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Northwest recognizes three as ‘distinguished alumni’

Northwest recognizes three as ‘distinguished alumni’

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Three Northwest High School graduates have been named distinguished alumni.

In a news release, the Northwest Education Foundation announced Allison Meier Madrigal, Sharon Placke and Joan (Wieczorek) Ruskamp as the 2020 Distinguished Alumni recipients. The recipients will be honored at a ceremony at Northwest High School Friday morning.

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Allison Meier Madrigal

— Meier Madrigal spent 10 years working in “corporate America” before resigning to launch Vitality Solutions, a first of its kind in vitro fertilization insurance product that financially reimburses those for whom IVF does not result in live birth. She also is the founder and president of Rescue America, a national anti-trafficking organization. Through its 24/7 rescue hotline, the organization has responded to more than 1,500 calls and rescued more than 500 sex trafficking victims.

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Sharon Placke

— Placke is the business manager for Northwest Public Schools, overseeing different areas of the education process with a focus on finance, human resources and wellness. In 2006, she was instrumental in forming the district by merging Northwest High School — a Class VI high school — with four Class I elementary schools — Chapman, Cedar Hollow, 1-R and St. Libory.

In addition to her role as Northwest’s business manager, Placke also was one of the original members of the Northwest Education Foundation.

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Joan Ruskamp

— Ruskamp has worked in the day-to-day operation of her family feedlot, shared the story of beef production with consumers and hosted numerous farm tours for people from all around the world. She has taken her passion for agriculture national through elected and volunteer positions with organization such as Common Ground and the Cattleman’s Beef Board. Her previous awards include the Livestock Industry Appreciation Award, FarmHer Hall of Fame Award and Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture Alumni Achievement Award.

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