Tonganoxie Education Foundation to celebrate milestone Hall of Fame induction Friday
The Tonganoxie USD 464 Education Foundation will celebrate a milestone with this year’s Hall of Fame inductions.
Friday will mark the 10th class to be inducted into the Education Hall of Fame. The ceremony will take place during halftime of Friday’s Tonganoxie football game against Spring Hill.
There also will be a reception that afternoon for the inductees at the Fairchild Knox Barn on the Tonganoxie Community Historic Site campus.
This year’s Hall of Fame inductees are Ken Mark, Ron Moore and the late Elizabeth Ann Cronemeyer.
This year’s Alumni Achievement Award will go to Kay Soetaert.
Here’s more information about each of the inductees:
Elizabeth Ann Cronemeyer
Cronemeyer was a former longtime Tonganoxie Elementary School teacher who was president of the Tonganoxie Education Association, as well as a former president of the Kansas Reading Association. She also was named Kansas Master Teacher by Emporia State University in 1998.
Cronemeyer was born in Gallup, N.M., on Dec. 11, 1953, the daughter of Lawrence and Frances Moore. She was educated in the public schools of New Mexico, New York and Kansas. She also attended private schools in Quito, Ecuador, and Santiago, Chile, while her father was employed in those countries with the United Nations. In 1971, she graduated from Lawrence High School. She attended the University of Kansas from 1971 to 1976, obtaining two bachelor’s degrees as well as a teaching certificate. During this time she married Jack Cronemeyer of Tonganoxie. The couple lived in their country home north of Lawrence where they raised their children Joshua, Kate and Joseph.
Cronemeyer began teaching at Tonganoxie Elementary School in 1982 and continued up to the sudden onset of illness caused by a brain tumor in January 1998. In her career she became widely recognized for her outstanding and active professional leadership locally and throughout the state. Among her many achievements she prized her role as president of the Tonganoxie Education Association, president of the Kansas Reading Association in 1995-96, Graduate Assistant in the KU School of Education and recognition as a Kansas Master Teacher by Emporia State University in 1998.
For this honor, the Tonganoxie City Council proclaimed the date of her award “Elizabeth Cronemeyer Day.”
She authored articles for national education and library journals. After completing her master’s at KU in 1988, she continued work on her doctorate in reading and spent a year sabbatical from Tonganoxie schools teaching at the KU School of Education. She was working on her doctoral dissertation in addition to teaching and professional responsibilities when she became ill.
Mark, a 1970 Tonganoxie High School graduate, went on to teach business courses for many years at Kansas City Kansas Community College. He also served on the Tonganoxie USD 464 Education Foundation for several years and is a member of the Tonganoxie Civic Club.
He attended the University of Kansas where he received his bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1974 and later his master’s in 1979. He later earned a master’s in financial services from the American College. Mark began teaching business courses at Kansas City Kansas Community College in 1976. He taught a variety of business and accounting courses for 36 years and also taught as an adjunct faculty member at Johnson County Community College for five years.
Mark served on the board of Teachers of Accounting at Two Year College for 15 years, the last four years as vice president of conference planning. He wrote a number of supplementary course materials such as instructor’s manuals, study guides, test banks, and online course materials for several business and accounting textbook publishers, including McGraw-Hill. He is married to Cheta (Dodder) Mark (HOF Class of 2017). They have two children, Kara and Brendan.
Mark credits his wife with influencing him to pursue a career in teaching. Ken was influenced by his parents, Lee and Dorlene, to be involved in the community. He has been involved in several local organizations, including the Sacred Heart Parish Council and the Tonganoxie Recreation Commission for 16 years. He is a member of the Tonganoxie Civic Club, he served on a committee that developed Gallagher Park on Main Street, and is a member of the Sacred Heart Knights of Columbus. He served on the USD 464 Education Foundation for 14 years, 10 of those as president. Under Ken’s leadership, the Education Foundation established the USD 464 Education Foundation Hall of Fame and the Academic Achievement Breakfast in 2010. He also helped the foundation to form a partnership with a THS business class that researches stocks for the foundation. He has been the board’s longest serving member and he continues to be an advocate for the foundation and its mission.
Moore, who originally is from Ider, Ala., served on the Tonganoxie school board for 12 years.
A 1966 graduate of Ider High School, he continued his education at Jacksonville State University, majoring in business administration and minoring in economics, graduating in 1970. He later earned a master’s in business management and supervision. He served in the United States Army from 1971 to 1973 and was stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky, Fort Sam Houston, Texas and Fort Leavenworth.
It was during his time at Fort Leavenworth that he met his wife, Margie. They married in 1973 and have two children, Steve and Christy, both Tonganoxie High School graduates. Christy died in 2015, and with the support of the community and their family and friends, the Moores established two park benches and two oak trees at the VFW Park in her memory. A local scholarship was also established in Christy’s memory by members of the 1995 Tonganoxie High School softball team. Ron served 12 years on the USD 464 Board of Education, from 1996-2008, serving as President and Vice President in that time. He retired from his career in 2008 after spending 35 years in the health Insurance field. He is a 3rd Degree member of the local Knights of Columbus and a 4th Degree member of the Lawrence Knights. Ron and Margie are members of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Tonganoxie.
Kay Emery Soetaert
Soetaert has been a staple in Tonganoxie for many years.
Soetaert is a 1971 graduate of Tonganoxie High School and lifelong resident of Tonganoxie. Her parents, Bill and Lois Emery, owned and operated Emery Feed store from 1960-80. She attended Pittsburg State University and graduated in 1975 with a bachelor’s in Printing Technology. After graduation she returned to Tonganoxie and started Legal Printing, which she owned and operated from 1975 until she sold the business in 2000. At one point, Soetaert’s business had locations in Tonganoxie, Shawnee and Kansas City, Mo. From 2001-16, Soetaert was employed at Peruvian Connection in Tonganoxie with responsibilities including operations and print production. In 2018, she returned to Peruvian Connection as a contract print coordinator.
Throughout her life, Soetaert has been very involved in local organizations and events. She generously volunteers her time and has a great affinity for Tonganoxie. She has helped organize Tonganoxie’s St. Patrick’s Day parades, led the committee that developed Gallagher Park and volunteered for numerous city events. Soetaert served for 10 years on the Tonganoxie Recreation Commission, is a founding member of the USD 464 Education Foundation, is a member of the Tonganoxie Community Historical Society and is on the Hubble Hill Cemetery Board, serving as treasurer. She is a member of St. Martin in the Fields Episcopal Church and has been treasurer for 18 years. Since 2007, Soetaert has been involved in mission trips in Guatemala, becoming very involved with the Organization for Development for the Indigenous Mayan in San Juan, Guatemala.
She has led several medical and construction teams and recently co-implemented a dental fluoride treatment program for children in the area. Soetaert enjoys traveling and spending time with her family, especially at the swimming pool or their sporting events. The Soetaert family is proud to see their fourth generation start school this year in Tonganoxie.
Criteria considered by the selection committee include outstanding service to the district by teachers, administrators and staff; outstanding contributions to education in our community by school board members and other citizens; and outstanding achievements in the field of education by alumni. This year also marks the eighth annual presentation of the Alumni Achievement Award.
This honor is given to a THS graduate who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in areas such as career, community involvement, service and family. Each honoree will receive a plaque during Friday’s induction ceremony and another plaque is on permanent display in the lobby of the Performing Arts Center at the high school.