Alumni Committee

Austin Alumni Association Committee
Left to Right: Steve Kime, Nicole Caporale, Tim Ruzek, Rosie Seltz, Jayna Heimark, Joan Diggins,
Dave Simonson, Becky Astrup, DeeDee Marx, Katie Ulwelling, Jeni Lindberg


JENI BECKEL LINDBERG, CHAIR – I am a 1973 graduate and have lived my entire life in Austin except for 6 years in Fremont, NE. My grandmothers, as well as my parents and their siblings and my siblings, are all AHS graduates. I am very proud to be a Packer. I work at the high school and use every opportunity to give the current students a quick history lesson about this building. My husband, Brad, works for Hormel, and we have 2 grown sons, Scott and Michael.

DAVID SIMONSON, VICE CHAIR- I was born and raised in Austin, Minnesota, graduating from Austin High School in 1970. I graduated from the University of Minnesota and played five years of football in the NFL before returning to Austin in 1979.  I worked for 27 years on the Austin Police Department before retiring. My wife, Connie, taught in the Austin Public Schools for 32 years.  Our three children also graduated from Austin High Schoo,l and all three are now public school teachers. I enjoyed working on the Austin School Board for 19 years and take great pride in our Austin schools.

BECKY ANDERSON ASTRUP, SECRETARY - My husband, Dan, and I graduated from Austin High School in 1976. Our 3 children are also AHS graduates. I was involved in cheerleading and choir and remember attending every possible event that I could get to. I joined the AHS Alumni and Friends Association to stay connected with AHS and to give back to this wonderful school that I and my family received so much from.

STEVE KIME, TREASURER-I am a lifelong resident of Austin and a 1969 graduate of Austin High School. I am now retired and proud of my 40-year-career with Hormel Foods Corporation. I have been a member of the Alumni Association since 1995 and a member of the committee since 2001. My wife, Barb, and I have two daughters, Gina and Janelle, who are also AHS graduates. I appreciate the fact that my membership in the Alumni Association helps me to maintain my connection to AHS.

TIM RUZEK - I'm a 1999 Austin High graduate who was involved in basketball and football in high school before focusing my senior year on being an editor for The Sentinel. That led me to spend much time working at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's student newspaper before I graduated from there and started working for 7 years for the Austin Post-Bulletin newspaper as a reporter. In summer 2010, I started a new job doing public relations and development work for The Hormel Institute, a University of Minnesota medical research facility in Austin that focuses on cancer research. My wife, Heather, is a teacher for Austin Public Schools. We have a 2-year-old daughter, Aubrey.

EDWINA ERSLAND HARDER - My husband, Eric, and I graduated from Austin High School in 1983.  I have such great memories of Austin High—sporting events, band/orchestra, Austinian. . . .  Being a part of the Alumni and Friends organization helps preserve AHS’ rich history.  I’m proud to be a Packer!

ROSIE SELTZ – I graduated from Winona High School but did teach at AHS along with my husband, Dick. I taught Journalism, Academic Practices and Writing for School plus being the advisor for The Sentinel and Austinian. Dick taught Civics and American History and was an assistant basketball coach and head baseball coach. Our 4 children- Steve, Louise, Sam and Andy-are all AHS graduates. I still enjoy being connected with Austin High School.

JOAN HALL DIGGINS - I graduated from Austin High School in 1960. My husband, Larry, and I have 4 wonderful daughters, 9 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. We love to spend our spare time with family and friends. I joined the Alumni & Friends Association because of all the good that we do.  It is very rewarding!

DEEDEE DUGAN MARX  – I am a 1968 graduate, and have lived in Austin my entire life except for attending Mankato State College.   My parents were also graduates of Austin High School as are my two sons.    I retired from the Austin Public School District after 35 years of teaching physical education and health as well as coaching a variety of girls’ sports. I have 2 wonderful grandchildren, and enjoy spending time with them as well as doing lots of volunteering in the Austin community!  I enjoy being part of the Austin High Athletic Hall of Fame Committee and look forward to being part of the Alumni and Friends Committee!
 
BRIAN HALDORSON - I was born and raised in Austin and I'm a 1986 graduate of Austin High School. I participated in golf and hockey while at AHS. Family: wife Sandy, daughter Miranda, son Mitch. I worked in the Mayo Clinic print shop for 13 years, then in 2000 I started Diamond Ridge Printing here in Austin. I am also involved with the Austin Chamber of Commerce as an Ambassador

MARIE ANHORN CANO - I am a graduate of the class of 1960 with great memories of classes, school activities, attending athletic events and, of course, classmates.   After attending the U of M - majoring in Spanish, I left for Mexico and spent over twenty years in Mexico D.F. and Saltillo, Coahuila with my husband and three children.   I returned to Austin in the 80’s and our children Jeff, Andrea and Matt all graduated from AHS.  Additionally, I had the honor of teaching Spanish at AHS and RCC.  I retired from teaching in 2008.  I am looking forward to working with the Alumni Association to help keep our alumni connected

FRANCINE RUSSELL STROUF, Emeritus– Class of 1963 - Charter member of the Austin Public Education Foundation and a member of the alumni committee since 1993.  One of my fondest memories of attending school in Austin is playing in the band under Mr. Sperati at the football and basketball games.  The gym would be full and the auditorium would be open for the overflow.  The energy and excitement were great.

NICOLE WINTER CAPORALE - I graduated from Austin High School in 1998.  I went on to get my undergraduate degree in education from UW-Eau Claire and my Masters from Hamline University in St. Paul.  After teaching abroad in Kazakhstan and Guatemala for a few years, I returned to Austin and have been working as an English as a Second Language teacher at Southgate Elementary School ever since!  My husband, Jonathan Caporale and I are expecting our first child in September 2014.

KATIE NELSON ULWELLING - I was born and raised in Austin.  I graduated from Austin High School in 1969 and then attended Austin Community College (now Riverland).  I received my Bachelors’ degree from the University of Minnesota in the areas of Elementary Education and Special Education (Deaf/Hard of Hearing).  I received my Masters’ degree from the University of St. Scholastica.  Before retiring in 2013, I served as Teacher for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students, ages birth through 21, for Austin Public Schools.  In 2000, I was a top ten finalist for Minnesota Teacher of the Year.  I have three adult children who attended school in Austin, as well.  My greatest joy, currently, is acting as the proud grandmother of two darling granddaughters and one extremely handsome grandson.  I feel it was an honor to be educated in, and later serve as an educator for,  Austin Public Schools.  As a member of the Austin Alumni Association, I look forward to supporting and promoting activities which will help provide quality educational programs for students of all ages

MIKE RUZEK, Emeritus– We have the same mission as the first AHS Alumni Association that started in 1894. That is, in practical terms, to make connections-alumni connecting with other alumni, the current students and the Austin community. This has resulted in the recall of good memories, the inspiration of successful alumni and opportunities to give back. I've really enjoyed the 18 years of being a part of this association, and I am satisfied that we continue to make a positive difference in the lives of people who associated with Austin High School.