Alumni News & Notes

Summer 2015-2016

Jeff Gardner

Jeff Gardner ('83 BAE) began his new position as principal of Ferndale High School July 1, 2015.  He was previously assistant principal at Bonney Lake High School in the Sumner School District, where he had also been dean of students and athletic coordinator.  He started his career as an English, physical education and social studies teacher at Mattson Junior High School in the Kent School District.

Jennifer Lockwood

Jennifer Lockwood ('00 B.A. Human Services, '15 M.A. Rehabilitation Counseling) was the student speaker for the 12:30 p.m. 2015 summer commencement ceremony. Lockwood is the Parenting Skills Program coordinator at Brigid Collins Family Support Center in Bellingham and plans to continue working there.  Watch the speech at:

Photo by Dan Levine

John Stilson

John Stilson ('03 MEd), was hired as principal of Central Elementary School in Helena, MT this spring (2015).  After four years in the Navy, he studied philosophy and technical writing at WSU before earning his MEd at WWU.  He taught in Polson and Walla Walla before moving to Helena and working as a remedial English teacher at Helena High School prior to his current position.

Fall 2015-2016

In Memoriam

Harold G. Heiner

Harold G. Heiner (B.A.E '65), died October 17, 2015 in Bellingham. Heiner was Whatcom Community College’s president from 1983-2007. College trustees named the library and the performing arts center — where the memorial was held — after Heiner in 1997.  Heiner will be remember for his part in creating a central campus for WCC.  Read more here.

Spring 2014-2015

Andrew Bishop

Andrew Bishop, who graduated from Woodring College of Education's elementary education program in 2012, shared this music video of he and his colleagues at Jefferson Elementary in the Mount Vernon School District. Wrote Andrew: "The teachers and I at my school made an awesome rap video that not only gives our kids strategies for how to take tests (the big state-mandated tests are on their way), but also how to take them and feel confident in themselves. We are trying to show them that a test won’t seal their fate forever! We even have a guest spot from the superintendent of our district."

Gerry and Margy Schiele

Gerry (BAE Secondary Physics/Math '59) and Margy (BAE Elementary Social Studies '61) Schiele, are retired after decades of teaching overseas with the Department of Defense Dependents Schools.  Most of their experience was in tiny American schools in out-or-the-way places in Germany.  While there, they developed a system to inform parents about progress at school which produced remarkable relations with the parents.  The Schiele's granddaughter is graduating from Kaisesrslautern American High School and will be attending Western Washington University this fall.  She plans to also become a teacher.

Marci Shepard

Marci Shepard (BAE '97, Superintendent Cert '11) is the new superintendent of the Orting School District.  Shepard, who has been interim superintendent for the past two months, will now assume the title of superintendent. She has been an educator for 17 years, and has been assistant superintendent in Orting for the past five years. She teaches as part of the educational leadership program at Western Washington University, and is part of an advisory board for Western Governor’s University. She is also a member of the board for the Washington Association of School Administrators.


Tom Robinson

Tom Robinson (MEd '94) just published a picture book titled Fibonacci Zoo (Arbordale Publishing).  Robinson is a National Board Certified high school math teacher with more than 20 years of experience in the classroom.  He wrote the book to introduce young readers to numbers and patterns.  He is also the author of The Everything Kids Science Experiments Book, The Everything Kids Magical Science Experiments Book, and Forcing Out: A Guide to Better Physics Fitness. He lives in Chelan, Wash. with his wife and two children.

In Memoriam

Harold (Hal) Ray Haddock

Harold (Hal) Ray Haddock (BAE, Special Ed K-12, '68), passed away at age 74 in Green Valley, Arizona on April 26, 2015.  Haddock had a fulfilling career teaching and coaching at Nooksack Valley High School, retiring in 1998.  For more link here.


Winter 2014-2015

Michael R. Hillis

Michael R. Hillis (BAE '86 and MEd'91) is the new education dean at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, Calif.  Hillis was formerly associate dean of the School of Education & Kinesiology at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash.  See link for more.

Richard E. Thompson

Richard E. Thompson (BAE '85, MEd '90, Superintendent Cert. '09) is the new Chimacum School District superintendent.  Thompson was formerly superintendent of San Juan Island School District.

Summer 2013-2014

Paul Hulbert

Paul Hulbert (B.A.E. Secondary Education '95) has been appointed principal at East Port Orchard Elementary School in South Kitsap.  Hulbert was formerly assistant principal at both Union Ridge Elementary School in the Ridgefield School District and Clover Park School District. 

Spring 2013-2014

Ann Buswell

No one likes to play the heavy. Carrying out unpleasant tasks (such as disciplining middle-schoolers) could drain the joy and warmth right out of an administrator. Not Ann Buswell (MEd Ed Admin '97). As a long-time assistant principal at Whatcom Middle School, she consistently displays passion, energy and excitement when it comes to her students. Her methods have paid off: disciplinary referrals and failing grades are at their lowest level in the past 10 years.
Buswell is the Washington State 2014 Assistant Principal of the Year. The award is bestowed by the Association of Washington Middle Level Principals (AWMLP), a governing board of the Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP). The honor alternates yearly between a middle level principal and a high school principal. This year it’s the middle level’s turn.

Chris Pearson

West View Elementary School Principal Chris Pearson (Ed Admin Cert '09) was named this year’s Washington State Elementary School Principal of the Year by a panel of principals representing the Elementary School Principals Association of Washington (ESPAW), a component of the Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP). Pearson was one of three finalists chosen from a field of 18 statewide nominees. He learned of the news at a surprise school assembly the morning of March 3.
Pearson became principal at West View Elementary in 2011. West View is a Title I school that serves predominantly low-income Hispanic students.

Keven Wynkoop

Ballard High School Principal Keven Wynkoop (MEd Ed Admin '05) was named this year’s Washington State High School Principal of the Year by a panel of principals representing the Washington Association of Secondary School Principals (WASSP), a component of the Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP). Wynkoop was surprised by the honor during a TPEP staff meeting on Wednesday, April 23, attended by AWSP Executive Director Gary Kipp and AWSP Director of High School Programs Scott Seaman.

Wynkoop became principal at Ballard High in 2010, and was Ballard High’s assistant principal for five years prior. However, his connection to the school goes even deeper, as Wynkoop himself is a third generation Ballard High School graduate.

Fall 2013-2014

Katie Brown

(Cultural Anthropology, Secondary Education ’00), an English Language Learner (ELL) Specialist at Shuksan Middle School, has been named Washington’s 2014 Teacher of the Year. She will now be considered for national Teacher of the Year and serve as an ambassador for the teaching profession in 2013-14.

In Memoriam

Dr. Roberta Bouverat

Dr. Roberta “Bobbie” Bouverat, Associate Professor Emeritus of Early Childhood Education, passed away quietly in Bellingham, October 24, 2013, at age 76.  Her outstanding work at Western included the final development of the Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education major as an academic major and groundbreaking work with the A.S. Daycare (now the Child Development Center).  She was very active in many national and international organizations, including the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Association for Childhood Education International.  She earned her Ph.D in Early Childhood/Elementary Ed in 1970 from Ohio State University; her Professional Diploma from Teachers College, Columbia Univ. in 1968; and her M.Ed and B.A.E. from WWU.  She attended Oak Harbor High School. She began her career as a primary classroom teacher in 1959 and joined the WWU faculty in 1970.  She earned the 1987 Award of Excellence, from Citizens Education Center Northwest, for volunteer efforts to establish new, higher standards of excellence in public education. She continued to confer with the Early Childhood Education faculty until her death.

Spring 2012-2013

Brent Kline

Brent KlineMariner High School Principal Brent Kline was named this year’s Washington State High School Principal of the Year by a panel of principals representing the Washington Association of Secondary School Principals, a component of the Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP). He was selected from seven finalists chosen from a field of 38 statewide nominees.

Kline has been principal of Mariner High School since 2003 and is now the school’s longest-serving principal. When he took over, he began a focus that embraced academic improvement in all content areas and started a concept of authentic literacy using the motto: “Literacy is Power and Freedom.”

Heather Renner

Heather Renner Heather (Hostikka) Renner (BAE '93), principal at Morris E. Ford Middle School, was named Washington State 2013 Middle Level Principal of the Year by a panel of principals representing the Association of Washington Middle Level Principals, a component of the Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP). She was one of five finalists chosen from a field of 10 statewide nominees.

Renner began her career at Ford Middle as a teacher in 2001. She was promoted to dean of students in 2004 and to assistant principal in 2006. She has been in the role of principal since 2010. She is generally known for taking a solidly good school into the “great” category. Under her leadership, the school has risen the past three years in the State Board of Education Achievement Index from “good” to “very good” to its current “exemplary” rating.

Winter 2012-2013

Alyson Harris

Alyson Harris (Special Education '12) published an article in John Hopkins University School of Education on-line journal Horizons for Living titled Visual Supports for Students with Autism.

Charles "Tuck" Gionet

Charles "Tuck" Gionet (B.A.E. '83) was honored Feb. 25 by the Washington State Legislature as one of two top civics teachers of the year.  Gionet has been teaching government at Snohomish High School for more than 25 years. 

Hallie Hemmingson

Hallie Hemmingson (Human Services '11), is now Executive Director of the Max Higbee Center, which provides recreational and educational activities for developmentally disabled teens and adults in Bellingham.  She was recently featured in a series of Ten Who Care, in the Bellingham Herald. 

Stephanie Strow

Stephanie StrowStephanie Strow (Elementary English '00) received the Golden Apple Award in February.  The award honors teachers and schools throughout the state that are making a positive impact on learning.  Strow has been teaching seventh grade for 13 years.  Her social studies classroom is recognized for its energy and her skill in bringing history and social issues alive for her students.  Strow is also the president of the Washington Association for Middle Level Education and the Trustee to Represent Teachers, North and West for the Association for Middle Level Education. 

Summer 2011-2012

In Memoriam

Sister Cecilia Marie Grid

Sister Cecilia Marie Grid, the longest-serving nun in the western region of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, died in Bellevue in June at age 98. She earned a bachelor's degree in Education at Western Washington University and a master's in education and administrative credentials from Seattle University. She taught elementary and high school for 33 years in Longview, Seattle, British Columbia and Alaska.

Fall 2011-2012

Tom Venable

('90), of Carl Cozier Elementary School in Bellingham, was inducted in October into WWU's Hall of Fame for his outstanding accomplishments in soccer.