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Tuiasasopo among eight honored at Wall of Honor induction ceremony in Bothell
Last year's honorees and spectators had to endure 95 degree temperatures during the induction ceremony for the Northshore School District Wall of Honor at Pop Keeney Stadium in Bothell. This year, it was raining. But the contrast reflects the honorees themselves, as the diverse group impacted the world around them in everything from sports, education, community involvement and business to the medical field.
Despite the colder than normal temperatures, about 200 people filled the west side of the stadium on Thursday (Aug. 15) to help honor eight former Northshore School District employees and students for their impact on the world and their community. The 2013 class includes Marques Tuiasasopo, Robert Bruzas, James Egawa, Dwight Hawkes, Lynda Humphrey, Paul Mathews, Jack Nicholl and Jeff Tomlin.
"It is a way to really connect our history of excellence with the present time," said Northshore School District Superintendent Larry Francios. "We hope to inspire kids in the district with the great people who have come before them."
The most high profile inductee this year is former Woodinville High School student and football player Tuiasasopo. He went on to become one of the best quarterbacks in the storied history of the University of Washington. He finished his collegiate career by leading the Huskies to a Rose Bowl victory during his senior season in 2000, of which he was named the game's Most Valuable Player. Tuiasasopo would go on to play in the National Football League for eight seasons. He is currently the Huskies' quarterback coach. Tuiasasopo was also known for his involvement in the community.
"This one is special," said Tuiasasopo. "All of my awards are athletic-based but this one is for helping others as well. You don't do those things to receive recognition. You give of your time because it is the right thing to do."
Tuiasasopo said he learned that sense of community through his time in the Northshore School District, his faith and his parents.
"I am humbled," he said. "There are some amazing people up here. It is amazing to be in a group of men and women that have done such great things."
And while Tuiasasopo has inspired people on a national level, many of the 2013 inductees have inspired on a more local level.
Tomlin, who graduated from Bothell High School in 1972, has distinguished himself in military, medical and community service. He is currently the vice president and chief medical officer at EvergreenHealth Medical Center and serves as executive director of Evergreen's Surgical Center. He was designated "top doctor" by two regional publications. Tomlin earned his medical degree as an internist and specialized in cardiothoracic anesthesia.
"For me it is an acknowledgement of service," said Tomlin. "It all started with the school district and its commitment to community. It was just the way that the teachers really got involved in the students' lives. It made for a holistic experience. This really is humbling."
He returned to active military duty in 2004, caring for wounded service personnel from the Iraqi operation and later at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Eventually, he commanded a reserve health support unit at Bremerton and currently serves as reserve surgeon for the Pacific Fleet based at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Bruzas, who died in 2007, focused on children even before his 1961 graduation from Bothell High School. In his teens, he volunteered regularly at Camp Easter Seals and then pursued a career in teaching. He directed Camp Patterson for 13 years, a day camp for special needs children, while teaching physical education for 30 years in Everett.
He routinely took his students to visit the elderly in nursing homes, recruited others to work at Camp Patterson and coached the Cascade High School gymnastics team. When the sport was cut statewide due to funding issues, he took aspiring gymnasts on his own to clinics and meets at the University of Washington, one of whom later competed with the U.S. men's gymnastics team at the 2004 Olympics in Greece.
Egawa, born to a Japanese father and Lummi Indian mother, experienced cultural diversity as a child and made it his life's work. He dedicated his life to reforming Indian education and organized a K-12 Native American education program in the Ferndale School District before directing Tacoma Schools' Indian Education Program for 30 years. His program reduced the student dropout rate from 30 to 10 percent and earned him national prominence. After retirement, Egawa was tapped to work with the Muckleshoot Tribal College until his death in 2003 from cancer.
Hawkes coached and taught in Port Angeles, Yakima, Skyline, government schools in Germany and Japan, and for 18 years at Bothell High School, 1973-1991. He developed classes in personal growth and motivation. Hawkes used the same techniques as head football coach to ensure his players had a chance to succeed, and others schools often tapped his expertise as an advisor and speaker. He organized a coaching academy, was a longtime columnist for a statewide coaching magazine, and presided over the Pacific Northwest Athletic Roundtable.
Humphrey was named the first female vice principal and principal in the Northshore School District. She headed a regular K-6 elementary school; one that also served two special education programs; the district's Head Start program; K-6 alternative school; and gifted program. She continued upward into top-level administrative positions while encouraging other women to achieve their potential. Her concern for others is mirrored in the "Children of the Dump" program she launched in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in 1997. She has organized annual food, health and clothing donations for children who literally live at the garbage dump.
Mathews, a Bothell High School graduate, is a leader in the field of providing environmentally sensitive design of major mountain resorts and has directed the planning of more than 360 such resorts in 33 countries.
He earned a degree in forestry and landscape architecture from the University of Washington and launched a business that focused on ecological design of mountain recreational areas.
"It is quite startling in a way," said Mathews, who credited his Northshore School District education and the inspiration by teachers and coaches partly for his success. "It is quite an honor to be recognized by your peers. I took Steve Jobs' advice, found my passion and made a career out of it."
From his office in Whistler, British Columbia, the veteran skier has spent 35 years reinventing how alpine environments are best designed for skiing, transportation, traffic and pedestrians. He also designed the ski area for the 1988 Calgary Olympics and the home mountain at Sochi, Russia for the 2014 Olympics.
Nicholl, who died in 1991, graduated from Bothell High School in 1931 and became a civic leader, operated a Bothell business, served three terms on the Woodinville School Board and was a member of the Executive Board of the King County School Directors' Association. His passion for community service and public schools found him heading up the Woodinville United Good Neighbors Drive and volunteering at the Northshore Multi-Service Center, now known as Hopelink.
In his spare time, Nicholl was active in Cub Scouting, Bothell Rotary Club, Masonic Lodge and DeMolay. His Rotary Club involvement was so important to him that he "made up" missed club meetings while traveling in Venezuela, telling the Spanish-speaking Rotary clubs how Rotary served the Northshore community.
Wall of Honor organizer George Selg announced that the organization will honor a Northshore School District senior with a $1,500 college scholarship this year.
The 2013 inductions raise the number of Wall of Honor members to 52. Other members include Sen. Patty Murray and former Heart guitarist Roger Fisher.