Annabel Pringle

2010 THS Distinguished Staff

History, Dean of Girls

Born and growing up in Wabaunsee co., Miss Pringle received her graduate degree from KU and Master’s in Speech from Teacher’s College, Columbian University. After a short spell with Alma H.S., she began teaching at T.H.S. in 1928 with classes in history and public speaking. In the early 1940s Miss Pringle was appointed Dean of Girls and scholarship chairman, retiring in 1963. She passed away in 1990.

James Coder

2010 THS Distinguished Staff

Guidance Counselor

A Wamego native, Mr. Coder attended Kansas State and Highland Community College graduating with an AB degree from Washburn University in 1958 and Master’s from KU in 1965. Briefly teaching in Pottawatomie Co.; he taught social studies at T.H.S. (1958-61) served as Guidance Counselor (1961-74), and was the Topeka Public Schools Director of Guidance Services (1947-86). He retired in 1986.

Alma Calvert

2010 THS Distinguished Staff


Miss Calvert grew up in Muscotah, Kansas, and subsequently majored in science and math at Washburn College. Initially she taught at El Dorado and Atchison high school; however, a World War I teacher shortage brought her to Topeka High School in 1917. Like other contemporary T.H.S. faculty members, Miss Calvert spent a year at Columbian University’s teachers’ College, New York. She retired in 1948. Deceased.

Paul Williams (‘39)

2010 Hall of Fame Inductee


Mr. Williams’ Topeka High “resume” proved his destiny: a first place in a spelling contest, followed by three years in journalism, stint as World editor, and Quill & Scroll program chairmanship plus an article on student government written for Student Life, a national magazine. After attending KU. He was a USAAF navigator in WWII with 40 missions. From 1946 to 1956, Mr. Williams was an Omaha World-Herald reporter then a Time and Newsweek correspondent, 1956-60, and finally 1960-72 editor of the Omaha Sun newspapers for which he and his reporting team earned a Pulitzer Prize investigating Boys Town. He next became an Asst. Professor of

Journalism at Ohio State University. Mr. Williams passed away after a sudden illness in October, 1976, survived by his widow and four children.

Jayne Houdyshell (’71)

2010 Hall of Fame Inductee


Her Topeka High activities foretold Ms. Houdyshell’s future. President of the Gertrude Wheeler Troop No. 210, she starred in her senior year as Miss Moffat in Emlyn Williams’ play “The Corn is Green” and as Veta Louise Simmons in “Harvey” along with being a member of the Madrigals. Graduating from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan and after performing in numerous Midwestern theatres, in 1980 she moved to New York and continued in regional and off Broadway theatre along with some television and film work. In 2006 Ms. Houdyshell made her Broadway debut in the play “Well” earning her rave reviews in the New York papers plus a Tony Award nomination; she has an Obie Award to her credit as well as other acting laurels.

Tim Degginger (‘65)

2010 Hall of Fame Inductee

Artisan and business owner.

A letterman in football and wrestling, Mr. Degginger played center on the Varsity football squad and took 3rd place in his division at the state wrestling championship. Degginger’s Foundry was established in the 1920s, and three generations in the family have managed it with Mr. Degginger overseeing it since 1985. The Foundry is one of a few such companies in the nation providing a full range of historical restoration services. Recent restoration work includes New York’s Grand Central Station and the Reliance Bldg. in Chicago. The firm has had commissions from Las Vegas resorts (e.g. the Bellagio and Caesar’s Palace) to Kansas City’s Negro Baseball Hall of Fame to a private villa in Saudi Arabia. Degginger’s have restored a Hoehner Auditorium chandelier and the T.H.S. cafeteria chandeliers.

William Barrett

William Barrett (‘47)

2010 Hall of Fame Inductee

Geologist and businessman.

Upon graduating from T.H.S., Mr. Barrett attended Kansas State two years, returning home after his father suffered an illness. Soon afterwards he entered the Army during the Korean Conflict. Under the G.I. Bill he received his BS and MS degrees in geology from K-State. Immediately after school he worked for several natural gas and petroleum companies. In 1981 he formed Barrett Energy Co. (later Barrett Resources Corp.), named No. 1 for wealth creation, 1990-2000, by the Wall Street Journal and Oil and Gas Investor Magazine. Selling it in 2001 for $2.8 billion, in 2002 he formed the Bill Barrett Corp. (on the NYSE) with gas projects in the western U.S. Mr. Williams and wife Louise have seven children, some in the business.