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The Alumni Committee of the Springfield Education Foundation is excited and honored to offer the ninth annual Alumni Awards!



These awards give us an opportunity to recognize graduates who have gone on to make a difference in their professions and communities. Awards will be presented at the 2022 Honor Roll Society Reception on March 10th, 2022.


  • Outstanding Alumni Award: Given in recognition of alumni for significant contributions in professional practice, personal achievement or community service.
  • Rising Alumni Award: Given in recognition of alumni who graduated in the last 10 years. These graduates have demonstrated significant potential, through professional accomplishments, academic honors, personal achievement and/or community involvement.
  • Distinguished Educator: Recognizes educators who have graduated from Springfield Public Schools and returned to make a lasting impact in the lives of our students.
  • Legacy Family: Recognizes a Springfield family that has made a multi-generational impact on education in our community.
  • SEF Advocate of the Year: Given in recognition of an individual, family, or organization that has championed the mission of the Springfield Education Foundation, and made a lasting impact on Springfield students.


Graduates from Academy of Arts and Academics, Gateways High School, Springfield High School, Thurston High School and Willamette Leadership Academy are eligible for these awards.

Nomination Process

Nominations are due by February 1, 2022.

Instructions are on the forms. Nominations can be submitted in writing or electronically.

Download the PDF nomination form:

2021-22 SEF Alumni Awards Nomination or click here to fill in an online form.

For more information, contact Christina San Filippo, Executive Director, at 541-726-3243 or Christina@SpringfieldEducationFoundation.org.

Alumni Award Winners 2021

SEF Advocate of the Year

Brenda Hansen


Brenda Hansen served on the SEF Board for five years and is a Past Board Chair. She has been an active volunteer with Springfield for many years, spending a substantial amount of time in local schools supporting staff. Brenda is the owner/agent of Hansen Insurance Agency, representing Horace Mann Insurance. She also serves on the board of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce and volunteers on the Education Committee.


Brenda’s family moved to Springfield in 1977 and she and her husband Dale and son moved back to Springfield in 2001. She graduated from Thurston High School in 1986, and her son graduated from THS in 2017. When she isn’t working or volunteering, you can find her gardening, cooking, baking, and crafting. She and her family enjoy our great outdoors by whitewater rafting, camping and riding motorcycles.

Legacy Family

The Paine Family

Legacy Family 21

Stan and Cathy Paine were both long-time administrators in the Springfield School District.

Stan served as principal of three schools (Maple, Centennial and Ridgeview) with a focus on increasing student achievement and developing positive school cultures. In 1997, he was named Oregon Elementary School Principal of the Year and a National Distinguished Principal.


Cathy served as a school psychologist and special education coordinator in Springfield; is a local and national leader in school safety and crisis response. She has proudly represented the work of Springfield for a Congressional committee and a White House Conference on School Safety. Cathy continues her work in training and consultation on matters related to school safety through the National Association of School Psychologists.


Stan and Cathy started the SEF’s Social-Emotional Learning Fund with an initial gift in 2017. The focus of this fund represents their common interest and passion in children’s positive social development, physical safety and emotional well-being in school settings. In December 2020, thanks to their contributions and generous gifts from many SEF donors, the fund met its initial goal of $25,000. It has now become a perpetual fund within the Springfield Education Foundation, providing annual grants to schools to promote positive social development among students.


Today, two of their grandsons attend Centennial Elementary

School, representing the third generation of family involvement

in Springfield schools. Stan and Cathy continue to serve as

school volunteers or mentors when opportunities arise.

Distinguished Educator

Rachael Overall

Distinguished Educator 21

Rachael Overall grew up in Springfield and attended Maple and Ridgeview Elementary, Thurston Middle and Thurston High School (Class of ‘00). She was very active in Health Occupations classes and extracurricular activities. She ran the yearly Make-A-Wish

fundraiser for three years, and became a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) her sophomore year in high school.



Rachael went to George Fox University and graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work. After moving back to Springfield, she was hired as an Educational Assistant at Douglas Gardens Elementary and worked in Title I, Reading and Special Ed. A teacher who Rachael worked with told her, “You need to go into teaching. You’ve got it!”



She then enrolled in George Fox’s teaching program, and graduated one year later with a Master of Arts in Teaching in 2007. Rachael feels so lucky to have come back to her home school of Douglas Gardens for the last 14 years to teach second grade.

Outstanding Alumni

Rich Hickman

Outstanding Alumni

Rich Hickman has been the proud owner of Prime Time Sports Bar and Grill, Lane County’s premier sports bar for the past 25 years. In that time he has dedicated himself and his company to supporting the local community. Rich is always willing to help where help is needed and

particularly enjoys donating to all our local schools and local organizations here in the Springfield and Eugene area. When talking to Rich, it is very clear how important our community is to him, and how dedicated he is to serving it. GO DUCKS!

Rising Alumni

Marshall Curry

Rising Alumni 21

Marshall Curry joined EPIC-N in September 2017. He manages day-to-day operations, provides support to member programs, board members, and lives in his hometown of Springfield. He received a MPA and MS in Educational Leadership from the University of Oregon in 2018 and received his BA in Sociology from Willamette University in 2013. During graduate school he worked for the Sustainable Cities Institute and Inflexion, managing programs and assisting executives addressing different aspects of career readiness in higher education and public schools respectively.


Prior to graduate school, he managed workforce development programs and volunteer operations at Marion Polk Food Share. His experience supporting nonprofit associations includes: serving on the Ford Scholar Alumni Association (2013-2018) board of directors as Vice President and Member-at-Large, preparing a diversity and inclusion report for the American Society of Association Executives, and volunteering with the alumni association for his alma mater.

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