Oakland’s Frontline Healers – Class of 74’s Jeff Watson

From The Oakland Post 4/16/20Photo by Daryle Allums

Oakland Frontline Healers is a collaboration of nonprofits, churches and community doctors dedicated to winning the war against coronavirus in Oakland. Their weapons are the dissemination of COVID-19 information and distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the unsheltered, seniors and formerly incarcerated/recently released individuals.

Currently, Frontline Healers, under the direction of Dr. Geoffrey Watson, are establishing two drive-thru COVID-19 testing centers in Oakland to address the urgent need for testing the most vulnerable populations.  One will be in North/West Oakland and the other in East Oakland.

Read the full article…

Joanne McKray Passes Away

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Dec. 18, 2016

August 20, 1931 – December 7, 2016

Joanne McKray died peacefully at her home in Alameda, CA December 7, 2016. Her beloved husband, George, of 55 years, died 20 days prior to Joanne passing on November 18, 2016. Her sister Marilyn Zeigler of Wilmington, NC had passed just recently. Joanne is survived by her brother, David Helwig of Flinstone, GA, her stepson James McKray of Kings Beach, CA, and her stepdaughters Shandis McKray Pilat of Auburn, CA and Linda Nelson of Las Vegas, NV.

Joanne was born in Califon, NJ to Frederic and Charlotte Helwig on August 20, 1931. The family moved to Princeton (where they lived across the street from Albert Einstein!), and then to Knox, PA. They spent World War II in Macon, GA where her father, an Army chaplain, was stationed before he was sent to France. The war ended and the family moved back north to Youngstown, NY, a suburb of Niagara Falls, in time for Joanne to begin high school. She subsequently graduated from the College of Wooster in Ohio, and then spent seven years living in Greenwhich Village in New York City where she acquired a masters degree in sacred music from Union Theological Seminary and her husband.

When George finished his fellowship at NYU the couple moved back to San Francisco, George’s hometown. There he opened his law office while teaching part time at the School of Public Health at U.C. Berkeley, and Joanne took California required education courses at SF State. A year later they moved to Oakland and later Alameda. Joanne began 26 years of teaching choral music, world cultures and anthropology at Skyline High School in Oakland.

After she retired in 1990 the McKrays increased their foreign excursions, and over the years visited most of Europe and a number of countries in Asia and the Middle East. Joanne volunteered as a tutor in a literacy program and as a history docent at the Oakland Museum. Her major efforts concerned a succession of good government issues, working as a State Board member of Common Cause and a member of the League of Women Voters. They included the establishment of the California Fair Political Practices Commission, campaign finance reform, implementation of ranked choice voting, state redistricting for fairer voter representation, and government transparency. She was also active in the Alameda Democratic Club.

A private memorial gathering will be announced and held at a later date. Anyone wishing to make a memorial donation may do so to Midway Homeless Shelter (Building Futures for Women and Children, 1395 Bancroft Avenue, San Leandro, CA 94577), or to the International Rescue Committee (122 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10168-1289).

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Skyline 2016 Fall Play is Prospect High: Brooklyn

Spread the word!  

Join in on the dialogue about School Climate & Culture!
Visit Lobby Exhibit: Words Hurt Campaign

On-line ticket sales: http://www.ousd.org/Page/14692
$10 – Students with ID, Seniors, & Advanced Ticket Sales

November 16-18, 2016, 7 pm – Skyline Theatre

Thursday, November 17, 2016, 12:00 pm – middle school matinee – Skyline Theatre

Thursday, November 10th, Innovative Schools Student Leadership Symposium – Union City
also available for tour to your school, community event, church, cultural center

Prospect High: Brooklyn    PG-13, Strong Language
by Daniel Robert Sullivan, Chanique Peart, Paul Stoll,
Aaliyah Stewart, Deshaye Tingling, Amanda Rodriquez,
Isiah Latimer, Jaylin Acosta, Shannon Deep, Rebecca Powell
Brandy Brown, Azaria Guthrie, Rachel Friedman

Directed by Ms. Awele

Prospect High: Brooklyn is the first nationwide rolling world premiere in 25 high schools (9/2015 – 9/2016) of a new play written by Daniel Robert Sullivan (Tommy DeVito in Jersey Boys, Author of Places Please!) and co-written by a team of New York City Teenagers.  The play focuses on four intelligent, highly charged students and one seriously apathetic teacher.   Addressing themes of deep friendship, micro-aggressions, bullying, revenge, transgender safety, and self-harm (light cutting with safety pin), we see life-changing actions that culminate in one disturbing act. What can you do when you feel you are not being heard or understood? How can you interrupt bullying behavior and be safe? Who are trusted adults that you can talk to about most or any issue? In what ways could violence have been prevented? How can we eradicate violence from our schools? How are you building community in your school and helping students, teachers, and families to connect?

The play received the 2015 Eugene O’Neil National Playwrights Conference Semi-Finalist Award.

Post-Show: Civic Engagement with Audience

Tax Deductible Donations for Theatre for Social Change & Drama Students Scotland Performance to represent Oakland, CA, & the U.S.

Questions: Ms. Awele (ah WAY lay), Drama Director
510-482-7109, ext. 204    cell: 510-601-0178

Ms. Awele is continuing her exploration of school climate and culture through performance and civic engagement.  Please join us!

Awele (ah WAY lay)
Drama Director Skyline High School
510-482-7109, Ext. 204
Producer, Dr. MLK., Jr. Oratorical Fest, Oakland Unified School District
OUSD Website: http://www.ousd.org/mlkoratorical


Skyline Drama Group Going to Scotland!

Dear Fellow Titan:
We wanted to make you aware of an opportunity to support Skyline Students.  The Skyline High School Drama Dept has been invited to perform as part of the 2017 American High School Theatre Festival performances in Edinburgh, Scotland.  The students will perform as cultural ambassadors showcasing our theatre for social change drama program.  Themes that we are exploring this year are: school culture and climate, literacy, youth voice and activism and commercial sexual exploitation of children.

The Drama department must raise $105K for 15 participants ($7K each) for travel, accommodations, 2 meals a day, theatre, technical theatre package, etc.  You can make a donation through the weblink below or by check to the address below.  Also, if there are funders who you think would be interested  please share their contact info and/or make an e-introduction with Ms. Makeba.  You can also contact Ms. Makeba for more information.  Thanks!

Skyline High School website link for Tax-Deductible Donations:

Mailing Address for checks and money orders:
Skyline High School, Attn: Awele Makeba, 12250 Skyline Blvd, Oakland, CA 94619
Please make checks and money orders to Skyline High School Drama Dept.  Memo line: 2017 Scotland

Contact info: Awele Makeba  510-601-0178    personal: awele@awele.com    work: TalibahAwele.Makeba@ousd.org
Heidi Hansen has also established a fund to help reach the monetary goals. Click here to donate.

“Turning 60 in ’16” Tween Reunion Information

The date is set, and the venue is locked in! Our 2016 Tween Reunion will be held at Ozumo Oakland on Oct. 22nd from 6:30 to 11:30 (maybe later, if you’re game!)

More information can be found on our Eventbrite reservation page. There is no charge to attend. However, Ozumo has generously waived the deposits for us. They have also provided us with happy hour pricing. Please show your Titan spirit and appreciation by patronizing the bar and ordering from the menu.

Douglas Parking is providing us with $2.00 off the evening parking rate at their lot directly across the street from Ozumo. The lot is located at 80-60 Grand Ave. and 2270 Broadway, with entrances on Grand Ave., Webster St., and 23rd Street. The lot essentially takes up the entire block. You must identify yourself as a member of the Skyline High School Reunion group to the attendant upon arrival. Do not pay the pay-and-display machine as it will not provide the discount.

Save the Date for our 2016 Get-Together!

Home of the Skyline High School Class of 74 Titans

Hello Classmates. Your reunion committee is working on a “Tween” reunion to be held later this year. The theme is The Class of ’74 Turns 60 in ’16. This will be a simple, no-host event, similar to those we had between our 35th and 40th reunions. The details are still in the works, but we wanted to send out a save the date announcement.

Saturday 10/15

As we mentioned, food and drink are no-host. The intent is that there will be no cover charge. We’re looking at options for live music, and are trying to find someplace that has lodging nearby for those who may be traveling, or just want to stay overnight. We hope lots of you will attend, so put the two dates on your calendar, and we’ll let you know when its safe to delete one or the other.

This message will also be sent as an email. Now is a good time to make sure we have your current email address. If you think its changed since our last mailing, please contact us. You might also check the class of 74 “Missing List” and see if anyone you know is on it. We need everyone’s help to keep our records current.

Hope to see you in October!

Film Night at Skyline High School – Benefit for the Fardella Fund

Fardella Fund Film Night at Skyline High School Oakland CA
Dear Skyline Titans,

Please join us Friday, April 24th at Rawley T. Farnsworth Theater for an exciting and inspirational evening to benefit the Skyline football program, and to honor Jacquese Steen and Deybi Rabaneles, recipients of this year’s Coach Tony Fardella PRIDE Scholarship Award.

Master of Ceremonies Mark Ibanez, Sports Director at KTVU, will lead festivities including an appearance by Libby Schaaf (Oakland Mayor/ Skyline class of ’83 alum), and a surprise visit by a local favorite NFL player.

The evening will feature a special screening of a 2008 film about the inspirational life of Ernie Davis, the first African American athlete to receive the Heisman Trophy.

Friday, April 24th, 2015, 6-9 p.m.
Rawley T. Farnsworth Theater, Skyline High School
Food trucks will be onsite before the event from 4 to 6 p.m.

Students K-12: $5, Adults: $10
Tickets available at the door, or online at: squareup.com/market/skyline-high-school

All proceeds and donations directly benefit the Skyline football program.

Thank you so much for your support, and hope to see you there!

Back to Oakland – Our 40th Reunion!

Pano image of the skyline high school class of 1974 40th reunion.

October 11, 2014 is a date that will go down in Titan ’74 history! 

Table decorations at Skyline High School class of 1974 40th reunionThe Skyline High School Class of 1974 40th reunion was held at Oakland’s Ascension Greek Orthodox Cathedral. More than 200 classmates and their guests shared a memorable evening filled with conversation, dining and live music by East Bay Mudd who brought back memories with favorites from our high school days.

The two rooms were beautifully decorated by Heidi Hansen, Nancy Nelson Norman and their team of helpers. Balloon columns bracketed the entrance to the main hall, and lighted table decorations provided a fun, and unexpected, addition to the festivities. The lights in the decor ended up as wardrobe accessories!

Back to Oakland banner from Skyline High School Class of 1974 40th reunionAttendees were greeted by our dedicated reception crew of Jill Ushijima and Tim Underwood. We also had some help from a volunteer from the class of 1978 – thanks Mark Wilson! The lobby was decorated with a large banner of our reunion theme – Back to Oakland. The automobiles crossing the bridge had working headlights. Many photos were taken in front of this backdrop.

A memory slide-show played throughout the evening. A video rendition of the slideshow can be found on YouTube, by clicking this link. We also had a short video message sent by Tom Hanks, who was on location in New York. His surprise to us was a message from Steven Spielberg! Unfortunately, the video was for one-time play, so it can’t be posted.

We enjoyed a delicious buffet dinner arranged by June Hirabayashi Miller, followed by the band kicking into high gear. The dance floor filled, as the evening progressed. Please see the photos in the gallery below. They tell the story far better than words.

The reunion committee will be regrouping soon to decide when our next event will be. Subscribe to The Oracle blog by registering through the short form on the sidebar of this page.  You’ll receive email notifications of new articles so you can keep up to date on all the news from the committee and your classmate.

Also, if you’re not a member of our Facebook group, we’d love to have you join.
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Click the images to see larger versions. There are more photos on our Photo Page. If you have photos you’d like to share, please post them to our Shutterfly page, and/or on Facebook. We’ll periodically update this site with the best of those images.