Oroville Union High School District
2011 Hall of Fame Inductees
2011 Hall of Fame Inductees
Dean Andoe was born April 1, 1939, and lived on Oroville’s Southside until he was eighteen. He attended Burbank Elementary School through 5th grade, went to Central School for the 6th grade and to Bird Street School for the 7th and 8th grades.
His athletic experience began on the red dirt field across from Burbank School. His first experience with organized sports started when Oroville Little League began in 1951.
Dean entered Oroville High School (OHS) in 1953 and while there played three years of football, four years basketball and four years baseball. While practicing on the OHS baseball field, he would sometimes change shoes and go over to Bechtel Field and run in track meets and then return to practice. During his high school days, he played on seven championship teams and won eleven varsity letters. He was named the outstanding athlete at OHS during his senior year when he led the baseball team in hitting with a .457 average.
Following graduation from high school in 1957, Dean went to Sacramento State College (SSC) where he received both his bachelors and masters degrees. At SSC he played four years of baseball, while also playing on semi-pro teams during the summer, winter, and on weekends. Occasionally, he was on the roster of two teams at the same time and played for both in different leagues. He loved playing baseball!
Dean played on a championship baseball team in each of his four years of college, and in 1961 his SSC team was the first in any school sport to compete for a national championship. That same year, Dean was named to the NAIA All-America baseball team and was the first catcher in the history of the school to sign a professional contract. He was signed to a bonus contract by the Chicago White Sox which fulfilled his childhood dream that was established on that red dirt softball field.
Dean played in the White Sox organization from 1961-1963 and was called up by the big team during spring training in 1962. He spent ten days as a non-roster player, travelling with the big club and was with the team at old Comiskey Park on Opening Day of the 1962 season. The next day, he was sent back to the White Sox minor league team, and his professional career ended when he was asked to manage in the White Sox organization. He decided against managing and opted for a career in education. He said he never regretted that decision.
Dean started teaching in 1963 in the San Juan School District and then, upon the request of OHS baseball coach, Johnny Johnson, returned to Oroville in 1965 to coach OHS pitching sensation, Gary Nolan, who went on to play in the majors and cash a World Series check. Dean taught and coached at OHS for two years but decided to return to the Sacramento area where he felt there were more career opportunities available.
While at Woodland High School (WHS), he coached baseball for eight years where he was coach of the year several times and compiled a record of 104 wins and 69 losses. Five of his WHS players signed professional contracts, and two of those made it to the majors, one with the Cincinnati Reds and the other with the New York Yankees.
During his Woodland High School years, Dean was also a highly successful athletic director for nine years, Delta League Commissioner for seventeen years, and was on the initial committee that established the beginning of football playoffs for the San Joaquin Section.
His career in public education spanned thirty-six years during which he was a teacher, coach, athletic director, assistant principal, principal, and director of alternative education. He retired in 1999.
Dean has been inducted into the Sacramento State University Baseball Hall of Fame, the Woodland Athletic Hall of Fame, and the Northern California Sports Association Hall of Fame.
Jack Andrews was born on July 24, 1916, and was a fourth generation native of Oroville. He graduated from Oroville High School (OHS) in 1934 and played football, basketball and baseball. He pitched on the varsity baseball team that won the league championship. A quote from the coach said, “Andrews’ left-handed pitches left the opponents blindsided.” It was said that when Jack realized he was left-handed, he wanted to play baseball. He played in his first organized baseball game when he was sixteen years old.
Following his graduation from OHS, Jack went to the University of California at Berkeley (UC). He played frosh baseball at Cal, and during his freshman season, he was drafted by the Cleveland Indians of the American League. He was offered a $1,000 bonus and played in the minor leagues for the next six seasons. During his first year playing Class D ball in Fargo, North Dakota, he won eleven games and lost seven. Arm trouble then caused his release from Cleveland, and he was signed by the New York Yankees and played Class B ball in Washington. He was then sold to Oakland and bounced from there to Salt Lake City and Spokane.
His career statistics for those six years were 61 wins and 56 losses, with an earned run average, (ERA), of 2.57. He pitched in 167 games. A quote from Jack stated, “I was in the minors for six years and I didn’t foresee a livable career, so I quit.”
Jack returned to Oroville in 1941, and for the next nine years, he pitched for the semi-professional Oroville Olives of the Sacramento Valley League (SVL), where he had a no- hitter to his credit. He was one of the original members of the Olives and pitched in the very first game at Mitchell Field. The game was against Chico, and Jack faced Larry Gillick, who pitched for several years in the AAA Pacific Coast League and later served as Butte County Sheriff for thirty-two years.
From 1942 to 1944, Jack served his country in the United States Navy during World War II, earning the rank of Specialist 2nd Class.
An accomplished self-taught musician playing tenor saxophone, Jack excelled by the fact that he was blessed with perfect pitch and a great ear for music. He could play in any standard key without music and, of course, reading music was second nature to him. He played for many years on Saturday nights with the local Dixieland Mudcats band.
As a hunter, he was an excellent marksman, and he was also an accomplished fisherman. Former OHS coaches, Joe Felipe and Hugh Harrison, recalled many a fishing trip with Jack and added that he was also a very good golfer. He was also known and respected as a dedicated conservationist, who believed in the conscientious utilization of our natural resources.
Jack was employed by PG&E from 1941 to 1950, and then went to work as an agent for the New York Life Insurance Company where he retired in 1980 after thirty years of service. While at New York Life, he earned the National Quality Award -- one of the highest awards in the industry -- and was a member of the President’s Council and New York Life Insurance Club.
Jack had a long and distinguished career in public service and civic activities. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Feather River Park & Recreation District, the Oroville Union High School District, and a member of the Oroville City Council. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge No. 103 York Rite bodies, the Ben Ali Temple of the Shrine, and a life member of the Butte County Historical Society.
He was inducted into the Halls of Fame of the Northern California Sports Association and the LaSalle Club of Sacramento. He was a member of the founding group of Table Mountain Golf Course, a member of the Oroville Rotary Club and the National Association of Life Underwriters.
“Jack said he was born and raised here, and he was going to die here. He was a mighty fine man.” said OUHSD Hall of Fame Coach, Hugh Harrison.
Jack passed away on August 22, 1992.
Pat Fore was born in 1931, and came to Oroville at the age of three. She attended Burbank Elementary School and was exposed to charity work as a child when her father would take her places with him while he was volunteering. Pat graduated from Oroville High School (OHS) in 1949. While attending OHS, she was active in the Girls Athletic Association, the Girls Glee Club and a member of the Cadets. Pat also worked in the school office assisting with answering the phone and helping out wherever needed. Pat tells the story of having her own chair in the school office. In addition to being a “student office assistant”, she helped out in the school cafeteria.
While attending high school, she did volunteer work at Saint Thomas Church and the El Medio Fire Department. She was also employed during her high school years working at Pete’s Market, Table Mountain Tavern and the Blimp Drive-in.
Pat went to the Bay Area where she worked for twelve years and, upon her return to Oroville in 1963, went to work as a traffic control officer. She then spent twenty years working at the Keg Room in Oroville. During this time, she continued to do volunteer work for various Oroville organizations and charities.
In 1971, Pat became even more involved with her charity and volunteer work. In 1977, she began doing volunteer work with the Oroville Eagles Auxiliary and, to this day, is highly involved with their fund raising and charity projects with proceeds going to designated community groups including child abuse charities.
In 1989, Pat started donating her time at the Oroville Police and Fire Department. Former Butte County Sheriff, Perry Reniff, said that he has known Pat for over forty years and is proud to call her a friend. He said, “Pat is an amazing person who is always at the forefront of any volunteer project. Pat has been a volunteer at the Oroville Police Department for over twenty years and has promoted such programs as “Shoes that Fit”, “Blankets for Babes”, and “Shop with a Cop” -- all programs that are designed to help children in need.”
Perry goes on to say, “Pat is also at the forefront when there is a crisis in the community, especially where disrupted families are affected. Pat has united Oroville many times to collect clothing, food, and household articles when families have been left homeless by the effects of fire.”
Cindy Barrett, longtime employee at the Oroville Police Department, said, “Pat is well known for her life-long charity work. Pat regularly helps hand out food to the needy. She also donates to the Oroville Rescue Mission, to Oroville area rest homes, as well as to anyone who calls her needing help. Pat has always helped those in need…….especially children. Pat is a great asset to this community.”
Working with Disabled Veterans has become a favorite charity of Pat’s and on January 3, 2011, she was honored by the National Disabled American Veterans as Bronze Leader with the inscription on her plaque reading “One of America’s most loyal and generous supporters, who has never forgotten the price paid for freedom. Charity is the greatest gift anyone can give to a community.” She continues to explore every opportunity to donate time and energy to our veterans.
In 2009, Pat was inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame and was recently awarded a lifetime membership in the Order of the Moose.
Charity work has been at the heart of Pat’s entire being, and she is as involved today as at any time in her life. She credits her father as the most influential person in her life and the one who exposed her to helping others. Today she serves as mentor to her fourteen-year old grandson, Dillion, who loves helping his grandmother and will no doubt carry on the tradition Pat learned from her father.
Pat loves Oroville and has spent the biggest part of her life giving back to her community through her tireless years of helping those in need. In summary, her contributions have been extraordinary! Serving her beloved home town and the less fortunate is not something Pat does on the side; it is who she is!
|Haskel "Hack" McInturf
Haskel McInturf was born in 1928, in Protem, Missouri and moved to Oroville when he was eight years old. He attended Morris Ravine, a one room school near Table Mountain, and graduated from Oroville High School (OHS) in 1945. He was a member of the Honor Society as a sophomore, junior and senior. He also participated in track during his junior year and boxed as a junior and a senior. He earned his Associate Arts degree from Yuba College in 1947, and his Bachelor’s Degree from Chico State College in 1951.
Hack, as he was best known, taught in the Oroville Union High School District (OUHSD) for thirty-two years, teaching shop, math, geography, mechanical drawing and driver education. He started the OHS cross country program during the 1950’s and also coached junior varsity baseball, track and field and rambler basketball. His cross country teams went on to win championships in 1956 and 1957, and his JV baseball team won a B Division title in 1958. His city league softball team won three consecutive championships.
While teaching, Hack managed to find time to serve as Assistant Scoutmaster and Scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts of America and was a YMCA group leader. He also gave presentations to the local historical society.
Hack was a lifelong educator who dedicated his life to public service in the community and region he loved. “Hack spent his whole life helping people,” said former Butte County Sheriff Perry Reniff. “He was very much a giver.”
In the early 60’s after being asked by his young son Jeff why Ishi did not have a monument, Hack designed and built the Ishi monument on Oro Quincy Highway, where Ishi was found. In 1996, along with his brother Leo, he also designed and built a monument to his alma mater, Morris Ravine School, and was the recipient of the Award of Merit from the California Historical Society.
Hack was a member of the section council of the California Teachers Association and served as secretary of the International Woodworkers of America.
Writing was also a passion of Hack’s, and he published a book entitled, “Once Upon a Depression”. Over the years, he also published several other articles and wrote numerous poems for family and friends.
He served on the Oroville Wyandotte Irrigation District Board of Directors for ten years, acting as president for five of those years. He was the driving force behind the Oroville Wyandotte Irrigation District (OWID) bond measure passing for the completion of the water treatment plant near Kelley Ridge.
In 1984, Hack was elected to the Butte County Board of Supervisors, representing the people of District 1. He served two terms and was appointed chairman in 1988. As a supervisor, he supported and facilitated the construction of the new Butte County jail and was the driving force behind the nine year project to get the Oroville-Quincy Highway to Buck’s Lake paved.
Butte County District Attorney, Mike Ramsey, who was a student at Oroville High school when Hack was a teacher there, said, “Hack served during some of the toughest economic times for the county, and it was a result of his extraordinary common sense, integrity, honesty, and humor that Butte County made it through those times.” He also said that he found Hack to be one of the most honest, charming and downright good guys in county government. Longtime supervisor, Jane Dolan of Chico, called Hack one of the finest “gentlemen” she had ever known and the best supervisor with whom she had served.
Throughout his life, Hack served his community well as student, graduate, teacher, counselor, author, and public servant.
Hack passed away on April 28, 2005.
Bob McKillop was born on March 3, 1924, in Oroville, CA. He attended local elementary schools and graduated from Oroville High School (OHS) in 1942. While at OHS, he played basketball all four years, three on the varsity team that won a championship each of his three years. Bob also earned all-league honors in basketball and was the school’s number one tennis player in each of those years. He was the Oroville city tennis champion when he was a senior and a member of the Block O Society all through high school.
In addition to being an outstanding athlete, Bob served as Student Body Vice President when he was a senior, was the OHS delegate to Boys State when he was a junior, and was an accomplished trumpet player in the school band for four years. He marched in parades playing the trumpet while his brother Jack played the drums. Bob was also a member of the Oroville Tiger dance band. Upon graduation, he was awarded a basketball scholarship to the University of Santa Clara. Oroville Union High School District (OUHSD) Hall of Fame coach, Hugh Harrison, once stated, “Bobby was the greatest basketball player I have ever seen.”
During his growing-up-years, Bob’s community activities included working for the Walsh & Ricketts grocery store, playing trumpet in the Elk’s Drum and Bugle Corps, selling newspapers on the street, working for PG&E and playing second base for the Oroville Olives semi-pro baseball team.
Bob’s collegiate career was interrupted when, from 1943 to 1946, he served as a radio operator under General George S. Patton in the 354th Infantry Regiment, US Army in the Rhineland & European Theatre. He received his honorable discharge from the Army at Camp Beale in May of 1946.
In the fall of 1946, he returned to Santa Clara University, where he was the leading scorer for the Broncos basketball team for three years, won the then coveted San Francisco Cow Palace player of the year award as a senior, and made all-tourney at a Division I college tournament played in Madison Square Garden.
He played on the varsity baseball team during the 1948 season and earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Santa Clara in 1950.
Bob’s thirty year career in public education began when he took a teaching position at Winters High School and continued at Hayward High School where he taught physical education and coached basketball and golf, winning several championships in both sports. He also served as Athletic Director, a position he held until his retirement.
Bob believed that his educational experiences and athletic journeys through high school and college gave him the knowledge and ability to do what he loved most — to teach, coach and help in the development of young minds.
Prior to the California State Basketball Championships being held, the Tournament of Champions staged in the Bay Area was the premier high school post-season event and the forerunner to the California State playoffs. Bob served on that board while working in Hayward and continued in that capacity following his retirement. He also worked clinics for golf and tennis and acted as Marshall on his home golf course.
Bob was inducted into the Northern California Sports Hall of Fame in 1984 and was voted into the University of Santa Clara Hall of Fame in 2001. He was one of the top twenty-two cagers selected as one of Santa Clara’s best players during the first half century.
Bob’s sister-in-law, Norma McKillop, wrote, “No doubt the idea of teaching and coaching took seed in Bob’s mind through his inspiration and admiration of Coach Harrison, who appointed Bob to coaching the OHS “D” basketball team”.
She further states, “He took great pride in being a small-town boy, who, through his experiences at Oroville High School, became successful in preparing his students for the future. He made a difference and gave Oroville much credit for his success”.
Bob passed away in Oroville on November 14, 2007.
Jim McNulty was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1943 and moved to Oroville at the age of eleven. He graduated from Oroville High School (OHS) in 1961. While a student at OHS, he lettered in football and baseball and was a member of the Block O Society. During the last half of his senior year football season he was injured, but still managed to earn Honorable Mention All League honors. His injury prevented him from any further competition in football.
Following graduation, he attended Yuba College to earn his Associate Arts degree. He then went to California State University, Chico (CSUC) to earn his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1967.
Jim entered the military in 1967 and was a member of the United States Army Reserve and the California Army National Guard. He retired after twenty-two years of service.
His thirty-three year education career began in 1970 when he did his student teaching at OHS. After earning his special education and secondary credentials, he signed a contract and enjoyed a very successful career as teacher, coach, and Athletic Director until his retirement in 2003.
He coached both football and baseball, but it was as a football coach that he made history at OHS. He was head varsity coach for twenty years and was the longest reigning head football coach in the nearly one hundred years of OHS football. During this time, he logged the most wins in school history with a winning percentage of just under .700. He was also the only OHS football coach to garner more than one hundred career wins.
His OHS teams won Eastern Athletic League (EAL) championships in 1983, 1985, 1988, 1990, and 1991. OHS was in the North Section playoffs twelve times between 1982 and 1999, with six straight appearances between 1994 and 1999. His teams were in the section finals in 1985, 1988, 1995, 1997 and 1999, claiming the Section Championship in 1985 and again in 1989.
Over the years, Jim has placed numerous players on the All Northern Section football teams, and three of his players were named to the all-state football team. Coach McNulty was also instrumental in helping many of his players attain college scholarships.
During his coaching career, Jim earned several honors and awards including Northern Section Coach of the Year, the Sportsman of the Year, and the Northern Section Achievement Award. He was twice selected as the Lions All-Star Game Football coach and on two occasions was a presenter at the Clinic of Champions in Reno, Nevada.
In addition to his coaching honors, Jim received a United States Congressional Proclamation, the OHS Principal’s Award and its Distinguished Service Award. He was recognized by the City of Oroville and received the Mayoral Proclamation. In 2004, he was inducted into the Northern California Sports Hall of Fame.
His service to the Northern Section included serving on the playoff committee for eight years and the realignment committee. In addition, he served terms as President of both the Westside and Eastern Athletic Leagues and was active in various section governance issues during his coaching career.
As a classroom teacher, Jim was a Resource Specialist, working with special education students. He served as department chairman, worked in the Work Incentive Program where he helped high school dropouts pass the High School Equivalency test, sat on the School Advisory Committee and was chairman of the WASC (school accreditation committee). He also coordinated the Japanese Student Exchange Program, was advisor to the Interact Club and worked on numerous fundraising projects.
Following his retirement, Jim coached two years in the football program at Durham High School and assisted at Pleasant Valley High School for a year.
Gary Nolan was born on May 27, 1948 in Herlong, California, and came to Oroville at the age of four. He attended Bird Street and Central schools before moving on to Oroville High School (OHS) where he graduated in 1966. While at OHS, he played one year of JV baseball and then led the varsity team to three straight league championships. He earned all-league honors in each of his three varsity seasons and was the team captain and most valuable player in each of those seasons. During the summer, Gary played American Legion baseball and worked at the Butte County Public Works Department. On the weekends, he worked at a local gas station.
On June 26, 1966, the Cincinnati Reds of the National League (NL) made Gary their number one draft choice, taking him as the thirteenth overall pick in that draft. He reported to the Red’s on July 2nd and was assigned to their Sioux Falls minor league team, where he remained for less than a full year, before being called up to the majors in 1967. On April 15, 1967, he made his big league pitching debut at the age of 19. In July 2009, David Schoenfield of ESPN wrote, “Gary Nolan was one of the greatest teenage pitching sensations in major league history!”
Gary finished his rookie season winning 14 games, losing 8 and logging 206 strikeouts. A rookie highlight was striking out 15 San Francisco Giants in seven innings with four of those by future Hall of Famer Willie Mays. He finished 3rd in the rookie of the year balloting, losing to future National Baseball Hall of Famer Tom Seaver. Gary’s earned run average (ERA) was 2.58 -- better than Seaver’s 2.76.
Nolan’s major league career spanned ten seasons with his final game being played as a Los Angeles Angel on September 18, 1977. His overall win loss record for his career was 110-70, with an ERA of 3.08, and 1,039 strike outs. In six of the ten years he spent with the Reds, he won twelve or more games, his best record coming in 1970, when he won 18 and lost 7, which was the 5th best record in the NL. His best ERA came in 1972 when it was 1.99.
He pitched in the World Series as a 22 year old in 1970, and then again in 1972, 1975, and 1976. He was 2-2 overall in World Series play. In 1972, he led the NL in winning percentage with a 15-5 record but missed playing in the All-Star game with neck and shoulder problems. He then missed virtually all of the next two seasons due to injuries, but returned to post back-to back 15-9 seasons in 1975 and 1976. The Reds swept the Yankees in the 1976 Series with Gary winning the final game.
Gary was on the Cy Young Award ballot in 1970, 1972 and 1975. He won the Hutch Award given annually to the player who best exemplifies the fighting spirit of former major league pitcher and manager, Fred Hutchinson. He had a career .990 fielding average, tying for the best in major league history among pitchers. An outstanding baseball career was cut short by injuries.
Following his retirement, Gary worked as a Las Vegas casino VIP host for twenty-six years before returning to Oroville in 2004. In 1999, he was honored by the City of Oroville when all the ball fields on 5th Avenue and Pomona were entitled, The Gary Nolan Sports Complex. The honor was for his many achievements and contributions to the community and as a positive role model.
Gary was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 1983, the Northern California Sports Association Hall of Fame in 1998, and this past April was inducted into the LaSalle Club Hall of Fame in Sacramento.
OUHSD Hall of Fame coach Ken Arnold, a former teacher of Gary’s at OHS, wrote in his recommendation letter: Abraham Lincoln once said, “A good rule to judge the character of a man is how he treats people who can’t do anything for him.” Ken went on to say, “Gary is a man of character. He is also a generous man who supports the American Legion, Special Needs for Kids, Veteran organizations, and his local community. Even at a young age, I remember Gary as a gentleman who was polite, respectful, and honest.”
Bob Powers was born on Christmas Day, 1926 in Sacramento, CA and came to Oroville at age two. He attended Eastside School and was a student at Oroville High School (OHS) from 1940 to 1944. He played basketball and baseball all four years. Notable baseball teammates were Ted Tannehill, future USC football star and Oroville Union High School District (OUHSD) Hall of Famer, Dyke Richter. The team was coached by former college football standout and University of Nevada head coach Brick Mitchell. Bob was a Block O member for four years and served as secretary his last three years of school.
He was editor of the Nugget Yearbook his senior year and was his class representative to the Executive Committee as a sophomore, junior, and senior.
After graduating from Oroville High School, he enrolled at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, CA. During his freshman year, he was drafted into the United States Army. He served in the Philippines for two years and achieved the rank of Tech Sergeant.
Following his honorable discharge, he returned to Saint Mary’s where he played baseball and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 1950.
Bob’s impact on the Oroville Community began in 1951 when he began his thirty-two year career in education on the OHS campus. During the next nine years, he taught, and served as attendance officer at OHS. In 1962, he was transferred to the new Las Plumas High School (LPHS) where he was Vice-Principal for ten years. While at LPHS, Bob wrote the lyrics for the school song, Fly High You T-Birds, and named the school newspaper, The Thundering Heard, a clever twist of words. In 1971, he returned to the OHS campus where he taught until illness forced his retirement in 1983.
Longtime retired Oroville educator, Jim Shelby, wrote, “Bob Powers was a skilled administrator, an adept classroom teacher, and an asset to the community.” Bob’s children wrote, “The foundation of his career was his experience as a student at OHS where he was inspired by educators and community leaders such OUHSD Hall of Fame charter member and former OHS principal Chester Nisbet who served as a role model for dad throughout his career”.
Just after his retirement in 1983, Bob was honored as Teacher of the Year at OHS and in 1987, was the first recipient of the OHS Alumnus of the Year award. In 1995, the Robert J. Powers memorial scholarship was established, and to this day, the scholarship is given in alternate years to an outstanding graduating senior at OHS or LPHS.
Bob was a strong believer in giving back to his community. He was a member of the Butte Community College Board and a Founding Trustee. He also served as a Trustee on the Oroville Elementary School District Board, was a member of the Oroville City Library Board, and a member of the Oroville Planning Commission.
As a lifelong member of Saint Thomas Parish in Oroville, Bob participated in many leadership roles including a key role in fundraising for the original Saint Thomas Elementary School construction project in the early 1950’s.
During his younger years, Bob played for the Oroville Olives baseball team and once led the Sacramento Valley League in doubles. As a result of his success playing high school, college and semi-pro baseball, he was inducted into the Northern California Sports Hall of Fame in 1988. In the year 2000, he was inducted into the Butte College Athletic Hall of Fame for his many years of distinguished service and dedication to the local community college.
According to Bob’s four adult children, he once stated to them, “I strived to do the right thing and to help others do the same,” a simple but profound life’s mission.
Bob passed away on October 3, 1994.
Mike Ramsey was born in 1948 at the Curran Hospital on Robinson Street in Oroville, CA. He attended Eastside, Bird Street and Central Schools and graduated from Oroville High School (OHS) in 1966. His class was the first to graduate with seniors from the new Las Plumas High School (LPHS).
At OHS, Mike was a life member of the California Scholastic Federation (CSF), and won University and California State scholarships as well as the National Science Foundation and Bank of America Science scholarships.
Mike was 5’-2” and weighed in the neighborhood of 98 pounds, when he played quarterback on the freshman football team. After being injured, he decided to try two other sports, so he switched to wrestling and boxing. He claimed that he was in the “mosquito league.” He was an active member of the Block O Society.
Associated Student Body activities included being CSF President as a junior, Tiger Tales newspaper editor and student council member as a senior. He was president of the Electronics Club as a junior and senior and was in the all-school musical.
Following his graduation from OHS, Mike received scholarships to attend the University of California at Berkeley (UC). He studied at Cal for five years graduating with degrees in math, science, and history. He also boxed and became the National Collegiate Champion in 1969. By that time, intercollegiate boxing had gone from a big time national sport down to three schools, Cal, Chico State, and Reno. He was a member of the Tower & Flame Academic Honor Society, the Big C Society and received his AB degree in history from Cal in 1971.
After earning his college degree, Mike learned that the Butte County Office of Education was looking for substitute teachers, so he began “subbing” and working at the cannery. The Oroville Mercury-Register was also looking for someone to cover local sports, so Mike became the interim sports editor. After a journey to South America with childhood buddy, Nick Ellena, and sending travel stories to the Mercury, Mike returned to become the newspaper’s local public safety and court reporter. It was then that he had the revelation to try Law School.
He enrolled at the University of Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law and during his first semester had a paid internship researching law for Butte County Deputy District Attorney Jerry Hermansen. It was then that he knew exactly what he wanted to do. He also interned for the California State Attorney General and then returned to the Butte County DA’s office. He earned his law degree in 1977. He came back to Oroville in 1978 to become a Deputy District Attorney. For the next seven years, he took on all felony cases dealing with child abuse and developed deep compassion for abused children. Thanks to Mike, the Butte County DA’s office now has a children’s room with books and games.
Mike started his career as Butte County District Attorney in 1987, and has been elected to this office five consecutive times. Former Butte County DA, Will Mattly, wrote that he felt Mike was an “outstanding prosecutor and one of the most knowledgeable”. He also found him to be “extremely honest and objective in his pursuit of justice as the chief law enforcement officer of the county since 1987.”
Mike’s community service includes founding the Boys and Girls Club of Oroville, past President of the Oroville Rotary Club, member of the Butte County and California Bar Associations, member of the Native Sons of the Golden West, member of the Butte County Historical Society, and has served on numerous gang, drug, shooting, and safety task forces at the state and county levels.
When asked what he finds most rewarding about his work, Mike replies, “When justice is done.”
|Dr. John Henry Rivers
John Henry Rivers was born in Louisiana on December 31, 1940. He and his mother came to Oroville in 1949 where he entered Burbank School as a third grader. He then attended Bird Street and Central Schools before moving on to Oroville High School (OHS) in 1956. Growing up, he worked as a box boy at Safeway. He graduated from OHS in 1960 with an overall grade point average of 3.5, which placed him in the top twenty of his class. He was one of four student speakers at commencement exercises.
John Henry lettered in football, basketball and track during his four years at OHS and was an undefeated boxer. He was Associated Student Body President as a senior as well as President of the Future Teachers of America Club. He served local elementary school students and teachers by donating time as a classroom aide.
Following graduation from OHS, John Henry attended Chico State College (CSC), where he founded the Black Student League, was a 125 pound All-American boxer in 1961 and 1962, and was on the junior varsity football team. He led his class as president in both his freshman and sophomore years. His collegiate career was interrupted by serving two years in the military. While in the United States Army, he was an All-Army champion boxer in 1966. He achieved the rank of private first class and received his honorable discharge. He returned to CSC and earned his Bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1968 and then started his career in education teaching black history at Butte College. He was the first black instructor hired at the college. He had one rule when teaching a class – “When one person is talking, you have to listen, and if you can’t listen, you have to leave.” He enforced it and it worked.
From 1967-1970, he was the Director of The Educational Opportunity Program at CSC and then went on to graduate school at Sonoma State College where he received his Masters degree in psychology in 1970.
John was then hired at Monterey Peninsula College and served as Director of Special Services, Associate Dean of Student Personnel and Special Services, and Affirmative Action Officer. He worked in this position for fifteen years. In 1985, he became Dean of Students at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo and held that position for four years. In 1989, he was appointed Associate Vice President for Student Services at California State University, Hayward (CSUH) and then to Vice President, Division of Student Affairs, at CSUH. During this time of rising through the employment ranks, John Henry found to time to earn his Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD) at Union Institute and University, Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1973.
After working seven years at CSUH, John Henry formally retired in 1996. Not being one to rest on his laurels, he went into management consulting for eight years. In addition to senior level administration, employment history included considerable experience in teaching, community outreach, program design, planning, outcome assessment, creation and management of diversity programs and the securing of federal and foundation grants
Throughout his career, John Henry has served on numerous boards, including the California Children’s Home Society, the Butte Community Black Caucus, President of the Monterey Peninsula YMCA, President of the Board of Directors of Monterey Cultural Arts Council, and the Oroville Salvation Army Board of Advisors. In addition to the above, he has conducted numerous seminars, presentations, and workshops throughout the state on various aspects of health in the black culture in America.
John Henry is a member of the American Psychological Association, American Association of University Administrators and the National Association of Student Affairs Personnel. In 2006, he was inducted onto the Northern California Sports Association Hall of Fame.
For the past seven years, John Henry has been teaching psychology at both Yuba and Butte Community Colleges and serving his community and its youth.
|Dr. Steve Rocchi
Steve Rocchi was born in Houghton, Michigan and moved to Oroville in 1963. He graduated from Oroville High School (OHS) in 1972. As a student, he was a National Merit Scholar and in the Top Ten, CSF, and National Honor Society all four years. He served as President of the Honor Society during his junior and senior years. Awards he received included the American Chemistry Society Award, the Community Achievement Award, and the Bank of America Award in laboratory science. He also maintained membership in the Latin Club for three years and participated in the Brain Brawl.
In addition to his outstanding scholastic achievements, Steve found time to play football all four years and earned two varsity letters. He was a four year member of the Block O Society.
After his graduation from OHS, Steve enrolled at the University of California at Davis (UCD) and graduated in 1975 with honors, earning his Bachelor of Science Degree in Genetics in three years. Although his intentions were to go into the medical field, and not being sure of what specific direction he would take, he decided to do his graduate work at Michigan Tech located in his hometown of Houghton, Michigan.
Completing his graduate work in 1976, he still did not have a specific career in mind, so he went to work for his father in the composing room of the Daily Mining Gazette in Houghton. Following his working at the newspaper, Steve returned to the west coast where he attended the University of California at Berkeley school of optometry, receiving his Bachelor of Science Degree in optometric science in 1979 and his doctorate degree in 1981. He subsequently joined the optometry practice of Drs. Leno Mastache and David Mennucci in downtown Oroville.
In his professional life, Steve is a member of the Golden Empire Optometrist Society where he served terms as both Vice President and President. Following his election as President, Steve said, “I decided to run for the office of President to give a little back to the profession that has been so great for me. I can contribute to the growth of optometry and better address the needs of patients around the state by being more actively involved in the decision making process.”
He was a delegate to the California Optometric Association for thirteen years and a delegate to the American Optometric Association for four years. He has also been the recipient of the Recognition Award given by the American Optometric Association.
During his thirty year career as an optometrist, Dr. Rocchi has found time to serve his community in a wide variety of ways. He devoted eight years each to the Oroville City Elementary School District (OCESD) and the Oroville Union High School District (OUHSD) boards, where he served as a Trustee. He also spent four years on the Oroville Cemetery District Board and, in January 2011, was seated as a Director on the Oroville Area Chamber of Commerce Board.
In the political arena, Steve was on the Republican Butte County Central Committee for two years and the Republican State Central Committee for four years. He is currently a member of both the Oroville Downtown Business Association and the Oroville Economic Development Council. He also currently serves on the Citizen’s Bond Oversight Committee for Harrison Stadium.
The youth of Oroville have also been blessed with Steve’s presence as he coached youth soccer for ten years, Little League for two years, and officiated youth soccer games for eight years. He also found time to be a parent volunteer in kindergarten through sixth grade classrooms where he donated his services on a weekly basis while his four children were attending Ophir School.
Dr. Rocchi is co-owner of Oroville Vision Optometric Group and maintains his residence and practice in Oroville where he continues to give back to his community.
Rear Admiral Robert Toney, United States Navy, Retired, was born in 1934 in Monroe, Louisiana and moved to Oakland at the age of eight. He attended Oroville High School (OHS) and graduated in 1952. While a student at OHS, he was a member of the California Scholastic Federation (CSF) as a sophomore, junior and senior. He played basketball all four years of high school, played baseball two years and ran track one year. He was a member of the Block O Society his last three years of school. His student body activities included being a member of the cadets his last three years and serving as Cadet Officer as an upperclassman. Upon his graduation from OHS, Admiral Toney was awarded an athletic scholarship to Youngstown University in Youngstown, Ohio.
He played basketball at Youngstown University in 1953 and 1954. He then returned to his home in Oroville and enrolled at Chico State College (CSC), where he received his Bachelors Degree in Social Sciences (pre-law) in 1957.
Upon earning his degree from CSC, he was commissioned an Ensign in The United States Navy in 1957. Ten years later, he achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander and was made Director of the Navy’s Minority Officer Recruiting Effort (MORE). The goal of the “MORE Team” was to bring more minorities into the officer ranks. As Director of MORE, he established recruiting teams on many of the black universities similar to what was being done on predominantly white campuses. The results were immediate. By giving black students the same opportunities as were given white students, he was able to set the Navy on a course to full integration that is still paying high dividends today.
Admiral Toney completed NATO Defense College in Rome in 1977 and the National and International Security Course at Harvard University in 1990. He holds honorary doctorate degrees in Humane Letters from National Defense University in San Diego, CA, and the Golden Gate University in San Francisco, CA
Admiral Toney’s naval career spanned thirty four years. He commanded four organizations: the Naval Surface Group, Naval Base, Logistics Group One and Maritime Defense Command. He served off the Vietnam Coast throughout the Vietnam War and also as Director of Logistics and Security Assistance, United States Pacific Command. As Base Commander in San Francisco, he managed more than sixty thousand people from Monterey to the Northern California border, with a payroll of 2.6 billion dollars.
His military honors and decorations were numerous and included the Defense Meritorious Medal, the Navy Meritorious Service Medal with Oakleaf Cluster and the Vietnam Service Medal. Admiral Toney, United States Navy, retired from the military in 1994 and returned to Oakland, California where he currently resides with his wife Flora.
During his retired years, Admiral Toney has served on the board of directors of the United Way, the World Affairs Council, the Commonwealth Club, Volunteers of America, and the Oakland Boys and Girls Club. For three years, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and served five years as Executive Vice President of Business Development of F.E.Jordan and Associates.
His business and community affiliations include: past interim president Bay Area Urban League, Director Bank of the West, Director Levine-Fricke-Recon Advisory Board, Junior Achievement of the San Francisco Bay Area, and member of the President’s Advisory Board, California State University, Chico.
Admiral Toney has devoted his entire life to public service on both the national and community levels. He was instrumental in providing health care for those who could not afford it, rebuilding lives and unlocking the potential of those in need, and developing Bay Area youth into positive contributors to society.
He is a Christian gentleman who has championed the underprivileged youth of America his entire adult life.