"The Distinguished Alumni we honor here have made notable contributions to the arts, sciences, athletics, entertainment, their community and their country. We acknowledge, with appreciation, their exceptional contributions and achievements. May they serve to remind us of the potential in all of us to transform knowledge and skill into action for the benefit of others, and may their lives continue to inspire current and future generations at Fort Vancouver High School Center for International Studies." -- Inscription to be placed about the Distinguished Alumni Wall at Fort Vancouver High School Center for International Studies
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Distinguished Alumni will be recognized each fall at the Homecoming assembly and football game.
Distinguished Alumni Inaugural Class: Class of 2016:
Current students and alums met in March 2016 to select our inaugural class of Distinguished Alumni. Recipients were recognized at Homecoming 2016 on Friday, September 23. Check out the the video our district made celebrating our event!
DALE BEACOCK: Class of 1948 Dale Beacock was an influential figure in our regional music scene. As a student at the University of Portland, Dale joined the US Army and then the US Navy and then attended the Navy School of Music in Washington, DC. He was assigned to the US Navy Fleet Band and earned his Masters in Music from the University of Portland. He was a music teacher for 50 years, played the clarinet and saxophone in several bands, provided private lessons and opened Beacock Music in 1976. He had a great sense of humor and saw the best in everyone. It was important to him to develop musicians but he really wanted to create good adults. Dale taught music both at Vancouver High School and Clark College. He was the orchestra conductor for the Miss Washington Pageant and numerous shows and musicals. In 1998 he was an inaugural member of the Washington Music Educators Association Hall of Fame and in 2012 he was inducted in the Rotary Rose Garden Hall of Fame. In 2012 Clark College renamed its music hall to honor Dale Beacock. Dale earned his pilot’s license, enjoyed collecting tin toys and antique postcards as well as walking, camping and climbing. Dale Beacock died in a cycling accident on the Oregon Coast on 8/4/2011.
TOM and KATHY (PROPSTRA) MEARS: Class of 1959 As high school sweethearts, Kathy was crowned Homecoming Queen and Tom was the Tolo King. Kathy started working in her parents’ restaurant at age 7. She attended the University of Washington, taught elementary school, and then raised their family and supported Tom as he grew the Propstra family business. Tom followed Kathy to UW and majored in Math. He worked as a computer programmer, joined the reserves and then started his illustrious career at Burgerville and The Holland as a management trainee. As president/CEO/Chairman of The Holland, Inc he helped create a sustainable NW based restaurant that paid extra for 100% wind power. During his career he served as a Board Director for a variety of organizations including banks, universities and the Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools. His community and industry based awards are numerous. Kathy has been an active member of PEO (a philanthropic organization for women) for over 20 years.
The Propstra family first donated anonymously and then donated millions to our city and school district including the Propstra Pool at McGloughlin Middle School, the Propstra Baseball Stadium on Hudson’s Bay campus and the Propstra Fountain in Esther Short Park. “Serve with Love”
BEAU and ROSE (CARMICAN)SEM: Class of 1992 Beau is the youngest of 11 children. His family fled the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia in the early 1970s. As a teen, Beau got involved with a Southeast Asian gang and unfortunately this lead to drugs, alcohol and other poor choices. As a teen, Rose watched Beau dance and invited him to join her at youth group activities. His life changed in positive ways and they married in 1995.
The couple is heavily involved in youth ministry efforts and Beau is an ordained pastor. They organized hip hop dance groups at several churches and athletic facilities and in opened Groove Nation in 2003. Through dance and ministry they equip individuals with tools to overcome adversity. Groove Nation has high expectations for its students. Dedication and commitment help dancers grow as young artists and to be a positive force in their community. Beau has been invited to speak at youth and church events, press conferences, and juvenile detention centers and at a variety of community organizations. The Vancouver Business Journal honored him with the “Most Accomplished & Under 40” award.
JOLENE BISHOPRICK UNSOELD: Class of 1949 As a high school student, Jolene held leadership roles in student activities on campus including Girls’ League and participated in the school play. She attended Oregon State University where she met her mountain climbing and environmental advocate husband who proposed at the top of Mt. Saint Helens. Jolene was the first woman to climb Wyoming's Grand Teton via its north face. She raised four children while her husband was the director of the Peace Corps in Katmandu, Nepal and she worked as the director of an English-language institute. In 1971, they settled in Olympia, WA and she became a self-appointed watchdog for citizen groups. She championed the Washington Public Disclosure Commission to create open government communication and campaign funds transparency. She served two terms as a state representative and served in the United States House of Representatives from 1989 to 1995 representing the Vancouver area. She worked hardest on the federal Freedom of Information Act as well as restrictions on the timber industry and off shore drilling on Washington’s Coast. She became best known for her opposition to gun control. In 2008, the Washington Coalition for Open Government honored Jolene with the James Madison Award for her government transparency efforts. Since leaving Congress, she has continued to advocate for environment reform and government transparency. Jolene is extremely modest about her contributions to our community, state and government.
“I believe all activism comes about you because you see something that drives you crazy, and you want to do something about it.”
HD Weddel: Class of 1975 As a high school student, HD Weddel was involved with football, wrestling and Young Life. He was crowned the Christmas Ball King his senior year. He earned three varsity letters in wrestling at Oregon State and was integral part of the team the three-time PAC 10 Championship team. HD earned his Masters Degree in Education from Portland State. HD dedicated 37 years to the field of education as a teacher, coach and principal. Additionally, he served as the Chaplin for the Linfield College Football team and at Oregon State University where he worked on developing the whole person, not just the athlete. In 2013, HD was inducted into the Oregon Wrestling Hall of Fame and he’s been the Wrestling Coach of the Year in the Pac 8 District four times. As an educator, HD was the Teacher of the Year in two school districts, the 2010 Oregon Career Technical Education Administrator of the Year, in 2014 he was the Bend LaPine Administrator of the Year and in 2015 Oregon recognized him as the Principal of the Year. HD was coaxed out of retirement to serve as a vice principal in Madras, OR. Despite his numerous honors, HD remains a humble and inspirational leader who has spent his life and career building trust and relationships.