Class Notes Spring 2013

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Picicci Named Assistant Principal of the Year

’00 Ray Picicci, BS biology, has been named the 2013 Assistant Principal of the Year by the Washington Association of Secondary School Principals.

Picicci has served as the assistant principal at Cheney High School since 2007, where he is the lead for curriculum, instruction and assessment. He has taken new teachers under his wing and has been highly involved at the district level with literacy, math and science committees and the highly capable program. He created an after-school homework center with tutors from local colleges, was the driver behind the summer school program and has put together most of the school’s intervention systems.

Before coming to Cheney, Picicci was a science and biology teacher at Shadle Park and North Central high schools in Spokane. He is involved with extra-curricular activities at Cheney, serves on the Association of Washington School Principals’ high school governing board and coaches soccer, baseball and basketball in the community. He and his wife, Sarah, live in Spokane with their two young children.


Day Receives Oswald Memorial Award

Jay Day was selected by the EWU Football program to receive the Tom Oswald Memorial Award, presented at the EWU Football Awards Banquet in February. The Tom Oswald Memorial Award was created in 2007 in the memory of former Cheney High School coach Tom Oswald, who passed away in 2006. Recipients are selected by the EWU coaching staff for following Oswald’s creed of “Doing the Right Thing” for youth.

“Jay is a perfect recipient for this honor,” said head football coach Beau Baldwin. “What he does for this community and university is commendable, and we couldn’t be prouder of him as a former football player here working with youth. And the fact he coached under Tom makes it that much more meaningful.”

Day lettered as a defensive back for Eastern in 1992 and 1995 after graduating in 1991 from Clover Park High School in Tacoma, Wash. He began his high school coaching career under Oswald, and is currently an officer for the EWU Police Department.

He earned his degree in therapeutic recreation and worked in that profession until he was hired by the EWU Police Department in 2008. Day graduated from the Washington State Basic Law Enforcement Academy in 2009, and has helped serve as the athletic department liaison with campus police. He has aided EWU in an overall effort to break down barriers between college students and public safety officials.

“Jay is an Eagle to the core and his passion for the game can be witnessed on Saturdays as he patrols the sidelines wearing a different uniform, responsible not for containment of a fleeting quarterback, but for excited incredible fans,” said EWU Police Chief Tim Walters. “Jay always has one eye on the stands and one eye on the field as plays develop, eager to explain ‘blown coverage’ to anyone within earshot.”

Day began coaching at Cheney High School in 1998 under Oswald, who retired in 2002. Day remains the school’s defensive coordinator under another former Eagle, Jason Williams (1993-94). Day and his wife, Hope, reside in Cheney, with their three children – Xavier, Janessa and Sofia.


Wong Takes the Helm at SF State

’74 Leslie E. Wong, MA experimental psychology, was invested as the 13th president of San Francisco State University on March 14, 2013.

Wong began his tenure at the university in August 2012. Prior to that, he served for nine years as president of Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Mich. He has also served in administrative and academic roles at Valley City State University in Valley City, N.D., University of Southern Colorado in Pueblo, Colo., The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., and Pierce College in Tacoma, Wash. In addition to his master’s degree from Eastern, he holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Gonzaga University and a doctorate degree in educational psychology from Washington State University.


Eagles in Atlanta

Faithful fans and supporters of the EWU basketball program gathered for the NCAA Final Four Basketball Tournament in Atlanta in April.

Taking a little time away from the court and hitting the golf links were Charlie Watson, Coach Jim Hayford, ’86 Greg Deckard, Dave Wheat, Tim Szymanowski, ’78 Tom Cochrane, Jon Kagawa and Gary Hopkins.


Recent Announcements


’12 Meagan Helean, BA accounting, has been promoted to controller in the administration department of Manito Golf & Country Club in Spokane.

’11 Nick Crooks, BA accounting, has been promoted to staff accountant at Nicholas Knapton, PS, a CPA firm in Spokane.

’11 Talia Mensik, BA business, has been promoted to a staff A accountant at McDirmid, Mikkelsen & Secrest PS in Spokane.

’11 Jason Pearce, BA accounting, has been hired as a financial analyst for GreenCupboards, an online retailer of organic, environmentally friendly products. He previously worked as an accountant at CU*Northwest in Liberty Lake.

’10 Viktoriya Malko, BA finance, has been promoted to a staff A accounting position with Nicholas Knapton, PS, a CPA firm in Spokane.


’09 William Hughbanks, BA criminal justice, has been hired as an associate for the law office of Campbell and Bissell, PLLC.

’09 Kaitlin Pallardy, BA communication disorders, has been hired by Greater Spokane Incorporated as events director. She previously served as event sales manager at Arbor Crest Wine Cellars.

’09 Lauren Ruane, BA criminal justice, and Kevin Remington have announced their engagement. She is a deputy clerk at the Grant County Courthouse in Ephrata, Wash. The couple plans to marry Sept. 29, 2013, in Wenatchee, Wash.

’08 Matthew A. Mensik, BA history, and Amy De Santis plan to marry Oct. 19, 2013, at Lake Union Café in Seattle. Matthew graduated from the University of Washington School of Law in 2011 and served in the Marine Corps from 2001-05. He is an attorney for Witherspoon Kelley, PS in Spokane.

’08, ’03 Kasey Ann Schmidt, MPA, communication studies, married Collin David Kelley, Feb. 25, 2012, in Costa Rica. The couple lives in Spokane Valley. She is an account executive at Bozzi Media.

’08 Mattie (Bridgmon) Suver, BS exercise science, competed in the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Poland in March. She was the third finisher for the USA senior women, helping them to finish fourth overall in the completion.

’07, ’04, ’99 Jen Hussey, MPA, MA and BA history, has joined the Spokane Parks Foundation’s executive board of directors.

’07 Teanna Meinhold, BA business management, married Kaleb Gentry, Sept. 29, 2012, in Kettle Falls, Wash. She is a medical sales territory manager. The couple lives in the Seattle area.

’05 Deacon Band, BS technology, has been named president of the Spokane Home Builders Association. He is the owner of Band Construction Inc.

’05, ‘01 Sean Drexler, MS, BS computer science, has been hired by Imprezzio Inc. as a senior developer.

’04 Ryan Baldwin, BS computer science, has been hired as a front-end developer for 14Four. He previously worked for DigiDeal Inc., as a software engineer.

’03 Marty Gonzales, BS communication studies, has been named executive director of Mobius Spokane. He previously served as director of Mobius Kids and has been with the organization since 2005.

’00, 98 Libby Hein, MS mental health counseling, BS psychology, has been hired as the new Spokane community director for Children’s Home Society of Washington. Hein will be overseeing CHSW’s Galland-Ashlock Family Resource Center in the Spokane Valley and the Children’s Waiting Room at the Spokane County Courthouse. She previously served as the program director of Catholic Charities Childbirth and Parenting Assistance Program in Spokane.


’99, 97 Brenda McCracken, MS and BS biology, of Spokane Community Colleges, has been appointed as secretary to the board of directors for the Inland Northwest Land Trust.

’98 Patsy Gayda, BA liberal studies, of Spokane Teacher’s Credit Union, has been named to the board for the Women Helping Women Fund.

’98 Mark J. Richard, BA government, has been named president of Downtown Spokane Partnership. He is a retired two-term Spokane County commissioner.

’95 Chuck Hormel, BA business, has joined Re/Max Inland Empire, in Spokane, as an agent. He previously was with Prudential Spokane Real Estate.

’95 Joel Loiacono, MPA, has returned as the executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association Inland Northwest Chapter. He spent 10 months in Kuwait working on the withdrawal of American forces and equipment from Iraq.

’94, ’82 Steve Jurich, MBA, BA recreation management, has been promoted to senior vice president of operations for YMCA of the Inland Northwest. He has been with the organization for 30 years.

’93 Colene Rubertt, BA general studies, has joined the Morning Star Foundation in Spokane, as its executive director. She previously was executive director of the Camp Fire USA Inland Northwest Council.

’92 Darrell Pierce, BA business, has been promoted to assistant manager, client services in the retirement and investor services department at Principal Financial Group Inc. in Spokane.

’91 Jon Roman, BA business, has been promoted to director of retail services for URM Stores, Inc., in Spokane. He’s been with the company since 1992 and previously worked as the manager of grocery procurement.

’90 Charlie Thurston, BA business, a PGA professional at Spokane Country Club, has recently started a company that combines PGA golf instruction, a luxury golf experience and wine touring to promote tourism in the Pacific Northwest.


’88 Peggy Skirko, BA journalism, has been hired as marketing and communications director for Spokane Home Builders Association. She previously worked for the Journal of Business, Banner Marketing and The Spokesman-Review as an advertising account executive.

’87, ’85 Bradley J. Cardinal, MS college instruction physical education, BA physical education, professor in the College of public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University, has received the 2013 Distinguished Scholar Award from the National Association for Kinesiology in Higher Education. He also received the 2013 Distinguished Service Award from the Research Consortium of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

’85 Martina Whelshula, BA communication studies, was presented with the Patricia Whitefoot Education Award during the Potlatch Fund’s 10th annual gala. Whelshula is executive director of The Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations Youth Residential Treatment Facility in Spokane Valley.

’84 Becky Berg, BA English, has been selected as the new superintendent for the Marysville (Wash.) School District. She begins her new post on July 1, 2013. She is currently the superintendent of the Deer Park School District north of Spokane. Previously, she has served as acting, associate and full principals in the Bainbridge Island and Mead school districts.

’84 Kathleen (McMillin) Kolendich, BA management, married Tom Gallagher, Aug. 10, 2012, in Woodinville, Wash. The couple lives in Sammamish, Wash.

’84 Diane Thoren, MBA, of Avista, has been named to the board of the Women Helping Women Fund.

’83 Army Brig. Gen. Gary J. Volesky, BS military science, chief of public affairs, Office of the Secretary of the Army, Washington, D.C., has been nominated for the rank of major general.

’82 Lisa Bresnahan, BA education, has been promoted to business development executive/ educational sales for Fierce in the Schools’ educational division. She has 13 years of sales experience.

’81 Julie Banks, BA education, has been promoted by YMCA of the Inland Northwest to community development director. She has been with the organization since 2005.

’80 Terren Roloff, BA journalism, has been hired by Washington State University as the director of community and public affairs. She previously served as director of community relations and communications for Spokane Public Schools.


’78 Tobey W. Hatley, BA radio/TV, has been named president of Honor Point Military & Aerospace Museum of Spokane Valley.

’77 Jack Lucas, BA music, president of TicketsWest, has earned the Patricia G. Spira Lifetime Achievement award from the International Ticketing Association. Lucas has worked in the ticketing industry for 26 years.

’75 Michael Rydbom, BA administrative office management, has been honored with the Don C. Burnham Lifetime Achievement Award by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of Washington. He works for AIA Hub Insurance and has worked in the industry since 1976.


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