Bettendorf High School has honored four outstanding graduates as new members of the school’s Hall of Honor during a ceremony at BHS Commons.

2021 Hall of Honor Inductees

  • Heather Ames ……..…………………..….Class of 1998
  • Keri Neblett ……………………………………Class of 1988
  • Patrick McNally……….……………………Class of 1984
  • Michael Rutledge …..…………………………Class of 1989

“I am extremely excited to be a part of a tradition that honors the accomplishments of our alumni in their respective fields,” said Robert Boley, principal, Bettendorf High School. “How these four individuals have taken their experiences from the Bettendorf Community School District and forged their paths is a testament to the opportunities our district creates and provides for our students. We welcome these individuals back to Bettendorf High School to celebrate their accomplishments as a district, and as a community. Please join us in honoring these individuals.”

Bettendorf High School established the Hall of Honor recognition program in 1992 to honor graduates who have achieved a notably high level of performance in career or profession, influenced the lives of others in some positive manner, and achieved a place of distinction in the area of public or community service.

Nominees must have:

  • Graduated from Bettendorf High School more than 10 years prior to the induction
  • Achieved outstanding success in his or her career
  • Made a significant contribution to the community or to society
  • Demonstrated distinction in professional, public, and/or community service
  • Demonstrated a positive influence on the lives of others

Plaques are presented to each individual at the induction ceremony during Homecoming week every other year.  The engraved plaque containing a photograph and citation for each nominee is posted on permanent display at the high school, 3333 18th St. Bettendorf.

Here’s a look at the achievements of each honoree:

HEATHER AMES, Class of 1998


  • Bachelor of Science (BS) Cognitive Neuroscience, University of California, Berkeley (2003)
  • UC Berkeley Undergraduate Grant Recipient, 1998 • Donald Schaefer Physical Sciences Scholar, 1998-2002 • Graduated with honors
  • PhD in Cognitive and Neural Systems, Boston University (2009)

BU Outstanding Teaching Fellow, 2005 • Advisory board member for the CELEST Student and Postdoc Organization • President of the Center of Excellence for Learning in Education, Science, and Technology (CELEST) Student and Postdoc Organization • Co-founder and chair of National Science Foundation (NSF) inter-Science of Learning Centers (iSLC student and postdoc) national organization


Women in IT, Woman of the Year Finalist, 2020 • Top Leader in Boston Tech Scene, Lead(Her), Venture Fizz, 2020 • Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year National Finalist, New England Winner, 2019 • BostInno 50 on Fire Finalist, 2019 • Google CloudNOW Top Women in Cloud, 2017 • Co-Founder, COO, board member of Neurala Inc., 2006-present • Associate Director and Research Assistant Professor – Center for Computational Neuroscience and Neural Technology (CompNet) at Boston University, 2012-2017 • Executive Director and Co-PI, and Governing Board Member at CELEST- NSF-funded, multi-institutional Science of Learning Center, Boston University, 2012-2017


Advisor and Mentor for TechStars Entrepreneurship Program, 2020-2021 • Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year New England judge, 2020-2021 • Director of Undergraduate Summer Program in Neuroscience for underrepresented minorities and women, Boston University, 2014-2017 • Lead judge for CELEST awards at the Boston University Science Day, 2012-2013 • Member of the Boston University Research Faculty task force, 2011-2016 • Member of the Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures Program Committee, 2011-2013 • Chair for Autonomous Robotics Workshop for the International Conference on Cognitive and Neural Systems, 2012 • Workshop co-chair for ICCNS, 2008-2010 • Chair for the CELEST student led Career Day, 2007-2008

PATRICK MCNALLY, Class of 1984

Captain, United States Navy, 1989-2018


  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) Communication Studies, University of Iowa
  • Masters of Arts (MA) Public Relations, San Diego State University
  • Masters of Science (MS) Computer Systems Management, University of Maryland


Explosive Ordnance Disposal Diver, Operation Desert Storm • Special Operations Officer and Mixed-Gas Diving Supervisor • Operations Officer, USS Edenton and Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit Two • Selected for Navy Public Affairs Community • Navy National News Desk Officer • Public Affairs Officer, USS John C. Stennis, US Navy Surface and Submarine Forces • Deputy Director for Public Affairs, Joint Chiefs of Staff • Deputy Chief of Information, US Navy • Director of Communications for the Secretary of the Navy

Awarded Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V,” Joint Achievement Medal, as well as various campaign and service awards

KERI NEBLETT, Class of 1988


  • Bachelor of Science Psychology, Minor in Social Work, University of Iowa, 1992
  • Dean’s List, Fall 1988 • Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society
  • Masters of Social Work, Integrated Practice, University of Iowa, 2002
  • Delta Nu Chapter, Phi Alpha Honor Society


Provided technical assistance and support to nineteen Iowa substance use disorder treatment organizations implementing systemwide change for suicide safer care • Developed a nationally-recognized crisis chat and text program at The Crisis Center of Johnson County providing increased access to mental health and crisis services • Coordinated disaster assistance for over 450 families after the 2008 flood and was recognized as a “Hero of the Flood” by The Press Citizen • Selected as a committee member for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Standards, Training and Practices Committee, 2015 – 2019 • Founded and chaired the Johnson County Suicide Prevention Coalition, 2009 – 2019 • Selected as an Accreditation Site Evaluator for the International Council for Helplines, 2012 – present • Presented at the American Association of Suicidology and International Association of Suicide Prevention conferences • Awarded the Corridor Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award in 2010 and the Mason’s Award for Uplifting of the Underrepresented Population in the Community in 2011


Rape victim advocate at the Rape Victim Advocacy Program and Crisis Counselor with the Crisis Center of Johnson County • Court advocate at the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program • Volunteer with the Therapy Dogs of Johnson County with her READ certified therapy dog, Luke, providing reading assistance to elementary children at school and at the library • Member of board of directors for the MINK (Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas) Runaway and Homeless Youth Board, NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), The Crisis Center of Johnson County, and AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) Iowa Chapter • Member of the Iowa City Human Rights Commission and the Johnson County Mental Health Advisory Council • Recipient of the State of Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Award, 1996 • CASA Volunteer of the Year, Sixth Judicial District, 2002


Chief Warrant Officer Four, United States Military Academy


  • Saint Ambrose University
  • Embry Riddle Aeronautical University


Navy Helicopter Rescue Swimmer Instructor • Navy SEAL/ SEAL Team ONE – Advanced Skills Instructor and Platoon Leader • Army Master Aviator • MH-47G Helicopter Instructor Pilot • Test Pilot Examiner and Platoon Leader • 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) • Eighteen combat deployments including Desert Storm, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan and numerous contingency deployments • Element leader on the assault for world’s most wanted terrorist • Commander 2nd Aviation Detachment – Military Leadership and Character Development Instructor at the United States Military Academy West Point • Retired in 2019 after thirty years of active duty • Current CEO of Rutledge Airborne specializing in aerial application of pest control products and aerial wildland firefighting

Awarded Legion of Merit, Bronze Star (2), Meritorious Service Medal (2), Air Medal of Valor (4), Numerous personal achievement awards


Volunteer coach for Jr High and High School • Mentor for West Point Cadet Parachute Team, Division I Swim and Football teams • Coach for Cadet Flying Team • Mentor for Orange County Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES) • Middlebury, IN volunteer firefighter