Two Southwest High School Alumni Named Distinguished Alumni for 2011

 Southwest High School recently announced its Distinguished Alumni Award winners for the 2010-2011 school year. This year’s winners are Dr. Paula Kluth, class of 1988, who is a consultant, teacher, and author; and a posthumous award for Dr. Susan Louise Sipes, class of 1979, a former assistant professor at Yale University who specialized in High Risk Obstetrics. The recipients will be honored at the Distinguished Alumni Induction on Tuesday, April 26, 2011.

Dr. Paula Kluth, Class of 1988

Consultant, teacher, author, and independent scholar, Dr. Paula Kluth works with teachers and families to provide inclusive opportunities for students with disabilities and to create more responsive and engaging schooling experiences for all learners. Her professional interests include differentiating instruction and inclusive schooling. She is the author of 10 books and the director of an award-winning documentary titled, “We Thought You’d Never Ask: Voices of People with Autism.”

Dr. Kluth has been awarded numerous honors in her field and community. Most recently she was a recipient of the 20 Under 40 University of Wisconsin Alumni Achievement Award for her work with students with autism. She was also named National Down Syndrome Congress Educator of the Year in 2007 and the Belle Center of Chicago’s Inclusion Advocate of the Year in 2006.

In 2009, Kluth started two non-profit organizations: Books to Devour, which provides new and gently used books for clients of The Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry; and The Oak Park Inclusion Network (OPIN), a parent-driven community group that encourages and supports inclusive opportunities for people with disabilities in schools and in the community.

Dr. Susan Louise Sipes, Class of 1979

While at Southwest High School, Dr. Susan Sipes (April 17, 1961-May 15, 2008) excelled in academics and music, graduating with a 4.0 grade point average, played cello in the Green Bay Symphony, and toured Europe in an All-American youth orchestra.

She graduated from Northwestern University’s medical program, and performed her residency at the University of Iowa, where she stayed for a fellowship in High Risk Obstetrics and Genetics and received a Master’s Degree in Public Health. During her medical training Sipes was active in community outreach, volunteering in inner city clinics and spending two summers of medical outreach at mission hospitals in Pakistan. She eventually became an assistant professor at Yale University, where she received awards for her research and teaching. Dr. Sipes authored many chapters for books in Obstetrics and Gynecology and wrote many articles to advance the knowledge in that field. Sipes was instrumental in performing the first intrauterine fetal transfusion in Green Bay.

Established in 2010, the award recognizes and honors outstanding graduates of Green Bay Southwest High School who have excelled in their professions and/or made significant contributions to their community. The award also recognizes role models for Green Bay Southwest High School students while providing opportunities for the students to interact with the winners.

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