Terrence (Terry) Burke - Class of 1955

Terrence's grammar school years were spent at St. Mary's
School, a two-story building, at the corner of 5th and Woodrow
Streets. While at Taft High he learned to apply himself to a
project/problem whether it was learning "Rule 1-W" or drawing
freehand to scale in Mechanical Drawing. After graduation, he
attended Taft College and graduated with an Associate of Arts
degree in 1957.

At this time he had to stop his schooling and get a job to earn
the funds required to finish college. He was fortunate to land a
full time job at Honolulu Oil Co. He stated that, "Having worked
with a wide range of individuals from engineers to those who
had not finished grammar school, I learned that you can learn
something from everyone no matter who it is, how much
education they have, or what their station in life is, and I have
carried that with me to this day." After one year working at
Honolulu Oil he entered his junior year at Long Beach State
College, now Long Beach State University. He graduated with a
Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology.

In 1961 he joined the Navy and was sent to Officer Candidate
School in Newport, Rhode Island. After attaining officer status
he was sent to U.S. Underwater Swim School in Key West,
Florida. He departed there as a U.S. Navy Diver qualified in
SCUBA air, mixed gasses, and as a full suit hard hat diver.
From there he went to U.S. Navy EOD school in Indian Head,
MD, where he learned to disarm explosive devices. The next
two years were spent on the USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63). After
reenlisting in the Navy for two more years, Terrence
volunteered for duty at U.S. Navy Headquarters Support
Activity, Saigon. In Saigon, Vietnam he set up the first
permanent EOD Team in the country. His U.S. Navy awards
consist of the Navy Commendation Medal (V), 2 Unit
Commendations, Vietnam Service Medal, and National Defense
Service Medal, to name a few.

He has worked at Atlantic Research Co. as a senior engineer
assigned as program manager. While working at Atlantic
Research, Terrence went to George Washington University and
graduated with a Master of Science in Business Administration
with a minor in Systems Management. He returned to
government work and has been Joint Service EOD(Explosive
Ordinance Disposal) Program Manager and Deputy Director of
the PMS-EOD responsible for the development of EOD
systems, equipment, and procedures. He has received The
Navy Superior Civilian Service Award and is now a
self-employed consultant working at Dynamic Systems Corp.

HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
2014
Robert Michael Greene - Class of 1951

At Taft High Robert lettered in swimming, diving,
and football, and was a member of California
Student Federation (CSF). He played the
trombone in the Taft High Band and Orchestra and
was twice selected to the All-County Orchestra.
Robert was an Eagle Scout. He graduated from
Taft High at the age of 16 and worked in the Taft
oilfields for a year until he was old enough to enter
the U.S. Naval Academy where he had received an
appointment. He graduated from the Naval
Academy with an Electrical Engineering degree
and was commissioned into the Air Force and sent
to fighter pilot training where he trained in the
T-34, T-28, T-33, F-86F, and F-100A. He was then
assigned to Etain, France as part of the F-100
Tactical Nuclear Strike Force. He was then
assigned to Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio and while
there he completed a Master's Degree in
Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. His next
tour of duty was at the Air Force Weapons
Laboratory at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico as a
project scientist.

In 1966 Robert was sent to Vietnam where he flew
the F-100 in 150 close support missions for
ground troupes. He then volunteered for a six
month assignment in a top secret unit flying 62
interdiction missions in the F-100 . Upon his
completion of duty in Vietnam he had been
awarded the Silver Star, 2 Distinguished Flying
Crosses, the Bronze Star as well as other
decorations. He then was sent to Norton AFB, CA,
where he was a design Engineer and Manager on
the highly successful FX/F-15. After an assignment
to Lakenheath, England as a Squadron
Commander, he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel.

After his service years, Robert worked in the
civilian Aerospace sector and earned an MBA from
Utah State University. He was selected to several
positions, such as Project Engineer, Chief
Engineer and Program Manager on the F-17
aircraft; the Tacit Rainbow Autonomous
Radar-seeking Missile; the MX/Peacekeeper
Missile Stage I propulsion and control systems;
and the Standard Missile 3 interceptor, to name a
few.
Jerry L. Hayes - Class of 1946

Jerry attended schools in Taft from Kindergarten through
high school. While at Taft High he was active in sports as a
member of the track and the football teams. He was
involved in music and student government and served as
Student Body President his senior year. Jerry joined
DeMolay and served as Master Counselor.

He attended Taft Junior College, completed his studies
there and moved on to UCLA where he received a BS
degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1950.

Jerry enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1950, and
graduated from Officers Candidate School in 1951. He
furthered his education while in the military receiving
additional degrees in Electronic Engineering. He also
received special education and training in nuclear
weapons electronics. This opened new doors in
professional work areas for Jerry. Upon completion of his
military obligation, he went on to work in the area of
Metrology, the study and analysis of measurement of
physical phenomena.

Over a period of nearly thirty years, from 1956 to 1983,
he worked, supervised, led and managed the U.S. Navy
Metrology Engineers Center in Pomona, California. He was
responsible for setting technical policies, standards and
defining applications for calibration of all test and
measurement equipment for all elements of the U.S. Navy
and Marine Corp. He was instrumental in the development
of the Polaris, Poseidon, and Trident Missiles.

He created his own consulting firm, Hayes Technology in
1983. During his consulting years he testified before the
U.S. House of Representatives on behalf of the National
Bureau of Standards on budget and technical proposals.
Victor "Vic" Killingsworth - Class of 1938

Victor "Vic" Killingsworth attended Conley School in
Taft until the third grade, moved to Ventura,
California, and then moved back to Taft in his
junior year of high school. He graduated from Taft
High in 1938. He attended Taft College, graduating
in 1940. From Taft College he attended the
University of California at Berkley and graduated
with a Bachelor of Arts in Personnel Administration.
He voluntarily enlisted in the Navy which took him
to New York, where he attended Officer Candidate
School at Columbia University. He was
commissioned as an ensign in the United States
Navy and was ordered aboard the USS Sumter, an
amphibious transport which made landings at
Kawajlain, Saipan, and Tinian. From there he was
ordered aboard the USS Artemis as the
communication officer and promoted to the rank of
Lt. JG. In March of 1944, he was promoted to the
rank of Lt., transferred from the Artemis, and
assigned to duty with the 11th Naval District in San
Francisco. He has published a book about his
Navy days titled The Gator Navy.

After WWII, Vic worked for Standard Oil for eight
months before deciding to purchase a small
sporting goods store in Taft. Taft Sporting Goods
on the northwest corner of Kern and Sixth Streets
was his business for 37 years. During those years
he served on different community committees and
boards: West Kern Water District, Westside
Community Hospital, Westside Little League,
Westside Junior Football, and Westside
Recreation and Park District. He chaired the
committee to save the "Fort" from demolition, and
he is the chairman and founder of the project
known as the "Oilworker Monument "on the
southwest corner of Sixth and Main Streets.
Dale Kenneth Sechrest - Class of 1957

Dale's father abandoned the family before Dale was
born, leaving his mother to raise Dale and his older
brother. Dale had a large extended family in Taft who
served as role models and a support group for him and
his family. Not only was he struck with a family situation,
he lost his vision in one eye at the age of eight.

He became interested in playing the saxophone while at
Roosevelt Elementary School and Lincoln Junior High
School because of his cousin, Carl Peahl, who
graduated from Taft High in 1944, and the tutelage of
James Garner, Director of the Music for the Taft City
School District. He excelled with the sax and was
involved in several combos. He named his own combo
the Chrestet. In high school he had a couple of excellent
music mentors: his cousin, Larry Peahl, who played
piano, and Thomas Stevens, a trumpet player, both
members of the Taft High Hall of Fame.
Dale joined the Taft DeMolay Chapter and rose to be
Master Counselor. At Taft High he played in the band
and orchestra, participated in track and basketball, was
Key Club President, French Club Treasurer, and class
Vice President his sophomore and senior years.

Uncle Sam had no qualms with him joining the Army
even with the loss of vision in one eye. He learned
Morse Code and was stationed near the Russian
border, sending messages to the Navy regarding
Russian missile launches.

After his discharge, Dale earned a B.A. in Psychology
and an M.A. in Sociology with an emphasis in
Criminology from U.C. Berkeley. Dale has practiced,
taught, and published in the field of corrections for over
40 years. His work focused on the evaluation of
correctional programs, including juvenile diversion,
correctional privatization, substance abuse programs,
treatment of mentally ill offenders, victim-offender
reconciliation programs, and correctional standards.
Nicholas Kaufman - Class of 1958

Nick Kaufman has had a long career as scientist,
business leader, and entrepreneur.  Over several
years he became expert in nuclear reactor safety
and in environmental cleanup.  He has been an
advisor to governments and provided important
national security services.  He has managed,
started and built several companies to provide
these services in the U.S.and abroad.  Filled with
controversy and challenge, these efforts have
marked an interesting and varied career and
created a safer world.
Leslie (Les) Clark, Jr. - Class of 1961

Author, Football's Rule No. 11
Westside Little League Hall of Fame
Kern County Officials Assoc. Hall of Fame
Desk & Derrick Oil Man of the Year
Kern County Fire Fighters Businessman of the Year
Association of CA School Administrators Golden Apple Award
API Oil Baron
Ray Bradley/Tom Woodward Lifetime Achievement Award
There is not enough room to list the offices, the committees, the
appointments, the policies written, the rights protected, the decisions
fought for.  This is the picture of a life of service.
Gerald (Jerry) Dragoo - Class of 1964

While at Stanford University, Jerry was selected to participate in an
overseas campus program in Austria to study German. Upon returning
home in 1966, he completed his BA in German and Mathematics.  After
his military service, Jerry returned to Taft and completed his teaching
credential and Masters Degrees in curriculum and Instruction and
School Administration.  He started as a custodian at Taft High School
and worked his way up to a teacher's assistant, teacher, the Business
Manager, and then the Superintendent.  In 1977, while a teacher, he
started preparing TUHS for the 21st Century.  He developed computer
labs for students and the first computer attendance system for the
District.  Wrote software for teacher testing programs, student class
enrollment, installed administrative software for the budget and payroll
programs, and led staff training programs for the use of all this
software.  He also worked with Taft College to provide training for their
staff and administrators.  
HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
2015
HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
2016
CDR James Richard (d) - Class of 1942

Jim was a retired U.S.Navy Commander when he passed away in September 2005. He
served thirty years in the Navy earning a Silver Star in WW II while aboard the USS
Barb, one of the most decorated submarines in US history. After retiring from the Navy
in 1974, he worked for the defense contractor QED Systems until 1995. His naval
career as well as his heroism are well documented. He was born and raised in Taft until
he entered military service.
Dr. Richard Dean Johnson - Class of 1954

Richard attended UC Berkeley. He received his
pharmaceutical degree from UC San Francisco.
During his career in the pharmaceutical industry, he
went from an initial lab coat chemist to ultimately
Corporate Vice President of two Fortune 500
companies. He was instrumental in identifying and
product licensing two life saving drugs that have been
widely distributed. He is currently giving back to
pharmacy as an adjunct graduate professor, School of
Pharmacy, University of Missouri.
Dr. Rick Marshall - Class of 1959

Rick was  born in Taft to parents Bob and Opal
Marshall. Rick had a special compassion for animals
and chose to be a veterinarian. He graduated from
UC Davis as a DVM. He served as a pilot in the
USAF during the Viet Nam War. His first practice was
in Hollywood, but not exactly to his liking he returned
to Sacramento where he built his own veterinary
hospital. Today, he is the Director of Research
Laboratory Services for Sutter Health.
Dr. Robert Marshall - Class of 1957

Bob was born in Taft to parents Bob and Opal
Marshall. He attended UCLA medical school and
after his graduation entered the US Air Force at
Lowery Air Force Base in Colorado. He decided to
be an Ear Nose and Throat specialist and returned
to UCLA for another residency. Bob opened a highly
successful practice in Bakersfield and was the "go
to" guy for complicated trauma cases. He has been
a good Samaritan and more than active in his
community. He continues to be physician advisor at
Bakersfield Memorial Hospital.
Joseph Pecora - Class of 1955

Joe graduated from UCLA where he majored in International
Relations.  He joined the Air Force and was enrolled in language
school where he learned Czech.  He was stationed in Germany
near the East German/Czech border where he listened to chatter
from the Czech Air Force. After four years in the Air Force he  
began a career in social work in Long Beach, California.  While in
Long Beach he applied to the U.S. State Department for the
position of Diplomatic Courier qualifying for top-secret clearance
and assignment to Manila, serving Australia, New Zealand, South
East Asia, and Lebanon.  This job entailed servicing every
embassy or consulate in the region, except Japan.  "Servicing"
was making sure 40- or 50-pound sealed bags were safely
transported to their correct destinations - being the last on and
first off the plane with the cargo personally placed in the hold of
the plane.  Following this job he continued his civilian life in social
work for the next 20 years in San Francisco.  In 1979 Joseph
purchased a rather derelict Queen Anne townhouse in the Alamo
Square neighborhood of San Francisco and began editing the
Alamo Square Newsletter and arranging meetings in homes.  In
exchange for a neighbor's hosting a meeting, Joseph would write
the history of their house and an architect friend, Jack Walsh,
would do a sketch of their property.  In this manner Joseph was
able to acquire both the history and the architectural
documentation of the homes.  This interest led fifteen years later
to the book "The Storied Homes of Alamo Square".  
Nicholas Kaufman - Class of 1958

Nick Kaufman has had a long career as scientist,
business leader, and entrepreneur.  Over several
years he became expert in nuclear reactor safety
and in environmental cleanup.  He has been an
advisor to governments and provided important
national security services.  He has managed,
started and built several companies to provide
these services in the U.S.and abroad.  Filled with
controversy and challenge, these efforts have
marked an interesting and varied career and
created a safer world.
Leslie (Les) Clark, Jr. - Class of 1961

Author, Football's Rule No. 11
Westside Little League Hall of Fame
Kern County Officials Assoc. Hall of Fame
Desk & Derrick Oil Man of the Year
Kern County Fire Fighters Businessman of the Year
Association of CA School Administrators Golden Apple Award
API Oil Baron
Ray Bradley/Tom Woodward Lifetime Achievement Award
There is not enough room to list the offices, the committees, the
appointments, the policies written, the rights protected, the decisions
fought for.  This is the picture of a life of service.
Gerald (Jerry) Dragoo - Class of 1964

While at Stanford University, Jerry was selected to participate in an
overseas campus program in Austria to study German. Upon returning
home in 1966, he completed his BA in German and Mathematics.  After
his military service, Jerry returned to Taft and completed his teaching
credential and Masters Degrees in curriculum and Instruction and
School Administration.  He started as a custodian at Taft High School
and worked his way up to a teacher's assistant, teacher, the Business
Manager, and then the Superintendent.  In 1977, while a teacher, he
started preparing TUHS for the 21st Century.  He developed computer
labs for students and the first computer attendance system for the
District.  Wrote software for teacher testing programs, student class
enrollment, installed administrative software for the budget and payroll
programs, and led staff training programs for the use of all this
software.  He also worked with Taft College to provide training for their
staff and administrators.  
HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
2016
CDR James Richard (d) - Class of 1942

Jim was a retired U.S.Navy Commander when he passed away in September 2005. He
served thirty years in the Navy earning a Silver Star in WW II while aboard the USS
Barb, one of the most decorated submarines in US history. After retiring from the Navy
in 1974, he worked for the defense contractor QED Systems until 1995. His naval
career as well as his heroism are well documented. He was born and raised in Taft until
he entered military service.
Dr. Richard Dean Johnson - Class of 1954

Richard attended UC Berkeley. He received his
pharmaceutical degree from UC San Francisco.
During his career in the pharmaceutical industry, he
went from an initial lab coat chemist to ultimately
Corporate Vice President of two Fortune 500
companies. He was instrumental in identifying and
product licensing two life saving drugs that have been
widely distributed. He is currently giving back to
pharmacy as an adjunct graduate professor, School of
Pharmacy, University of Missouri.
Dr. Rick Marshall - Class of 1959

Rick was  born in Taft to parents Bob and Opal
Marshall. Rick had a special compassion for animals
and chose to be a veterinarian. He graduated from
UC Davis as a DVM. He served as a pilot in the
USAF during the Viet Nam War. His first practice was
in Hollywood, but not exactly to his liking he returned
to Sacramento where he built his own veterinary
hospital. Today, he is the Director of Research
Laboratory Services for Sutter Health.
Dr. Robert Marshall - Class of 1957

Bob was born in Taft to parents Bob and Opal
Marshall. He attended UCLA medical school and
after his graduation entered the US Air Force at
Lowery Air Force Base in Colorado. He decided to
be an Ear Nose and Throat specialist and returned
to UCLA for another residency. Bob opened a highly
successful practice in Bakersfield and was the "go
to" guy for complicated trauma cases. He has been
a good Samaritan and more than active in his
community. He continues to be physician advisor at
Bakersfield Memorial Hospital.
Joseph Pecora - Class of 1955

Joe graduated from UCLA where he majored in International
Relations.  He joined the Air Force and was enrolled in language
school where he learned Czech.  He was stationed in Germany
near the East German/Czech border where he listened to chatter
from the Czech Air Force. After four years in the Air Force he  
began a career in social work in Long Beach, California.  While in
Long Beach he applied to the U.S. State Department for the
position of Diplomatic Courier qualifying for top-secret clearance
and assignment to Manila, serving Australia, New Zealand, South
East Asia, and Lebanon.  This job entailed servicing every
embassy or consulate in the region, except Japan.  "Servicing"
was making sure 40- or 50-pound sealed bags were safely
transported to their correct destinations - being the last on and
first off the plane with the cargo personally placed in the hold of
the plane.  Following this job he continued his civilian life in social
work for the next 20 years in San Francisco.  In 1979 Joseph
purchased a rather derelict Queen Anne townhouse in the Alamo
Square neighborhood of San Francisco and began editing the
Alamo Square Newsletter and arranging meetings in homes.  In
exchange for a neighbor's hosting a meeting, Joseph would write
the history of their house and an architect friend, Jack Walsh,
would do a sketch of their property.  In this manner Joseph was
able to acquire both the history and the architectural
documentation of the homes.  This interest led fifteen years later
to the book "The Storied Homes of Alamo Square".  
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