From the Principal

Dear Cleveland High School Community,

The winds of change are blowing at Cleveland High School. This is a bittersweet moment in my professional career. After eight years as the proud Principal of Cleveland High School, I have decided to move on. I am going downtown to serve as a Principal Coach and Mentor for newly appointed principals in Seattle Public
Schools. It has been an honor to serve as the proud Principal of Cleveland High School, and I will never forget the support that the Alumni have shown my family and me over the years.

We have seen Cleveland become one of the most desired schools in the region, with the highest graduation rates in the area. Many of our students are being accepted into and graduating from four-year universities. Cleveland’s legacy is stronger than ever because we are family at Cleveland High School.

Catherine Brown will be serving as the newly appointed Principal of Cleveland High School. Catherine has been at Cleveland for over 18 years, serving as a teacher, an academic intervention specialist, and Assistant Principal. Catherine is extremely passionate about student equity, academic rigor, and social justice. She has a long history at Cleveland, and she will diligently work with students, staff, community, and families to take Cleveland High School to the next level.

Mr. Ray Morales, who serves as my other wonderful Assistant Principal, will be leaving to become the Principal at Chief Sealth High School. Mr. Morales has been at Cleveland for five years as an Assistant Principal and has brought passion, energy, and expertise to our race and equity teams. Ray has also helped re-shape our special education department, athletic department, and science
department. Ray will be sorely missed at Cleveland High School, and we wish him well at Chief Sealth High School– except when they are competing against Cleveland.

Finally, Ms. Fely Regan, who serves as the life-blood of Cleveland, will retire this year after 36 years of excellent service. I have had the pleasure to work with Ms. Regan for eight years, and she is by far the best administrative secretary in the District. Ms. Regan is not just a colleague; she is family. I would not have made it as the Principal at Cleveland High School without Ms. Regan. She is the heartbeat of Cleveland High School, and everything at Cleveland runs smoothly because of Ms. Regan’s dedication, institutional knowledge, expertise, and work
ethic. Ms. Regan holds Cleveland High School together, and she is the go-to person for teachers,

George L Breland, Principal
Cleveland High School

Pat Rosenkranz honored by CHSAA

The CHSAA honored Pat Rosenkranz ‘49 by having eight copies of her book, “Honored Dead”, bound in hardcover and distributed to close family members and friends.

The following Preface was added to the newly covered books:

Honored Dead
Honored Dead, by Pat Rosenkranz

Her book, HONORED DEAD, tells the stories of the “Cleveland boys” who died while serving in the armed forces of our country during World War II. These men are honored and memorialized at the Cleveland High School Memorial Forest, which is located in east King County near Fall City, Washington.
During the war, the students of Cleveland High School (CHS) sought a way to honor classmates and alumni who were killed in the war. The graduating
classes of 1943 and 1944 raised money by holding car washes, fundraisers like the senior play, bake sales, donating pocket change, and other odd jobs, to come up with $300.

Science teacher, Joseph Hazzard, suggested that they purchase a tract of land and make it into a memorial forest. With that thought in mind, Vice Principal Ray
Imus took the money to a county tax auction of logged-off land. He bid on 131.52 acres. When word got around of what the CHS students and staff were trying to accomplish, no one bid against him. The property was purchased in the name of Principal Kenneth Selby.

But the story of the memorial forest doesn’t end there–– it was just the beginning. Weyerhaeuser donated 10,000 seedlings of Sitka Spruce, Douglas Fir, and Western Red Cedar, and the students planted them and nursed them until they were fully established. They dug a well, installed restrooms and a sewage drainage system, built utility sheds and a lyceum measuring approximately 50×25 feet.

It was Faith Beatty who worked with CHS students to research each of our Fallen Heroes to document how they lived and how and where they died. Using their work as a starting point, Pat worked for 2 years researching and writing the book, including tracing the maps by hand and spending untold hours to have the book as accurate as possible. Her major concern was finding a publisher who would help design and title the book’s cover to add meaning and compassion to the
history documented in the book.

Patricia Sullivan Rosenkranz
Pat Rosenkranz

To honor Pat’s work in writing Honored Dead, a motion was presented to the board of the CHS Alumni Association (CHSAA) to purchase hardcovers for eight of her books and give them to close family members and friends, the CHS Library, and the Seattle Public Library. CHSAA president, Bernie Moskowitz, led the
board in unanimously approving this motion.


It is our hope that these hardcovered books will serve as family heirlooms to help remember Pat’s accomplishments related to our Fallen Heroes, the CHSAA, and the CHS Memorial Forest.

Dennis Dong

Dennis Dong – A beloved math teacher

The CHS Alumni Association was notified through a family member about the sudden passing of a beloved CHS math teacher, Dennis Dong so we are adding him here in hopes to give other alumni the opportunity to share their memories.

“Enjoy every day as if it is going to be the best day of your life.” ~ Dennis Dong

Dennis Dong was born on April 12, 1945, to Lena Jane Chin and Gerald Dong in Bremerton, Washington. His parents divorced when he was young and he lived with his father and grandmother in Seattle while growing up, while his mother moved to San Francisco to start a new life. His older sister, Diana lived with their mother and then their mom remarried and had a daughter named Karen Wong.

As a young man, he also worked as a busboy at a long-time Chinese restaurant called The Hong Kong Restaurant in Seattle.

Dennis attended and graduated from Seattle University in June 1971 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education as well as from the University of Washington. His favorite subjects were English, science, and history. But why did he choose to become a math teacher? According to Dennis, “Because it always came easy. It is black and white; there is always an answer and many ways to get at that answer.” He was a dedicated teacher and believed that the greatest part of being a teacher is sharing his knowledge and contributing to the success of students.

He devoted over 30 years of his life as a math teacher/math department head (according to Melinda Goodleaf, Manager of Records & Archives, Seattle Schools) at Asa Mercer Middle School (1971/1972 to 1973/1974), Cleveland High School (1974/75 to 1986/87), Denny Middle School (1990/92 to 1993/94), Nathan Hale High School (1995/96 to 2001), and Ballard High School (2001 to 2007, retired in 2004 but subbed 2006/2007).

He loved seeing movies, concerts, and “getting some good eats.” According to an article from a Ballard High School newsletter, he was well-liked as he was full of enthusiasm, charm, and wit.

Dennis made such an impression on his students that former students would contact him after they completed his class. Even today, he has had a lasting impression on his former students.

He was beloved by his family and thousands of his former students. He leaves behind his two sisters, Diana (Les), Karen (Steve), a nephew, Theo, and niece, Natalie, as well as many cousins and friends.


Did you know Mr. Dong? Share your memories through the link below.
Evergreen Washelli Funeral Home & Cemetery

Patricia Rosenkranz

Patricia (Sullivan) Rosenkranz

VANCOUVER — Patricia Leone (Sullivan) Rosenkranz, 90, passed away peacefully on April 4, 2021, in Vancouver, Washington. She had a home in Ocean Park, Washington prior to moving to Glenwood Place Senior Living Community in Vancouver in 2019.

Pat was born in Minot, North Dakota, on Feb. 12, 1931. She moved to Seattle with her family in 1941 and graduated from Cleveland High School in 1949. Pat married H. Craig Rosenkranz in 1952. They moved to Spokane with their two daughters, where Pat eventually obtained her teaching degree from Eastern Washington University. She was an inspirational art and social Studies teacher at Medical Lake Middle School for 22 years.

The Long Beach Peninsula was a special location for Pat and her family for over 60 years. She and Craig were among the first property owners in the Pacific Pines Development in Ocean Park. They spent many happy years with family and friends, vacationing and building a cabin on their property. They eventually built their retirement home and Pat continued to live there following Craig’s death in 1997.

Honored Dead
Honored Dead, by Patricia Rosenkranz

Art, travel, and writing poetry were just a few of Pat’s many interests. Her association with the Cleveland High School Alumni Association and her lifelong interest in history led her to write the book “Honored Dead,” a collection of biographies of Cleveland High School boys who died in World War II.

Twenty years ago, a friend introduced Pat to Don Armeni, a fellow Cleveland H.S. alum. Together, Pat and Don enjoyed traveling in Europe and throughout the United States. They were active in the communities of Ocean Park and Kalama, Wash., where they attended the United Methodist Church.

Pat is survived by daughters Nancy Biasi (Dennis) of Portland, Jane Rettig (Steve) of Spokane; grandchildren Simon and Christopher Biasi, Cara Rettig Lommen (Drew), Haley Rettig Dang (Maika), five great-grandchildren, and her loving companion, Don Armeni. She will join her mother and brother at Holyrood Cemetery in Seattle where a family graveside memorial will be held at a later date.


The primary function of the CHS Alumni Association is not to benefit CHS students, but to preserve the CHS Memorial Forest. No one has done a better job of that than Pat Rosenkranz, because she has inspired many to work on the problems associated with the forest by writing her book, Honored Dead. ~ John R. Barton ’54

Last year our webmaster put together a video for Memorial Day, with photos and excerpts from the book. There is also a page on this website dedicated to the Honored Dead. Unfortunately, the book is out of print, and so we are currently in discussions to preserve this book, by having it bound in hardcover and distributing it to her family, as well as a close friend, and the Seattle Public Library.

Please join us in honoring Pat’s life and her work by making a contribution to the CHS Alumni Association in her name. Donate here.

Aerial View of Memorial Forest

Development Rights Proposal Passed Unanimously

Our proposal to sell the development rights of the CHS Memorial Forest went before the full school board today and . . . PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.  Noel Treat served as the attorney for SPS.  In the discussion prior to the vote, the line most commonly stated was our line . . . It’s a WIN-WIN-WIN situation.  SPS wins, King County Parks wins, and the CHSAA wins.

The proposal also included the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between SPS and CHSAA, which calls for $150,000 for a new lyceum, and CHSAA would be allowed to put up a new sign calling it the Cleveland High School Memorial Forest.

Board Meeting Minutes Excerpt:

Cleveland High School Memorial Forest Conservation Easement Agreement with King County and Memorandum of Understanding with the Cleveland High School Alumni Association (Ops, February 4, for approval) Approval of this item would authorize the Superintendent to execute a Conservation Easement Purchase and Sale Agreement with King County and to execute a Memorandum of Understanding between Seattle Public Schools and the Cleveland High School Alumni Association in the form of the draft agreements attached to the BAR, with any minor additions, deletions, and modifications deemed necessary by the Superintendent to implement these agreements. (Updated Since Introduction) Director Hersey moved to approve this item. Director Rivera-Smith seconded. Director DeWolf noted the update since introduction to add an excerpt from the Cleveland High School alumni newsletter. Directors spoke in support of the item.

This motion passed unanimously.

View minutes:

Edwina Nelson Gannis

Edwina Nelson Gannis

January 5, 1949, to November 21, 2020.

Edwina, 70, passed away the evening of November 21st, 2020, at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, with her husband and son by her side. The last years of her life were spent battling the effects of multiple heart failures. She was tremendously tough and courageous in dealing with her persisting health issues. The word “fighter” does not do her justice.

Edwina was born in Everett, Washington to Edwin Nelson, and Kathryn “Kay” Nelson. She graduated from the University of Washington, where she met her husband of nearly 50 years Michael Gannis, and would later receive a Masters’s degree in Sociology. Edwina met Michael at the Century Tavern, next to the university, and was engaged within a month and married on June 6th, 1971.

She became a high school teacher spending most of her career at Cleveland High School, in Seattle, where she taught Social Studies, History, and Journalism. She was devoted to helping her students reach their utmost potential.

Edwina was beloved by the Cleveland HS Community and loved them just as much.

Edwina was extremely kind and intelligent. She had a voracity for adventure, travel, food/wine and learning. Summers were spent with her family soaking in as many different cultures in as many different locations as she could. If she wasn’t with her family
on an adventure she could be found hosting parties for friends, at brunch with a Sunday newspaper finishing the NYT crossword, or playing golf. She always had something to do or somewhere to go.

A loving, caring, and thoughtful wife and mother, She leaves behind her husband Michael Gannis, her son Zachary, her sister Edalyn Wicklund, her nephew Brandon Wicklund, and niece Haley Saunders. Edwina left an indelible footprint wherever she stepped and will be sorely missed.


This message goes out to the Cleveland High School staff and students from about 1980 to 2010.

Edwina was a superb Social Studies teacher and a wonderful friend.

When I wanted to know about European History, she would know it… Edwina was a genius, she knew everything about everything. She never acted superior when she knew so much. It was easy to ask her questions; she never made me feel uncomfortable.

Edwina was funny, warm, generous, unique & kind. I have so many great memories of Edwina. She was a great person.

Faith Ann Beatt

Newsletter Editor Wanted

Newsletter Editor Wanted!

John Barton, Class of ’54 is resigning after having served as editor of the CHS Alumni Newsletter for 11 years. He is asking for someone to volunteer to take the reins as soon as possible to keep this form of communication to over 7000 subscribers active.

In his own words John writes:

I’m out-of-date, over the hill, ready to retire, and ready to give up this job that I’ve had for over 11 years. The major problem… I don’t connect well with younger readers.

We need someone to advance our beloved newsletter into the 21st century.

We need an editor on the same wavelength as our younger alumni — the millennials, generation X and Y, graduates of the last 40 years. Not someone from the Stoneage.

CHS has many alumni capable of writing and producing our newsletter, from retired school teachers, business people, journalists, wanna-be journalists, to retired engineers – like me. In fact, anyone with the desire can do this job. With the help of me and others, you will become an excellent publication editor in no time. All you need are typing and basic computer skills. You don’t even have to live in the Seattle area.

We need you to VOLUNTEER.

I’ll put out one more newsletter, and after that, the newsletter will fade away unless someone steps forward.

So, to my 7000 readers, we’re looking for one of you to take that step. This is a very rewarding job but we need new blood to make a good connection with our younger alumni.

John Barton, President

If you are interested in volunteering to take on the job of CHSAA Newsletter Editor, please send an email directly to John at

CHS Volleyball 2021

CHS Volleyball during COVID

Eagle Athletics Are Back!
by John Hughes, Athletic Director

It was music to the ears for all the Eagle student-athletes (especially the seniors) to hear the WIAA, Department of Health, Metro League, and Seattle Public Schools February 1, 2021 announcement that sports are back! It has been over a year since the Eagles last took the field for any competitions due to the pandemic.

The ability for sports to return is conditioned upon compliance with all guidance and protocol measures outlined by the various agencies. First practices are set to begin on February 22, 2021. Most sports competitions may continue as long as the Puget Sound Region, composed of King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties stays in Phase 2.

There will be two seasons this year:

“Season 1” begins February 22, 2021, and includes the following sports: football, cross country, golf, girls bowling, girls soccer, slowpitch softball, girls swim, and volleyball.

“Season 2” begins on April 19, 2021, and includes baseball, boys soccer, boys swimming, basketball, fastpitch softball, track, wrestling, and tennis.

Indoor “high-risk” sports such as wrestling and basketball are not yet authorized to participate in competitions. We are hopeful the Covid numbers will improve to allow them to compete.

Safety will be the number one focus.

Everyone in the Eagle athletics department has had extra time to be trained on Covid-19 return-to-play guidelines.

  • Every practice and game will have a Site Supervisor in charge to ensure compliance with all guidelines and protocols.
  • Coaches have been trained to take Covid screening information, temperature checks, etc.
  • All coaches and student-athletes will wear masks during all events, including practices and competitions.
  • No fans will be allowed at any Metro League competitions this year.

The Eagle athletic department is taking the safety of our coaches, athletes, and community very seriously. The picture shown here is of our volleyball team demonstrating how safely we plan to conduct all events.

There is a new website rolling out where you can see all sports schedules and score results: We encourage all alumni to take a look.

We are excited to offer our students the benefits that participating in high school sports provides. With remote learning still taking place, sports will improve physical fitness, social and emotional development, personal and team goal attainment, leadership development, teamwork, time management skills, and improved academics.

While there will be no state championships this year, there will be Metro League playoffs in a variety of formats allowing our students to set their goals high!

It has been a challenging school year for everyone, but especially for our youth. We hope these next few months give our students some joy and happiness.


Finding an Ex-POW

Finding an ex-POW – Part 2

Murele Ipsen ‘43 — on his way to the Western Front
Murele Ipsen ‘43 — on his way to the Western Front

Our October newsletter featured a story that received a lot of interest. Written by Angela Duane, “Finding an Ex-POW who saved my Uncle during WW II” described the author’s experience in tracking down Murele Ipsen (CHS c/o ’43).

Murele helped save John Duane (Angela’s uncle) when they fled a POW camp at the end of World War II. Both men were imprisoned at Stalag 2, which was located near Neubrandenburg, about 75 miles north of Berlin, and about 300 miles from the Western Front.

With the war over, the German guards abandoned the prison camp. Then, it was up to the former prisoners to make their way to the Western Front and the Allied forces [at that point, the Allied forces were a bit east of the Rhine River]. Murele Ipsen played a major role in helping Angela’s uncle be a part of that journey, as John was badly injured. Murele assisted John as he (John) reportedly collapsed while trying to leave the camp.

Thankfully, John, Murele, and company had some luck along the way. As they walked westward, somewhere, somehow, this group of Americans commandeered a horse-drawn wagon—and the injured in their caravan could now ride to safety. Also en route, Murele Ipsen found a camera and film in a bombed-out camera shop. He managed to capture several photos, including the two shown above—a rare glimpse into the dangerous days immediately following the war. There was little law and order if any; a limited supply of food— and local citizens were probably hesitant to part with what they had (and, most likely, suspicious of American troops). There was also the possibility of crossing paths with German troops, who, like the Americans, were headed home—and desperate for food and transportation (not to mention, some being on the run to avoid prosecution for war crimes). [In today’s Seattle Times, Feb. 20th, there was a story about an ex-prison camp guard being deported back to Germany.]

John Duane, in wagon on far left — on his way to the Western Front
John Duane, in wagon on far left — on his way to the Western Front

John Duane did eventually get home to Seattle, where he just “showed up on the porch” one day to a mother who had been hoping and praying for months after receiving notice that he was MIA (missing in action). A few months later, Murele called to check in on John but ended up speaking to his mother, letting her know that he’d been in a POW camp with her son. Years later, Angela was digging through old letters and found one from her grandma to Uncle John, telling him “a Murele Ipsen had called and that he’d helped carry John out of there” (meaning out of the stalag so John could join the others in traveling to the Western Front).

Angela was stunned, as there’d been little said about John’s time as a POW, and she was determined to find out more about the man who helped bring her uncle home. Uncle John eventually became Angela’s godfather, watching over her as she grew up. Angela also believes her uncle saved her life in that, because of him, she was able to pay for college. Without Murele Ipsen saving her Uncle John, none of that would have happened.

As it turned out, Angela (after a lot of online research) found Murele Ipsen, but he had suffered a stroke in 2019 and was no longer able to really communicate. Then, only a few weeks later, he died [Murele’s obituary is in this issue of the newsletter on page 8].

Woulda, shoulda, coulda . . . if only Angela would have started her search a couple of years earlier! –Angela is a writer and might have given us another great story on the aftermath of World War II. The adventure shared by Murele, John, and their comrades really does have all the makings of a book and/or movie!

From the Principal’s Desk

We continue to wish you and our alumni families good health, peace, and steadfastness. I would like to also thank the alumni, PTSA, staff, and students for your continued perseverance through the pandemic.

We just finished the first semester of the 2020-21 school year in this virtual environment. Cleveland teachers have done an amazing job of adjusting their instructional styles to meet all our students’ needs in this unique learning setting. Our students have done an excellent job of meeting the challenges of the pandemic, virtual learning, jobs, family stress, and isolation. We are all in this together, and united, we shall get through this storm together.

Currently, the district and the teacher’s union are in negotiations for a phased-in return to in-person learning for K-1, first graders, and Intensive Service Pathways students. High school students are not currently ready to return. All decisions will be negotiated and determined by the District, the School Board, and the SEA teacher’s union.

The sports season is set to begin this week, and follow- ing Governor Inslee’s Road map to Recovery Metrics, athletics are slated to begin in February. Our region needs to be in the new Phase 2 for competitions to take place.

Based on the information in Governor Inslee’s plan, the Metro League adopted a two-season sports model for this year only. Season 1 begins February 22 for football, bowling, girls soccer, slow-pitch softball, girls swim and dive, volleyball, cross country, and golf. Season 2 begins April 19 for baseball, boys soccer, boys swim and dive, basketball, fastpitch softball, tennis, track, and wrestling.

Cleveland’s softball team has been selected as one of the winners of the $5,000 Mariners Care Equipment Donation Grant. The organizers received over 45 applications from high schools across the state. Cleveland was one of just 10 schools to receive the award.

As always, a big THANK YOU to the Cleveland Alumni Association for your continued support; you are an integral part of the Cleveland community. I cannot wait to see what 2020-21 has in store!

Cleveland Eagles keep soaring!

********* In Other News *********
Feb 25, 2021,

Seattle Public Schools names interim superintendent