Ruth Annie Phillips

2009 Distinguished Staff Award

Biology

A Topeka native, born in 1906, Ruth Phillips went to school in Junction City, KS. She received a Bachelor’s degree from Kansas State and later her Master’s from the University of Colorado. Miss Phillips first taught science at Hope, KS, and then biology and physiology at Topeka High from 1936 until retirement in 1971. She also served as librarian for her church, Topeka’s First Presbyterian Church. Miss Phillips passed away in 1994 at age 88.

Wilfred “Willie” Nicklin

2009 Distinguished Staff Award

Boys Physical Education, Head Basketball Coach.

Born in Baldwin City, KS, Willie Nicklin graduated from Horton, H.S. and from KU in 1956. He taught at Arnold, KS, and Oxford, KS, before coming to Topeka’s Landon Jr. High in 1963. From 1965 to 1991 he taught and coached at Topeka High. “Willie” took over as head basketball coach in 1970 compiling a record of 501 wins (including seasons with other schools) along with a record 12 I-70 League championships, plus two State championships, 1973 and 1986. The court in the grand, old main gym is named in his honor: the Wilfred “Willie” Nicklin Court.

Frances Hutchison

2009 Distinguished Staff Award

Biology

Born in 1898 at Richmond, KS, Miss Hutchison attended the college of Emporia and Emporia Teachers before receiving her B.S. degree from KU and later an M.S from the University of Chicago. She taught at Salina, Hutchinson, and the Butler Co. Jr. College. For 24 years until her retirement in 1965, Miss Hutchison taught biology and botany at T.H.S. She was active in her professional organizations and the American Association of University Women. Miss Hutchison passed away at age 80 in 1979

Mamie L. Williams (‘11)

2009 Hall of Fame Inductee

Educator.

One of three African-American graduates out of a class of 92 at T.H.S., the school annual noted about her: “description – small; occupation – studying; favorite expression – ‘do tell.’ ” She went on to Washburn winning honors in math and German. After college she began teaching in Topeka black schools Buchanan, Monroe, and Washington; principal at the latter. Linda Brown Smith remembered her as “a brilliant woman. A staunch, old – time teacher who really made you apply yourself. She explained a subject well and then stuck with you until she made sure you understood it thoroughly.” Miss Williams earned a Master’s degree from the University of Kansas and wrote four books on black history in Topeka schools; she passed away in 1986 at age 92. The Williams Science and Fine Arts Magnet School in Topeka was named in her memory. Photo courtesy of Kansas Historical Society

Nancy Jasperson Perry (‘59)

2009 Hall of Fame Inductee

Social Service Executive.

All-American; At T.H.S. her list of activities is very long: Homecoming queen; Head A-team cheerleader; Madrigals; play lead (Liza Doolittle) in “Pygmalion”; etc. After graduating from KU, she taught at Avondale East School but is best remembered as “Miss Nancy” on a local TV station’s children’s show “Romper Room” (1967-71). Mrs. Perry subsequently hosted noon time programs for WIBW-TV and was its public information director. In 1984 she was appointed President and CEO of the United Way of Topeka which she served until 2008. She also serves on various community boards including Stormont-Vail Hospital and Capitol Federal Foundation and is a past senior warden for Grace Cathedral. Nancy Jasperson married high school sweetheart Ken Perry; they have two children and four grandchildren.

Gerald W. Hart (‘67)

2009 Hall of Fame Inductee

Scientist. Biology and Chemistry.

“Jerry” Hart’s T.H.S. resume noted participation in sophomore year representative council and serving as a proctor; his scientific resume lists 228 publications in books and journals in the area of Glycobiology. He obtained his B.S. in biology and chemistry from Washburn and his doctorate in developmental biology from Kansas State University. Currently Dr. Hart is the DeLamar Professor and Director of Biological Chemistry at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His department “discovered a new type of protein modification…” or new form of protein glycosylation. This study has implications for research in diabetes, Alzheimers and cancer. He has lectured across the United States, in Britain and Europe. Dr. Hart has earned numerous awards including the 2006 Karl Meyer Award and currently is the President of the International Glycoonjugate Organization (IGO).