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Hall of Fame » Class of 2015

Class of 2015

Hall of Fame
 

Steve Barnes

Steve Barnes is a Bakersfield native, and attended Frank West, Roosevelt, and Curran before graduating second in his class at South High in 1975.  He played freshman football, ran track for 3 years, participated in various clubs and was the treasurer of his junior and senior classes.  Steve says he enjoyed the academics.  However, his best memory of South is of the friends he made. Steve received his Business Degree from California State University Bakersfield and his Master’s Degree in Taxation at Golden Gate University. As the Chief Financial Officer of Grimmway Farms, Steve Barnes has initiated donations exceeding $30,000 to South High School over the last eight years.  He has been instrumental in helping South High families by securing money to pay for Advanced Placement program exams and scholarships that help students further their education. 

 Hall of Fame

Ron Fontaine

Dr. Ron Fontaine received his doctorate from USC. He is a former teacher and counselor at South High joining the staff in 1957.  He served as a counselor at South until 1972 when he continued his career at the KHSD as the Director of Special Projects. Ron was then hired at the Kern County Superintendent of Schools offices and worked there until retirement in 2001.  Mr. Fontaine became an avid jogger and passed away shortly after retirement.  Ron Fontaine was a great Rotarian, and it was his inspiration that led to what was first known as the “Dollars for Scholars” annual running event that was later renamed ‘Ron’s Run” and is held annually with proceeds benefiting South, Ridgeview, and Stockdale High School students. He was affiliated with many local and state professional groups and was an active member of Westminster Presbyterian church.

 Hall of Fame

Dr. Grant W. Jensen

Dr. Grant Jensen was the first principal of South High School.  Dr. Jensen went on to become Assistant Superintendent of the Kern High School District and at one point ran for Congress.  As a high school administrator, over a period spanning thirty-one years, Grant launched countless initiatives to broaden and improve every aspect of secondary education in his tireless efforts to improve student success.  Programs ranged from a leadership academy to support professional development of teachers to laying the groundwork for the Regional Occupational Center of Kern (ROCK). Dr. Jensen took an active, leadership role in every community that he resided.  He was always lending a helping hand to his neighbors.  Grant would deliver the sermons at the family’s Shafter church when the pastor was on holiday and supported numerous community organizations and activities that involved family members.  Dr. Jensen served on numerous statewide committees and commissions in leadership roles concerning education and political action.  He was the Harold B. Brooks First Award Winner in 1967 (given annually to the secondary school administrator who has contributed most in promoting sound educational programs, furthering the work of the association, and establishing secondary education as a profession).

 Hall of Fame

General John W. Lathrop

Brigadier General John Lathrop is the Commanding Officer of the California National Guard and a General in the United States Army.  He is a graduate of the South High Class of 1982, and the son of long time teacher and coach, Bob Lathrop who taught at South for 38 years.  John attended Frank West Elementary School where his mother Donna taught for over 20 years.  John was an outstanding student academically and served as Associate Student Body President his senior year.  He and his two brothers were Eagle Scouts.  John attended the University of California Riverside earning his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Service and Political Science, and the University of Redlands where he received his Master’s Degree in Management.  General Lathrop was also honored to attend the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University as a United States Army Senior Service College Fellow.  General Lathrop has had a distinguished military career as a member of the United States Army, and of the California National Guard.  He led battalions in the streets of Los Angeles during the Watts riots and during the Northridge Earthquake.  General Lathrop led platoons in DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM and later served as the Deputy Commanding Officer in ARAQI FREEDOM IV.  General Lathrop became a member of the California Army National Guard in 1991.  

 Hall of Fame

Lyle Martin

Bakersfield Police Department Assistant Chief Lyle Martin is a husband and father of 5. Assistant Chief Martin is a Bakersfield native and a graduate of South High School and Bakersfield College.  Lyle has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and has completed his course work toward his Doctorate in Organizational Leadership.  He has worked for the Bakersfield Police Department for 26 years.  His experience includes serving as a street level narcotics officer, motorcycle officer, homicide detective, Special Enforcement Unit Sergeant and Lieutenant, SWAT operator and SWAT team leader.  Assistant Chief Martin has coached in the Kern High School District during the last 10 years, most recently as the Stockdale High School junior varsity football coach. Assistant Chief Martin is a member of Bakersfield Downtown Rotary, International Association of Chiefs of Police, and California Police Chiefs’ Association, a board member of The Bakersfield Police Activities League, California Police Officers Association, Mendiburu Magic Foundation, and Kegley Institute of Ethics Community Associate (California State University Bakersfield). Chief Martin always makes time to give back to his alma mater South High. He was the keynote speaker at College Signing Day and never hesitates to come to campus as a guest speaker. He makes a difference is students’ lives!

 Hall of Fame

Rick Mears

Rick Mears graduated with the class of 1970.  He is a world famous Indy Car driver and one of only three men to win the Indianapolis 500 four times, 1979, 1984, 1988 and 1991.  He is the only driver to hold the “Pole Position” in the Indy 500 six times.  Three time national champion in 1979, 1981 and 1982, Rick Mears was inducted into the Bob Elias Hall of Fame 1980.  He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1998.  According to his 1998 Motorsports Hall of Fame Bio:  “Rocket Rick” held 40 Poles won 29 Champ Car Races and won eight 500 mile races including his four at Indianapolis. (John Zimmermann) Rick Mears is certainly one of the most famous and successful athletes and sportsmen to ever attend South High and represent Kern County.

 Hall of Fame

Doug Miller

Doug Miller grew up in Bakersfield.  He lived on the Panama Elementary School campus in a small house with his family, as his dad was the head custodian of the school.  When Doug finished eighth grade he and his family moved across the street from South High where Doug went to school, played baseball and football, and graduated in 1964.  Doug went to Bakersfield College for two years before transferring to Long Beach State.  He came home to Bakersfield to student teach, and start his teaching career which is where he met his beautiful wife (and former Kern High School District Board Member), Martha.  Doug served thirteen years as the Superintendent of the Panama-Buena Vista Union School District until his retirement in 2007.  Currently, Doug serves on the Board of BARC, where he has served as president for three years.

 Hall of Fame

Bruce Pfutzenreuter- Educator/ Counselor / Coach

Bruce Pfutzenreuter was an educator at South High from 1957 – 1964.  He taught History and Physical Education and coached seven years varsity and junior varsity football and was head track coach each for seven years.  Bruce coached two league Championship teams in wrestling.  Wrestling teams placed 5th, 4th, 6th, 7th and 2nd in California Interscholastic Federation Valley Championships from 1959 – 1964.  He was the Letterman’s Club Advisor and his wife Sue was secretary to South High School’s first Principal, Dr. Grant Jensen.  Bruce moved on to become a Physical Education teacher and coach at Bakersfield College.  He coached one year of football (12 – 1) Potato Bowl Championship team and served as Bakersfield College head wrestling coach with a record of 264 – 81 – 2 from 1964 – 1985.  Bruce led Bakersfield College to a State Title during 1968 – 1969 and was named California Community College Coach of the Year, 1969.  Mr. Pfutzenreuter is in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, California Chapter - Hall of Fame Member and is a Bob Elias Kern County Sports Hall of Fame Member.

 Hall of Fame

Joe Seay 

Wrestling legend Joe Seay began his teaching career at South High School.  He coached football and honed his wrestling brilliance on a generation of young Rebels.  Joe began the California State University Bakersfield Wrestling program which grew into a national powerhouse under his leadership.  He is a member of the Bob Elias Kern County Sports Hall of Fame, the California Wrestling Hall of Fame, the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, and now the South High Rebel Hall of Fame.  Mr. Joe Seay was the head coach of the United States of America World Wrestling Team and Olympic Teams.  He won National Championships as the coach of Division II California State Bakersfield and Division I Oklahoma State.

 Hall of Fame

Bill Ver Heul

After spending time in the United States Navy Mr. Bill Ver Heul began his teaching career at South High School in 1964 in the Business Department.  He was a counselor and vocational work experience advisor and he coached football.  Mr. Ver Heul spent almost 14 years serving South High as the Dean of Activities and Athletics before becoming the Regional Occupational Center Assistant Principal.  He received the California Administrators Region II Vocational Administrator of the Year Award in 1994.  In 1995, Bill became the Kern High School District Director of Activities and Athletics.  Mr. Ver Heul implemented a “Sportsmanship” program that communicated a strong message to schools and community and resulted in the improvement of overall behavioral expectations of athletes, coaches and spectators.  Mr. Ver Heul currently serves as the South Area California interscholastic Federation Commissioner where he received the 2012 Distinguished Service Award.  Mr. Bill Ver Heul served 36 ½ years with the Kern High School District and 13 years and counting with California Interscholastic Federation.

 Hall of Fame