Up ] [ Bios ] Obituaries ] Photos ]

Encina High School Teacher & Staff Bios

Below are bios submitted by teachers and staff for themselves. Alumni are also welcome to submit descriptions.

Submit bio information

Susan Diaz wrote:
FirstNameNow: Susan McBrine
WhyChangedName: Divorced and remarrried
email: Susanmcbrine@gmail.com
Homepage: Susan mcBrine fb
WhoToldYouAboutWebsite: Saw Carole chambers obit
Occupation: Retired teacher
MaritalStatus: Married
Spouse: steve mcBrine
SinceGraduation: Taught english in s calif for 19 yrs and then switched to teaching special education for 16 more years. Retired in 07
Trivia: My first teaching job was at Emcina and carole takeuchi was my best friend . I was pregnant with my first child and taught newspaper and english , reading
Kids: 4 kids, one died at age 32 and i have two daughters and a son living
FavoriteMemory: Newspaper class and Carole takeuchi and i trying to survive our first year teaching

Artistic retirees come of age

by Anita Creamer

David Post was a lawyer. Eric Dahlin taught high school for more than three decades. Norman Hinman worked as a researcher in the UC Davis animal nutrition lab – and before that, as a cowhand and ranch manager.

Now, in their retirement years, they're artists: good ones whose work commands a price; not hobbyists or dabblers.

For them and other Sacramento region residents, art is the second act of a creative life. Retiring from their longtime professional careers has given them time to pursue their earlier and continuing interest in art.

As a result, their art has deepened with new complexity and meaning.

"I see a lot of that today," said John Natsoulas, who owns the John Natsoulas Center for the Arts in Davis and organizes the annual California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Arts each spring.

At last year's conference, which included displays of participants' work throughout downtown Davis, he noticed that a growing number of the artists were past 50 and devoting their retirement years to creating art.

"They were telling me, 'I took sculpture in high school and college, but I did X for a living instead,' " he said. "More and more people are saying, 'I don't feel fulfilled. I want to do what I always wanted to do, but I listened to my parents and was practical instead.'

"And now they're fulfilling their dreams and making a little money off their art."

In some ways, they're also living the dream of millions of other retirees who seek to establish second-career, home-based businesses – many times, creative businesses involving crafts or the arts – after their 50s.

Because older adults are rejecting the idea of retirement as a time to slow down, the number of retirement-age people who identify themselves as self-employed has increased more than 5 percent since 2008, according to AARP statistics.

"I get people asking me about retirement," said Post, 67, who lives in Sacramento's Arden Oaks neighborhood. "I wish everybody had a hobby, something they passionately, passionately want to do. For me, art is more than a hobby."

His father, Alan, who died last year, followed a similar path, working for decades as the state's legislative analyst, then becoming a prominent painter after he retired. Post's late mother, Helen, was a widely recognized sculptor.

Not surprisingly, Post – who led McDonough Holland & Allen's litigation department until his retirement in 2005 – grew up surrounded by art and artists. Yet when he sought an outlet for expression during his working years, he first tried writing.

"I'd try to write short stories at night but drink copious amounts of espresso trying to stay awake," he said. "I was falling asleep trying to write."

By the mid-'80s, he turned to painting. His work, expressionist canvases complex in geometry and color, has found new freshness since he retired from the law and gained time to devote to thinking about art and making art.

"David's art wasn't a hobby before, but he didn't have time to pursue it with his whole heart," said D. Neath, owner of Sacramento's Archival Framing gallery. "Now he does.

"Eric Dahlin is the same way. He's doing bigger, more important work now than when he was teaching. Being a high school teacher has to suck the energy right out of your head."

Dahlin, 66, is a ceramicist who lives in east Sacramento – a local boy, a baker's son, who grew up fashioning small boats and buildings out of the clay in the fields near his house. Until 2003, he taught ceramics at Encina High School.

"That's what artists do – they get teaching jobs or they sell art, and that's tougher," he said. "One year after I retired, I sold 10 times as much as I did before retirement. It still didn't amount to what I made teaching."

When he retired, he bought five kilns for his garage studio. He has the time now to spend on bigger projects. He's been in more shows and taken on more commissions.

As a result, said Solomon Dubnick Gallery's Janet Kesmodel, his work – especially his crow figures, glazed blackbirds reminiscent of the flocks flying over Central Valley farmland – sells well.

"Eric's work has become iconic in Sacramento," she said. "People love his work. It's fun, and it has a lot of character. And it seems to be very Sacramento."

By contrast, Norman Hinman's art is more easily recognized as a craft: He is a woodturner who hollows out local wood, mostly black walnut, into gracefully flaring bowls with delicately natural rims.

"Yes, it's art," said Hinman, 81, who lives in the country south of Yuba City. "But I try to be somewhat practical and down to earth about it."

He began turning wood on a lathe in 1979 while making legs for a table, and he discovered his talent. Since his retirement in 1991, he has sold 75 pieces a year and had shows at The Artery in Davis. He also mentors other woodturners through the Nor-Cal Woodturners Association.

As a young man, Hinman worked on ranches in Arizona and Northern California. Now he spends his days making and selling art, but he remains as sensible as ever.

"Originally, I had to look for wood," he said. "Now people call me. A lady in Davis had a pear tree in her front yard taken down. I went over with my chain saw and hand truck, and I traded her a finished bowl for the tree."

Lezlie Sterling/lsterling@sacbee.com

GRAY, Mary Louise Campbell
Born June 26, 1919, passed away at home in Sacramento on September 19, 2010. She was 91.
Mary Louise Campbell (Mary-Louise, Maryl) was born in Sacramento to Lawrence Vanderbilt Campbell (1888-1959), and Mary Ysabel Brooks (1884-1985). Her father was a civil engineer from Louisville, Kentucky working on the emerging national highway system after obtaining his degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1910; her mother was a school principal in Bodega Bay, having obtained her teaching degree at San Diego State College in 1906. They were married in Berkeley in 1917. The family traveled as her father's job required, and Maryl's brother, Lawrence Pike Campbell II was born in Carson City, Nevada on Oct 18, 1920. They settled in Sacramento when their father obtained a position with the State of California Division of Highways in 1922. The Campbell household included her paternal grandparents Lawrence Pike Campbell and his wife Emma Francis Vanderbilt, and her maternal grandmother Annie Brooks.
Maryl attended Sutter Junior High, and graduated from Sacramento High School in 1937, with an Outstanding Merit award, and permanent membership in the California Scholarship Federation. She enjoyed music and concerts, and horse riding, competing in and judging equestrian competition. She was admitted to Stanford University, joined the AOPi sorority, and obtained her BA in 1941. In 1939 she met Eugene Mills Gray, an architect from Minneapolis weary of the cold winters working in Sacramento after graduating from the University of Minnesota in 1931. He soon took a wartime job with Hughes Aircraft working on the ''Spruce Goose'' project in Los Angeles. Maryl and Eugene were married in Sacramento on Feb 21, 1941. Their first child Christopher Campbell Gray was born on March 13, 1942 in Los Angeles; Gregory Mills Gray was born on November 12, 1945 in Santa Monica. After the war, the Gray family moved back to Sacramento, when Eugene became an architect for the State of California. Cynthia Lee Gray was born on May 28, 1948 in Sacramento. In 1953 the family moved into their dream home designed by Eugene in the Arden Hills area of Sacramento.
Maryl's motto ''carpe diem'' served her throughout life. While raising her family, Maryl remained active in the community. She obtained her substitute teacher certification, and in 1970 received her California Secondary School Teaching Credential. She taught reading, language, literature, and world religions classes at several high schools in the San Juan Unified School District, retiring from teaching in 1987. She applied her knowledge of foreign cultures to California's developing trade relationship with China, held offices in the World Affairs Council of Sacramento, served as Chairperson of the US-China Peoples Friendship Committee, was on the Board of Directors of the Jinan-Sacramento Sister City Corporation, and visited China in 1995. She was a member of the Renaissance Society of Sacramento, touring Europe with them in 1995 and 1996.
Maryl was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, Eugene Mills Gray (1908-1991), and her brother Lawrence Pike Campbell II (1920-1991). She is survived by her children, and grandchildren Maria Louisa Catalina Gray Mascotte, Nana Devi Brooks Gray Brown (Christopher); Natasha Leonore Gray Hitchcock, Gabriel Mills Gray, Nicholas Alexander Gray (Gregory); Amon John Faltstrom, Lasha Helen Faltstrom, and Lehua Gray Faltstrom (Cynthia); and seven great grandchildren. Private inurnment services were held at East Lawn Memorial Park, where Maryl joins her husband and parents. She will be missed by both family and community.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in the memory of Maryl Gray to the Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) by mail or through their web site.
Gary Greenbaum wrote:
Occupation: Teacher
MaritalStatus: Married 28 years
Spouse: Colleen
Children/grandchildren: Danielle 25, Brittany 23
SinceGraduation: Teaching for 20 years at Elk Grove High and 9 years at Laguna Creek High School
Trivia: Kidney transplant from my wife in 1999. Beat cancer in 2009.
Hobbies: Golfing, reading, being with family
Kids: Danielle is married to Adam Rice. She is a stylist at an Aveda salon in midtown Sac.
Brittany just graduated from SFSU with a liberal arts degree with an emphasis in photography. She travels--Egypt/ Australia/ New Zealand/ Germany--takes photos and sells them at art shows in SF.
FavoriteMemory: Swim meets, volleyball games at lunch, getting to know my students.
Stories: I lied about my age when I started teaching--I was actually only 20.
Comments: Although I was only at Encina for two years, they were my first two years of my 30 plus year teaching career, so I will never forget them.

Gary Pruner
An active and ambitious artist since the age of 14, Gary Pruner has not only become a prominent figure in the Sacramento community, his talents have been nationally and internationally recognized as well. A popular and respected art instructor at American River College since 1970, Pruner began his art career at Encina High School in 1964. Graduating from California State University, Sacramento, Pruner completed his masters in oil painting. He also studied at the prestigious California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California. A modern poetic realist, Pruner is a master of form and color. Imparting poetic imagery in his subject matter. Pruner's uncanny ability to juxtapose the images and at the same time draw an association between animal and plant life with a special color and posture of presentation is masterful. His total love for the mediums in painting has led him to a provocative and innovative technique that reveals itself in a bold and sensitive manner. The stimulating inner glow of his paintings, whether it be in oil, watercolor or oil pastel is an exclusive Pruner characteristic. Pruner's shows have traveled both nationwide and abroad with many works settling into noteworthy permanent collections such as; The Kansas City University Museum, E.B. Crocker Museum, Monterey Peninsula Museum, Bell Telephone in Chicago, and M.T.S., Inc. (Tower Records) His reputation has broadened with exposure through traveling shows in Germany, Paris and Sweden.

A brush with the past

Michael Stevens, artist and teacher, retires this week from Encina High School

By Bob Sylva -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 am PDT Friday, June 11, 2004
    When Michael Stevens joined the one-man art department of Encina High School in 1990, he, his whimsical manner and creative notions took up lodging in the old wood shop. They kicked out the jigsaws and brought in the easels.
    Now, in an era of new state mandates and core-course graduation requirements, could art go the way of vocational education?
    Might the tangible, paint-splashed Encina arts studio and its adjoining, critically acclaimed art gallery be turned into something more neat, expedient?
    Like a tidy computer lab?
    It's not likely.
    Still, Stevens fears a coming dark age.
    "I see myself as a dinosaur," says Stevens, in a rare glimmer of gloom. "I'm an artist who teaches."
There's a distinction. His replacement may not be an artist at all. More than likely, he or she will be what's called an "arts educator." Someone who's a specialist in teaching art but may not be creating art. And, given the task at hand, may not be able to cajole light and color from the boiling soul of a young person. Such is the fine art of art instruction.
    After 34 years as a high school art teacher, Stevens, along with Suzanne Adan, his too-patient artist wife and severely unpaid studio assistant, retires today from Encina High School.
    Thirty-four years. That's a lot of slide shows, value charts, perspective studies, rough sketches and approximate self portraits. A river of tears and linseed oil. Undoubtedly, a lot of nodding and saying, "Hmm. Now I see it. That's very... interesting."
    It's hard to bruise feelings over algebra.
    Stevens, always supportive, encouraging, spent 13 years teaching art at La Sierra High School, his alma mater. When that school was closed, he moved to Rio Americano for seven years. And then he came to Encina, on Bell Street, an impoverished school rich in student diversity and the newcomer's unvarnished hunger to excel.
    It was at Encina, where two dozen languages are spoken, where there's often a background of family strife, that art provided students a means to make sense of upheaval. Art, its art gallery, also gave Encina a heightened profile.
    On canvas, on paper, in the page of student memory, Stevens and Adan leave an indelible mark.
    "I wish we had 100 teachers like Michael Stevens," says Marcy Friedman, one of the city's foremost art patrons, former head of the Crocker Art Museum board of directors and current member of the California Arts Council. "Whenever I walk into that class, that gallery, I'm astounded by the quality of the work... He's been able to reach them (students), to touch them, to bring out their excellence."
    "Both (Stevens and Adan) are outstanding teachers," says Tom Gemma, former Encina principal, now principal of Oak Ridge High School in El Dorado Hills. "Their passion, their skills, their relationship with students. Their ability to provide excellence in arts education. The gallery is the pinnacle of their work, and I think what they've done surpasses any arts program that I have ever seen."

Artful ambience

    Now, on a late afternoon, the end of his tenure drawing near, Stevens is in his studio classroom. It's a topsy-turvy landscape - a bank of shop windows, a cool concrete floor, orange plastic chairs atop rows of long metal tables. Art covers all the walls.
   Up front, resembling a chunk of sculpture, there's a hulking utility sink splattered with years of paint. It would make a fitting souvenir.
    Less vivid, but still faintly discernible, is this scent of spent energy - anguish, laughter, commotion, small triumphs, close resemblances, this parade of young artists.
    The bearded Stevens, 59, is ever casual, effortless in manner. He is wearing khaki shorts, an olive work shirt. And until Adan arrives with a rescue pair of sandals, he is momentarily barefoot.
    In contrast, Adan is refined, retiring, much more responsible, with sculpted cheekbones and an ivory sheen. The two have been married for 34 years. "He needed help," says Adan of her loyalty to her husband and his students. "I'm often here, and I'm good at organizing." Saying that, she drifts away.
    Stevens, who was raised in Carmichael, who could draw as a boy, was influenced by a succession of teachers, all of whom are prominent artists today. There was Ralph Goings at La Sierra, Tony Berlant at American River College and Jim Nutt at California State University, Sacramento, where Stevens earned a master's degree. From such working artists, Stevens learned the art of teaching art.
    "I don't think I could have done anything else," he says of being an artist, of being a teacher. "I was born to do what I do. I've been lucky. A lot of people don't know what they want to do."
    Over time, he became a mentor himself. "I think being a teacher is about 80 percent personality," he says. "Being able to communicate. I have always been able to deal with different combinations of people."
    Thus, he was made to order for Encina, whose campus resembles a teeming United Nations of needs.
    "I like to say that art is a second language," says Stevens. "I teach art as another form of expression. Art has its own alphabet. You have color, contrast, perspective, etc. As a teacher, I try to give the students skills. These skills can help the students tell their story. It provides them another voice in which they can communicate."
    Ultimately, especially for refugees and at-risk kids, art can be an ally. "Students have been able to touch their memories, their backgrounds, their gut instincts and emotions in ways that you can't always put into words," says Stevens. "Being able to transfer that to paper or canvas, using oil, pastel, or pencil, art, I think, helps students to know themselves."
    Beyond that, art, its rigor, can be fun.
    "Art is healthy," he declares. "Art is a healthy way to know the world. Fred Babb (a fellow artist) once said, 'Art can't hurt you!' That's true. Art is a friendly process, a nurturing process."
    When he first came to Encina, Stevens made an impression. He took down all the faculty photos in the school lobby and replaced them with student artwork. Fifteen years later, that tradition holds. Student art also infiltrated the cafeteria, the student theater, the teacher's lounge, even the restrooms.
    "I always felt you should squeeze in art wherever you can," says Stevens of his visual approach. "That's the fun of education. You get people to look at new ideas. Change the dynamic of things."
    Ten years ago, with Tom Demma's approval, Stevens and Adan built a first-class art gallery inside the studio space, a box within a crate. Adan became its curator. It exhibited both student work and outside professionals. Every year, the gallery hosted a theme show that attracted entries from top high school students all over the area. It became a campus attraction, its shows critically reviewed.
    "It ended up being a teaching tool," says Stevens. "It's became part of the class. Exposure is the final phase of the creative process. We can take the whole class on a field trip in five minutes. The kids can see successful work. They learn from it. They are amazed by it. It became a source of inspiration."
    Stevens still enjoys a notable career as an artist, a sculptor who has exhibited in Chicago and San Francisco. He had a retrospective this year at the Crocker.

'Oh, I get it!'

    Asked the pleasures of teaching, Stevens says, "When you touch someone. When they say, 'Oh, I get it!' Or when they come back years later and tell you that you made a difference in their life. Sometimes you don't even know you made an impact. You can see 150 kids in a semester, but it's that one kid who keeps you going."
    One of those kids is Joelle Wright, 22, a fine painter who earned a scholarship to California College of the Arts in Oakland, where she continues to study. "Let's see," she says, laughing over the phone. "What hasn't Mike done for me!"
    She recalls, "In my junior year, I started to paint. They (Stevens and Adan) liked what I was doing. They saw something in me. They thought I had talent. It blew me away, all the attention they gave me."
    Indeed, the couple took slides of Wright's work. They helped her fill out her scholarship application. And when Wright left for school? "They gave me a care package with enough food to last a year!" she exclaims. "I call them my surrogate parents. They have always been there for me."
    Looking ahead, Stevens and Adan plan on team-teaching a painting class next fall at Sacramento City College. He also has a show scheduled in San Francisco. Stevens, who is on the interview panel at Encina, doubts his replacement will be a working artist. "The job is just too demanding today," says Stevens. "It takes too much time, energy and dedication."
    What he'll miss most at Encina: the kids, the spectacular gallery of young faces.
    "You think they're all the same," says Stevens of high school students. "But they'll surprise you. They all have their own feelings, their own ideas. I think in some cases they pull stuff out of themselves that neither you, nor they, knew they were going to do."
About the Writer
The Bee's Bob Sylva can be reached at (916) 321-1135 or bsylva@sacbee.com.
Drawing to a pair: Collaborations sustains twin talents
By Victoria Dalkey -- Bee Art Correspondent
Published 2:11 PM PST Sunday, Nov. 4, 2001
For more than 30 years, Suzanne Adan and Michael Stevens have shared a life in art, making quirky paintings, constructions and mixed-media collaborations that have brought them regional and national acclaim. Avid collectors of childhood memorabilia, they share a suburban house whose exterior gives no clue to the vast collection of low and high art it holds. They also share a pair of Tuff Shed studios in the back yard and a family of wirehaired terriers whose antics are a source of never-ending delight. Plus, Adan is the curator of the Encina Art Gallery at Encina High School, and Stevens is the director.
"Mr. & Mrs.," a vibrant exhibition of their work at the Else Gallery on the campus of California State University, Sacramento, where the two met as art students in 1966, is proof positive, as curator Elaine O'Brien notes, that "independent, edgy and ambitious art is not (after all) incompatible with suburban domestic life."
In addition to Adan and Stevens' own works, the show brings a section of their living room into the gallery with displays of the toys, lunchboxes, fake noses and stuffed animals that have helped inspire their cheeky, irreverent artwork. Shelves and cases are filled with Lone Ranger and King Kong lunchboxes, Roy Rogers and Hopalong Cassidy thermos bottles, fake birds' bills and nose rings that shoot candy. A paean to Pluto, one of their favorite Disney characters, is housed in a Pluto spice rack Stevens made for Adan in 1969.
"We first started collecting mass-produced toys in 1968," Stevens said in an interview at the gallery. "They were things you could buy for 29 or 49 cents, and we loved the beautiful color and detail in them. They're really small sculptures." That love of color and detail carries into their artwork, Stevens said.
Adan blends images from their collections (Halloween skulls and skeletons, for example), as well as Egyptian figures such as Anubis, in intricate narrative paintings and drawings that often center on events in her life. Frequently she builds her meticulously woven compositions around a family group with images of herself, Stevens and their dogs, Reilly and Murphy.
In the tiny "Even Steven," she portrays Stevens as a devil, a favorite conceit, surrounded by stick figures, dogs and arcane symbols that set up a buzz of visual energy. Using mostly muted colors, she adds subtle flicks of brighter tones that give texture and add excitement to the composition.
In "Five O'Clock Shadow," a large puzzle-like piece, she presents herself as a figure wearing a halo and a dunce cap. Primarily black and white on a cream background, the image jumps with visual intensity as the figures of dogs, a bird in an abstracted tree, and eyeballs swirl in an animated space peppered with numbers and letters used as abstract elements. In "Polka Dots," she appears as an artist with a paintbrush in one hand and a fragile white dog in the other, confronting a pumpkin-headed Stevens. A ladder hangs from her long Pinocchio-like nose in a composition that seems to ask rather than answer myriad visual questions. Both compositions are detailed and ambitious in scale.
"I'm obsessive-compulsive and anally retentive," Adan said, explaining that she created the paintings by starting at the left hand corner and working across, wet paint on wet paint, building up texture with tiny brushes.
That compulsive quality is readily apparent in a collaboration between the two artists titled "Indian Giver." Choosing a Western theme, Stevens painted a central image of an Indian on horseback holding up a mask of the Lone Ranger. Adan surrounded Stevens' painting with a writhing border of meticulously defined imagery, including cat tails, a tepee and a menacing red snake. It's all tied together with the tumescent tail of a cat, knotted to mimic the surreal snout of the Indian's horse.
In Stevens' work, childhood memories often take on a dark edge. Pluto, for example, is the subject of a sculpture with a body made out of found objects and a shiny, puppetlike head. Comic at first, it turns menacing with the addition of an image of Charles Manson with a swastika on his forehead.
Stevens' fascination with puppets from the early days of television -- Howdy Doody, Charlie McCarthy, Jerry Mahoney -- is apparent in this and other works, in which he often places puppet-headed figures in front of painted backdrops that suggest stage sets. In "Capt'n Ned's Puppet Theatre," we see a surreal scene in which a puppet sea captain stands in front of a stage set with a backdrop of an ocean quixotically presided over by a nun. "Jack," a reference to Jack the Ripper, gives us a leering face made out of a staid still-life print with a female figure below who holds out a plate with a knife on it.
The charms found in boxes of Cracker Jack are the source of a series of Stevens' recent wall pieces. "Bobbie, Bootsie and Felix" features a family group of gigantic charms -- a boy, a girl and a dog -- whose flat, frontal images are papered with kitschy prints found in thrift stores. These huge, simple, confrontational figures with picturesque landscapes taking the place of anatomy are at once cheerful and unsettling, confusing the boundaries between low and high art and confounding our notions of identity.
Even edgier is "Dick and Jane," a pair of outsized children's heads whose visages, formed by peaceful mountain and ocean scenes, are riddled with holes, their eyes x-ed out as are the eyes of cartoon characters who are dead. A blend of innocence and malevolence, the piece addresses the disjuncture between how things seem and how they really are, calling up associations with drive-by shootings and playgrounds that have become killing fields.
"The kitschy prints are made for the common man, as are the toys," said Stevens, who blurs the boundaries between art and craft and popular and academic sources in his works. "I think of these as painting without a brush. I'm not a sculptor, per se. I just make stuff."
Both Adan and Stevens make their "stuff" very well. The element of craft plays an important role in their works, which have the feeling of being intensely cared for. That caring makes even the most enigmatic of their images potent. Humorists with a hard edge, they give us compelling images that combine comedy with underlying meanings that ask us tough questions about life and death.
Sacramento Bee, June 8, 1995
   Though her desk at the downtown law firm is piled with work, Linda Brandenburger finds time to tend her garden, practice photography, and do volunteer work with the American Red Cross and Planned Parenthood.
   Last year, Brandenburger, a South Land Park resident, was chairwoman of the board of directors of the Sierra Chapter of the Red Cross. This year, she was given the Clara Barton Award for her seven years of service.
   She joined the Red Cross board of trustees on the recommendation of a friend and soon became a member of the board of directors, where she is now involved in making policy for the agency. She hasn't worked "in the trenches" doing disaster relief, but she sees herself doing that in the future. "The Red Cross is so well-run. I'm very impressed with it, " she
   She also devotes her time to Planned Parenthood, which she said "is very different because it's so controversial, and Red Cross is so uncontroversial."
   Brandenburger grew up in Sacramento and attended Riverside Elementary, California Junior High and McClatchy High School. She earned her teaching credentials at California State University, Sacramento. She obtained her bachelor's degree from Occidental College and her master's degree from Stanford University.
   In the 1960's, Brandenburger taught at Encina High School and Hiram Johnson High School. She also taught at the American School in London.  She came back to the states from London because her father was ill.
   "Rather than go back into teaching, I went into law school," she said. Brandenburger said she was "an old law student" at 36 when she enrolled at the University of California at Davis.
   When she graduated from law school, she went to work right away at the downtown firm of McMurchie, Foley, Brandenburger & Weil & Lenahan where her brother Stephen Brandenburger is a partner.
   Most of her work involves estate planning and probate. Many of her clients aren't comfortable when they set out to plan for their deaths, she said. "But once they get into it and they do it, they feel relieved," she said.
   She said she's never had to deal with arguing heirs. "I haven't handled any multimillion-dollar estates either," Brandenburger said.
   When people want to leave money to charity, Brandenburger can recommend a number of non-profit agencies, the Red Cross among them, she said.
Eleanor Brown writes:
A little history:

1965 - 1972 :      English teacher - Encina High
1972 - 1974 :      Assistant Principal/English Teacher - Casa Roble High
1974 - 1975 :      Vice Principal - Del Campo High
1975 - 1984 :      Principal - Del Campo High
1984 - 1987 :      Director - 7-Adult Schools Division
1987 - 2000 :   Assistant Superintendent - 7-Adult Division

Good grief !  Where has all the time gone !
Hello. My name is Jeanine Bullington, and I am the counselor for those students with last names from O-Z. This is my first year as a counselor at Half Moon Bay High School, and I am really excited to be here. So far I have met some great and helpful students and parents and hope to meet many more.
Background: I received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Career Planning at CSU Chico. It was during my education in Chico that I discovered that something I thoroughly enjoyed was working with children and youth. I volunteered my time as a teacher's assistant at an elementary school and also as a counselor at a battered womens shelter. These opportunities sparked my interest of becomming a School Counselor. I then moved to Sacramento and attended CSU Sacramento where I received a Master of Science in Counseling as well as a PPS Credential in May of 2000. During my stay in Sacramento I provided academic, personal, and career counseling to students at Encina High School.
Now I am here, and I am really looking forward to the rest of the year as well as the years to come. I could not ask for more. I work in a beautiful community with great people who are very supportive! When I have spare time I enjoy playing the piano, going for walks, and reading.
Barbara Graichen writes:
I'm Barbara Graichen, a former Encina High School teacher.  I taught Social Studies including World and US History, Mathematics, English, Peopl and Society, Government, Anthropology, etc. at Encina High School from 1975-1983.  I was also Junior Class Advisor, Junior State Co-Advisor (with Irene Leafe) and Student Council Advisor at various times.
I'd love to see many of my students. (I do run into some of them from time to time.)
I now own an environmental and government organization consulting business. 
Gary Greenbaum writes:
Occupation: Teacher
Bio: I left Encina in 1980 and moved to Elk Grove.  I met my wife, Colleen, had two children, Danielle (16) and Brittany (14) and I have been teaching at Elk Grove High since 1981.
Trivia: Two years ago I was near death and in desperate need of a kidney transplant.   My wife--my match for life and in health--was the perfect donor.  We are both doing great.
Friends: I had so many students that I loved--far too many to list.  However, I have always stayed in close contact with Erik Olson.
Hobbies: I love spending time with my family.  We have traveled a great deal because my wife is also a teacher.  We have been to five Carribean islands on three separate trips.  We have taken cruises to Alaska, Canada, Mexico, and the Carribean.   Finally, we have taken numerous trips to Disneyland, San Diego, Monterey, San Francisco, and annual trips to Tahoe.
Kids: Danielle (16) is 5' 9" tall and as gorgeous as her mother.  She is an honor roll student and a member of the junior council.  She works at a local coffee shop--similar to Central Perk on Friends--and drives a 96 Mustang that she earned.   Brittany (14) is an adorable freshman cheerleader.  Her squad of 20 girls competes all over the state.  They have won every competition that she has attended.   Brittany is extremely artistic and also earns excellent grades.
Memorable_teachers: I learned the most from Carol Takeuchi-Chambers about teaching and from Sue McGuire about caring about the students.
Favorite_memory: Beating Rio Americano in a swim meet by one point.  Actually, I have nothing but fond memories of my years at Encina.  I have loved getting in touch with old friends through this wonderful website.  I hope to hear from many more.
Sandy Hunt writes:
Greetings from one of your FORMER, BUT NOT OLD teachers! I am Sandy Hunt, a Social Science teacher from the 1967 to 1973 era. I still live in town and have a practice as a Marriage and Family Therapist in Fair Oaks. I am pleased to say that many of my former students found me in the Yellow Pages and have been my clients over the years. It is wonderful because the rapport was already there. I have been out of education for many years but I still feel loyal to the Public Schools and thankful for the job of teaching that was such a fun experience. Personally, I have been married to the same man for all this time and we have two young adults, age 25 and 22. They are both out of college at this point and we are in the process of selling the family home and moving to a smaller place, maybe even being RENTERS!!!!! We love to travel and have had great opportunities to do that. Last year we went to South Africa as our son was studying there at Rhoades University. We joined him for a safari and a little road trip for several weeks. Before that it was hiking and biking in New Zealand and before that it was Indonesia, which was probably our favorite place because it was so rural and exotic. Next year we hope to go around the world and basically hit Viet Nam and India as our major stops. It would be fun to re-connect if any of you so desire...so here's my e-mail address: SANDY4730@aol.com
RAYMOND (RAY) B. KLINEFELTER, Ph.D.  (Taught at Encina HS from 1970-76, transferred to Casa Roble until 1978.  Started the Horticulture/Agriculture Program, and taught in the Science Department) I would like to hear from some of my special students.  I had a grand time while at Encina.   They were years of hard work, fun, and were exciting for me.  I still consider Don Golden, Principal, one of the persons I most respected, and consider him my mentor in the 70's.  Thank you Don.   I would like to know what happen to those "Special" students, and how their lives turned out.  I still consider myself a teacher, but in the private sector as a trainer, mediator, and facilitator.

Dr. Klinefelter is a Management Consultant Senior Analyst.  He is the Principal of Klinefelter Consulting Associates since 1984.  He has worked as an Independent Management Consultant, as well as working for National consulting firms. He has worked on Co-Projects, Team Projects, Short and Long Term Projects. He has successfully owned and managed several businesses.  He maintains a strong conviction and a Professional approach to resolving Short and Long Term challenges while developing a Team Approach towards maintaining a long term positive relationship.  Along with Formulating Business Strategy and Aligning Organizational Processes, his focus is on Human Behavior, Performance, Motivation, Communication, Collaboration, and Organizational Structure, Systems, and Processes.

As a Management Consultant, his experience has been in both the Private and Public Sectors.  This Senior Management Consultant brings considerable Knowledge and Experience to consulting projects. He has a varied multidisciplinary business background from working with Corporations, Sole-Proprietorships, Partnerships, and Organizations. He has considerable experience in turning around companies and organizations through Training and Developing New or Experienced management to be more Effective, Productive, and Accountable. He is capable of carrying out Multiple projects concurrently.   Additionally, he uses his Analytical and Organizational Skills in establishing Attainable Goals, Objectives, and a Common Unified Business Direction.
Dr. Klinefelter is exceptional at developing management to think outside of the "box".  He is able to take complex situations, have people understand them and work toward both Consensus and Compromise.  Dr. Klinefelter helps management to be Responsible, Accountable, Innovative, Creative Problem Solvers, and helps facilitate Management to its fullest Potential.
Karen McClelland Lee writes:
Occupation: Retired Counselor
Bio: Running into past students is a real hightlight in my "retired" life. So many times I hear, " I know that voice, or I know your face..." It makes for a few minutes of looking back;remembering; reminiscing. I taught English-is that spelled correctly? I have a business (just getting off the ground) and lots of grandchildren to keep me happy and occupied. I think about and miss every kid who walked through my door, (even if I couldn't remember all names).
Kids: Both Amy McClelland and Dan McClelland graduated from Encina. Both are doing great, as is brother Steven (Kennedy H.S.). I told ya, computers are the thing! All 3 are involved.
Just a note to let you know that Susan McGuire (former Encina English teacher) now teaches Culinary Tech at Woodcreek High School in Roseville. She is responsible for getting Woodcreek into the record books by assembling the world's longest shish-kebob. She also runs the Timber Rock Cafe which is a student operated restaurant at the high school (and, I might add, a great place for lunch). She is one of the most active and one of the most popular teachers at Woodcreek. Patricia Lovas 68
Sacramento Bee, February 6, 1997
   Although her new job as principal will give Gail Pierce fewer opportunities to interact daily with students -- something she said she truly enjoys -- her role will have a broader impact at Del Campo High School.
   "I cannot remember wanting to do anything else but teach. I miss teaching English," said Pierce. "(But) as principal, I can affect the lives of a lot more students, and that's exciting and challenging to me. Twenty years ago principals sat in isolation, making decisions. It isn't like that anymore. My role will be to facilitate problem-solving. I like working with people and sharing ideas."
   The Texas native succeeds Lois Franchimone, who was recently named director of alternative programs for seventh grade through adult education.  Pierce began her teaching career in 1970 in Houston, where she taught high school English and was newspaper adviser and sponsor of her school's marching-band majorettes.
   After she and her husband, Ron, moved to Fair Oaks in 1973, she became a substitute teacher for the San Juan district. She then traveled from school to school as a teacher for the district's advanced-learning program.
   At Encina High School, Pierce taught English, social studies and oversaw the yearbook. In 1984, she became department chairwoman for English; three years later she was named student activities director and administrative assistant.
   She took the administrative assistant position at the urging of her daughter, Nicole. "The principal at Encina approached me about the job, and I thought about it all week. (Nicole) said, 'You never know if you don't try.' so I accepted it."
   In 1992 Pierce transferred to San Juan High School as vice principal and in 1993 became a vice principal at Del Campo.
   As principal, Pierce hopes to improve access to computer technology as well as refine the school's block schedule, which promotes broad-based education by allowing students to take more academic electives.
   "We want to do the best we can to serve the students," she said.
   She also will work with staff members to ensure that "curriculum is relevant and prepares students for the world of work.
   As vice principal, Pierce said she was able to maintain "a connection" to students. "As principal, it'll be harder to keep that connection, because I'll be going to more meetings, but I'll still have a role that impacts students," she said.
   She and Ron, a captain with the Sacramento County Fire Protection District, are longtime Citrus Heights residents. Nicole is now a junior studying sports medicine at Pepperdine University.
Ginny Privateer Corsi writes:
Occupation: Management Consultant
Bio: When I left Encina, I left teaching. Went on to marry, have two daughters and became a newspaper reporter. Went on through political activism to become Chief of Staff to New York State's first woman Lieutenant Governor. From there to the Aspen Institute's Executive Seminar Program, to the US State Department, then to Wall Street where I worked for 20 years running Institutes, seminars and eventually heading up sales and marketing for investment management firms.
Trivia: I'm a trustee of Outward Bound, the Hurricane Island (Maine) School and have gone on too many courses and climbed too many ropes.
Hobbies: Still an avid golfer, tennis player and biker...all very possible all the time in Boulder.
Heard_about_website_from: Judy Wilson teacher

One of the West Coast's top collegiate coaches and program builders, Sacramento State graduate John Smith continues his quest to build Hornet baseball into a major Division I power in his 21st year at CSUS.

The 1999 season marks Sacramento State's 10th year as a Division I competitor and the third season as a member of the Big West Conference.

Under Smith, Sacramento State battled for a spot in the NCAA Tournament down to the final weeks of the 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1998 seasons. The Hornets, who narrowly missed out to Cal State Northridge on the final weekend of the 1991 season, were still in the hunt in the early stretch of 1992, and were a factor in the Western Athletic Conference race in the latter stages of the '93 season. Last season, Sacramento State again nearly found a spot in the postseason, losing to Long Beach State in the championship game of the Big West Tournament.

Since taking over the program in November of 1978, Smith has only five losing seasons. In his 20 seasons as a head coach, he has posted 607 wins, ranking him among the top-60 active Division I coaches with at least five years experience.

A strong recruiter, baseball tactician and program administrator, Smith took the 1988 Hornets to the finals of the NCAA Division II World Series. He has led the Hornets to NCAA postseason appearances four times in his tenure, winning two regional crowns and two trips to the NCAA Div. II Championships.

Smith was named American Baseball Coaches Association/NCAA Western Regional Coach of the Year twice, in 1986 and in 1988.

Several Smith-coached players have advanced to the minor and major leagues, most recently Dan Elorduy, who signed with the Atlanta Braves following last season, and Harvey Hargrove, who was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the sixth round of the 1997 Amatuer Draft.

Among his other honors, Smith was selected to coach a team of collegiate all-stars that toured Czechoslovakia on a 10-week goodwill tour in the summer of 1992.

Smith took over the CSUS program in the winter of 1978. In this, his only collegiate coaching position, he produced 14-straight winning teams. Just five Smith-coached teams have posted less than a 55% winning percentage and five of his last 10 teams have posted 60% winning marks or better. His career mark is 607-508, a .544 winnning percentage.

In Smith's early years, the Hornets finished second once and third twice in the Far West Conference. Sacramento State was also second in the Northern California Athletic Conference and won the NCAC title in 1985. CSUS won the NCAA Regionals in 1986 and 1988, advancing to the College World Series both years. In 1986, the Hornets finished the season as national runner-up, and in 1988, Sacramento State lost to Florida Southern, 5-4, in 12 innings, in the final game.

Besides his NCAA Coach of the Year honors, Smith has been named CSUS Coach of the Year twice, in 1981 and 1986, and Sacramento Hall of Fame Coach of the Year four times.

A native of Redding, Calif., Smith spent three years in the Army as a Green Beret after junior college. He spent the 1970 season as an assistant at College of the Siskiyous in Weed, Calif., followed by two years playing for Cal Boyes at CSUS in 1971 and 1972. He served as a graduate assistant for Boyes' 1973 team and graduated from CSUS that spring.

He spent the next five years as head baseball coach at Encina High School, where he led EHS to a Central Valley Conference title.

John and his wife, Terry, have two children, Heather (14) and Bobby (11).
Virginia Smith writes:
Occupation: Counselor from 1968-1988
Bio: Retired in 1988.  Highly recommend retirement to anyone of age.  Loved working with the students at Encina but my, oh, my do I like not having that responsiblity
Trivia: My husband and I do a fair amount of travel, community work and camping.
Favorite_memory: One of my favorite memories of Encina was the beautiful campus and the wonderful trees that lined Bell Street
Story: I am looking forward to not missing the next homecoming
Pamela Sparrow writes:
My years at Encina were special - I was only 21 when I went to work there - 1962 - in 1965 went with principal James William Smith III to the District Office as his secretary - a position came open in the Dist. Office as Public Information Specialist - considerable pay increase, and Dr. Smith (I typed his doctoral thesis - an old fashioned IBM Executive *grins*) and I got the job - stayed there almost 2 years - they were considering doing away with that position so I went back to Encina in 1967 to work with Don Golden, again as Principal's Secretary.
  One of my special memories was being asked if one of the homecoming princesses could ride in my 1962 Buick Special Convertible (powder blue) - and I think the queen rode in my car - somewhere I have a pic of me by the car - oh, I was blonde in those days - and when I came back in 1967 to Encina - my married name was Payne - Pamela Sue Sparrow Payne - you might get a kick out of this - check out http://www.geocities.com/~pamsway/metoo.html
  I live in Las Vegas now - am a paralegal for a law firm specializing in medical malpractice defense and construction defense - left the school district and went to legal.
  Pam's Way http://www.geocities.com/~pamsway  
  Pam's World http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Meadows/6722
Lawrence Stallings writes:
Bio: Retired from teaching in '88, but continue as an "Adjunct Professor" of mathematics at Sacramento City College.
Trivia: I continue singing and have appeared in several operas here and with North Bay Opera in Fairfield.
Children: Gael Scott 41, Carla 40, Rachel Schottky 37, Carolyn Seepe 33 plus 12 grandchildren and another due this month.
Greig Welch writes:
Occupation: Principal - Paso Robles High School
Bio: I taught at Encina High School from 1973 until 1977. I helped coach football, baseball and track. Taught Social Studies, Driver's Education and served as Activity Director for two years

Would you like to support the Encina alumni website?
1. Donate via the PayPal button at the bottom of the page
2. Click on one of the Google ads at the bottom of the page
(Google pays us a small commission for each click)

Would you like to hear about class reunions, alumni events and all things Encina?
Subscribe to the Encina Update enewsletter and/or your class mailing list using the Comment form. Fill out your contact information, and indicate which mailing list you are interested in.

The Encina alumni contact information is never sold, rented, leased, traded, swapped, marketed, exchanged, bartered, distributed, or disclosed in any other way. We don't like to receive junk mail, and know you don't either.