October Alumni Spotlight

Dr. Natasha Jenkins & Dex.jpg
Dr. Natasha Jenkins & Dex SHS Class of 1999 & 2031

Dr. Natasha Jenkins 

SHS Class of 1999

1999 Scottsbluff High School Valedictorian, Dr. Natasha Jenkins, considers it a privilege to serve over 3,000 eye patients every year as co-owner of Scottsbluff Vision Clinic and Eastern Wyoming Eye Clinic.  She professionally attests to the concept that "the eyes are the windows to the soul" in that our eyes not only allow us to see the world around us, but they also give clear insight into one's inner health.  The human eye, after all, is literally the second most complex organ after the brain, composed of more than two million working parts. "It has been fascinating to analyze and treat eye conditions to help improve the lifetime vision of my patients the past 15 years," she attests.

As a sixth-generation Nebraskan, Dr. Jenkins accredits growing up on the family ranch and attending Scottsbluff Public Schools as having well-prepared her for success in her chosen profession of optometry. As current vice president and shareholder of the eyecare corporation, Dr. Jenkins is not only responsible for patient medical care, she also co-manages all aspects of both businesses in Scottsbluff and Torrington including finances, quality control, IT infrastructure and employee supervision.  She also shares in decision-making regarding investments of advanced optical equipment, eyewear products and contact lenses.  

Dr. Jenkins believes being both a Doctor of Optometry and business co-owner of multiple optometric practices creates a perfect career fit for her as a single mother to her son Dex.  "It is the nature of my work that allows me the freedom to schedule patients around Dex's schedule, ultimately maximizing our time together.  My #1 priority is Dex and the opportunities we share," she explains.  Dex is currently a fourth-grade student in Mrs. Burda's class at Longfellow Elementary where he is in the High Ability Learning Program.  Dex is an avid reader whose favorite subject is mathematics.  His passion is his extensive LEGO collection which includes Creator Expert sets such as the 9,090-piece LEGO Titanic.  He plays summer baseball on Coach Jeremy Becker's Westco Travel Team and has earned a white belt in Ko Heichi Martial Arts under Sensei Brent Anderson.  Most of all, Dex and his mother enjoy traveling together and competing with and against one another in all types of athletic workouts.

Dr. Jenkins' path to becoming a Doctor of Optometry included eight years of higher education starting with her undergraduate studies as a Walter Scott Scholar at Hastings College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in biopsychology graduating Summa Cum Laude with High Distinction in 2003.  While at Hastings College, she was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society and the HC Lady Bronco volleyball and basketball teams.  She also played violin in the Hastings Symphony Orchestra.

After being granted the Missouri - Nebraska Reciprocity Scholarship, Dr. Jenkins went on to attend the University of Missouri - St. Louis College of Optometry where she graduated as Class Marshal for ranking first in her Class of 2007.


September Alumni Spotlight

Evelyn Marie Kaasch

SHS Class of 1929

Clifford Preston McGuffin

SHS Class of 1929

Clifford Preston McGuffin was born in 1908, the fourth child of John and Edna McGuffin in Rocky Ford, Colorado. They moved to Scottsbluff in 1912, where the last of their two children were born. The McGuffin clan attended SB high school where they are all active in athletics; Glen, Gladys, Edith, Cliff, Lowell (Dodes), Everett (Barney), and Bernice.

Evelyn Marie Kaasch was the only child of Archie and Julia Kaasch. She was born on the family farm in 1911, but they relocated into town by the time Evelyn was a teenager, when her father started working for the Farmers Union Exchange. The family story holds that Cliff only ever had eyes for Evie, much to the consternation of her mother.

Julia, a proud teetotaler, who did not approve of the rowdy ways of the McGuffin clan. Evie’s parents sent her away to the University of Nebraska in hopes of squashing the union. But alas, Evie returned after graduation and swiftly eloped with her beloved in April of 1935.

Cliff and Evie spent time in Oregon and California, where their first two daughters, Sandi and Sue, were born. They were lured back to Scottsbluff, when Evie’s parents purchased the Acme Dry Cleaners for them to run. Their third daughter Nancy was born in Scottsbluff in 1941. Unfortunately, their love story did not have a happy ending. In a few short years, in May of 1946, Cliff died a mysterious death while working in their dry-cleaning store. The official cause was listed as accidental ingestion of poison. Evie was left a widow at age 35, with three young daughters. Sandi, Sue, and Nancy aka “The McGuffin Girls” were very active and popular, sharing many memories of their high school years with their children. By the time their mother died in 1964, the McGuffin girls had all moved with their husbands to California. Nancy (Ramsey Arnn) died in 1978 in Los Angeles, Sue (Gilmore) died

in 2003 in Sacramento, and Sandi (Otte) died in 2020 in Philadelphia, PA.

We—the daughters of Sandi McGuffin Otte—dedicate these pavers to the happy memories of our mother, aunts, and grandparents. We are also happy to report we have learned our “rowdy McGuffin clan” that great-grandma Julia so disliked, has illustrious family branches that arrived in the American Colonies in the mid-1600s with links back to English royalty. We aren’t sure if even that would make a difference to our great-grandmother! Submitted by grand daughter, Mickey Herr.

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