RACINE — Four Horlick High School alumni were named Horlick High School graduates of distinction:
• John Kosterman, Class of 1970
Kosterman joined the U.S. Marine Corps, retiring from the Marine Corps in October 1990. He was hired by the State of Wisconsin as a correctional officer assigned to Racine Correctional Institution. Kosterman was promoted to sergeant and sent to Kenosha Correctional Center. Subsequent promotions occurred where he was a probation and parole agent and then assigned to the State Patrol Academy. After graduating from the State Patrol Academy, Kosterman was assigned to a position in Racine County as a state inspector, a state trooper and also was a certified firearms instructor for the state. In 2011, Kosterman retired from the State Patrol.
Kosterman graduated from Carthage College with a degree in criminal justice, he was a state licensed substitute teacher for the Racine Unified School District, The Prairie School, and Union Grove Elementary and High schools, is a licensed basketball referee and softball umpire, a volunteer referee for Special Olympics, and a member of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, the Lakeshore Officials Association, the Belle City Officials Association and the Metro Milwaukee Fast Pitch Association.
• Jeanne Lentz Ferraro, Class of 1956
Lentz Ferraro graduated from La Crosse University in 1960 with a B.S. in physical education and history, attended Perry Mansfield School of Theatre and Dance in Steamboat Springs, Colo., and taught high school physical education at West Aurora. After acquiring her master’s degree, Ferraro taught at Alverno and Carthage colleges. In 1989, she was hired as the director of physical education and health for Racine Unified School District, retiring in 1998.
Over the years she continued dancing and choreographing for St. Mary’s Hospital Cardiac Capers and Big Brothers/Big Sisters Benefit Shows, Case High School and middle school musicals, Horlick High School, Carthage College and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside swing choirs and theater productions within the community. Presently she is teaching ballroom dance at UW-Parkside, aquacize at DeKoven and Living Light Community Center (the old YWCA), leads praise dance at Grace Church, volunteers as a mentor for John XXIII Educational Center and is a counselor at Racine Care Net. Ferraro was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Dance Council in Madison.
• Patty Nielsen Hammes, Class of 1969
Neilsen Hammes attended the University of Missouri to become a journalist. She served on student government as a member for two years, and then as the secretary her senior year.
Nielsen Hammes returned to Wisconsin in 1970 to attend the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh as an English major, finishing her work to become an English teacher at UW-Parkside. Her years as a teacher began in January 1975 and have included full- and part-time years at Gilmore, Park, Horlick and McKinley Middle schools. In February 2002, she moved to Case High School to begin her current role as international baccalaureate diploma programme coordinator. From 2008-2012, she also was the IB primary years programme coordinator at Jefferson Lighthouse School, working with its staff to become an Authorized IB elementary school. Nielsen Hammes currently serves as the president of the Wisconsin Association of IB World Schools, works as an IB consultant for other Wisconsin schools, and the Racine Unified School District IB coordinator, and is on the district’s gifted and talented committee.
• Milton Thompson, Class of 1971
Thompson attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and then graduated from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire in 1975. His bachelor’s degrees are in history and education. He began his career as a human relations adviser, working at Horlick High School serving as career counselor and minority student advisor at Sterling College in Sterling, Kan., and a history teacher in the Hutchinson Public Schools. Thompson served as a substitute teacher and teacher for the emotionally disturbed for Racine Unified School District and a dean of students for the Kenosha Unified School District. After completing his master’s degree in educational leadership at Cardinal Stritch University, Thompson became the assistant principal at Bullen Junior High School. He was then appointed principal of Wilson Elementary School. From there he became executive director of the 21st Century Preparatory School. Thompson worked as an elementary principal in Kenosha and then was promoted to director of school leadership where he supervised nine schools and over saw the Title I, Title III, Bilingual/ESL/Dual Language Programs, and the P-5 state grant. His next responsibility was superintendent of the Beloit School District in Beloit. He took the position of superintendent of North Chicago, Ill., which he currently holds. Thompson founded Racine Christian Church and served as pastor from 1983-2002.