2007 Graduate – Wendy Dea Osberg
In 1871 two squatters named James J. Downing and Seth Scranton built a small sawmill on a claim located near the south bank of the Spokane falls. James N. Glover and Jasper Matheney, two Oregonians who were passing through the region recognized the value of the Spokane River and its falls. In 1873 Glover purchased the sawmill and the claim from Downing. He later purchased some more property from Scranton on the north end of the falls. Glover eventually bought out his partner Matheney and opened Spokane’s first bank. Glover was considered the founding father of Spokane and later became one of its first mayors as well.
In the summer of 1889, a fire destroyed the city’s downtown commercial district. Due to technical problems with a pump station, there was no water pressure in the city when the fire started. When volunteer fire fighters attempted to quench the flames, they found their hoses were unusable. Eventually winds died down and the fire exhausted of its own accord. 27 blocks of Spokane’s downtown were destroyed.
Spokane hosted the environmentally themed Expo ’74, becoming the then-smallest city to ever host a World’s Fair. This event transformed Spokane’s downtown, removing a century of railroad industry that built the city and reinventing the urban core. Many of the structures built for the World’s Fair are still standing and in use today.
Also in use today is the intelligence and personal determination of one of Citizens’ High School graduates. Please meet Ms. Wendy Dea Osberg. Wendy became very disillusioned with the government run high school system in Washington. She found herself with very poor grades at the conclusion of her second in public high school. She felt the reason for the poor grades was the school’s lack of willingness to offer her the extra help she needed to understand the material. Wendy discovered quickly that group paced instruction is just that, group paced! She fell behind the group and could not find anyone to help her catch up. Wendy discussed her options with her parents. They all knew it was time for a change. When the research on alternatives was done, Citizens’ High School was the clear choice for Wendy.
Wendy enrolled in Citizens’ High School program in September of 2005 still needing two academic years to earn a diploma. Wendy worked from her kitchen table and finished both academic years of courses in only seven months. This is not typical, but does illustrate what can happen determination meets opportunity. Wendy graduated in June of 2006 with a sizzling GPA of 3.4.
When Wendy graduated from Citizens’, she called everyone she knew. “I wanted everyone to know what I had done.” Wendy is now a much happier person with High School behind her. She is not a squatter, however. She is moving on. Wendy is now enrolled in another home study program to learn the business if child day care. Her hopes and dreams are to start her own day care center. We know she will succeed. And, she will succeed in less time that predicted.
Wendy Dea Osberg is Citizens’ High School
“Graduate of the Month” for June 2007.