2010 Distinguished Alumni

Dr. Carla Koretsky, Wheeling Class of '89

CarlaKoretskyAfter graduating from Wheeling High School, Dr. Carla Koretsky received her B.A. cum laude in Earth and Planetary Sciences with minors in Economics and Music Performance (violin) from Washington University in St. Louis, and she completed an M.A. and Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University.

Koretsky is currently an associate professor in the Geosciences Department and the Environmental Studies Program at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Koretsky is an expert in the field of aqueous geochemistry. She conducts field, laboratory and computer modeling studies to investigate the chemistry of wetlands and lakes, with a particular interest in better understanding the interactions of metal contaminants with natural waters, sediments, and soils.

Her work has been supported by more than $1 million dollars of research funding from agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the American Chemical Society and the Office of Naval Research. In 2003, Koretsky was awarded a prestigious NSF CAREER grant, given to promising young scientists. She has served on panel review boards for NSF, DOE, and the Naval Research Laboratory. In the past 10 years, Koretsky has authored or coauthored more than 75 abstracts, journal articles and book chapters.

Dr. Koretsky is married to Johnson Haas, and enjoys running marathons and riding her ex-racehorse, Jasper, in her free time.


Dr. Mark Lathan, Wheeling Class of '79

MarkLathamDr. Mark Lathan graduated from Wheeling High School in 1979. While taking part in an array of musical groups at WHS, including the Wind Symphony, Jazz Band, and Madrigal Singers, he began to compose music as well. He received his Bachelor's degree in performance from Northern Illinois University in 1983.

After nine years of teaching, playing, and composing in and around the Chicago area, Lathan relocated to Los Angeles in 1992. There he attended UCLA, receiving his Master’s Degree in 1997 and his Ph.D. in 2001. He received several merit scholarships while at UCLA, including the Henry Mancini Award in Film Composition.

Lathan’s work is highly varied: he has arranging and production credit on a number of commercial recordings, numerous jazz band pieces, concert works, and several film scores. He has composed two choral cantatas, "Inheritance of Love" and "Song of Hope." Fifteen of his compositions have been published. He was a contributing arranger for renowned jazz drummer Louis Bellson's Sacred Concerto, which was released on the Percussion Power label in 2005. Two of his arrangements appear on the 2005 Los Angeles Flute Quartet CD "Above and Beyond," and his Trumpet Concerto was premiered by Mark Baldin and the Rockford Symphony Orchestra in November 2009 as part of their 75th Anniversary Season Celebration. The music programs at Wheeling High School have employed Lathan’s talents on several pieces for the WHS Jazz Band and Orchestra as well as an edition of the Wildcat fight song.

Lathan is currently a Music Professor at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, IL where he teaches Music Theory, Composition, Trumpet, Recording Techniques and Humanities. He lives in Bartlett with his wife Barbara and their 14-year-old son Matt.