SGM Big Bear High School Education Foundation
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SGM/BBHS Foundation Newsletter
June 6, 2004

It's Banquet Time for the Foundation. The date is June 13 at Northwoods Hotel in Big Bear, at 5:30 p.m. Get your reservations in for the dinner. Cost is $35.00. Send your check to SGM/BBHS Foundation, in care of Shelli Knott, P.O. Box 1529, Big Bear Lake, California, 92315. It is a great banquet where we honor new scholarship award winners and recent retirees of the school district. It is a great event every year.

SUMMER TIME IS HERE!!!! The spring sports at Big Bear High are finished, the school play is over and we await graduation. If you know of someone who graduated this year with a degree please let me know. Al

ED. NOTE. I am so proud of Diane (Manning) Kendall, class of 1981, who has worked so hard to complete her B.A. degree in teaching from Chapman College on May 23. She plans on teaching special education. Her mother Pat Manning, who has been an aide at Big Bear High for many years, had recent knee-replacement surgery but was well enough to attend the graduation ceremony. WAY TO GO DIANE and congratulations to Mom!!!!!!

An alumni sent me an e-mail about a reunion of the classes from 1971 to 1977 and somehow I lost it trying to place it in this e mailing. Whoever it was, please send me your message again and I am so sorry I goofed!!!! Al

Tony Kerst has again printed a wonderful newsletter for the SGM/BBHS Foundation. If you did not receive the newsletter please send me an e-mail requesting the newsletter and we will place your name on the mailing list. Al


Hello Dr. Waner,
Just a quick note to say hello!! Also to let you know that I just filled out information about our upcoming class of 1984 - 20-year reunion from the SGM website. Could you please post the info and if you need any other details... let me know.

Thank You, Rich Reif
(the youngest of the Reif's !)


Dear Al,
I just read your email, which I do every month. I enjoy hearing about what's happening in Big Bear. Currently, I am living in Guatemala with my wife Shannon and our three children (the youngest being born here just 2 months ago). Mrs. Wray was my 2nd grade teacher, and I often think about her, and wonder where and how she is. I will be praying for her and her family. I remember her dogs from our 2nd grade camp out at camp buttercup. They were bigger than her students. Anyway, please pass along a greeting to everyone at the D.O. when you go there next, and a congratulations to Ron.

Just so you know, I graduated BBHS class of 88', and attended BVUSD since the end of 1st grade. So, blessings to you all, and thank you for continuing this email.

Rob Hastings


In our last e-mail in May I had received a wonderful e-mail from Peppi (Wray) Clark telling about her mother (Avery) who taught 2nd grade for some 18 or 19 years at Big Bear Elementary. I am sorry to report to you know that Avery Wray passed on Friday, May 14. I asked Peppi to send me something about her mother and this is what she wrote:

Avery Hubbard Wray
Every child you touched is richer.

Born December 16, 1911 in Redlands. Died May 14, 2004 in Placerville. Mother of Al Wray of Big Bear Lake, Grandmother of Shannon Wray Voss and Julie Wray Barnwell. Mother of Peppi Clark, Grandmother of Scott D. Clark, David I. Torres, Bill Rose, Beverly Rose Dunn, Janice Clark Henson, and Deana Cuevas. Great grandmother of RC Clark, Lorenzo Torres, Kristy Rose Green, Shara Dunn Stoner, Nikki Dunn, Evelyn Godoy Rosas, Luis Godoy, James Godoy, Michael Godoy, Anita Cuevas, Monica Cuevas, and Tony Cuevas. Great great grandmother of Adrian Rosas, Christian Rosas, Angelique Cuevas, Zeke X. Green and Alora Rose Stoner.

She grew up mostly in Redlands, but summers were spent in Big Bear first as a camper and later counselor and co-director of Tamarack Lodge for Girls. This gave her a lifelong enjoyment of bird watching and stargazing She loved school and learning, but before junior colleges the only way she could go to college was to attend the private University of Redlands in her hometown. She only had $100 saved and Redlands was a Baptist school; Avery was a Methodist. In her usual confrontive fashion she applied to the University and talked to its president about her circumstances. His answer, Trust in the Lord and the University, and we will get you through. They did. She graduated 1933 with high honors and immediately started her life long work as an educator.

During WWII she did her patriotic duty by going to work for Lockheed. She was the first teacher they hired, and because of the excellence of her work as a procuress, Lockheed created a policy of hiring teachers whenever possible. Much to her chagrin, Lockheed blocked her enlistment in the Army (after she had saved ration coupons to purchase her required shoes) by labeling her essential to the war effort.

She married Dr. Alfons I. Wray, her ophthalmologist, and a family friend of her best friend, Ruth Price, in Redlands 1944. Widowed in 1954 with two small children to raise, she returned to the classroom. She taught school in Los Angeles and Hawthorne. She eventually returned to Big Bear, which she had always thought of as the home of her heart. Her first year there as a second grade teacher was difficult because it was her first experience with primary aged children; she did a second year to prove to herself that it wasn't so bad. She did at least sixteen more until her retirement at age 68. After retiring, she returned to Big Bear classrooms as a volunteer (often five days a week) and mentored new teachers along the way. She thought retirement was wonderful because she had the fun of working with young people without the headache of forms and reports. She believed that the concerns and needs of the current and last generations always came in a distant second to the needs of the next generation. She always believed that the key to our futures, individually, as a nation and a world, lay in education. She cajoled and bullied both her children into graduating from college despite changed majors and indecision on their parts. She continued this practice throughout her life. She had a talent for helping young people confront their life, education or career indecision and confusion and catalyze it into forward motion. After her retirement into the convalescent hospital, she took the dial-a-ride two days a week with a brown bag lunch the Pines packed for her and went to a local Placerville school as a volunteer. She continued to help children learn to read. That ended when she was 88 years old.

She didn't quit. She was always encouraging people to help their children plan for and achieve higher levels of education. She persuaded two of her aides in the retirement home to return to school and get RN's. She talked to all of the employees and volunteers children and grandchildren about their hopes, dreams and education. She kept a wall with the pictures of her children's children, her friends' children and the children of anyone she contacted. She felt involved and was interested in their lives and their educations (the future). She was an organizer of the Malibu 4-H club. She was a horsemanship co-leader (she was afraid of horses, but she did the book portion for her co-leader, a Ventura rancho mission Indian). She was a scorekeeper for many years in her son's Little League. In her spare time she raised and showed Newfoundlands. She was one of the founders of the Newfoundland Club of Southern California and has many lifelong friends among Newf people across the country. Her mother had a sense of history, and Avery recalled accompanying her mother to the polls to witness the first election in which women voted. Avery was a wonderful storyteller. She told stories of everyday life that were interesting, but spanned experiences from days of horse and buggy transportation through WWI, the depression and WWII to space travel, microwave cooking, and digital life. One of her last projects was to learn Emailing and surfing the internet. Her unwavering Christian faith fortified and sustained her through her life's pain.

Please do not send flowers. Touch the life of a child in her memory. Memorial contributions may be made to SGM Big Bear Scholarship fund, the Dr. Alfons I Wray Memorial Library the University of California, Irvine, or the charity of your choice.

Al, Peppi & RC
P O Box 685. Somerset, CA 95684
530 622-1876 or


The newsletter gets better every time. Thought it was great the first time but it continues to get better. So nice to read some names that are familiar to us. We know Kathleen and Beverly Ward and of course knew their parents as well. Our children had Avery Wray and remember her and her dogs so well. We wish her well and can appreciate Peppi taking care of her. These are all great memories. Thanks again for sharing such great information.

Gary and Marie Wanke, class of 1956
Previous eNews/Newsletters:
- 04/20/2012
- 03/30/2012
- 10/02/2009
- 09/18/2009
- 08/21/2009
- 08/07/2009
- 11/05/2008
- 09/30/2008
- 07/29/2008
- 07/01/2008
- 06/04/2008
- 05/14/2008
- 04/21/2008
- 04/02/2008
- 03/16/2008
- 02/29/2008
- 02/29/2008
- 02/03/2008
- 01/17/2008
- 12/07/2007
- 11/15/2007
- 10/25/2007
- 08/25/2007
- 08/01/2007
- 06/18/2007
- 05/17/2007
- 04/22/2007
- 03/25/2007
- 02/25/2007
- 02/04/2007
- 01/10/2007
- 12/28/2006
- 11/26/2006
- 09/27/2006
- 09/06/2006
- 08/02/2006
- 07/09/2006
- 06/05/2006
- 05/13/2006
- 03/29/2006
- 02/28/2006
- 01/22/2006
- 12/06/2005
- 11/22/2005
- 10/01/2005
- 09/05/2005
- 08/22/2005
- 08/13/2005
- 07/11/2005
- 06/06/2005
- 05/11/2005
- 03/29/2005
- 03/13/2005
- 02/14/2005
- 01/21/2005
- 12/15/2004
- 11/07/2004
- 09/26/2004
- 08/05/2004
- 07/12/2004
- 06/06/2004
- 05/07/2004
- 03/21/2004
- 03/14/2004
- 01/24/2004
- 12/21/2003
- 11/10/2003
- 10/03/2003
- 09/12/2003
- 08/23/2003
- 07/30/2003
- 06/26/2003

- Summer 2002, Volume 1, Issue 2: PDF Version (4.4 MB)
- Fall 2001: PDF Version (3.9 MB)
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