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LHS Alumni Association Honoring Teacher Leonard Shipley at Spring Social This Wednesday

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

Lassen High instructor Leonard Shipley from a LHS yearbook

Leonard Shipley, a Lassen High School instructor for more than eleven years, will be honored Wednesday evening at the Lassen High Alumni Association’s Spring Social Potluck.

Jim Chapman, who will be presenting Shipley with his ‘Honorary Membership’ in the association at Wednesday’s event, provided some interesting information about the teacher who Chapman says, “made a huge impact on me back in the day.”

Shipley, according to Chapman, was born and raised in Pasadena, California where he graduated from high school, afterward attending Pasadena Nazarene College.

He played college basketball his first year at Pasadena Nazarene then joined the U.S. Navy and spent two years on the USS Bennington. Once he completed his Navy commitment Shipley returned to earn his degree from Nazarene University.

After graduating from college he began teaching at the grade school level in southern California. It was during a summer vacation trip to Reno to visit his aunt, uncle and a cousin that he learned about Susanville and Eagle Lake. He came up to go camping and fell in love with Susanville.

He taught for 11 years at Lassen High School, starting with the 1967-68 school year.

“During his time at Lassen High School,” said Chapman. “Mr. Shipley not only taught English, was also the freshman football and basketball coach until his departure in 1979. During his 48-years at the freshman level, in the various schools he has worked before retiring in 2014-2015, his teams posted an impressive record of 545 wins.”

Shipley was a track coach for one year and was the yearbook advisor for 9 years. He served as the Class Advisor for the Class of 1972, the Director of Student Activities and also as the Summer School Principal during his tenure at Lassen.

“His departure from Lassen only came about because of his desire to pursue an expanded career in school administration,” explains Chapman.

From Lassen High Shipley went to Big Bear Lake, California where he served several schools in an administrative capacity.

Then the opportunity came open to be the Superintendent/Principal for Herlong Elementary School District. It was his intention only to remain for two years and then move to a larger district but, according to Shipley, “the people at that end of the county decided they wanted to unify Herlong High School, Herlong Elementary School and Long Valley School District and become a new district which would become the Fort Sage Unified School District.”

Shipley decided to stay and apply and he became the first superintendent of the new district, serving for 12 years.

“One bit of history that most people don’t know, but Mr. Shipley shared, that I found to be quite interesting,” says Chapman.

“At the time that he returned to Herlong the Cold War was winding down under the Reagan years and the Army depot was chosen to dismantle nuclear weapons at the base due to an agreement with the old USSR to reduce such weapons. The USSR did not have a place to dismantle their weapons, so their weapons came to Herlong and were dismantled along with those of the US.”

The significance of this was that the Army placed 650 soldiers to protect the area. The MP’s were career soldiers, who were married and had families with school age children who attended the Fort Sage schools.

“Every generation is blessed to have teachers and mentors to inspire them to achieve great things. Lassen High School was very fortunate in the mid-to-late-1960s and 1970s to have Leonard Shipley as one of those inspiring teachers to motivate a generation of local graduates from Lassen High School.”

The Lassen High Alumni Association will be honoring Leonard Shipley at their 2018 Spring Social Potluck this Wednesday, March 14th, at the Lassen Senior Center, 1700 Sunkist Drive, beginning at 5:30p.m.

The general public and local alumni are invited to attend, especially those who attended Lassen High from 1967 to 1979, to share their memories and good times with this distinguished teacher, coach and mentor.

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3 Responses to LHS Alumni Association Honoring Teacher Leonard Shipley at Spring Social This Wednesday

  1. Ron Sanchez

    Ron Sanchez

    Tuesday, March 13th, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    Mr. Shipley is just such a solid guy and a great educator. Well deserved.

  2. Sandra Mills

    Sandra Mills

    Tuesday, March 13th, 2018 at 9:48 am

    An excellent teacher! His speed reading methods came in so handy for me in various jobs! Very worthy man!

  3. Robin Emerson McCrea

    Robin Emerson McCrea

    Tuesday, March 13th, 2018 at 8:54 am

    Congratulations Mr. Shipley – one of my favorites from many years ago!!!

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