Douglas High honors first hall of fame class |

Douglas High honors first hall of fame class

Douglas High School Hall of Fame inductees Wednesday evening at Minden Park include, from left, Gaye Tyndall and Dan Hamer. Bruce Jacobsen, right, was on hand for the ceremony on behalf of his father, Lawrence E. Jacobsen, who passed away in 2006.
Brad Coman |

Four distinguished alumni were recognized Wednesday when Douglas High School hosted the inaugural induction ceremony for its new Hall of Fame at Minden Park.

Lawrence E. Jacobsen, Gaye Tyndall, Dan Hamer and Ashley Hennefer Warren were inducted as the first Hall of Fame class during a 15-minute ceremony held as part of the school’s Fall Fest homecoming celebration. Hamer and Tyndall were present for the ceremony and Jacobsen, who passed away in July 2006 at age 85, was represented by his son, Bruce, a 1972 Douglas graduate. Hennefer Warren was unable to attend the ceremony.

“There are schools that welcome back their alumni and we wanted to start a new tradition where we could do that and also bring our school spirit to the community,” said Karen Lamb, Douglas High leadership adviser. “That’s why we started this DHS Hall of Fame … so we could begin to honor all that our community and all our alumni do.”

A committee of Douglas High students, staff and community members collaborated to select the inaugural Hall of Fame class. Criteria for Hall of Fame consideration included: Douglas High School graduate and/or staff member who has “made a positive impact on DHS through athletics, academics, activities etc. … made contributions to the Carson Valley or their own current community … or has made significant/meaningful contributions in their field/occupation.” Graduates needed to been part of the Class of 2006 or a previous class and retirees/employees 2011 or before.

After graduating from Douglas in 1939, Jacobsen was a World War II veteran, Pearl Harbor survivor, later served 40 years in the Nevada Legislature, served 50 years with the Douglas County Engine Company and also as chairman on the Minden Town Board. Tyndall graduated from Douglas in 1971 and returned to teach math at the school from 1987-2013. Hamer was a three-sport athlete and active in student government before his graduation from Douglas in 1991 and currently works for the Douglas County Juvenile Probation Department. Hennefer Warren, a 2006 Douglas graduate, has made numerous contributions as a writer/journalist and in the field of research.

“I’m just completely humbled,” Hamer said of the recognition. “I was shocked when I received the phone call … there’s so many people who have done so many good things from our community and from our school. I’m just honored to be one of them.”

Ashley Hennefer, who married fellow Douglas alum Andrew Warren in 2015, received her Master of Arts in Literacy Studies, with an emphasis on research science, from the University of Nevada, Reno. She received a Nevada Press Association Journalist of Merit award in 2012 for her work with Reno News & Review.

“While at UNR, she helped develop a remedial literacy program for local high schools and provided writing and research assistance to scholars around the world,” Keith Cole said of Hennefer Warren during the ceremony. “She has also worked to help resettle Syrian and Congolese refugees in Northern Nevada. After UNR, she co-founded the Northern Nevada Tool Library, which is a non-profit to provide Northern Nevadans with tools and resources.”

Hamer spent time after his high school graduation as a Rotary youth exchange student in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. He later worked with at-risk youth in San Francisco’s Mission District. Since returning to Carson in 2004, he has been a volunteer firefighter and EMT, is the current president for the Kiwanis Club of Carson Valley, serves as an AYSO board member and is the Nevada advocate chair for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Hamer was also in the news in 2012 while working at China Spring Youth Camp when he donated a kidney to Paula Dumas, one of his fellow workers.

Tyndall was the 1992 Nevada State Teacher of the Year and in 2002 received the Presidential Award for excellence in mathematics and science teaching. She now works with adults who have left high school and are now coming back to school to earn their high school equivalency certificates, Cole said.

“Gaye is a lifelong member of this beautiful Valley; she loved growing up here and still loves to run into former students who are successful, happy, productive members of society with families of their own,” Cole added during the ceremony. “She can’t help but feel proud of how these young people have evolved from the young teenagers in the math class to the adults they have become. She prides herself on teaching math and hopefully teaching a little about life as well.”