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Meet the Class of 2018

Jack Duckworth, Jr.

Jack Duckworth, Jr., Raytown High School, Class of 1974

Jackie “Jack” Duckworth, Jr. graduated from Raytown High in 1974. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Administration of Justice and Sociology in 1984 from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. In 1991, he received a Masters of Human Development and Family Life from the University of Kansas.

His passion for working with youth began by working at the Ozanam Home for Boys in his early years. In 1989, he moved to Alaska to begin a long-term treatment program for youth. Currently, he is the Director of Residential Youth Care in Ketchikan, Alaska and has raised over 50 million dollars in financial support for youth treatment. He has provided over 10,000 foster care days in his own home.

Jack has authored four books to promote families, teaching them to navigate the mental health system. He has taught over 800 parents through his parenting class and thousands of youth through his goal-setting program. He has dedicated his life to the betterment of others and is empathic to youth and adults that are in his care.

In 2004, the city of Ketchikan presented Jack with a resolution for his years of service to the community and in 2008, he received the Red Apple Award from the Delta Kappa Gamma International Society in Ketchikan, Alaska for helping and teaching youth. In 2014, he refurbished a school building and opened a recovery program with room for 20 students and in 2007, he built a home for therapeutic foster care and transitional living. 

In his spare time, Jack is an accomplished Taekwondo artist and instructor. He also has earned several national and state honors in the sport, ranking in the top eight in the nation, earning the title of the Missouri State Champion for two years and the Iowa State Champion for three years, and as the Grand Champion in Kansas City for three years.  Jack still serves as an instructor and has taught boxing classes for 20 years and Taekwondo classes for 30 years.

Captain Richard Hartman

Captain Richard Hartman, Raytown High School, Class of 1959

After graduating from Raytown High School in 1959, Richard H. Hartman earned a full Navy ROTC scholarship to the University of Kansas where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1963 and was commissioned as an Ensign in the United States Navy. In 1973, he received his Masters in Management Science from the U.S. Navy Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. 

Captain Hartman was a commanding officer in the U.S. Navy from 1977 to 1988 where he trained his crew to pass annual weapons employment examinations. From 1983 to 1986, he served as Deputy Commander for Readiness and Training CSD-2. He assisted the USS SUNBIRD (ASR -15) in passing its first operational propulsion plant examination. The SUNBIRD deployed in February 1986, with Nuclear Deep Diving Research Submarine NR-1 in tow, to search for components of the Challenger Space Shuttle off Cape Canaveral, Florida. He received numerous awards during his career in the U.S. Navy.

After retiring from the U.S. Navy, Captain Hartman pursued a second career, teaching high school science. In 1994, he enrolled in Providence College Teacher Certification Program and earned certification for teaching high school physics, biology, general science, and mathematics. He is most proud of the physics class he taught from 2002-2003, where his students built underwater, remotely-operated vehicles for the Marine Advanced Technology Education Competition. His team defeated a team from MIT  and later placed third in nationals. 

He is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and from 2011-2014, he served as Post Commander for Post 4487 out of Middletown, Rhode Island. He was honored as Veteran of the Year for Newport County, RI in 2014. He belongs to the American Legion and has been a member of the United States Golf Association.

Captain Hartman is an active adult leader in the Boy Scouts of America. He is currently the Unit Commissioner for two troops and a crew in the Metacomet District of the Western Massachusetts Council.

Cathryn Linney

Cathryn Linney, Raytown South High School, Class of 1992

Cathryn Linney graduated with honors from Raytown South High School in 1991. She then attended Washington University in St. Louis where she pursued a major in Biology with a minor in Psychology. While at Washington University, Cathryn was awarded two consecutive Howard Hughes Fellowships to work on the Human Genome Project. It was the first international effort of its kind to map the human genome in its entirety. She also volunteered with Student Services, Habitat for Humanity, and Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

After graduating with honors, Cathryn worked at Cerner Corporation, a healthcare software company based in Kansas City. She achieved Millenium Club status and was named a Cerner “Top Gun” in Client Relationship management. Cathryn was selected to lead the first Cerner Sales Leadership program at corporate offices. While at Cerner, Cathryn completed her masters in marketing from the University of Kansas.

In 2006, Cathryn founded Newborns in Need, Inc. of Kansas City after seeing it spotlighted on the Oprah Winfrey Show. She serves as President of the non-profit organization which provides basic baby essentials to local infants in crisis. By 2018, Newborns in Need, Inc. of Kansas City had delivered over 100,000 baby items and was acknowledged by the Kansas City Star, 435 South Magazine and most recently, Fox 4 News.

A strong believer in giving back, Cathryn extended her community outreach work to include serving on the K.C. Crusaders Board, a charity that supports local businesses and non-profits through professional golf events. In addition, she sponsors the fundraising efforts of Youthfront, a non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of children. Her other philanthropic involvement includes the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Stowers Institute, Compassion International, Ronald McDonald House Charities, and The First Tee of Greater K.C.

In the Blue Valley School District, Cathryn serves on the Parent Advocates for Gifted Education Board. She chairs their annual district-wide Robotics Share Fair for 5th graders. Cathryn is involved with the Blue Valley Parent Teacher Organization and is an advocate for gun reform legislation as well as increased safety in area schools.

Cathryn has been married to Jay Linney for 17 years and adores their three beautiful children, Ryan, Reid, and Anna. She enjoys traveling with her family. Her hobbies include family fishing, golf, tennis, and walks in the park with the family Goldendoodle, Jewel. Cathryn’s love of country music led her to become a booking agent for local and regional artists, including The Voice Stars. Cathryn and her family are members of the Church of Resurrection and serve in local ministry together.

Dr. Karen Shaehling

Dr. Karen Staehling, Raytown High School, Class of 1986

Dr. Karen Staehling graduated from Raytown High in 1986 and was voted “Most Likely to Succeed.” She graduated Summa Cum Laude with honors in biology from William Jewell College in 1990 and received a Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology in 1995 from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

During her graduate work, she was the lead author on five published papers including a paper in the prestigious journal, “Nature” that solved a 50-year developmental biology mystery about mesoderm development (an embryonic tissue).

From 1999 to 2004, as a team scientist at Celltech in Seattle (formerly Chiroscience), Dr. Staehling discovered the gene mutation that causes Van Buchem’s, contributing to the advancements of bone density treatments for osteoporosis. She also served as the Genetics Lead, designing a program developing mice whose gene expression could lead to novel drugs in humans. Nearly a third of their genetics team’s discoveries went to the testing phase.

Upon her hiring as Head of Molecular Biology at the Stowers Institute in 2005, she was able to help restore the departments’ reputation as an excellent technology center, growing the number of scientists under her direction from four to seventeen and greatly increasing the value of the institute’s cutting edge approach to technology and research.

Karen co-founded a non-profit professional organization called the Midwest Association of Core Directors to foster close interaction between regional core facilities. She served on the board from 2010 to 2016. She has served in various roles in Christian youth education at Peace Lutheran Church, including Sunday school teacher.

In 2018, Karen was one of three alumni honored with the “Citation of Achievement” from William Jewell College. She is also an adjunct faculty member at the Kansas City Art Institute where she teaches a custom-designed science course.