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SGM Big Bear High School Education Foundation Alumni Newsletter
February 29, 2008

Justine and Christina Senter, (Class of 2001) living a new life style

It may seem unlikely that a former Prom King and his high school sweetheart, the Homecoming Queen, would opt for a life of roughing it and service, but that is what Big Bear High School graduates Justin and Christina Senter have done. After graduating from BBHS in 2001, marrying, and completing degrees at California State University Long Beach, the Senters made the move to Tintane, Mauritania this summer.

As members of the Peace Corps, Justin and Christina will spend two years in Mauritania, an Islamic country located in the Sahara Desert in northwest Africa. While adapting to considerable lifestyle change, Justin is teaching English at a public school and Christina is working in small enterprise development. For more details and photos from their adventure, you can visit the Senters' blog at

Terresa Schwietzer, (Class of 82) selected from 14,000 applicants for trip to New York.

Longtime local Terresa Schweitzer is a model citizen - and on her way to New York City in February's third week, as one of the top 10 finalists in More magazine's 40+ Model Search. Schweitzer, age 43, explains that "More magazine is the only magazine for women over 40" and, as a reader, she found out about the model search co-sponsored by Wilhelmina Models.

Her husband Brent, (class of 81), her high school sweetheart from their Big Bear High School days, encouraged her to apply, and Teressa went for it, attending an open call in Las Vegas. Schweitzer says, "I told them I'm a grandma who wears Jimmy Choo shoes." A mother of three (kids are Nicholas, 21; Kathleen, 19; and Max, 11), Schweitzer tells BigBearNews that she was shocked that, of the over 14,000 applicants, she made it to the More/Wilhelmina 40+ Model Search Top 10. "I'm really in a state of disbelief," she says, "I'm very surprised and excited."

In an event at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City on February 20, to be hosted by actress Joan Allen, Schweitzer will get to strut down the runway and, if selected in the top three, will receive a modeling contract with Wilhelmina - and, as a top 10 finalist, will be in the June issue of More.

Schweizer tells us, "I want to make Big Bear proud. I feel very happy in my life because of my great marriage and because I live in such a wonderful place." So, should the modeling gig come and go, Schweitzer is happy to continue her life here, where she is a Pilates instructor and runs the Teddy Bear Restaurant, which she and husband Brent own in Big Bear Lake. While she doesn't spend much time with the operations of Teddy Bear, Terresa said the regular customers and employees are fabulous. "It's Cheers without the beer," Terresa said of Teddy Bear. "It's pie and pancakes." And friends.

Terresa said the customers, her friends and family are all excited for her adventure as a model in New York City. Her friends told her they feel like it's happening to them, too. They told her to relax and enjoy the experience.

"That's easy for them to say," Terresa said. "They aren't the one on the runway."

Suzie Hall, a close friend, told Terresa to do her best and leave it in the Lord's hands. Terresa said she will count on her strength, her faith and the encouragement of her friendships. She hopes she does well, but said it's amazing and humbling to be included in the finals. She said women today can do whatever they want. Beauty isn't limited by size, color, race or age as it was years ago.

With an encouraging husband at her side, Terresa's children will be rooting for their mother. Max, her 11-year-old son, said he didn't plan to make a big deal and tell everyone unless she won.

This is a small town as everyone already knows. Terresa considers herself a winner whether she's a More model or not.

Bears CIF Update (Thanks to Big Bear News!)

Another season has wrapped for the student athletes of Big Bear High School. The Girls Varsity Soccer Team played in the first round of CIF Playoffs on February 16 in a game against Beaumont High School, who won the game in a score of 2-0. The Girls Varsity Basketball Team also made it to Round 1 of CIF Playoffs, but were defeated by South Hills High School in a game off the mountain on Valentines Day. The Boys Varsity Basketball Team won their first round of CIF play in a score of 88 to 48, but lost February 15's Round 2 CIF Playoff Game against Viewpoint at "our house" on Friday, in a score of 64 to 58.

Bears athletics continue, though, with spring sports--Boys Baseball Teams travel to San Bernardino for scrimmages this Saturday, and Girls Softball gets underway with away games for both varsity and JV squads set for February 23 as well. Boys Golf will tee off against San Jacinto next Tuesday, with the BBHS Track scheduled to start in March.

Big Bear Chamber fundraiser

The 18th Annual Fantasy Auction and Fabulous Food Fair, which is the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce's primary fundraiser, $51,200 was raised at the event, making it a very successful evening. Over 350 members of Big Bear's business community attended the February 10th event held at the Big Bear Lake Convention Center. There were 200+ auction items donated and $1,000 given away in the 50/50 drawing. This is the first part of the story. Now for the remainder of the story that relates to Big Bear High alumni:

What topped the evening off was a special surprise tribute to Theela Butcher, in memory of her husband Bob Butcher, who passed in December. For the last several years Bob purchased the "Roses" package for Theela. To honor and thank him for his years of service to the Chamber and to share their support for his family, the Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Union Bank of California and The Little Green House Florist, presented Theela the same package Bob purchased for her each year. Carol Mulvihill, a past board member for the Chamber, did a wonderful job presenting the roses to Theela and a standing ovation soon followed, making it a truly special occasion. Great job, Carol Mulvihill. Carol is a member of the Steven G. Mihaylo/Big Bear High Foundation board among the many other organizations she volunteers her time to each year.

Another tribute to 1st Lieutenant Jared Landaker, Class of 1993

It was a year ago this week that our local hero, U.S. Marine 1st Lieutenant Jared Landaker, and six fellow soldiers were shot down in Iraq while in the line of duty. In the year since, Landaker's parents Laurie and Joe, and their extended family, have honored Jared's memory by establishing the Seven Stars Foundation. The non-profit, named for the seven soldiers onboard the CH-46 helicopter on the seventh of February 2007, raised about $15,000 in September as a result of the Jared Landaker Memorial Run for Freedom and, Joe Landaker tells BigBearNews, proceeds from the 10K were shared with organizations that benefit military personnel and their families.

The next event planned to honor Jared will be the installation of signs along Highway 38, designating it the 1st Lieutenant Jared M. Landaker, USMC Memorial Highway, as approved by the California Legislature last summer. Total cost for the creation and installation of the signs by CalTrans is $2,600 and, for those who want to contribute, a fund in Jared's name has been established at First Mountain Bank in the Interlaken Center. One sign will be installed on the North Shore at the Dam and the other will be placed at Greenway in Big Bear City, with a dedication planned for May 2, the day before what would have been Jared's 27th birthday.

But, for the time being, the extended Landaker family, along with friends and U.S. Marines from Camp Pendleton, celebrated Jared at Riverside National Cemetery (known as Arlington West, Joe says) and flew the American flag, recently gifted to them from a soldier serving in Iraq, at half-mast outside the Landaker home in Big Bear City. And, also, in light of this poignant week, Jared's dad extends their gratitude to the Big Bear community: "We want to thank this wonderful community for what they have done in support of Jared."


The BIG news from the Steven G. Mihaylo Big Bear High School Education Foundation is the ongoing Capital Campaign which started in October. The foundation is hoping to raise $250,000 for the Scholarship and Teacher Grants programs. Every donated penny will be matched by Steve Mihaylo. Our Foundation Endowment is now over $1,000,000 and we are excited about the prospect of adding to our scholarship fund. Our team captains will be leading the campaign. Neal Waner has volunteered to serve as the Campaign Chairman. The captains are:

  • Alumni Team 1960's and prior: Dick Leroy - (Call Marie Wanke, 909-585-9898)
  • Alumni Team 1970's and 1980's: Cathy Fulton - 909-866-2777
  • Alumni Team 1990's and later: Carrie Boucher - 909-866-6099 (Call Carrie's mom, Barbara in Big Bear)
  • Community Team #1: Tom Johnson - 951-415-3047
  • Community Team #2: Loren Hafen - 951-830-4386

These alumni and community friends have volunteered to lead us to the victory of soliciting pledges in the next three years. We will need to hear from all of our alumni to accomplish our goal. Please feel free to call any of the above captains and volunteer to help call other alumni or to serve as a team member under the captains. The capital campaign will be soliciting pledges for the next 9 months. Hope you decide to contribute.

At our Steve Mihaylo Big Bear High Education Foundation meeting on November 20, the report from the captains was very positive. Help out the captains by calling a captain and participate in the campaign. If you want to contribute call any of the captains listed above. Remember: every dollar you give is matched by Steve Mihaylo.

On January 28, Neal Waner announced the good news is several of our community members and alumni have already pledged to give $568,006 in the next three years and Steve Mihaylo has agreed to match any contributions. If you have not had a chance to pledge to the capital campaign call Marie Wanke, 909-585-9898 or Al Waner 909-798-8761 and they can assist you in sending the pledge to the right address. OR you can send your pledge to SGM/BBHS Educational Foundation, P.O. Box 1529, Big bear Lake, California, 92315. Also you can get information about the foundation on the foundation web site:


I received a beautiful announcement of the Big Bear High Class of 1968 Reunion celebrating their 40th class reunion on the high seas. Go to and vote for the destination of your choice or by sending an email to I am sure they would love to have other alumni join them on the voyage. You can also call 909-585-7506 and ask for Linda (Gipson) McGinnis and get all of the details.

I wrote to Lynda and asked for an update. Here is her response:

Hi Al,

Yes, the reunion is on... Now it is go to the web site to sign up & get more info. We are having a great response to it and have, I think 10 cabins booked by class mates so far. Some are class mates sharing, some with their spouses. Thank you for your help in announcing it and would you please let everyone know it is open to ANY BBHS grade and their families!!

Regards, Lynda Gipson (class of 68) McGinnis
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- 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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