SGM Big Bear High School Education Foundation
Home : Newsletter
Mini-Grants for Educators
Scholarships For Graduates
Events and Fundraisers
Board & Committees
Ways to Become Involved
Contact The Foundation
After School Programs
MAY 11, 2005

Wow, this is a long newsletter. Hope you have time to read it and catch on the Big Bear High school news. Al

WELL, It's time to get out the Alumni newsletter for May but not before we congratulate the Big Bear High School Drama class and band. They put on four performances of Beauty and the Beast at the Performing Arts Center this past week. What talent!!!! All four performances were sold out. Over 90 students were in the cast not including the band who played for the entire two-hour performance. It was wonderful. Way to go Jim Fipps and Elena Peavy as the director and co-director. Elena announced her retirement and will now join Ron in retirement. Elena will be sorely missed as she had been the director form many years in the High School drama productions.

ELENA PEAVY (PERSKY) HAS ANNOUNCED HER RETIREMENT FROM BIG BEAR HIGH SCHOOL AND THERE WILL BE A RECEPTION AT NOTTINGHAMS ON JUNE 3 FROM 4:00 P.M. TO 6:00. Here's is how you can help. Please send an e mail to the Big Bear High Foundation or to Al Waner congratulating Elena upon her retirement. I know she would especially like to hear from her former students and fellow teachers and staff. If you want to send a note to Elena her address is Elena Peavy, Box 1628, Big Bear Lake, California, 92315. She has made many contributions as a language teacher and drama coach at the high school and at Chatuaqua. She will be missed!!!!! Al Waner

Article about KEITH APPLETON
I was given a copy of the National Football Foundation San Bernardino County Chapter Awards program that was held on March 17, 2005 and was pleased to see that one of the 2004 Scholar Award winners was Keith Appleton from Big Bear High School. Keith has been an outstanding student and football player at Big Bear High School for four years is and is very deserving of the award. It brought back such great memories of the wonderful male and female athletes we have had at Big Bear High in the past 70 years. It also reminded me of the great coaches that have guided our students to some wonderful victories and seasons. WAY TO GO KEITH. Wow, I am getting old. Al

E-mails received about Mike Motherspaw:

This is a great Emil newsletter. I have been in contact with Dr. Waner regarding the BBHS Class of 1985 reunion. I copy him on our announcements, which includes the e-mails of any classmates we've located. Can you tell me if those classmates also received your newsletter? If not, I would like to forward it to them, as many of them knew the Motherspaw family and would want to know about Mike Motherspaw's passing.

Thank you, Annette Davis Nueske

Hi Dr. Waner
Just a note to let you know that it's great to get this newsletter from you. I am now live in Reno NV, went from Big Bear to Apple Valley, to Fallon NV, to Reno NV. I was so sorry to hear about Mike, our prayers are with his family. I received an Emil from Charleen about his death and was so shocked, such a lost, he was as I recall a very nice person.

Thank you again
Deborah Beattie Bass class of 71'
I wrote to Deborah and asked if I could use her e-mail and this is her response:
Sure you're more than welcome to use it in the next newsletter. It's so nice to hear from the people that I grew up with, went to school with, and the teachers that helped me. I was so lucky to have grown up in Big Bear in the 60's. I look back on my time in Big Bear, and thank God every day, for the valley on the top of the Mt called Big Bear. I am going to send you a site it's called the virtual wall, for Robert Pearcy.

Thank you again
Deborah Beattie Bass

Mr. Waner,
Kathy (Chaney) Porter sent a newsletter to me from the BBHS Foundation. Please add me to the mailing list.

I am the former Belinda Bussell - graduated in 1970. My father died in the middle of my senior year and we moved to Oklahoma as soon as I graduated. I have worked here at the hospital for 29 YEARS!! I have two sons - both were State Tennis Champions for Ada High School. My oldest, Charlie (29), just got home from spending a year in Iraq and my youngest, Casey (22) works for a computer software company. I thought I remembered from High School that you had Oklahoma ties of some kind. Is that correct??? Hoping to hear back from you - Also, please give my best to Dr. Reynolds if you ever talk to him.

Belinda Runnells
Director, Educational Services/Medical Library
Continuing Medical Education Coordinator
Valley View Regional Hospital
430 N. Monta Vista, Ada, Oklahoma 74820
PH: 580-421-1467
FAX: 580-421-1218
I wrote to Belinda and asked if I could use her prior e-mail and she responded:
Sure - I don't mind. I started here as a part-time clerk in the medical library and eventually made it to the management level as Director of Educational Services and Coordinator of CME for physicians. Our hospital has 167 beds and we are a regional medical center - with a Dialysis Center, Radiation and Chemotherapy, Rehab, Skilled Nursing, etc. We have residents from OU and OSU that rotate through here on their rural internship, and I also schedule all of the job shadowing and clinical experiences for about 15 colleges and/or votech programs that are located in this part of the state It's great to hear from you and know you are doing well.

Thanks, Belinda

Dear Al,
Please pass our condolences on to Mike's family. I believe he was one of Mom's second graders. I remember a sweet child with a quirky sense of humor. I remember Joyce and her family were always there to help out Mom's class, and they also helped take care of Mom and us. I especially remember their help when our four wheeling got us stuck in Holcolm Valley (long before the days of calling for help with a cell phone). We hiked down to their place and they got us home before the snow hit. . .Yeah we were dumb but fun in those days.

Peppi (Wray).
I wrote to Peppi and asked if I could use her comments in the newsletter and she replied:
Sure. The Motherspaws took care of us partly because Joyce and Mom liked each other and bonded through the children, and partly like many other BB families because Mom was a widow raising two kids without a man. That was what set BB apart from the big city. We took care of each other and the Motherspaw family was part of that. Peppi

Dear Mr. Waner,
I have greatly enjoyed receiving the newsletters you send out and would like to thank you. I am sorry to hear about Mr. Motherspaw. I know he was a wonderful man and that he will be greatly missed.

I am a BBHS graduate of 1998 and moved from the valley right after graduating. I have not been back to visit in several years and enjoy hearing information from home. I am currently living in Kentucky with my husband, who I hope to bring to Big Bear some time in the near future. I dearly miss the people and the town and can't wait to show it off to him.

Anyway, I wanted to drop you a short note to introduce myself and thank you for the wonderful newsletter.

Thank you,
Angela (Williams) Thewes
I wrote to Angela and asked for her permission to print her e-mail in the next newsletter and this is her response:
You may include my e-mail. I would love to hear from some old classmates. Thank you again! Angela

Dear Dr. Waner,
Please add my address to your BBHS alumni newsletter subscription list.

Alex Ellermann

PS Please pass my condolences to Kathy Motherspaw. I worked for Mike for several years, and have many fond memories of him. He was a good, good man, and the world is lesser for having lost him.

Hi Al-
As always, I enjoy reading the newsletter and finding out where people are and how they are doing. Isn't it nice hearing how many of them are serving God and having blessings in their lives because of it? Dave and I knew Randi and Kandi Seaman years ago at the Assembly of God church and are happy to hear that they are all close to the faith they had back then.

Reading the note from John Hallimore, made me think of his sister Linda, who was closer to me in age. I wondered where she was and how she is doing. I didn't get to Mike Motherspaw's Memorial, but it would have been great seeing so many people from the earlier Big Bear days. I have known Kathy since before she married Mike, and of course she and the whole family have been constantly in our prayers. It was such a shock to so many when we heard the news. I hope you and JoAnne and the guys and their families are all doing well. Our youngest, Jen (23 years) is getting married in San Luis Obispo in July to her best friend all through the 4 years they were at Biola. She was a little afraid to take that first step from friendship into relationship, because she was afraid she might spoil a great friendship! I told her there's a lot worse things than marrying your best friend. He is at Talbot Theological at Biola for one more year.

After daughter number 4 gets married we won't know what to do with ourselves! Dave is oh so happy to finally have some men in the family and all 4 sons-in-law are really great guys. No grandchildren yet, but Sharon Bumstead says they may all come at once!

Love to you and Joanne,
Kathy (Hall) Kendall

Dear Dr. Waner,
This Emil is the result of a serendipitous circuitous path. I received the Big Bear Alumni News for the first time earlier this month. Over the years I have kept in touch with Harold Jones, and he kept me informed of major events in the lives of my fellow students, most recently the deaths of Jim Bollingmo and recently Mike Motherspaw. Such tragedies.

Then tonight as I was reading my CATE (California Teachers of English) journal, I read an article written by Lisa Waner of the Bear Valley Unified School District. I had to assume that she is related to you. A daughter-in-law perhaps? How amazing that after leaving Big Bear in 1971 to go to college, your name would come my way twice in two weeks!

My mom, Jane, is still in Del Mar and doing well. She keeps close contact with so many of her Big Bear friends. She and Eileen continue to maintain the strong friendship they had. Phil and Sue keep contact as do so many of her old colleagues. She fondly remembers her teaching days, and until recently, volunteered at a school in Del Mar.

I finally bit the bullet and went into teaching, though I'd resisted it for years. I used to go into Mom and Eileen's classroom and watch the kids chew on crayons and fall out of their seats. I never understood how she could take it. Now my middle schoolers do the same...they chew on their pencils and fall out of their seats. Ha. Teaching was a profession that worked well with being a mom. After careers in immunology research and scientific illustration, I took time to raise our son and daughter. Then I realized I was putting in thirty hours a week volunteering in their school. Why not get paid for the time and effort? Hence, a new career was born. I currently teach language arts to sixth and seventh graders. Mom would love to think my decision was genetic. I think otherwise!

I have an amazing husband who is a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey. His name is Bill Gates...though he had the name first. I'd take him over the monied Bill Gates any day. Our son, Christopher, is graduating from Vassar College this May. He is a quirky young man who freelances for MAD Magazine, if that gives you any indication. Our daughter Sophie is a freshman at Syracuse University. They are extraordinary kids and such fun to be around. Young people have such wisdom. We would benefit from listening to them more. We love living on the Monterey Peninsula...I feel like I have the trees of the mountains that I hold so dear right next to the beautiful is paradise.

I often think about Big many memories of growing up in safety surrounded by caring adults and a community of respected and wise individuals. I especially remember the loving support of my teachers who helped me through a traumatic adolescence when my dad was so desperately ill. This trip into the past, prompted by an Emil and a journal article, has left me with bittersweet longings. Thank you for putting together the Emil that prompted this response. I loved hearing about Bill Cleary. I shall send him an Emil; he was always my favorite fellow student...starting with the time he made Mrs. Gish so mad in fifth grade that she went over to the light switch, madly turning it off and on, to try and get us to quiet down after he disrupted the class. She screamed, "Sit down, Bill Cleary!!!" Ah...memories! My best to you and your family.

Cindy Pearson Gates

Hello to Big Bear High School
My name is Kathi Brennan (class of 1970). I've been receiving e-mails from Charlene Green (Chaney) and was informed about the tragedy of Mike Motherspaw.

I always thought Mike was so handsome and kind. Even though he was a year or two ahead of me...Big Bear being such a small community I did see him with other friends of mine and always worshiped him from afar.

My sister, Kristel Brennan remained in Big Bear for several years after I had moved on and new Mike and family and was also shocked and saddened by the news. She has been living in Palm Desert for several years now.

Please pass on my heart felt sympathy to all Mikes family and friends. Hopefully I'll be able to get down that way sometime this summer. I've been living here in Portland Oregon for about 20 years now. My daughter, Tanya (age 32)is the daughter of Alan Chaney. Charlene and I have just recently been emailing and keeping in touch and she sends me all kinds of great news and then some that's not so great. But it's always good to hear about people and friends that you've lost contact with over the years.

If anyone from BBHS remembers me and would care to Emil me...Please do...I'd love to hear from the ol gang. Take care, God Bless.

Kathi Brennan


You can now purchase your event tickets, raffle tickets, reunion merchandise and advertising all online at on the "purchase online" tab.

The reunion merchandise is awesome! Our reunion logo will be adorned on each quality item. Take advantage of the $10 discount and purchase all three items as a package. Your merchandise will be provided to you at the main event. If you are unable to attend and still wish to purchase merchandise, please contact Annette at or (720) 200-1099 to arrange for payment of shipping.

Do you have a business that you would like to advertise? We have 4 affordable options to help you advertise to your classmates, their parents and friends. Our advertising is available to all businesses. So if you know of a business owner who would like to get some affordable advertising that will reach our classmates, many of their parents and friends, give them our web site information. Our web site has had over 1400 hits so far, and we still have a long way to go. Plus, we are planning to maintain the web site long after reunion, possibly until the 25th! This will allow classmates to keep in touch and will allow advertisers to continue reaching prospects.

Proceeds from ticket and/or merchandise sales will be divided between the Class of 1985 reunion fund and the Steven G. Mihaylo Big Bear Education Foundation (

Thank you! Annette Nueske

I was interested in the sponsorships that the class of 85 was offering so I wrote to Annette and asked about how to become a sponsor. She responded:
Hi Dr. Waner!

There are a couple of ways that you can do a sponsorship. First, there are 4 levels of sponsorship; Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. You can either purchase advertising at the rates listed or donate a raffle prize equal to the value in exchange for the advertising. Here is a breakdown of the 4 levels, what they include and their price/value:

Platinum ($200) - Includes a Full Page ad in our reunion program, a priority web listing at, and listing in our outgoing Emil correspondence.

Gold ($100) - Includes a 1/2 Page ad in our reunion program, a priority web listing (right after Platinum)at, and listing in our outgoing Emil correspondence.

Silver ($75) - Includes a 1/4 Page ad in our reunion program and web listing at

Bronze($50) - Includes a Business Card size ad in our reunion program and web listing at

So there are a few options that are all fairly affordable. I am the marketing manager at my company. We do local advertising with our owner's son's high school. We placed a 3 x 5 sized ad on their football schedule and paid $600. That did not include an ad in the program, just the posted schedule. And the schedules weren't even completed until mid-season. Not much bang for the buck, but still a good cause. :)

Thank you for your interest. Please let me know if I can provide any additional information. And please don't hesitate to pass the information along to local business owners who you think may be interested.

Have a great day! Annette
Editor's note: Anyone who would like to participate with the class of 1985 be sure to get hold of Annette at . The 1985 reunion committee is doing a marvelous job of planning for their October 4, 2005 reunion.

I received an E mail from Michael Gipson.

I have thought of you often over the years and was very happy to see your Emil address! Life is good, I seem to keep moving (albeit slowly) farther north. Currently in North Bend (That's south of Bend, Oregon about six hours drive), where I moved to from Eureka, where I had moved from Davis... All career moves - but population explosions just seem to follow me. Heart felt thanks for being a huge part of my early life and may God continue to bless you and yours. If you ever get up this way you have a place to stay. At 57 it seems odd to be the oldest in both my and my wife's family, paybacks perhaps? J. My home Emil is and I look forward to hearing from you and possibly others of the BBHS Class of 1965. Any clues where Frank Sciorratta is? (Never could spell that name) My sister Lynda returned to big Bear City many years ago and runs a Farmers Insurance Agency there. Mom and Dad passed about ten years ago and are buried across from the "new" High School. Oops, gotta get back to work...

Michael Gipson

I received an e mail from Neal Waner, (my son) who had talked on the phone with Scott Meier(80) and his wife, Shari (Delauri 78), about their son Jsace and his new celebrity status as a race car driver. Below is an article that appeared in a Nevada newspaper:

School of Speed
Spring Valley High sophomore makes select race team

More than 100 applied and 25 were interviewed and tested, but only three young race drivers in the country were asked to be members of the prestigious Ron Sutton Winner's Circle Driving Developmental Race Team in Sacramento, Calif., last September. And Jace Meier, a sophomore at Spring Valley High School who turned 16 on March 10, was one of those chosen few. Meier first read about the race team in a classified ad on the Internet and then corresponded with Sutton in e-mails before informing his parents Scott and Shari Meier of what he was up to.

The team, run by 29-year racing veteran Ron Sutton, who has experience in all aspects of motor racing, has 12 championships and over 400 race wins.

The first development driver ever on the team, 18-year-old Bobby Grewohl, showed how much the team helped him when he was awarded a paid ride in a car for 2005 from the Indy Racing League Infinity Pro Series, where he has signed a seven-year professional development contract.

"Imagine if you're a developmental team and you finally have a young man, 18 years old, that literally went back to Kentucky and set the Kentucky Motor Speedway record on the second day of testing at 189 miles an hour," said Scott Meier. "You can imagine you're going to have some heads turn."

Jace Meier tested for the team, registered the best time of all drivers early in the testing and then waited through the process as no other drivers ever matched his time. He talked about what it felt like to make the team.

"It was great when I found out, but it was sort of a subtle thing," he said. "I was one of the first people to test with the team in early July and they tested all the way until August. And throughout the process, (Sutton) would give us updates ... 'He's still the fastest, he's still the fastest.' And then it got down to the last two drivers.

"Because I was the youngest one, I wasn't really expecting (to make the team) at all, especially when I did the test. But then as (Sutton) tested more and more, it slowly became clear that I was going to have one of the fastest times." Meier found out that he made the team when he received a Federal Express package last September with the press release announcing the names of this year's three drivers

Meier began attending the race team's classes last month and will race in the United States Auto Club California Ford Focus Midget Car Series in his first event for the team on March 26 at the Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, Calif. Meier transferred to Spring Valley High School from Faith Lutheran. He sports a 4.1 grade point average and is an honor student as well as a member of the school track team.

He has already set up some goals for his first year on the developmental team. "This season, because I'm the youngest kid on the team, my goal is to just to learn as much as I can about driving and communicating with the team and to have some wins so when I go in front of Jack Roush or any of the professional team owners, I can say, 'This season I had five wins out of 14 races,' " Meier said. "That would be my goal."

Meier's father said there are plenty of non-driving skills that have become a huge part of the auto racing game his son is now learning about. "He's got to learn how to communicate in all those aspects," Scott Meier said. "He's got to learn how to communicate with sponsors and with the media. All those tools (are) lifelong skills he can use. The last time we were in Sacramento, they put him through an eight-hour classroom environment just training him on the things we've talked about."

Besides racing midget cars in California this year, Jace Meier also plans on continuing his kart racing, which he first started at age 12. "I'm extremely excited about everything that's going on with the Midget (cars), but there's a part of me that's even more excited about the karting," Meier said. "I'm just doing it more for fun and to stay in shape but it's still cool to go out on the weekends with (my father) and race."

Both father and son spoke of what they hoped the next two years would bring them in the sport. "Our primary focus is obviously to do well in the midgets in California because his racing is very sporadic there. He'll race like three times in three weeks and then he'll have seven weeks off," Scott Meier said. "What he's also done is go to one of the local kart companies here in town and they've sponsored him and helped him with getting a go-kart and he'll race intermittently out at Sloan at the local race track to remain fine-tuned." "My ultimate goal this year is to do the midgets this year and then run some kind of road course series, whether it be Formula Ford, Formula BMW or one of the minor league road course series next year," Jace Meier said.

He also revealed his long-term goal in the sport. "The ultimate thing for me would be to race Indy cars like in the IRL racing league and the Indianapolis 500," he said. "My goal is to win the Indianapolis 500. That's it for me."

Ed. note: Keep track of Jace. His father Scott was a great baseball player at Big Bear High in the 70's and early 80's and was a very competitive guy in ski racing. sounds like father like son" to me.
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)
| Home | About the Foundation | Newsletter | Sponsors |
SGM/BBHS Educational Foundation
Box 1529
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
©2002-2019 SGM Big Bear High School Education Foundation