woodrow wilson high school

portland, oregon

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Teacher Tributes

If you have a tribute to a Woodrow Wilson High School teacher associated with drama productions, please send your tribute to Linda Doyle, including your name and class year.

"I owe so much of who I am today to Julie Accuardi, she was a major influence in my creative life," adds Bruce Lawson '77. When asked about influences at Wilson, Bruce is quick to point out that "the two most inspirational teachers of my years at Wilson would have to be Julie Accuardi and Merle Lotz."

When asked how Wilson prepared her for this creative adventure, Kelly Grant (Hedtke) '88 replied, "Julie Accuardi's acting classes and Becky Thompson's choral coaching provided me with a wonderful and solid foundation. The teachers at Wilson gave me the initial tools and confidence to continue pursuing my dreams even in the highly competitive show business world of New York. And, thanks to the years in the Wilson band under Greg McKelvey, I had the instrument skills for this show, as well!"

Scott Pendergast '88 remembers, "Mrs. Accuardi was incredibly encouraging, inspirational, and incredibly talented." "I credit a lot of my success to her. She was so supportive of me when I was in high school. In fact, she gave me my first directing job! She let me direct a play my senior year - Don't Drink the Water. I remember taking notes from her during a production of Anne Frank (coincidentally, I played Peter to Kelly Hedtke's Anne Frank, Class of '88). Mrs. Accuardi was so smart about shaping a performance, and directing a show. I think that her support back then gave me the confidence to believe that I could make a career in entertainment. Also - she WAS very supportive of my love for improvisational comedy - and she let us re-instate the "Improv Marathon" where we did improv comedy for 12 hours on a school day. That event is one of the highlights of my high school experience."

Joe Powers '96 has fond memories of his time at Wilson, particularly time spent in the WWHS Cosgrove Auditorium. "A school auditorium is more than just a big room with seats and a stage, it's a place where magic happens, where words come to life, where music fills the senses, and where young musicians, actors, performers, and public speakers can build self confidence and hone their craft. More than that it's a place where the entire student body can be united and celebrate that unity," states Joe. "Some of my earliest performance memories were there on the Cosgrove Auditorium stage, whether it was acting in a play, singing in the choir, or performing with my Rock band, those moments helped form the foundation for my life long pursuit. I feel it is important to preserve and enhance that special place so that all students may continue to have the kind of opportunities that I am grateful to have had."

John Richard '64 lives with his wife Donna In Wheatland, Wyoming now, but has fond memories of his time at Wilson. "I was in Mr. Slick’s drama class, in the class of 1964, and managed to secure the Lead in our Senior Class Play that year. The play was 'Rebel Without a Cause', and for some odd reason Mr. Slick thought I could do justice to James Dean’s classic performance. I am sure I did not but I tried very hard and had a lot of fun. Funny about being in a play, at first you are overwhelmed by the requirements, the memorization of lines and moves on stage. Then the almost petrified state of fear before the first curtain goes up! Once out there though I recall feeling a little “ham” begin to erupt in me, which I would have never suspected was there! Anyway thanks again very much!"

"The web site is amazing. Thanks for helping to preserve a lot of great memories and helping the alumni to keep up to date on our classmates." Corky (John) Boyd
Class of ‘85
(Vice President, Hudson Scenic Studio)

"The web site is fantastic! I am so amazed and honored! Thank you! Thank you!"
Julie Accuardi, Wilson Drama Teacher, 1975-2003

"Brings back a lot of memories. Thanks"
Lowell Slick, Wilson Drama Teacher, 1963-1969

"WOW! This speaks as a labor of love. It is a fitting tribute to all."
Mel Simrell, Wilson Drama Teacher, 2003-2005





1151 SW Vermont Street
Portland, Oregon 97219