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Alumni News & Notes

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.

Bethany Drake

Western Washington University's Bethany Drake (MIT Secondary '16) (So., Sequim) and Katie Reichert (So., Longview/Kelso) finished one-two in the women's javelin at the NCAA Division II National Outdoor Track and Field Championships being held at Grand Valley State University Stadium. That highlighted an outstanding three-day performance at nationals by the Vikings. The women finished 11th with 23 points and the men 15th with 16 points. 

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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

Mariner 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 (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 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.

In Memoriam

Ann Cilley Hanson

Ann Cilley Hanson died November 13 at her Bellingham home. She earned her standard certificate at WWU in 1967. A founding faculty member of Sehome High School, she taught German, English, and Social Studies there from its opening in 1967 until her retirement in 1992. She was active in the community and was an avid gardener and artist (she designed the Campus School Reunion logo in 2007). Read the full obituary.

Spring 2010-2011

In Memoriam

Gladys Flakus

Gladys Flakus, (BAE Elementary '50), of Shelton, Wash. died March 26, 2011 at age 100.

Fall 2010-2011

Audrey Coon

Is in the top 30 for 2010 NCAA Woman fo the Year award

Former Western Washington University rower and Elementary Education alumna Audrey Coon is among 30 finalists for the 2010 NCAA Woman of the Year award.

The award, established in 1991, honors senior student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership.

"Audrey is the epitome of what we're trying to do here at Western," said Western rowing coach John Fuchs. "She's a great student, successful athlete, and a leader. We are very proud to see her get among the top 30. It's also nice to see a rower in that group, too."

Coon originally was among 117 student-athletes representing multiple sports in all three divisions selected from a record 452 nominees for the 20th annual NCAA Woman of the Year award.

Read the rest of this story on the WWU Athletics website.

Brad Malloy

(M. Admin.) accepted a position as the new Principal of Eastlake High School in the Lake Washington School District. , He taught middle school special education and social studies in the Highline School District for eight years before becoming an administrator in Lake Washington.

Rebecca Wynkoop

(Cert. '04) is working as a librarian at Eckstein Middle School in the Seattle Public School District. , She has been focusing on creating a "college going atmosphere", where staff share their education stories, and students envision a future that involves a post-high school education.

Ted Howard II

('99) was recently appointed principal at Garfield High School in Seattle.

In Memoriam

Yvonne Alice Steelhammer Van Doren

(Cert. '39) passed away on Sunday, November 21st. She taught in Washington and California before retiring in 1984.

Spring 2009-2010

Amy Silbernagel McCaffree

is a freelance writer, poet, and also adjunct English faculty at Spokane Community College. , She writes mostly for magazines, but also has written some articles for the Spokesman-Review. , She received an MFA in Creative Writing, with an emphasis in poetry, ,from Eastern Washington University in June 2005. , She taught high school English for 5 years, all but one in the Kent School District.

Arleen Burkhalter

(B.A.E. '86) was recognized as a "Teacher of the Year" in May, 2010 by the Auburn School District. Burkhalter works at Mt. Baker Middle School, and has taught in the Auburn School District for 22 years.

Bill Palmer

(B.A.E. '72, M.Ed. '85) retired from teaching at Columbia elementary after 25 years of service.