NW Education Foundation Recognizes Distinguished Alumni
Northwest Education Foundation will recognize three Northwest High School graduates on Friday, October 9, at an assembly in the auditorium. The Foundation will then host a reception for family and friends of the distinguished alumni afterwards. These three alumni will also be recognized at halftime of the football game that evening as part of the Homecoming festivities.
Allison Meier Madrigal graduated from the University of Nebraska in 2002 with a degree in Marketing and received her MBA from the University of Houston in 2009. After moving to Houston in 2002 she spent over ten years in corporate America before answering a clarion call to resign and follow God’s plan for her life. Embarking on this new journey, she was led to create and launch a first-of-its-kind In Vitro Fertilization insurance product that financially reimburses those for whom IVF does not result in live birth, thus becoming the Founder and President of Vitality Solutions. However, there was more, she was to take fifty percent of profits to fund organizations fighting the evil darkness of sex trafficking. Little did she know, she would also become the Founder and President of a national anti-trafficking organization, Rescue America. At the time of being named a distinguished alumni, Rescue America through their 24/7 rescue hotline, has responded to over 1,500 hotline calls and rescued over 500 victims of sex trafficking. She credits her work to her Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, who has directed and empowered her every step of the way.
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. – Ephesians 3:20
Sharon (Eriksen) Placke graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree, with an emphasis in Accounting, from University of Nebraska – Kearney in 1986. She then entered the field of public accounting and became a Certified Public Accountant. After working in public accounting and the banking industry, Mrs. Placke became the Business Manager at Northwest High School in 1992. Throughout her career at Northwest Mrs. Placke is involved in many different areas of the education process, with her focus being finance, human resource, and wellness. In 2006, Mrs. Placke was instrumental in forming Northwest Public Schools, bringing together five districts into one District that is highly respected throughout the State. She was one of the original members of the Northwest Education Foundation.
Joan (Wieczorek) Ruskamp graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in 1980 with an Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology. She met her future husband while working at a veterinary clinic and fulfilled a childhood dream of living on a farm when they were married and bought the Ruskamp family farm outside Dodge, Nebraska. In addition to working in the day to day business of their feedlot, Joan enjoys sharing the beef production story with consumers and has hosted numerous farm tours for people from all around the world. She has also taken her passion for agriculture nationally through elected and volunteer positions with organization such as Common Ground and the Cattleman’s Beef Board. Awards for her dedication to agriculture include the Livestock Industry Appreciation Award, FarmHer Hall of Fame Award, and UNCTA Alumni Achievement Award. Outside her work in agriculture, Joan volunteers in her community as an EMT and 4-H leader and is active at St. Wenceslaus parish. Joan and her husband, Steve, also have five adult children and eight grandchildren.