Receiving the 21st annual Alumnus/Alumna of the Year award were brother Shamrocks, Nick ’97 and Joe ’01 Puetz. In the year 2007, Nick and Joe contacted Scotus to ask if they could help organize and revitalize the Alumni & Friends Golf Tourney—held annually in Columbus since its beginning in the year 2000. The Puetz brothers moved the tourney to Omaha (where they thought more golfers and more sponsorship support might be secured) and from that point the tourney took on the new name, Shamrock Open. In the first year the event was held at Tara Hills GC in Papillion, and thereafter it has been hosted by the Tiburon GC in Omaha.
Nick and Joe provided almost all of the planning for the event: securing sponsorships, banners & signage, flag and raffle prizes and making the arrangements with the host golf course. Although the original intention of the tourney was to promote comradery among Shamrock alumni and alumnae, the tourney’s popularity soared and attracted players and sponsors from outside of the Shamrock Nation. Normally 26 to 36 foursomes participate each year and every year generous flight and flag prizes along with a dinner are provided for the golfers.
Along with the good participation numbers, the tourney has also raised some funding for the Scotus athletic department. The first Shamrock Open netted $3,000 and the 2019 tourney brought in $15,445. In the 12 years of the tourney, $93,993 has been raised to help Scotus make improvements to the locker rooms and weight room, provide new equipment and tables in the athletic trainer’s room, add a new storage rack for a Scotus bus, buy new record boards for the school, purchase new half racks for the weight room and provide a padded scorer’s table for the Dowd Activity Center. Nick and his wife, Julie, have 1 child and reside in Kirkwood, MO where Nick works for Netskope, a cyber-security firm. Joe and his wife, Jill, have two children and reside in Elkhorn, NE where Joe has his own firm, Atlas Retirement Planning & Wealth Management.
Nick and Joe Puetz identified a need and offered a wonderful example of Catholic stewardship for their alma mater. The two alumni will be publicly acknowledged at a fall Scotus activity.
Criteria for Selection:
• Support of Catholic Education (volunteer, financial, sending children to, etc)
• Excellence in their vocation as a parent, professional or clergy member
• Civic involvement (leadership and voluntary involvement, club memberships, etc.)
• Parish involvement
Alumnus/na of Year Inductees/ Induction Year/ Graduation Year
Fr. Damien Zuerlein/ 2000 /1973
Carroll Melliger/ 2001/ 1941
Sr. Christine Hayes/ 2002/ 1951
Joe Tooley/ 2003/ 1955
Mike Moser/ 2004/ 1969
Karen Gdowski Mroczek/ 2005/ 1973
Fr. Jeff Loseke/ 2006/ 1992
Gregg Melliger/ 2007/ 1975
Al Niedbalski/ 2008/ 1971
Linda Schrad Levos/ 2009/ 1975
Tony & Phyl (Foltz) Zabawa/ 2010/ 1942 & 1942
Mike & Agne (Placzek) Pickhinke/ 2011/ 1950
Bill and Linda Vobril Kosch/ 2012/ 1968, 1968
Tim and Amy (Maguire) Harrington/ 2013/ 1977, 1978
Jeanne Kopetzky DeRuyscher/ 2014/ 1971
Gerry and Kathy (Kurtenbach) Engelbert/ 2015/ Honorary, 1958
Rick Zoucha/ 2016/ 1986
Todd and Lisa (Cielocha) Duren/ 2017/1985
Jill (Kruse) and Dr. Dale Zaruba/2019/1993, Honorary
Nick and Joe Puetz/2020/1997, 2001
If you would like to nominate a Shamrock graduate for the Alumna/Alumnus of the Year Award, please send your nomination to the: Scotus Development Office, 1554 18 Ave, Columbus NE 68601 or by E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Alumna is for women and Alumnus is for men)