Lee’s Summit High School will induct three distinguished graduates into the Lee’s Summit High School Hall of Fame at a banquet Saturday, April 13, at 6 p.m. at Lee’s Summit High School. Alumni to be honored for 2023-24 school year include Dr. Ronald Gene Clark, Class of 1962; Dr. Rayna M. Grothe, Class of 1974; and James Scott Jones, Class of 1969.

These graduates are honored for their significant civic contributions, their leadership and consistent modeling of integrity for young people, and their noteworthy professional success. They bring great pride to LSHS, and they are eligible for induction ten years post-graduation. Their photos and biographies will join a permanent display of previous Hall of Fame recipients at LSHS.

Reservations for the banquet are required and due by this Friday, April 5, at 10 a.m. Please e-mail melodye.wehmhoener@lsr7.net to make the reservation. The cost is $30 per person, and payment can be made at the banquet April 13.

Ronald “Gene” Clark is a Lee’s Summit native and 1962 graduate of Lee’s Summit High School. He attained Eagle Scout, attended Missouri Boys’ State, was in the National Honor Society, and lettered in football and track.

Gene broke the school pole-vault record his junior year. After a pole vault win at the Missouri State Indoor Track Meet, he was awarded a track scholarship at the University of Missouri. He became a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, serving as Scholarship Chairman, Pledge Trainer and Vice President. He is a member of the Mizzou Athletics Hall of Fame.

After his B.S. with Honors in Physics, Gene earned a Ph.D. in nuclear physics from Iowa State University.

After post-doctoral research, he joined the Federal Energy Administration and was on the 1977 team that created the new Department of Energy. At DOE’s Energy Information Administration, Gene rose to Senior Executive Service level, as Director of its Nuclear and Alternate Fuels Division.

In 1987, Gene joined the uranium trading company NUEXCO as President of NUEXCO Information Services. His responsibilities there included setting the values of NUEXCO’s uranium market price indicators, which are still in use for the settlement of prices in long-term contracts. Two years later, Gene moved to Hong Kong as Director of Marketing for NUEXCO Asia Limited, followed by becoming the first Executive Vice President of the NUEXCO-Russian joint-venture company, Global Nuclear Services and Supply Limited.

In 1995, Gene co-founded TradeTech, still one of the premier companies in uranium market reporting and consulting. In 2009, he left TradeTech to form a new nuclear fuel trading company, TradeTech Energy, concluding $2 billion in uranium trades. Gene is an internationally recognized uranium-market expert, giving over 100 career-wide professional presentations. Gene and his family split their time between homes in Chapel Hill, NC, and Bali.

Rayna Grothe, M.D. is a pediatric gastroenterologist who has focused her career on providing access to pediatric gastroenterology care to improve the health of children with gastrointestinal and nutritional diseases. Early career she initiated pediatric gastroenterology programs for dependents of the US Air Force receiving two Air Force Commendation Medals for her contributions. Dr. Grothe then returned to America’s Heartland and developed pediatric gastroenterology programs at the University of Kansas Medical Center and Raymond Blank Childrens Hospital in Des Moines Iowa. Over the past two decades Dr. Grothe has been a clinical consultant at Mayo Clinic Rochester Minnesota where she has been division chair and actively involved in education, research, and clinical program development. In 2019, the Mayo Clinic Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine recognized Dr. Rayna Grothe as “Pediatric Clinician of the Year” for her “outstanding clinical expertise and leadership in clinical innovations.”

As a Mayo Clinic Emeritus Consultant post-retirement, Dr. Grothe is currently doing outreach clinic for the Medical University of South Carolina. Her areas of expertise include feeding and nutritional disorders, aerodigestive disease, eosinophilic esophagitis, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, children with special health care needs, as well as general pediatric gastroenterology.

To promote awareness of the unique issues and obstacles a pediatric patient with gastrointestinal disease faces, Dr. Grothe currently serves on the Child Advocacy Committee of the North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. Her current clinical research is concentrated on improving rural access to pediatric gastroenterology care.

An outstanding clinician, educator, mentor and researcher, Dr. Grothe has advanced the science and knowledge in pediatric gastrointestinal disease and most importantly, provided access and excellent care to innumerable children with digestive, nutritional and growth problems.

After receiving her M.D. degree from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, Dr. Grothe completed her general pediatric medicine residency at Wilford Hall United States Air Force Medical Center and her pediatric gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Minnesota Medical School. She is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics in both pediatrics and pediatric gastroenterology.

Jim Jones credits his career success to inspiring math teachers at LSHS and his time at the University of Missouri-Rolla, where he worked alternate semesters at the Central Intelligence Agency to fund his education, attaining a BS in Computer Science in 1975. He continued at the CIA, solving signal processing and image enhancement problems until promoted to teach emerging technologies. In 1979 he switched paths to be a CIA recruiter and was promoted to manage the Chicago recruitment office.

While working in Chicago, Jim met his wife, Patricia Magle, a family medicine physician, and pursued a Master’s in CompSci at DePaul University. In 1983, they moved to Lamoni, Iowa, where Patricia practiced medicine and Jim taught computer science at Graceland College. He published a paper on computer science teaching techniques that often gets cited. He earned a PhD from the University of Iowa, pioneering a language translation method and presenting his research at an international conference culminating in its publication in Theoretical Computer Science.

Jim broadened his experience during a 3-year stint as a senior engineer for a telecommunications firm but returned to Graceland when asked to manage a large endowment for computer studies. Jim revitalized the computer science program, attracting exceptional students with scholarships and modern facilities. Notably, he ensured that all students, regardless of academic standing, had access to project funding and conference trips which had a huge impact. Under his guidance, graduates secured positions in leading tech companies like Intel, Microsoft and Google or earned doctorates for research and teaching careers.

Jim was awarded Faculty Emeritus and retired in 2014. He maintains a lifelong commitment to volunteerism, serving as a minister, youth leader, worker, and tech-helper. He and his wife remain active in travel, church, and community service.

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