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
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
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
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
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.