Greeley West High School Hall of Fame Class of 2012

Hall of Fame Class of 2012

Ty Miller

Ty Miller has been instrumental in getting Greeley West Athletics to where it is today through his work as Booster Club President from 2006-2010.  Not only did his work help resurrect the Greeley West Booster Club, but he also is a big contributor of his time to helping with the operation of several events at Greeley West, including helping to organize the Greeley West Hall of Fame.  His business, Shirazi & Associates is also a big contributor to Greeley West High School Programs.  Although he no longer serves an official capacity with the Booster Club, Ty continues to do a lot of work behind the scenes on behalf of the school.

“Ty Miller has been an outstanding contributor to GWHS as a parent and as the Booster Club President. During a time when our national economy was in trouble, Ty’s knowledge of business and his keen sense of knowing how to work effectively with people, allowed the Booster Club to improve and prosper. Ty is not one who puts forth great time and effort in an effort to gain personal recognition. Instead, his commitment both personally and professionally is to make life better for those around him. In ways more numerous than this space allows, Ty’s generosity of time, expertise, and resources allowed anyone associated with Greeley West athletics and activities to have access to “what they needed” to ensure the best experience for students and athletes. Simply put, it is difficult to fully measure the positive impact that he has had on Greeley West High School. To be sure, GWHS is better because of his efforts on behalf of the school and its’ students.”


-Bob Billings


Ty lives in the Greeley area with his wife Stacy and children Reed, Rachel, and Lauren.


Virginia Burgess


Virginia was a counselor at Greeley West High School for twenty years.  An inventor in the counseling office at GWHS, she started the Future Teachers of America and HUGS (anti-drug group) programs.  She had her hand in several other groups as well, overseeing Advanced Placement testing, planning and hosting a tea for National Merit Finalists, sponsoring National Honor Society, as well as recommending several Boettcher Scholarship winners.


“Virginia set a standard in the counseling office that was irreplaceable.  She worked with students from all races and socio-economic backgrounds, and was successful in helping students achieve goals and dreams they thought impossible.”


-Waneta Elliot


After leaving Greeley West, “Ginny” spent five years at Dayspring School establishing a counseling department and teaching classes there.  She has been a long-term substitute teacher at Greeley West, John Evans, and Greeley Central.


She currently volunteers her time at Women’s Ministries in Greeley, counseling women in crises, running small groups on various topics, and conducting “growth” classes for women.  She is also active in her church and sings in the choir.  She also volunteers at Union Colony Civic Center.


Virginia is married to her husband Wendall and has two children, four grandchildren, and on great-grandchild.


Jeff Lawrence


Jeff Lawrence began his teaching career in 1975 at Banning High School in Los Angeles, California and moved to Greeley West in January of 1986.  He spent the next 26 years dedicating his life to feeding his students academically and nutritionally.


Gumby, as he was affectionately called by his closest friends, played an integral part in the creation of District 6’s Southwest Studies curriculum.  He was awarded West’s prestigious Teacher of the Year honor in 1999, and was key to staff morale in the buildings.  (Football contests, tailgate parties, and Cinco de Mayo celebrations, always kept the staff on its toes.)


Mr. Lawrence regularly left the classroom to experience other joys of education.  He was the head track coach for 13 years, was an assistant softball and golf coach.  He led student council for a time and continues his 20-plus-year tradition as the “Voice of the Spartans” at Greeley West football games.


Jeff retired in 2011 and, with his wife Karin, started a small business. Gumbies Salsas can currently be found in stores across Northern Colorado.


Mel Leinweber


Mel Leinweber taught mathematics at Greeley West High School for 31 years.  During his tenure, he taught several different levels of math and impacted a multitude of young people.  It was a common occurrence during his years at Greeley West to see Mel break math down into small steps so that students could readily grasp mathematical concepts.  When his students struggled, they were encouraged to come in for extra help before school, after school, and even during his lunch.  He was always there for his students.


“Mr. Leinweber was a positive influence among students and staff.  He appeared to never have a bad day.  He involved himself as a leader and a true professional teacher and staff member.  Mr. Leinweber extended his teaching day by coaching wrestling where his influence over young people was always positive and educational.  Without a doubt, Mel Leinweber epitomizes what a professional educator is.”

-Ron Roggy


Mel still resides in Greeley with his wife Bobbi, whom he met while student teaching at Greeley West.


Duane Nelson


Duane Nelson was a counselor at Greeley West High School from 1976-2000 along with working in the ACE Program and teaching Spanish part-time at West from 2006-2008.  Duane hand his hand in everything at West during his time here.  His contributions are best summed up by a friend and colleague:


“No one worked harder than Duane to help students and to honor Greeley West High School.  From the hundreds of detailed, personal and effective letters of recommendation he wrote to countless hours videotaping students for the senior videos, Duane gave his heart and soul to GWHS.  Students and teachers alike trusted Duane; many of us would sit in the rocking chair in his office and vent.  He listened to every word and somehow we always left feeling better.  He was the creative genius in every one of the end-of-the-year themed faculty parties from the good old days.  (Ask anyone about Karnac or Mr Roggy’s Neighborhood or Fantasy Island–classics!)  He reached the top students, the downtrodden, the druggies, the “invisible” kids.  Years after his retirement he came back and taught Spanish in an innovative and engaging way.  Since leaving GWHS, he has worked with troubled minority students through the probation department and served as a vocational counselor in the Las Vegas, Nevada schools.  Every professional document from the counseling office had Duane’s hand in it; with his great verbal and technological skills, he was the most skilled communicator in the school.”

-Janet Call


Taryn Hemmings


Taryn Hemmings is one of the best female athletes to come through Greeley West High School.  A four year athlete in volleyball and soccer, Taryn received numerous honors throughout the state and the country for her performance on the soccer field as a Spartan.  While leading Greeley West to the State Title in 2003, she was named Weld County Player of the Year, Northern Conference Player of the Year, Rocky Mountain News Player of the Year, and was a NCSAA Adidas High School All-American.  Being named captain in both soccer and volleyball also speak to the type of teammate Taryn was on and off the field.


Taryn continued her soccer career the University of Denver, where the accolades continued. She became the second all-time leading scorer with 112 points on 42 goals and 28 assists on the way to being named Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year in 2008 and Comeback Player of the year in 2006 & 2008.


After college, Taryn was drafted into the Women’s Professional Soccer League by the Boston Breakers where she still plays today.  Taryn is currently in Australia playing for the Canberra United in the off-season.


Dean Schott


Dean, a student at Greeley West from 1977-1980, lettered in both wrestling and gymnastics at Greeley West.  He stood out in gymnastics where he won numerous competitions and awards.  Most notably, Dean was a qualifier for the event finals in the Colorado State Championships and was recognized as a High School Academic All-American.  Dean went on to star in gymnastics at the University of Northern Colorado.



“One of the best-ever gymnasts at UNC, Dean Schott will best be remembered for his 1983 NCAA II All-Around National Championship. Schott earned the title by placing second in the floor exercise, third on the rings, fifth on the vault and sixth on the parallel bars. A seven-time All-American, he was named UNC’s Outstanding Gymnast all four years. In 1983, Schott was presented with the ESPN Award for Sports Excellence. Since graduating from UNC, he served as Colorado State Chairman of USA Gymnastics (national governing body) from 1987-94. “

-UNC Hall of Fame Website



Since his All-American days in Greeley, Dean has given back to the Greeley Gymnastics Community as a coach, judge, and a board member and Vice President of the USA Gymnastics Junior Program.


Dean is married to his wife Jennifer and they have a daughter, Makayla Grace.