2019 Hall of Achievement

Press Release

On Saturday, October 12th, at 10:00 am in the Warren County History Museum, three highly accomplished alumni will be inducted into the Monmouth-Roseville Hall of Achievement, and one area citizen will receive a Distinguished Service Award.

Michael Cavanaugh, Kari Vanderzyl, and Jeff Long have been named to the Hall of Achievement. Kathy Lowe Arthur will be honored with the Distinguished Service Award.

The induction ceremony is free and open to the public. A brief reception, hosted by the Educational Foundation, will be held at the history museum after the induction ceremony. Entertainment will be provided by the music department of the Monmouth-Roseville High School.

The Hall of Achievement recognition program was made possible through a donation to the Monmouth-Roseville Educational Foundation by the Ralph Whiteman family in 1992, and it is dedicated to the memory of his mother, Lucille Whiteman, who was once a one-room country school teacher.

The purpose of the Hall of Achievement is not only to recognize the accomplishments of the honorees, but also to honor the teachers and administrators whose dedication, motivation, and inspiration helped make their success possible. The Distinguished Service Award Honors individuals who provide exemplary service to the students of the district.

Following are brief summaries of the 2019 honorees.

Michael Cavanaugh is a 1981 graduate of Monmouth High School and currently lives in the Tokyo, Japan area. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University in 1985 and has done some graduate work at the University of Chicago Business School.

After graduation, Mr. Cavanaugh worked as a consultant at Hewitt Associates in Lincolnshire, Illinois, and also taught English for a year at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Xian, China before joining the State Department in 1994.

As a diplomat with the U.S. State Department, Mr. Cavanaugh has served abroad in Cairo, Egypt; Taipei, Taiwan; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Chiang Mai, Thailand; and now Tokyo, Japan. In his current position, he is assigned to the United States Embassy where he is chief of the unit that covers that macro economy and trade.

Mr. Cavanaugh has also served several stints in Washington, D.C., including time as a special assistant to the Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment. He has been awarded the State Department’s Superior Honor Award.

He has been married to Li Gong for nearly 30 years and they have two sons, Andrew in Portland, Oregon, and James a student at Lehigh University.

Kari Vanderzyl is a 1988 graduate of Monmouth High School and received her undergraduate degree summa cum laude from Illinois Wesleyan College in 1992. She went on to obtain her law degree magna cum laude from Northern Illinois University College of Law in 1995 where she served on the Editorial Board of the NIU Law Review and the Moot Court Society.

Her initial employment was as a shareholder in the firm of Williams and McCarthy P.C. of Rockford, Illinois. In 2004, she was hired as staff attorney for Portillo’s Hot Dogs, LLC, of Oak Brook, Illinois. Ms. Vanderzyl has served Portillo’s as Associate General Counsel since 2012.

With Portillo’s, Ms. Vanderzyl directs all litigation for the company, represents the company before local, state, and federal agencies, trains management in various areas, drafts employee handbooks and policies, and provides legal advice on a broad range of topics for Portillo’s officers and managers.

Ms. Vanderzyl lives in Batavia, Illinois. She volunteers with Feed My Starving Children in Libertyville, has served on the Board of Directors of both the Ogle County Hospital and the Oregon Illinois Chamber of Commerce, and acted as a Moot Court Judge for the law school at Northern Illinois University.

Jeff Long is a 1983 graduate of Monmouth high School. After high school he attended the University of Iowa before transferring to Knox College where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Business Administration in 1987.

While at Knox College, Mr. Long was involved in ROTC and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army upon graduation. He served in the Minnesota Army National Guard and Reserves until 2001 and was honorably discharged as a Captain.

After working briefly at National Car Rental in Edina, Minnesota, he began a career with the United States Post Office. He spent three years as a mail carrier before being appointed as a Postal Inspector. Mr. Long served in the position until his retirement in 2018.

As a Postal Inspector he served the Minneapolis area working criminal investigations of mail fraud, narcotics, mail theft, identity theft, credit card fraud, robberies, and other criminal investigation. He volunteered to work with the Federal Aviation Administration after the terrorist attacks on September 11th of 2001 and spent a time as a Federal Air Marshal. The last two years of his career, Mr. Long was assigned to the FBA and worked on the Joint Terrorism Task Force investigating domestic terrorism.

Mr. Long became a private pilot in 2012, a commercial in 2017, and a flight instructor in 2019. He now operates Long Aviation Services providing flight instruction and general aviation services.

As a pilot, Mr. Long has volunteered with the Civil Air Patrol to serve as a Search and Rescue Mission Pilot. He also joined the Angel Flight Central in 2017 and provides air transportation for medical treatment for person of limited financial resources to health care providers such as the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Mr. Long lives in Plymouth, Minnesota with his wife Julie of 31 years. They have three daughters, Megan, Laura, and Jennifer.

He is a member of and volunteer at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Plymouth.

Kathy Lowe Arthur of Monmouth is being honored with the Distinguished Service Award. Ms. Arthur graduated from Milliken University and began her teaching career in the Tri-City School District before receiving her Master Degree at the University of Illinois. She taught junior high art at Central Junior High School for more than 30 years.

Ms. Arthur encouraged many of her students to submit works to the Town and Country Art Show, escorted classes to the Buchanan Center for the Arts, and served as the director of the Art Central, during the years of the Central junior High Academic Olympics.

She has been a volunteer at the hospital in Monmouth, Jamieson Center, the Buchanan Center, and has played a significant role at Warren Achievement Center as a Residential Specialist and Activities Specialist.

While at the Monmouth School District and the Monmouth-Roseville School District she was a cheerleading advisor and volunteered at numerous sorting and scholastic bowl events.

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