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Putnam County R-I Schools



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Where Are They Now?

Week four in the series.

Members of the UHS/PCHS Alumni Association care about Unionville, Putnam County,
and the school from which they graduated. Each year, alumni from all over the country send in
association membership dues (only $10) as well as donations to the scholarship fund. To help
fund the new all-weather track, the Alumni Association initiated the annual 5K which is held on
reunion weekend. Each Labor Day weekend, large numbers of alumni travel back to Unionville,
stay at local motels, eat in local restaurants, and make purchases in local establishments, giving
the Putnam County economy a shot in the arm. One of the biggest investments Alumni
Association members make is in the youth of Putnam County through scholarships. This
week, 2011 scholarship winners Stacy Hines Meinke, Kasey Knight and Devon Pickering are
Stacy Hines Meinke graduated from Putnam County R-I in 2009. She completed an
Associate of Arts degree from North Central Missouri College in Trenton and then earned a
Bachelor of Health Science degree from the University of Missouri in 2013. She has been a
Radiologic Technologist at the University of Missouri hospital in Columbia since graduation.
Stacy feels she received a very good education at Putnam County and “loved that I knew
all the teachers. It makes it so much easier to ask for help.” The class sizes were small at
NCMC also, but Stacy says “the University of Missouri was a lot different, large classes made it
a little intimidating at first, but it was nothing I couldn’t handle. I am so thankful I took the route
I did to receive my degrees. Going to NCMC and using my A+ was one of the best decisions I
ever made!”
Stacy married Troy Meinke of Princeton in May. Troy is engaged in farming with the
family partnership, Meinke Farms. Part of the farming operation is to spend the summer
harvesting wheat in several states. She and Troy split their time between Columbia and
Princeton, giving them the advantages of a larger town and the closeness of friends and family
back home.
Kasey Knight (PC class of 2009) graduated in 2014 from the University of Kansas with a
degree in Architectural Engineering and is working toward a Master’s degree in Civil
Engineering-Structural Engineering from KU. He currently works full-time at Kiewit
Engineering & Design in Lenexa, Kansas, designing steel and concrete structures for use in
power plants and natural gas liquefaction plants.
While at Putnam County R-I, Kasey took advantage of the dual credit courses that are
offered. He stated, “I definitely think several of the college courses offered at PC helped me
prepare for college and get ahead.”
Kasey is enjoying the Kansas City area and says “I love the city life. There is always
something to do and I've met really great people here.” He is also a fan of KU basketball,
occasionally takes in a Royals game, and stays fit by lifting weights and running.
Devon Pickering graduated from PC R-I in 2008 and then moved across the state to Cape
Girardeau to attend Southeast Missouri State University. In 2011 he earned a Bachelor of
Science degree in Agricultural Business with a focus in Plant and Soil Sciences. After
graduation, Devon worked for CGB Terminal on the Mississippi River as a grain
Devon met his wife, Chelsea, while at SEMO. Chelsea graduated with an Agricultural
Business degree with an Animal Sciences focus. In 2013 Devon and Chelsea made the choice to
move back to Unionville. Devon stated, “May 2016 marked three years of us being back in
Unionville, and we could not be happier with our decision.”
Devon observed a need for carpentry services, so he started Pickering Construction and
says, “It has been wonderful to be involved with great projects and great people in Putnam
County. We consider ourselves fortunate as we have been able to take advantage of several
opportunities that a small town like Unionville provides as opposed to its larger counterparts.”
Devon and Chelsea have purchased several rental homes, which he says “has been an adventure”
and also own PC Mini Storage. Chelsea is employed as a title agent at Hart Abstract and Title,
which she “loves as it gives me a great venue to meet the people that make up our community.”
In their spare time, they enjoy the family farm in western Putnam County. Devon stated, “It is
challenging not to be blinded by the bright and alluring lights of the city, but there is something
about this small town that we both love and would recommend to any young person who feels
they must leave in order to attain some semblance of success.”