Robertson County Hall of Fame honorees
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With the REdI Education Foundation gearing up for its inaugural Robertson County Hall of Fame induction ceremony, scheduled for May 14, The Connection continues to feature the inductees leading up to the big night of celebration.

The second feature includes inductees Michael Korfhage, White House Heritage High School Class of 2005 and Mark Sletto, Springfield High School Class of 1987.

The Connection reached out to each of the nominees, receiving a brief bio and also had them submit answers to a questionnaire.

Michael Korfhage

Michael Korfhage, who is a graduate of White House Heritage High School Class of 2005, is an illustrator and commercial artist based in middle Tennessee.

After graduating from Watkins College of Art, Design & Film with a graphic design degree, Korfhage took his entrepreneurial spirit to the world of freelance illustration.

His work is fueled by spontaneity and discovery, and his influences include folk art and mid-century design.

Even when finishing work digitally, Korfhage embraces the charming imperfections that result from drawings created by the human hand.

He prides himself on creating images that can be appreciated by as wide an audience as possible. Korfhage is known for being able to distill a client’s message into a piece of art that is engaging and easy to understand.

He has worked with several clients that range from internationally known brands to small start-up endeavors. Some of them include TIME Magazine, American Greetings, The Boston Globe, Family Circle, Fast Company, Warby Parker and Viacom/CMT.

Korfhage and his wife Rachel have a daughter Elizabeth and live in Hendersonville.

Who is the teacher or administrator that most inspired you…and why?

A:  Our SRO Officer Nick Hurt was a great role model for me during my one year at Heritage. He genuinely cared about the students and was a great source of encouragement for me personally.

We both shared a love of drawing and a similar sense of humor. His mentorship helped me establish a sense of confidence that I struggled with as a teenager. He was an important part of my education.

Was there a factor in your Robertson County education that helped to guide you to become the person you are today?

A: I think that growing up and going to school in a small community helps a person realize at an early age that their reputation is valuable and that it precedes them no matter their age.

What do you hold dear about Robertson County?

A: Growing up in the smaller community helped me to learn a sense of accountability goes hand in hand with the idea that we should also take care of our neighbors in times of need.

What note of encouragement could you provide to current high school students?

A: Take time to enjoy simple pleasures in life. Have perspective about what is really important and it will be easy to stay grateful for opportunities that come your way.

What was your favorite hangout as a teenager in Robertson County?

The White House City Park and riding my bike on the greenway.

 

Mark Sletto

Sletto graduated from Springfield High School in 1987 and from Austin Peay State University in 1993, with a Bachelor’s degree in public management and a concentration in criminal justice.

In 1993, Sletto became a police officer with the Springfield Police Department, where he initiated, developed, organized and implemented the Citizens Police Academy program for the department.

In 1995, Sletto accepted a position with the City of Brentwood Planning and Codes Department as a Planner, reviewing commercial site plans and residential development plans for compliance with local codes and regulations.

He maintained statistical data pertaining to residential and commercial land use while assisting the public with questions regarding zoning requirements and floodplain restrictions.

In 1997, Sletto graduated from Trevecca Nazarene University with a Master’s degree in organizational management.

It was the year 2000 that he accepted a position with the United States Secret Service as a special agent assigned to the Nashville field office.

Sletto worked criminal investigations involving bank fraud, identity theft, credit card fraud, counterfeit currency, protective intelligence and was a member of the Secret Service’s Electronic Crimes Special Agent Program where he received training as a computer forensics examiner.

Additionally, Sletto provided protective support for president’s Carter, Bush (41), Clinton, Bush (43) and vice president’s Gore and Cheney, both domestically and internationally and numerous visiting heads of

state.

In 2007 Sletto was reassigned to the protection detail for President George H.W. Bush (41) and Barbara

Bush, in Houston, Texas and Kennebunkport, Maine.

He worked as a shift agent, limo/follow-up driver, advance agent, operations/logistic agent, shift leader, acting detail leader and was trained as a Secret Service Rescue Swimmer.

In 2012, Sletto was reassigned to the Houston field office where he resumed working criminal investigations and computer forensic examinations. He continued to provide protective support to the former Presidents, President Obama and Vice President Biden.

During the 2016 Presidential campaign, Sletto was assigned to Dr. Ben Carson’s protection detail.

Later that same year, he accepted a position as a Senior Special Agent with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, in the Digital Evidence Recovery and Technical Support Unit, located in Jacksonville, Fla.

He conducts analysis of digital evidence, to include computers and mobile devices, in support of Federal and international wildlife crime and smuggling investigations, and provides training to other Federal agencies and international law enforcement groups on digital evidence and wildlife investigation techniques.

Sletto assists with the developing policy and procedures for digital evidence acquisition and analysis for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Sletto lives in Jacksonville with his wife Angel LaRock Sletto and children Colton, Baylee and Kendyl.

Who is the teacher or administrator that most inspired you…and why?

A: It is very difficult to pick one teacher that most inspired me during my high school years, because my mother, the late Carol Sletto, was a teacher at the high school. I always had frequent contact with many teachers. Some that standout in my memory are Mrs. Lynne Colvin, Mr. Kevin Ragland, Mr. Clayton Sykes, Mrs. Carolyn Kirby, Mrs. Francis Jones, Mr. Rick Highsmith, Mrs. Judy Stanley and Mr. Tom Powell. All of these teachers, along with those I have accidently left off the list, positively influenced my time at Springfield High.

Was there a factor in your Robertson County education that helped to guide you to become the

person you are today?

A: It is hard to pinpoint one thing that affected me more than my work with Mr. Rick Highsmith, a teacher and my first supervisor at the Springfield swimming pool. He helped to guide me to be the person I am today, both personally and professionally. Though I did not appreciate it at the time, the lessons he instilled - being accountable, being reliable, being attentive to details and avoiding shortcuts, would serve me well throughout my adult, professional life.

What do you hold dear about Robertson County?

A: The thing I hold most dear about Robertson County are my friends and the memories of growing up in a small town in Tennessee. Many of my friends still live in Springfield and Robertson County, so whenever possible, I visit to chat and reminisce about the good old days.

What note of encouragement could you provide to current high school students?

A: Never give up on your dream. Anything is possible as long as you work hard and take a chance.

Remember, the choices you make as a youth can have an effect on your future. Experience the world.

Don’t be afraid to move a new location, take a new job and make new friends. It is in change that

opportunity occurs.

What was your favorite hangout as a teenager in Robertson County?

A: My friends and I used to hang out on the McDonalds patio on the corner of Memorial Boulevard and Industrial Drive every Friday and Saturday night. We would sit have a few laughs while telling lots of stories. When we got bored, we would cruise the strip (Memorial Boulevard) and listen to music.

What is your favorite memory of your high school and/or your graduating class?

A: I have many wonderful memories of my graduating class, but my favorite has to be spending time with my best friends and classmates, too many to name, but they certainly know who they are. Spending time on the yearbook staff, performing with the marching band, acting on the theater stage, being silly during the variety show, going to the prom with friends, playing on the soccer team, trying to be mischievous without my parents finding out - these all added to the wonderful experiences of Springfield High School.

When I try to think of one special memory, so many come flooding into my brain, I can’t narrow it down to just one.

What is your proudest, personal moment?

A: My proudest professional moment was the day I received the telephone call informing me of my

selection as a special agent with the United States Secret Service assigned to the Nashville Field Office.

This would be the culmination of a two-year application process, full of background checks, medical exams, interviews and a polygraph test.

It was exciting to have an opportunity to serve as a member of such an elite law enforcement agency. The Secret Service provided me with the opportunity to be a part of history, travel the world and meet many amazing people.

My proudest personal moment was the day I married my best friend, Angel and becoming a father

three times.

My family is the most important thing to me in this world, so after 16 years with the Secret Service, I accepted a position with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

This move provided me the opportunity to be at home more consistently and to be a part of my kids’ lives. Their childhood is short and I want to be an integral part of it.

This article originally ran on robertsoncountyconnection.com.