Mundelein High School

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MHS to induct seven graduates as Distinguished Alumni

Head shots of the seven honorees

Mundelein High School representatives have chosen seven MHS graduates to honor as Distinguished Alumni for 2020. This will be the fourth year that MHS will recognize alumni for their personal accomplishments and the many ways they give back to their communities.

Traditionally, the event to honor the alumni has been on Homecoming Weekend. This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the date for the ceremony is yet to be confirmed. It will depend on how things progress in the coming months.


This year’s Distinguished Alumni include the following:

Lieutenant Colonel Michael Gunther, Class of 1995; West Point Graduate with a PhD in History and four master’s degrees; currently in command of the 1-67th Armored Regiment, deployed to the Republic of South Korea; Bronze Star and Purple Heart Medal awardee.

Lawrence Maligaya, Class of 2005; BS degree, Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Recent experience at Adient, LLC; also managed commercial/sales activities for Tesla Model S/X/3/Y production seat trim covers/panels; founded the STEM Explorers Scholarship at Mundelein High School to provide STEM opportunities to promising students interested in STEM topics and careers.

Larry Markus, Class of 1967; Associate of Applied Science degree in Mechanical Engineering; Co-owner of Sirius Automation Group, Buffalo Grove, IL; Mentorship with the MHS Robotics Club; Holds a number of patents in Biomedical Engineering/Robotics and more than 40 years in biomedical engineering, designing instrumentations

Dr. Max Petersen, Class of 2006; MD, PhD and MPhil degrees from Yale University; BA degree, Augustana College; Completing Internship/Residency in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston; Completing a Fellowship in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at Washington University School of Medicine; Earned an MD/PhD Thesis Prize from Yale School of Medicine in 2018

Chad Vale, Class of 1974; Joined the US Air Force Strategic Air Command following graduating from MHS. Served as a jet engine mechanic/aircraft electrical repairman. Seriously injured in a motorcycle accident a year and a half later and medically retired from the Air Force. Has made five trips to Washington, DC for House/Armed Service Committee meetings; Received the Gold Star Family’s Hero for a Day Award in Peoria; Recognized for accomplishments in the Air Force and his Volunteerism with the Veterans Affairs Department; Elected judge advocate Veteran Assistance Commission at the state level

Dr. Chris Wetteland, Class of 1993; PhD in Geology, University of Tennessee; MS, Ceramics and Materials Engineering, Rutgers University, BS, Geology, Northeastern Illinois University; Senior Lecturer, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Department of Materials Science and Engineering; Instructor for undergraduate laboratory coursework  in the department; Chancellors Award for Excellence in Advising; Faculty award for Excellence in Service and in Teaching

Sergeant Richard Witt, Class of 2000; BS degree in Law Enforcement Justice Administration; Western Illinois University (Magna Cum Laude); Mundelein Police Officer since 2006; Held positions as Accident Investigator, Evidence Technician, Alcohol and Gaming Compliance Officer; Bike Officer, DARE Officer, Police Explorer Advisor; Field Training Officer; School Resource Officer. Recognition for assistance with a child abduction case; ILACP Life-Saving Award for actions during a house explosion; Mundelein Police Department Officer of the Year; Juvenile Officer of the Year Award for the State of Illinois; Village of Mundelein Recognition for carrying an incapacitated man out of a residential structure fire.


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