For the past several years, we’ve teamed up with the Peninsula School District and other major sponsors to honor not only outstanding students from the area’s three high schools but alumni as well.
It’s Gig Harbor’s unofficial Hall of Fame — from homegrown talent, at least. And you get to be part of the process.
Starting this week, you’ll find a basic nomination form in our pages that asks for contact information.
• Minimum five years removed from graduation from either Gig Harbor, Peninsula or Henderson Bay high schools.
• Nominees must have contributed to their professions, their community or to mankind in general by dedicating service to others or by achieving unique goals.
The nomination packet can include up to seven total pages with a short biography and up to three letters of support that should address the person’s impact in their area of expertise.
That leaves the process pretty open to a number of different options, and we’ve had a nice range of honorees in the past five years.
To name just a few:
• Jan Coen, a Peninsula High grad who now serves as the president of the board for the Gig Harbor/Peninsula FISH Food Bank.
• Paul Skansi, a Peninsula grad and professional athlete who went on to have success with the Seattle Seahawks and other teams in the NFL.
• Laura Inveen, a Peninsula grad who now serves as a King County Superior Court judge.
• Theresa Malich, a Peninsula grad who went on to be a teacher in the school district. She lost her battle with cancer just months after the ceremony, and a special school district award is now presented in her name.
• The Wise family, many of whom were educators in the Peninsula School District.
We’ve also honored a U.S. Navy rear admiral, an author, a mountaineer and a firefighter, a female-athletics pioneer, a police sergeant and an actor.
One thing they’ve all had in common is they grew up in our community, and they enjoy giving back.
What’s especially neat about the program is when we invite them to participate in our annual Students of Distinction banquet, which will be held in May at Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church.
As our alumni sit near the front of the stage, they listen to the accomplishments of that year’s senior class. Each one, it seems, sets the bar higher for future classes.
Then we turn the microphone over to our alumni, and they get a chance to talk about their profession and why they chose it.
It’s a teaching moment, not only for the high school seniors who also are in the room, but for the community to hear from one of its own.
Take a moment to nominate someone this year. Packets can be returned to the Gateway office, 3555 Erickson St., through Friday, Jan. 18, or submitted by email to email@example.com.