2023 Hall of Fame

Six Inducted into Simley Hall of Fame
Posted on 09/07/2023
The six new members of the Simley Hall of FamePara leer este artículo en español, haga clic en "Language" en la barra de "Admin" en la parte superior de esta página y seleccione "Spanish."

The Simley High School Hall of Fame was created in 1988 to honor individuals who have distinguished themselves with academic, athletic, and humanitarian achievements. Nominees are screened by the Simley Hall of Fame Committee, and six worthy candidates are chosen. On September 1, Simley inducted its new members into the hall of fame. Members are added to Simley’s digital hall of fame: https://simley.touchpros.com/Home2.aspx.

Sandy Hoff
Sandy Hoff, affectionately known as “The Laundry Lady,” dedicated her talents to Inver Grove Heights Schools for nearly 50 years. She became an invaluable part of Simley High School and its athletic program, repairing sports uniforms, wind screens, and other academic and athletic materials. Each year, she could be found in the rafters steaming drapes for graduation.

In the ’80s, she worked with students who had physical and cognitive disabilities, giving them jobs in the laundry room. She also worked as an Inver Grove Heights Middle School paraprofessional in several programs and went back to college to pursue further certification.

Michelle Lieder
Michelle Lieder played on Simley High School’s basketball team and participated in Simley Theatre, but her passion was swimming. During her five years on the Simley Swim and Dive Team, Ms. Lieder was named Simley MVP and Most Improved. She earned a Captain’s Honorable Mention and three All Conference recognitions. She was a state participant during four of her five years with the team, and she set the school record in the 200 Individual Medley, 100 Fly, 200 Relay, and 400 Relay.

Ms. Leider won a Beckman Scholarship and attended the University of Minnesota where she was a part of the Gopher Swim and Dive Team for all four years. She was a letter winner, earned Most Improved in 2002, made the Big Ten Team in 2003, and was selected for the Model Citizen Award. She also became a member of the Gopher Top 25 list in the 100 Fly. Ms. Lieder graduated with a Masters in Adapted Physical Education and Kinesiology. She now works in Adaptive PE at South Washington County Schools. In her free time, she has coached boys and girls swimming in Woodbury, earning Section Honors as a head and assistant coach.

Zach Lerner
Football, basketball, and track athlete Zach Lerner left his mark on Simley High School and later returned to provide his talents as a high school coach. In football, Mr. Lerner was a standout wide receiver. During his junior year, he was named a Top 10 receiver in the state. He finished his junior year with an All Conference Honorable Mention. As a senior, he led Simley in receiving yards and was second in the conference. He earned an All Conference recognition and was rated a Top 10 Minnesota receiver. He went on to become an All Conference safety at Concordia College in St. Paul.

In basketball, Mr. Lerner was the junior team leader in steals, assists, and points, and he earned an All Conference Honorable Mention. In his senior year, he earned All Conference, was named Team MVP, and was chosen for the All Metro Defensive Team.

Mr. Lerner participated in track throughout his time at Simley High School. He earned four letters, four All Conference recognitions, two 4x100 Conference Championships, and a 4x400 Relay school record. During his senior year, he finished 7th in the 400-meter Dash at the state tournament. Mr. Lerner played football and participated in track at Mankato State. In 1992, he helped his Distance Medley Team win their championship at the Drake Relays. He also earned All Conference as a member of North Central College’s 4x400 Relay Championship Team. Mr. Lerner went on to coach high school students for 16 years. At Simley, he coached a 1999 State Champion and Simley’s 2014 state runner-up team.
Angie McLain Penttila
Angie McLain Penttila excelled in both athletics and academics during her time at Simley High School. She was a member of the National Honor Society and lettered four years academically. Meanwhile, she lettered twice in diving and earned an Honorable Mention, she was a three-year starter and letter winner in softball, and she collected a number of accolades in her main sport: gymnastics. As a gymnast, she earned two Honorable Mentions, four All Conference recognitions, five All Section honors, and five All-State honors. She qualified for four events in the individual state championship five times, earning 5th in Beam at State. At Simley, she was named captain and MVP, and she held school records for many years.

In college, she became a University of Minnesota cheerleader. She went on to give back to the Inver Grove Heights community as an event volunteer and a Simley coach. She now teaches middle school math at District 197.

Wade Short
During his time at Simley High School, Wade Short proved himself as an outstanding tennis, football, and wrestling athlete. In tennis, Mr. Short was a multi-year letter winner. He earned an All Conference recognition and was named team captain. In football, he was a three-year letter winner, two-year starter, and leading tackler. In wrestling, he was a six-year letter winner who earned All Conference, Academic All-State, Team Captain, and MVP honors. He wrestled on three state championship teams. In individual state tournaments, he won two state championships and finished second in one. He graduated from Simley with a 163-16-1 record and went undefeated, 43-0, in his senior year. He left Simley as a team record leader in pins and overall records.

After graduation, Mr. Short won national titles as a dancer. He danced professionally for 10 years in shows and commercials, and he brought his knowledge to students teaching master classes at eight universities. He has received 80 awards for his choreography. He also became a published poet and has shown and sold his artwork in New York. Now he runs four businesses, including Short Dance Studio, and he returned to Simley as a volunteer coach for Simley Wrestling.

Kevin Weddle
A three-sport student-athlete at Simley High School, Dr. Kevin Weddle participated in track, wrestling, and football in addition to being a member of the National Honor Society, the lead of the fall play, and an honor roll student. He graduated from West Point, earned his Masters at the University of Minnesota, and earned his PhD at Princeton University. His degrees are in History and Civil Engineering.

Dr. Weddle served on active duty as an Army officer for 28 years. He is a veteran of Desert Storm. Now a professor of Military Studies at U.S. Army War College and a visiting professor at Princeton, he has earned the Army War College Excellence in Teaching award twice. He has also become an award-winning author. His books include “The Complete Victory: Saratoga and the American Revolution” and “Lincoln’s Tragic Admiral,” which have earned prestigious awards in Military History Literature. Additionally, he is credited for his work on the History Channel documentary “Washington.”