A former teacher, three alumni and a state championship softball team will join 48 others in the Union Grove Union High School Bronco Hall of Fame.

Former faculty member Thomas Czerniak, alumni William Klug, Jason Morgan and Ward Richter and the 2007 state softball championship team will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday before the homecoming game on Bronco Field.

The Hall of Fame was established in 2006 to honor and recognize alumni who have distinguished themselves in various fields of endeavor during or after high school, exceptional teachers, coaches or administrators, and those who have given meritorious service, are a loyal friend, or have been, to UGUHS.

Alumni nominees must be out of high school a minimum of 10 years. To date, 48 individuals have been inducted into the Bronco Hall of Fame.

This year’s recipients are:

 

Jason Morgan

Morgan, of the Class of 1997, was a three-sport athlete, competing in football, basketball and baseball. He attained nine varsity letters and had an influence on all three sports from his sophomore season through graduation. He was named all-county first team for basketball, all-county and all-conference for baseball, all-county, all-conference first-team and all-conference honorable mention for football. In football, he was named all-area and all-county honorable mention three years in a row.

Morgan entered high school at a time when Union Grove high School was known for ineptness in baseball, basketball and football. He made Union Grove relevant in the sports he participated in. In his first year playing varsity basketball, he broke the single-game scoring record with 43 points in a game. His junior year, he hit a three-pointer to win the game over the Tony Romo-led Demons. He is still the boys basketball team’s all-time leading scorer with 1,131 points. He helped transform three of the major sports programs and make Union Grove High School relevant again in high school athletics.

Morgan ultimately earned a baseball scholarship to the University of Wisconsin-Parkside where he still holds the top 10 career totals for four offensive categories and put Parkside baseball back on the map. He graduated with a degree in sports and fitness management.

Furthering his education, he graduated with degrees in health promotions and health science from the University of Memphis. Morgan has been featured in American Healthcare Leader magazine and the Racine Journal Times. He also played baseball for the Waterford Rivermen and was named the league’s most valuable player two years in a row.

Moregan is director of global health and wellbeing for Mars Inc., which is based in McLean, Va. He and his wife, Kari, live in Raymond, Va., with their daughters, Miley and Summer.

Morgan was nominated by his friend Adam Peterson and former coach David Pettit;

 

William C. Klug

Klug, of the Class of 1973, played football, basketball and baseball for four years during high school career and earned eight athletic letters. He was awarded football all-conference twice, football all-state honorable mention, basketball all-conference, baseball all-conference three times and baseball MVP twice. He also participated in the National Honor Society, Letterman’s Club, Student Council and prom court.

Following graduation, Klug attended the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh for three years where he was the running back on the football team and pitcher for the baseball team.

Klug and his wife, Jodi, participated in the Bronco Booster Club for 12 years and chaired the Bronco Booster Club Golf Outing for two years. He and his family sponsor a UGHS scholarship in his mother’s name and have participated for five years in the Adopt a Grandparent program at Oak Ridge Care Center. Through his church, Yorkville Methodist Church, he packs lunches for the Homeless Assistance Leadership Organization in Racine, works at its pork chop dinner and Fall Harvest Days pie sale, helps with supplies for the Union Grove Area Food Bank and does Christmas caroling at the Veterans Center.

Klug is a facility manager for Stericycle. Through his position at Stericycle, he has spearheaded funds for the UGHS baseball field, Spanish Club trip to Spain and Sparks baseball team. He was also instrumental in obtaining numerous donations for the Union Grove-Yorkville Rescue and Fire Department through his employer.

In his free time, Klug has been a member of the Racine Instinctive Bowmen archery club for 38 years and on the board of directors for 10 years. Bill’s Kitchen has also done five YouTube videos with helpful hints and recipes in the kitchen.

 

He was nominated by his friends Frank Lamping and Bill Grise;

 

Ward R. Richter

When Richter, Class of 1948, was a student at UGHS, the school had five teachers, plus part-time band and choral directors. Richter was the salutatorian of his class.

After graduation, Richter went to the University of Wisconsin’s three-year pre-veterinary program, then on to Iowa State University earning a doctor of veterinary medicine and master of science in pathology.

Richter is a board certified veterinary pathologist who is internationally recognized as an expert in toxicological pathology and preclinical safety evaluation of new pharmaceuticals and industrial chemicals. In his field, he has worked as a corporate and academic scientist, an educator, a laboratory manager, a corporate executive, a software developer and a consultant to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries in the United States, Asia and Europe. His career as an educator and academic scientist included 11 years as a professor of pathology at the University of Chicago Medical School where he trained a series of Ph.D. scientists and pathology residents and conducted research. Early in his career, he conducted research for the military, including investigation of the potential adverse effects of radio frequency energy.

His pharmaceutical research involves investigating mechanisms of drug toxicity and the evaluation of drug safety for human pharmaceuticals. He has held positions including division manager and vice president of several pathology and toxicology research laboratories and has served as senior vice president of research, principal scientist and a member of the scientific advisory panel for a major United Kingdom contract research organization.

In addition to his career, he has served on federal government advisory committees. Since 2002, he has worked as a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry worldwide as chief scientific officer for Druquest International Inc. His work has been submitted to federal government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency and their international counterparts in support of new drug applications or chemical licensing. Richter is the author or coauthor of 60 peer-reviewed research papers.

Richter grew up in the Union Grove area and now lives in Leeds, Ala., a suburb of Birmingham. He and his wife had three children, Robert, of St. Louis, Mo., David, of Lancaster, N.H., and Pamela Boss, of Union Grove. Richter is married to Joanne R. Kopplin, also a doctor of veterinary medicine, and returns to the Union Grove area every summer to visit family and friends and continue consulting work. Richter and Kopplin’s careers have taken them to Chicago, Kalamazoo, Mich., San Francisco, central New Jersey and Leeds, Ala. Richter still works full time.

He was nominated by his daughter Pamela Richter-Boss and Doris Columbe;

 

Thomas Czerniak

Czerniak was on the faculty of Union Grove High School from 1970 to 2004. He graduated from Pulaski High School where he was involved in the National Honor Society and president of Student Council. He came to Union Grove High School in the fall of 1970 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Within three years of his arrival, he earned a Master of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. He taught general science, biology and advanced biology during his 34 years at UGHS.

He also served as advisor to the ski club, chaperone for senior class trips to Washington, D.C., and New York City and senior class advisor attending class banquets on the boat in Lake Geneva. He still serves as the “voice of the Broncos” for varsity football games and timer for junior varsity and freshman football games. He was a track coach, science department chairman and held all local education association positions.

In 1978, he joined the Union Grove-Yorkville Fire Department, served as secretary until 2002, became the first assistant chief of rescue from 1993 to 1995 and, since 2002, serves as the department fire chief. During his years of teaching at the high school, he was called numerous times out of class for one emergency or another with students and staff.

In 1980, he became an instructor for Gateway Technical College where is now a lead instructor and coordinator for the basic emergency medical technician classes.

In 2004, after retiring from the high school he became a deputy medical examiner for Racine County and today is the chief deputy medical examiner.

Czerniak was awarded the Wisconsin Exemplary Science Teacher in 1987; was the first teacher to receive the Educators Excellence Award in 1995; was recognized as the inaugural recipient of the Outstanding Union Grove Citizen award in 2002 by the Union Grove Masonic Lodge; was named EMS Instructor of the Year in 2003 from Gateway Technical College; and received the Greater Union Grove Area Individual Community Service Award in 2014.

He served on the Union Grove Village Board for a term and is a lector at his church.

He has been married to Peggy (Lamping) for 43 years with two sons Christopher (Susan) and Matthew (Rebecca); two granddaughters Kathryn, 11, and Natalie, 8; and two grandsons Harvey, 3, and Felix, 1.

He still lives in Union Grove where he takes an interest in the Broncos. He has a famous brother-in-law, Frank Lamping, the 2016 Packer Fan in the Fan Hall of Fame.

Czerniak was nominated by his wife and sons

 

2007 State Softball Championship Team

Members of the 2007 team to be honored are Christine Aponte, Mia Osmundsen, Roby Mueller Welker, Tricia O’Keffe Koessl, Samantha Howe, Kristyn Hansen Scoma, Jessica Niles, Nathalie Schattner, Brandi Krencisz Schreiber, Kayla Ziesse Peterson, Lindsey Mikulecky and Ryannon Snow, head coach Scott Katterhagen and assistant coaches Todd Hansen and Les Wagner.

After graduating high school in 2009, Aponte attended St. Norbert College to study biology and chemistry and played on the 2009-10 softball team. She finished her undergraduate work at UW-Parkside in 2012 and began coaching 18U traveling softball with the Wisconsin Twisters. In 2012, Aponte Cristina attended pharmacy school at UW-Madison. During this time, she volunteered for medical mission trips in Central America.

In 2016, Aponte graduated from UW-Madison with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. She now works as a pharmacist with her husband, Caleb Rosenbalm, at Lakeview Pharmacy in downtown Racine.

After graduating in 2007, Osmundsen attended the University of Northern Iowa on a golf scholarship and later transferred to UW-Whitewater where she graduated with a Bachelor of Art degree in English literature and language. Osmundsen has been working at Gateway Technical College for nearly five years and is an academic advisor. While at Gateway, she earned her Lean Six Sigma green belt certification leading a recycling initiative to align with college President Bryan Albrecht’s Climate Commitment. In May, she graduated from UW-Milwaukee with her Master’s Degree in cultural Foundations of community engagement and education. She utilizes this degree in her position at Gateway while leading several initiatives, events and projects at the college to better the lives of students and communities.     She welcomed a son, Xander, into the world on July 26.

After graduation, Welker went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree from UW-Stevens Point, double majoring in computer information systems and web and digital media development. After graduation, she started her career at Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance in Milwaukee, working on the application testing team. Welker is now a test engineering tech lead and heads a team of 10 on one of the most technically advanced projects at Northwestern Mutual.

In her spare time, Welker still enjoys playing softball and plays on two teams during the summer and participates in summer tournaments. She also still enjoys playing volleyball and bowling throughout the fall and winter.

Since graduating from UGHS, Koessl attended Carthage College where she was a four-year member of the softball program. In 2011, she graduated magna cum laude with a major in Elementary education and a minor in mathematics. She is entering her seventh year teaching middle school math at All Saints Catholic School in Kenosha. She also coaches softball for Mahone Middle School and Indian Trail High School and Academy. She and her husband, Ryan, live in Kenosha and enjoy watching and playing sports, traveling and hanging out with friends and family.

Following graduation in 2007, Howe attended UW-Green Bay on a full athletic Division I softball scholarship. She transferred to UW-Parkside two years later where she got the opportunity to intern for a New York Yankee minor league baseball team in Charleston, S.C. She spent two years in Charleston before making her way back home to Wisconsin to enroll in school for dental hygiene, and will graduate in May as a dental hygienist. She is spending her last day as a Howe being inducted into the Hall of Fame as she will marry Dusty Svendsen on Saturday.

Following graduation, Scoma attended UW-Madison and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. While pursuing her degree, she continued her softball career as a walk-on for the UW Badgers. Fresh out of college, she worked for Kimberly Clark where she pursued opportunities that relocated her to Minneapolis and Nashville. She continues to live in Nashville where she now works for S.C. Johnson & Son on the Dollar General corporate account in sales and category management. In Nashville, Scoma met her husband, got a puppy and bought her first home.

As high school came to an end, Niles went on to attend college at UW-Oshkosh in the fall of 2008. As time went on, Niles moved back home and attended Bryant & Stratton College to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting. She works for her family’s business.

Schattner is the executive director for the Grant County Farm Service Agency in Lancaster. She attended UW-Platteville and majored in animal sciences and agribusiness. She played softball at the university for three years. After college she began working as a dairy field representative in Lancaster. In June of 2016, she began her career with the United States Department of Agriculture when she became the Farm Service Agency director. She lives in Lancaster where she coaches softball at Lancaster High School and the recreation department and works for the Lancaster Country Club.

Since graduation, Schreiber attended UW-Stevens Point and double majored in urban forestry and forest recreation. After college she married her high school sweetheart, John, and they moved to Chippewa County for his job. In January, they welcomed their first son, Cameron. Schreiber lives in Cornell.

Mikulecky played college softball at UW-Oshkosh and Elmhurst College. She lives in Illinois and works as a personal trainer. Mikulecky participated in the North Central Region Cross Fit Games and played on the Chicago Bliss women’s football team.

Peterson lives in Eustis, Fla.

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