Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Mindy Butler

Hi Everyone!
I love that its only been ten years since we've graduated! Am I the only one who feels like its been even longer?
After high school I went to Boise State University. I loved it~ In addition to working full time, undergrad was filled with hot springing in the mountains, late nights and early mornings studying philosophy, history, religion, art, and weekends at poetry readings and writers circles (I was convinced for a short while that I was meant to be a writer after receiving a few scholarships for it). My interest in political activism grew and I was heavily involved Boise's various feminist circles. I acted in and then produced "The Vagina Monologues", and coordinated "Take back the Night" and "Clothesline Project" amongst other projects for BSU's Women's Center. I also volunteered regularly lobbying the Idaho Congress and Senate with the Idaho Women's Network for various legislation, and as a rape crisis advocate for the Women and Children's Crisis Alliance. I received my bachelors in Political Science with emphasis in Public Law and Political Theory and got my minor in Women's Studies.

I was then accepted to Milano the New School for Urban Policy Analysis and Management, which meant I got to move to Brooklyn and go to school in Manhattan. Grad school was full of hot debates over social and economic policy, late nights drafting policy proposals and crunching numbers, reading up on best practices and studying non profit management. I was the TA for our statistics courses, and was pleased to find I really have a head for numbers. Grad school was a period of time for soul searching how my career and my life should exemplify my values while defining and redefining what those exactly were (I'm still doing a bit of that and hope to for the rest of my life- A life unexamined isn't worth living). I truly loved every second of it. Occasionally I got out into the city too ~ NYC is amazing, and though I've lived here 4 years I'm still discovering new neighborhoods, restaurants, bars, galleries, and shoppes. I really love living here.

Now, after grad school, I still live in Brooklyn (just in a better apartment!) with my partner of the last 6 years, Aaron, and our cat. I work in social policy, currently for NYC's largest non profit working with the homeless, Project Renewal, where I do program evaluation and statistics. I am conducting a longitudinal study on chronically homeless substance abusers and their willingness to change their substance abuse habits. It's exciting work since its the first time anyone has done this type of research. I also do freelance consulting for various other non profits and have experienced working in interesting policy arenas like bilingual education in inner city schools, economic and environmental revitalization of national parks, batter intervention programs, and disconnected youth.

I'm just starting to travel. While at Milano, I studied international non-governmental organizations in Mexico city. After graduation I celebrated graduation with a trip to a yoga ashram in the Bahamas. Aaron and I just got back from a month traveling around India, and I'm already planning a trip this fall to run an international half marathon. Any suggestions on where to go?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Kara Ann Tanner 1980-2008

Kara Ann Tanner, 27, was born May 2, 1980, in Rexburg, Idaho, to Karen Jean Passey and David Owen Tanner. Kara passed away peacefully at her home on January 26, 2008. Kara attended high school at Austin High School in Decatur, Ala. She graduated in 1998 from Rigby High School in Rigby, Idaho. She moved back to Decatur and lived there until 2006, when she moved back to Idaho Falls. She was employed at Chili's Restaurant and had many friends there.

Kara was preceded in death by her beloved grandparents, Wallace and Laura Passey of Ucon, Idaho. She is loved and will be missed by her mother, Karen Passey Steele of Idaho Falls; step-dad, Patrick Steele of Decatur, Ala., her father, David Tanner and his wife, Tammie, of Longmont, Colo.; her sister and best friend, Jill, and brothers, Weston, Brian, Brad and Sean; and grandparents, Owen and Bonnie Tanner of Washington, Utah. Numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends will also miss her dearly.

Kara was loving and generous and was loved by many, especially her family. She was a wonderful big sister and always took care of her younger sister and brothers. She was a true friend, and many are lucky to have called her their friend. She brought happiness to many in her short time on this earth.

There are no words to describe our sorrow. Our loss is immense and she will be mourned for the rest of our lives.

Kara: For your strength of character and perseverance, resilience and joie de vivre, I admire you; because you are my daughter, I love you. Mom.

Funeral services will be at noon Thursday, Jan. 31, at the LDS Church at the corner of 9th and South Boulevard in Idaho Falls. The family will visit with friends from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Coltrin Mortuary, 2100 First St. in Idaho Falls, and for one hour Thursday before services at the church. Condolences may be sent to the family online at

This was the obituary taken from

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Justin Taylor

After high school, I served an LDS mission to Cleveland, Ohio. Then came home and attended BYU-I for a year. I lived with several of my buddies from high school and we had a lot of fun. Meanwhile, I continued dating Natalie Price off and on and after being home for a year, we finally got married May 24, 2002. After getting married, we lived in Idaho for the summer and then moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, where we lived for 3 years. I attended the University of Utah and also worked for an accounting firm. After graduating from the U in August 2004,with a degree in Accounting, I began working as an Accountant for another firm in Salt Lake. In the meantime, I began preparing for the GMAT and applying to graduate schools. In September 2005, we moved to North Ogden, UT where I attended grad school at Weber State University. I received a Masters in Accountancy in August 2006, while simultaneously preparing to sit for the CPA exam. In November 2006, after successfully becoming a CPA, we moved back to Idaho, where I was offered a position with Rudd & Co. in Rexburg. We just built a home in Rexburg and have been in it for nearly 4 months. We have two great kids; a boy, Jace- age 3 and a baby girl, Rylee- 9 months. Life has been good to us and we couldn’t ask for more. We look forward to seeing all of you at the reunion. We’ve penciled it in.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Jessica Page Haddox

Wow! It's been so great to read about all of you and where you are now. It's wonderful to hear that everyone is doing so well since I last saw you! As for me, after school, I worked at Chesbro Music Co. where I saved up money and tried to decide if I wanted to go to college. A few dates with an intriguing music major attending Ricks College convinced me that I did. Although it probably wasn't the best reason to decide to go to college, it was still the right choice in the end. I was given so many wonderful opportunities that first year, including being the student director of the Women's Choir, a teacher's aide, and a music theory tutor. Tutoring was something that was shoved at me. I thought I would hate it, but after only a few days, I came to love it so much that I decided that what I really wanted was to be a music teacher. Later semesters brought me the opportunities of providing vocal coaching to drama students, a summer internship with the head of choral studies, and substitute teaching first year theory classes. I worked hard and was eventually admitted to the Collegiate Singers, Ricks College's most elite choir, where I was a section and quartet leader.

Sometime during my third or fourth semester, my old high school friend Jolicka Miskin told me of a "buddy dance" where her roommate had set her up with a music major -- a french horn player who she described as looking like Sylvester Stallone. I had a vague picture of a french horn player named Mike Haddox who sat in the back of my theory class, but I didn't know him too well. I was far too distracted by the two handsome vocal majors who saved me a seat between them every day. However, I made the effort to become friends with him, and we eventually married in the Salt Lake temple in May of 2000. There must be something about us Rigby girls. He dated 3 others before me. Health issues springing from multiple miscarriages caused my grades to fail, and I was placed on academic suspension. I regret that I never returned to school. I hope that someday I can.

I am now a stay at home mom for my two incredible children, Hyrum Michael who was born in November 2003, and Emily Lisa who came to us in December 2006. I never could have imagined how wonderful it would be to be a parent! Mike works for a company that sells commercial playground equipment to schools and parks. We currently live in Nampa, but miss our old home in Ammon. We hope to move back to East Idaho someday.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Heather Hunting

Wow, ten years ago I was getting ready to graduate... has it really been that long?? It sure doesn't seem like it!!

After high school I attended the University of Idaho in Idaho Falls, earning a BS in Computer Science in 2003. The next semester I started work on a Master's, also in Computer Science. I've finished all the necessary classes, now I'm just staring at the most menacing part: the thesis. Scary! Well, ok, the first topic wasn't so scary; but it didn't work out. Neither did the second. Nor the third. So NOW it's scary! =) Some day I'll finish it, though. Some day.

Along the way, I've had a handful of interesting jobs. I worked as a tutor in ISU's Math Lab, and got some good jokes out of it when people misheard the "a" in Math for an "e" instead. =) I also got to test my teaching skills for U of I, on their beginning programming and Visual Basic classes. At the same time I ended up interning at Idaho National Lab for several years, which was a good experience but also showed me I don't necessarily want to work for the government. There's so much to do before you can even do what you want to do! Currently, I'm working for a youngish startup company based in Idaho Falls. To make it simple: we provide mortgage documents for loan companies. Part of my time is spent creating and verifying documents to use with our system, and part of it is spent programming an interface for inputting loan data. It's a completely different world than INL, one to which I'm much better suited. So, that's where I am - living and working in Idaho Falls.

Though... I make regular trips to Rigby for bambinos. =) It amazes me how many people who live so close have never heard of them - do you realize how much of the population of Idaho Falls thinks a bambino is a small child??? It is a ridiculous wrong that I am striving fervently to correct! Every person I've introduced to Rigby's Bambinos is now just as fond of them as I am. Maybe in another ten years I'll have converted everybody in southeast Idaho? Hhmm, what was our motto, "Reach for the sun..." Haha!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Adam Jacobson

Time flies... After graduation I went to ISU for the year and then a mission to North Carolina. I was glad to serve, but glad to get out of the humidity when it was time. I got home in June of 2001 and Meranda and I were married in the Idaho Falls temple in December of that year. We both continued towards degrees at ISU. It is amazing the way things work. I applied to the Radiographic Sciences program in 2003. I was the 1st alternate up till three day before class. We got the call that we needed to go talk to the department head. When we met with him he said, "I have good news and bad news. The good news is we have a spot, the bad new is it is in Rexburg." We thought hard about it for a few hours knowing that this is a one time chance. We took it not knowing how great it would be. I commuted the first year from Pocatello for my clinicals and did classes in Poky. Meranda graduated in Family and Consumer Sciences in August of 2004. We moved to Rigby where Cannon came to join us that same month. I had one more year in my Radiographic Sciences degree. So I turned around and commuted to Poky and did clinicals in Rexburg. I started working part time at Madison Memorial. I graduated in May of 2005, we bought a house, I started full time at the hospital. I have been doing x-rays and nuclear medicine at the hospital ever since. Ainsli came in August of 2006. It is fun to be a parent, good thing, we have another boy due in late March. We love living in Rigby in close proximity to both of our parents and spend lots of time with family. Meranda is a stay at home mom and works harder than I do any day of the week. It is good to see every ones' pictures and catch up.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Justin Martin and Carlie Hansen

After all these years...who would have thought the quiet yearbook girl and the shy choir boy would have ever ended up together! I think when the quote "opposites attract" was said, it was made just for us. So... right after graduation Justin attended Ricks and then served a mission to Mississippi where he was first introduced to eating squirrel. He says it tasted like chicken, but I want to know how everything out there can all taste like chicken? Then of course, the, work, dating, etc. etc. Same old boring life...(that is until I came around of course!). As for myself, I graduated from Ricks College and then attended ISU for a year until I served a mission in Nova Scotia. That is where I got to try whale blubber, head cheese and blood pudding...and no, none of them tasted like chicken! Our missions were both wonderful experiences that taught us so much and became the spring board for the rest of our lives. So... 3 years ago Justin and I ran into each other in the Walmart parking lot. We were both going opposite directions, both engaged to other people, both with completely different life plans in mind. But, obviously they weren't the right plans because a few months later we ran into each other again and we were both unexpectedly single! Imagine that! So, long story short, here we are, happily married, and with the most perfect little boy. We bought our first home here in Idaho Falls on the numbered streets last summer. And can you believe Justin actually built a fence around the yard all by himself! (I bet all you thought his hands could do were play the piano, eh?) And then Mason was born in October of 2007 and our lives haven't been the same since! I was able to stay at home with Mason while Justin works at Mountainview Hospital and is attending ISU to become...surprise surprise...a music teacher! It's funny how life turns out. Here I sit, in our adorable little home with a beautiful baby boy in my arms, waiting for my husband, the terribly shy and once somewhat awkward Justin to come home. Oh so unexpected, but yet so perfect! We cant wait to see everyone at the reunion this summer.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

John Fenstermaker

Wow! We’re all getting so old! Is anyone else bothered by the fact that within another year or two we will be turning 30? I’m really not sure that I’m ready for that (especially since I’ll still be in school). But, it is great to see how well everyone is doing!

After graduating from high school, I went on a mission to Amsterdam, Netherlands. Holland is a funny little country that is about a quarter of the size of Idaho, dotted with windmills, cows, cheese, and about 16 million people. After returning, I started dating Kristine Golder (Rigby Class of 2000). We dated for a while, and were married in February of 2002 in Idaho Falls. We lived in both Shelley and Blackfoot while I went to school. Finally, I graduated from Idaho State in the spring of 2006 with a degree in Zoology…which by itself, I might add, is a pretty useless degree. Since then, we have moved to Des Moines, Iowa, where I am currently in my second year of medical school. Thanks to my incredibly supportive wife, I’ve been making it through school without too many problems. This summer, we will be relocating to Ohio, where I will start clinical rotations for my 3rd and 4th years of school.

Along the way, of course, we’ve had three great children…all girls! Makayla will be 5 this spring, Olyvia recently turned 3, and Addisyn was just born in October. I love all my girls, but as you can imagine, there’s a lot of drama in the house.

I wish everybody the best, and I look forward to seeing all of you this summer.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Jenifer Tomchak

Wow, so much has happened in the last ten years! It's fun to see what everyone is doing. As for me . . . after high school, I went to Utah State. While I was there, I spent a summer studying in Spain and another semester working for Senator Crapo in D.C. After I graduated, I celebrated by spending a summer in Western Europe. I was addicted! Since high school, I have traveled to twenty-one countries, and I'm constantly planning my next trip ( After undergrad, I did what (nearly) every Political Science major does: go to law school (University of Utah). During the course of law school, I spent a summer studying in Costa Rica; decided to get an M.B.A. too; and, most importantly, met the love of my life (Rod). Rod and I became friends during our first semester of law school and, after two years of skiing, biking, and entertaining together, we started dating seriously. After law school ended, Rod had the opportunity to go to D.C. to be part of the Department of Interiors Honor's Program. I had an offer to clerk with Justice Durrant of the Utah Supreme Court and had just bought a house in Salt Lake. We decided to do the long distance thing. During one of my visits to D.C., a friend from Senator Crapo's office asked me to represent Idaho in the National Cherry Blossom Festival ( It was a great opportunity. I got to meet the First Lady, other national figures, and several foreign dignitaries. After my clerkship ended, I decided to postpone "the real world" a little longer, and spend three months traveling in South America. I started out by myself, but met so many great friends along the way. I'm currently a fourth-year associate at Parr Waddoups Brown Gee & Loveless ( My practice ( focuses on employment litigation, but I also do general corporate litigation. I'll be up for partner next March. I love being a litigator and the people I work with. When I'm not at work, Rod and I and get in as much skiing, climbing, and biking as we can. Right now we are spending a lot of time planning our wedding in July (

Friday, January 11, 2008

Melody Kamoe Rice

After graduation I went to Ricks for 1 1/2 years where I met my husband Matt. We knew each other as friends for about 1 year before we even started dating. Then we dated for another year. While we were dating, he transferred his schooling to BYU-provo. That made it of us was always driving back to see the other on the weekends! We were finally married in August of 2000. We lived down in provo where he finished up his major in Industrial Design and I worked. We had our first child in 2001, a girl - Hailey Napualokelani Rice. So that is when I became an official "stay-at-home-mom". I love(d) it! 3 years later we had another beautiful little girl - Leah Maileleilani Rice. That year my husband also graduated from BYU. We then moved to Kansas where he got his first job designing fans and heaters. (Vornado is an awesome company and their products are VERY good! There's my "plug"). Kansas was a culture shock! Despite my efforts to hate that place, I soon began to love it! We lived there almost 4 years, then in 2007 we decided to make the big career decision and moved our family to Kent, Washington. We've lived in Washington now for almost a year. Throughout the last 10 years I have still been trying to find the time to finish my college degree. Kids, family, and church have become my priorities so my schooling has gotten put on the back burner. So for yet another year I find myself enrolled in online classes or taking late night courses! Ugghhhhh......will this ever end?! I can't believe time has gone by that fast! Guess I better hurry and get my education done before my own kids beat me......... . Good luck to all of you in the future. I'm not sure if I'll be able to make the big class reunion, but I love to look at the blog and see the updates from all of you! It's funny how everyone looks the same and yet, so different!
Melody (Kamoe) Rice
PS. If you want to check out my blog you can go to or you can find me on Facebook as well.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Who was your most influential teacher?

Who was your most influential teacher and why?

Just post your answer under the comment section of this post.

Sandra VanderBeek Rowe

I started college 10 days after high school graduation: a chemistry class that I breezed through thanks to Mr. Schell's class! I got my Associates' in 2000 at Ricks College, then went to Utah State for a semester while Ricks became BYU-Idaho. I returned to BYU-I, going to school on and off while I tried to pay my way. During some off-semesters while I was looking for a job, I went back to good ol' Rigby HS as a substitute teacher. It was really weird to sit in the teachers' lounge and call them by their first names! I went on a Spanish-speaking mission to Texas Houston South in 2003, and my sister Sarah Ring got married while I was gone. I met my husband over the Internet while I was doing a Human Resources internship in 2005. I graduated from BYU-I in December 2005 with a Bachelor's of Business Management, and then got married in February 2006. We are expecting our first child, a girl, this April. Can't wait to see you all in June!