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WHS Foundation


Nominees to the Hall of Fame must be a graduate of Watsonville High School, be successful in his or her field, and be a positive roll model to students at the time of their selection.


Click the blue year that the inductee was taken into the Hall of Fame for  pictures of the Foundation Members.

Click the blue name of the Foundation Member for a better look. 



1986 1987 1988 1989
Bert Scott 1919 Tom Hansen 1943 Collin Dong 1921 Ken Sears 1951
Lee Holly 1954 Betsy Woolpert 1944 Henry Mello 1941 Gary Goldman 1962
John Gournee  1954 Gary Smith 1987 Louise Ano Nuevo Kerr 1956 Kim Vestal 1976
Janet Cole 1972 Mark Eichhorn 1978 Richard Romero 1973  
1990-1991 1992 1993 1994
Eugene R. Friend 1941 Mas Hashimoto 1952 Ann Soldo 1938 Wes Gallagher 1929
Lily Wong Filmore 1952 Alex Stepick III 1966 Peter C. Brown 1966 Craig George 1959
Sherman Cocroft 1979 Patricia Wong Hahn 1968 John Koga 1978 Theodore G. Crocker 1962
  Brenda Buttner 1979   Richard MacDonald 1964
1995 1996 1997 1998
Richard Solari 1942 Burton LeRoy Gordan 1936 Jane Wood Borg 1938 Marybeth Hockel. Varcados 1958
F. William Blaisdell 1945 Lorraine Struve Litchfield 1941 Edward J. Kelly 1960 Philip O. Anderson 1965
"Chico" Castro 1962 Tony Campos 1962 Patricia Wilkinson 1962 S. John Martinelli 1975
Nancy Severin   1976 Cheryl Lathrop 1964 John Phillip Carroll 1974 Rita Tuson 1977
1999 2000 2001 2002
Ray Belgard 1948 Dave Mercer 1965 Ward Bushee III 1967 Nancy Bilicich 1969
Nita Korach 1952 Willie Yahiro 1959 Alvin Beilby 1950 Chuck Carter 1960
Eric Edward Sunberg 1963 Miriam Rosenstrater 1962 Michael Rogers 1976 John Pengelly 1978
Bruce W. Woolpert 1970 Roger Blum 1959 Caryl Christine Floodberg Weis 1939 Cathryn Radin Freitas  1973
2003 2004 2005 2006
Ed Cardon 1978 Nancy Giberson 1967 Lloyd Smith 1943 Phyllis Bailey Thurstone 1951
Roland Hedgepeth.1960 Ron Mito 1968 Harry "Rich" Wiggins 1955 Carolyn Heebner Swift 1966
Lupe Ramirez1967 Scott Standage 1969 John White Sipin 1964 Elizabeth Rector Raffaeili 1976
Blayne Standage 1968 James Patrick Work 1991 Eugene Smith 1969 Charles Thompson 1980
2007 2008 2009 2010
Nick Brautovich 1962 William G. Dorey 1962 Lorraine Everitte Stucki 1949 Ichiro Sam Sugidono 1942
Tim Griffin 1971 Judy Doering Nielsen 1963 Alejo R. Solano 1952 Diane Porter Cooley 1946
Bill Moncovich 1964 Thomas Leikam 1966 Richard Stubblefield 1969 Lane Borg 1977
Gustavo Paz 1982 Carina Moreno 2000 Diana L. Vargas 1974 Janet Nagamini 1980

2011 Posthumous Award

2011 Friend of the Wildcatz

Hal Kolstad 1953 Karl L. Polifka 1929 Brad Hubbard William T. Doyle 1947
KatherineTobin 1968     Jeff Tagami 1972
Hugo Martin 1983     Manny Solano 1982
Megan Seely 1991      
2012 Friend of the Wildcatz 2013 2013 Posthumous Award 2013 Friend of the Wildcatz
Diane Severin Robert G. Davidson 1949 Louie Bilicich 1936 Louise Bilicich
  Ken Dobler 1957 Mitchie Miyamoto 1938 Jean Pogue
  Andy Vargas 1995    
2014 2014 Friend of the Wildcatz 2015 2015 Friend of the Wildcatz
Jess Diondsio Tabasa 1956 Norman Haney Joanne Boub Martin 1962 Harold A. Hyde
Betty Sue Henry Bjur 1957   Eric J. Del Piero 1971  
Edward K. Banks 1956   Mark Jeffrey Del Piero 1971  
Robt Avila Esppiritu 1980   Francisco Gomez 1997  
2016 2016 Posthumous Award 2017

2017 Posthumour


Amy Newell 1965 Sam Vestal 1949 Jim Vestal 1954 William "Bill" Sambrallo 1945
David Toriumi1974   Charles Kent 1966  
Eric Borg  1975   Leticia Mendoza 1979  
Tony Nethercutt 1976      














1986 Inductees




1987 Inductees



1988 Inductees




1989 Inductees




1990-91 Inductees




1992 Inductees



1993 Inductees



1994 Inductees




1995 Inductees



1996 Inductees




1997 Inductees




1998 Inductees





1999 Inductees




2000 Inductees




2001 Inductees



2002 Inductees




2003 Inductees




2004 Inductees




Inducties 2005




Inductees 2006




Inductees 2007




Inductees 2008




Inductees 2009




Inductees 2010




Inductees 2011




Posthumous Award 2011

Friend of the Wildcatz




2012 Inductees




Friend of the Wildcatz 2012




2013 Inductees




Posthumous Award 2013




Posthumous Award 2013



Friend of the Wildcatz 2013




Friend of the Wildcatz 2013




2014 Inductees



Friend of the Wildcatz Award




2015 Inductees




Friend of the Wildcatz Award





2016 Inductees




Posthumous Award 2016


2017 Inductees


Jim Vestal Class of 1954




Charles Kent Class of 1966




Leticia Mendoza Class of 1979




Posthumous Award 2017


William "Bill" Sambraillo Class of 1945 

























Bert Scott   Class of 1919


Bert Scot was the founder of Granite Construction Company in Watsonville.


Lee Holley   Class of 1954 

Lee Holly is best known for the “Ponytail” cartoon strip that he drew from the 1960’s through the 1980’s. He went to work as an animator / production artist for Warner Bros. in 1954.  In 1957 he worked with Hank Ketcham, on the Sunday “Dennis the Menace” color comic page.

In 1960 he started “Ponytail”  his own daily cartoon for King Features Syndicate. In 1962 he was given a color Sunday page. “Ponytail”  featured a girl who went to Watson Hill High School. Their mascot was a wildcat. This cartoon is still running in our local paper.



Janet Coles   Class of 1972


Janet was a professional golfer playing on the "Ladies Circuit".



Tom Hansen Class of 1943


Tom Hansen became a dancer on Broadway.



Mark Eichhorn Class of 1978


Professional Baseball Player





Louise Ano Nuevo Kerr   Class of 1956




Betsy Woolpert   Class of 1944


Owner Granite Rock Company


Dr. Gary Smith    Class of 1987


Dr. at Johns Hopkins



Senator Henry Mello Class of 1941 


Henry became a California State Senator. The Henry J. Mello Center for the Performing Arts, at Watsonville High School is named in his honor.




Ken Sears   Class of 1951


Ken was the first professional Basketball player to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Click the picture for more information.



Gary Goldman    Class of 1962


Animator, "Land Before Time" & Anastasia".



Kim Vestal   Class of 1976


Radio Personality KARA



Eugene R. Friend   Class of 1941


Insurance agent, Volunteer Fireman, active in

community service.



Lily Wong Filmore


English Acquisition



Sherman Cocroft 


Professional Football Player

Mas Hashimoto   Class of 1953


WHS Teacher, active in community service.



Alex Stepick lll   Class of 1966





Patricia Wong Hahn   Class of 1968





Brenda Buttner   Class of 1979


National News Correspondent            



Ann Soldo    Class of 1938


Ann Soldo was always active in education and politics. She became the first elected Mayor of Watsonville California. 



Peter C. Brown   Class of 1966


Computer Science



John Koga   Class of 1978





Theodore G. Crocker   Class of 1962


Head of California Culinary Accademy


Richard MacDonald   Class of 1964


Sculpture & Artist



Richard Solari   Class of 1942


CEO Granite Construction Company



Dr. William Blaisdell Class of 1945


UC Davis Medical Center Surgeon



Frank "Chico" Castro   Class of 1962


Body Builder, Green Beret, active in community




Nancy Severin   Class of 1976


Fashion Designer



Lorraine Struve Litchfield   Class of 1941


Community service



Tony Campos   Class of 1962


Watsonville City Councilman, County Supervisor



Cheryl Lathrop   Class of 1964


CEO Seocal Inc.



Jane Wood Borg   Class of 1948


Historian, Educator



Edward Kelley   Class of 1960


Agribusiness, Strawberries



Patricia Wilkinson Garamendi   Class of 1962


Associate Director, Peace Corps



John Phillip Caroll   Class of 1974


Chef, Cookbook Author



Marybeth Hockel Varcados    Class of 1958


Journalist and editor of Local Papers



Phillip O. Anderson   Class of1965


Director of Pharmacy, UC San Diego Medical Center



John Martinelli   Class of 1975


Owner of S. Martinelli Company



Rita Tuson   Class of 1977


Vice President of Legal Affairs Fox Inc.




Nita Korach   Class of 1952


Agribusiness, Gizdich Ranch



Ray Belgard   Class of 1948


Law Enforcement, County Supervisor




Eric Edward Sunberg


American engineer military spaceflight engineer astronaut, 1979-1985. 


Bruce Woolpert    Class of 1970


President and CEO, Granite Rock Co.



Dave Mercer   Class of 1965


SLV Teacher, Coach and Athlete



Willie Yahiro   Class of 1959


PVUSD School Board,Trustee and Community Service



Miriam Rosenstrater   Class of 1962


1999 Texas, Teacher of the Year



Roger Blum   Class of 1959


Artist of Nature Themes



Ward Bushee III   Class of 1967


Newspaper Editor  Cincinnati, Reno and Sioux Falls



Alvin Beilby PH.D.    Class of 1950


Pomona College Chemistry Professor Emeritus



Michael Rogers   Class of 1976


Optical Science engineer.



Caryl Christine Floodberg Weis   Class of 1939


Community Service



Dr. Nancy Bilicich   Class of 1969


PVUSD Assistant Supervisor, WHS Principal,

City councilman and Mayor of Watsonville CA



Chuck Carter   Class of 1960


Retired Watsonville Police Captain, Councilman,

and Mayor



John Pengelly   Class of 1978


Vice President, Superior Foods



Cathryn Radin Freitas Class of 1973


Community Service



Ed Cardon   Class of 1978





Roland Hedgepeth   Class of 1960


Watsonville High School, Boys Soccer Coach



Lupe Ramirez   Class of 1967


Helps Cancer Victims with hair loss



Blayne Standage MD   Class of 1968


Medical Doctor



Nancy Giberson PH.D.   Class of 1967


Assistant Superintendent SL County Office of Education


Dr. Ron Mito   Class of 1968





Dr. Scott Standage   Class of 1969


Medical Doctor



Captain James Patrick Work





Dr. Lloyd Smith   Class of 1943





Harry "Rich" Wiggins Class of 1955


Major involvement in Boy Scouting



John White Sipin   Class of 1964


Professional Baseball player



Eugene Smith   Class of 1969


PVUSD Music Teacher



Phyllis Bailey Thurston  MD   Class of 1951


Medical Doctor


Carolyn Heebner Swift   Class of 1966




Elizabeth Rector Raffaelli   Class of 1976




Charles Thompson    Class of 1980


NASA Mars Lander Software Developer



Nick Brautovich   Class of 1962


Weight Lifter


Tim Griffin   Class of 1971


Community Service, Dentist


Bill Moncovich   Class of 1964


Agriculture, California Giant Berry Farms



Gustavo Paz   Class of 1982


CA Wrestling Champion WHS


William G. Dorey   Class of 1962


CEO Granite Construction


Judy Doering Nelson   Class of 1963


Community Service


Thomas Leikam   Class of 1966


WHS Cross Country Coach



Carina Moreno   Class of 2000


World Champion Boxer



Lorraine Everitt Stucki   Class of 1949


Community Service


Alejo R. Solano   Class of 1952


PVUSD Board of Trustees


Richard Stubblefield   Class of 1969


Active in Little League Baseball


Diana L. Vargas   Class of 1974


Community Service



Ichiro Sam Sugidono   Class of 1942


Member 442 Regimental Combat Team


Diane Porter Cooley   Class of1946


Community Service



Lane Borg   Class of 1977


Attorney, Community Service



Dr. Janet Nagamine   Class of 1980


Medical Doctor



Hal Kolstad   Class of 1953


Professional Baseball Player



Katherine Tobin   Class of 1968


United States Postal Service Board of Governiors



Hugo Martin   Class of 1983





Megan Seely Class of 1991


College Professor


Karl L. Polifka   Class of 1929


WWII and Korean War Pilot

He commanded the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wind.

Killed in action 1951.



Brad Hubbord...Friend of the Wildcatz   2011


WHS Teacher and Admistrator



William T. Doyle   Class of 1947


Marine Biology



Jeff Tagami   Class of 1972





Manny Solano   Class of 1982


Watsonville Police Chief



Diane Severin    Friend of the Wildcatz 2012


Retired Watsonville High School Teacher



Robert G. Davidson   Class of 1949


Military Pilot



Ken Dobler   Class of 1957




Andy Vargas Class of 1995


Entertainer, Singer


Louis Bilicich   Class of 1936


WHS Custodian, Community Service



Mitchie Miyamoto   Class of 1938





Louise Bilicich   Friend of the Wildcatz 2013


Retired WHS Teacher



Jean Pogue   Friend of the Wildcatz 2013


Retired WHS Teacher



Jess Diondsio Tabasa   Class of 1956


PVUSD Educator



Betty Sue Henry Bjur Class of 1957


Director of the "Sing and Sign Singers".



Edward K. Banks   Class of 1966


Community Service



Robert  Avila Espiritu    Class of 1980





Norman Haney   Friend of the Wildcatz 2014


WHS Teacher and Coach



Joanne Boub Martin   Class of 1962


Director of "Healthy Families America".



Eric Del Piero   Class of 1971


Doctor of Ophthalmology




Mark Jeffery Del Piero   Class of 1971





Francisco Gomez   Class of 1997


Professional Soccer Player


Harold A. Hyde   Friend of the Wildcatz 2015


Retired Brigadier General US Army



Amy Newell   Class of 1965


Secretary Treasurer of the United Radio and Machine

Workers of America



David Toriumi    Class of 1974


Watsonville Businessman



Eric Borg   Class of 1975


National Missile Defense Design / Production



Tony Nethercutt   Class of 1976


Internet Marketing and Advertising



Sam Vestel   Class of 1949



Pulitzer Prize Recipient


William "Bill" Sambrailo Class of 1945

California Agricultural Pioneer



Jim Vestal Class of 1954




Charles Kent Class of 1966

Senior Adviser WRI Brazil



Leticia Mendoza Class of 1979

Director of Watsonville YWCA