Western Washington University students Toni Rocco, Emily Harvey and Bethany Stead of Sammamish were honored at commencement in June as Outstanding Graduates. Faculty from each academic department selected one graduate to honor.
Toni Rocco, daughter of Kim and Rick Rocco of Sammamish, was selected by Woodring College of Education’s Special Education Deparment. Rocco graduated winter 2008 with a bachelor of arts in special education, with endorsements in special education (K-12) and elementary education (K-8). Rocco was on the president’s list all 12 quarters she attended Western. She taught English at Moo Baan Dek Orphanage and School in Thailand and did community development work with Crossroads Organization in the Dominican Republic. Rocco intends to teach in Washington state after earning her teaching certificate.
Emily Harvey, daughter of Alan Harvey of Tacoma and Suzanne Nicholson of Sammamish, was selected by the College of Fine and Performing Arts’ Theatre Arts Department. Harvey graduated with a bachelor of arts in theatre arts, directing and acting. While at Western, Harvey directed five full-length shows, was an assistant director on two and acted in three. For her portrayal of Dick Cheney in “Stuff Happens,” Harvey received an Irene Ryan Nomination and competed in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region 7, where she received second place in the National Critics Forum. She has worked extensively with Student Theatre productions as production stage manager, last year as president and this year as artistic director.
Bethany Stead, daughter of Randy and Valene Stead of Sammamish, was chosen by Woodring College of Education’s Elementary Education Department. Stead graduated with a bachelor of arts in history and elementary education. She has spent the last year student teaching at Larrabee Elementary School in first and second grade classrooms. After earning her teaching certificate, she plans to teach in an intermediate level elementary classroom, and hopes to teach middle school history.