Abraham Lincoln Inducts Three Into Hall of Fame
Abraham Lincoln High School recognized the achievements of the 2018 Hall of Fame inductees at the schools annual banquet and induction ceremony on Thursday, March 15.
Honorees for 2018 include Jill Pechacek (Class of '86), Barry Cleaveland (Class of '71), and Zeph Telpner (Class of '50). The Abraham Lincoln Hall of Fame began in 1985 by the ALHS chapter of the National Honor Society.
Jill Pechacek’s story is filled with love and dedication to her family as well as her career. After graduating from Abraham Lincoln High School, Jill attended the University of Iowa where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and then her Medicinae Doctor. Jill then attended the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
After completing a three-year Family Practice Residency and serving as Chief Resident at the University of Colorado, Jill opened her own private family medical clinic. She practiced fulltime as a family physician, caring for people of all ages, newborns through geriatrics. She specialized in health & wellness, investing her time in helping patients eliminate medications and live a healthy lifestyle. In 2008, Jill went back to school while working full time as a single mother of three children. After earning a second board certification in aesthetic medicine, she opened up a second practice, Aspen Medical Aesthetics. In 2012, Jill was hired as physician faculty member for the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine and taught board certification courses to physicians in Asia and the United States, while still working full time in both practices.
Her passion for wellness and patient advocacy led her to start a third company, Health Journey, which focuses on health coaching to promote a healthy lifestyle. Jill said “being a family physician and wellness coach has never felt like a job, but has truly been a passion and ministry to me. For over 20 years, I have bounced out of bed, excited to serve my patients and community. With my diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer, my ministry changed. Although I was very sad to leave a traditional medical clinic setting, I became a mentor for fellow cancer patients through my Cancer Assassin Survivor Partner Network. As a patient advocate, I represent patients and work with a team of physicians and researchers from the United Kingdom and the United States to advance treatments, and someday find a cure, for pancreatic cancer.”
Jill received many awards, including the Patient’s Choice Award (two years in a row), Most Compassionate Doctor (three years in a row), and Denver’s 5280 Magazine’s Top Doctor Award. Jill said her greatest honor is being a mother to her three children Hawk, Brooks, and Hope.
Mr. Barry Cleaveland’s public education started at Oakland Elementary School in Oakland, Iowa. When he moved back to Council Bluffs he attended Gunn Elementary and then Eastside Junior High for seventh and eighth grades. He graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1971. During his time at ALHS, Barry was a member of the varsity swim team. He and his teammates set a Medley Relay record that stood for decades. Barry also participated in tennis, and managed the school wrestling team. During this time, he also worked for his family's business, which started off as a grocery store before being converted into a restaurant.
After high school, Barry attended the University of Iowa where he majored in Physics and worked in construction during his summers. After graduating college, Barry entered the crop insurance industry. He then went on to work for United States Department of Agriculture for seven years. After leaving the USDA, Barry spent decades working at various places in the private crop insurance industry. His current employer is the Silverstone Insurance Group for which he has been working since 2005, serving as the Vice President of Research and Development. While in the private industry, Barry has become a key innovator, working alongside a team that created the most popular crop insurance, still sold throughout the world today.
Mr. Cleaveland has spent much of his life as a caring philanthropist who contributed to many causes in our community. He served as a board member and chair for the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce, a board member and interim Executive Director of the Council Bluffs Community Education Foundation, served on a leadership team to spark the renovation of the Gale Wickersham Athletic Complex, and was the developer of the Red and Ruth Nelson Excellence in Education Teacher Awards. In addition, he was a key fundraiser for Dreamland Park in Council Bluffs.
Despite having a successful career and serving our community, Mr. Cleaveland has remained humble. He has shown a level of humility from which everyone of us could learn. With all of his accomplishments, he is probably most proud that he raised two children who are also Abraham Lincoln High School graduates. His contributions show every ALHS student the importance of serving one’s community and how that service can change people.
Zeph Telpner, more commonly known as “Boonjug”, a nickname given to him when he was young by his sister, was born and raised as a proud member of Council Bluffs. He was a graduate of the class of 1950 at Abraham Lincoln High School. Soon after graduation Zeph served our country with the Coast Guard. During his enlistment he participated in the Korean War.
During the next stage of his life, Zeph Telpner attended college at Creighton University where he received a Bachelor of Science and Business Administration with a major in Accounting in 1958. After college, he worked as an Audit Senior and Supervisor of the tax department at Arthur Anderson and Company. In 1965, he became a self-employed CPA. Following a 40-year career, he decided to retire in the early 2000’s and dedicate his time to writing. Along with Zeph’s experience in accounting, he was a teacher, as well as a published author.
Zeph’s writing career started long before he published his book, Expert Witnessing in Forensic Accounting. He wrote local stories for the Nonpareil, as well as writing for the Midlands Business Journal. Zeph also contributed to professional education textbooks that were published by the AICPA, IRS, California and New York Accounting Education Foundations, and more. He was an outgoing person and loved to talk to people whenever he could. Zeph used his love of talking as a way to share his expert knowledge through his teaching. He had the honor of also teaching at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Buena Vista University at Council Bluffs, and Iowa Western Community College.
Zeph was very involved in the community as he was a member of the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce, National Forensic Accountants Association, Toastmasters, Rotary, Pottawattamie County Chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and American Trucking Association. He held the first and second National Judo Tournament in Council Bluffs raising money for Muscular Dystrophy research. Zeph has been awarded and acknowledged by many local, state, and national organizations for all of his CPA work, teaching, and writing.
Zeph left a lasting influence on Council Bluffs not only through his professional work, but through his knowledge and experiences he shared with his community. He was a family-oriented man who had an outgoing personality that no one could dislike. He brought happiness to everyone he was around and always devoted his time, dedication, knowledge, and experience to better Council Bluffs.