Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Top 25 Graduates NASA's Aimes Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

In honor of Exeter Union High School's Centennial, The Sun-Gazette decided to compile a list of some of the school's most accomplished graduates to illustrate the proud academic history of such a small high school. The following is a list of EUHS's most successful graduates in a variety of fields from education, sports, public safety, politics and business.

The following graduates do not appear in any order and the list is subjective and not to be considered a comprehensive list of all EUHS graduates. There are probably many deserving people that are not on this list due to time and space constraints. Another list will be printed next week and we urge the community to submit their own entries for top graduates. Submissions are due by noon Friday and must include the graduate's name, graduating class and professional accomplishments.

Kenny Guinn, Class of 1954

After a storied athletic career at EUHS, Fresno City College and Fresno State University, Guinn became a teacher and coach at Redwood High School. He continued his education earning a doctorate in education from Utah State in 1970, a year after taking over as superintendent of Clark County Schools in Las Vegas. He served as superintendent from 1969-1978. From 1978 to 1987, he was vice president of Nevada Savings and Loan. From 1987 to 1988, he was President and Chairman of the Board of PriMerit Bank. From 1988 to 1993, he was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Southwest Gas Corporation and from 1993 to 1997 he was the Chairman of the Board of Directors of that company. He briefly served as interim President of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas from 1994 to 1995.

In 1996, Guinn was recruited by the Republican party to run for governor of Nevada in the 1998 election. Running on his banking and executive experience, Guinn overcame a late surge of support for Las Vegas Mayor Jan Jones and won his first-ever political office with 52% of the vote. In 2002, Guinn won with 68% of the vote against Democrat Joseph Neal.

During his time in office, Guinn went against his own party and fought for the largest tax increase in the state's history, according a 2005 Time Magazine article naming him one of the Best 5 Governors. The move sparked a bitter legal battle and a recall campaign. But Guinn endured and after two terms left office in 2007 with an approval rating of 60%. In May 2007 he was elected to the board of directors for Las Vegas-based MGM Mirage.

Brad Mills, Class of 1975

While he is already on our list of the Top 50 EUHS athletes, Mills is on this list for reaching the pinnacle in his profession. Mills rounded up baseball accolades at every level en route to the Major Leagues, including All-Conference honors at College of the Sequoias and All-American honors at the University of Arizona.

The Montreal Expos made him their 17th round pick in 1979. A knee injury cut short Mills career after three years in the Majors and three more in the Minors. After the injury, Mills was offered coaching positions with the Cubs and Dodgers organizations.

He scouted, coached, and managed at every level eventually landing as the Red Sox Bench Coach in 2004. That year, he helped Boston win its first championship in 86 years. Mills helped the Red Sox return and win the World Series again in 2007. He continues to be a two-time World Series winning bench coach with the 2009 Red Sox.

Howard Way, Class of 1930

Way seemed destined to be a politician. As a senior, he led the EUHS Debate team to a Tulare County Championship in 1930. Way ran as a Republican and was elected to the California State Senate in November 1962 to represent Tulare County.

Four years later, the district was reapportioned as the 15th Senate District, which was expanded to the largest in the state including Tulare, Merced, Mariposa, Madera, Mono and Inyo counties, as well as a portion of Fresno County.

Despite the new district, Way defeated veteran senator James Cobey of Merced for a two-year term, after which he was re-elected to a four-year term. Way served as president pro-tempore of the Senate in 1969-1970.

Throughout his tenure as a state senator from 1962-1976, Way kept his primary district office in Exeter. In 1976, Way was appointed to oversee the entire California penal system as a member of Gov. Jerry Brown's cabinet. Way was also named Exeter's Man of the Year in 1967.

Satoshi ìFibberî Hirayama, Class of 1947

An amazing baseball player of Japanese ancestry, Fibber went on to play for the Hiroshima Carp in the Nippon Pro Baseball League in Japan. One of only two Americans to ever play in the Nippon league, Fibber was an ambassador for America who used his baseball talents to mend the relationship between the two country's in the post-World War II era during his 10-year career there.

Bill Maze, Class of 1964

Maze, who grew up across the street from Senator Howard Way, had an interest in politics at a young age. Maze graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a degree in Agribusiness Management and an emphasis in statistics.

He worked as a statistician for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1968 before being drafted by the U.S. Army in 1969. Maze's first foray into public service was a successful one, winning the District 3 seat (encompassing Visalia) on the Tulare County Board of Supervisors in 1992 with 54% of the vote.

He was then re-elected without opposition to the board in 1996 and earned a third term in March 2000. Maze ran unopposed in the Republican primary and later defeated Democrat Virginia Gurrola with two-thirds of the vote for the 34th Assembly District in 2002. T

he district was massive, stretching across four counties from Highway 99 to the Nevada border and from Bishop to Needles. Maze was termed-out of the legislature in 2008, but remains active in state politics and ag-related industries.

Gerald Hayward, Class of 1956

After a career in teaching and school administration, Hayward served from 1970-1980 as Principal Consultant to the California State Senate Committees on Education and Finance. From 1980-1985, Hayward became the top educator in the California Community Colleges when he served as its Chancellor.

For his distinguished service to the California Community Colleges, the Board of Governors and the California Community College Foundation honored him in 1985 by establishing the Gerald C. Hayward Excellence in Education Award, given annually to four outstanding community college instructors.

Hayward later served as deputy director of the National Center for Research in Vocational Education at University of California, Berkeley, chair of the California Task Force on Mathematics Graduate Standards and director of Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE), an independent policy research center affiliated with the UC Berkeley and Stanford University.

Glendon Craig, Class of 1950

After a brief stint in the U.S. Army from 1953-1955, Craig went to work for the California Highway Patrol after graduating from cadet training in 1956.

He served in a supervisorial position in the CHP's Los Angeles Headquarters before becoming CHP Commissioner in 1975-1983. He is a recipient of the National Highway Safety Award for public service. Glen Craig is a veteran of 44 years in Law Enforcement having served with four different departments at both the state and local level. He began his career with the Visalia, CA, Police Department in 1955 upon his discharge from the United States Army.

In 1956 he joined the California Highway Patrol and progressed through the ranks to become the Commissioner in 1975 and served until 1983. During this period he had assignments in Victorville, Visalia, Eureka, Gold Run, Los Angeles and Sacramento. In 1983 he was appointed Director of the Division of Law Enforcement at the State Department of Justice.

He was elected Sheriff of Sacramento County in 1986 where he served three terms and retired in 1999. He has since been working in the private sector on Law Enforcement related issues.

Tim Turner, Class of 1968

Turner began his 40-year career in fire fighting with the Visalia Fire Department in 1969. During the summer, he worked as a wildland firefighter with the California Department of Forestry and Fire (CDF). Turner worked his first full time position with CDF in 1970 as an engineer with the Tulare and Madera-Mariposa ranger units.

He then rose through the ranks as battalion chief in San Luis Obispo, division chief in Tulare County, deputy chief of the Sierra-South Region, Area Chief of the Sierra Area and in 1998 he was promoted to Southern Region Chief of CDF (now CalFire). He reports directly to the CDF Director and then to the Governor.

Ann Hickey, Class of 1967

Valedictorian of her class, went on to major university. She was named a Division of Cardiology Clinical and Research Fellows for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles in 1987. Did ground breaking work in surgical laser development and research.

She is an instructor of Cariothoracic Surgery Heart Transplantation Program as part of the hospital's Internal Medicine Residency Training Program Expert Team. Despite working a few hundred miles away, Hickey remains active in the Exeter Woman's Club.

Rich Rodriguez, Class of 1972

After graduation from EUHS, Rodriguez attended Oklahoma State University where he majored in radio and television. Rodriguez began his broadcasting career at KLWN in Lawrence, Kan. but returned to the Valley to take a job at KMJ radio in 1977. Three years later, Rich made the jump to television when he got his first anchor job at KFSN-TV ABC 30 in Fresno.

He anchored there for five years until he accepted an anchor position at KABC in Los Angeles. After two years in the big city, Rodriguez returned to the Valley and his anchor position at KFSN. In the spring of 2001 Rodriguez switched to KSEE 24 to co-anchor KSEE 24 News at 6 and 11 p.m. In the summer of 2001, Rich took on additional duties as the co-anchor of KSEE 24 NEWS at 5 p.m. He left the station last year.

William Self, Class of 1948

Better known as Bill, Self graduated from UCLA before being commissioned in the U.S. Marine Corps. He graduated from first of his class from Officers Basic Training School in Quantico, Va.

During his military career he trained with the Royal Marine Commandos in Devon, England and was a Green Beret. He attained the rank of captain before being honorably discharged after a decade of service on tours of duty throughout the world.

Phil Cline, Class of 1965

After passing the bar in 1978, Cline served in virtually every leadership position in the Tulare County District Attorney's Office prior to his appointment as District Attorney in 1992.

Cline was elected to a full term as DA in 1998. Since taking office in 1992, Mr. Cline has initiated a number of new and enhanced programs including worker's compensation and automobile insurance fraud, domestic violence, major narcotics, sexual assault and child abuse, welfare fraud, auto theft, gang violence, elder abuse, and child abduction, among others.

Mr. Cline also conceived of and created Tulare County's Rural Crime Program, the first of its kind in the nation. Mr. Cline is a member of many professional and philanthropic organizations. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Tulare County Bar Association. He is a past president of the Tulare County Police Chief's Association and also served as president of the Executive Council.

Vance Venables, Class of 1928

Became Tulare County's first County Administrator in 1958. He was also Kern County Administrator from 1952-1957 and personnel director for Yuba County from 1957-1958.

Leon Ooley, Class of 1954

A year after graduating from EUHS, Ooley took a job as a garage attendant working the 3 p.m. to midnight shift for Southern California Edison. It was the beginning of a 37-year career, of which the last 12 years were spent as superintendent of transportation for all of Edison's territory in the San Joaquin Valley.

His duties included overseeing maintenance on every type of vehicle, including service trucks to helicopters from Big Creek to Lancaster, Calif. After retiring from Edison in 1992, Ooley became even more active in Exeter. He was a 30-year member of the Exeter Lions Club, then a member of the Kiwanis Club, and is the only president of the Exeter Art Gallery & Museum Association since it was formed.

Ooley was elected to his first term on the Exeter City Council in 2000 and has since been re-elected twice. He served as the city's mayor from 2002-2004 and is currently serving a second term as mayor through 2010.

Alex Torres, Class of 1954

Torres dedicated his entire life to serving the public. During a 20-year career in the U.S. Air Force, Torres rose to the rank of Master Sergeant. In 1976, Torres returned home and began working as instructor with Proteus, Inc. teaching job skills to farmworkers.

He retired from Proteus as its CEO and chief of operations in 1996. That year was appointed to the Exeter Planning Commission until he was elected to the Exeter City Council in 1988. He was re-elected to two more times through 2000 and served as the city's mayor from 1994-1998.

Phyllis (Dawson) Turner, Class of 1941

Phyllis and husband David Turner became part of local and national history after David's B-17 was shot down over German occupied France. She and husband David's story of hope and love has been chronicled in World War II books and local newspapers. Phyllis was elected to the Exeter City Council in 1980 and was served as the city's first female mayor from 1980-82.

Renee (Myers) Whitson, Class of 1969

Not many students end up running the school system that educated them, but that's what makes Whitson special. Whitson started her teaching career as a deaf education instructor at a kindergarten class in Riverside County in 1973. She returned to Exeter in 1983 to take a teaching position at EUHS.

She became principal at Wilson Middle School in 1986 and then principal at Lincoln Elementary the following year. In 1991 she became deputy superintendent of both the elementary and high school districts.

In 1995 she became superintendent of both districts where she remains today. During her tenure in the district office both districts have seen dramatic improvements in facilities, including the building of a new school (Rocky Hill Elementary), expansion and remodeling of the high school and academic recognition as a the high school was among California Distinguished Schools in 1994 and 2008. She was named Alumni of the Year in 1997 and Woman of the Year in 2000.

John A. Dungan, Class of 1925

After graduating from Exeter High in 1925, Dungan attended Stanford University and then one year of Harvard Business School before the onset of the Great Depression required him to return home to help his father in the farming business.

After the attack of Pearl Harbor, Dungan enlisted in the U.S. Army and reached the rank of Captain in the Signal Corps, which develops communications and information systems for the Armed Forces. In 1945, he returned to Exeter with his family and resumed his ranching business.

He became a pioneer in the citrus industry and is credited with being one of the first to farm Satsuma oranges in Merhten Valley and implement drip irrigation and hillside farming after learning about the practices on a trip to Egypt. He was well known in the local farming community and served as president of the Exeter Citrus Association from 1964-1972, which his father helped form. The association is still alive today as the Exeter-Ivanhoe Citrus Association.

He was named EUHS's oldest alumni last October at the age of 102. He died April 27, 2009.

Stanley Cosart, Class of 1950

Cosart was elected as the first commissioner of the California Table Grape Commission in 1968 and served in that position until 1984. He served as first vice president of Blue Anchor Inc., formerly the California Fruit Exchange, from 1983-1986.

He has served as president of the Exeter Irrigation District and continues to represent both the Exeter and Ivanhoe districts on the Friant Water Authority's Board of Directors, which oversees the delivery of millions of acre-feet of surface water to more than 150,000 farms along the Valley's east side.

Terry Ketter, Class of 1962

In 1967, Ketter became the first Exeter man to graduate from West Point Military Academy in New York. While at West Point he was a Sunday school teacher and editor of The Pointer, the academy's magazine. Ketter rose to the rank of captain and spent two years in Panama before he was killed in action in Cambodia on May 10, 1970 during the Vietnam War.

Gay Huffman, Class of 1976

Huffman was one of the first 20 women to be appointed to U.S. military academies for the first time in history. She visited both Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. and the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md. Huffman was nominated by then Congressman John Krebs (D-Fresno). She was one of only two girls west of the Rockies to be selected for appointment.

Thomas N. Dungan, Class of 1955

After obtaining a degree in history from Stanford University, Dungan followed in his father Jack's footsteps and became a leader in the citrus industry.

Dungan was served as chairman of the Fruit Growers Supply Co., a supply arm of Sunkist Growers, president of the Mid-California Citrus Exchange from 1982-1986, president of Exeter Citrus Association and a member of Klink Citrus Association. A Sunkist grower since 1962, Dungan was elected as vice chairman of Sunkist Growers, the world's largest citrus co-op, in 1986-1990. He then served as chairman from 1990-1995. He remained on the board for a few years after that before retiring from the board. He continues to farm as owner of Tom Dungan Farming.

Brad Maaske, Class of 1975

A year after graduating from EUHS, Maaske started his real estate/investment business in Visalia. In 1989 he became the radio talk show host for ìReal Talk,î a real estate investment show on KMJ 580 AM in Fresno. Since then, Maaske has been a guest on over 150 national radio shows television shows including Fox News, CNN, Hannity and Colmes and C-Span. He has represented buyers or sellers in over $50 million worth of investment transactions in 4 separate states since 2002 and is currently the Broker/Owner of Realty World Investors Realty.

Brenda Lee Benadom, Class of 1959

Benadom graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics from Stanford University in 1963. After Stanford, Benadom worked for NASA's Aimes Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. She was integral in hiring many of the scientists and engineers throughout the Apollo Space Program from 1963-1967 and from 1971-1974. In between she worked for the U.S. Navy Adminsitration. From 1974-1979 she worked for the National Science Foundation and from 1979-1995 she worked U.S. Office of Personnel Management in Washington, D.C.

Jerry Calvin, Class of 1957

Calvin graduated from Fresno State with a bachelor's degree in business in 1968. After graduation, he went to work at Jostens (then American Yearbook) in Visalia. He was sent throughout the yearbook network in State College, Penn. In 1972 and Topeka, Kan. In 1974 before returning to Visalia as plant manager in 1976. Jostens made wonderful contributions to all of Tulare County during Calvin's tenure as manager through 1995.Calvin was the first ever recipient of the Jostens Legend award in recognition of his lifetime achievement with the company.


Post a Comment