The Rolla High School Alumni Association inducted their first Hall of Fame class on Saturday, Feb. 16. All of the surviving members of the Hall of Fame class, which included nine individuals and the 1994 football team, were in attendance at their induction ceremony.
James Chen, class of 1987, was inducted into the Hall of Fame for his contributions to science. Chen has pursued an academic career in biomedical research for more than 25 years with his research focusing on the intersection between chemistry, developmental biology and cancer biology. His current research explores the mechanisms that promote sperm development and the roles of stem-like cells in cancer. Chen has published 77 scientific papers and co-invented four patents. He is the Chair of the Department of Chemical and Systems Biology at Stanford University and has received several honors for his work, including a National Institute of Health Director’s Pioneer Award and a National Science Foundation INSPIRE award.
Isabelle Estes was the longtime choral director at Rolla High School in the 50's, 60's and 70's. She composed both the music and the lyrics to the school song at RHS. Estes was the sponsor for the Modern Music Masters, a club for students interested in music, and served as a member of the school board upon retiring from teaching.
Dr. Kim Fowler, class of 1974, has has spent over 35 years in the design, development and project management of medical, military and satellite equipment. Fowler co-founded a medical products company named Stimsoft in 1998, before selling the company in 2003. Kim has been published widely with nearly 200 papers, articles, and columns; he has written four textbooks on engineering and instrument design over the past 20 years. He has 18 patents - granted, pending, or disclosed. In December 2018, Kim graduated with a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Kansas State University. He is now an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at Campbell University in North Carolina.
Dr. Kent King is one of the biggest names in the academic history of RHS. The administration building is named in Dr. King's honor. King is responsible for creating CORE, also known as Champions of Rolla Education. He served as the Rolla Public Schools Superintendent from 1977-96, earning the award for Missouri State Superintendent of the Year in 1995. King also served as the DESE Commissioner of Education, was in the Missouri School Improvement Department and served as the president of the Missouri State High School Activities Association Board of Directors during his 43 years of service to public education.
Chantae (McMillan) Langhorst, class of 2006, was a superstar at RHS, before making the leap to the Olympic stage. At RHS, Langhorst was a two-time State Champion in the long jump and had three second place finishes at State. She was selected as a Nike All-American. From there, she took her talents to the University of Nebraska, before competing in the Olympic Games in London. She finished in third in the heptathlon at the 2012 Olympic Trials to qualify, before putting up personal bests in the 100-meter hurdles, 200-meter dash, shot put, javelin and 800-meter run during the games.
Becky (Geers) Oakes, class of 1972, was a standout athlete while at RHS, despite the fact that the school did not offer sports during her time there. Despite that, she went on to participate in volleyball, softball and field hockey at Missouri State University. She was a member of a national championship winning softball team, while at MSU and has been elected to the Missouri State University Athletics Hall of Fame, as well as earning a spot in the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. In 1982 Oakes joined the staff at the Missouri State High School Athletic Association (MSHSAA) where she remained for 25 years, the last 14 as its first female executive director. She also served as President and first female, of National Federation of State High School Associations HS Board of Directors. She served on the board of directors for USA Volleyball, USA Gymnastics and USA Track and Field.
Eziamaka (Okafor) Obunadike, class of 2002, in the most decorated athlete in school history. She was a four-time All-State selection in basketball, a three-time State Champ and eight-time All-State athlete in track, and earned All-District honors in volleyball. Obunadike was named the 2002 Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year and the Missouri All-Star MVP for her skills on the basketball court. Her list of accomplishments also include being a Nike and Parade Magazine All-American, as well as receiving Honorable Mention All-American recognition from McDonald's, USA Today, Street & Smith's and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association. She is the RHS girls ' basketball all-time career leading scorer. She went on to play basketball at NCAA powerhouse Stanford University, but battled through a series of injuries. She went on to study medicine at Duke and did her Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residency at Harvard.
Charles Shelton was a star player for Rolla's undefeated football team in 1954, serving as the team's superstar running back. He was first-team All-State and a prep All-American in '54. His list of school records includes points in a season (163), points in a career (259), touchdowns in a season (24), touchdowns in a career (40), rushing yards in a game (335), rushing yards in a season (1,839) and rushing yards in a career (2,291). He went on to play at Pittsburg State, where he was an All-Conference back. Shelton's coaching career spans across high school, junior college and the collegiate ranks. He coached at Drake University, Utah State and the University of Pacific during a 10-year span. He was a four-time conference coach of the year and a two-time NCAA District 6 Coach of the Year. He was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.
Robert Stolz, class of 62, played a big role in expanding athletics at RHS. Stolz started the wrestling program in 1969 and started the girls' athletics program after becoming the school's Athletic Director in 1975. He was the head coach of the wrestling, girls basketball and softball programs, while serving as an assistant with the volleyball, tennis, track and swimming teams during his career.
The lone group to be inducted into the Hall of Fame is the 1994 football team. Under head coach Gary Miles, the team had the most wins in school history and was the first and so far only Rolla football team to make it to the state semifinals. The '94 Dawgs finished the regular season with a perfect 10-0 record and advanced to the Missouri Class 4 Final Four, before falling to Excelsior Springs.