HUDSON — Hudson High School recognized four alumni with its Distinguished Alumni Award.
The award recognizes outstanding work by previous HHS students.
This years honorees are:
Patrick Casanova - Class of 1968
A nearly lifelong resident of St. Croix County, Patrick Casanova had an early introduction to the arts through the St. Croix Valley Arts Guild, which became the Phipps Center of the Arts. His love of the outdoors came from hours of fishing and hunting the Willow River, Lake Mallalieu and the St.Croix. He was fortunate to have great colorful storytellers in his family and friends who had a strong sense of history of this area and shared their knowledge of the community. Participation in Boy Scouts and following the example set by his parents, he developed a sense of service to the community past and present.
Following graduation, he completed his education earning a BS in Art Education from UW - River Falls and a Master of Fine Arts Degree from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Illinois. He also studied Scandinavian Design at the University of Oslo, Norway and the Kashmiri School of Design in Srinagar Kashmir, India. He returned to the Hudson community in 1979 where he remains today having had subsequent careers as a builder, realtor before opening the Casanova Glass Studio. In the past 25 years he has had a downtown studio as well as a home studio where produced art glass and lighting. He always maintained an open studio atmosphere that included mentoring artists and hosting events that were open to the public to make ornaments and special projects. He believes that it is important for people to see the process as well as the product to appreciate the importance of mathematics, chemistry and physics to the development of the arts.
Thea Feyereisen - Class of 1987
Thea Feyereisen built a highly successful and impactful career in the aviation industry as a Senior Engineering Fellow in Aerospace Electronics. Thea leads international teams to develop aviation safety systems including cockpit vision systems and artificial intelligence. Her inventions reduce the risk of aircraft accidents due to pilot error. She has more than 60 U.S. and foreign patents. Prior to her career as an engineer, Thea was a bush pilot in Alaska.
Living and raising her daughter in her hometown of Hudson, Thea is active in the community. She is passionate about being a positive role model for females and minorities interested in pursuing a STEM career. Thea advocates for Title IX and is a lifetime promoter of equal opportunities for girls and minority groups. As a college-athlete herself, Thea has volunteered her time coaching and is known for the line, “You Got This” as she encourages others to soar as she has been doing her entire life.
Brian Hayes - Class of 1963
Brian Hayes is recognized for his long-standing career as a doctor, specializing as an orthopedic surgeon in several different capacities. From a military family, Brian served more than twenty years in the Army after he graduated from West Point. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam before graduating from the University of Texas Medical School in 1976. He currently serves as a VA Hospital Doctor in Roseburg, Oregon.
Brian also holds a degree in Science from his days at West Point with interests in Math and Nuclear Engineering. Brian Hayes credits his father for providing the inspiration to explore a variety of interests in life. He might be known as a “renaissance man” of sorts, as he has a high degree of interest and proficiency in many domains. In his free time he enjoys spending time as a woodworker. Brian’s service and dedication to the military and to healthcare services are unparalleled and serve as a beacon of light for future generations.
Michael Schumacher - Class of 1974
The Honorable Michael A. Schumacher attended grade school, junior high school, and high school all in the Hudson School District. He received a bachelor degree from St. Cloud State University and was awarded his Juris Doctorate from the University of Nebraska School of Law. He practiced law in Eau Claire, Wisconsin from 1981 until 2007. He was then appointed circuit court judge for Eau Claire County by Governor Jim Doyle. He was elected without opposition in 2008, 2014, and 2020. He was known to be well prepared, knowledgeable, and fair.
Judge Schumacher was a Judicial Fellow of the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He was a member of and chaired many local and statewide committees. He was the administrative Presiding Judge of Eau Claire County. One area that he particularly enjoyed, and for which he was well suited, was presiding over treatment courts. There, he interacted weekly with offenders who suffered from drug addiction. He, along with dedicated members of a treatment team, endeavored to provide treatment and support on the way to recovery and a crime free lifestyle, rather than prison. There were many successes and many failures, but Judge Schumacher felt that even those that were terminated from treatment court left the experience better prepared to deal with the challenges of life.