A regional businessman and a decorated Army officer have earned the Distinguished Alumni award from North Platte High School.

The North Platte Public Schools Foundation announced the two honorees Friday.

They are:

Joe Staroska (Class of 1992) for Outstanding Accomplishments in Business and Service to the Community

Mr. Joe Staroska was nominated by his wife Wendy Staroska. Staroska is a 1992 graduate of NPHS and went on to attend the University of Nebraska Lincoln while also serving in the Army National Guard. He earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a masters in communication from UNL.

He pursued law school in Chicago and was accepted to three, before deferring to pursue a business venture in North Platte. He served in the Army National Guard from 1991-2005. In 2004 Joe, along with his business partner Scott Erickson, purchased Weathercraft Roofing.

Together they have expanded their business to 15 locations in 5 states. He has earned Weathercraft coveted awards including the Eagle award and the Firestone Master Contractor.

Joe has served his community in various capacities including the North Platte Chamber of Commerce, North Platte Public Schools Foundation board, NebraskaLand Days board, Cody Cavalry, North Platte Ambassadors, North Platte City Zoning Board of Adjustment, Prairie Lake Boat Club board and he is a member of First Presbyterian Church.

Staroska and wife Wendy have a daughter Blakely who attends Eisenhower Elementary School.


Col. Jeff Buck (Class of ’87), Outstanding Accomplishments in the Military

Col. Jeff Buck was nominated by Darrell Drullinger. Buck is a 1987 graduate of North Platte High where he was a National Honor Society member and a three-year athletic letter winner.

He earned a bachelor of science in business administration (Summa Cum Laude) from the University of Nebraska-Kearney in 1995, where he was a distinguished military graduate. He earned a master of business administration from Webster University and a master of strategic studies in 2017 at the United Army War College.

Col. Buck has served successfully in command and staff positions across the world, including the Pentagon. He has served in multiple combat zones, including Operation Desert Shield/Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Col. Buck has earned the Bronze Star (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal (six awards); Army Commendation Medal (two awards) and the Army Achievement Medal (two awards).

He continues to serve at Fort Sill, Okla., where he lives with his wife Michelle and sons Cody and Trevor.


Honor ceremony

Staroska and Buck will be honored at the annual “Education after Hours” celebration from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 6.

Foundation Executive Director Jody Howard said distinguished alumni are selected by a committee of foundation board members, high school administrators and alumni, as well as community members.

At Education after Hours, the foundation will also honor the teachers of the year, the administrator of the year and the staff member of the year.

For more info or ticket information, contact the North Platte Public Schools Foundation at (308) 696-3325 or visit www.nppsf.org.