Induction ceremony to return after 2-year hiatus
The Lawrence Lions Alumni Association has announced a recently retired teacher, a news reporter and an attorney who served President Obama as the three newest Hall of Honor inductees.
The LLAA Hall of Honor recognizes Liberty Memorial High School and Lawrence High School graduates who have distinguished themselves in their professions and made significant contributions to society. “Honorees also may include individuals who, while not alumni, have contributed significantly to the success of the two schools and their graduates,” according to a news release from the LLAA on Wednesday.
David Platt retired in May after more than 30 years teaching. Many of his students’ fondest memories include the trips he hosted to numerous destinations, including the Great Wall of China, Lonesome George in the Galápagos Islands, the pyramids in Egypt, and all over the USA, according to the release. He took more than 50 groups of students on these trips around the world.
During his tenure, Platt sponsored clubs such as Student Government, Geography Club, Gaming Club, Philosophy Club, Bike Club, and Science Fiction Club, “always emphasizing service to others. He also coached soccer and basketball, as well as assisted with the school’s Debate program,” according to the release.
Brianne Pfannenstiel (LHS ’06) is the chief political reporter at the Des Moines Register. She frequently appears on CNN, MSNBC, C-SPAN and NPR to discuss her work, according to the release, and she was a co-moderator of the 2020 presidential debate in Des Moines with CNN’s Abby Phillip and Wolf Blitzer. During her career, she has covered a range of beats, including health care and state and local government.
Michael Gottlieb (LHS ’95) is a partner in the Litigation Department, Chair of the Crisis Management Group and Co-Chair of the Media & First Amendment practice at Willkie Farr & Gallagher, LLC, in Washington, D.C., according to the release. He previously served as associate counsel to President Barack Obama, among other roles in Washington. Prior to becoming a prosecutor, he was a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, according to the release.
In addition, the LLAA is excited to hold the first induction ceremony in years. That’s set for 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25 in the LHS cafeteria, 1901 Louisiana St.
“The Hall of Honor is something the Alumni Association is incredibly proud of and we believe that this year’s inductees exemplify the best parts of Lawrence High School history,” Jessica (Rodriguez) Larsen, president of the LLAA board of trustees, said in the release. “We hope that the public will join us to celebrate their successes.”
LLAA initiated the Hall of Honor in 1994. Nominations are submitted by LLAA members to the board of trustees, which then selects individuals for induction, according to the release. See the full list of previous honorees at this link.