2016 Hall of Fame Inductees
Dr. Rosemary Smith
Class of 1962
Rosemary Smith graduated from John Muir High School in 1962 and
was selected in the category of Education. At Muir she was involved
in the Music Department. She was in the A Capella Choir, Madrigal
Singers, Drama Club, and Girls Athletic Association (GAA. She was
also involved in homecoming activities and in school dances.
She earned a Music Scholarship to Cal State, Los Angeles and
graduated in 1967. She began her teaching career in Los Angeles at
Fremont High School teaching English to grades 9-12. In 1970, she
returned to the PUSD and taught Special Education at Eliot Junior
High School and Washington Junior High School. She also taught
English, Music and Drama.
In 1974 she taught English composition, grammar and literature at
John Muir. Dr. Smith was also part of the PUSD Multicultural Task
Force and taught African American literature.
In 1999 she earned her Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Higher
Education/Adult Ed. from Berne University.
During her extensive career she held various teaching
positions including: Director of the School Improvement Program
(SIP); English and humanities at Howard University in Washington,
DC; Professor of Writing and Literature at Prince George’s Community
College; African American Literature, Major American Writers, and
Contemporary Native American Writers; she created an Ethnic Studies
From 2010 until her retirement in 2015, she continued working with
the Clark County School District in Las Vegas as a Coordinator
III—Equity & Diversity Education Department, Instructional Design
and Professional Learning Center. And she worked in coordinating of
the Equity and Diversity Education Department’s Indian Education
Class of 1970
Okumoto graduated from John Muir High School in 1970 and was
selected in the category of Business.
He remembers teachers that helped him learn about
school, life and success including Mr. Zweers, Mr. Hoyt and Mr.
Dilbeck. He stated that attending Muir gave him “hope” and his
experiences and friends made at Muir built a foundation of
confidence which enabled him to succeed in what he believed.
After Muir, Richard attended PCC and then San Jose State
University (SJSU) where he earned his Business degree. In 1974,
he landed a job and began his career in the world famous Silicon
Valley. He worked over 30 years in the Silicon Valley technology
industry holding executive management positions such as: Chief
Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), and
Division General Manager (GM) in publicly-traded and
privately-held technology companies.
Richard worked at Fairchild Semiconductor where he held various
roles in finance & operations. He was a Corporate
Controller at Commodore Business Machines which was one of three
companies initially competing in the personal computer industry
(Apple Computer and Radio Shack)
While CEO at TMT Inc., he built the company
from $2 million in sales to $75 million in sales in just over
two years. His next success was with Credence Systems
Corporation as EVP & CFO and VP & Division General Manager. As
the CFO, he completed the initial public Offering (IPO) for the
company in 1993.
A Harvard Business case study was written
about his experience uncovering the accounting fraud at
Electro-Scientific Industries. The case study, The Midnight
Journal Entry, is used to teach corporate ethics in many MBA
After 30+ years in the technology industry,
Richard retired from full-time employment and served on several
public, private, and non-profit boards. Richard didn’t rest,
instead at the age of 56 he reinvented himself and used his
business experiences to teach the next generation at San Jose
State University (SJSU). He also taught at Cal State University
at Long Beach (CSULB) where he taught an MBA Capstone class.
In 2016 he began teaching at the Keck Graduate
Institute (KGI), Bioscience Business Strategy to post doctorate
students. He is now working on his Ph.D. program at Queensland
University of Technology located in Brisbane, Australia. He is
conducting research in distance learning and knowledge for his
Frank L. Vernon,
Class of 1972
Frank L. Vernon graduated from John Muir High School in 1972
and was selected in the category of Science. At Muir, he was
involved in Music (Choir, Madrigals, and performed in the
musical West Side Story), Key Club, played varsity football and
baseball and was in the Boy Scouts. He received the Scholar
Athlete Award in football as well as California Scholarship
Federation (CSF) honors. After Muir, he attended UC San Diego (UCSD)
and earned his B.A. in Physics with a specialization in earth
sciences, where he also earned his Ph.D..
Dr. Vernon has been principal investigator of the ANZA
Broadband Seismic Data Collection Center which provides
state-of-the-art real-time seismic monitoring capability of
southernmost California. Centered on the San Jacinto Fault Zone,
which is considered to be the most seismically active fault of
the San Andreas system, the ANZA network provides vital
information allowing detection of earthquake risk in order to
protect lives and infrastructure. The ANZA network has been
recognized as one of the premier seismic monitoring networks on
Earth and a valuable component of earthquake preparedness in one
of the most seismically active areas.
Additionally, Dr. Vernon is the principal investigator
of the High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network
(HPWREN), which functions as a collaborative cyber
infrastructure providing large-scale reliable wireless internet
access in southernmost California. The network extends from San
Clemente Island through San Diego, Riverside and Imperial
Counties, reaching nearly to the Arizona state border. HPWREN is
used by several institutions and organizations for
interdisciplinary research, including earth science astronomy,
biology, ecology and meteorology, as well as for education
purposes. The network is also utilized by multiple public safety
agencies, including first-responder activities, and plays a
vital role in early detection of wildfires and other natural
hazards in remote areas.
He is the principal
investigator of USArray ANF. The USArray ANF has over 500
seismic stations across the United States to image the crust and
underlying mantle structure in the North American continent.
These portable stations were deployed initially in 2004 in the
western U.S. and marched slowly across the country in 2-year
increments to the Atlantic Ocean in a 70 km grid. The stations
use seismic, acoustic and atmospheric pressure sensors and
transmit high resolution real-time data to UCSD for analysis via
wireless, satellite and wired networks.
Dr. Vernon is also the
co-principal investigator for the San Jacinto Fault Zone
Experiment and the Central and Eastern U.S. Network. His current
areas of interest include acoustics and infrasound,
instrumentation and observational networks, seismology and
earthquake physics. He is co-founder of Boulder Real Time
Technologies, a private company which provides software that
“supports the collection, archiving, integration, and processing
of environment sensors, particularly seismic sensors.”
He has contributed to science
as a research geophysicist, seismologist, lecturer and author.
Dr. Vernon’s research projects and innovations in technology
have improved the detection land analysis of earthquakes from
around the globe and I have increased our knowledge of seismic
activity and our ability to mitigate associated seismic and
other natural hazards. He is a well-respected expert in
seismology and has authored over 120 publications in peer-review
top international journals. In addition to his research
projects, he mentors graduate students and gives lectures to the
students at the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP)
at Scripps Institute of Oceanography as well as to colleagues at
scientific meetings and to the public. He also serves as editor
of the Journal of the American Geophysical Union, Earth and
Space Science, and on the ocean Networks Canada, International
Science Advisory Board.
Julie Bunn, Ph.D.
Class of 1975
Julie Bunn graduated from John Muir High School in 1975 and
was selected in the category of Government Service. At Muir,
Julie exemplified leadership. She was junior class president,
served on the ASB cabinet in the fall of her junior year and was
a member of S Club and the California Scholarship Federation
(CSF). In her senior year, Julie was CSF president and on the
Hoofbeats staff as Business Manager. Her many accolades at Muir
included CSF Seal Bearer, Girls State representative for Muir,
Exchange Club Girl of the Month, Elks Leadership Award and Bank
of America Plaque winner. Julie was the recipient of the Union
Oil Company of California National Scholarship Foundation, 1975
to 1979, for college tuition.
She credits her Muir experience as providing a quality
education, a multi-cultural experience and a feeling of support.
First, the quality of education was a great background for
higher education. Second, was the multicultural exposure of a
wide variety of students from different ethnic groups that
helped prepare her for the future. Third, the emotional support
given by many staff members and students that provided a
foundation for adulthood.
received an B.A., summa cum laude, in economics with
departmental honors from Occidental College in 1979. She
volunteered and campaigned with Cesar Chavez and the United Farm
Workers to pass Proposition 14, spearheaded the campus World
Hunger Task Force, organized students to work in Los Angeles
soup kitchens, and volunteered at a free medical clinic in a
low-income area. When she attended the Stanford University, she
organized the largest conference in the university’s history on
global and environmental challenges. She earned an M.A. and a
Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University.
During he career, she worked as an economist and
research assistant for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of
Statistics in Washington, DC. She also served as a Commissioner
on the City of Lake Elmo Planning Commission and a Chair of a
Senate District local party to support local candidates.
Dr. Bunn was a professor of economics at Macalester College in
Saint Paul Minnesota. She received the Pew Faculty Fellowship at
Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where she
studied international affairs. She was also a Policy Forum
Fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey’s Institute.
Dr. Julie Bunn was elected to the Minnesota House of
Representatives in 2006, representing District 56A in the
Eastern Twin Cities metropolitan area, and was re-elected in
2008. As a state legislator, she was recognized as being a
gifted and effective representative and served on the "Health &
Human Services Finance and Policy," the "Biosciences and
Emerging Technologies," and the "Ways and Means Committees."
During her tenure, she authored the 2007 Minnesota major
health-care reform bill and co-authored the 2008 Health-care
reform bill. She received numerous awards, commendations and
endorsements for her legislative initiatives and achievements
from business, environmental, health-care related and nonprofit
organizations. Her awards included the Conservation Minnesota
Leadership Award (one of only three given in the state) in 2010,
the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy’s Master Paddler
Award in 2007, and the National Federation of Independent
Business Champion of Small Business Award in 2008 and 2010. In
2013 to 2014, Dr. Bunn served as Finance Chair for the Minnesota
State Auditor Race, organizing and administering fundraising
efforts for the successful statewide campaign.
Today, she is a self-employed policy analyst,
consultant and writer. Her company, Bunn Policy Communications,
has the slogan: “Harnessing the power of knowledge, ideas, and
advocacy to achieve social change.” She is a strategic and
policy adviser to state and local candidates and a technical
adviser and consultant to many nonprofit organizations.
Class of 1977
Whittingham graduated from John Muir High School
in 1977 and was selected in the category of
Performing Arts. At Muir, he was involved in sports
including playing football and basketball.
After Muir, he
attended Pasadena City College (PCC) and Cal State,
Northridge (CSUN). He graduated from CSUN with a
Bachelor’s degree in Journalism. He began his career
as a Production Assistant on the TV series “227”. He
has been a Television Director for over 25 years.
He has been
responsible for some of the most classic episodes of
comedy over the last 15 years and has defined
enduring visual styles for both top comedies and
dramas. Most recently he has brought his poise and
expertise to multiple episodes of Grace and
Frankie, Fresh Off The Boat, Modern
Family, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and
He has also
directed episodes for a wide variety of television
series including: Uncle Buck, Grandfathered, 2 Broke
Girls, About a Boy, Community, Scrubs, My Name is
Earl, Rules of Engagement, King of Queens, The
Bernie Mac Show, Yes Dear, Still Standing,
Californication, The Mindy Project, Rules of
Engagement, and Suburgatory (where is was also a
producer), and many more.
A trusted, go-to director, Whittingham has also
directed multiple episodes for current comedies such
as Survivor’s Remorse, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
and The Middle, as well as past series
Parks and Recreation, Scrubs, 30 Rock, The Office,
Everybody Hates Chris, Girlfriends, and
Entourage. Occasionally he ventures into light
drama with stints on Parenthood, Ugly Betty,
Desperate Housewives, and Gilmore Girls.
Ken Whittingham is an award-winning television
director who has brought a passion for work that
walks the delicate line between smart, playful, and
quirky to episodes of more than seventy shows.
Through a thoughtful and out of the box approach to
material, Whittingham is able to galvanize the words
on the page, amplify the strong points of view of
the creators, and ultimately, elevate the various
shows on a comedic level.”
For his work, Whittingham has been nominated for
Class of 1982
Berkeley graduated from John Muir High School in 1982 and
was selected in the category of Science.
At Muir, she was involved as the Civil Affairs Commissioner,
Conservation Club, Red Cross Club, Marching Band (Tall Flags and
Majorette), Badminton Team, Tournament of Roses Honor Band, and
the California Scholarship Federation (CSF) for 4 years.
After Muir, she attended the University Of
Southern California (USC) on a full-scholarship and graduated
with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Electrical
Engineering in 1986.
Following her sophomore year at USC (1984), Jan was a summer
hire at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) supporting the
Galileo mission development. On this project, (at age 19) she
designed spreadsheets to track mass and power mode changes that
continue to be used 20 years later by power and systems
engineers on multiple mission programs at JPL. After her
graduation from USC, she worked summer jobs at JPL, Rockwell and
IBM which led to her being hired by NASA/JPL as a full-time
Systems Engineer position on the Galileo mission in September,
Over 28 years later, Jan continues to work for NASA/JPL and has
won multiple awards as both an individual and as part of a team.
These NASA awards include Achievement for both Leadership and
Technical Excellence on the Galileo mission, the Deep Space 1
(DP1), and her current assignment to the Cassini program (a
spacecraft which has been orbiting Saturn for 10 years). As a
Sequence Integration Process Engineer, Jan leads an
international team of engineers and scientists in the
development of the planned sequence of events file which
controls and operates the Cassini orbiter for 10 weeks at a
time. She remains on call during execution of onboard programs
and is responsible for organizing anomaly team when problems
and/or failures are detected.
Her career for the past 28 years has grown and she has done an
amazing job at NASA/JPL.
She also supports her alma mater by becoming
involved with Muir Engineering and Environmental Sciences
Academy. She has tutored Muir students in math and science, led
tours of JPL to interested Muir/USC students, served as a guest
speaker in schools across Los Angeles County. She has been a
mentor to many who want to follow in her engineering/science
She is a Board member of the JMHS Alumni
Association. In March, 2017, she will represent JPL at the
National Society of Black Engineers’ recruitment conference in
Joel C. Bryant
Class of 1985
C. Bryant graduated from John Muir High School in 1985 and
was selected in the category of Community Service. At Muir he
played varsity football for Coach Jim Brownfield.
After Muir, he attended
California State, Polytechnic University in Pomona,
CA and earned his Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Urban and
Regional Planning. Later he attended the University of Southern
California (USC), in Los Angeles and earned his Master of Real
Estate Development (MRED) degree.
He has worked as a Project
Manager for the City of Burbank/Burbank Redevelopment Agency. He
was a Land Use Planner and Housing Development Specialist with
the Redevelopment Agency. He was responsible for several
high-profile commercial projects including the Burbank Media
Village which includes an AMC movie theater and analyzed the
feasibility of many affordable housing projects in Burbank.
Since April 2011, he has been
a Board Member of the Rose Bowl Operating Company (RBOC). He was
nominated by Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard to serve on the RBOC
Board. He served as interim City Council member to finish the
term state assembly member that was elected to represent the
California Assembly District. He developed a loyal supportive
constituent group in a limited time frame.
He is the co-founder of the
Trademark Development Company in Pasadena. It is a real estate
firm specializing in the development and construction of
for-sale housing in various locations in the San Gabriel Valley.
In 2013 he received the Director’s Award from the Pasadena
Chamber of Commerce in completing the Washington Park Classics
In addition to his community
involvement, he has become a legend in working with local youth
and giving back to his community. In 1996, he began coaching
with the Pasadena panthers. In 1997, he became one of the
founding Board members of the Pasadena Trojans Pop Warner
Football & Cheer Program. When he began coaching, he reached out
to the best coach he knew, Jim Brownfield. He used the
discipline tactics learned from Brownfield on his players. He
believes in the importance of a good education and has mentored
his players on and off the field with this philosophy. Many of
his players have gone on to play football at many major colleges
and universities. One of Joel’s players wrote: “Coach Joel
inspired me to be a student-athlete; he taught me a lot in the
three years I played with him. After my 1st year with him, my
teachers asked me what happened over the summer, you are a
totally different kid. I owe that to Coach Joel, he taught me to
have confidence in myself that I never had before.”
Class of 1989
King graduated from John Muir High School in 1989 and was
selected in the category of Writing (Author/Reporter).
At Muir she was involved in just about every aspect of
the award-winning JMHS music program including (Wind Ensemble),
playing the 1st Chair flute/piccolo for school, district, and
statewide honor groups—to one of her most treasured
accomplishments of becoming the Drum Major of the Mighty Mustang
Marching Band. She was also part of the class that helped revive
the school’s musical theater program. She represented Muir
proudly through her participation in Regional Academic
Decathlons and won several speech and debate awards. In her
senior year, she was honored to wear the CSF Gold Cords and a
John Muir Service Award Medal.
After Muir, Angela attended the University of Puget Sound in
Tacoma, Washington. She later transferred to the University of
Washington. She was inducted into several honor societies
including Phi Beta Kappa and Mortar Board, and was bestowed the
highest honor given by the University of Washington/EOP
Program—The President’s Award. Prior to earning a double B.A. in
Broadcast Journalism and American Ethnic Studies (Cum Laude)
Angela actively pursued her dreams of becoming a news
reporter. She was a founding member of the University Of
Washington Association Of Student Journalists Of Color and
accepted as many internships as possible. One of those
internships led to her first job in TV news. Angela started her
career as a news writer/segment producer at the NBC affiliate in
Seattle, WA (KING 5). Then in 1995, she realized her on-air
ambitions and was hired as a reporter that help launch one of
the first 24-hour news networks in the country—North West Cable
Angela has served as an anchor/reporter in Seattle,
(WA); Portland, (OR) and Albuquerque (NM). Her work has been
recognized both civically and professionally by city and
industry officials. Currently, she is Host/Producer/On-air
Talent, the Seattle Channel; and a Freelance
Reporter/Anchor—KING-TV & NWCN, in Seattle (WA).
Her professional honors include awards from the Office
of the Mayor, Albuquerque, NM, Society of Professional
Journalists (2004) and the National Academy of Television Arts
and Sciences. She has two Emmy Award for her on-air work.