interim principal

Mike Raters ’85, Wabash’s former Dean of Students and history major, was recently named Mt. Vernon Middle School’s new interim principal.

Mike Raters ’85

Raters starts his contract on Jan. 19 and will serve in the role for the remainder of the school year.

Jack Parker, Mt. Vernon superintendent, told the Greenfield Daily Reporter that he chose Raters as interim principal because of his collaborative leadership approach and track record of building success in organizations he serves.

“He empowers his team to succeed individually, which furthers the sense of community and collective success,” Parker said. “We are looking forward to seeing the positive impact Mr. Raters will have with Mt. Vernon Middle School staff and students.”

Raters leads student affairs and athletics as an associate vice president at Scott Healy & Associates, which recruits for university leadership positions. He’s also a partner and director of education and government projects for Bridge Builder Strategies, LLC.

He previously taught leadership as an adjunct professor at Butler University and was also the dean of students at Wabash College from 2008 to 2019. Before that, he taught at Franklin Central High School and Scecina Memorial High School in Indianapolis.

“I am fortunate to be joining a community of educators and staff that are exceptionally dedicated and, most importantly, student-centered,” Raters told the newspaper. “I am eager to work with them to learn how I can be supportive of their efforts, help advance their teaching and further the leadership of the student body.” 


Reunited After Nearly 30 Years

Last semester, Wabash’s Advancement Office received an unexpected letter from a woman in Hamilton, Montana. It was addressed to “whomever can help” and contained photos of a 1970 class ring.

“I have a class ring from your College, ‘Class of 70,’” the note from Delores Meuchel stated. “The initials G.A.J. are engraved on the inside …  I would like to return it to the owner.”

Aaron Selby ’06, director of annual giving and advancement services, got to work and began tracking down the ring’s owner. He examined the attached photos and noticed Delta Tau Delta’s letters featured. From there, Selby used the Wabash Alumni Directory to look up members of the Class of 1970 who had those initials and were brothers of the fraternity.

“This search quickly identified one person and I reached out to Gregory A. Jackson of Helena, Montana, to see if this was his ring,” Selby recalled. “After talking with Greg by phone, he informed me that he believed this was his class ring and was amazed.”

Jackson’s ring had been missing for 28 years.

Greg Jackon's '70 Wabash class ring
It took 28 years, but Greg Jackson ’70 was reunited with his Wabash class ring.

“Anytime I would open a box or go through things again, I would look to see if I might somehow find it, but it never surfaced,” Jackson said of the ring, which went missing after a separation and move. “It has a special meaning to me and I was heartbroken when it disappeared.

“Over the years I always held out the hope that maybe it would show up.”

And it’s a good thing Jackson never lost that hope.

Selby put Jackson in contact with Meuchel, who lived about 150 miles away.

Meuchel told Jackson that she had purchased a “box of junk” from a garage sale in Elliston, Montana, about 20 miles from Helena. The box was full of aluminum cans, pull tabs and a ring.

“She was mildly intrigued and put it in a jewelry box where it sat for a couple of years,” Jackson said. “She was going through the jewelry box fairly recently and thought maybe she could see who the ring belonged to.”

The ring was eventually mailed and returned back to Jackson around Thanksgiving.

“It’s crazy to think that my ring made a journey around the state of Montana and back to me after all this time,” the Wabash alumnus said.

Jackson, who works as an attorney, said he’s thankful for Meuchel taking the time to track him down and for the College officials who helped facilitate the reunion.

“Graduating from Wabash is a big deal,” Jackson said. “To have that piece of my life back is just absolutely phenomenal. I can’t express enough appreciation.”