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Five Santa Barbara High School Alumni to Join ‘Wall of Fame’

The 12th annual Santa Barbara High School Alumni Association’s “Wall of Fame” induction ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. this Friday in the high school theater.

This year, five alumni will join the 50-plus Wall of Fame recipients already honored with their pictures on the wall in the main hall.

This year’s recipients are: Floyd Norman, class of 1953; Dr. Ellen Simpson, class of 1935; Paula Lopez, class of 1981; George Burtness, class of 1949; and Dr. Erno Daniel, class of 1964.

Some of the more notable past recipients are: Ernie Zampese, class of 1954; Jeff Shelton, class of 1976; Charles Ott Jr, class of 1937; Peter Jordano, class of 1952; Sam Cunningham, class of 1969; Keith Jamaal Wilkes, class of 1970; Bill Crow, class of 1932; Marshall Rose, class of 1962; Randall Cunningham, class of 1981; Gary Hart, class of 1961; Bob Kallman, class of 1944; John Northrop, class of 1913; JR Richards, class of 1957; Timothy Bottoms, class of 1970; Charles Schwab, class of 1955; Caesar Uyesaka, class of 1936; Eddie Mathews, class of 1949; Ron Shelton, class of 1963; Harriet “Hattie” Feazelle, class of 1930; Jessie Orosco, class of 1976; Donnie Yee, class of 1950; Lynn Kern Kogel, class of 1973; and Taylor Hackford, class of 1963.

A short reception and photo session will follow the induction ceremony in the SBHS Alumni Room.

For more information contact, contact Tim Putz at 805.570.9251 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

2013 Wall of Fame Recipients

Floyd Norman, Class of 1953

My partners and I confounded a film company back in the ‘60s called Vignette Films Inc. “AfroKids” is a website my partner, Leo Sullivan and I created for the Internet where we push education for kids. Our production company, Vignette Film Inc., produced educational media for a number of years. My partner and I continue to work together even today. Our latest project is a mobile game/application based on the famed Tuskegee Airmen.

Erno Daniel, M.D., Ph.D. — Class of 1964

Physician, author, scientist and historian noted for academic achievement, Daniel started elementary school in his native Hungary, then attended SBJHS and graduated from SBHS, where he was active in clubs and music productions. He was student body vice president, and Santa Barbara Savings and Loan Outstanding student.

At age 21, he graduated from the California Institute of Technology (where he played varsity football for one season), then completed three years of research at UC San Diego for a Ph.D. in physical chemistry in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy under an Office of Naval Research Contract. At ages 20 and 23, he published articles in engineering and science journals. He continued medical studies for an M.D. and internal medicine specialty at UCLA.

He was lead author of a landmark publication about a rare intestinal condition. In 1978, he returned to practice at the Santa Barbara Medical Foundation (now Sansum) Clinic, where he continued to teach, author medical articles, textbook chapters, and for several years wrote the biweekly House Calls column for the Santa Barbara News-Press. In 1988, he was among the first U.S. physicians to be certified in new specialty of geriatric medicine and was certified in vascular ultrasound.

He produced and co-hosted the Senior Forum television series on KCOX Channel 3, and played with a soccer team that won the 1986 Santa Barbara PAYSO championships. He participated in research studies on new medicines for Alzheimer’s disease, wrote two textbook chapters and articles on the disease, presented numerous seminars nationwide and abroad, and for a time held a clinical faculty appointment at the USC School of Medicine. In 1996, he was included in Best Doctors in America Pacific Region, later received the Alzheimer’s Association’s leadership award, and a letter of recognition from First Lady Nancy Reagan.

In 2007, Sterling Publishing (New York & London) published his book Stealth Germs in Your Body. His article on the analysis of medical diagnostic errors appeared in the Journal of Biomedical Informatics in 2011. In full-time medical practice for more than 35 years at Sansum Clinic, he conducted more than 150,000 patient visits, served as medical director of local long-term care facilities, and serves as faculty for the postgraduate course “Geriatric Medicine for Primary Care Physicians” presented yearly to more than 500 physicians nationwide.

He helped preserve the history of medicine in Santa Barbara in various publications, including the 90-year legacy of Sansum Clinic in the Noticias of the Santa Barbara Historical Society. He serves on the clinic’s Philanthropy Committee.

He is married to Martha Peaslee Daniel, R.N., of Stillwater, Minn. They have four children.

Dr. Ellen Simpson — Class of 1935

Simpson dedicated her life to joyfully serving others during a long and varied career in medicine and community service. She pursued goals and adventures that were truly pioneering for women of her time. She completed sixth grade through high school in Santa Barbara. She first trained as a nurse then went on to become a physician at UC San Francisco at a time when only 12 percent of medical students were women.

She had a distinguished career in medicine, specializing in cardiology and pediatrics. She gladly volunteered her services in many places around the world. She was a pioneer in providing camping and outdoor experiences to diabetic children, who until that time were considered invalids. She helped hundreds of young diabetics realize their full potential in active lives and careers.

Paula Lopez — Class of 1981

Lopez began her television career in 1985 as an intern in Channel 3’s News Department, and went on to anchor News Channel 3 before heading to KCAL Channel 9 in Los Angeles in 1990. During her six years in the nation’s second-largest television market, Lopez anchored 9 News at Noon, which went from an obscure half-hour independent newscast to the number one-rated daytime newscast in Los Angeles.

In 1993, 9 News at Noon, anchored by Lopez, was awarded the prestigious Los Angeles Area Emmy Award. In addition to her regular duties, she anchored live gavel-to-gavel coverage of the O.J. Simpson murder trial, and award-winning live continuous coverage of the Southland floods and the firestorms of 1993. One of her most challenging duties was anchoring live continuous coverage of the devastating Los Angeles riots.

In 1994, Lopez was honored, along with ABC Network News correspondent Carol Simpson by the Minorities in Broadcasting Training Program with its “Striving For Excellence” Award.

In 1996, following six years of commuting daily from her home in Santa Barbara to Hollywood, Lopez decided to return home permanently to spend more time with her young son. She now co-anchors NewsChannel 3 at 11. Paula is able to get out from behind the news anchor desk to report as well. She recently earned a Golden Mike Award for Best News Reporting from the Radio & TV News Association of Southern California, as well as a Best News Reporting Award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association of Northern California.

Lopez serves on the Board of Directors for Aids Housing of Santa Barbara, as well as on the board for the American Lung Association of Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. She recently completed a two-year term on the Santa Barbara chapter of the American Heart Association Board of Directors.

Lopez attended UCSB, and was graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history of public policy, with a minor in political science. She is a ninth-generation Santa Barbaran, and a direct descendant of Lt. Pablo Cota, one of the founding officers of the Royal Presidio in Santa Barbara. She is married to Santa Barbara Superior Court Presiding Judge Frank Ochoa. They have a son, Diego, and twin daughters, Alana and Olivia.

George Burtness — Class of 1949

He is a graduate of Stanford University, BA (1953) and MBA (1960), and served in the Air Force, mostly in Alaska. He finished his tour by being in the first group assigned to convert the former Camp Cooke into Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Civilian life saw him employed with several electronics companies in Silicon Valley, mainly on classified projects with the SR-71 “Blackbird,” an advanced spy plane used for world-wide monitoring of various countries’ activities 70,000 below the aircraft. He also did research on plans for deterring Soviet missile launches from Siberia. He went back to Stanford to work as manager of the university’s real estate, investments and leasing programs.

Burtness returned to Santa Barbara, his hometown, in 1990, and was soon in the midst of many local volunteer and nonprofit organizations. He is currently on the Board of Directors of the Lobero Theatre Foundation, the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, the Music & Arts Conservatory and the Stanford Club of Santa Barbara, and previously served with the Santa Barbara Zoo, the Music Academy of the West and the Sansum Diabetes Research Institute. Other organizations benefiting from Burtness’s energies have been Recording for the Blind, the Braille Institute, Direct Relief International, Lotusland, the Santa Cruz Island Foundation and Cottage Hospital.

Some of his volunteer work has taken him to exotic locations: Costa Rica many times in the ‘90s studying biodiversity with Stanford research groups, and to the U.S. Virgin Islands to study reef fishes. He has also volunteered for Earthwatch projects in Australia, England, Northern California, Costa Rica and Belize, as well as studying bird populations on several of Panama’s west coast islands. He has worked with The Nature Conservancy on Santa Cruz Island for 25 years, studying endemic forms of animal and plant life, as well as various other projects on all eight Channel Islands.

Burtness has also pursued a special avocation — wine-making. He started as a home winemaker, then operated his own small winery, and finally managed two wineries in the Santa Cruz Mountains. He was part of the beginning of the Santa Barbara International Wine Auction, and has helped organize other wine and wine-auction events for several local charitable groups.

Besides additional personal travel to such remote spots as Bhutan, Papua New Guinea and the Antarctic, Burtness is an avid scuba diver, a pilot and a marathon runner. In the marathon of his life, Burtness has certainly set high marks for dedication of generous gifts of his time to his profession and, more significantly, to his community.

— Tim Putz represents the Santa Barbara High School Alumni Association.

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