Alumni News & Notes

Fall 2006-2007

Debbie Henry

Bethel, (B.A.E.), was featured in a Sequim Gazette article. Henry is a teacher at Graham Elementary School. Following a successful battle with cancer, Henry was diagnosed with Leukemia. Despite the illness, Henry and her family have remained positive.

Derek Brower

Evanston, IL (M.A. technology education), has recently joined the faculty at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL as instructor in education. Brower has taught science all around the United States and abroad for 13 years. He graduated from Northwestern in 1989 and went on to obtain his master's in teaching from Western Washington University.

Dirk Adkinson

Everett, (M.Ed. '03), was named principal of Challenger Elementary School in South Everett in the Mukilteo School District. Before this appointment, Adkinson was the assistant principal of Woodmoor Elementary in the Northshore School District and principal of that school district's Summer Academy.

Dominick "Dick" Cvitanich

Sandpoint, Idaho, (M.Ed. '80), recently assumed the superintendent position of Lake Pend Oreille School District in North Idaho. Cvitanich has an extensive background in education, including serving as principal in elementary, middle and high schools, superintendent at Highline School District at SeaTac, Wash., and assistant superintendent of teaching and learning in the Puyallup School District.

George Stuart

Wasilla, AK, (Elementary Education, '78), is the new president of the teachers union that represents 1,100 teachers, librarians, school nurses and other certified professionals of the Mat-Su Borough School District. Stuart took on the duties of president after Kathy Summers retired in July.

Greg Hertel

Friday Harbor, (M.Ed. '86), was an active candidate for San Juan County Auditor.

Harold Heiner

Bellingham, (B.A.E. '65), announced he will retire as Whatcom Community College president in June 2007. He has been president of the college since 1984. He started as a faculty member and director of student development at Skagit Valley College from 1966 to '73. He became the director of student services for the State Board of Community College Education from 1973 to '78. After this position, he was hired as the Dean for instruction at WCC until 1984 when he became the president. (photo courtesy Whatcom Community College)Heiner's contribution to the college was prominent. When he started in '84 the college had about 1,000 students but no campus. Now, through his and others affiliated with the college hard work, WCC has a 70-acre campus and approximately 7,000 students.

Jeff Leer

(WWU BAE, '92), a Lake Stevens School District teacher from Mount Vernon, returned from Washington, DC to attend a pivotal U.S. Supreme Court hearing on January 10 that directly affected thousands of Washington teachers. Leer, a member of Northwest Professional Educators, a nonunion professional educators organization offering many of the same benefits of unions such as liability insurance and legal services, joined teachers from around the country to advocate for individual teachers' free speech rights not to fund union politics they do not support.

Jeff Lofgren

Stanwood, (M.Ed. '93 and B.A.E '89), was awarded the Snohomish County region Distinguished Principal for 2006 by the Elementary School Principals Association of Washington. Lofgren has been the Cedarhome Elementary principal for nine years. He will go on as a candidate for the state's distinguished principal honor.

Jeffrey Russ

Grand Coulee Dam, (M.A. SPED), joins the Grand Coulee Dam School District as a special education instructor.

Jeni Zapatka

Silverdale, (Cert. '94), was recently honored as Central Kitsap's 2006 Teacher of the Year. Zapatka started her teaching career at Ridgetop Junior High School in 1995, and has stayed there ever since. During time so far at Ridgetop, Zapatka has helped establish the Humanities in Depth program for seventh- and eighth-grade students in 1997. This program includes extended curriculum designed to challenge advanced students before high school.

Jim Baker

Bremerton, (B.A.), has been serving with the Salvation Army for more than 25 years. Baker met his wife Marcia in 1982 through fellow service members and they married a year later. Together they continue to serve their communities with the Salvation Army and love helping people and making a difference.

Kaci Bakeman

(M.I.T. '06), is teaching social studies at Snohomish High School in Snohomish.

Karen Strain

White Salmon, (B.A.), was awarded the Regional Teacher of the Year award in September of 2006. She completely rewrote the seventh-grade math curriculum at Henkle Middle School, something that has proved innovative and successful with her students.

Katie Fors

Port Angeles, (B.A. '05), was hired this fall as the teacher for the multi-handicap students at Roosevelt Middle School. She graduated magna cum laude from WWU in 2005.

Kira Attwood

Auburn, (B.A.), has been hired by the Shelton School District to teach sixth-grade language arts and social studies at Olympic Middle School in Auburn.

Laurel Browning

Skagit County, (B.A. '86), was announced as a finalist for the Skagit Women's Alliance and Network's Woman of the Year Award for 2006.

Linda Anderson

Issaquah, (Elementary Education), was recently featured in the Snoqualmie Valley Record. Anderson and her husband of 34 years, Jerry, moved back to Washington state in 2002 after living in Oregon for 11 years. Anderson now teaches fifth grade in the Snoqualmie Ridge School District at the new elementary school, Cascade View Elementary School.

Lloyd Goodrich

Battle Ground, (Cert. '82), was recently honored at a retirement party for his 30 years of teaching. In 2000, Goodrich toured educational establishments ranging from preschool to the university level in China with a Washington State Educators delegation. He has also served as president of North River Education Association and vice president of Kalama Education Association.

Michael J. Sullivan

(B.A.E. '76), intends to run for election as Judge of the Superior Court of Pacific County. He was appointed in October 2005, and must run for election in his own right at the first possible opportunity, which would be the general election of 2006. Sullivan has been involved in school districts and the legal system of Willapa Harbor for the last 30 years. He has been superintendent of the Willapa Valley School District and as deputy prosecutor for Wahkiakum County.

Nicole McTavish

Was named assistant principal at Oak Harbor High School this past August.

Phil Robicheau

San Jose, CA, (B.A.E. '64), was recently honored in West Seattle for his contribution to a neighborhood baseball team back in 1955. When Robicheau was 19 years he old, he started the "Phil's Phillies" baseball team after he noticed how other area teams helped the city's youth. After four years with the team, Robicheau applied his love for working with young people to the classroom when he pursued a teaching degree from Western. Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels declared Sunday, August 6, 2006 as Phil Robicheau Day during an event at Delridge baseball field.

Robert Detweiler, Jr.

Silverdale, (B.A.), joins his father as a teacher for Klahowya Secondary School. Detweiler Jr. is the new math teacher, while his father continues to teach science.

Ron Spanjer

Blaine, (B.A.E. '81), recently assumed the superintendent position for Blaine schools. Spanjer has 23 years of experience in education, including 18 in administration. Before accepting this position, he was the assistant superintendent at Port Angeles. Spanjer replaced superintendent Mary Lynne Derrington, who left for a teaching position at Woodring's Educational Administration Program.

Sandra Moser

Willapa Harbor, (B.A.E. '74, M.Ed. '91), was named Citizen of the Week during the month of May in the Willapa Harbor Herald. Her first and only teaching job after graduating from college was teaching second grade at South Bend Elementary School in 1974. , She found her first job after graduating from college teaching second grade at South Bend Elementary School in 1974 and is still living there some 32 years later with the same job.