Class Notes Owl Class Notes


Arboretum Feature

Class Notes 1980

Cheryl York McDonough was appointed principal for the Great Bay e-Learning Charter School in Exeter, N.H. The school helps students be successful by using a mix of traditional and innovative methods. Cheryl has been in education for 25 years and has been the director of curriculum at Sanborn Regional High School, and chaired the Kensington, N.H., and SAU 16 school boards. Along the way Cheryl has managed to earn a juris doctorate degree from Massachusetts School of Law.


From Linda M. Hagerman, class president: "Next spring marks our 25th graduation anniversary. No matter how you spell it, we're facing a milestone and an awesome opportunity to get together to celebrate. (Who could forget the senior week celebration on the b-cruise out of Boston?) Seems like yesterday that we were crazy dancing to Kool & the Gang. Don't let your kids read this or they'll never get over it. Face it, we're even older than Stacy's mom! So, let's use the class notes over the next few months to keep in touch and start planning for a reunion weekend to enter into the record books! We wouldn't have it any other way..."


Jan McNulty Toffen writes, "The Danby/Mt. Tabor Early Education Center where I work achieved accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). We are located in an old two-room next to the Mt. Tabor Town Clerk's Office, north of Manchester, N.H."

IN MEMORIAM: Mary E. Alther '82 died May 23, 2005, in Westmoreland, N.H. She earned her degree at KSC after raising her six children and earned a master's degree at Antioch New England Graduate School in 1984. She had a private practice in counseling for many years and was a dedicated community volunteer, for which she received a KSC Woman of the Year award.


Lynn Anderson Smith of LaFarge, Wis., writes, "In May 2004 I embarked on a new career as a purchasing manager for a manufacturer of sensors for the HVAC industry. I live and work in the lovely rural countryside of southwest Wisconsin."

Gayle Knapp Beckett recently moved from Sand Point, Alaska, to Los Alamos, N.M, and is starting a part-time pre-school teaching position at Barranca Mesa Elementary School. Gayle taught previously in the remote island town in the East Aleutians. Her husband, Barry Beckett '78, will also be teaching in Los Alamos.

Lisa Spangenberg writes, "My father, Professor James L. Spangenberg, who taught at KSC from 1971 to 1985, and was chair of the home economics department from 1971 to 1977, died at his home in Rockland, Maine, on August 22, 2005. I know Keene State was very important to my father; his strong belief in Keene State encouraged both my sister Holly Torsey and me to attend Keene State, and we all hold fond memories of the campus, students, and faculty. He was delighted that I was able to purchase a Mason Library paving stone in his name."

Mary Lou Bolduc was recently elected first vice president of the New Hampshire PTA. She was appointed to the state's Board of Managers in January 2005 and serves as the organization's bulletin editor.

Suzanne Staib of Whiting, N.J., writes, "Had a nice visit with Robin Reilly Mosnicki and her family at their lake house in Maine last summer. Hey Robin, let's visit Michele LaCroix again soon. Noreen, let's take a road trip to Heather's farm on the way. It's been nice e-mailing Vicki Curtis and Vicki Morin."


Terri McFall Forsten is the Laconia school district's new assistant superintendent, primarily responsible for curriculum and strategic planning.

Terri was principal of Pleasant Street School in Laconia for the past 10 years.

Tracy "Cici" Smithers Davis of Maricopa, Ariz., writes, "I've created a Yahoo Group for KSC alumni residing in Arizona. To sign up, go to, then 'groups.' Search for kscaz. To post message: To subscribe: It's a great way for KSC alumni to network. Who knows, maybe plan some get-togethers?"

IN MEMORIAM: Phillip Neal Sawyer '84 died at the Middlesex, Conn., Hospice Center March 31, 2005. He obtained his master's degree in industrial education from Western Carolina University and taught high school for nearly 20 years in Maine and Connecticut.


Doug Pierson is the new principal at Peace Dale Elementary School in South Kingstown, R.I. Doug graduated cum laude from Boston State College with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. He earned one master's degree from Fitchburg State College and another in special education from Keene State College. In 1993, he received a doctorate in educational administration from Clark University. In 2002, he was honored as the Rhode Island teacher of the year and the national distinguished principal. Additionally, Pierson teaches adult literacy and English at the Adult Correctional Institutions at night.

IN MEMORIAM: Robert Fournier '85 died June 6, 2005, in Boston. He earned his degree in management and was an enrollment specialist for Perfect Dollars and Cents, associated with Monadnock Family Services. He collected model antique cars and was active in AARP.


Valerie Ringer Finch is a professional pet sitter for Tails-A-Waggin' Pet Sitting service. She moved from California to Lutz, Fla., in March.

Curt Herr and Rich Stockwell just celebrated 21 years together. They run a successful theater company, The Langhorne Players. Check out their web site: Curt is a tenured professor at Kutztown University where he teaches Gothic literature, and Rich works for Icon Corporation, a copier service company. Curt writes, "We have four Keene State College students here - myself, my partner Rich Stockwell, and Leslie Jacobson. Last summer we got an e-mail from a Pennsylvania student theater major looking to work in a theater. He said he was home for the summer from Keene State College. We nearly flipped. His name is Mike Blumenthal and he worked with us all summer, gaining great experience working in a successful theater before returning to KSC as a sophomore theater major. His parents were so impressed to find us raving about KSC, and shocked to find so many alums at The Langhorne Players. We learned to take risks in theater from our years at Keene - and it paid off. We are the only theater company in our area dedicated to producing new, risky and unknown plays. We now have a subscriber base of over 80 percent. When Rich and I started working here upon graduation, the subscriber base was seven percent. We produce high quality work and none of us get paid. This is pure art for art's sake." Contact them at They are looking for Karen Kohane '87.

From Chris Pangalos: "Well, I FINALLY did it! My wife Natalie and I tied the knot on June 11, 2005, at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Charlotte, N.C., in a beautiful military wedding ceremony surrounded by friends and family. Included in the wedding party was fellow KSC soccer player, Alpha Pi Tau brother, and my old roommate, Jerry Schmid. A great time was had by all and the fun started immediately on the ride from the church to the reception. The entire 18-person wedding party rode in a super-stretch, fully loaded Humvee limo, the out-of-town guests rode in a double-decker party bus, and all of the other cars were guided by my biker buddies escorting the entire caravan on a bunch of roaring Harley-Davidson motorcycles! It was quite a sight! Dancing at the reception lasted until well into the night with music provided by a former employee from my DJ entertainment company, Rolling Thunder Productions. Pictures of the wedding can be viewed at After a wonderful honeymoon in Florida, we now await the completion of our new house, which should be ready for us to move in by September. Next is a family..."


From Michelle Morris Ayer: Greetings classmates! I have been negligent in my duties as class notes contributor, so I've decided to fix that. Unfortunately, I don't have much to report, since I haven't heard from folks (hint, hint), so I'll have to bore you with an update of my own life. Last spring, my family and I bought a home in Hingham, Mass., just a few miles south of Boston. We love the town, the neighbors, the really is a great place to live. My oldest son, Evan, is in second grade and his little brother, Ethan, is in kindergarten. I am quite sure I am having a much harder time adjusting to that than he is. I am still working at Bank of America (formerly known as Bank of Boston, BankBoston, and/or Fleet) where I have been for (gulp!) the past 18 years. Am I the only one from our class still working for the same company I started with right after graduation?

I've seen Pamela Smith Dyer a few times this past year. We got together a few months ago for a girls' weekend in Beantown. We made a valiant effort to rekindle the Keene State party spirit, but something about a couple of kids and a couple of years takes a toll on how many shots of tequila one can actually do at this stage of life. But, rest assured, we had a great time.
Well, that's about all the news I've got. Please write to me and give me your updates, or updates on friends, or just plain class gossip. Otherwise I'll be forced to fill these pages with mommy bragging or lengthy descriptions of life in the world of banking, which I assure you, isn't very exciting.
Hope to hear from you!

Darrell J. Long was a physical education teacher in Heathsville, Va., for 11 years and this past year was promoted to dean of students for Northumberland Elementary School. He was an assistant coach for the varsity boys basketball team for seven years, winning the state championship in 1996. For the past four years, he has been the head coach for the varsity girls basketball team, going to the state tournament two of the four years. He and his wife Katra have two children - a daughter DaRelle, 12, and a son Russell, 9. Darrell would love to hear from Mark Elmendorf, Michelle Ziegler Bennett and Peter Paragon.


From Jeff LaValley: In July I accepted an offer to assume new duties as the west coast major gifts officer at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Founded in 1973, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Foundation (the Task Force) was the first national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights and advocacy organization and remains the movement's leading voice for freedom, justice, and equality. They work to create a world that respects the diversity of human expression and identity where all people may fully participate in society. I will be working from the Los Angeles office helping to develop relationships with and solicit funding from major donors, and overseeing appreciation events.

My first experience with the Task Force was October 2004 as a volunteer for the 15th annual Los Angeles Leadership Awards. Prior to my acceptance of the new position, I had been co-chair of the 16th annual Los Angeles Awards held in September. I am excited about this opportunity, as it has long been a goal of mine to work for a national LGBT organization - a cause for which I have a great passion. Also, my new office is only 10 minutes from home. Not your typical LA commute!

IN MEMORIAM: Steven Arthur Whitney '88 died Dec. 25, 2004, at Medical College of Virginia. He earned his master's degree in engineering from Old Dominion University and was a senior project engineer in the Submarine Division of Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipbuilding.


Dr. Phillip D. Rumrill Jr. delivered a lecture at the 2005 World Congress on Inclusive and Supportive Education in Glasgow, Scotland, on Aug. 3, 2005. His presentation was entitled, "Surveying the Employment Concerns of American College and University Students with Disabilities: A Participatory Action Research Approach." Phil is a professor of rehabilitation counseling and director of the Center for Disability Studies at Kent State University in Ohio. He completed his Ph.D. in rehabilitation at the University of Arkansas in 1993.

Amy Sullivan is a member of the Peace Corps in Mozambique. As a youngster, Amy would follow her brothers to local 4-H dairy clubs and showed her first calf at the Bridgewater (Conn.) Country Fair in 1977. After graduating from KSC, she worked for the National 4-H Council on their international programs in Washington, D.C., which included a six-month stint in Finland. Next came the Peace Corps, where she was classified as an agriculture volunteer. Her first stop was Senegal, West Africa, for three years, where part of her work involved helping women rice farmers figure out how to grow more food for their families. Now based at the Africa Regional office in Pretoria, South Africa, she is leading a project to make sure new water-use policies do not hurt small-scale farmers in rural areas. "Small towns in Connecticut are not so different from those in Florida or Senegal or Zimbabwe for that matter. It just takes a while to realize it," she says. Amy has a master's in agricultural education and extension, and a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary ecology.

1920s   -   1930s   -   1940s   -   1950s   -   1960s   -   1970s   -   1980s   -   1990s   -   2000s
Weddings   -   In Memoriam   -   Highlights   -   Send in your news