Woodlake begins its search for next hall of fame inductees

The Woodlake High School Foundation announces its fifth year of recognizing Woodlake alumni, staff for academic and career achievements

WOODLAKE – Since 2017, the WHS foundation has inducted high-achieving individuals into the “hall of fame,” including a neurosurgeon and the first Latina Chief of Staff in the history of the United States Senate. Now they are looking for their next inductees.

The Woodlake High School (WHS) Foundation announced that its next hall of fame nomination period will begin, with applications being open until Nov. 15. This will be Woodlake’s fifth year nominating Woodlake’s most notable alumni. The candidates are eligible based on their academic achievements, involvement in the community, sports, career and art achievements. The Foundation Spring Dinner to announce the new hall of fame inductees will be held on April 28, 2023.  

Though the WHS Foundation inducted its first hall of fame members in 2017, which included Leo Robinson, Frank Ainley, and Louise Achenbach, the foundation took a halt during the pandemic. Last year was the first year the hall of fame grew, with Amanda Rentaria and Alan Villavicencio added to the list. 

The 2022 inductees both had extensive schooling from notable schools, such as Stanford University and Harvard University. Rentaria graduated WHS in 1992 as valedictorian. She was the first female and Mexican-American from Woodlake to be accepted at Stanford, and later on received her masters degree at Harvard. She was the National Political Director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential Campaign, served as the Chief of Operations for the California Department of Justice under California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. Working under US Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) in 2008, Amanda became the first Latina Chief of Staff in the history of the United States Senate. Prior to this, she was an economic policy advisor to US Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). 

“[Rentaria’s parents] are former migrant farmworkers who worked their way up in the fields as young adults. Her parents’ example and hard work helped to mold Amanda into a standout student and athlete at Woodlake High School in California’s agriculturally rich Central Valley,” the WHS foundation website stated.

Villavicenio graduated WHS in 1986 and was heavily involved in Woodlake’s football team under the leadership of coach Ainley. Villaviencio has an extensive career in the medical field and has founded multiple programs. He is currently the senior managing partner of Boulder Neurosurgical Associates, the founder and chairman for an annual regional neurosurgical symposium entitled Current Techniques in the Treatment of Cranial and Spinal Disorders, the founder and chairman of the Board for the Justin Parker Neurological Institute, and lastly, the founder and Director of the BNA Complex Spine Surgery Fellowship Program. He is also involved in The Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS).

“At the Hall of Fame Dinner in April of 2022, Alan spoke about the impact Coach Ainley had on his journey and he would encourage others to donate to the Frank Ainley Excellence in Athletics Scholarship that he founded,” the WHS foundation website stated.

Start typing and press Enter to search