Greetings from the Home of the Eagles . . .
Well . . . could 2020 possibly get any stranger, more bizarre or just plain weird? I hope not! With the pandemic wreaking havoc all across our nation, Yoncalla is also feeling its affects. The 2019-20 school year ended with students finishing their classes on-line. The beginning of the 2020-21 school year sees the students, again, completing their classes on-line except for the very youngest students. Throw in the wildfires and resulting smoke and we are seeing the current school year is again delayed. The schools are doing the best that they can to reach and educate all students, but my heart goes out to all these kids and their families . . . as a former educator, I know these kids are not receiving the same level of education that they would get through the in-person classroom experience. I would encourage all to be supportive of the schools and the families of these school children as they struggle, mightily, to educate the students. The athletes have been left on the sidelines, too, since last spring. The Oregon plan is for basketball (and all winter sports) to be played in January and February; football (and all fall sports) to be played in March and April while baseball (and all other spring sports) are being played in May and June.
In the last two newsletters, we have featured the many success stories of graduating YHS seniors who have received YAA scholarships. As I said earlier, there are many more of these success stories and I want to share one more from Sonya Walker (Class of 2014). Last spring she mailed to the YAA a graduation announcement from Oregon State University where she wanted to express her gratitude to the YHS alumni base for their generous giving to scholarships. While paraphrasing her comments, Sonya said “. . . This letter is coming to you late as life has been a whirlwind, especially lately with everything that has been going on in the world. I am writing to inform you that I have finally graduated from Oregon State University! While at OSU I majored in Kinesiology which is the study of human movement. This degree is a steppingstone in which I plan to use to become a Physician’s Assistant in the future. Your financial assistance has allowed me to focus on my studies instead of worrying about the financial burden of college. I cannot truly express my gratitude in enough words to fit in this letter for your assistance, so I will just have to hope that “thank you” will convey my message. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity, love and support. Thank you for believing in my potential and investing in that hope. I will continue to put it to good use and pay it forward someday. I hope you all are well and life is treating you good!”
Congratulations to Sonya!! Again, as you can see, your YAA contributions continue to make a positive difference in the lives of many graduating YHS seniors!
Terry Duncan (69)
President, Yoncalla Alumni Association
Where Eagles Land
As you recall, each fall we feature various YHS alumni and catch up with what they have been doing since their YHS graduation. Almost always, these YHS graduates are reluctant participants, so with a little prodding, I’m always grateful for when they finally consent to participate. Without exception, every YHS alumnus has a highly interesting story to share . . . especially for those of us that knew them while they were students at Yoncalla High School. Again, a special thank you goes to Rob and Tony for sharing their story in this 2020 edition of the fall YAA Newsletter.
YHS Graduate Anthony (Tony) Lopez-Waste – Class of 1990
Tony began attending YHS in 1986 as a freshman and graduated in 1990. In addition to belonging to the FBLA, Tony was an athlete, of star quality, throughout his four years. He counts among his very best friends at YHS: Reid Sheets, Bid Van Loon, Susan Olmstead and Bai Smith. Sports, in particular, are among his fondest memories at YHS. While playing football, basketball and baseball for the Eagles, his teams were constant participants in the state playoffs! It was when those state tournament runs ended just short of a state championship that Tony counts as his low points during his high school years. His fondest athletic memory came during the state basketball tournament in Pendleton and the Eagles came back from an 18 point half-time deficit to beat Riverside for the State Consolation Championship.
After graduating from YHS, Tony attended Linfield College for about a year before enlisting into the U. S. Army. His military career took Tony to Bamberg, Germany, Ft. Benning, GA, Sacramento, CA, Kitzingen, Germany, Ft.Lewis, WA, Ft. Bliss, TX and El Paso, TX. During his 20 year military career, Tony served in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Combat Action Badge. Today, Tony continues to live in El Paso where he is a high school history teacher and varsity girls basketball coach at Canutillo High School. This past school year, Tony was recognized with the highly prestigious “Teacher of the Year” award for Region 19 (there are 20 designated education regions in the state of Texas).
Through a mutual friend, Tony met Pamela Chavis in 1995 while he was stationed in Ft. Benning, Georgia. They were married in 1995. Together, they have three daughters. Sheka, their oldest, played four years of college basketball at Northern New Mexico and graduated with her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Psychology. Sheka is currently living in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Ki, their middle daughter, played three years of college basketball at New Mexico State University and Western New Mexico State University. Ki graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and is currently working on her master’s degree. Their youngest daughter is Toni. Toni passed on several basketball scholarships to enter the Pre-Med program at New Mexico State University and just completed her sophomore year.
YHS Graduate Rob Bragg – Class of 1967
Rob entered Yoncalla High School in the fall of 1963. As Rob began reflecting back on the ole school days, he concludes that he probably placed a greater emphasis on socialization and a slightly less emphasis on the academics. Larry Martin, Bob Williams and Craig Daggs were Rob’s closet high school friends but there was also a very close connection to John Webb, Bob Byron and Terry Duncan. Meeting and making new friends was a particularly rewarding experience for Rob. Sports, as with many other YHS guys of that day, were a primary focus for Rob as he participated in football, basketball, baseball and track. However, “losing games” were an especially heartbreaking high school experience. Among the few poor teachers at YHS during the mid-60’s, Rob recalls, there were, also, some very excellent teachers.
Right out of high school, Rob began working as a “grease monkey and tire man” in the small eastern Oregon town of Unity. Following this eastern Oregon experience, Rob began seeking more formal training in Diesel and Heavy Equipment. His post high school education included respective course work through Umpqua and Lane Community Colleges, training through Caterpiller schools and, finally, through Detroit Diesel. Rob’s employment included four years at Auto Parts Inc. in Drain, Watson Logging, Westbrook Logging, 18 years for Weyerhauser and retired from Pape Bros (Peterson Cat) in Eugene.
While working for Auto Parts Inc. in Drain, Rob met Debbie Andes when she was working at the Drain Pharmacy. Debbie is a graduate of Drain (North Douglas) High School. Rob indicated that there is more to this love story but, he says, it’s best to be told at a later date. Rob and Debbie raised two wonderful kids . . . Matt and Carrie who are YHS graduates. Matt still lives in Yoncalla and raising his own family while holding down the job as the YHS Head Football coach. Carrie is living in the Redmond area where she and her husband, Bronc Parrish (another YHS graduate), are raising their family of three kids including Carleigh, Bunker and Hayden. (Editor’s Note: Rob is a current YAA Board Member and our established Tech Specialist. He set up and operates our Face Book page as well as the YAA website. Without Rob, the YAA would continue to operate as if we were still in the 20th Century.)
Four 2020 YHS Graduates Share About $12,000
There were plenty of obstacles to overcome just to get the YAA scholarship applications to the graduating seniors in the Class of 2020. With the state of Oregon (as with most of America) dealing with “stay at home” orders, I was not able to personally meet with this group of graduating seniors. Therefore, I tried to cover most of the information that I typically present at our “in person” meeting by emailing the info to the high school principal (Brian Berry) and he forwarded it on to the seniors. This was less than an ideal process! The YAA received about one half the typical number of applications. I feel very bad for the Class of 2020. Through no fault of their own, they were short changed on many levels! The YAA awarded about $12,000 to these four deserving students. This dollar amount represents somewhat more than the typical average amount awarded for each graduating senior in previous years. Including the unused funds returned to the YAA from the various colleges where students did not complete their full year during this last pandemic school year, we are carrying over about
$10,000 into next year. The YAA is planning to divide those carryover funds with the next few YHS graduating classes.
Now, for a bit of positive news. The YAA has identified a group YHS alumni to serve as mentors for YHS graduating seniors. We had planned to begin that program with the Class of 2020. However, none of these four students were planning to attend UCC which had been our focus group for the purpose of implementing the Mentor Program. However, our mentors were eager to help and get the program off the ground. Therefore, all four of our scholarship recipients also have a YAA mentor assigned to them for this current school year. The mentors will assist in many ways and maintain regular contact with their student during the entire school year. The bottom line goal is very simple . . . each YHS student will successfully complete their first full year of post-secondary education! Also, we have implemented a second year scholarship program beginning with the Class of 2020. This means that any unused funds that may be returned to us from the colleges (at the end of this school year) will be used as second year scholarships. To qualify, the student needs to do two things: 1) successfully complete their first full year of secondary education and 2) make a written request for the funds. Whatever the amount of funds that are returned to us, these will be equally redistributed as second year scholarships to all who request and otherwise qualify.
The fall newsletter officially kicks-off the solicitation of scholarship funds for the graduation Class of 2021! The Yoncalla Alumni Association has now been awarding scholarships for ten consecutive years. During these first ten years, the YAA has awarded about $127,000 in scholarship money to very deserving and appreciative Yoncalla students!
2020 YAA Scholarship Recipients
Elijah Allen (Lane Community College) – YAA General Scholarship; Don Kingery Memorial Scholarship; and the Devin Duncan Memorial Scholarship
Lilyona R. Wise (Northwest College of Beauty) – YAA General Scholarship; Charlotte Wise Memorial Scholship; and the Bill Lasswell Memorial Scholarship
Ashley Powers (Linn Benton Community College) – YAA General Scholarship; Don Kingery Memorial Scholarship; and the Devin Duncan Memorial Scholarship
Kaleigh Soto (Lane Community College) – YAA General Scholarship; and the Devin Duncan Memorial Scholarship
Recapping All 2020 YAA Contributions
Lyle Clingman (75) – Elmira; Mary (Farrell) Andrews (60) – Newberg; Jim Booth (60) – Salem; George Murdock (Superintendent) – Pendleton; Francis Coggswell (55) – Roseburg; Wayne Van Loon (65) – Beaverton; Jim Wamsley (58) – Cottage Grove; Carl (75) and Kathy Van Loon – Yoncalla; Robert Bragg (67) – Yoncalla; Susan Cowan-Skirvin (58); Dale and Alta Bessett – Yoncalla; Matt Bessett (81) – Yoncalla; Philip Canfield (74) – Thousand Oaks, CA; Max Norris (70) – Yoncalla; Ronald Powell (57) – Prineville; Kevin (Casey) Clarke (83) – Lake Oswego
Max Dodd (42) by Jeanette (Dodd) Crites (69) – Roseburg; Linda (Dodd) Montgomery (68) – Eugene
Paul Allen (48) by Jim Allen (76) – Sutherlin
Pauline (Rychard) Allen (52) by Jim Allen – Sutherlin
Doris (Kingery) Means (44) by Marlow (52) and Lola (Highley) Fullbright (56) – Yoncalla; Molly (Kingery) Anderson (54) – Glenham, SD; Mary Ellen Lasswell (Teacher) – Yoncalla; Cheryl (Huntington) Patterson (67) – Myrtle Creek; Terry Wyffels – Yamhill; Randy and Kathy Finley – Yoncalla; Terry (69) and Bonnie (Dupper) Duncan (67) – Yoncalla; Rick (71) and Betty (Tucker) Duncan (75) – Yoncalla; Nicole (Meeuwsen) Rief (95) – Buckley, WA; James Langdon (80) – Yoncalla; Dorthy Langdon (74) – Yoncalla
Janelle (Payne) Hetherington (66) by Marlow (52) and Lola (Highley) Fullbright (56) – Yoncalla; Roxanna (Stark) Jennings (66) – St. Helens
Howard Loyd (59) by Marlow (52) and Lola (Highley) Fullbright (56) – Yoncalla; Virginia (Langdon) Westfall (59) – Fremont, CA; Jim Hudson (59) – Salem
Frances Huntington (62) by Susan (Huntington) Neil (70) – Ridgefield, WA
Vicki (Crites) Duncan (71) by John Duncan (75) – Nine Mile Falls, WA; Rick (71) and Betty (Tucker) Duncan (75) – Yoncalla; Terry (69) and Bonnie (Dupper) Duncan (67) – Yoncalla; Boyd Duncan (73) – Montpelier, ID
Nina (Bryant) Noffsinger (75) by John Duncan (75) – Nine Mile Falls, WA; Rick (71) and Betty (Tucker) Duncan (75) – Yoncalla
Steve Means (75) by John Duncan (75) – Nine Mile Falls, WA; Rick (71) and Betty (Tucker) Duncan (75) – Yoncalla
Marie (Blanchfill) Smith (75) by John Duncan – Nine Mile Falls, WA; Rick (71) and Betty (Tucker) Duncan (75) – Yoncalla
Beryl (Smith) Adams (Teacher) and Stacy Adams by Mary Margaret (Adams) Hite – Gleneden Beach
Harold Coggswell (52) by Francis Coggswell (55) – Roseburg
Shirley (Highley) Waters (49) by Homer Waters (51) – Yoncalla
Walt and Sandy Speer (Teacher) by Steve Speer (76) – Fossil; Randy and Nancy Altman (Coach, Teacher and Principal) - Vernonia
Linda Speer (79) by Steve Speer (76) – Fossil
Roy Langdon (68) by James Langdon (80) – Yoncalla; Betty (Langdon) Sneed (70) – Lakeside; Virginia (Langdon) Westfall (59) – Fremont, CA; Donna (Langdon) Holmes (64) – Wilbur, WA; Dorothy Langdon (74) – Yoncalla
Nina Duncan by Bob (54) and Lois (Parks) Campbell (55) – Yoncalla; John Duncan (75) – Nine Mile Falls, WA; Boyd Duncan (73) – Montpelier, ID
Kimberly Campbell (78) by Bob (54) and Lois (Parks) Campbell (55) – Yoncalla
Judi (Bennett) Gay (88) by Don Gay (83) – Coeur d’Alene, ID; Waneta (Woolman) Dalton (62) - Yoncalla
Homer Waters (51) by Dorthy Langdon (74) – Yoncalla; Marlow (52) and Lola (Highley) Fullbright (56) – Yoncalla; Mary Ellen Lasswell (Teacher) – Yoncalla; James and Marla Wiley – Yoncalla; Cheryl (Huntington) Patterson (67) – Myrtle Creek; Barbara McKirdy (50) – Eugene; Bill
LaMar (51) – Visalia, CA; Alma Waters (60) – Roseburg; Dick (47) and Arlen (Fast) Gordon (51) – Yoncalla
Dennis Thompson (66) by Rodney Thompson (60) – Pendleton
Mary Diana (Thompson) Brady (62) by Rodney Thompson (60) – Pendleton
Marvin Bagel Thompson (46) by Rodney Thompson (60) – Pendleton
Ronald Lee Powell (57) by May Ann Powell – Prineville
George Johnson (53) by Jim Wamsley (58) – Cottage Grove
Ray Benzel (69) by Randy Cady (70) – Alvadore
Melba (Boan) Joslyn (56) by Charlie (61) and Bonnie (Sehlin) Boan (66) – Yoncalla
Marli (Haller) Ward (87) by Deanna (Mast) Derrick (83) – Drain
Kim Campbell (78) by Deanna (Mast) Derrick (83) – Drain
Orrin Johnston (69) by Sally (Farrell) Florres (71) – Salem
Craig Daggs (67) by Terry (69) and Bonnie (Dupper) Duncan (67) – Yoncalla
Doyle Weaver (55) by Patricia (Weaver) Farley (58) – Drain
David Weaver (57) by Patricia (Weaver) Farley (58) – Drain
Jack Weaver (60) by Patricia (Weaver) Farley (58) – Drain
Caleb McDaniel (58) by Patricia (Weaver) Farley (58) – Drain
Jim Proebestel (58) by Patricia (Weaver) Farley (58) – Drain
Larry Palmer (58) by Patricia (Weaver) Farley (58) – Drain
James Barnes (58) by Patricia (Weaver) Farley (58) – Drain
Bruce Timmons (58) by Patricia (Weaver) Farley (58) – Drain
Dick McHaffie by Rick (71) and Betty (Tucker) Duncan (75) – Yoncalla
Charley Boan (61) by Marlow (52) and Lola (Highley) Fullbright (56) – Yoncalla; Terry (69) and Bonnie (Dupper) Duncan (67) – Yoncalla
Charolette Wise Memorial Scholarship: Jim Allen (76) – Sutherlin; Max Norris (70) - Yoncalla
Don Kingery Sr. Memorial Scholarship: Jim Allen (76) – Sutherlin; Francis Coggswell (60) – Roseburg
Quentin Rychard Memorial Scholarship: Jim Allen (76) – Sutherlin
J. R. Van Loon Memorial Scholarship: Jim Allen (76) – Sutherlin; Wayne Van Loon (65) – Beaverton; Tom and Gerry Derbyshire (Teachers) – Pleasant Hill
Devin Duncan Memorial Scholarship: Jim Allen (76) – Sutherlin; John Duncan (75) – Nine Mile Falls, WA; Don Wood – Union; Nicole (Meeuwsen) Reif (95) – Buckley, WA; Tom and Gerry Derbyshire (Teachers) – Pleasant Hill; Randy and Nancy Altman (Coach, Teacher and Principal) – Vernonia; Rick (71) and Betty (Tucker) Duncan (75) – Yoncalla; Morris Snider (54) - Salem
Bill Lasswell Memorial Scholarship: Jim Allen (76) – Sutherlin; Jim Booth (60) – Salem; Francis Coggswell (55) – Roseburg; Kay Van Krevelen (60) – Roseburg; Bill (54) and Lois (Parks) Campbell (55) – Yoncalla; Anne (Lasswell) Nagel (55) – El Cajon, CA
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