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Links for Thursday, May 22, 2014:

newsobituariestown talkFHS hall of honor

Veggeberg, Ortiz, Murdock in the FHS Hall of Honor

Several years ago Friona High School established a Hall of Distinguished Graduates to recognize graduates who had gone on to distinguished careers. The name and criteria for inclusion has been changed now to the FHS Hall of Honor. The qualification process has been broadened to include teachers, coaches, and staff of the school district who have served with distinction.

It was announced at Sunday’s senior academic reception that the Class of 2014 gift will be funds to update and move the current Distinguished Graduates photos and bios into the Spirit Hall. The Spirit Hall is the hall leading into the main gym. Photos of the Distinguished Graduates are currently displayed in the hall by the school office. It was felt that by moving the Hall of Honor to Spirit Hall more of the public would be able to see it.

Gayle Murdock, FCCLA and LifeSmarts teacher/coach for 39 years, in the first staff member to receive the Hall of Honor induction. Ms. Murdock spent her entire 39-year career in Friona and will retire at the end of this school year.

She said when she graduated from Texas Tech and was looking for a job, FHS principal Tom Jarboe offered her a job. She said she did not even know where Friona was but Mr. Jarboe gave her instructions on how to get here and she has been here ever since.

Lisa Edelmon Veggeberg, FHS Class of 1976, and Mike Ortiz, FHS Class of 2001, were inducted into the FHS Hall of Honor at Sunday’s senior academic reception.

Dr. Veggeberg is currently the Pediatric Medical Director of the Northwest Texas Women’s and Children’s Healthcare Center in Amarillo. She is married to Dr. Neil Veggeberg. They have three children, Eric of Chicago, Amy of Austin, and Kevin of San Antonio. She has three siblings, also FHS graduates: Mark of Austin, Kevin of San Antonio, and Karen of Enumclaw, Washington. Her parents are Von and Nancy Edelmon of Friona.

She attended Texas Christian University and the Baylor Medical College in Houston. In 1984 she received her Doctorate of Medicine and received her diploma from famed heart surgeon Dr. Michael DeBakey. Dr. Veggeberg serves on the Golden Spread Council of the Boy Scouts of America and will be on the Board of the Amarillo Symphony beginning in June.

Michael D. Ortiz is currently a photojournalist for WFAA-TV in Dallas. After graduation at FHS Mike attended DeVry University in Irving, Texas and Odessa College in Odessa, concentrating in telecommunications management and computer networking. In Midland he worked for KWES-TV before moving on to TV stations in Harlingen, Weslaco, and Baltimore, Maryland, before moving to WFAA in Dallas last year.

He has won many photojournalist awards including an Edward R. Murrow Award and an Ethnic Multicultural Media Academy (EMMA) award, along with winning an Emmy and receiving multiple Emmy nominations with the Lone Star Emmy Chapter. He has covered stories such as Hurricane Katrina, presidential visits, Obama’s second inauguration, and the Newtown, Connecticut mass shooting.

His work has been aired on CNN, Good Morning America, The Today Show, ABC World News, and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. Mike was the photographer in a helicopter covering a train explosion with over 5 hours of live non-stop coverage for the national TV networks. He also does freelance sports coverage of the Dallas Cowboys, Mavericks, Rangers, and spring training in Phoenix.

Mike has two brothers, Stephen and Nicholas. He is the son of Fidel and Mary Ortiz of Friona.

Congratulations to Ms. Murdock, Dr. Veggeberg, and Mr. Ortiz on your accomplishments and the example you set for our FHS students.


ron carr photo

Gayle Murdock was inducted into the FHS Hall of Honor during the Senior Academic Reception Sunday. The Hall of Honor will recognize teachers, coaches, or staff for their contributions to the school district. Ms. Murdock spent all of her 39 years in Friona as FCCLA and LifeSmarts coach/teacher and will retire at the end of this school year. Ms. Murdock influenced many lives over the years and she will be missed.


ron carr photo

Dr. Lisa Edelmon Veggeberg, FHS Class of 1976, was honored with induction into the Hall of Distinguished Graduates at Sunday’s Senior Academic Reception. She is shown with husband Neal and parents Von and Nancy Edelmon. Dr. Veggeberg is a pediatrician in Amarillo.


ron carr photo

The young man at right is Mike Ortiz, FHS Class of 2001. He was honored with induction into the school’s Hall of Distinguished Graduates during Sunday’s Senior Academic Reception. Mike is an award-winning photojournalist currently employed at WFAA-TV in Dallas. His parents Fidel and Mary Ortiz and grandmother Elpidia Diaz attended the ceremony and are very proud of Mike’s accomplishments.