Educational foundation celebrates
Acknowledging the importance of Class Size Reduction, Sierra House Elementary School Principal Jim Watson noted that Susan Ware, a well-respected veteran teacher for Lake Tahoe Unified School District, was overheard saying at a meeting last week at Tahoe Valley School, “with 30 to 32 students in a class it’s hard, but I can get to them. But Class Size Reduction lets me get to each of them before their glue sets up!”
With his own words and appropriate examples, Watson acknowledged the commitment made by the Lake Tahoe Educational Foundation to fund $80,000 for each of three years to help restore CSR in kindergarten through second grade. All membership monies received by the foundation are pledged for this purpose.
Deb Howard, foundation director emeritus, was master of ceremonies when the Lake Tahoe Educational Foundation hosted its 17th annual Celebration of Education on May 25 at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe special events center. The celebration also recognized and honored the charter recipients of the South Tahoe High School Wall of Honor as well as retiring members of the school district staff. Friends of Education, those who contributed $250 or more, were also acknowledged as well as the more than 300 members who form the base of the foundation’s programs.
Outstanding South Tahoe High School musicians Ali Martinez, Becca Kushner, Mark McCullough, Bubba Romagnolo and Clayton Cole, under the direction of JJ Clause and Linda Kurek, presented a short program featuring a Gershwin medley as well as themes from “Mission Impossible” and “James Bond.” As always, they were a highlight of the evening.
STHS Alumni Council member Leona Evans Allen, class of 1978, presented the charter recipients for the Wall of Honor. The wall will be dedicated at the high school site during Homecoming 2006, but those selected for induction were introduced at the Celebration of Education.
“In doing this we demonstrate to our current students what they can achieve in life, how far they can go and that no goal is too big,” Allen said in her presentation. “To truly celebrate education it is important that we showcase the successes of that education. Tonight, with the inaugural presentation of the Wall of Honor, that is exactly what we’re doing.”
Honorees were Steve Counter, Class of ’65, successful in politics, business and philanthropy; Ray Hoff, Class of ’66, professor of physics at the University of Maryland and director of the Joing Center for Earth Systems Technology; Michael Magliari, Class of ’75, professor of history at California University, Chico, and prize-winning author; Richard Holmes, Class of ’78, noted physicist, scientist and engineer; Col. Stuart Harris USMC, Class of ’78, deputy director for the office of Weapons Removal and Abatement at the Department of State; and Jeffrey Stewart, class of ’83, award-winning enologist and vice president of Buena Vista Winery.
Two additional awardees will be presented at homecoming ceremonies. They are mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick, Class of ’70, and playwright Eric Rockwell, Class of ’75, both of whom are presently performing – Zajick in San Francisco and Rockwell in London.
Retiring school district staff were presented by Sue Bartholomew, foundation director emeritus. Marcia Kaster, principal of South Tahoe High School for the past three years, was introduced by Marilyn Pawling. Kaster previously had a distinguished educational career in New York.
Linda Vannice (1982-2006) started as a temporary counselor of STHS, served as a bilingual psychologist at Bijou School, became a psychologist/counselor at the middle school and then served as psychologist for the district since 1989.
Gary Vannice (1980-2006) has been a district psychologist his entire career at LTUSD. Both he and Linda hold doctorates in educational psychology and both were introduced by their colleague, Toni Kelly.
Beverly Madore (1973-2006) has been with the district for 33 years, and for the past 16 years has been cafeteria supervisor at Tahoe Valley Elementary School.
Accompanied by a score of family and friends, she was introduced by her friend, Susan Iishi.