The OHS Alumni Association recently inducted 2 Distinguished Alumni Award winners for 2023. These particular OHS graduates were selected based on their notable professional achievements within the local, national, or international community.
Bill Maguire: Distinguished Alumnus Award
On June 5, 2023, Bill Maguire was inducted into the OHS Alumni Hall of Fame. A 1969 graduate, Bill Maguire's name resonates deeply within the community of Olympia High School (OHS), touching multiple aspects of the experience—athletics, academics, and administration. A multi-sport athlete, a dedicated educator, and a committed member of the community, his impact is immeasurable. Bill has always considered his entire career to be a team effort, stating in his induction remarks, “I was very fortunate to be on a team of an educational institution that was always doing what's in the best interest of students.” He went on to give credit to the OHS staff, administrators, and everyone else he collaborated with throughout his career, attributing his success and this award to their collective efforts.
The Formative Years
From a young age, Bill demonstrated an exceptional aptitude for athletics. He first made a name for himself as a nationally-ranked speed skater at the 1963 North American Amateur Championships in Portland, Oregon. Throughout his high school years at OHS, Bill excelled not only in sports—including football, baseball, and basketball—but also in leadership roles as an active participant in the school's Senate and a constant presence in the Big O Club for three years. These experiences at OHS were the stepping stones to a fulfilling career dedicated to enriching the lives of students.
A Love for the Game
Bill continued his athletic journey at Walla Walla Community College, where he shone in football and baseball, securing a place on the Community College All-American Football – First Team in 1971. His sports career took him to the University of Texas El Paso in 1972, but an unfortunate injury cut his football journey short. Unfazed, Bill moved on to Central Washington University in 1973, where he completed his bachelor's degrees in physical education and biology. He later acquired a Master's Degree in Education from Heritage University in Toppenish, WA.
An Educator at Heart
Returning to his alma mater in 1975 as a physical education teacher, Bill acknowledged the significant role Dale Herron played in his career, recalling how Dale offered him a job opportunity at a time when teaching positions were scarce. Dale transitioned from being Bill’s basketball coach and history teacher to becoming a mentor and best friend, instilling in him invaluable qualities such as being a good listener, prioritizing patience, and resilience, and fostering student leadership. Bill later became the department head for physical education and took on the roles of head baseball coach and head football coach. Reflecting on his years at OHS, Bill reminisced, “I hoped that my interaction with the thousands of students that I had contact with, that I had a positive impact on their development.”
Off the Field
Outside the realms of OHS, Bill ventured into other community roles, serving as a basketball referee across various levels from 1975 to 1985 and providing security at the legislature in 2017 and 2018.
A Lasting Legacy
The Maguire family has a long and proud history with OHS, boasting 17 graduates spanning three generations, including Bill, his mother Bette, and his son Brandon. Emphasizing his deep-rooted connection to the OHS, Bill proclaimed, “We bleed Bear blue”! In his closing remarks, Bill praised the OHS community, saying, “Community, parents, students, Olympia High School has been and always will be recognized for its outstanding academics, athletics, the arts, and other activities. With your help and with the staff and everybody working together, this will continue.” Bill's enduring association with Olympia High School stands as a testament to a life well-lived, enriching the school's legacy through relentless dedication, hard work, and a deep-seated love for the community.
Harvest Moon: Tribute to a Cultural Icon
At the June 5, 2023, OHS Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Harvest Moon – a woman of many talents – was inducted by the Olympia High School Alumni Association as a Distinguished Alumna. This honor served as a recognition of her invaluable contributions to the enrichment and understanding of Northwest Indian culture, its history, crafts, and the beauty found in tribal customs.
The Early Years: A Seed Planted in Artistry and Culture
Born Dorothy Brozina, a native of Olympia and a 1975 graduate of Olympia High School. She became known as Dorothy Christopherson in her senior year due to marriage. Later, adopting the name Harvest Moon, she embarked on a journey of discovery and self-expression that found its inspiration throughout her early education.
In those formative years, Dorothy nurtured a profound appreciation for art, particularly through her participation in swimming and her enjoyment of art classes, experiences that would later shape her diverse career. She credits her teachers from grade school to high school by saying “I can go through every single teacher from Garfield and L.P. Brown, to Jefferson, to Oly. And it was because of that strong foundation and tools that the teachers taught me that I have kept in my pockets and used as I traveled throughout my life.”
A Voice of the Quinault: Storyteller, Historian, and Cultural Teacher
As Harvest Moon, she blossomed into a renowned figure in the cultural landscape of the Northwest, grounding her identity in the rich traditions of the Quinault Indian Tribe. As a storyteller, historian, and cultural teacher, Harvest became a custodian of the tribal tales, rituals, and customs, weaving them into narratives that resonated deeply with audiences far and wide.
Not only did she revive the enchanting tales of her tribe, but Harvest also endeavored to preserve the Chinook Jargon, a language developed by her great-grandfather as a communication tool with white traders. Despite the diminishing usage of the language over generations, Harvest Moon has embarked on a mission to ensure its survival, passing down the linguistic knowledge that binds the community to its ancestral roots. As Harvest gratefully said during her acceptance remarks, “It's quite an honor to present my culture these last four decades to thousands and thousands of children”. She went on to say how proud she has been to serve as a role model to children, regardless of their heritage.
A Prominent Figure in the World of Art: Distinguished Basket Weaver and Actress
Harvest Moon's artistic pursuits did not confine her to the world of storytelling. Since 2007, she has been recognized as a distinguished basket weaver, a craft where her adept hands transform raw materials from the natural environment into exquisite, traditional native items, each basket telling a story of its own.
Her artistic repertoire expanded further into the realms of film and television, with an impressive career since the early 1990s. Garnering an Emmy nomination for her captivating performances, Harvest Moon's artistry graced popular television series such as "Northern Exposure".
Harvest Moon also served on the Washington State Commission for the Humanities in 2004 and 2005.
A Final Message for Future Generations
While accepting her award in front of several 2023 OHS soon-to-be graduates, Harvest had these final words of encouragement… “And for these young ones who are just starting to paddle out there in the real world, just follow your heart. Because if you follow your heart, it will take you to worlds that you could never imagine.” Harvest, your fellow OHS classmates thank you for following your heart and making us all proud with your lifetime journey of achievement.