Pitman teacher is 'outstanding'

Pitman High School's Laura Hollister received the Outstanding Earth Science Teacher of the Year award given by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, Far West Section, at the section's conference in April. The Far West Section includes California, Nevada and Hawaii.

The award is given for "exceptional contributions to the stimulation of interest in the earth sciences at the secondary level."

Middle school and high-school teachers are eligible. Ten national awardees are selected each year, one from each NAGT regional section.

They received plaques, two-year free memberships in the national association, three-year memberships in the Geological Society of America and in the society's Geoscience Education Division, $500 in travel funds to a society meeting and $500 for classroom improvements.

Hollister attended Modesto Junior College and earned her bachelor of science in geology from California State University, Stanislaus, working several years in the geological consulting business before becoming a teacher.

Two Modestans, Melissa René Prater and Tim P. Cline, will graduate as ensigns May 28 from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

Prater is a 2006 graduate of Grace Davis High who participated in The Bee's Teens in the Newsroom journalism program. She soon will report to Norfolk, Va., to serve aboard the USS Bataan, a multipurpose amphibious assault ship, as the assistant navigator. She is the daughter of Terry and Cheryl Prater of Modesto.

Cline is a 2002 Johansen High graduate who soon will report to naval flight officer training in Pensacola, Fla. Before enrolling in the academy, Cline spent four years in the Marines, rising to corporal, and was deployed on the aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard, which was diverted to provide humanitarian relief after the tsunami struck Indonesia in December 2004. Cline is the son of Rex and Nancy Cline of Modesto.

Julia Rhodes, owner of KleenSlate Concepts, has been selected as the U.S. Small Business Administration's 2010 Central California Small-Business Person of the Year. She'll receive the award during the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors meeting at noon May 24.

Rhodes started her company to solve a common problem in schools and boardrooms: missing white board erasers. She developed an eraser that became part of the cap of a dry erase marker, getting help from the Alliance Small Business Development Center to develop her business plan.

Modesto dentist Randy Hayashi and Stockton banker Doug Eberhardt have been named to the University of the Pacific's board of regents for three-year terms beginning July 1.

Hayashi did his under- graduate work at UOP in Stockton and earned his doctorate in dentistry from UOP's Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco. He served on the school's presidential search committee last year and on various other UOP committees over the past several years.

Eberthardt, president and chief executive officer of the Bank of Stockton, returns to the board on which he previously served from 2000-09.

State Sen. Dave Cogdill, R-Modesto, named Turlock's Kathy Halsey as the 14th Senate District's Woman of the Year. A 30-year veteran employee at AT&T, she has provided years of community service through local nonprofit organiza- tions, including Modesto Rotary, The Salvation Army, and the United Way of Stanislaus County. In 2002, she became the only private-sector member and first woman to serve on the 19th Congressional District's Military Academy Selection Committee.

She lives in Turlock with her husband, Dave, and their two children, Dustin, 12, and Karly, 10.

Former Turlock resident Lila R. (Skonvd) Johnson has been elected secretary of the American Cancer Society's board of directors. Johnson graduated from Turlock High School in 1964 and received her bachelor's in nursing from San Francisco State University. She has a master's degree in public health from the University of Hawaii.

Six University of California at Merced students will participate in the Latino Leadership Initiative, a new partnership involving the university and Harvard University's Center for Public Leadership in the John F. Kennedy School of Government. The program aims at developing Latino leaders. The six are:

• Dulcemaria Anaya, a junior from Merced majoring in world history

• Jesse Anaya, a junior from Modesto majoring in environmental engineering

• Ismael Lara, a junior from Stockton majoring in literature and cultures

• Rafael Maravilla, a junior from Planada majoring in sociology and political science

• Jacqueline Miramontes, a junior from Merced majoring in psychology.

• Maira Pulido, a junior from Le Grand majoring in history

Twenty-two other students from Loyola Marymount, Texas A&M International, the University of Houston and the University of Massachusetts in Boston also will be involved. UC Merced is the only UC campus participating.

Former Modestan John T. Gremp is the new president and chief operating officer of FMC Technologies in Houston. Known locally as Tom, he graduated from Davis High in the late 1960s, and joined FMC in 1975, rising through the ranks to executive vice president of energy systems before becoming president and chief operating officer. Gremp's brother, Lary, still runs the longtime family operation, the Modesto Livestock Auction. FMC manufactures equipment for the oil and gas industries.

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