MACS Hall of Fame » Hall of Fame Members

Hall of Fame Members

Anna Mae Kobbe Class of 1965
Distinguished Graduate

 Dr. Anna Mae Kobbe is a 1965 graduate of Mount Ayr Community High School.
She earned her BS degree from Northwest Missouri State University, her Masters from the University of Missouri, and she received her Doctorate from the University of Tennessee.
Anna Mae started her career with the USDA Land Grant University system in 1969, serving on the University of Missouri faculty as a Home Economist, Child & Family Development Specialist.  In 1986 she joined the faculty at the University of Tennessee, where she was the State Family Life Specialist.
From the University of Tennessee, Dr. Kobbe went to the United States Department of Agriculture in Washington DC, becoming Director of the Division of Family & Consumer Sciences & Nutrition.  She was the first female named to this position in the history of the USDA.
She retired in 2006 after a 38 year career with the USDA, but since that time she has stayed active in the field as a guest lecturer, visiting professor, and conference speaker.
She is deeply involved in a number of civic organizations; and has held numerous state, local, and national leadership positions with Rotary International and the National Garden Clubs.
Anna Mae was recently named to the University of Maryland School of Music Board of Visitors, and has been active in her church; serving as congregation president, Board Chairman, and director of the outreach ministry to the homeless.
Dr. Kobbe is the recipient of the University of Missouri Citation of Merit Award, as well as the Northwest Missouri State University Distinguished Alumni Award.

Brent Geringer Class of 1974
Outstanding Athletic Achievement

Brent Geringer graduated from Mount Ayr Community High School in 1974.Under the guidance of his father, he began training for throwing events at an early age and continued to hone his craft throughout middle school.  By the time he joined the high school track team he was already an accomplished competitor, and he quickly established a reputation as one of the best throwers in the state.
Brent won state championships in the shot put in 1972, 73, and 74.  He was the state discus champion 1973, and the Drake Relays High School Discus Champion in 1974. He started his collegiate career at Rice University in Houston, where he set the freshman school record in the shot put.  He transferred to the University of Northern Iowa and continued his success in the throws, setting indoor and outdoor records in both the shot and discus.  He still holds the UNI indoor shot put record, as well as the UNI discus record. He won the NCAA Division II National Championship in the discus in both 1978 and 1979, and he was the Drake Relays University Division discus champion in 1979. Brent was honored as a 5-time Division II All-American in the shot & discus.  In 1979 he was named a Division I All-American in the discus, the first UNI track athlete to be a Division I All-American.  He qualified for the 1980 Olympic Trials in the discus – the first UNI track athlete to qualify for Olympic trials. He graduated from UNI in 1980 with an education degree, and went on to earn a degree from Cleveland Chiropractic College.  In 2005 he was selected to the University of Northern Iowa Athletic Hall of Fame. To this day, Brent remains the most decorated track and field athlete in Mount Ayr school history.
Dawn Huff Elliott Class of 1990
Outstanding Achievement (Athletics)
Dawn Huff, a 1990 graduate, was an outstanding high school and collegiate athlete. One longtime Mount Ayr coach called her the "best all-around female athlete to graduate from Mount Ayr." She placed in three events in the 1988 state track meet that propelled Moutn Ayr to the state team championship that year. She was a two-time state long jump champion, and was named first team all-state in both basketball and softball. In 1990 she was selected as the Des Moines Register Female Athlete of the Year. She attended the University of Missouri on a track scholarship, and still ranks among the top performers at Mizzou in the 100m Hurdles, shuttle hurdle relay, long jump, triple jump, javelin throw, and heptathalon.
Jack and Mildred Dixon Elliott
Class of 1945 - Distinguished Graduates
Jack Elliott was co-captain of the 1944 undefeated football team. Later in life he was a longtime volunteer at the school, serving as a school board member, keeping the basketball scorebook, and operating the clock at football games. He was a tireless worker for the community betterment and economic development in Mount Ayr and Ringgold County. He was active in Republican party politics on both the state and local level. Jack was named an Iowa Master Farmer, Iowa Master Pork Producer, and served as a 4-H leader for many years. Throughout his life he promoted our school and community throughout the state and the nation, and in 1996 he was recipient of the Iowa Volunteer of the Year Award.

Mildred Elliott was also active in state and national government service. She served on the state Real Estate Commission and the Iowa Board of Corrections. She was a member of the White House Conference on Children and on the White House Conference on Aging. She was president of the Iowa Republican Women and delegate to the 1980 Republican National Convention. She worked on the Iowa campaign staff of George H.W. Bush in 1988. She was active on all levels of the Eastern Star and Rainbow organizations. In 1994 she received the State of Iowa Distinguished Service Award.

The Elliott family awards the Jack & Mildred Elliott Memorial Scholarship to a graduating Mount Ayr senior each year.
Vance Geiger
High School Principal 1950-1969
Vance Geiger was universally respected by both students and staff, and many cited his compassion and concern for people as one of his greatest attributes. He had a tremendous influence on the lives of his students, even to this day. When faced with a tough decision, one of his former students (who is himself a school administrator) says he always asks himself the question “What would Vance do?” One nominator said Geiger was “the key person” in the reorganization of many small schools into the Mount Ayr Community School district. Before coming to Mount Ayr, Mr. Geiger was a successful basketball coach in Hopkins, MO. His 1942 team had a record of 42-4 and finished second in the Missouri state tournament. He served in the US Army Air Corps in World War II. Geiger was elected to the Representative Council of the Iowa High School Athletic Association and was active in numerous community organizations. After retirement he worked with student teachers at his alma mater, Northwest Missouri State University. A former student and colleague remarked that when he thinks of the “Mount Rushmore” of our school, the first person he would expect to see is Vance Geiger. Vance and his wife Zeline were generous benefactors to Northwest Missouri State University, and their gifts to that institution help students now and will continue to do so long into the future.

The Vance & Zeline Geiger Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to a senior graduating from Mount Ayr Community High School.
Larry Hunter
Class of 1968 – Distinguished Graduate
A graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, Hunter is currently the executive vice president and general counsel of DirecTV and the senior lawyer for their entire operation. At various times he has served as chairman and CEO of DirecTV, CEO of DirecTV Japan division and CEO of DirecTV Latin American division. Hunter joined Hughes Electronics in 1993 and helped transform that company from a defense contractor into the leader in the satellite TV industry today. Hunter serves on numerous corporate boards and philanthropic organizations, and he is one of the most respected legal minds in the digital entertainment industry. He and his wife Rita (Barker) have been silent contributors to various projects in the Mount Ayr schools over the years, with a special interest in art, music and drama.
Joe McNeill
History and Government teacher 1948-1976, Head Football coach 1948-1972
With 136 wins McNeill is the winningest football coach in Mount Ayr history. His 1963 team went undefeated and is considered the best football team that has ever played at Mount Ayr. He was named the 1963 Des Moines Register Coach of the Year and was selected to the Iowa Football Coaches Hall of Fame. He attended the University of Idaho on an athletic scholarship but left after two years to serve in the Army during World War II. After discharge, McNeill went to Drake University and played football for three years, helping the Bulldogs win the 1946 Raisin Bowl over Fresno State. He came to Mount Ayr in 1948, and other than two years in Iowa Falls, he spent his entire career in Mount Ayr. McNeill also coached baseball and basketball at various times and took the 1954 basketball team to the state tournament. He also worked as a basketball official in the area for many years.
Dave Still

Class of 1964 – Outstanding Achievement (Athletics)

Head Football & Girls Track Coach, and PE/Health/Drivers Ed Teacher 1979-1998
Still was quarterback of the undefeated 1963 football team that is considered the best ever in Mount Ayr history. He started his teaching and coaching career in Mound City, MO where he had very successful football, girls basketball and girls track teams. In 1979 he came back to his alma mater and resurrected the football program, winning numerous conference and district championships along with a number of undefeated teams. Still coached the first playoff team in Mount Ayr football history (1984) and took a total of five teams to the playoffs during his career. His 109 football wins are second only to his high school coach, Joe McNeill. He enjoyed tremendous success as a girls track coach, winning many conference championships. In 1988 his team won the state championship, and that year he was named Iowa Track Coach of the Year. Still also coached girls basketball and baseball during his time in Mount Ayr. He was respected by his students and colleagues and truly cared about the people around him. Over the years he mentored many young coaches, and he was committed to building relationships with people before that was the “in thing” in education. Along with Coach McNeill, Still was also selected to the Iowa Football Coaches Hall of Fame.

Dave & his wife, Marie (Angus), also a long-time educator at Mount Ayr Community Schools, award the Dave Still Excellence in Physical Education scholarship to a graduating Mount Ayr senior each spring.
Dr. Peggy Whitson
Class of 1978 – Distinguished Graduate
With a chemistry degree from Iowa Wesleyan and a doctorate in biochemistry from Rice University, Whitson became an astronaut candidate in 1996. A former high school classmate and teammate remembers Peggy’s work ethic while in school, and how she always gave effort above and beyond what was expected - both in the classroom as well as in athletics. That extra effort has no doubt helped launch her very successful NASA career. She was the first female commander of the International Space Station, and she was named the first NASA science officer, designing and conducting numerous experiments in space. She set records among American astronauts and women for most time in space – 377 days – and has completed six spacewalks in her career, totaling 39 hours and 46 minutes. In 2009 she became chief of the NASA astronaut corps, overseeing all astronaut activities including crew selection and training. She stepped down from that post in 2012 to begin preparing for a possible return to space. In fact, Dr. Whitson was unable to be with us for tonight’s induction ceremony, because she is currently in training for herthird space expedition crew – the first American astronaut to achieve that distinction.

2017 Inductees
Maurice Carr
Distinguished Graduate (Maloy Class of 1930)
Athlete, Coach, Administrator
Maurice Carr was born in Beaconsfield in 1911. His family moved to Maloy in 1926, settling into a house across the street from the school. Maurice took advantage of the location, spending many hours in the Maloy gym perfecting his jump shot.

He played on Maloy basketball teams that won the county tournament in 1929 and 1930. The 1930 team started the year 27-0 and qualified for the state basketball tournament, where they were eliminated by Newton.

Carr was a 3 year basketball starter at Iowa State Teachers College (now UNI). He was twice named to the all-conference team, and as a senior he led the team in scoring and was named MVP. During his senior season, one newspaper writer called him “the best guard in the Midwest”.

In the fall of 1935, he returned to Maloy as a teacher and basketball coach. He led his first team to the state tournament, where they were defeated in the opening round by Ottumwa. Maloy made it back to state the following year, falling to Marshalltown in their first game.

Answering his country’s call, Coach Carr enlisted in the Army in 1942. After his discharge, he taught and coached at Redding before returning to Maloy. In 1955 he was hired to coach basketball in Mount Ayr, but health issues forced him to relinquish his coaching duties. During 18 seasons at Redding and Maloy he compiled a record of 329 wins and 98 losses, and he never experienced a losing season. He was honored for his coaching prowess with his selection to the Iowa Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1981.

Carr became a school administrator at Mount Ayr, supervising several of the outlying elementary schools. He was highly respected by both students and staff, and he was one of the key figures in the reorganization of the Mount Ayr Community School District. He was hailed by many as a “peacemaker” during that sometimes tumultuous process.

Mr. Carr closed his career as Assistant Superintendent and Director of Transportation at Mount Ayr, retiring in 1975. He passed away in 1985 at his winter home in Arizona.
Lori Sickels Friedman
Distinguished Graduate – Class of 1982
Lori Sickels is a 1982 graduate of Mount Ayr Community High School. She graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor’s Degree in Microbiology, and went on to earn her PhD from the University of California-Berkley in Molecular and Cell Biology. She completed post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Washington and Cambridge University in England.

While at Berkley, she was part of a research team that isolated the genetic defect for breast cancer, and her post-doctoral work at Cambridge expanded her study of breast cancer genetics.

Dr. Friedman began her career in breast cancer treatment research in 1988 at Exelixis, where she served as Oncology Program Leader, Senior Research Scientist, and later advancing to become Director of Signal Transduction Research.

In 2004 she took her talents to Genetech, one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies. She has held a number of positions at Genetech, and is currently the Senior Director of Translational Oncology.

Dr. Friedman has published 77 peer-reviewed manuscripts in the area of breast cancer genetics and treatment; and she is also an accomplished inventor with 20 issued patents related to cancer research.

She is regarded as one of the top experts in her field, and she is broadly sought as a mentor by aspiring scientists. She serves on the Scientific Advisory Board at the Cambridge Cancer Center, and she leads the Genetech Women in in Science & Engineering team.

Dr. Friedman is the recipient of numerous professional awards and academic fellowships, including the 2014 Healthcare Businesswomen’s Rising Star Award in 2014.
Ron Landphair
Distinguished Graduate - Class of 1968

Industrial Arts Teacher; Cross Country, Track, & Wrestling Coach
Ron Landphair is a 1968 graduate of Mount Ayr Community High School. After receiving his education degree, he began his teaching & coaching career at Clear Lake. From there he moved to Central Decatur, where he coached many state wrestling qualifiers and one state champion.

He returned to Mount Ayr in 1980 as an Industrial Arts instructor and assistant wrestling coach, working with Hall of Fame member Ron Scott. Upon hearing the news of Coach Landphair’s hire, one Mount Ayr wrestler recalls thinking that now Mount Ayr had the two best wrestling coaches in the state.

Mr. Landphair taught many different Industrial Arts courses over the years, but he was especially renowned for his building trades and drafting classes. Students in his classes built houses, designed commercial buildings and school additions, and restored local landmarks. Under his tutelage, Mount Ayr students won many awards for their craftsmanship and drafting skills. Ron played an active role in shaping the future of Industrial Arts through his long-time involvement in the Iowa Industrial Arts Technology Education Association.

At the urging of his daughter, Coach Landphair agreed to revive the dormant cross country program at Mount Ayr. His cross country teams would go on to win 9 conference championships, and qualified for the state meet 10 times.

Coach Landphair also coached boys track, assisting Brad Rumple for 13 years before serving as head coach from 2000-2006. During his time with the track program, the Raiders won 10 conference team titles. As head coach, he had numerous state place winners, including 2 individual state champions.

Since retiring from the school in 2006, Ron has been an active community volunteer. His signature project in retirement was restoring and refurbishing the Princess Theater. He also built and donated the walnut podium that is used for school events. He continues to offer assistance to the Industrial Arts program at the school, and he also helps with track and cross country meets.

Ron is respected and admired by former students, athletes, and colleagues for the many life lessons he taught; as well as his integrity and his tremendous dedication to our school and community.
1988 Girls Track Team
State Team Champions
The 1988 Raiderette track team was the first state team champion in Mount Ayr school history. They were a true undefeated team, wining every regular season meet they entered, as well as the district and state meets.

Extremely competitive, and with a knack for delivering their best when it was needed; they set 3 school records and placed in 6 individual events at the state meet.

In the shot put, Kim McGinnis topped her best throw of the year by nearly 2 feet to win the gold medal. Laurel Moe was 2nd in the 800, 4th in the 3000, and 5th in the 1500. Dawn Huff finished 2nd in the Long Jump and 3rd in the 100m hurdles. Three relay teams also qualified for the state meet, but did not place.

Lawton-Bronson trailed Mount Ayr by just one point heading into the 4x100 relay, and with the fastest qualifying time it looked like they would edge the Raiderettes for the team title. However, a mishap on the first exchange kept Lawton-Bronson from scoring any points in the event; and after a 45 minute delay to check the score, Mount Ayr was declared the state champion.

The team was coached by Hall of Fame members Dave Still and Mark Larsen.

2016 Hall of Fame Members
Orr Fisher
Distinguished Alumnus (Delphos)
Orr Fisher was born on 1885 on a farm southwest of Delphos. He received his education at country schools in the Delphos area. He went on to study art through correspondence courses, and later at the Cumming School of Art and at Drake University. He also studied under the tutelage of another celebrated Iowa artist, Grant Wood.

Fisher worked for a time with J.N. “Ding” Darling, famed cartoonist for the Des Moines Register. Throughout his career Fisher produced articles, cartoons, and illustrations for various publications, he operated a picture postcard business, he worked in advertising, and he wrote sermons. He supplemented his art income with a job on the railroad, as well as driving a six-horse freight team in Wyoming. Fisher was also an accomplished inventor, obtaining United States, Canadian, and British patents for an automatic train whistle used on steam locomotives.

Fisher became known for his work with oil paint, and it is estimated that he produced over 1000 oil paintings in his career. Much of his work centered on landscapes, including a number of famous paintings depicting scenes from state and national parks. He was also noted for his whimsical and humorous paintings & sketches, as well as others that portrayed religious & spiritual themes. In the 1940s, he was commissioned by the Works Progress Administration to paint murals in newly constructed federal post offices buildings in Mount Ayr and Forest City, Iowa.

In the 1950s, he built a studio in Woodstock, New York, living and working in that artists’ colony for 10 years. Mr. Fisher then moved to Fresno, California where he passed away in 1974.
David McDaniel
Distinguished Graduate – Class of 1969
David McDaniel is a 1969 graduate of Mount Ayr Community Schools. He furthered his education at Northwest Missouri State University, earning a Bachelors Degree in Physics and a minor in Mathematics. He was awarded a National Science Foundation grant for a physics research project at Kansas State University, and went on to earn Masters and Doctoral degrees in Nuclear Physics from the University of Wisconsin. After serving as a research associate in the physics department at Wisconsin, he accepted a postdoctoral fellowship in Radiology at the University of Texas Medical School.

In 1983, he started a career with General Electric Medical Systems (now GE Healthcare), where he currently holds the title of Senior Detector Physicist & Principal Engineer in the Positron Emission Tomography (PET Scan) Department. Since that time, McDaniel’s designs and specifications have been at the heart of every PET scanner developed by GE Healthcare. He is revered as the “Godfather” of every advance in PET detection in the last 30 years, with over 50 patents and 18 PET scan projects to his credit. An estimated 225 million patient exams have been performed on scanners designed by Dr. McDaniel, and his work has impacted millions of people who have received PET scans to diagnose illness and evaluate treatment.

Dr. McDaniel is recognized as the world’s foremost expert in nuclear medical technology, and he is considered one of the top three nuclear physicists in the world. In 2015 he was received the prestigious Edison Award.
Bruce Ricker
Distinguished Graduate – Class of 1975
Bruce Ricker is a 1975 graduate of Mount Ayr Community Schools. He played on Raider basketball teams that qualified for the state tournament in 1973 and 1975. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Iowa in 1979, and he earned his medical degree from the University of Osteopathic Medicine & Health Sciences in 1983. Dr. Ricker completed his internship in Arizona at Phoenix General Hospital, and following that he operated a solo practice in Phoenix for 12 years.

Dr. Ricker returned to Mount Ayr in 1997 to accept a position at the Mount Ayr Medical Clinic. In addition to his practice at the clinic, he serves as Ringgold County Hospital Chief of Staff as well as the medical director. Dr. Ricker is the Ringgold County Medical Examiner, and is the medical director for Hospice as well as both of the local nursing homes. He also serves as a clinical instructor for 3rd and 4th year medical students at several schools of Osteopathic medicine.

In 2003 he was selected as the Iowa Osteopathic Medicine Physician of the Year, and he received the 2003 Spirit of Hospice Award from the Iowa Hospice Association. Dr. Ricker is currently serving a second term as president of the Iowa Osteopathic Medical Association, and is the past President of the Iowa Chapter of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians.
Michell (Holmes) Ricker
Distinguished Graduate – Class of 1975
Michell (Holmes) Ricker is a 1975 graduate of Mount Ayr Community Schools. Michell earned both her Bachelor of Science degree and Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Iowa. She served as a social worker for Ringgold County Public Health, but she found her true calling in volunteer work, striving to improve the quality of life in Ringgold County.

Michell has written grants to provide funding to numerous organizations in Ringgold County. She is a member of the South Central Iowa Community Foundation Board and also serves on their Executive Board. She is on the Board of Directors for the Princess Theater and the Teen Center, and has established endowment funds for both of those organizations. Michell serves on the Board of Directors for Blessman Ministries as well as the Iowa Chapter of International Cooperating Ministries, and she is a member of the Iowa Board of Health.

In 1983, Michell received the Governors Lifesaving Award for rescuing two young men from their burning car. She was also named as the recipient of the Governors Volunteer Award in 2014.

Dr. Bruce and Michell established the Margaret Ricker Memorial Fund, which supports the Raider Reader and Maroon Reader programs at the Mount Ayr and Diagonal elementary schools. Between the two of them, they have gone on 12 mission trips, serving the medical and spiritual needs of people in all parts of the world. They have partnered with International Cooperating Ministries to build 12 churches, orphanages, and Hope Centers in nine different countries . In addition to these causes, the Rickers have been silent benefactors to many projects and organizations in the community, including Mount Ayr Community Schools, the First Christian Church, and the Neighborhood Center.
Ron Scott
Science Teacher, Guidance Counselor, Wrestling Coach
Ron Scott is a 1961 graduate of Tulsa Webster High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He attended Northwest Missouri State University, earning his Education degree in 1966. He was also a wrestling letter winner for the nationally ranked Bearcats. Mr. Scott came to Mount Ayr in 1966, and taught PE for 4 years before moving to the Biology classroom for the next 16 years. In 1986 he became the guidance counselor and would serve in that position for 16 years. During their time in Mount Ayr, Mr. Scott and his wife Dana had one son, adopted two more boys, and opened their home to a number of at-risk students for extended periods of time.

At various times during his tenure at Mount Ayr, Scott coached football, baseball, and of course, wrestling. Coach Scott served as the head wrestling coach for 30 years, compiling a record of 198-137-4. He coached one undefeated team, and two other teams that had just one loss. Under the direction of Coach Scott, 57 Raiders qualified for the state wrestling tournament, including 3 wrestlers who finished as state runner-up, and 1 state champion. He was one of the pioneers of the Iowa Wrestling Coaches Association, and he started the first wrestling coaches and officials clinic in the state of Iowa. Coach Scott was elected to the IHSAA Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1994, and in 2008 he received the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Lifetime Service Award.

After 36 years of service, Coach Scott retired from the Mount Ayr School system in 2002 to start a new career at the Iowa Institute of Character Development, working with coaches and athletes in the Pursuing Victory With Honor program.

Saying the he wanted to “finish strong for the Lord”, Scotty began his third career in 2009 when he became the Midwest Director of International Cooperating Ministries. In this position he found his true calling, helping build churches in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. He was serving in this capacity at the time of his death in 2012.

Former students, athletes, and colleagues praise his leadership, loyalty, dedication, and his commitment to building strong character. Many cite him as the most influential person in their life.

Induction Class 2015
Raymond Baker
Class of 1924 (Beaconsfield) Distinguished Graduate
Raymond Baker was a 1924 graduate of Beaconsfield High School. After graduation, he went to Iowa State University to study Agronomy. In the course of his studies, he met Henry Wallace, who had been experimenting with breeding high-yield corn. Wallace gave Baker some seed and urged him to conduct his own experiments. In 1928, a Wallace-Baker hybrid seed produced an astounding yield of 90 bushels per acre, which easily won the Banner Trophy in an annual contest at ISU. Later that year, Wallace asked Baker to become the second employee of his newly established Hi-Bred Corn Company, which would later be known as Pioneer Hi-Bred.

When Wallace became Secretary of Agriculture in 1933, Raymond Baker assumed sole responsibility for Pioneer’s research program. He was Director of Research & Corn Breeding from 1928- 1971, and under his direction the annual research budget grew from $2,000 in 1932 to over $53 million in 1988. Baker became the corporate vice-president of Pioneer, and also served on the Pioneer Board of Directors. After his retirement in 1988, he continued to work as a corn breeder. During his career he was personally responsible for increasing corn yields from 30 bushels per acre to over 140 bushels per acre. Baker and Henry Wallace are considered to be the two most important individuals in the development of hybrid seed corn.

He was awarded the Alumni Medal from Iowa State University, served as chairman of the Iowa State Achievement Fund, and also served on the Iowa State University Board of Governors. In 1946 Mr. Baker established a research assistantship at Iowa State for students that were studying corn breeding. The Raymond F. Baker Center for Plant Breeding was named in his honor to promote the science of plant breeding within ISU’s Plant Sciences Institute.

Early in his career at Pioneer, Baker was given 10 shares of stock in lieu of salary. Adding to his stock holdings over the years and living a modest lifestyle; he was able to amass a considerable amount of money. Upon his death in 1999, he and his wife gave Iowa State University a stock gift worth $80-$90 million - the largest individual gift ever made to Iowa State.
Larry Giles
Teacher/Coach/Guidance Counselor/ Elementary Principal 1966-1999
Larry Giles is a 1958 graduate of Tingley High School. He started his education career in Aplington, Iowa, where he spent four years as a teacher and coach. In 1966, he accepted the position of junior high math teacher in Mount Ayr. In 1969, he added elementary guidance counselor to his list of duties. Upon the death of Superintendent O.C Walker in 1970, Mr. Giles was named elementary principal, a position he would hold for 29 years. He also served as the district’s special education coordinator for much of that time. Larry coached several sports during his career, including junior high football, junior high and high school basketball, and high school baseball. He was also a respected football and basketball official, and in 2005 he was inducted into the Iowa Girls Basketball Officials Hall of Fame

Many of the teachers that worked for Mr. Giles recall the stickers that he would put on their lesson plans during his Sunday morning rounds through their classrooms, as well as the infamous 3x5 cards that he carried in his pocket to jot down notes and reminders. He was devoted to his students and staff, he was passionate about education, and he worked tirelessly to create an environment of excellence.

Larry was a key player in the effort to reorganize the county schools into the Mount Ayr Community School District. After the reorganization was approved, he became the administrator for all of the elementary attendance centers in the new district – a total of 13 buildings.

Larry has been active in the community both during his working career as well as retirement. He served as president of the Mount Ayr Golf & Country Club Board of Directors for many years, he has served in leadership positions in several civic organizations, and he has been a member of both the Southwestern Community College Board of Directors and the Mount Ayr Community School Board of Directors. Larry also served on the SWCC Foundation Board, and the Mount Ayr Community Schools Foundation Board.
Mark Larsen
Math Teacher, Girls Basketball, Track, & Softball Coach/Athletic Director
Mark Larsen came to Mount Ayr in 1970 as a high school math teacher, as well as girls basketball and girls track coach. He coached both 6 on 6 and 5 on 5 basketball, winning 286 games and 6 conference championships. Two of his Raiderette teams lost in the regional finals before the 1998 team broke through that barrier and reached the state tournament.

His Raiderette track teams claimed 15 conference titles and 4 district championships, while winning a total of 68 meets. Mark would later serve as an assistant to Dave Still, and helped lead the Raiderettes to the 1988 state team championship.

As successful as he was in those sports, Coach Larsen is best known for his achievements on the softball diamond. Mark started the Mount Ayr softball program in 1972, and would win over 700 softball games in his illustrious career. Under his direction, Raiderette softball teams won 14 conference championships and 25 district titles. His 1982 and 1994 teams qualified for the state softball tournament. Mark was inducted into the Iowa Softball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1998, and he was a finalist for the National Softball Coach of the Year in 1999.

Larsen also served as the Mount Ayr Athletic Director for 20 years, providing leadership to the department through a highly successful era in both boys and girls athletics. Mark was deeply involved in designing the current athletic complex, and coordinated the move to the new facilities. He was one of the founding fathers of the Pride of Iowa Activities Conference, and helped lead conference expansion from 6 schools at its inception, to the current 12 schools league. In 2002, Larsen was inducted into the Iowa High School Athletic Directors Hall of Fame.

Coach Larsen has stayed involved with the Mount Ayr Schools in retirement by volunteering as a public address announcer and scorekeeper for athletic events.
Chet Roed
Industrial Arts Teacher, Boys Track Coach, Assistant Football Coach
Chet Roed started his career in Bagley, Iowa, where he spent 6 years teaching Industrial Arts and coaching football, boys & girls basketball, track, and baseball. He came to Mount Ayr in the fall of 1958 as an Industrial Arts teacher, assistant football coach and head track coach. He recalls that his willingness to coach track was a key factor in getting the job at Mount Ayr.

During 17 years as an assistant to Hall of Fame football coach Joe McNeill, Mr. Roed was in charge of the freshman and sophomore program. He enjoyed developing the young players, preparing them to play on varsity teams that would win four conference championships and complete two undefeated seasons.

Mr. Roed’s favorite sport was track and field, and he led the program through one of the most successful eras in Raider track history. His 1964 team finished as the runner-up at both the indoor and outdoor state meets, he coached three Raider athletes to state championships in seven different events, and he coached a Drake Relays champion. Coach Roed’s teams dominated the conference track meet during the 1960s, winning titles in 1962, 63, 64, 65, 66, and 1968. He was especially proud of the development of the Raider program, watching it grow from a squad of 15 to over 50 athletes during his tenure.

His record as an Industrial Arts teacher was equally impressive. Mr. Roed was an innovator in the classroom, and was highly respected by his peers for the quality of his teaching. He served as the AEA 14 representative to the Iowa Industrial Technology Education Association, helping chart the course for the future of vocational education.

He still commands universal admiration, gratitude, and respect from former students and colleagues; and countless local homeowners and tradesmen credit Mr. Roed for teaching them practical skills that they use on a daily basis. His players and students report that Mr. Roed taught them many life-lessons, especially about teamwork. He saw the value in every person, and he stressed that to his teams and his classes. He is recalled as “a rock”, and a man of great integrity who kept his word. He was quiet, but as several former students said “You always knew where you stood with Mr. Roed – good or bad”.