Quick Links
Skip to main contentSkip to navigation

Putnam County R-I Schools



Ajax Loading Image


Where Are They Now?

Supporting fellow alumni.

Alumni of UHS/PCHS have shown support for fellow alumni by giving scholarships each year to
PC graduates who have attained at least junior level college status. This week the 2009
scholarship winners are profiled: Britni Robbins, Dustin Gardner and Kyle Hodges.
Britni Robbins, PC class of 2007, completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood
Education from Missouri Western University in 2013 and just completed a Masters of Science
degree in Early Childhood Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Central Missouri.
This August she will be entering her fourth year teaching 2 nd grade in the Princeton school
district, a job she says she loves. She attributes her career path to the experiences she had as an
elementary student at PC R-I. “I had wonderful elementary teachers and they inspired me to be
an educator. I have big shoes to fill.”
Britni still lives in Putnam County, driving back and forth to Princeton each school day. She
says, “You really can’t beat home.” Britni also works with kids at the First Christian Church,
where she is an active member. She teaches both a high school girls Bible study and a 1 st
through 3 rd grade Bible study. Family is important to Britni and she enjoys her two nephews.
Dustin Gardner, a 2006 PC graduate, lives and works in Boston, Massachusetts. After high
school, Dustin entered Iowa State University with the intent of obtaining an engineering degree.
Dustin says, “I found God leading me towards full-time ministry” and transferred to Central
Christian College of the Bible in Moberly. He received a Bachelor of Religious Studies degree
in 2011.
After graduation, Dustin began working with Sojourn Collegiate Ministries in Boston. Currently
he is the lead campus minister to Northeastern University and Boston University and also
recognized as a spiritual advisor at Northeastern. He serves as counselor, advisor, teacher,
program developer, curriculum writer, and mentor, “all with the intent to create safe spaces for
young adults to wrestle with big questions of life, faith, and purpose and with the hope for them
to find God’s dream for their lives.”
Dustin met his future wife about a month after moving to Boston. Rachele, a Massachusetts
native, and Dustin married in June, 2012 and had their first child, Vera in January, 2016.
Rachele founded Youth Hub, a non-profit aimed to equip inner city youth with job readiness
Dustin and Rachele live in the Dorchester area of Boston, a neighborhood of 300,000. He enjoys
the extreme diversity of the residents and the easy access to mountains and the ocean. Dustin
says he definitely misses a few things about his hometown: “my family, the people I grew up
with, the hospitality, the slower pace, being a part of farm life, home grown beef, and
DEFINITELY the price of living.” He commented on his high school experience, stating “I
believe what made PC schools special was the community of support I felt behind the education.
Going off to college I had a strong sense of confidence built from teachers and coaches who
believed in me and cared for my overall well-being. That support and love was foundational to
how I view myself and how I evaluate education today.”
Kyle Hodges is a registered dietician working for Blue Cross Blue Shield in Kansas City. He
mainly works with large law firms and school districts to encourage health habits that prevent
disease. After graduating from Putnam County in 2005, he entered Northwest Missouri State
University in Maryville, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Food/Nutrition and also a
Master of Science degree in Health Promotion. He completed a dietetic internship from Iowa
State and became a registered dietician in 2011. He is also a certified well coach.
Kyle has put his home-grown handyman skills to good use, by buying, remodeling, and then
selling houses in the Kansas City area. He is on his third house now and currently lives at Lake
Tapawingo in the Lee’s Summit area. He also enjoys the perks of living in Kansas City,
including taking in the occasional Chiefs game and golfing.
Kyle’s job takes him to some of the larger schools in the Kansas City area, giving him a new
appreciation for the education he received at PC. He says, “I am so thankful I grew up in
Unionville. I was able to attend a school that instilled small town-hard working values that have
helped me ever since. I knew the teachers and they knew me, which made my education very
personal. Coming from Unionville not only gave me a great education, but allowed me to
experience and participate in so many sports and activities. Kids in these larger schools are
forced to choose between one or two sports or extracurricular activities.”
This column will continue next week with the 2010 scholarship winners.