Wilson HS ... now known as Ida B. Wells High School
Alumni Update - June, 2022


edited by Linda Doyle



Award-winning Oregon author Carolyn Wood has released her second memoir, CLASS NOTES: A Young Teacher’s Lessons from Classroom to Kennedy Compound. Wood’s 2016 memoir, Tough Girl, recounted her experiences training for and winning gold in swimming at the 1960 Rome Olympics. The story of hope, perseverance, and youthful escapades won an IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award in 2017 and the ISHOF Buck Dawson Authors Award in 2019. The new memoir picks up in 1967 when Wood is a first-year English teacher at Beaverton High School. In May 1968 she takes a day off from school to campaign for Robert F. Kennedy in the Oregon presidential primary. In a brief conversation, Wood and Kennedy bond over sports, and three months later she arrives at the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port to begin an extraordinary year as the family’s governess. Class Notes follows her journey from the classroom into the boisterous Kennedy family—ten children and one on the way—still reeling from the senator’s death. Stories emerge from inside the compound as the year unfolds in the rhythm of a school year—fall excitement, winter doldrums, spring hopes of escape. The young woman who sought worldliness and sophistication discovers instead the value of enough. Class Notes is available at local independent bookstores. Carolyn Wood taught English at Wilson from 1992 - 2003 and substituted for many years after that.

Title: Class Notes: A Young Teacher’s Lessons from Classroom to Kennedy Compound
Author: Carolyn Wood
ISBN: 978-0-9977828-2-0
eISBN: 978-0-9977828-3-7
Publisher: White Pine Press, Oregon
Media contact: carolynvwood45@gmail.com


Michael Bakkensen ;92 .......................................Troscars award night

Taming of the Shrew .......................................Taming of the Shrew

Michael Bakkensen
graduated from Wilson in 1992 and spent years in the drama program with the talented and dedicated drama teacher Julie Accuardi. Michael Bakkensen is a professional actor, narrator, songwriter and teacher based in Upper Manhattan, New York. His freshman year Michael played roles in the Cohan play "Seven Keys to Baldpate," Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap" and Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."  While he had already had a few classes in acting Michael said, "it was Julie and the great community of fellow students that made me feel that this was a calling. I loved every part of it-- class, rehearsal, set building and strike. The "Improv Marathon" that Scott Prendergast '88 had founded was still going strong and those are indelible memories. Sarah Hayes-Marshall '92, Joe Theissen, Gavin Hoffman '93, Nick Sirianni '94 were close friends and frequent collaborators. I remember fondly the mix of rigor and playfulness. Julie knew when and how to crack the whip and I wish I could channel that balanced approach to teaching and directing. Her productions were wonderful and enormous undertakings. The show always went on."

Michael says he found, "Julie Accuardi's classroom a warm, welcoming place. It set the stage for many decades of work in theater, film, television and narrating." It turns out that Michael followed in Ms. Accuardi's footsteps and is a professor of acting himself now at Lehman College in New York City. A member of the acting unions for over two decades, Michael has extensive experience on Broadway (Noises Off, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Festen and the Pre-Broadway National Tour of The King’s Speech), Off-Broadway (RX, Three Gifts for Lenny Bruce, Out of Iceland) and in the nation’s top regional theaters- a partial list includes the Guthrie Theater (Minneapolis) , the Mark Taper Forum (Los Angeles), the Huntington (Boston), the Alley (Houston), Hartford Stage, The La Jolla Playhouse, The Shakespeare Theater (D.C.), Center Stage (Baltimore), Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Alliance (Atlanta) as well as the Alabama and New Jersey Shakespeare Theaters, working with the prominent directors Les Waters, Michael Kahn, Michael Wilson, Joe Dowling, Kyle Donnelly, and Andrei Belgrader. On camera, Michael is the series lead in the multiple award-winning pilot Mann Overboard a regular on the Emmy winning PBS mini-series The Cobblestone Corridor and the lead in the award-winning short film The Sixth Amendment (Amazon). He has guest or co-starred on the hit series’ The Equalizer, The Americans, The Good Wife, Madam Secretary, Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Royal Pains, Unforgettable, Deception, and Elementary and in the films On the Slope and Zoo. At Lehman college (New York), he assistant directed, filmed and produced the play and digital adaptation of Polaroid Stories. As an audiobook narrator Michael has recorded and/or produced dozens of fiction titles (including the best seller The Decent Proposal and Off the Page by Jodi Picoult) as well as dozens of educational titles for Pearson Learning and others. He has also written, performed and recorded three albums of original songs (Lionize, Sekara Grace, and Circle Kiss) available to buy or stream on all platforms. He was awarded the IRNE (New England's "Tony" award) for Best Actor for portraying Horace Wells in Ether Dome as well as an Earphone Award for his work on the audiobook Salt. Member of Actor's Equity Association, SAG-AFTRA and ASCAP.

Michael tells his students "that what you experience in school is a continuum into the professional world. Whether rehearsing in a high school classroom or the Broadway stage the same set of skills, the same ethics and the same responsibilities are required. It's a fun coincidence that the same role I played as a Senior at Wilson in Noises Off I would end up playing on Broadway in 2002 with Patti Lupone and Peter Gallagher. The joy of working and playing as a group, performing and sharing a story are shared from grade school to the most vaunted levels of the art form. That started for many with Julie Accuardi and the drama program at Wilson, now Wells, and I'm very grateful for those years with her and at the school. I have a lot of love in my heart for the school and the drama program."


A long-time Portland resident and member of its business community, Mary Liisa Watkins Fagerlund, is among the two dozen members of Peninsula Fiber Artists participating in “Fiber & Beyond,” an exhibit June 27-Aug. 27, 2022 at Tillamook’s Latimer Quilt & Textile Center

Fagerlund, a 1963 University of Oregon English graduate who served in Nigeria 1964-65 with an early cohort of Peace Corps recruits, is one of five Watkins siblings to graduate from the landmark Multnomah School, now the Multnomah Arts Center, and in 1959 from Woodrow Wilson (now Ida B. Wells) High School). Starting at the Multnomah branch, she worked for the Portland Library System throughout high school and college. After her Peace Corps service and a University of Washington master’s degree in librarianship, Fagerlund returned to Portland as city archivist from 1978 to 1983. In 2000 Fagerlund and her siblings--- Keith, Anne, Marshall (now a Lake Oswego resident) and John (a resident of the Rock Creek neighborhood)---donated a bench across from the former Multnomah School in memory of their mother Lydia S. Watkins (1903-2000), who after retiring from teaching at Garden Home School in Washington County delighted in exploring the tri-county region via TriMet.

After a career in records management that took Fagerlund to the World Health Organization and United Nations, both in the U.S. and in Europe, she and husband Jerry, also a 1963 UO grad and Peace Corps alumnus, retired to Sequim, Clallam County WA, where she has filled a workroom with fabrics printed in Africa and by fiber artist colleagues or dyed by herself. Using skills developed as far back as the sixth and seventh grade sewing classes at Multnomah, she crafts handbags, garments and fabric collages, many embellished with embroidery and found objects. She is a current member of the leadership team for Peninsula Fiber Artists, a western Washington affiliate of the international Surface Design Association. 

Fagerlunds were among an unusually high number of UO graduates who applied for the nascent Peace Corps and they have contributed to Oregon archives of Peace Corps material, including a 50th Peace Corps anniversary exhibit at the Oregon Historical Society and writing about their experiences in Nigeria for the Oregon Historical Quarterly.

Peninsula Fiber Artists is an organization engaged in the creative exploration of fiber and fabric. It serves artists and craftspeople in western Washington’s Olympic and Kitsap peninsulas and on Bainbridge Island who work in such diverse media as bookmaking, dyeing, fiber sculpture, art quilting, fabric design, weaving, embroidery, silk painting, mixed media and beadwork. Its mission is to promote awareness and appreciation of textile and fiber arts, and to provide support and professional growth for fiber artists. Besides special museum and gallery exhibits, the group maintains a 24/7 walk-by exhibit in Port Townsend WA. This “Fiber Habit” display changes at least five times annually. More information about all of the group’s exhibits and its meetings, which are open to guests, see sda-np.com.


Jack Bimrose '64
(currently living in San José, Costa Rica) was saddened to learn that one of his favorite teachers at Wilson recently passed away. "Her effective teaching, high expectations and the challenge of HS Span would have a profound impact on my future academically, personally and professionally," says Jack. "Doña Leonora, si lo hubiera sabido el impacto que tuviese su clase de Español en mi vida...mil gracias y qué descanses en La Paz Eterna."

Kent Byron '64
of Salem, Oregon was quick to remember his high school Spanish teacher and says, "So, signorina Guinazzo is also gone. 94, eh?  I thought she was an excellent teacher. No nonsense, for sure: She tossed my butt out of class (third-year Spanish). I learned two great lessons for life from her, besides Spanish: Don't piss off the teacher and don't belch in class! She was also a great friend of one of my favorite professors at Oregon State, Odette Cadart (Ricard). Good memories, indeed."

Leonora Guinazzo died peacefully at her home May 26, 2022, in the presence of loved ones. She was born on April 28, 1928.  For the last two years she had struggled with shortness of breath and progressive weakness. Prior to this, she enjoyed excellent health. She credited her long life to eating "fresh local food, and all in moderation." Until her last breath, she remained fiercely independent and outspoken. One always knew exactly where one stood with Leonora! Leonora's passion was education and learning. She attended Grout Elementary, Washington High School, and Marylhurst College Class of 1950 and was a member of Kappa Gamma Pi honor society for 71 years. Leonora began her career as an educator in 1951 at Central High School in Independence, Ore. teaching Latin, English, Spanish and French. Later she taught at Gresham High School and in 1959 transferred to Wilson High School. Leonora was known for her high expectations and making students earn their grades. Once a prominent Portland family had a son taking her Spanish class and Leonora was advised by the principal not to flunk this boy, despite his poor grades. Leonora promptly flunked him and said, "I don't care if his parents are the Holy Family, if he doesn't work, he doesn't get the grade!" Despite and maybe because of her high standards, friendships with students from Wilson High School continued until her passing. In 1961 Leonora was awarded a Fulbright scholarship for a year of study in Columbia. She was then selected by the Oregon Board of Education to review curriculums and set up foreign language programs. In 1965, Leonora was asked by Superintendent Mr. Rex Putnam to move to a new campus in a new school called Portland Community College, Sylvania (PCC). Leonora remained there, teaching Latin American Studies and Spanish until her retirement in 1990. Rich and rewarding lifelong friendships remain from those years at PCC. In addition to these roles, Leonora edited textbooks, cared for her aging parents, and kept books for the family business, Sunset Garbage Collection, Inc. In retirement, Leonora traveled the world! This included trips to see beloved cousins in Italy, both in Tuscany and Liguria. She traveled to Spain, Vietnam, Turkey, India, Africa, Egypt and at age 70 she climbed overboard on a rope ladder to awaiting dinghies in the Antarctic Ocean exploring glaciers and sea life. Leonora enjoyed volunteering with underprivileged children and worked with Outside In, Greenhouse, and P:EAR in Portland. She helped 35 children obtain their GED and tutored little kids in reading via the SMART program. Her hobbies included woodcarving, gardening, baking amazing biscotti, making great Italian food like gnocchi, and caring for her aging friends and relatives. When she got off her John Deere Tractor at age 90 she said, “I don't see any other old ladies riding around on tractors these days, so I guess I'll hang it up!" Leonora's faith was a mainstay in her life. She attended St. Peter Church in S.E. Portland, volunteered in the office for several years, and read her daily prayers in several books. Leonora, (1928) and her sister Flora (1929) were born to Guiseppe "Big John" Guinazzo and Annunciata "Anna" Macchini in Portland, Ore. Their parents emigrated to the U.S. from Italy, Liguria and Tuscany respectively. Leonora was very proud her father founded Sunset Garbage in 1921 and the company remains successful today in the hands of her niece and nephew. Leonora was predeceased by her sister, Flora; and is survived by her nephew, Steven Schwab; niece, Carla Scheafer; and many beloved cousins and friends. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Leonora Guinazzo Scholarship Fund, University of Portland, 5000 N. Willamette Blvd. Portland, OR 97203, or to P:EAR, offering assistance and education to Portland homeless youth. P:EAR, 338 N.W. 6TH Ave., Portland, OR, 97209 or email: info@pearmentor.org All are invited to a service Wednesday, June 15, 2022, at St. Peter Catholic Church, 5905 S.E. 87th Ave., Portland, OR 97266. 10:45 a.m. slideshow and music. 11 a.m. rosary. 11:30 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial followed by refreshments and lunch at the parish. Internment will be at 2:30 p.m., at Gethsemani Catholic Cemetery, Happy Valley, OR. Livestream and recording: stpeterpdx.org.

Profiles written by Steve Brandon (Cleveland, 1972)

MAY 2022: Congratulations to Nate Moreland '79 (Jackson HS)!
To read more: https://pilhalloffame.org/members-of-the-month/nate-moreland/.

APRIL 2022: Congratulations to Sharon Otterstedt '84!
To read more: https://pilhalloffame.org/members-of-the-month/sharon-otterstedt-mcghehey./

MARCH 2022: Congratulations to Therese Cooper ’78 (Jackson HS)!
To read more: https://pilhalloffame.org/members-of-the-month/therese-cooper/.


Margaret Doherty '68 has been named as the 2022 recipient of the Tigard’s First Citizen award. This award recognizes someone who has made in-depth, long-term volunteer contributions to the Tigard community over the years. She was formally recognized for her award at the Tigard Shining Stars Community Awards Gala Presented by Edge One Media on April 29, 2022. You can read more about Margaret here: https://tigardchamber.org/margaret-doherty-named-2022-tigards-first-citizen/.


Do you have any stats you would like us to remember and document on the alumni website? Send your details to Linda Doyle.


If you would like to share stories and/or photographs with names, places/events, and the year, please send them to Linda Doyle: Lsdoyle@earthlink.net.
So, make sure to look for RECALLING GREAT MEMORIES THROUGH STORIES AND PHOTOGRAPHS in every alumni e-newsletter.

Send us the details on where/what you have been doing since graduation from Ida B. Wells/Wilson, and we'll post in an upcoming IBW-WWHS Alumni Update e-newsletter. Send details to Linda Doyle.


Please send an email with details to Linda Doyle if you have an obituary that should be posted here. Below is a list of classmates who have just been added to the list:

FORREST (FRANK) SHIFLETT '63 passed June 2020


THOMAS HAMMOND passed away Aug, 2020
MADELINE JUNE MILES (bookkeeper) passed away Aug, 2012
RICHARD DUNLAP '63 passed away Feb 3, 2022
JACK WADE PATTEE JR '62 passed away
Dec. 31, 2011

Click on this link to read more about classmates, teachers, community members who have passed away... 
Once on the page, scroll down to find the class year.


GET ALL THE DETAILS ... updates to reunions are happening all the time, so make sure to check out upcoming reunions at: http://www.wilsonalumni.com/reunions.htm


Please check out the IBW-WWHS Military Alumni page and read all about our amazing military graduates. To add your name and information to the WWHS Military page, Send your information to Linda Doyle at LSDOYLE@EARTHLINK.NET.

Year graduated from Ida B Wells/Wilson:
Military branch:
Years of service:
Service description:
Photo (optional):
Do you give permission to post this information on our website (required):

IDA B. WELLS ALUMNI (formerly known as WWHS)
Alumni and community members are continuing to move forward to establish the WWHS Alumni Association.  Application process for tax-exempt status of association is progressing (with special thanks to Jack Bertell '58).  If you would like to join them, contact Jack Bertell '58.


Check out the IDA B. WELLS Alumni website and don't forget to complete the simple online form to join the WWHS Alumni database. To help us reach as many graduates as possible, please consider adding the link to our website (http://www.wilsonalumni.com/) from your website. Pass the word along to your Ida B. Wells (Wilson) High School classmates about the Ida B. Wells High School (Wilson) Alumni website and the opportunity to register. Tell your friends.

If you are receiving the IDA B. WELLS HS Alumni Update, please make sure to add the following email address to your address book (lsdoyle@earthlink.net). This way your internet/email provider will not view the e-newsletter as spam. Thanks! If you would like to be removed from the list, just send an email to Linda Doyle.