ST MARY CATHEDRAL SCHOOL DISTINGUISHED GRADUATE RECIPIENT FOR 2020
The St. Mary's School board is pleased to announce that Ken Ostendorf is the recipient of the 2020 NCEA Distinguished Graduate Award. Ken is a 1958 graduate of St. Mary Cathedral School and a 1962 graduate of Notre Dame High School. He attended Southeast Missouri State University, where he graduated from in 1966 with a BS in Education. He soon became a business teacher at Valle High School in Sainte Genevieve. During his time there he was drafted to the Vietnam War where he served in the army from 1967-1969. He came back and received his Master’s in Education from University of Southern Illinois Carbondale in 1970. While working on his Masters, he taught one year at Oak Ridge and then went on to teach at Meadow Heights for 3 years. He taught for 25 years at Cape Central Junior High School. When he retired from there, he taught at Notre Dame Regional High School part time for 14 years. He taught thousands of students during his 44 years of service to education.
Ken is the son of Albert and Olivia Ostendorf and brother of Margaret Ostendorf, who were members of St. Mary Cathedral parish for their entire lives. He married Mary Ann (Bles) Ostendorf in 1975. Mary Ann taught here at St. Mary Cathedral School for 24 years. He and Mary have four children who all attended and graduated from St. Mary Cathedral School and Notre Dame High School. His children are Dr. Ann Ostendorf, Jill Murphree, Mark Ostendorf, and Nick Ostendorf. They have six grandchildren, Connor, Alex, Andrew, Zelie, Beatrice, and Dominic. They are all very proud of the work their father and grandfather has done in our community.
Ken’s career in education has been very helpful for the community and successful on many levels. He was the recording secretary for the Historical Association of Greater Cape Girardeau for many years and worked at the Glenn House as a result. He was on the original school board of St. Mary Cathedral School and served on it for 3 years. He also served on the parish council for 3 years as well, served as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion for many years and is the current treasurer for the Alumni Association. In addition to his time helping in the parish, he and his family have been a support for Notre Dame Regional High School. Shortly after Ken’s sister, Margaret passed away they started a scholarship in her name for art students. They also were one of the original members of the Annunciation Society here at St. Mary. The roots of the Ostendorfs are deeply seeded here at St. Mary too, with the first baptism at the parish being a distant cousin of Ken’s. We are proud of all that Ken has done in educating thousands of children in the Southeast Missouri area, particularly here in Cape Girardeau.
We are extremely proud to recognize Kenneth Ostendorf as our Distinguished Graduate for 2020.