Lawyer, journalist and retired teacher named as inductees to Lawrence High School Hall of Honor

photo by: Contributed Photos

Pictured from left to right are 2022 Lawrence Lions Alumni Association Hall of Honor inductees Michael Gottlieb, Brianne Pfannenstiel and David Platt.

The Lawrence Lions Alumni Association has announced three new inductees to the Lawrence High School Hall of Honor.

After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the alumni association will induct Michael Gottlieb, Brianne Pfannenstiel and David Platt into the school’s Hall of Honor next month, according to a news release. The Hall of Honor, which was initiated in 1994, recognizes graduates of Liberty Memorial High School and Lawrence High School who have distinguished themselves in their professions or made significant contributions to society on a state, national or international level. Honorees also may include individuals who, while not alumni, have contributed significantly to the success of the two schools and their graduates.

“The Hall of Honor is something the Alumni Association is incredibly proud of and we believe that this year’s inductees exemplify the best parts of Lawrence High School history,” LLAA Board of Trustees President Jessica (Rodriguez) Larsen said in the release. “We hope that the public will join us to celebrate their successes.”

Gottlieb, a 1995 Lawrence High School graduate, is a partner in the litigation department, chair of the crisis management group and co-chair of the media & first amendment practice at Willkie Farr & Gallagher, LLC, in Washington, D.C. He previously served as associate counsel to President Barack Obama, as the deputy director of an international civil-military task force devoted to rule of law and anti-corruption development in Afghanistan, as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Central District of California, and as a staffer on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Prior to becoming a prosecutor, Gottlieb was a law clerk for Justice John Paul Stevens on the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Stephen Reinhardt on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Pfannenstiel, a 2006 Lawrence High School graduate, is the chief political reporter at the Des Moines (Iowa) Register. She is a frequent guest on television and radio to discuss her work, including on CNN, MSNBC, C-SPAN and NPR. She was a co-moderator of the 2020 presidential debate in Des Moines with CNN’s Abby Phillip and Wolf Blitzer. Prior to the Des Moines Register, Pfannenstiel has written for the Lawrence Journal-World, Kansas City Star and Kansas City Business Journal, covering a range of beats, including health care, state and local government and politics.

Platt, a recently retired teacher, began at LHS as a student teacher in 1989. Over his tenure, he sponsored clubs such as Student Government, Geography Club, Gaming Club, Philosophy Club, Bike Club and Science Fiction Club. He also coached soccer and basketball and assisted with the school’s debate program. Over the years, Platt took more than 50 groups of students on trips around the globe, including to international destinations such as China, the Galápagos Islands and Egypt, as well as many destinations around the U.S. Platt was named Teacher of the Year by many senior classes during his teaching career. He retired from teaching in May 2022.

The Hall of Honor induction ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, in the Lawrence High School cafeteria. The ceremony, typically held annually during homecoming weekend, is free and open to the public. A list of prior inductees can be found at


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