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Blanchet Hall of Fame 2015 Inductees

Walter Dawson came to Blanchet in 1995, his 8th grade year and also the year Blanchet opened its doors. In high school, Walter played varsity basketball and track all four years.  In addition to athletics, Walter was very involved in the fine arts programs performing in ‘Happy Birthday, Dear Grandpa’ his junior year and ’The Groom Said No’ and ‘That Funny, Crazy Showcase Kinda Thing’ his senior year.  Walter served as class representative his junior year and was also inducted into the National Honor Society.  As Student Body President his senior year, Walter graduated from Blanchet in 2000.

Following Blanchet, Walter received a Bachelors in Political Science from the University of Portland in 2004 and holds Master’s degrees from the University of Oxford (2007) and the London School of Economics (2006).  Walt has several years of experience in health policy from work in Oregon and Washington, DC. He received a Doctorate in Social Policy from the University of Oxford in 2014, where his research focused on long-term services and supports financing policy.

Prior to the Oregon Health Care Association, Walt worked in Washington, DC for the Aging Programme of the Atlantic Philanthropies, the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging and the National Academy of Social Insurance, where he was a Visiting Scholar in 2011.  His voluntary leadership includes the Board of Directors of the Oregon Gerontological Association, the Public Policy Committee of the American Society on Aging and the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of the American Society on Aging Generations. He is a Member of the National Academy of Social Insurance.

He is currently the Director of Research & Analytics at the Oregon Health Care Association and serves as adjunct faculty in the Department of Political Science at the University of Portland.  In his free time Walter enjoys traveling, cooking, and politics which he says he follows like others follow baseball.

This week Walter learned he was selected as a J. Willilam Fullbright Scholar to Canada and will spend 4 months (September- December 2015) researching how Canada is preparing for the aging of its population.  Specifically, looking at health and long-term care policies and the way that Canadian politics, culture and political institutions shape those policies.  His research will be primarily based on interviews with Canadian Members of Parliament (and their staff), other government officials as well as business and community leaders.  As a Fulbright Scholar, he will serve as a representative of the United States and it will be an opportunity for Canadian policymakers, academics and community leaders to learn about the politics, policy and long-term care system in the U.S. and Oregon.  He will also be a guest lecturer at universities during that 4 months.

The Cavalier volleyball team had an amazing and memorable 2008 season. The team fought hard, learned a lot about the game and one another and in the end, won the OSAA 2A State Championship. If you ask any of the girls on the team about that season, you will get the same response, "We knew at the beginning that this could be something very special. This could be the team," said senior setter Katie Bashaw.

From the very start of the season, the girls felt a bond with each other greater than any on past teams and seasons. Together they harnessed that energy and used it to fight their way to the top. Hard work, persistence, and the constant belief in one another paid off on the night of November 8 when Blanchet beat Nestucca High School in three games for the coveted state title.

The ladies finished the season 32-2 overall and 16-0 in the Tri-River League. They earned an astonishing 69 game winning streak and held 9 teams to under 10 points. Their efforts helped Coach Sherrie Bashaw earn her 6th consecutive Tri-River League Coach of the Year award. 

  • Outside hitter, Alyssa Pollard graduated Blanchet in 2012. Currently attending Oregon State University working towards a Bachelor of Science in Digital Communication with a specialty in Media in Society and minors in Psychology and Business Entrepreneurship. She is a member and outgoing secretary and internal director of Chi Omega fraternity, writer for The Odyssey Online, bartender and server at Sodexo for OSU Athletics, videographer and social media director/website developer for the KBVR TV show In the Pines: A Music Project.
  • Outside hitter, Kaitlin Counts graduated from Blanchet in 2011 and went to Chemeketa with an academic scholarship.She transferred to Portland State University two years later and is majoring in Speech and Hearing.In her senior year, she is planning to attend graduate school next year to become a speech pathologist.Kaitlin is very active with the Catholic campus ministry at the Newman Center at PSU by feeding the homeless, outreach, and leading bible studies.She is the president of the Pro-Life club at Portland State.Kaitlin played club volleyball for PSU and had the chance to play against Morgan Miller's Gonzaga club team at a volleyball tournament.
  • Outside hitter, Katelyn Miller graduated from Blanchet in 2011 and has attended Oregon State University for the last four years. She plans to graduate from Oregon State this spring with a degree in Exercise Sports Science and an option in Fitness and Nutrition. Katelyn is currently an officer and member of the OSU Women's Club Volleyball team, and has been for the past 3 years. After graduation, she plans on becoming a certified personal trainer and eventually an exercise physiologist for cardiac/pulmonary rehab.
  • Middle hitter, Morgan Miller graduated Blanchet in 2011. She will be graduating from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washingtin in May 2015. She is majoring in Business Administration with concentrations in Finance and International Business.
  • Defensive specialist, Lindsay Raffensperger graduated from Blanchet in 2011.She is in her senior year at Oregon State University where she is majoring in communications.She is currently a Personal Stylist for Nordstrom.
  • Setter, Annie Schott graduated from Blanchet in 2011.She gave back to Blanchet in 2013 when she coached JVII volleyball.
  • Outside hitter, Kaitlynn Falk graduated from Blanchet in 2010.  She attended Oregon State University and recently received her degree in Exercise and Sports Science.  She is currently on the club volleyball team and also working at the student recreation center as a supervisor for intramural sports. 
  • Defensive specialist, Taylor Ford graduated from Blanchet in 2010.She is attending Oregon State University and will be graduating with a degree in New Media Communications in 2016.In addition to completing her degree, she is working and training to run her first 5k.
  • Setter, Katie Bashaw graduated from Blanchet in 2009.  She attended Western Oregon University and graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Community Health Education and a minor in Physical Education.  She played volleyball her sophomore year at Western as a defensive specialist/Libero.  Katie is currently finishing prerequisites for a CNA certification and applying to nursing schools to pursue a second degree in nursing.  She coached JV at Blanchet in 2011 and 2012, and club volleyball for Capital City Elite in the winter.  Katie has been working as substitute at Blanchet this year!  She enjoys working at Dutch Bros, and coaching, baking, exploring Oregon, in her spare time
  • Middle hitter, Irene Walters
  • Assistant Coach Melissa Turner worked at Blanchet for 7 years teaching high school social studies where she also coached 4 years varsity volleyball, and 5 years varsity boys’ golf. She’s now a full-time stay-at-home mom of two beautiful, active boys - Shane 3, and Lincoln 17 months.
  • Assistant Coach Dave Bashaw is a golf course superintendent at McNary Golf Course.In his spare time, he serves as Blanchet’s varsity volleyball assistant coach.A job he’s held since 2004.Dave and Sherrie met while playing in a coed volleyball league.Word has it Sherrie played for the good team.
  •  Coach Sherrie Bashaw is Blanchet’s mid-high physical education, leadership and religion teacher.She is married to assistant coach Dave Bashaw and is mother to Blanchet alumni Kelsey Beyer and Katie Bashaw and Freshman Michael Bashaw.She had a very successful volleyball career at Western Baptist College where she played as a setter and outside hitter.She was named to the NAIA All American team and was honored as Western Baptist’s Athlete of the year.She also played in Europe on a touring team.

As Blanchet’s varsity coach, Sherrie’s teams have earned seven league championships and numerous state tournament appearances including two back to back state championship titles.  She has won fourteen Coach of the Year awards.


Bob Weber was born and raised in Beaverton, Oregon.  He attended public school through mid-high and then, like the rest of his siblings, went on to Central Catholic High School in Portland.  All eight of Bob's siblings graduated from Catholic high school and college.  He contributes his success today to the lessons he learned as a Catholic student himself.  He learned how to focus his efforts to succeed in school, athletics and personal relationships. 

After his high school graduation in 1987, Bob was accepted to the University of Oregon where he wrote for the university paper and initially had planned to work in journalism.  He received a Bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1991 and then his Master’s in Education from Pacific University in 1993.  That fall he was hired to teach at Valley Catholic by their President, Charles Lee. 

When Mr. Lee was hired as President at Blanchet Catholic School in 1997, he encouraged Bob to join him at Blanchet as Vice Principal.  Bob was promoted to Principal in 2000 and served in this role for 10 formative years in Blanchet's history!  As Principal of Blanchet, Bob Weber was responsible for all the complicated details of the day to day administration of our college preparatory mid high and high school. He supervised over 30 faculty and staff members, oversaw all school activities, programs and curriculum, and handled discipline concerns. Bob remembers helping to plan the first prom and defining the awards we still give to this day for Founders Day and graduation. 

Bob’s greatest strength is his ability to converse and interact with a wide variety of people. He has a genuine passion for education and a care and concern for each student and staff member in his building.  Students and faculty members knew that Bob was a man of his word and was always an advocate on their behalf. He knew all of our students by name, and many personal facts about each of their lives. Bob sought out kids in need of a friend and took them under his wing. Although he has a high standard of conduct for himself and all who worked at Blanchet, he gained students’ admiration by his willingness to share jokes and laughter.

Bob kept a pulse on student life by teaching at least one class a semester. He loved the classroom and inspired students to do their best. Bob coached soccer and tennis for Blanchet and was the biggest Cavalier supporter at sporting contests, drama productions, concerts and assemblies. When asked what he appreciates most about Blanchet, Bob says the people: the students, faculty, staff, and parents.   His passion for having a positive impact on students has proven to be rewarding for him personally and professionally.

In 2003 Bob married the love of his life Christina and together they have three wonderful children, Abigail (age 10), Grace (age 8), and Max (age 6).  He is currently President at Valley Catholic and serves as a superintendent for the five school principals on campus and manages enrollment, curriculum, programs and facilities.  Bob will always be remembered for all he did for Blanchet!

Mr. James Kreitzberg was born into a family of four boys in Missoula, Montana in 1924 at the height of the Depression.  He was six years old when they had their first party-line phone and a radio and eleven when the family purchased their first automobile.

Jim attended St. Anthony’s Catholic School through 8th grade.  Tuition was a dollar a month; that’s nine dollars for a year. He then attended Missoula County High where during his junior year he met his future wife, Jane.

During World War II, Jim joined the Army Air Corps in the flying cadet program in class 45A and graduated as a multi-engine pilot in March of ’45.  He and Jane were married in July of ’45.  Jim then entered the University of Washington on the G.I. Bill and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Engineering in June 1949. 

In 1952, Jim secured a job in the engineering department of the Montana Power Company in Butte, Montana.  A few years later, Jim’s employer decided to construct its own telephone system but no supplier was available that could provide the repeater needed to connect to a transmitter thirty miles away.  Jim designed a line of passive repeaters and had his brother fabricate them in his Salem shop.  The design was successful, and Jim was asked to provide the units to other utilities who were in the process of designing their own phone systems. 

His company Microflect was started!  They added a steel fabricating shop, an office building, enlarged the aluminum shop, equipped two crews for installation work, and modernized their production facilities.  They created new products as technology needs changed, and, after 40 great years, they sold the company in 1995.

Jim and Jane have six children, twelve grandchildren and six great grandchildren.  While none of their children or grandchildren have attended Blanchet, he knows the value of a good investment and supports Blanchet’s college preparatory curriculum and Gospel-based values education that creates tomorrow’s leaders.

Jim and Jane were founding partners in establishing Blanchet and have remained Blanchet Catholic School’s most significant donors since its inception.  They are active supporters who attend National Honor Society induction events, drama performances and award assemblies. They take pride in what their funds have helped build at Blanchet. Jim also serves on our Board of Directors, our Executive Committee and President’s Advisory Board, and providing valuable advice on many issues impacting our school.  He is also active in the Salem Catholic Schools Foundation and several other local charities.

Larry Epping moved to Oregon in 1937 from Hope, North Dakota, where his family lost their farm due to the Dust Bowl and the Depression—carrying nothing but what would fit on an old 8 by 6 foot trailer. Larry and his parents and four brothers settled in Mount Angel, where he went to Catholic school and graduated with honors from the Mount Angel Abbey College.


During World War II he served as an officer in the U. S. Navy where he survived a sinking aircraft carrier, spending roughly 2 days hanging onto an overcrowded life raft in the Pacific Ocean. Larry received the WWII Presidential Award for Extraordinary Heroism.  In 1946, he returned to Oregon, started his building and development business, married his wife Jeanette and raised their five children in Salem.


When Larry was named Salem’s First Citizen of the Year in 1993, he was cited in the U.S. Congressional Record for his outstanding contribution to Salem and the State of Oregon, serving on over 25 boards, commissions, and volunteer agencies. In particular, he was cited for founding the Salem Catholic Schools Foundation.


The following year, Larry and other benefactors purchased an empty building and acreage in Salem with the vision of re-establishing a Catholic high school in Salem.  Through the Epping Family Foundation that he and Jeanette set up, Larry quietly supports many projects in Salem and elsewhere in Oregon—a legacy that will continue for generations to come.


His son Gary may have said it best when he said: “The best thing about Dad is that he never does anything for recognition; he just does what he thinks is right.”


Larry was a founding partner in the purchase of property to establish Blanchet Catholic School.  Over the years, he and the Epping Family Foundation have continued to generously support Blanchet.  This ongoing annual support has resulted in many campus improvements and upgrades.


Having grown up in Martinez, California, Guido experienced many of life’s challenges at an early age.  The Catholic Church, and his grandmother, as well as his love of sports, provided positive experiences for him as he grew up.  Guido’s grades limited his opportunities for college but his high school coach, a Linfield College graduate, sponsored him and helped him get into Linfield on academic probation and onto the football team.  He excelled in college classes and as a member of the football team.  He decided to become a teacher, believing it was his responsibility to give back to provide opportunities for students.  After graduation, Guido accepted a position to teach biology and coach football and wrestling in Myrtle Point, Oregon.  He met his future wife Gayle and they moved to Salem in 1965 when he accepted a teaching and coaching job at North Salem High School.  They had two children, Anne-Marie and Paul.


When Guido joined McKay High School as principal, he knew that many students came from hard-working blue collar families and that they faced many of the same challenges Guido had as a young man.  Under Guido’s guidance, McKay launched the Anchor Award for seniors at risk of not graduating.  It was awarded to the student who stepped up and made a commitment to attend class and to do what it took to ‘get it done.’  He also taught night class to help students get the final credits needed to graduate with their class.


To those who had the pleasure of knowing Guido, it comes as no surprise to learn that as principal at McKay High School, he often spent countless hours jotting a personal note on the report card of the 1,700 students who attended the school.  A “great job, keep up the good work” to a student who had been teetering on the edge of failing and gotten a passing grade. An “I know you can do better, and I’m here to help” to another kid who was bright but losing interest in academics.


As a civic leader in the Willamette Valley, Guido served on the committee that led to the establishment of the Methamphetamine Task Force.  He worked with Senator Jackie Winters on her Blue Ribbon Task Force which led to his involvement with Marion County’s Children and Families Commission.  He was also a member of Salem’s downtown Rotary and on the United Way Board of Directors, where he served as fundraising chairman.


Guido was very proud to be the first Principal at Blanchet Catholic School.  He had a real interest and vision in helping to bring secondary Catholic education back to Salem.  It was Guido’s belief in students, his big heart and his passion to see students succeed that kept him involved in education.  Through his decades of public service, Guido Caldarazzo touched and changed many lives.  He believed that every student, regardless of circumstance, be it color of skin, economic background, language, etc., deserved a chance in life; that they deserved to be treated fairly and with respect.  Guido was always very fair and extremely honest.  He lived his life based on these values.  He died in 2007 knowing that he had lived his life the way God had intended.  He gave back!!