IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Alan Gless (1968)
ALAN G. GLESS was the 1968 valedictorian at Schuyler High School and in 1975 graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Law. He became a county court judge for the Fifth Judicial District (serving York, Seward, Boone, Butler, Colfax, Hamilton, Merrick, Nance, Platte, Polk and Saunders counties) in 1980. Then in 1995, he became a district court judge, also for the Fifth Judicial District. Judge Gless has authored articles in law journals and other publications. He has served on committees for the NE Supreme Court, county judges, district judges and State Bar Association.
Judge Gless was instrumental in shaping Judicial Ethics Advisory Committees both on the national and state level, having served on committees for the American Judicature Society, the Center for Judicial Conduct Organizations, the National Judicial College and the Nebraska Judicial Ethics Committee. He is a Nebraska State Bar Foundation Fellow; Fellows are accredited by colleagues as leaders of the legal profession who contribute to charitable works and community education. After more than 30 years on the bench, Judge Gless retired in September, 2013 as district judge. Alan is the son of Vivian Gless and the late Frank Gless and his siblings are Francis (Frank) Gless, Darryl Gless and Valerie Gless Masters. Alan lives in Seward, Nebraska.
Jim Kluck (1970)
Graduating in 1970, Jim Kluck was his high school Class President all four years. Jim received a Bachelor of Science Degree in horticulture and forestry from the University of Nebraska and an Associate Degree from Omaha Metro Community College in landscape design and architecture. He returned to his hometown where he owned and operated Dublin Nursery from 1979 until his accidental death in June 2007.
Recognized and respected by his fellow arborists for championing tree diversity and sustainable landscapes, Jim Kluck pioneered innovative concepts such as ‘bare root’ tree planting to help accelerate the healthy growth of new trees. Jim designed landscapes and planted hundreds and hundreds of trees in over 150 communities throughout Nebraska. At the time of his death, there were 26 landscaping projects in progress in various Nebraska locations including Lexington, Fullerton, South Sioux City, Northeast Community College, Chadron State College and Wayne State College.
Jim served as President of the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum (NSA) Curators and President of the Nebraska Nursery and Landscape Association (NNLA). In 2006, he received the prestigious ‘Johnny Appleseed Award’ presented by the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum.
Generously volunteering countless hours every year, Jim loved his church and community. He was a member of St. Augustine’s Catholic Church serving as trustee and as a member of the Parish Council. The Archdiocese Pastoral Council recognized Jim for his 20 years of faithful service, and later he received the Schuyler Knights of Columbus ‘Knight of the Year Award’. Jim was a past President of the Schuyler Sertoma Club.
Jim Kluck received posthumous recognition in 2008 with the Schuyler Area Chamber of Commerce ‘Legacy Award’ and the Schuyler Sertoma ‘Service to Mankind Award’. Each year during the annual Curators Conference in Lincoln, the ‘Jim Kluck Award’ is presented by the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum (NSA). In 2012, Schuyler’s NSA Affiliate Site, was renamed the Jim Kluck Memorial Railside Green by the City Council. Currently, the Jim Kluck Memorial Railside Green is in the midst of a five-year enhancement project funded by private donations.
Born in 1952 to Thomas L. and Arlene Kluck, Jim was raised on the family farm northeast of Schuyler. Jim has one brother, Tom, who continues to farm the Kluck homestead.
Marty Kobza (1981)
Marty Kobza’s success in high school track and field catapulted him into both collegiate and professional competition. Currently, Marty retains title of two Nebraska High School track records: Shot Put (All-Class State Record), Discus (All-Class State Meet Record).
After graduating from SCHS in 1981, Marty’s college career began at the University of Arkansas. While at the University of Arkansas, he played football for two years and successfully competed in track for four years. Marty was the Southwest Conference shot put champion in 1985. He was a six-time All American in shot put (three indoor and three outdoor) and part of four national championship track teams. In 1987-1988 he served as an undergraduate track coach for the University of Arkansas Lady Razorbacks and was the strength coach for both the men and women track teams.
After college, Marty continued competing with the New York Track Club, Stars and Stripes Track Club and Tyson’s Track Club. In 1988 and 1989 he trained with the University of Kansas track coach and competed for the American Big Guys Track Club. He then moved to Houston, Texas where he competed for the Houston Track Club and the Houston Mizuno Track Club. While competing with these track clubs he compiled an enviable list of records. Marty qualified for the U.S. Nationals shot put and discus teams in 1984-2005; qualified for three Olympic trials and competed in shot put in 1984, 1988 and 1992; was a member of the United States team in shot put at the World University Games in Kobe, Japan in 1985 and in 1987 in Birmingham, England; competed in the European Grand Prix Tour in shot put in 1988 in Finland, Norway and Sweden and competed in Olympic festivals in shot put in 1985, 1987 and 1989.
Marty lives in Houston, Texas, and continues to apply his knowledge and skills as a personal trainer. Marty is the son of Joe and Rita Kobza.
Richard Konicek (1948)
Richard Konicek graduated from Schuyler High School in 1948 and was considered by many to be an exceptional athlete. Richard became the first Community Development Director for the City of Beloit, Wisconsin. In 2004, Richard Konicek was inducted into the Doane College Athletic Hall of Fame
Leona (Vanicek) Martens (1964)
Leona Vanicek Martens grew up on a farm north of Schuyler. She graduated from Schuyler High School in 1964. At UNL, Leona graduated with a degree in Home Economics. She did graduate work at UNL and co-authored the book, “Stillborn: The Invisible Death”. After serving as Head Start Director in Loup City, NE, Leona moved to Windsor, Colorado, and served as Executive Director of the American Red Cross and later as Executive Director for the Weld Food Bank in Greeley, Colorado.
In 2004 she was presented in Washington, D.C.the Dick Goebel Public Service Award for her public policy advocacy efforts on behalf of hungry people in the United States. Leona was recognized in 2009 with Greeley’s Woman Of The Year and received in 2011 the Women Of Distinction award from Northern Colorado Business Report. In regard to the national farm bill and food for the elderly, she was an active lobbyist on both the state and national level.
Preceded in death by a daughter, Leona died on January 31st, 2012. She is survived by her husband, Al, and three sons.