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SGM Big Bear High School Education Foundation Alumni Newsletter
April 22, 2008

Second Lieutenant: Matt LaFontaine

In the March 12, 2008, edition of the Grizzly there was an article concerning Matthew La Fontaine being commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps on November 30 at Quantico, Va. Matt spent the summer traveling across the country before entering officer candidate school in September.

Second Lt. La Fontaine is a 2003 graduate from Big Bear High. While Matt was working on his Eagle Scout Award he lead his Boy Scout Scout troop in replacing landscaping along Big Bear Boulevard in front of the First Baptist Church. He was a joy to work with and did a marvelous job in directing these young boy scouts in this extensive project. He achieved his Eagle Scout Rank at that time. What a great example to Big Bear High Students. I know his parents must be very proud. Way to go Matt!!!! Big Bear is proud of you.

33 years of Bliss - Ron and Elena Peavy

Great picture of Ron and Elena Peavy celebrating their 33 wedding anniversary in last weeks Grizzly. Elena has been helping at the Middle School this year as a counselor (since she retired) and Ron is serving at the Rim of the World School District as the interim superintendent (since he retired). Elena is working at BBMS as a counselor with students who are academically (and otherwise) at risk! She tells me it is extremely interesting and challenging job! She enjoys the opportunity. It proves that some people don't know how to retire!!!!!!

Cavanagh Takes New Job

Many of you remember Bernie Cavanaugh, former Assistant Principal of Big Bear High and later Principal of Big Bear Middle School. Bernie and Kim left Big Bear several years ago and Bernie worked in the Yucaipa-Calimesa Unified School District Office and most recently as the principal of the Yucaipa High School. Congratulations to Bernie who resigned from Yucaipa High School and was appointed principal of the new Citrus Valley High School in the Redlands Unified School District, starting in July. Kim is a principal of the Meadow Creek Elementary School in Yucaipa. Their home for the past few yeas has been in Redlands. Way to go Cavanaugh's!!!!!!


I received a note from Kathy (HALL class of 1964) Kendall and asked her to share with us about her family. Here is Kathy's response:
Our oldest, Traci (Class of 91), is Program Manager/Research Training Supervisor in the Marine Mammal Research Program at Long Marine Lab, UC Santa Cruz. Our second in line, Tina (Class of 92), has a PhD and is teaching in one of the Cambridge University Colleges in Cambridge, UK. She is married to a British man who works for the British Library. They live in North London. Third daughter, Heather (Class of 96) is a Social Worker, is married and has a two year old son, Nathanael. Our youngest daughter Jen, is married to the Associate Pastor of the Armenian Christian Fellowship in Costa Mesa and she is the Director of Camp Arev Armenian Camp in Frazier Park.

I am still doing to bookkeeping for our business, Big Bear Sheet Metal & Heating. Dave and I are looking to retire in 4 years and enjoy traveling in our 25 foot travel trailer. Dave has been involved in Big Bear Sheet Metal for 40 years, so it will always be a big part of our lives. We still love being in Big Bear and can hardly imagine being anywhere else, except when there is a lot of snow on the ground! We just want to be close to our family and we love the opportunity to go to Britain when we can.

Love to you both,
Kathy Kendall

(This wonderful article appeared in the Press Enterprise. I am sure some of you may have read it but it is worth reading again. RUN RYAN RUN!!!!!) Big Bear's Ryan Hall warms up for the Beijing Olympics Marathon Friday, April 11, 2008
The Press-Enterprise

BIG BEAR LAKE - The other kids, they just knew.

And so they went right up to the long-legged, blue-eyed runner from little ol' Big Bear Lake who'd just dusted them on the unapologetically tough Mt. SAC course used for CIF-Southern Section cross-country finals. En masse, they approached the fellow who had just zipped nonchalantly up and over "poop-out hill," and, in this instance, broken a 22-year-old course record.

The kids, in their rainbow of school colors, circled around the one who was just like them, but not like them, and they demanded to know: Could they have Ryan Hall's autograph? That signature now belongs to an American record-holder and Olympian. To the man who experts believe could change the way we think of the marathon in this country.

After a college career of dream-denting setbacks, Hall realized that anyone who runs like a marathoner, thinks like one, happens always to have trained like one, well, he probably is a marathoner. And wouldn't you know it? The ancient, 26.2-mile race greeted him with open arms when he finally showed up at the starting line of the London Flora Marathon a year ago, as if to ask, "Where've you been all this time?" And when that race was over, Hall having taken the lead at the 18-mile mark before finishing seventh in a sprint finish, maybe it also asked, "Can I have your autograph?" Hall, 25, is back in London, where on Sunday(April 13) he'll be among the favorites as he uses the city's pavement to take a test drive before an Olympics that is becoming more controversial by the day.

Ryan and his wife, Sara, have signed on to promote World Vision, a Christian relief organization dedicated to fighting poverty. The two runners also endorsed the Move A Million Miles campaign that asks his hometown to turn its support for him into a community-building exercise. Hall wants to help, but he also wants to run well. That will be the goal Sunday, as he retraces the route he took last year in warming up for the race of his life on that wonderful, horrible November day when he made his first Olympic team, lost a dear friend and was reminded all over again about the value of perspective. The Journey

Hall was a high school sensation. He ran the third-fastest high school metric mile ever, took California state mile, two-mile and cross-country titles, put the Big Bear High track and cross-country programs that his dad coaches on the map and earned a scholarship to Stanford. But, as Wittenberg put it, "no athlete's career is a straight-up trajectory."

In Hall's case, that glowing prep career faded almost as soon as he showed up at Stanford, where a powerhouse distance program seemed ideal for a talented young miler. Nagging injuries, plus a college diet of peanut butter sandwiches, sleep-depriving dorm arrangements while juggling the demands of a Division I athlete all added up. Multiply those factors by loud pangs of homesickness, and Hall was reeling. And running slower than he had in high school.

There was a bigger problem, though. "Running became my identity," Hall said in an interview earlier this year, as he stretched in the living room of his Big Bear cabin. "If I was running well, life was good and I had more worth than if running wasn't going well. I had to get broken of that." That meant taking a quarter hiatus from Stanford, and coming home to Big Bear to reevaluate everything. "I remember not being able to get out of bed," Hall said. "I remember trying to go for runs, ending up just jogging for a half-mile and then just walking back home. I just didn't have it in me at all." His parents were happy to provide him with safe space to take a break. But they knew the Ryan who was a bench-riding 15-year-old basketball player when he asked his dad, on a whim, if he could run the 15 miles around the lake, did so and started dreaming of the Olympics would recover.

"We could see his dream crumbling," Susie Hall said. "We told him, 'You can come back home and get your dream back, but you are going to go back and finish your education, you're going to work through this.'" Hall did return, and in fits and spurts, things did improve. He enjoyed a productive cross-country season and opened himself to trying on longer distances on the track. Professional running wasn't immediately kind, but training with an elite group that included Olympic marathon medalists Meb Keflezighi and Deena Kastor in Mammoth Lakes got him thinking ... "What am I naturally good at? What do I like about running?" Hall said he asked himself. "And it was so eye-opening when I did that because it was so obvious."

As a teen, Hall put up with funny looks and not-so-funny comments as he poured on mileage running around Big Bear, building up a substantial base of endurance at an altitude of 7,000 feet.

"He's probably our American who's trained most like a Kenyan," Wittenberg said. It showed. As his races stretched out, Hall only got better.

He'd had just won the 12 kilometers at the cross-country nationals, despite having trained for the 4 km -- and decided he was ready for a marathon. His closest advisers weren't so sure. "I didn't want his first marathon to be a bad experience," Hall's coach, Terrence Mahon, said by phone. "I told him, 'Well, let's go through some steps first. And if I don't think it's working, I can pull the plug.'"
That first step was a 20K race, which he won despite having been injured while he trained. Before that 2006 season was over, he'd set an American record in the 20K at the IAAF World Road Running Championships, where he finished 11th in 57 minutes, 54 seconds. He kick-started 2007 by setting another national mark by becoming the first American to break the one-hour barrier with his 59:43 victory at the U. S. Half Marathon National Championship. Hall was, in fact, ready.

Last year's race in London -- where he clocked 2 hours, 8 minutes and 24 seconds, and chalked up another American record, this one for a marathon debut -- confirmed it. Olympic Trials

Hall will remember Nov. 3, 2007, as "the most emotional day ever." He dominated the race, running an Olympic Trials record 2:09:02 on what was considered a plodding New York City course. Then, 20 minutes after he'd crossed the finish line in a flourish of fist pumps and whoops, hollers and deep, soul-cleansing yells, he learned Ryan Shay, a good friend and respected competitor, had died after collapsing on the course.

Sara had been a bride's maid for former college teammate Alicia in her wedding with Shay. The couples had gone on a run together through Central Park the day before the trials. "Obviously, once I heard the news, the celebration ended," Hall said. "But I don't feel cheated; obviously there are things more important than running. "I would really like to not only honor Ryan but Alicia, too," Hall added. "I think it'll be really special to remember him in the Olympic Games."

It could be a golden dedication. "I absolutely expect Ryan to win a medal," Wittenberg said. "He is very capable of winning the gold medal, and that's a big statement. But I really believe it, Ryan's up to the challenge."

(RYAN TOOK 5TH IN LONDON LAST WEEK AND RAN HIS BEST TIME EVER IN THE MARATHON. HIS NEXT RACE WILL BE IN THE OLYMPICS. What a wonderful young man to represent Big Bear on the world stage of track. Al)

Tribute to Ruby Buss - Big Bear High Secretary in 50's and 60's

I received a note from Donna Mattheis that Ruby Buss long time secretary of Big Bear High School in the 50's and 60's had passed way. Then I read the following article in the Grizzly of April 3:
Ruby Anstine Buss, 96, formerly of Hemet, Calif., passed peacefully on March 25, 2008. She was born to Perl and Ilah Anstine on Oct. 31, 1911, in Cedar Rapids, Neb. Her family moved to California where she met her future husband, Edward Buss, and they were married in 1932. They had one daughter, Janet. In the fall of 1946, they moved to Big Bear Lake where Ruby was the secretary for Big Bear High School. They retired to Hemet in 1967 and enjoyed many years of traveling and fishing. Ruby especially loved to knit, crochet, cook and entertain for family and friends.

I wrote to Donna Mattheis when she shared about Ruby's passing and asked for her remembrances of Ruby. Donna wrote:

Regarding our Ruby......... She would have been secretary in '53. That was when Dave (Mattheis) was a senior. Mrs. Sarkis was principal at the time. Tom Sanchez would correct us for kissing in the hall. So, Dave would keep in good standing with the office, by watering the plants. Dave really enjoyed watering the plants in the garden in our home that I refer to as "Mattheis's Miracle Manor". We used the song "In The Garden" by Alan Jackson, for Dave's (funeral) service. It was his favorite. He used to go in and water the plants in the office.


President Neal Waner gave the following message to the captains of the capital campaign on March 5, 2008:

Total Pledges are now over $584,000. Total Paid this fiscal year is now just over $231,000, that number will be over $481,000 when Steve's matching check has arrived. Folks, that means we've added almost $500,000 to the endowment in the past year. Wow. What progress!! You all should feel very good about what we've accomplished thus far.

To all the alumni: If you have not had a chance to participate in our capital campaign for the Steven G. Mihaylo/Big Bear High School capital campaign you still have time. Just send in your contribution to SGM/BBHS Education Foundation, Box 1529, big Bear Lake, California, 92315. Remember every dollar you donate is matched by Steve.

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

You can also get information from our web site:


The pavers program for Big Bear Middle School has now been revived after a two year hold due to the remodeling in progress at the Middle School. For $30 you can have your name and message inscribed and your brick will placed in the planter wall in the court yard of the Middle School. We now have over 100 bricks purchased for the landscape project. Please follow the instructions below:


Name: __________________________________ Phone: ____________________________
Number of pavers requested: ______________ Check amount: _____________________

(Please fill out a separate form for each paver.)
Please print clearly the message you want on the paver. You may request up to 12 letters per line for three lines. (Please see example below)
First Line: _________________________________________________________
Second Line: ______________________________________________________
Third Line: (OPTIONAL)________________________________________________________
(Please do not exceed 12 letters per line.)

BBMS Student Council
P.O. BOX 1607
Big Bear Lake, California, 92315


Our spring sports are in full swing at the High School. The girls and boys track team, girls softball and boys baseball are all off to a good start. For more thrilling information on the High School sports refer to ll.txt


The Local radio station had an interesting announcement of the 1968 reunion. If you go to you might be able to see the photo of the ski team. Flashback: The Big Bear High School Ski Team of 1968 included (from top, left) Bill Lindsey, Jay Forbes, Larry Poland, Lark Hartwell, Steve Blauer, Bobby Fulton, Coach Ed Stalcup, (middle row) Dave Dodd, Phil Schweitzer, Pam Thomas, Keith Gingerich, Michelle Thomas, Jeff Strategier, (and front row) Greg Pike, Chuck Bronnimann, Debbie Hawks, Dave Huether, Shelley McGrath, Zane Johnson and Kathie Hasher.

BBHS alumni have until-new date-May 1st to register for a 40th reunion cruise in October; information is posted below, under March 27.

Big Bear High School's Class of 1968 Celebrates 40th Reunion With Cruise October 6-10 It was 40 years ago that new faculty members at Big Bear High School included some now long-familiar faces, such as Mr. Bumstead, Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Shepson and Mr. LeRoy, and many of those BBHS seniors are still in our community today, if you were to take a glance at the 1968 Timberline-the BBHS annual features Pam Thomas (Wisdom) as the Class of 68's Homecoming Queen, Jim Blauer was voted Most Athletic, and the BBHS Ski Team, coached by Ed Stalcup, included Larry Poland, Shelley McGrath (Egan), Bill Lindsey, Steve Blauer and Dave Huether. For those in the Big Bear High School Class of 1968, the opportunity to relive those memories of 40 years ago-including the football game when the Bears beat Rim 32-18--will come with a class reunion cruise through the Pacific Northwest in October. All BBHS alumni are invited to join the Class of 68 for their 40th reunion, which is scheduled during BVUSD's fall break, so that families can participate. For more information, you can visit or call Debby Hughes, to book your reservation by April 4th, at 584-7525. Our thanks to Lynda Gipson (McMinnis) for sharing her Timberline with KBHR.

Update: Due to the response, the deadline to register for the reunion cruise has been extended until Thursday, May 1st.
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
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- 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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