New members to be inducted into BSHS Hall of Fame
The Bonner Springs-Edwardsville Education Foundation and the BSHS Alumni Association recently announced that Irene Alden-Harrington, Class of 1919, and Barbara O’Brien, Class of 1972, will be inducted into the BSHS Hall of Fame on Friday, Jan. 11.
Irene Alden-Harrington was born in 1900 and was a member of the first graduating class from the 1918 High School Building. Upon her graduation she attended Park College and the University of Kansas.
Alden-Harrington was a community leader and advocate who has actively involved in the BPW, Order of the Eastern Star, and the PEO (Philanthropic Educational Organization). Irene owned and operated the Alden-Harrington Funeral Home with her husband J. Ward Harrington from 1924 until her death in 1961, and she was a member of the Kansas Funeral Directors Association.
Alden-Harrington organized the first All School Reunion in 1959, which still continues in May each year. Many of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren have received their high school diplomas from Bonner Springs High School.
Barbara O’Brien moved to Bonner Springs at age 4 from Boston. She attended Sacred Heart through the 8th grade and then attended Bonner Springs High School, where she was active in debate, was a member of the yearbook staff and was inducted into National Honors Society.
O’Brien attended the University of Kansas, where she earned degrees in Journalism and Women’s Studies. Her career has taken her to both coasts and her achievements include the earning of her Master’s Degree in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design, being editor in chief of the Art New England magazine, directing the Trustman Art Gallery and directing the visiting artist program and the gallery at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts. In addition she was an assistant professor of art at Simmons College in Boston.
O’Brien joined the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in 2009 as curator. During the past three years O’Brien’s responsibilities have included being the chief curator and the director of exhibitions and collections.
In June of 2012, O’Brien was named the director of the Kemper Museum. She continued her role of chief curator until the end of 2012 by overseeing planned exhibits of Frederick James Brown and “The Map as Art.”
Her goal in the forthcoming year is to look at “how we keep our excellent visitor experience” and determine with her employees and volunteers “… what kind of presence we want to have on the regional and national stage as we move toward the (Kemper’s) 20th anniversary.”
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