Meet the 2019 Springfield Public Schools Hall of Fame Inductees

A leader in physics, a NASA insider and the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri all make up this year's Springfield Public Schools Hall of Fame honorees.

By Rae Swan Snobl

Oct 2019

Every year, Springfield Public Schools recognizes a select group of distinguished graduates in the district’s Hall of Fame. Past inductees have included physicians, philanthropists and a Broadway actress. The class of 2019 carries on the tradition with a physics professor dedicated to educational outreach, a United States Attorney and a man who oversaw the Apollo missions at NASA. These exceptional individuals have worked hard to become leaders in their respective fields. They also attribute much of their success to their time spent in the SPS school system and the inspiring teachers they had along the way.

SPS Hall of Fame - 2019 - David Andereck Lab 1990 - CO Dr. David Andereck

Dr. David "Dave" Andereck

Parkview High School | Class of 1970

Although David Andereck credits several of his Springfield Public Schools teachers with inspiring his desire to learn, it was his fourth grade teacher at Phelps Elementary who paved the way. “Mrs. McDonald wanted to make sure that I was sufficiently challenged academically and felt I was ready to move on to harder material than the fifth grade would have provided,” he says. After testing, Andereck was offered the chance to move up to the sixth grade. Skipping grades put him in a position to graduate from Parkview High School at the young age of 16. “Fortunately, in my opinion, better options are now available, such as the WINGS Program,” he says. “I am strongly in favor of programs like this, as they provide sufficient challenges for stronger students while also providing the social support they need.” Many of his other teachers fostered his interest in science and math over the years, and he went on to earn a physics degree from Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University) and a Ph.D. from Rutgers University.

“I not only believe in the importance of education as preparation for a job or career, but as a preparation for a life well lived. It should be a lifelong process.”
— Dr. David Andereck

Andereck is a Physics Professor and Dean at Ohio State University, where his specialties are hydrodynamics (chaos, turbulence and pattern formation), astrophysics, and high-power laser interaction with matter physics. He has also served on the Missouri State University Physics Advisory Board for 15 years, inspiring high school, undergraduate and graduate physicists in the Springfield area. He helps the panel with curriculum changes, community partnerships, educational outreach and scholarship acquisition to ensure Springfield area students have access to STEM education and related careers. 
“Education is vital for the individual and for society,” Andereck says. “I not only believe in the importance of education as preparation for a job or career, but as a preparation for a life well lived. It should be a lifelong process.”

Dr. David Andereck at the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro

David Andereck took some time away from the classroom to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

Dr. David Andereck on the golf course

One of Andereck’s favorite pastimes is heading out to the fairway to play golf.

Photos courtesy Dr. David Andereck

One of Andereck’s colleagues on the MSU advisory panel, Stephanie Blake, called him the “Neil deGrasse Tyson of Springfield Public Schools.” Blake says, “His six-page curriculum vitae is full of exactly the same accolades as Tyson, with scores of peer-reviewed publications, committees, research, conventions and book publications, yet he is an incredibly humble, giving, brilliant and relatable man.” Andereck has also personally funded thousands of dollars in scholarships, some of which have gone to SPS students interested in physics.

Andereck lives in Dublin, Ohio, with his wife, Barbara. Although he has retired from his faculty position at Ohio State University in Columbus, he has taught at OSU several times since retirement. He enjoys golfing, bike riding, gardening and spending time with his grandkids.

SPS Hall of Fame - 2019 - Tim Garrison High School - CO Tim Garrison

Tim Garrison

Hillcrest High School | Class of 1994

On a school band trip to Washington D.C. his freshman year of high school, Tim Garrison developed a budding interest in government and military service that has carried throughout his life and career. “We went to march in the Cherry Blossom Parade, and I became fascinated with our national capitol,” he says. “America has an amazing history that is unique in all the world. It stoked my sense of patriotism and interest in national service.”

“Learning American history sparked my interest in becoming a lawyer. I was fascinated by the patriots who risked everything to create this country and realized that more than half of them were lawyers or had legal training”
— Tim Garrison

A 1994 graduate of Hillcrest High School, Garrison is currently the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri. Previously in his career, he served as a federal prosecutor, focused on drug trafficking and violent crimes. Garrison received an officer’s commission after graduating from Marine Corps Officer Candidates School and served as a military prosecutor. His active duty took him to Iraq and Afghanistan. He says his high school football days prepared him for training in the Marines. “I noticed an odd, familiar feeling,” he says. “People were yelling at me, demanding that I do difficult tasks over and over, faster and faster, until I got it right. It reminded me of Coaches Lou Fees and Bob Plumley at Hillcrest High.” Garrison also credits his high school choir teacher, Carol Akers, for helping him improve his singing, which earned him a scholarship to Drury University.

Tim Garrison US Attorney for the Western District of Missouri

Garrison is the US Attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

Tim Garrison, Marine Corps in Afghanistan

Garrison served in the Marine Corps and was deployed to Afghanistan.

Tim Garrison, Hillcrest Hornet Football Player

Garrison says his high school football experience helped prepare him for the military.

Photos courtesy Tim Garrison

In college, Garrison continued his focus on government and studied political science and law. “I developed an interest in history in my eighth grade class with Vicki Kukal,” he says. “American history sparked my interest in becoming a lawyer. I was fascinated by the patriots who risked everything to create this country and realized that more than half of them were lawyers or had legal training.”

Garrison also serves as a Deputy Legal Counsel in the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. His military honors include: Combat Action Ribbon, Meritorious Service Medal, two Navy and Marine Commendation Medals and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. He also has received awards for outstanding trial advocacy and appellate advocacy. He offers one piece of advice to current SPS students: “Right now, you may not know where you’re headed. That’s okay. See what motivates you and what you do well, then pursue it with diligence. Do the little things right—and be prepared for the long haul. It’s worth it.” Garrison’s home is in Springfield, where he lives with his wife, Traci, and their three children: 17-year-old Silas, 15-year-old Luke and 10-year-old Selah. 

SPS Hall of Fame - 2019 - Larry Hartley High School - CO Larry Hartley

Larry Hartley

Hillcrest High School | Class of 1963

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, which makes it fitting that Larry Hartley is being inducted into the Springfield Public Schools Hall of Fame this year. From 1967 to 1996, Hartley worked as a trajectory engineer for NASA at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. He was on the console as mission support during the first Apollo moon landing as well as the Apollo 9 rehearsal and Apollos 12, 14 and 15 through 17.

While Hartley was growing up in north Springfield, his eighth grade teacher made an eerily accurate prediction about his future career. “She said I would work in a facility with things flying around in the air,” Hartley recalls. “She had never heard the words Mission Control Center, astronauts or spacecraft at the time. Her prediction seemed strange, but it’s always stuck with me.”

“'She said I would work in a facility with things flying around in the air,' Hartley recalls.”
— Larry Hartley

Hartley graduated from Hillcrest High School in 1963 where his teachers “fed his appetite” for science. After graduation, he attended Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University) where he double majored in Physics and Mathematics. As the United States and Russia entered into the space race, Hartley wanted to be involved. In college, he happened to be standing by while his professor received a call from a former student. “He was looking to hire someone at NASA and work on space trajectory planning,” Hartley says. “My professor literally turned to me with phone still in-hand and asked if I would be interested. The rest is history.”

During the Apollo missions, Hartley developed trajectory techniques that increased the lunar stay time for the astronauts by three hours on all flights after Apollo 14. He also performed various engineering studies to support the design and development of the Space Shuttle system. He says, “The greatest thing was working with the most brilliant people that perhaps had ever been assembled anywhere. I was indeed fortunate to be a part of it."

Larry Hartley receiving an award from NASA

Larry Hartley’s time at NASA was marked with awards and memorable achievements.

Larry Hartley fishing

In his free time, Hartley enjoys heading outdoors for fishing trips.

Photos courtesy Larry Hartley

After the missions wound down, Hartley moved into management positions with NASA and served as Project Manager at Lockheed Martin supporting the “skunk works” team to transform all space operations within NASA. Now, in his retirement years, Hartley is sharing his life experience through teaching as an adjunct professor of management at the Lone Star College System Kingwood campus in Texas. Hartley and his wife just celebrated 50 years of marriage this year at their ranch in East Texas with their family.

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