and Suzanne both grew up in Granite City, Illinois, a steel
town of about 35,000 just across the Mississippi River from
St. Louis, MO. Michael is the son of Russell "Woody"
and Rita Halbrook... Suzanne is the daughter of Mark and Mary
attended St. Margaret Mary School through 4th grade and Suzanne
attended Sacred Heart / St. Joseph School through 5th grade
(yep, she was always a year ahead of him in school, even though
he's only three months her junior.)
completion of the 1988 school year, their schools and parishes
merged into Holy
Family Parish and School which they both attended through
eighth grade. Suzanne graduated from Holy Family's
8th grade class in May of 1991 and Michael in May of 1992.
City High School,
they were both in Individual
Events (the school's advanced performing arts class and
speech competition team) together. Suzanne competed
in original oratory, dramatic interpretation, and special
occasion speaking... Michael competed in radio and impromptu
speaking after spending his freshman year on the debate team. They
were in many plays and musicals together.
their closeness in school and in class, the two never dated...
unless you count the times they went to events and/or productions
together as part of the school's speech & theatre club. Looking
back, Michael remembers thinking of Suzanne as way too good
of a girl for him.
graduating from high school in 1995, Suzanne went on to SIUE
where she received her Bachelor
of Arts degree in Speech Communication and then her Master
of Arts in Speech Communication. Michael graduated
in 1996 and has spent several semesters at SIUE slowly working
toward a desired eventual degree in economics
and finance. He hopes to eventually work toward
a Master's degree in theology
with a focus on pastoral and liturgical ministry.
Suzanne worked at Anderson
Hospital in Maryville doing P.R. work and filling in for
the Assistant Director while she was on maternity leave. She
also worked at Best
Buy in Fairview Heights and then for Doctors Fierstein
and Fernandez in Granite City. She was then hired
as the public relations specialist for the Alton
Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau where she currently
works as the sales & marketing director and interim bureau
director. In college, Michael worked at Target
in Edwardsville, then the Adams
Mark Hotel in downtown St. Louis. He left SIUE
when he started working full-time at KPNT
radio in St. Louis, then left the radio stations to start
LoudScope.com (now defunct), left LoudScope.com to serve as
Director of Entertainment Content & Marketing for worldmember,
Inc., and left worldmember to take the position of Sr.
Project Manager for Interactive Media at Avatar
Studios, where he worked for three years. In
the summer of 2004, he left Avatar to join Rodgers
Townsend as project manager in the online media group.