We’re off and running!
Welcome to the first edition of the SGAA newsletter. We’ll be publishing in May and November each year, doing our best to keep you updated about SGAA activities and news from Skyline High School.
As our network of contacts among alumni grows, we hope to share news of the accomplishments and milestones of fellow SHS students. We also will present photos and occasional articles by current students.
In this issue, you’ll read about the Skyline High School Hall of Fame and its latest inductee and learn about the creation and mission of the SGAA. Skyline Principal Joshua Newell penned a message to alumni and student reporters Bianca Leiva and MiaLynn Priest filed two stories about recent doings at the school.
Inside, you will also find information about how you can help to serve the Skyline community. Please contact us with your ideas for this newsletter; we want to know what you would like to see here. Finally, please consider volunteering to help with future SGAA projects. You can do both at the SGAA website, skylinegrizzliesalumniassoc.org. (see below).
– Dan Neal ’70, Editor
Greg Carr (’77) selected for SHS Hall of Fame
Philanthropist Greg Carr will be inducted into Skyline High School’s Hall of Fame on May 22 in recognition of his humanitarian and conservation work across the nation and the world over the past three decades.
Carr’s work in restoring Gorongosa National Park, a massive nature reserve in Mozambique, Africa, has been featured on the CBS News show, 60 Minutes, not just once, but twice. His life and his work have been featured in the New Yorker magazine and dozens of other prominent periodicals. His Wikipedia page has more than 50 citations related to his contributions to various human rights, humanitarian, and development efforts throughout the world.
After graduating from Skyline, Carr earned a degree in history from Utah State University and a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard Kennedy School. In 1986, two years after the breakup of AT&T, he co-founded Boston Technology, one of the first firms to sell voice mail systems to telephone companies. He later served as chair of Prodigy, an early global Internet service provider, and in 1996, co-founded Africa Online.
Carr turned away from his for-profit boards in 1998 and dedicated himself to humanitarian activities. He was the founding donor to the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University in 1999. Through research and teaching, the Carr Center strives to make human rights principles central to the formulation of good public policy in the United States and throughout the world. <Continued below…..>
Below: Gregg Carr in Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique, photo courtesy of Gianne Keegan
About the SGAA
The SGAA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation created by graduates of Skyline High School in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
SGAA Mission Statement
To recruit and organize the talents and resources of thousands of Skyline alumni to serve students, alumni, faculty, and administrators of Skyline High School and Idaho Falls itself. We work with the school, District 91, alumni, and others to identify projects that will enhance the success of the students, support the interests of alumni, and
strengthen the community.
The Board of Directors will work always to carry out SGAA functions with transparency and accountability to members and donors, in a manner consistent with the highest standards for nonprofit charitable organizations.
SGAA Board of Directors
Bob Schoch, ‘70, President
Steve Smith, ‘70, Vice President
Garth Blanchard, ‘71, Treasurer
Kari McKim, ‘70, Secretary
George Groberg, ‘70, At large
Thanks for guidance and help: Attorney Bruce Didesch, ’70; Heidi Marlow of the Skyline Boosters Club; Margaret Wimborne, District 91 Foundation; Heather Martin,
WestSide Story advisor.
Published twice a year by the Skyline Grizzlies Alumni Association.
Editor: Dan Neal
Production: Kari McKim
The Gregory C. Carr Foundation, a non-profit organization he established “has committed to the 30-year restoration of Gorongosa National Park in central Mozambique as well as to the sustainable development of the communities surrounding the park,” according to Carr’s Wikipedia page.
“The Gorongosa team has reintroduced species to the ecosystem, worked with the Mozambican government to extend the park’s boundaries to include Mount Gorongosa and planted more than three million trees on the mountain, created an international restoration ecology science research center, established eco-tourism in the park, and provides health and education programs
to the local communities living near the park’s borders.”
Carr continued his humanitarian and community work in Idaho. In 2001, he purchased the compound of the Aryan Nations, a white supremacist group. The compound, near Coeur d’Alene, was seized by court order after the Southern Poverty Law Center successfully sued the neo-Nazi organization. Carr acquired the property, then 20 years later sold it and donated the money to the College of North Idaho, which used it to establish a professorship in human rights.
“We all know that Idaho is full of good, decent people,” Carr wrote in a letter to the college president. “And yet, a small group, living in fear of the ‘other’ can spread their message of intolerance if we don’t counter them with messages of love and respect for all. I believe education is the key.”
Two other landmark state institutions, the Museum of Idaho in Idaho Falls and the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in Boise, were generously supported by the Carr Foundation. The Museum of Idaho promotes the arts and humanities. The Boise memorial to Frank is the only one in the U.S. and one of the few places in the world where the entire Universal Declaration of Human Rights is on permanent display. Carr says the declaration “forms the bedrock upon which we can build our philosophy of values and understanding.”
When the SGAA notified Carr of our plans to honor him, we found a modest and private person. We offered to schedule the induction when he could attend, but Carr did not want to interrupt his work in Africa and will instead send a video.
Greg Carr’s work reminds us that among students now walking the halls of Skyline, there is potential to change the world.
· “Gorongosa Park: Rebirth of Paradise” PBS, 2023 https://www.pbs.org/show/gorongosa/
· Greg Carr profile, Legends and Legacies of Africa, 2022: https://legendsandlegaciesofafrica.org/gregcarr.php
· Excerpts from “Greg Carr’s Commitment to Gorongosa” CBS 60 Minutes, 2022: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/gorongosa-mozambique-history-60-minutes-2022-12-04/
· “Saving A Global Treasure” CBS 60 Minutes, 2008 (Full segment on YouTube) 2008:
· “The Monkey and the Fish: Can Greg Carr Save An African Ecosystem?” New Yorker, 2009 https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2009/12/21/the-monkey-and-the-fish
· “Greg Carr’s Big Gamble” Smithsonian Magazine, 2007: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/greg-carrs-big-gamble-153081070/
· “Carr: From Business to Human Rights,” Harvard Crimson, 2002: https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2002/10/11/carr-from-business-to-human-rights/
– George Groberg (’70)
Skyline’s Hall of Fame
Since 2008, the Skyline Hall of Fame has inspired the Skyline community and honored distinguished alumni, faculty, and others who have contributed to the school. Names of previous honorees are displayed on the walls of Skyline, adjacent to the gym and in the hallway between the office and the cafeteria.
Those honored to date:
2008 – Terry Layland, Mahlon Rasmussen, Jim Garshow
2009 – Verona Rudd, Floyd Young
2010 – Annabelle Muir, K.C. Jones,
2011 – Lavell Pack, Jim Lewis
2012 – Don Davis, Dale Guilford
2013 – Julie Rahl, DeLoy Roberts,
2014 – Cleave Lewis, Brett Jensen,
2015 – Kelley Diest
2016 – Bob Dunmire
2017 – Stephen H. Newton
2018 – Curtis and Kris Smith
2021 – Courtney Morgan
2023 – Greg Carr
Who else could be on this list?
With more than half a century of history, Skyline must have hundreds of alumni, faculty members, and friends whose stories could be interesting and inspirational.
Noteworthy achievements in any area—sports, business, arts, community service, and more—are worthy of inclusion.
The SGAA hopes to induct at least two people each year to the Hall of Fame, and we need your help to identify them. Please contact SGAA, using the contact form on our website, if you have suggestions for future additions to the Hall of Fame.
The Beginning: 50th Reunions sparked formation of Skyline’s alumni association
What do you get when you cross a 50th high school reunion—with its memories of youthful celebrations
and thoughts about legacy—with a pandemic? You get a new high school alumni association—the first of its kind in Idaho.
In early 2020, the Class of 1970 were fondly remembering their own graduation festivities as they
planned their 50th Reunion. But when COVID interrupted those plans, their thoughts turned to the pandemic’s effects on current students. Bob Schoch (’70), a public school administrator, said he “was very concerned about the education loss issue. I realized others felt the same when I read a letter that Kari McKim (’70) wrote to the Post-Register.”
Because that reunion was postponed, the summer of 2021 saw both the Classes of 1970 and 1971 holding their milestone 50th reunions—and pondering their legacies. Discussions about forming a Skyline Alumni Association turned into plans, and then to action.
Many alumni felt a sense that they had reached a stage of life when they can give back to the school and the community. “Best as I can figure,” said McKim, “Skyline has produced more than 16,000 graduates since its formation. Imagine what could be achieved if an alumni association involved even only five percent of them!”
As the Skyline Grizzlies Alumni Association took shape, Schoch was selected as president and McKim as
secretary and manager of the Facebook page. Steve Smith (’70), who had been deeply involved in reunion planning, accepted the vice presidency; he created and manages the website and visits other classes’ reunions to spread the word. Garth Blanchard (’71) serves as treasurer and as liaison to the Skyline Boosters Club. George Groberg (’70), who practiced medicine in Idaho Falls, joined the board of directors and has been working on the Hall of Fame. Bruce Didesch (’70), an attorney, did the legal work to establish the SGAA as a non-profit, charitable corporation, and Dan Neal (’70) stepped up to manage and edit this newsletter.
As of April 30, 2023, 235 alumni representing Classes from 1969 through 2021 have expressed interest in the SGAA. Working with the energy and donations from 41 of these, the SGAA has begun to assist class reunion committees and expand the Skyline Hall of Fame (see article in this issue). In May, the SGAA will award its first scholarship to a graduating senior.
As the organization grows, Schoch said, its future activities will be determined by the graduates who participate, and by “what the school and the students and the teachers, even the recent graduates, decide what they need.” Future SGAA projects could include mentoring to students in law, construction, computer technology, writing and other fields, and support for a variety of projects that enhance the school’s educational mission or extracurricular activities.
Message from Skyline Principal Josh Newell: Alumni Association has “critical role”
As the principal of Skyline High School, I am thrilled to share with Grizzly alumni the importance and value of an alumni association to our school community.
First and foremost, an alumni association provides a valuable network for our former students to stay connected with each other and the school. Whether through social media, newsletters, or alumni events, the association creates a space for alumni to share updates on their lives, careers, and accomplishments. This can lead to professional growth, career advancement, and even potential job opportunities.
Additionally, an alumni association plays a critical role in giving back to the school. The support and generosity of our alumni will allow us to enhance our facilities, provide scholarships, and fund programs that benefit our current students. By maintaining a strong connection with the school, alumni can help ensure that Skyline continues to provide an exceptional education for generations
An alumni association provides a unique opportunity for our former students to reconnect with their alma mater and give back to the community. Whether its volunteering at school events, mentoring current students or serving on advisory committees, alumni have the chance to make a
meaningful impact on the lives of our students and contribute to the success of our school.
I encourage all Skyline Grizzly alumni to get involved with our association and continue to support our school. Thank you for your ongoing support and dedication to Skyline High School.
Sincerely, Joshua D. Newell, Principal, Skyline High School
Student Briefs: News from the Halls of Skyline
by West Side Story reports Bianca Leiva and MiaLynn Priest
Gas leak prompts evacuation
Two gas leaks on Jan. 27, 2023, forced the evacuation of Skyline High School.
The first leak was attributed to a broken vent in the heating system exhaust and released carbon monoxide, according to a statement released by Principal Joshua Newell. The second leak occurred when a sidewalk plow slid and hit a valve on a natural gas line on the west side of the school at about 1 p.m., according to the custodian who had been driving the sidewalk plow.
The students quickly made their way to the cafeteria after being instructed over the intercoms to head to the commons. People were alarmed because they were not told what was going on and most rushed out the doors of the cafeteria.
The students evacuated the grounds through the snow-covered playing fields north of the building. Traffic was held up by the sea of students making their way to Eagle Rock Middle School. Classes were canceled for the rest of the day and students were told “to have a nice three-day weekend” while waiting at the middle school to be picked up by parents.
The custodial department states that an order has been made to install more guards around the gas line and valves very soon.
Skyline Souper Bowl feeds families
The Souper Bowl is an annual endeavor spearheaded by high school students to supply people in need with canned goods, rice, potatoes, and a variety of other pantry items. Since its beginning 17 years ago, students participating in the Souper Bowl have collected food donations worth over $100,000 for the community.
Formerly a competition between Skyline and Idaho Falls High School to see which school could raise more food and money, students now do the charity work for fun. When it was a competition, the winning school would get a day off or longer lunches. Skyline has won almost every year.
This year’s Souper Bowl drive ran from Jan. 23 to Feb. 9 and collected over 100,000 cans that were donated to multiple food banks, including the Idaho Falls Food Basket. The drive raised more than $10,000 dollars for the charities.
Former teacher and current SHS Athletic Director Greg Baczuc conceived the event. Heidi Guza, the advisor for the Skyline Student Government Association, has managed the event with the elected student officials for years.
Drama stages “The Addams Family”
Skyline’s Drama club in February staged “The Addams Family,” its first-ever musical.
It took two months to prepare the script and the music before rehearsals. The size of the
cast made production difficult. They rehearsed for months and used different places on campus, including the main gym when they needed a space big enough to fit everyone. There were over 55 cast members and 16 extra people for lights, make-up, and costumes.
All the hard work paid off when the production took place at Eagle Rock Middle School. On the first day, the tickets sold out and it was a full house. On the second day, it was very close to selling out.
Main actors: Ethan Barton (Gomez Addams), Susana Galvan (Morticia Addams), Emily Barton (Wednesday Addams), Jason Gillespie (Pugsley Addams). Directed by: Harriet Parrett.
Getting Involved with SGAA
Keep in Touch!
First, make sure you’ve signed up on the SGAA website At that website, you can find links to other Skyline-related websites, including those of some individual graduation classes.
Facebook pages with Skyline related news include:
Skyline High School Booster Club
D91 Proud – Idaho Falls District 91
In Memory of Our Friends from Skyline High School
Facebook: Skyline Grizzlies Alumni Association
And did you know The Westside Story is online? Check it ut to see what today’s students are writing about: https://wsswired.com
Questions or comments? Our email is: Info@SkylineGrizzliesAlumniAssoc.org
To learn more about the Skyline Grizzlies Alumni Association, visit our website at SkylineGrizzliesAlumniAssoc.org where you will find our bylaws, incorporation papers, and more information.
One simple way to help is to share SGAA news among your own Skyline friends and former classmates.
Follow us on Facebook, comment, and share our posts. Forward our emails to friends and siblings who attended Skyline. Let us know if your class is starting to organize a reunion, so that we can work with the organizing committee to reach former classmates to draw them in.
The SGAA Board of Directors has room for more volunteers, and we have other participation opportunities for those who want to make a more limited commitment, such as working on just one project or making a financial contribution.
Together we can build SGAA into Idaho’s best high school alumni association! Well, okay, it’s so far the only one in the state, so let’s show them how it’s done! Go, Grizzlies!
Skyline Grizzlies Alumni Assoc.
c/o Skyline High School
1767 Blue Sky Drive
Idaho Falls, ID 83402