2009 Hall of Fame Inductees
Monfort Family Foundation
The Monfort children are all graduates of Greeley West High School. The Monfort Family Foundation has been in existence since 1970. Today, siblings Kyle, Dick, Charlie and Kay continue what their father Kenny started more than 35 years ago. We are honored to be able to recognize the generosity and continued support provided to the community of Greeley and the State of Colorado as a whole. The Monfort name may be synonymous with the cattle industry and/or baseball, however their philanthropy is what truly sets this family apart. We are grateful for the efforts of the Monfort children and their family foundation.
Mrs. Anderson was a highly decorated social studies teacher at GWHS for 32 years and continued to work part time for two additional years at West. Marla earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from UNC in 1973. She was named GW Teacher of the Year in 2002. Marla was social studies department chairperson for 28 years. She was involved as a student council sponsor for seven years. Not limited to academic expertise, Marla also contributed to the Spartan athletic department as a coach of volleyball, basketball, and tennis. She retired from coaching in 1980 and turned her energy toward starting a family. She was successful in that endeavor as well, raising two outstanding children (both GWHS graduates) and has been married over 35 years to her husband Ken.
Mr. Brunz wore just nearly every “hat” at GWHS: student, teacher, coach, and administrator. Larry has had a positive impact on GWHS for over 40 years! Mr. Brunz excelled on the field and the court earning numerous all-conference awards in baseball and basketball. He was honorable mention, all state in basketball in his senior season of 1967. Also in 1967, Larry was voted “Mr. GWHS” an honored still awarded to today’s Spartans. After graduation, he went on to earn bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the University of Northern Colorado.
Following graduation from college, Larry returned to West as a teacher and coach. He spent 20 years teaching driver’s education, two years in physical education, and eight years as athletic director for the Spartans. Mr. Brunz was an assistant coach in football, basketball, and baseball before taking a 14 year run as head baseball coach (1976-90). During this stretch, he was named Northern Conference “Coach of the Year” on two occasions. Larry was also an accomplished sports official in football and basketball. He has been enshrined into the Colorado football and basketball officials Hall of Fames. Even in retirement, Larry continues his commitment to West as he currently serves as our head boy’s golf coach.
Success at work and at home, Larry and wife Linda have been married over 40 years. Daughters Angie, Kelli, and Jeanie were all GWHS graduates.
Kathy Elliott .
Ms. Elliott was an outstanding contributor to GWHS from 1989-2008. Kathy taught physical education and served as department chair for many years at GWHS.
Ms. Elliott contributed 27 years total to District 6, teaching at John Evans before coming to West. Kathy was a skilled athlete, teacher and coach. As a student, Ms. Elliott garnered two state tennis doubles’ titles at Grand Junction High School. She went on to Arizona State University where she played on the women’s basketball team from 1974-76.
Prior to coming to West, she coached girls tennis for seven years at Greeley Central. While at West, Ms. Elliott was head tennis coach for 17 years and head volleyball coach for five years. In 1993, Kathy was named 4A state volleyball coach of the year. On the tennis side, Kathy earned Northern Conference coach of the year honors a whopping seven times and 4A coach of the year honors in 2006.
Certainly known for much more than her coaching, Kathy served as StuCo sponsor, physical education department chair and cheerleading sponsor. In 2005, Kathy was honored with teacher of the year recognition by her colleagues at West.
To quantify the magnitude of her success, Ms. Elliott coached tennis for a combined 27 years while
compiling a match record of 226 wins and only 72 losses.
Kathy retired in 2008, but will continue to assist the girl’s tennis program this spring at West.
Roger was on the GWHS faculty from 1982-2008 and was a teacher in District 6 a total of 35 years, working at Heath Jr. High from 1973-82.
Roger earned his Bachelor’s degree at Western State College and his Master’s at the University of Northern Colorado.
Mr. Johnson was recognized as an outstanding social studies teacher and successful boy’s basketball coach, garnering numerous awards in both areas during his career. In the classroom, these awards included GWHS teacher of the year honors; Greeley Masonic Lodge Teacher of the Year; Boettcher Scholarship Teacher Award; International Baccalaureate “Most Influential Teacher” award.
Roger received well earned recognition for his work on the hardwood, garnering Northern Conference Coach of the Year honors three different times. His teams won several conference and regional championships and were state runners-up in 1989 and 1990.
Now residing between Leadville, Colorado and Tucson, Arizona, Roger has turned his passion to writing. His first manuscript has been purchased by publisher W.W. Norton, with a scheduled publication set for fall of 2009.
Roger’s wife Cheryl is a world traveler, consulting with deaf and heard of hearing programs. They have two sons, Luke and Mike.
The word LEADER best describes the education career of Mr. Ron Roggy. Ron served Greeley West High School as an outstanding principal from 1977-1985. Upon arrival in Greeley, Mr. Roggy taught and coached at Greeley Central. He taught and was their head football coach for three seasons (1970-73) before becoming an assistant principal (1974-77). As a result of his outstanding skills as a building principal, he moved on to roles as a District 6 central office administrator. In 1990, Ron officially retired from District 6. Today, he continues as a member of his son Mark’s football staff, coaching defensive ends.
Mr. Roggy was born and raised in Grand Island, Nebraska. Ron earned his Bachelor’s degree from Kearney State Teachers College, his Master’s degree was awarded by Western State College, and his administrators license was granted by the University of Northern Colorado.
The long list of leadership roles for which Ron served (President Colorado Coaches Assoc., Northern Conference Principal Representative to CHSAA, CHSAA committees for football, track, and grievance board) epitomize his highly respected position in the education community. Mr. Roggy is known as a true gentleman and trusted colleague.
His legacy at Greeley West carries on today with son Mark as football coach. Following in Dad’s footsteps, his daughter Jana served as West principal for three years. His grandsons, Tyler, Connor, and AJ are all Spartans.
Mrs. Seris served Greeley West as the building Librarian from its’ opening in 1965 through 2000. Her dedication and commitment to the library and the students’ of Greeley West is unmatched. As is often the case with people who “work behind the scenes” as Ms. Seris did, it is difficult to fully quantify her impact on students and teachers at West. Without question, the library we see today is a direct result of the hard work and commitment Eileen made to GWHS.
Eileen was born in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from East Stroudsburg State University and a Master’s degree from Drexel University. Prior to coming to Greeley, Ms. Seris served as both a junior high and senior high librarian in New York state.
As a true Spartan, Eileen’s two sons are GWHS graduates, David class of 1987 and Mark class of 1990.
Her husband, Mike is a retired teacher, having served as an English instructor at John Evans.
Mr. Birleffi was a member of the Spartan staff from 1970-1999. John was born September 2, 1929 in Hartville, Wyoming. Following high school, Mr. Birleffi earned his Bachelor’s degree from UNC and a Master’s from the University of Wyoming. John served his country during the Korean War as a Captain in the United States Marine Corp.
Mr. Birleffi’s teaching career began in Douglas, Wyoming. He also coached football and basketball there. In 1970, John and his family moved to Greeley and he became an industrial arts and history teacher. John led the Spartan boy’s basketball team to over 300 victories during his time at West. Birleffi coached teams won 11 conference championships and made 7 state tournament appearances. In 1979, Coach Birleffi was named National Basketball Coach of Year. John was also the creator of the Greeley Unified girl’s golf team. Mr. Birleffi was also a highly regarded football official. He worked hundreds of high school games, as well as officiating college games for the Western Athletic Conference. As do several of our inductees, all of John’s children are Spartan graduates.
The Greeley West auxiliary gym is named in his honor. Wife Betty remains active in the Greeley community.
Mr. Birleffi passed away on his birthday in 1999.
John was a member of the GWHS staff from 1968-1982 where he served as physical education teacher, head football coach, head baseball coach, and ultimately as an assistant principal.
Mr. Christensen was born and raised in Nebraska City, Nebraska. Following high school, John attended the University of Nebraska and was awarded a freshman numeral for football. He finished his football career at Colorado State University, starting at quarterback his final two seasons. He lead the Rams in total offense and was their leading scorer. He also earned his Master’s degree at CSU.
His Spartan baseball teams won 4 conference championships, participated in 2 final fours, and the 1975 team won the State baseball title! Many of his players moved on to play at both the college and professional levels. His football teams were also highly regarded and often ranked in the State’s top 10.
Following his 24 years at GWHS, Mr. Christensen spent four years as Principal of John Evans Junior High. He then served ten successful years as the Principal of Greeley Central High School.
Mr. Christensen is a true family man, with his wife of over 50 years, Jonna, (GWHS business teacher for 25 years) and children Jill and JJ (both GWHS graduates).
Retirement has sparked a competitive tennis career. John has participated in the National Senior games this August in Palo Alto, California.
Randy was a GWHS student-athlete from 1966-1970. He earned eight athletic letters between football, basketball, and track. He was the first recipient of the Gary Weimer Memorial Award presented annually to the outstanding male athlete at Greeley West. Randy followed in the footsteps of his “hero” Larry Brunz, being named Mr. GWHS in 1968. Mr. Geist lists John Christensen as a,” man who changed my life”.
Randy earned a full-ride football scholarship to the University of Colorado. Starting at linebacker his sophomore season, Randy lead the #3 ranked Buffaloes in tackles. As a senior, he was selected co-captain for the Buffs. His efforts as a standout linebacker at CU brought him the chance to play in the NFL, being selected in the 1974 draft by the Chicago Bears. He was also selected by the Honolulu Hawaiians of the newly formed World Football League. He played briefly with the Hawaiians.
In 1975, Randy went to work for the Monfort family and continues to work in the beef industry for the JBS/Swift Co. Heading up the sales division, he oversees beef sales upwards of $750 million annually.
Mr. Geist is very proud of his family. Wife Penni and four children (Lindsey, Daniel, Levi, and Shekinah). The three oldest all being outstanding Spartan graduates.
Mr. Jorgensen was a fixture at GWHS from 1970-1989. In 1950, Juils graduated from Canon City High School. He earned nine varsity letters in football, basketball, and baseball. Not only an outstanding athlete, Juils was class president as a sophomore and junior. He also was a member of R.O.T.C. A veteran of the Korean War, he served in the Navy from 1950-54.
Juils earned a bachelor’s degree from Colorado State College in 1958 and a Master’s in fine arts at the University of Northern Colorado in 1960.
Juils married his high school sweetheart Dixie Clark. They have been married over 60 years! They have two children, Jim and Jana, both of whom are GWHS graduates.
Mr. Jorgensen was an outstanding football and baseball coach and was also Athletic Director at West. Juils taught drafting and photography at GWHS. In 1986, he was nominated for Colorado Teacher of the Year honors. Prior to coming to West, Juils taught and coached for 12 years at Heath Junior High.
Juils continues his commitment to Greeley West today doing stats for varsity football and running the scoreboard for junior varsity and freshman football games.
He stays very active competing in State Senior softball where his teams have won the past two Colorado state tournaments.
Keith is a legend when it comes to swimming at GWHS and around the state. During his 27 years as GW swim coach, he was three times awarded Colorado High School Swim Coach of the Year, seven time Northern Conference Coach of the Year, and was a finalist for the National High School Swim Coach of the Year. His girls’ teams had a stretch of five seasons where they went undefeated in dual meets. Boy’s teams accomplished the same feat in three consecutive seasons. His squads earned numerous conference championships.
Growing up on a farm west of Eaton, Keith’s Mom mandated he learn to swim because of a large irrigation ditch near the family home. Later, Keith became part of the first ever swim team at Eaton High School. Coaching was clearly “in his blood”, starting at the age of 16 with the younger kids in Eaton, leading to his 27 year stint at GWHS.
Mr. Wiedeman is a 1972 graduate of the University of Northern Colorado. His teaching career of 29 years was all at John Evans Junior High/Middle School.
Blessed with many talented swimmers, Keith’s leadership helped to create three individual High School All Americans and two honorable mention All American relay teams. In addition to these national accolades, numerous individuals and relay teams earned state champion medals during his tenure.
You just can’t keep Keith far from a pool. He currently spends his summers as an aquatics management specialist for local pools.