This year’s inductees include Jarrett Monroe for rodeo, Katie Stokes for volleyball, Katherine Sunwall for volleyball and basketball, Willis Taylor for football and Eric Zahler for football.
A special induction ceremony and brunch will be held in honor of the inductees. The brunch is free for ages 5 and below, $7 for ages 6-17 and $15 for adults. If you are interested in purchasing tickets, please contact Kelly Allen in the Montana Western Foundation office at 406-683-7306.
Jarret Monroe was a rodeo student-athlete at the University of Montana Western from 2004-2006.
As a rodeo athlete, Jarrett received several honors starting in high school and continued his success into his college career. Jarrett was the High School National Finals Saddle Bronc Champion in 2001 and the High School National Finals All-Around Champion in 2002. While at Montana Western he was the 2006 Big Sky Region Champion Saddle Bronc Champion. He also was the Champion at the Indian National Finals events in 2003, 2005, and 2012 in Saddle Bronc.
Jarrett is currently the owner and manager of a custom haying and trucking business and lives in Brocket, Alberta, Canada with his wife, Francine, and their four children: Madison, Erin, Ayrianna and JW.
Katie Stokes earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with a related area in wildland interpretation in 2004.
As a volleyball student-athlete at Montana Western, Katie was a Frontier Conference Player of the Week in 2001 and 2002, an All Conference Honorable Mention in 2001, set the UMW record for digs in 2002, was the Frontier Conference MVP in 2002, the Most Valuable Defensive Player in 2002, was a First Team All Conference and All Region athlete in 2002 and an NAIA All American Honorable Mention in 2002.
Katie is currently the Director of Marketing for the Montana Stockgrowers Association. She lives in Helena, Mont. with her husband Matt and their son Tristen.
Katherine Sunwall graduated from Montana Western in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education.
As a volleyball and basketball student-athlete at Montana Western, Katherine received several honors. For volleyball, she was a 2002 Freshman of the Year, a First Team All Conference athlete 2003-2005, a 2004 First Team All Region athlete, a 2005 Frontier Conference MVP and a 2005 NAIA Third Team All American.
In Basketball, Katherine was a 2004 Frontier Conference Freshman of the Year. From 2004-2007, she was a First Team All Conference athlete. For 3 seasons, 2005-2007, Katherine was the Frontier Conference Defensive Player of the Year. In 2005, she was both an NAIA and WBCA All American Honorable Mention. In 2006, she was an NAIA All American Second Team athlete and a WBCA All American Honorable Mention. In 2007, Katherine was an MVP of the Frontier Conference and an NAIA and WBCA All American First Team Athlete, and led the nation in blocks.
Katherine is a kindergarten teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School in Great Falls, Mont. where she has been teaching for seven years. In addition, she continues to coach basketball at Great Falls High School which she began in 2010 and also coached volleyball from 2013-2017. Katherine also played professional basketball in Finland from 2007-2008.
Willis Taylor was a football student-athlete at the University of Montana Western from 1994-1996.
As a football athlete at Montana Western, Willis received several honors. Willis was a three-time All Conference Wide Receiver and was a member of the back to back Frontier Conference Championship Teams in 1994 and 1995. He was the Bulldog Team Captain in 1996 and earned an Honorable Mention from the 1996 Black Issues in Higher Education’s Second Annual Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Awards Program.
After opening stores for Patagonia on the east and west coasts, Willis managed the extended day program for 16 years at the Gardner School of Arts & Sciences, a private progressive school. Recently his wife Jackie started her own school, The Lupine Experiential School, where he currently teaches physical education. Willis lives in Vancouver, Washington with his wife Jackie and their two children, Gracie and Carver.
Eric Zahler graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education in Health and Human Performance and History from Montana Western in 2007. He also earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Walden University in 2017.
As a football student-athlete at Montana Western from 2001-2004, Eric was an athlete on two Frontier Conference Championship Teams in 2002 and 2004, a 3-time First Team All Conference Punter, a 2-time First Team All Conference Kicker, a Second Team All Conference Kicker, a First Team All American Punter, a Second Team All American Punter, an Honorable Mention All American Punter and Kicker, a 2-time Academic All Conference athlete and a 2009 NAIA All Decade First Team Punter.
Eric lives in Butte, Mont. with his wife Geah, and their two children, Reece and Brooklyn. He has taught Adapted PE, Library and Media, Health, Weights, and Montana History for the past 12 years in the Butte School District and has been a soccer, football and track coach at Butte High School for the past 14 years.