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Alumni Feature: Laura Ice (NHS 1976)

Laura Ice, a 1976 graduate and fourth-generation lawyer, recently bid farewell to an illustrious career, retiring as the Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Textron Financial Corporation in 2023.

Laura's journey with Textron Financial Corporation spanned 26 years, beginning in 1997. The company specializes in providing financing for Textron aviation products, including iconic aircraft like Bell helicopters and Textron Aviation's Cessna, Beechcraft, and Hawker. 

In her role, Laura worked closely with clients, skillfully structuring loans and leases that adhered to legal standards while safeguarding the company's interests.

Her legal prowess earned her a well-deserved spot on the Wichita Business Journal's 2017 Wichita Women in Business list.

In 2014, Laura received both the Kansas Bar Association's Professionalism Award and the Wichita Bar Association's Howard C. Kline Distinguished Service Award, showcasing her commitment to legal excellence and community service.

Beyond her corporate accomplishments, Laura's influence extended globally. She played a vital role in facilitating legal processes worldwide, helping to finance Textron sales and leaving a mark on the international legal landscape.

Reflecting on her high school years, Laura participated in forensics, speech, theater, orchestra and journalism classes.

Laura attributes her ability to write eloquently to these formative years. Overcoming shyness through participation in forensics, speech, and orchestra, she learned the skill of addressing audiences— something that proved crucial in her later legal career.

Laura's unexpected foray into sports, attempting discus and shot put, led to a memorable twist as she found herself on the first-ever girls' golf team at Newton High School. Despite playing at courses well above their talent level, the team created enduring memories, with one teammate losing all her golf balls at a tournament—a tale that still brings a smile to Laura's face.

While many teachers left a lasting impact, Laura fondly remembers her speech teacher, Bev Hunter, and French teacher, Linda Davis, as particularly influential. Despite struggling with math, Laura shares teacher Clarence Niles's efforts were not in vain, highlighting the support and encouragement she found in her educational journey.

In the fall of 2023, Laura received an esteemed Alumni Fellows award from Washburn University where she attended law school.

To any Newton High School students looking to follow a similar path, Laura advises: 

"Try everything to find what you do best. Learn to write and get up in front of people. And remember, you don't have to know exactly what you want to do as an adult when you are in high school."