Bradford Alumni Association to Honor Three Bradford Alumni at Annual Dinner | Local News

The Bradford High School Alumni Association will host its annual Distinguished Alumni Awards Banquet and Silent Auction on Saturday, June 18 at Kenosha Country Club. The event recognizes the achievements of three Bradford graduates. It also serves as a fundraiser for the band’s scholarship fund.

The Bradford Class of 2022 Scholars will also be recognized at the event which begins at 5 p.m. A cash bar/silent auction will kick off the evening. Dinner will start at 6:15 p.m. and the program will follow.

Proceeds from the silent auction will benefit the Alumni Association Scholarship Fund. Tickets are $40 and reservations will be accepted until Thursday, June 2. A reservation form for the event is available at or by contacting Randy Vaccaro at 262-551-0510.

This year’s Distinguished Alumni Award recipients are:

Charles “Chuck” H. Heide

Class of 1940

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Heide earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University in 1947 after serving in the US Army Signal Corps during World War II. His professional career spans 60 years in product design, development and engineering at leading manufacturers of technology-based systems in the aerospace, automotive and heating industries.

In 1982 Heide joined Vesta Inc. in Franklin and for the next 25 years pioneered systems for the efficient processing of molded and extruded silicone rubber medical components.

Heide was a member of Bethany Lutheran Church of Kenosha and was active in the community, serving on the board of Hawthorn Hollow, a nature sanctuary and arboretum in Somers. He engaged in alternative energy projects, installing a wind turbine and two solar panels in Somers.

Shortly before his death in 2021, he founded the Heidi Educational Institute for Dark Skies and Desert Environment in southwest Texas to provide learning opportunities in astronomy and rugged terrain exploration for high school and college students.

Heide’s lifelong interests included aviation, photography, astronomy, renewable energy supply, history, and reading. In her own words, “I am so indebted to Kathryn, my wife of 63 years, my family and the many good people who have made my life interesting. Thank you for your contributions for me.

Susan Shemanske, a member of the National Honor Society of Bradford, graduated third in her class and was on the staff of the Inferno and Spy. She attended Marquette University from 1973 to 1975 and graduated from UW-Parkside with high honors in May 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in communications.

Shemanske joined The Journal Times in Racine in 1978 as a sports editor and was promoted to sports editor in 1990. She was the first woman to hold that position at a Wisconsin daily – a role she held until March 2018, supervising a staff. of 11. Shemanske covered high school, college and professional sports, including the Milwaukee Brewers and Major League Baseball, for 39 years.

A life member of the Baseball Writers Association of America, she was the first woman elected to the BBWAA Milwaukee Chapter in 1984 and has been a voting member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame since 1994.

She was inducted into the Wisconsin Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2019 and has won numerous awards from the Associated Press and the Wisconsin Newspaper Association. She has been a panelist and guest speaker for the Midwest Press Institute and a volunteer for the Racine YMCA Lighthouse Run and Wisconsin Special Olympics.

Since 2013, Shemanske and her husband, Peter Wicklund, have been part of the ownership group of the Washington Island Observer, a Door County weekly.

Class of 1982

Mark Pocan was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2012, representing Wisconsin’s Second District. Prior to serving in Congress, Mark served on the Dane County Board of Supervisors from 1991-1996 and as the State Representative for Wisconsin’s 78th Assembly District from 1998-2012.

A small-business owner, union member and lifelong advocate for progressive causes, Pocan has used his unique experience in the private and public sectors to fight for his constituents. In Congress, he serves on the Appropriations Committee, the Education and Labor Committee, and the Joint Economic Committee. He has also held leadership positions in the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Labor Caucus.

Born and raised in Kenosha, Pocan learned hard work from his parents, who each ran their own small businesses. At age 8, he got his start in politics by canvassing for his father, a longtime alderman of Kenosha. Pocan graduated from UW-Madison in 1986 with a degree in journalism. He followed in his parents’ footsteps and opened Budget Signs & Specialties in 1988, a trade union specialty printing business that he continues to run today.

His classmates may remember his performances on the Bradford Variety Show as a magician. Today, he still practices magic, makes a “Magic Monday” video explaining Washington, DC, and posts it on social media.

Pocan and her husband, Phil, married in 2006 and live in the Vermont town of Dane County.


Ten Bradford seniors have been selected to receive a total of $21,500 in scholarships from the Kenosha Bradford High School Alumni Association and will be recognized at the Senior Recognition Assembly on May 20:

  • KBHSAA, Inc. – Justice James Carlson Memorial Scholarship, SFO (1962): $1,500 and Dr. Ernie Pellegrino Memorial University Scholarship (1957) – $1,500 is awarded to Allyson Vaughn, daughter of Brenda (Deschler) and Marc Lois and Damian and Tiffany (Swiderski) Vaughn, who plans to attend UW- Madison with a major in biology.
  • KBHSAA, Inc. Scholarship: $1,500 to Kate Brown, daughter of Amy and Pat Brown, who plans to attend Northern Arizona University majoring in marketing/business.
  • KBHSAA, Inc. Scholarship: $1,500 to Jenna Schnabel, daughter of Carrie Tabbert and Darin Schnabel, who plans to attend the University of Arizona or Arizona State University majoring in business.
  • KBHSAA, Inc. – Joseph Brittelli Memorial Scholarship (1948): $1,500 is awarded to Nathan Williams, son of Jonathan and Anna (Hyndman) Williams, who plans to attend Carthage College majoring in computer science.
  • The Valiere Anderson Petersen Award (1930) for Excellence in Music $1,000, and KBHSAA, Inc.-Joseph Brittelli Memorial Scholarship (1948) $1,500 is awarded to Samuel Arnold, son of Agata Mesoraca Arnold and Douglas Arnold, who plans to attend UW-Madison majoring in political science/legal studies.
  • Wavro John (1957) and Judy Schuetz (1960) Academic Scholarship: $1,500 to Alec Schabowsky, son of Diana Vargas and Joe Schabowsky, who plans to attend UW-Madison majoring in biology.
  • Wavro John (1957) and Judy Schuetz (1960) Athletic Scholarship: $1,500 to Livie Lehmann, daughter of Lora and Mark Lehmann, who plans to attend Taylor University majoring in marketing.
  • Schwalbe Peter (1959) and Alice Jackson (1960) Family Scholarship: $1,000 to Leah Klemp, daughter of Jean (Hovey) and Robert Klemp, who plans to attend Marquette University majoring in physical therapy.
  • Bill (1957) and Barbara Serpe Scholarship: $3,750 to Ethan Bergman, son of Amy and Chris Bergman, who plans to attend UW-Whitewater majoring in information technology management.
  • Bill (1957) and Barbara Serpe Scholarship: $3,750 to Kayla Watkins, daughter of Rose (Scozzaro) and Jamie Watkins, who plans to attend Marquette University majoring in marketing.
  • Since 2001, KBHSAA has awarded over $340,000 in scholarships to seniors in Bradford. To support the KBHSAA Scholarship Fund, contact Joyce Kopacz Sorensen at or 262-945-3806.

Andrew B. Reiter