Olympia High Alumni Induct Distinguished Alumni

first_imgSubmitted by Olympia High School Alumni AssociationA local rock singer, a multi-agency executive and a long-time coach were named to the Olympia High School Alumni Hall of Fame at Olympia High School in a ceremony at the OHS Performing Arts Center, Monday, June 1. Inductees included George Barner, Bill Jacobs and Denny Bailey.George Barner was in the class of 1959. Barner rocked OHS in the early breakaway days of rock ’n roll. Professionally he sang in three bands covering the 1960s at venues throughout the Northwest.Among Barner’s earliest stage performance came by invitation by country music wizard Don Ulrich (OHS ’59), later known professionally as Don Rich  with the Buckaroos.Word of Barner’s talents brought invitations to share the stage with the Wailers, of “Louie Louie” origins. George soon was asked to join with a local band. His singing career included leads with the Corvettes, the Sting Rays and the Trendsetters. Barner later was the vocal spearpoint for changing the Washington State Song to “Louie Louie” which narrowly missed passage in the Washington Legislature.As a youth Barner began singing to 45 rpm records, but while still in high school, he immersed himself in the roots of rock ‘n roll as it was emerging through the 1950s. Rhythm and blues, soul, had an epicenter in Kansas City, Missouri. Barner’s family had been on vacation near Missouri when at 17 George prevailed in his appeal to be left in Kansas City, staying with a relative — long enough to learn the stagecraft studying the performance venues and music halls of Kansas City.Barner returned to the Northwest to finish high school, but he incorporated a  colorful and invigorated style into stage performances that exhilarated audiences throughout his career. Rock was considered a taboo in broadcasting in high school era . Barner wowed OHS assemblies with his rock ‘n roll performances in his last year at OHS.Barner went into public service , with 16 years as a Thurston County commissioner, and is presently is serving in his second term as a commissioner to the Port of Olympia. He is a long time community booster and was instrumental in developing the Olympia train station and transition of the Chehalis-Western Trail.Bill Jacobs (class of 1946) served as a director with the US Department of Labor under President Ford, as director for the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, director for the Washington Forest Protection Association and Association of Washington Business. He served as president over the International Association of Governmental Labor Officials, and served as chief of staff to Governor Dan Evans, and the same again for US Senator Evans’ staff.Jacobs’ public affairs leadership continues today through the UW’s Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, as chairman of the Western Institutional Review Board, and as a political consultant for Northwest corporations, and non-profit organizations.He has served as president of the Providence St. Peter Health Foundation and as an executive committee member of Washington Roundtable, and as director of the Hands On Children’s Museum.  Jacobs earned the Bronze Star for meritorious service in the Korean War.Denny Bailey began teaching at Pioneer Elementary when it opened in 1969 near OHS. In 1975 he began coaching freshmen basketball at OHS. Bailey also coached boys and girls varsity soccer at OHS. His competitive coaching continues today at OHS qualifying OHS teams for state competition in tennis in all but two of the last 15 years.For eight years Bailey has run the tennis tournament for the Senior Games in Olympia. He has coached summers abroad in Sydney, Australia, and Amsterdam. Following his teaching retirement in 1999 Bailey served seven more years teaching part time at Washington Middle School.Bailey is a 1965 graduate of Shelton High School, and a 1969 graduate of Western Washington College with a degree in elementary physical education and a minor in elementary education. Facebook351Tweet0Pin0last_img

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