Hall of Fame 2020

See Our Honorees from our 2020 Hall of Fame Induction Dinner
This is the image for the news article titled See Our Honorees from our 2020 Hall of Fame Induction DinnerWe presented our top awards for alumni and community supporters at our 14th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Dinner on Jan. 28. 

The program honored those who have contributed to Park Hill’s success through their service, example and support. The program inducted honorees into the Alumni Hall of Fame, announced the 2020 Business of the Year, Partner of the Year and Super Booster awards, recognized students who received national honors in 2019, and featured a student musical performance. 


Dr. Ted Barnes, Park Hill High School Class of 1969
Dr. Ted Barnes graduated early from Park Hill, launching his career in science and helping to advance research worldwide. Since earning his doctorate in theoretical physics from the California Institute of Technology, he has spent his career developing models and predictions involving the complex issues surrounding the atom, including protons and neutrons and their basic components, quarks and hadrons. One of his predictions said gluons, which help keep an atom together, can be combined to form new particles, including one known as an exotic hybrid meson. After the exotic hybrid meson was discovered, Dr. Barnes appeared on the national news to explain its significance.

In addition to continuing to make predictions, Dr. Barnes has traveled the world speaking to conferences about hadron physics, and one of his joint research papers has been cited more than 500 times. Before retiring as program manager for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Physics, he worked in scientific computing and with the U.S. Nuclear Data program, and he distributed $150 million in research funds across the country.

Keith Nelson, PHHS Class of 1963
Keith Nelson is a tireless advocate for the Northland. Nelson has spent countless hours as an active member in several organizations, including the Chouteau Fountain Founders, Forward Kansas City, Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce, Northland United Way, Project Refocus, Kansas City Film Commission and many others. Residents and visitors will soon see Nelson's most visible contribution, the François Chouteau & Native American Heritage Fountain. Located next to the Chouteau Parkway in the Northland and expected to open in 2021, the fountain will honor one of the earliest Europeans in the region and the area's Native Americans.

A longtime dream for Nelson, it will become reality after his successful efforts to secure political and financial support from community leaders, get architectural and engineering plans, and work with Native American tribes to ensure authenticity.

Nelson, who is a Vietnam War veteran, retired in 2001 from TWA after 37 years as an inspection crew chief.

Christie Pearl Nesbitt, PHHS Class of 1990
Helping others defines Christie Pearl Nesbitt's professional and personal efforts. As the educational consultant for the regional Multi-District Deaf/Hard of Hearing Program through the Blue Springs School District, she helps school districts around the Kansas City metro area best serve their children who are deaf or hard of hearing. This includes coordinating workshops for these K-12 students to support their needs, observing students in their classrooms and working with their teachers on following best practices.

She has also served on a statewide committee on literacy and deaf education through the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and she published an article on deaf awareness and deaf culture in the public school setting through Perspectives in Education and Deafness.

Her community contributions reflect her compassion for others, including tutoring families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing through The Whole Person nonprofit, signing to help children engage in activities at summer camps, and earning a place in the Pink Honor Roll for Susan G. Komen Kansas City because of her fundraising efforts for the Komen Race for the Cure.


KC North Spine & Joint Center
Since opening in 2011, KC North Spine and Joint Center has invested in our students. KCNSJC is an original, dependable business partner of our Professional Studies program, and each semester it gives hands-on learning opportunities to interns, who report KCNSJC's mentorship and networking opportunities are exceptional. Fall interns even have access to the Kansas City Comets soccer team!


Park University
In addition to being a top-notch university right in our backyard and a popular choice for many of our graduates, Park University has been a longtime partner with the Education Foundation and a district advertising partner. It also invests in our high school students in the Professional Studies program through the university's nursing, education, social work, academic enrollment and sports departments.


Maria and Woody Acosta
We can always rely on the Acostas to step up and help in any way. They have been active leaders in various PTAs over the years and donated countless hours, money, meals and supplies to our schools. They support the Park Hill Education Foundation, and Maria is in the Park Hill Partners program. Their contagious enthusiasm also helps draw in more people to help Park Hill!