Who would decide his life’s career while doing lightsaber duels on the playground? Inspired by Star Wars, he knew as a young child that it will be astrophysics! This passion has motivated him to study advanced science and math through high school, and to be accepted by USC for training as a science researcher in a space research facility.
While Astronomy and Astrophysics is Justin’s focus, he has also embraced school activities like sports (tennis, swim team), student government (class president, Kay Club president, and FUN (robotics, art show, playing guitar, drawing).
While Justin’s success to date is the result of his high motivation and clear planning, he is quick to appreciate CHS’s group-based learning model and the support and wisdom of several teachers.
Members of the CHS Alumni Scholarship team are pleased to include Justin in the scholarship awards to help with tuition and textbooks. He was awarded $2,000 from CHSAA.
Ventris Maurice Ingram was born June 24, 1937, to Mark Ingram and Josie Ella Beard in Summit, Oklahoma, a suburb of Muskogee. He moved to Seattle with his mother and step-father Clarence Dunn when he was six years old, living in the Duwamish Bend Projects that housed those working for the war effort. Ventris attended Cleveland Junior and Senior High School. He was a very industrious teen, serving as senior class secretary, vice president of the Letterman’s Club, chairman of the Boy’s Club, playing on two high school championship baseball teams (Go CHS Eagles!), taking bookkeeping courses, and selling and delivering newspapers. He graduated from Cleveland in 1954 as one of 18 students to receive a scholarship – his from Consolidated Freightways – where he worked while attending the University of Washington.
A proud member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Ventris graduated in 1963, with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. He worked for the Post Office as a letter carrier for two years, then went to work for the federal government as an accountant and auditor for the Internal Revenue Service, totaling 40 years of public service. Ventris played an instrumental role in developing an equal opportunity program within the Seattle IRS office. He also played a role in the establishment of Volume Food Basket, the first black-owned and operated a grocery store in the area.
On June 17, 1961, Ventris married his Franklin High School sweetheart and the love of his life, Anita Louise Wilson. The couple had two daughters, Jerri Lynn and Kimberly Michelle. Ventris and Anita raised their family in South Seattle. After retiring as a Revenue Agent in 2000, he and Anita decided to settle down in their dream home in Renton. Though retired, he managed to stay busy managing rental properties, and as a volunteer tax return preparer for AARP (also known as “VITA”) for about 25 years at various locations, in particular, the Rainier Beach Library. In February 2004, he was recognized by the University of Washington Business School for “… Trailblazing Leadership in Business for other African Americans to Follow…”, and “… with much appreciation for your courage, confidence, and determination to study and enter business employment at a time when you had to open doors of opportunity for yourself and other African Americans…”.
Over the years, Ventris enjoyed entering sweepstakes, collecting Red Tails memorabilia and baseball caps, and gardening, which included his prized tomato plants. He enjoyed attending ROOTS picnics (Relatives of Old-Timers) and was a proud member of the Seattle Urban League and NAACP, in addition to actively supporting several civic, civil rights, and non-profit organizations.
Ventris passed away July 16, 2020, leaving to mourn his wife of 59 years, Anita, daughters Jerri Lynn and Kimberly Michelle (David), and a host of other family and friends, near and far.
Special Fund - In Memory of Ventris Ingram
In memory of Ventris Ingram, father of Kymi Ingram, co-workers of Kymi at King County have created a special fund to collect donations to the Cleveland High School Alumni Association.
We wanted to share this amazing message from Jonathan Hughes – Athletic Director / Education of CHS!
What a great week of celebration for the class of 2020! And there is more! SPS Athletics funded the creation of a video to highlight our seniors and their athletic participation. We did the best we could trying to track down photos, videos, and names of student-athletes (some hadn’t yet officially registered for spring sports and spring only had a week of practice, no events). Ms. Scribs and ENN were instrumental in providing many of the photos. The owner of the production company that made all the films for each high school is a Cleveland High grad class of 2000, Carlos Imani. You can check that out here:
Updates regarding fall athletics and summer practices will be coming soon. We are expecting to hear from the Governor and the Health Department regarding WIAA return to play guidelines. Hoping that information comes within the next several days. Of course, tomorrow is the big announcement from SPS about what school will look in the fall. Feeling nervous.
Athletic Director / Educator
Cleveland STEM High School
CHS Alumni board members, John R Barton, Alison Sing, and Bernie Moskowitz offer thoughts and music for this year’s Memorial Day, since we are not able to hold the annual ceremony in the CHS Memorial Forest. Photo credit: Suzi Wong Swint @conwaysuz
A place of honor in our hearts and minds.
“Memorial Day is a day to honor our fallen heroes who lost their lives while serving our country in the United States armed forces. They sacrificed so our country could survive in a world often filled with strife, conflict, and turmoil. We, the citizens of this country, owe them our gratitude, respect, and a place of honor in our hearts and minds. Our fallen heroes lost everything, including their opportunity for marriage, family, career, and the pursuit of happiness – the things we take for granted.
This Memorial Day is different because of the Coronavirus lockdown.
Normally, we would have a ceremony at the Cleveland Memorial Forest with students, alumni, and staff from our high school. Our ceremony would include an honor guard from Camp Murray, Bernie Moskowitz would play taps, and an American flag would be folded by students and presented to a family member of a fallen hero.
In place of our normal ceremony, we’ve put together a special video, as an opportunity for all of us to give pause and honor our special CHS fallen heroes.
We hope you’ll watch, remember, share with others, and may God Bless America.”
John Barton, Class of ’54 Vice President CHS Alumni Association
Remembering their unselfish sacrifice.
“As I wake up each day to face the challenges of current COVID-19 pandemic; I am thankful to all those men and women who wore our nation’s uniform and gave their ultimate sacrifice so that I can wake up each day to smell the roses, see the sunlight, and breathe the air. Their unselfish sacrifice without even knowing what challenges would face those they left behind engenders the best in all Americans who did not hesitate when their nation called for help. I am deeply proud of all the men and women, individuals who represent all nationalities and beliefs; that the freedoms enjoyed by all Americans must at times come with sacrifice. A sacrifice that those of us who wore the nation’s uniform was willing to give.
Let us honor them who have passed with the dignity that they have earned on our behalf so that we are here today among our families and friends. Let us not forget their families who lost their loved one on Memorial Day. For me, their sacrifice shall never be forgotten.
Although we may not gather to celebrate this special day with parades and fireworks, this is a small sacrifice we must endure. So, take a quiet moment in your home just say, “thank you” for your sacrifice, we shall never forget.”
Plans for our 60th Reunion on August 22, 2020, at the Seattle Yacht Club were coming along very well. You might remember the “Save The Date” announcement sent out in January 2020? To hold the Reunion on that date, the State would have to be well into Phase 4 of the timeline set by the Governor allowing gatherings larger than 50 people. Implementation of Phase 4 by August is now tentative, at best.
Based on the Reunion Committee’s concern for the well-being of all of our class members and to make a reasonable and conservative decision given the unpredictability of the COVIS-19 pandemic, the Committee, by email, has reached an agreement to put our 60th Reunion on hold. As things improve and as soon as the Reunion Committee can meet again in person, it has been suggested we consider planning a combination 60th Reunion\80th Birthday Party sometime in the first half of 2021.
Our Reunions and group Birthday parties have been great fun on their own. A combined get-together as the Wrigley’s gum ads of the 1950s and 1960s put it, we’ll have “DOUBLE THE FUN”.
We hope all is well with you and yours. The CHS 65 team has held a couple of zoom virtual meetings to discuss our 55th reunion in September 2020. We’re not just boomers now, we’re zoomers, too! We decided that because of the coronavirus problems, our age, and the probability that some of us have underlying medical conditions, it is best to postpone our reunion to next year.
So, we talked to the Southcenter Bahama Breeze and they were kind enough to reschedule us for Monday, September 13, 2021, for our 56th reunion celebration. We’re also thankful the CHS Alumni Association is advertising it for us. FYI, in early February 2020, there were 75 classmates who said they’d come before the virus hit. So, we were expecting between 75 and 100 classmates.
Therefore, we look forward to seeing many of you next year – at the same time (4-9 PM), the same venue (no cost), same place (Bahama Breeze). We are hopeful that by next year this will pass, and we will be ready for fun, food & drinks (if you want to purchase some) and, of course, friends. The CHS 65 team will begin meeting (hopefully face to face) later this year to plan a great time for you.
We’re working on special plans for special people – you. Feel free to contact any of us if you have questions and we’ll see you next year. May God bless you all – you’re the best!
Your reunion committee met in March and unanimously agreed, out of an abundance of caution, due to COVID-19/coronavirus health pandemic to postpone our 40th Class Reunion to Saturday, August 14, 2021. Please add that date to your calendar. Yes, it’ll be one year later but we hope to see everyone from the Cleveland Eagles Class of 1980!
In the meantime, we have been inspired to host a VIRTUAL Reunion on Saturday, June 6, 2020 from 1:00 PM until 2:30 PM (PST) which will be 40 years to the day of when we graduated from Cleveland High School!
You are cordially invited to attend our virtual celebration. We have some exciting surprises planned for our virtual reunion. Please wear your RED & WHITE to show your MIGHTY EAGLES PRIDE and gather online to toast (Prune Juice, LOL! or your beverage of choice) our last 40 years, reminisce about the “GOOD TIMES” that we shared TOGETHER and to remember our Beloved 1980 “Fallen Eagles”.
Please RSVP by sending an e-mail to CHS80FuzzyEagle@gmail.com to confirm your attendance for the FUN event!!! Please include your full name, including your maiden name, if applicable. In return, you will receive the virtual meeting information.
We have been busy through February, March, and April requesting letters of support from alumni and patriotic organizations to help ensure the longevity of the CHS Memorial Forest. As explained in recent publications, our basic objective is to have Seattle Public School (SPS) sell the development rights of the Memorial Forest to the King County Parks Department (KCPD). Under this plan, SPS would retain ownership of the property but the forest would become a part of the King County forest conservation program, and could not be developed by SPS or any future owner.
We sent requests to over 100 patriotic organizations asking for their support and we received a good response. The most significant responses were from:
We started a letter drive in mid-February to solicit letters of support from alumni, individuals and patriotic organizations to back our plan to have Seattle Public Schools (SPS) sell the development rights of the CHS Memorial Forest to the King County Parks Department (KCPD) –– the details of this plan have been documented several times in past newsletters, and you may read them on the CHSAA website (www.clevelandalumsea.org). These letters of support are addressed to the Seattle School Board but mailed to CHSAA so we can hand-deliver them en masse at a time that provides maximum impact for protecting the CHS Memorial Forest. The following reflects our results to date.
The American Legion provided a great response, with letters of support from four posts in King County, one from the Gig Harbor area, and another from California. We didn’t solicit money in our drive, but Bellevue Post #239 sent us a check to help pay for our mailing expenses.
The American Legion has two million members nationwide, with 21,000 in Washington State and 6,000 in King County. All of the American Legion posts that we solicited sent a letter of support.
KIRKLAND POST #99
KENT-MERIDIAN POST #685
KENT POST #15
BELLEVUE POST #239
PENINSULA POST #236
PRUNEDALE, CA POST #593
Similarly, we received a great response from the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The VFW has 475,000 members across the nation, with 24,000 in Washington State, and 7,000 in King County. We only had the address of two posts, but they responded favorably with letters of support:
Renton Post #1263
Kent-Meridian Post #6785
According to Commander Craig Dougherty of the VFW, there are 550,000 military veterans in Washington State. It is hard to imagine a single one of them not being in favor of supporting the CHS Memorial Forest. More than 160,000 of those veterans (30%) live in King County.
The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) sent in a letter of support. The DAR has 180,000 members, with 2,360 in Washington State and 600 members in King County. The president of their Bellevue chapter, Lanabeth Horgen, is enthusiastic about the memorial forest and wants to participate in our next annual ceremony.
The Marine Corps Leagueprovided a letter of support for the CHS Memorial Forest. They represent 65,000 members overall, with 600 in Washington State and 43 in King County.
Download a letter of support, sign, and mail it to the address on the form. We will mail it with all the other letters we receive at a time that provides maximum impact for protecting our Memorial Forest.
We hope you and your families are healthy in mind, body, and spirit.
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it for all Americans, and the Cleveland community has pulled together in many ways to support our students, staff, and families. I would publicly like to thank the Alumni, PTSA, and staff for providing financial assistance, meals, and social/emotional support for our families during this time of need.
We are saddened to share the news that Lois Brewer, a grant-writer and service-learning coordinator at Cleveland from 2008 to 2018, has passed away. Lois made many contributions to Cleveland and some highlights include: the multi-year service-learning grant she wrote, which funded some of our early Project Based Learning; the STEM Summer Learning Opportunities grants, which allowed interested students to pursue real-world STEM work; she actively participated in the first professional learning our staff did on restorative justice and supported that work overtime; she made important contributions to the City of Seattle Levy Grant that is in its final year; she wrote the Race To The Top grant that funded job-shadow and internship opportunities for our juniors. Lois also served on many committees and task forces for the district and the larger community. She devoted much of her life to the improvement of schools and school systems and was a beloved wife, mother, and grandmother. Here is a link to more information, as well as an opportunity for you to leave a memorial message. We will remember her impact on the Cleveland community, and we send support to the family members who are grieving her loss. The link is
On March 11, 2020, the Superintendent closed all Seattle Public Schools until further notice. On April 6, 2020, Governor Inslee made an emergency proclamation extending the closure through the end of the school year. Our staff went right to work planning ways to ensure Cleveland students were able to continue their education through virtual platforms. The Cleveland team worked with the Central Office to roll-out a detailed plan of continuous learning for all students during this closure. Teachers and support staff have been reaching out to students twice a week through e-mails, conducting online meetings, and placing individual family phone calls. Cleveland teachers have created virtual classrooms to continue student learning as well as a weekly class schedule. They set up teacher’s office hours for extra student support and developed many learning activities, assignments, and projects. Advisory teachers connected with families to determine who may need help in getting laptops and Internet access to students. I am proud of our staff. This has been a heavy lift, and everyone carried the weight.
Moving forward, our primary goal is to ensure that our Seniors of 2020 successfully make it to the graduation finish line and that we send them off in the right way. We also want to ensure that our 9th-11th graders receive a quality learning experience during this period. This is new territory for all of us, but Eagles soar above the storm when challenging times arise.
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!