Two Wildlife and Parks employees, one businessman newest inductees
PRATT -- The Kansas Hunter Education Instructor Association (KHEIA) -- an independent group of volunteer instructors -- has recently inducted three people to the Kansas Hunter Education Hall of Fame. Stacy Hageman, Zenda; Wayne Doyle, Pratt; and George Peterson, Topeka, join three others in the Hall of Fame, which was opened in 2006.

Hageman is administrative assistant for the statewide Hunter Education (HE) Program, working out of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) Pratt Operations Office. In nominating her, Gary Coleman, Valley Falls, called Hageman "the silent, usually taken for granted, driving force behind the Hunter Education Program in Kansas. She is the 'go-to' person in the office who gets the job done and gets it done right. Without her knowledge and expertise, the program would certainly have a few more bumps in the road. She has juggled job and family and has always been a delight to work with."

Peterson is a 33-year volunteer instructor from Topeka who has been referred to as a "fundraiser extraordinaire." In their nomination letter, Mary and Gene Peterson, also of Topeka, noted that George has taught more than 5,500 students and is now teaching children of his original students. He has been honored with KDWP's Order of the Buffalo -- a special honor for exceptional hunter education instructors -- twice, in 1978 and 2005, and has been president and secretary of the Shawnee County Hunter Education Association.

"George helped raise approximately $50,000 for improvements to the hunter education facilities at Shawnee State Fishing Lake," the Petersons noted in their nomination. "He served on the Friends of the NRA committee for four years and helped raise thousands of dollars to promote shooting sports and hunting in Kansas. He is also NRA certified to teach 'Refuse To Be a Victim,' a program designed to teach women safety strategies." Peterson has many other HE-related certifications and affiliated memberships, including being a life member of the NRA and serving as vice-president of the Kansas State Rifle Association.

Tim Wright, Topeka, nominated Doyle for the Hall of Fame. Doyle has been statewide coordinator for KDWP's Hunter Education Program since 1998 and has been involved with the program for 25 years. "Under Wayne's guidance, the HE program has grown by leaps and bounds," Wright's recommendation states. "He has used innovative tools and technology to expand and improve the scope of the program."

Wright noted that Doyle's accomplishments include incorporating Laser Shot hunting simulators into the program; developing an instructor intranet for ordering supplies and setting class schedules and rosters; equipping instructors with trailers and supplies for trail walks, live fire, and archery equipment; working with instructors to incorporate computer technology in the classroom; and developing an alternative delivery class where students spend several hours of study at home followed by a day of hands-on training in the field.

Criteria for nominees to the Kansas Hunter Education Hall of Fame include a minimum of 15 years service as a certified HE instructor, any KDWP employee, or anyone who has given significant support to the HE program. Nominees do not have to be KHEIA members. Selection is limited to a maximum of five inductees per year, and awards are to be presented at least once every three years. Previous inductees include Ed Augustine, Junction City; Lloyd "Butch" Harris, Topeka; and Dean Wiegers, Leoti.