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Graduates of Distinction



Mark Higgins, Director of Communications

Susie Golden, Administrative Assistant


Purpose of the Award

The Walla Walla Public Schools Graduates of Distinction program provides an avenue for recognizing high school graduates of Walla Walla Public Schools who have distinguished themselves in their communities, professions, or careers; and to honor the Walla Walla Public Schools staff members who were the most inspirational in the lives of those individuals.

Eligibility for Nomination

  1. The individual must have graduated from high school in the Walla Walla Public Schools at least 10 years prior to nomination.
  2. The individual need not be a current resident of Walla Walla.
  3. The individual need not be present to accept the award, but will make a concerted effort to be present or send a representative to accept the award.

How to Nominate

  1. Fillable PDF nomination and supporting letter forms are available online at: www.wwps.org (Graduates of Distinction page) or in hard copy at the District Office, 364 S. Park St. - Walla Walla, WA 99362
  2. Mail or hand deliver the completed hard copy nomination form and three supporting letters by March 15 to:

Walla Walla Public Schools
Attn: Mark Higgins, Director of Communications
364 S. Park Street
Walla Walla, WA 99362

Selection Criteria

Recognition is intended to honor Walla Walla Public Schools graduates for outstanding achievement. Selection is based on service to humanity, contributions to career or profession, and/or other accomplishments including awards & honors.

  • No Selection Committee member shall make a nomination.
  • Selection shall be made by the entire committee, and the process must remain confidential.
  • Nominations will be held for five years, and will automatically be included for consideration.

Selection Committee

The selection committee shall consist of at least nine voting members, with one member being a Board of Director.  The Director of Communications and Community Relations will serve as the Chairperson (non-voting).

Past Honorees

2023 Graduates of Distinction

Norm Passmore Class of 1972
Mary Vixie Sandy Class of 1978
Steve Bughi

Class of 1978

Tera Watts Davis Class of 1998

2022 Graduates of Distinction

Russ Colombo Class of 1974
Deborah Underwood Class of 1979
Mark Thompson

Class of 1970

J.P. (Jack) Fredrickson Class of 1952

2021 Graduates of Distinction

Elizabeth "Libby" Frazier Class of 1973
Judith Ann Huntington Class of 1964
Garth Lindsey

Class of 1962

Mike Monahan Class of 1960
Allison Bingham, PhD Class of 1977
Kathy Covey

Class of 1973

2019 Graduates of Distinction

Peggy Blize Needham Class of 1982
Scott Krivoshein Class of 1983
Mary Lux Stumph

Class of 1983

Dr. Tony Billingsley

Class of 1993

2018 Graduates of Distinction

Terry Atchison Class of 1966
Dr. Randall Barton Class of 1971
Dr. Elizabeth MacDonald

Class of 1995

2017 Graduates of Distinction

Bruce Hunt Class of 1974
Jeanne Eggart Helfer Class of 1977
Dr. Richard Simon

Class of 1968

2016 Graduates of Distinction

Jerry Zahl Class of 1962
Gary Hanson Class of 1976
Mark Kajita

Class of 1987

2015 Graduates of Distinction

Judy Chamberlain Holloway Class of 1962
Richard “Dick” Moeller Class of 1963
Carol M. Barker

Class of 1974

2014 Graduates of Distinction

Thomas L. Copeland Class of 1942
Daniel J. Hess Class of 1968
Paul H. Schneidmiller

Class of 1970

David Wagner

Class of 1993

2013 Graduates of Distinction

Carol Minnick Santa Class of 1962
Dan Reid Class of 1974
Craig Nelson Class of 1981

2012 Graduates of Distinction

John P. Folsom Class of 1962
Jill A. Largent, M.D. Class of 1968
Megan Ferguson Clubb Class of 1974

2011 Graduates of Distinction

Edward Aliverti Class of 1950
Lt. Gen. (Ret) Robert D. Beckel Class of 1955
Larry B. Siegel Class of 1968
Drew M. Bledsoe Class of 1990

2010 Graduates of Distinction

Dr. Richard K. Knuth Class of 1969
Mary Jane Towner-Glaser Class of 1971
Tim Donaldson Class of 1979

2009 Graduates of Distinction

Dr. Philip Phillips Class of 1975
Greg Ralston Pepin Class of 1968
Daniel DeSiga Class of 1967
R. F. "Dick" Monahan Class of 1958

2008 Graduates of Distinction

John E. "Jack" Pelo Class of 1974
Gretchen Miller Kafoury Class of 1959
Claro E. Bergevin Class of 1941

2007 Graduates of Distinction

Barbara D. Johnson Class of 1967
Dr. Neil V. Follett Class of 1944

2006 Graduates of Distinction

AnnRené Joseph Class of 1973
Dr. Stephen A. Hayner Class of 1966
Val Jensen Class of 1947

2005 Graduates of Distinction

Dr. George Cole Williams Jr. Class of 1947
Michael Maiden Class of 1968
Gerwyn A. Jones Class of 1928

2004 Graduates of Distinction

Ned Shafer Class of 1961
Harold R. Frank Class of 1941
Jeffrey Frank Ray Class of 1978

2003 Graduates of Distinction

Irene Gonzales Class of 1980
Gene Frank Class of 1946
Mark Anderson Class of 1973

2002 Graduates of Distinction

Robert I. Brunton Class of 1953
James K. Hayner Class of 1968
Charlotte Wirth Class of 1944

2001 Graduates of Distinction

Vickie Anderson VanZandt Class of 1972
Jeanne Parker-Miller Class of 1969
H. Eugene Blattman Class of 1954
Edward N. “Ned” Lange Class of 1952
Gordon L. Jaynes Class of 1946

2000 Graduates of Distinction

Bruce T. Bjerke Class of 1968
Dr. William C. Dement Class of 1947
Philip N. Lane, Jr. Class of 1962
Gordon S. Riess Class of 1944
Wilber Pribilsky Class of 1951

1999 Graduates of Distinction

James F. Aylward Class of 1946
Karen E. Glover Class of 1968
Eric Johnson Class of 1968
Michael M. Murr Class of 1969
Richard P. Neher Class of 1949

WALLA WALLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS • 364 South Park St. • Walla Walla, WA 99362 • Phone: 509-527-3000 • Fax: 509.529.7713

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