Alumni News & Notes

Fall 2004-2005

Jeffrey McGowan

accepted a position in August as Skyline High School's new assistant principal in Issaquah.

John Belcher

became Principal of Omak High School in May.

Judson Swets

('04), Sehome High School technology teacher, was profiled in the September 13th, ,issue of the Bellingham Herald.

Mark Venn

was appointed the new Sedro-Woolley School superintendent in July. , He was previously principal at Nooksack Valley High School.

Mary King

accepted a position as a high school counselor in the Lake Chelan School District.

Pat Green and Rebecca Johnson

Woodring graduates who had been teaching at Blaine Middle School, were working under two-year teaching contracts at Singapore American School when the great tsunami hit December 26, 2004. They were lucky to survive the disaster when the waves started crashing into their hotel. An article about their experience was printed in the Bellingham Herald December 29, 2004.

Rob Matthews

Was named the new principal at Samish Elementary School in Sedro Woolley, in August.

Sue Homchick

('64) is retiring from Hoquiam High School after 26 years of teaching.

Vera Dollenjak Hansen

On September 17, Woodring College of Education dedicated the Hansen Professional Development Center to Vera Dollenjak Hansen (class of 1925), whose generosity, life-long dedication to education, and pride in her community and alma mater, helped to create a state-of-the-art learning center for Woodring College of Education faculty, staff and students.

Vera Dollenjak graduated from Washington State Normal School at Bellingham (now Western Washington University). Her first teaching job took her to a one-room school house in Colville, Wash. A year later, she accepted a position in Toutle River and the following year closer to home in Everson. In 1928, her marriage to Archie Hansen made her ineligible for further classroom employment. , The abrupt end of her professional career did not dampen her infectious enthusiasm for life and learning. , For the rest of her nearly 97 years, she remained a teacher and seeker of knowledge and adventure.

A true practitioner of healthful living, Vera Hansen traveled widely, savoring the sights and bounty of the Pacific Northwest and numerous places abroad.

Of all her accomplishments - the distant lands she visited, the peaks she climbed and the friends she made - she was most proud of her status as a college graduate. , In 1925, a diploma was a distinction that not many could claim. , She carried that pride throughout her life, in everything she did. Her gift has truly made a difference for Woodring students, faculty and staff.

For more on Vera Hansen, see the Woodring Educator, Spring 2004.

Vicki Toyohara Mukai

The state's first Asian woman administrative law judge, spoke at Western's 2004 Women of Color Empowerment Dinner.

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