Distinguished Alumni

First recipients
Congratulations!
Congratulations!
The first class of Distinguished Alumni was honored at the Homecoming football game on Sept. 26, 2014, at Panther Stadium. Pictured, from left: Teresa (January) Hensley; Beth (Long) Files; Chris Molendorp; and Larry Dobson. Earlier in the day, the recipients were guests of honor at a luncheon and a tailgate party. You can read more about the recipients below.

Foundation announces recipients of Distinguished Alumni Award
The Raymore-Peculiar Public School Foundation announces four graduates of Raymore-Peculiar High School as the first recipients of the foundation’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Larry L. DobsonBeth (Long) FilesTeresa (January) Hensley, and Chris Molendorp will be formally recognized between the first and second quarters of the Homecoming football game on Sept. 26 at Panther Stadium.

The Foundation established the award to honor and recognize alumni who exemplify the values, tradition and success of Raymore-Peculiar High School, Peculiar High School, and Raymore High School. The public was invited to nominate individuals for the award.


Larry Dobson
Larry Dobson
Larry Dobson
Larry L. Dobson, a 1966 graduate of Raymore-Peculiar, and his wife of 43 years, Mary, have spent their entire lives in the Peculiar and Raymore communities where they raised their two children, Lauren and Scott.

Dobson received a bachelor’s degree in education, a master’s degree in guidance and counseling, and a specialist degree in guidance and counseling, all from the University of Central Missouri. He taught and was a counselor in the Blue Springs School District for 20 years and was a teacher, counselor, and administrator at Raymore-Peculiar for 10 years.  After retirement, he spent 12 years working part-time in the Belton School District.

While still in college, Dobson began giving back to his community by teaching Sunday School at the Peculiar United Methodist Church and did so for the next 32 years. He held many other offices for the church, including serving as church treasurer for 17 years. 

During his tenure as counselor in Blue Springs, Dobson served as chairman of the elementary counselors, and held offices in the Greater Kansas City Guidance Association. He also taught parenting classes for the James Walker PTA and presented sessions at many area PTA meetings and parenting fairs; his topic was the importance of fathers in the lives of children. He was twice selected by the Blue Springs District as "Employee of the Month."

In 1992, Dobson was elected to the Raymore-Peculiar School Board and served a total of four terms, until 2004. During his time on the Board, he served as vice-president and president. He has served on the Wills Cemetery Association Board of Directors for nearly 25 years, the past several years as president.   In addition, he currently serves as president of Caring Hearts of Peculiar and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Commerce Bank of Harrisonville. He and Mary are officers and board members of the Peculiar Charitable Foundation.  Dobson is a board member of the Raymore-Peculiar Public School Foundation and currently chairs the Alumni Committee, which has the goal of establishing a Raymore-Peculiar Alumni Association.

During the last few years, Dobson has filled his retirement with activities and travels.  He has enjoyed being part of the home construction industry, building several custom homes and developed the Centennial Farms subdivision in Peculiar. In addition, his hobbies include gardening, flowers and bluebirds.  He has hosted many visitors to his iris beds, which contain more than 300 varieties. He also grows and gives away oak trees and Christmas cactus.

As part of his dedication to the bluebird, Dobson became a charter member of the Missouri Bluebird Society, and has served as vice-president for three years.  He and Mary travel across the state giving presentations to many organizations and schools about the Eastern Bluebird, Missouri's State Bird. Larry received the "True Blue" award from the Missouri Bluebird Society in 2013 for his many hours of service and educational efforts to promote awareness of the bluebird.

Dobson enjoys performing many random acts of kindness and believes strongly in the motto:  "Together we can make a difference," especially as it pertains to his community and alma mater, Raymore-Peculiar. 

Beth (Long) Files
Beth Files
Beth (Long) Files
Beth (Long) Files graduated from Raymore-Peculiar in 1979. While in high school, she was a member of the band, choir, volleyball team, basketball team, track team and pom-pon squad. 

After graduation, Files attended Wichita State University and University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and performance and a Master’s degree in Choral Conducting. She also did post-graduate studies in communication disorders from University of Central Missouri. 

Files began her teaching career in 1983 at Raymore-Peculiar and also taught in the Harrisonville and Blue Valley School Districts. She currently teaches in the Lee’s Summit School District where she was recently named the 2014-15 Teacher of the Year.

During her career as a teacher, Files has organized many music trips for students both in the United States and Europe, conducted more than 500 performances and recently developed a tiered choir festival for grades 4-12. As a member of the American Choral Director Association and Missouri Music Educators, Files has led music conference sessions on the national, regional and state levels. Beth and her husband, Mark, have two children and live in Lake Winnebago.

Teresa (January) Hensley
Teresa (January) Hensley
Teresa (January) Hensley
Teresa (January) Hensley began kindergarten at Raymore Elementary and remained at Ray-Pec until graduating in 1977. She received a bachelor’s degree from William Jewell College and her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School. She married Kenny Hensley in 1979. They have been married 35 years and have one son, Frank, who lives in Los Angeles, with his wife Heather. Teresa's parents still reside in Raymore.

Hensley served on the Raymore Board of Aldermen, Raymore Planning and Zoning Board, and the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board. A former board member of Hope Haven from 2006 to 2010, she remains active with the Domestic Violence Coalition. She also remains active with the Bel-Ray Sunrise Lions Club, the Harrisonville Rotary Club, the Harrisonville Business and Professional Women, and Beta Sigma Phi of Lake Winnebago.

Hensley opened a law office with her husband in 1991 in Raymore and was a practicing attorney and partner for 14 years with the Hensley Law Firm before becoming the Cass County Prosecutor in 2005. Hensley is a certified family law mediator. She has taught social studies at Leavenworth Public Schools in the Alternative Program and taught criminal law at William Jewell College.

Hensley is currently the Cass County Prosecutor and has served in that position for almost 10 years. Hensley received the 2010 Missouri Attorney General's Justice Award for Domestic Violence Prevention. This year she was selected to chair the Missouri DWI and Traffic Safety Best Practices Committee by the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.

Chris Molendorp
Chris Molendorp
Chris Molendorp
Peculiar native and 1987 graduate Chris Molendorp has enjoyed success in business, civic, charitable and political leadership over the last 20 years throughout Cass County.

Currently, Molendorp represents the 56th District as a member of the Missouri House of Representatives, a position to which he was elected in 2008. As the first Raymore-Peculiar graduate to serve in the Missouri General Assembly, Molendorp’s legislative focus centers around Missouri’s health care policy, issues vital to the Kansas City area, and the expansion of Missouri HealthNet. He is Chairman of the House Health Insurance Committee, and received numerous awards, including: Legislator of the Year from the Missouri Optometric Association, The Public Official Award from the Missouri Parks and Recreation Association, a Leadership Award from the Midwest Hemophilia Association, and Legislative Excellence Awards from the Missouri Dental Association, the Design Build Institute, the Missouri Association of Realtors and the Associated Industries of Missouri. 

Before his election to the Missouri House, Molendorp joined his father’s insurance agency in 1996, taking over as president in 2004. The Molendorp Insurance Agency, Inc. was a long-time member of the Raymore Chamber of Commerce and donor to many area civic, educational and civic causes. Over their 36 years in business, the Molendorp Agency was honored for sales and service by the Farmers Insurance Group, Inc. and named “Business of the Month” by the Raymore Chamber of Commerce. The family sold the agency in June 2013.

Molendorp also served the community in several ways, including:  State Revenue Agent with the Missouri Department of Revenue in Harrisonville; Board of Directors, Hope Haven, Research Belton Hospital and Bel-Ray Sunrise Lions Club; President, Belton Chamber of Commerce and Chairman, Cass County Republican Party from 2000-2004. He also served the City of Raymore as a member of the Park Board from 1994-1995 and as a member of the City Council from 1995-1997.

Molendorp began his career as Director of Finance for Missouri Congressman R. Wendell Bailey's gubernatorial campaign and later served as his administrative assistant.

Molendorp received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science at the University of Missouri – Columbia.  He and his sons, Tyler and Blake, live in Belton, where they attend the Belton Christian Church.