After 62 years of operation, Shawnee Mission East High School is honoring athletes and coaches that have impacted the school and its history.
Last year, after it was brought to her attention, SM East Athletic Director Debbie Katzfey began the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame with one inductee, Dr. Art Newcomer. Just last week, SM east honored four new inductees: Carolyn Howard, Karl Englund, Carrie Barnthouse and Joe Johnston.
“[The Athletic Hall of Fame is] an opportunity for East to show our appreciation to them and, you know, what they have done, what they have given to the school in a positive way,” SM East Principal Scott Sherman said. “They’re solid role models for our students, they may even give some of our students a goal to try to emulate what they have done — and they have quite the resume.”
Below is a brief biography of each inductee. Full biographies from the Hall of Fame program can be found here, courtesy of SM East.
- Howard served as the Tennis & Swim coach from 1958 to 1998, and was inducted into the Kansas Tennis Coaches Hall of Fame. With Howard as Head Tennis Coach at SM East, the tennis team did not lose a single regional tournament. She died on Nov. 20, 2013.
- Englund served as the Track & Cross Country coach from 1958 to 1998, and the school’s track is named after him. He also coached sophomore football, swimming and girls basketball. He led 45 individual cross country and track state champions and seven team state championships.
- Barnthouse (formerly Fotopoulos) played tennis and was a three-time undefeated Kansas State Singles Champion. She was also the head varsity cheerleader her entire high school career, and graduated in 1975.
- Johnston served as wrestling captain for three years and won three consecutive league championships from 1999 to 2001. He graduated in 2001, and currently coaches wrestling at the Air Force Academy.
Katzfey said this year, 21 people were nominated to be a Hall of Fame inductee. There is a committee charged with determining the honorees and is made up of herself, two SM East alums, one SM East alum athlete or coaches, the school historian, the principal, the booster club president and a PTSA member. For the next four years, there will be anywhere from three to five new members inducted, she said.