Every fall, the Broken Arrow High School (BAHS) Alumni Association selects a group of “Great Graduates” who exhibit strong leadership skills and remain dedicated to service within their community, bringing honor to their alma mater through personal and professional accomplishments.
This year, joining the ranks of Broken Arrow’s Great Graduates are Jerry Rosser, Marcella Giles, Lee Schoeffler and Jennifer Robertson. Each will be recognized during the homecoming football game on Oct. 13.
“It’s so wonderful to witness Broken Arrow graduates go on to do great things in the community and beyond,” Broken Arrow Public Schools (BAPS) Superintendent Dr. Janet Dunlop said. “There is no better time than homecoming week to recognize and celebrate the successes of our alumni.”
The BAHS Alumni Association was revived in 1999, starting the tradition of the Great Graduates. The first-ever Great Graduates class was formally honored as part of the BAPS Foundation Banquet festivities in the spring of 1999. In 2001, the Alumni Association began to host their own event, specifically honoring the Great Graduates and their guests. This tradition continues to the present. Nominations are solicited throughout the Broken Arrow community for alumni who have modeled a selfless life of achievement and service to others for at least 20 years.
The Broken Arrow Alumni Association is pleased to introduce the following Great Graduates:
Jerry Rosser – Class of 1960
After departing BAHS, Jerry Rosser enrolled in the ROTC program at Oklahoma State University and had no way of knowing that decision would shape the rest of his life. Following military service, the late Jerald G. “Jerry” Rosser became a renowned rocket scientist whose contributions to his country may never be fully known because many of his discoveries remain “classified data.” Enough is known, however, to make it clear he was a giant in his field. Only a giant could qualify for all the honors he received, highlighted in 1989 by one of the nation’s most coveted awards, the U.S. Navy’s Reliability, Maintainability and Quality Assurance Motivation commendation. Better known as the “Salty Dog” award, it came with a statue and certificates from officers of the Navy, Army and Air Force – the three military branches that benefited most from his leadership in revising missile related manufacturing procedures.
Marcella Giles – Class of 1961
Since her days at BAHS, Marcella Giles has distinguished herself in the demanding professions of public education and law while never losing sight of her hometown roots. Marcella Burgess Giles was born on her grandmother’s land three miles south of Main Street. While raising three sons, she taught school for 19 years before enrolling in the Georgetown University Law Center, graduating in 1989. For nearly three decades, she has earned national recognition for her legal expertise in representation of Native American tribes across the county and then the national Indian population as a whole through the Department of Interior. She continues to serve as a strong advocate in representing the interests of Native American children and families.
Lee Schoeffler – Class of 1962
Lee Earl Schoeffler, M.D. began his professional career as a chemist in Sunray DX Oil Co.’s Research and Development lab. It was an important job and one he was good at, but the call of the medical profession was too strong to be ignored. Leaving the corporate world behind, Schoeffler graduated from the University of Oklahoma (OU) School of Medicine and completed post-graduate training at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Oklahoma City. He completed his re sidency in Neurology and then Ophthalmology at OU. In 1975, he opened Tulsa Eye Clinic. His commitment to the medical profession includes service as Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at the OU School of Medicine as well as holding down responsibilities as Vice Chair of Education for the school. His many contributions to the state medical association and Oklahoma Academy of Ophthalmology are considered legendary by his colleagues.
Jennifer Robertson – Class of 1977
With an award-filled career in the communications industry and now a 15-years-and-counting role as a realtor, Jennifer Mann Robertson has earned more than her share of professional awards. But her son, Brock, said this lofty level of professional success “pales in comparison to the superhero-like career she has had as a mother and now grandmother.” Robertson was just beginning to taste the sweet nectar of professional success in the telecommunications industry when, at the age of 26, she gave birth to twin girls born eight weeks premature. Both had intracranial brain bleeds and doctors gave them almost no chance of surviving. Thirty-one years later, daughter Ashley is still very much a part of the family. Although she has cerebral palsy and is mentally and physically challenged, she has defied the odds and is able to talk, walk and, her brother says, is a friend to everyone she meets. She even graduated from high school, thanks in large part to the love and care provided by her dedicated mom. Today, Robertson is a realtor in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and she continues to be recognized as one of the top agents in the state by the business media and her associates.