SJPS Foundation names 2016 Distinguished Alumni

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

ST. JOSEPH — Carol Bartz Stockman and John Anzalone attended St. Joseph High School and have done big things since graduating.

Now they will be honored for their accomplishments in June by the St. Joseph Public Schools Foundation.

The SJPS Foundation released its list of honorees for the 2016 Distinguished Alumni this week, which included the two St. Joseph natives. Stockman, class of 1945, and Anzalone, class of 1982, will be recognized at a special ceremony on June 5 and at the high school commencement.

The Distinguished Alumni Committee met in January to go over applications collected through December. After the reviewal period, the committee sent its recommendations to the Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

Committee Chairman Bill Benner said the committee had four new nominations this year. Because all nominations not selected are held for further consideration, Benner said the committee looked at about 10 other nominations from various class years.

“We’re recognizing people we feel made a mark on their profession or in their community,” he said. “We are not just honoring them. We hope they serve as models to our current students. The idea is all these people started in the same place.”

Benner said the committee was overwhelmed by this year’s honorees based on their individual accolades.

Stockman said she was surprised and elated by the news.

“I was quite honored,” the 88-year-old said. “I found out my friend nominated me. I feel like she keeps track of me more than I do.”

Anzalone, 52, said he owes his success to St. Joseph schools.

“I’m honored and grateful to everyone who was a teacher and a mentor for me from E.P Clarke (Elementary) to St. Joe High,” he said. “St. Joseph schools gave me a great opportunity. I was lucky enough to be in a great town with great schools. All my success goes back to St. Joseph.”

Get to know them

Stockman was elected Berrien County treasurer in 1984 and served in that capacity for 12 years.

During this time, in addition to political duties, she served on the Blossomland United Board for eight years and was its president in 1986. Stockman played a part in heading a campaign to acquire a permanent building for the Benton Harbor Street Ministry. She served on the State of Michigan Higher Education Facilities Committee for 10 years and the Association of County Treasurers Legislative Committee for 12 years.

After retirement, Stockman continued to work in the community.

She remains involved with the Scottdale United Methodist Church and the Berrien County Association of Churches. Stockman was a founding organizer of the Lakeshore Excellence Foundation, serving as its first president for six years.

In 2015, she formed the Coalition to Fight Against Prescription Drug & Heroin Abuse. Stockman said she became committed to its cause after her grandson overdosed.

“This has been very personal for me,” Stockman said of the Coalition. “It’s something that has to be brought to the attention of the public. However, it seems no one wants to publicly talk about this.”

Stockman was selected as the recipient of the Margaret B. Upton Volunteer of the Year Leadership award in 1995. She also received the Berrien County Association of Churches Outstanding Christian Award, the Michigan 4-H Emerald Clover Award, the Portrait of Success Award and was the first recipient of the Church Women United Valiant Woman Award.

Stockman lives in Royalton Township and has five grown children, including former U.S. Rep. David Stockman.

Anzalone has more than 25 years of polling experience by helping candidates, associations and corporations with message development and strategic planning.

He has built a nationally acclaimed firm called Anzalone Liszt Grove Research, which helped elect President Barack Obama twice, several congressmen and mayors throughout the country.

His firm has offices in Montgomery, Ala.; New York; Washington, D.C.; and Lanai, Hawaii. He now serves as one of the main pollsters and strategic consultants for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Prior to his polling career, Anzalone was a campaign operative who worked for democratic strategists James Carville and Paul Begala in U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s 1988 campaign. He began his political career as an aide to David Wilhelm at Citizens for Tax Justice and the AFL-CIO, before managing campaigns in five states.

Anzalone grew up in St. Joseph and graduated from Kalamazoo College with a dual degree in political science and economics. He is married and lives in Montgomery with four children.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on March 9, 2016)

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