Three families were honored by Chadron State College during Homecoming festivities Saturday. They are the Katen, Neuharth, and Waggener families.
Waggener Family | Family Tree Award
Seven members of the Waggener family have either attended or graduated from Chadron State College within the past 60 years.
The late Marie (Baird) Keenan was the valedictorian of the 1942 graduating class at Garden County High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education in 1971 and returned to Garden County as a teacher. Throughout her 31-year career, she also taught in Grant and Morrill Counties. She and her husband, Donald, had one child, Jerry.
Marie’s aunt, Helen Waggener, of Chadron graduated from Broadwater High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in education in 1957. She and her husband, Robert, have two sons, Harry and Randy.
Marie’s siblings, Alma (Baird) Wing and Clyde Baird, also attended CSC.
Randy Waggener earned an associate degree in accounting in 1978 and two years later earned a bachelor’s in business administration. He was a tutor, Freshman Co-Advisor, Young Diplomat, and President’s Ambassador. Additionally, he was on the Dean’s List all semesters, and active in Phi Beta Lambda, Blue Key, and the United Ministries of Higher Education at the local and state levels.
From 1984 to 2011, Randy filled various positions with the Bank of the West and its predecessors. In the early 1980s, he worked for banks in Lincoln and Grand Island. From 1978 to 1982, he was an assistant bank examiner with the FDIC.
He and his wife, Rene (McKinley), live in Alliance where Rene is a para-educator at Emerson Elementary and Randy is the city’s Finance Director. Rene earned a bachelor’s in education in 1979 while living in Indiana. She was part of the Lutheran Center Campus Ministry while she attended CSC where she received an early childhood endorsement. Randy and Rene have two adult children, Rayna and Ryan.
Rayna Woodward earned a bachelor’s in elementary and early childhood education in 2013. She was a member of the Nebraska Student Education Association and president of the organization from 2011 to 2013. She was a peer tutor and belonged to Chi Alpha, the International Club, Women’s Choir, and Nights of Country Swing.
Rayna taught kindergarten at Horace Mann Elementary in Rapid City, South Dakota, from 2014 to 2016 and Westside Preschool and Daycare from 2016 to 2019. She and her husband, Dan, live in Rapid City and are the parents of Samuel.
Katen Family | Family Tree Award
Five members of the Katen family have earned degrees from Chadron State College during the past 13 years.
Sally Katen, a Chadron native, earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2006. She retired in 2018 after working in CSC’s Business Office since 1995. Previously, she worked at KN Energy for 18 years. She and her husband, Duane, live in Chadron.
Their son, Curt, lives in Gilbert, Arizona, and is employed by Intel. Previously, he was employed by Freeport, a mining company, in Tucson, Arizona. Curt played on the CSC men’s basketball team from 1999 to 2001. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 2004 and a master’s in education in 2006.
Their son, Jeff, attended CSC from 1993 to 1994. In 1997, he earned an architectural engineering degree from the University of Wyoming. He is a mechanical engineer in Peoria, Arizona.
Their daughter, Stacy Borm, lives in Cheyenne and is an accountant with the State of Wyoming. Previously, she was the deputy clerk with the Clerk of the District Court of Laramie County. She earned a bachelor’s degree in justice studies in 1994. In 2006, she earned an education degree from the University of Wyoming. She and her husband, Cory, have four children, Josh, Kaitlin, Colton, and Cooper.
Stacy’s son, Josh, earned a bachelor’s in education in 2017. He played football from 2011-12 and was a member of Sigma Delta Nu. He now lives in Omaha where he teaches at McMillan Middle School. Previously, he taught and coached football and basketball at Hay Springs for three years. In 2018, the football team he coached was the state runner-up.
Stacy’s daughter, Kaitlin, earned her bachelor’s degree in education in 2016. She was also a member of Sigma Delta Nu and a tutor at Chadron Public Schools. She taught one year in Brush, Colorado, and then moved to Glen Allen, Alaska. She taught elementary grades in Kenny Lake, Alaska, from 2017 to 2019. While she was the volleyball coach, her team at Kenny Lake/Glen Allen High School won the 2A state championship in 2019. She is teaching kindergarten at Sand Point, Alaska, and coaches the high school volleyball team
Neuharth Family | Family Tree Award
Members of Marv and Jeri Neuharth’s family have earned a total of 10 degrees from Chadron State College. Marv earned three degrees and Jeri earned one. Their daughter, Jodi Neuharth Lias, earned two, and her son, Michael Straub, earned one. Their daughter, Janet Neuharth Donovan, earned two degrees and her husband, Jim, also has one CSC degree.
Marv, a retired CSC faculty member, earned a bachelor’s degree in education in 1987, a master’s in education in 1988 and a specialist in education degree in 1989. In 2000, he was awarded “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. Jeri earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1994. She worked at Nebraska Public Power for 30 years and CSC for 20 years. The couple recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
Jodi and her husband, Dr. Jeff Lias, live near Chadron and Jodi is the office manager for Panhandle Surgical in Chadron where Jeff is a surgeon. Jodi’s first degree was in education and her second was a master’s in mental health counseling. Jodi also earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 1996.
Her son, Michael, lives in Gillette, Wyoming, and works in coal production. He graduated from CSC in 2007 with a degree in criminal justice. He has one son, Tegan, who is 12 years old and wants to attend CSC.
Janet and Jim live in Geneva, Nebraska. Janet earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s in mental health counseling. She is a Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner at the Lancaster County Jail in Lincoln. In 2014, she was honored as the State of Nebraska Employee of the Year. Jim graduated from CSC in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He is an insurance agent with Fortify Group. The couple have three children: Bill, Alexandria, and Lance.