MHS Alumni Association » Oiler Hall Of Fame

Oiler Hall Of Fame

The MHSAA has established this program to honor distinguished graduates of Montebello High School. Recipients are honored with a plaque housed in the halls of MHS. If you wish to nominate an alumni for this award please review the following criteria.
Nominees should be chosen from within these categories:
  1.  Community Service
  2.  Politics
  3.  Civic Leadership
  4.  The Humanities
  5.  Philanthropy
  6.  Academia/Education
  7.  The Military
  8.  Science/Technology
  9.  The Arts (Visual & Performing)
  10.  Business
While making your nomination please consider the following:
  1. MHS graduate prior to 2001
  2. Nomination requires written biographical information with a limit of one hundred (100) words or less
  3. Include awards, specific recognitions, and/or leadership positions
  4. Humanitarian deeds
  5. Positions of responsibility
2019 Inductees
Jeff Schwartz '72
Jeff Schwartz is in an elite class of Oilers. He had 58 consecutive years with Montebello Unified School District. Mr. Schwartz attended MUSD schools from Kindergarten to 12th grade. After graduation, he went to East Los Angeles College, then to California State University, Los Angeles where he majored in Physical Education and minored in Mathematics. While continuing his education, Jeff was hired by MUSD as a Recreation Leader. He taught at both Bell Gardens and Montebello High School. While at MHS, he taught mathematics, coached Boys & Girls Varsity Basketball and Girls Varsity Volleyball. He served as Montebello Adult School’s principal for 9½ years, but Mr. Schwartz’s proudest accomplishment is having been the principal of Montebello High School for 18½ years. He led the school in garnering three 6-Year Accreditations from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, a $250k grant to start a Drama program, a new baseball field, and numerous improvements to the campus and culture of MHS. He retired as the Director of Human Resources in 2016 after a wonderful career at MUSD.
Dan Hernandez '77
Dan Hernandez played both football and baseball at Montebello High School. After graduating from LA Trade Tech, he started his outdoor writing career in a different sport, Sport Fishing, as a field photographer for Sport Afield magazine. For the past 30 years, Dan has hosted his own show, “Sport Fishing with Dan Hernandez,” which reaches over 50 million homes.
Dan wanted to share his love of sport fishing with his community and future generations. In 2001, he founded the Daniel Hernandez Youth Foundation where he has introduced tens of thousands of youth to sport fishing through free events throughout Southern California.
2018 Inductees
Larry Forbes '63
After graduating from MHS, Larry received his BS in Business Administration from the University of Southern California, and continued at Meers Candidate School.
He is a decorated veteran who began as a Commissioned Ensign in the U.S. Navy in 1968, served with River Patrol in Vietnam in 1969-1970, and separated in 1971 at the rank of Lieutenant.
In 1976, Mr. Forbes was admitted to the State Bar and worked in the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office from ’77 to ’85. In 1987 he established the law firm of Williams, Beck and Forbes, where he continues to practice.
Cleo Mathis '52*
Cleo Mathis served in the California National Guard, 40th Division, Battery C 980 Field Artillery before he was honorably discharged in 1952, the year he graduated from Montebello High. The following year, Mr. Mathis joined the Montebello Police Department and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. He continued as a volunteer reserve police officer until 1973.
Those who knew Cleo knew that he was a “Mr. Fix-It.” At Montebello Junior High School, he was often called out of class to assist the custodial staff around campus. Mr. Mathis founded Vico Products Manufacturing Company in 1961 and helped design over 100 new products and holds 28 patents.
Dave Snowden '61
David Snowden started his career in law enforcement in 1966 when he joined the Montebello Police Department. Six years later he was promoted to Sergeant. In 1977, he joined the Baldwin Park PD at the rank of Captain, bypassing the rank of Lieutenant. He has been the Chief of Police for Baldwin Park, Costa Mesa, and Beverly Hills Police Departments.
Chief Snowden, a veteran of the United States Army, attained the rank of Colonel. In 2002, he was given the honorary rank of Brigadier General in the Reserve.
Chief Snowden has served in several law enforcement organizations, as well as many professional groups. Among them, he was on the Board of Directors for the California League of Cities, and a Board Member for the Hoag Hospital, Newport Beach.
He retired from the City of Beverly Hills in June of 2015.
2017 Inductees
Eleanor Chow ’39
Garry Couso-Vasquez ’69
2016 Inductees
Nick Federoff, ’79
Nick Federoff on Gardening is the nation’s only coast-to-coast friendly gardening radio show and is the longest consecutive running gardening show in Los Angeles radio history. The Green Industry Hall of Fame inducted Federoff as the first radio/TV garden communicator in 2012. He has written articles for trade magazines, done press releases, raised consumer awareness, and assisted with business profiling.
Judge Casimiro Urbano Tolentino (retired), ’67
Judge Casamiro Urbano Tolentino has dedicated his life to improving the needs of California. He was appointed to the Agricultural Labor Relations Board, Public Employees Relations Board, and Counsel for the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. As an attorney/advisor to the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Civil Rights Division (Washington D.C.) he has had the opportunity to make positive changes for the betterment of society.
2015 Inductees
Denise Chan, Ph.D., ’95*
Denise Chan, Ph.D., dedicated her life to valuable cancer research and has written numerous articles. Her work is known throughout the world. She was a recipient of many prestigious awards and honors. Chan’s induction into the MHS Alumni Hall of Fame will be posthumously.
Richard Edlund, A.S.C., ’58
Richard Edlund, A.S.C., has been a visual effects supervisor, producer, visual effects designer, executive, inventor, and special effects producer for the film industry. He has won four Oscars for the visual effects in Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Return of the Jedi. Edlund has also won an Emmy and received numerous Oscar nominations and awards from the entertainment industry.
Marie-Therese Poirier Madsen, ’71
Marie-Therese Poirier Madsen, Class of 1971, established and teaches the Life Skills Program for the Severely Handicapped students for MUSD at MHS. She has created, organized, and coordinated fundraisers to benefit this program. She also provides scholarships for MHS students who are pursuing careers in Special Education. Madsen has been a teacher with the Adult Transition/Severely Handicapped Program for 21 years.
2014 Inductees
Judge Fred J. Fujioka ’69
Judge Fred J. Fujioka graduated from University of Southern California and University of California, Berkeley’s Boalt School of Law. He was elected to the Los Angeles Superior Court in 2001 where he continues to serve. He was the President of the Japanese-American Bar Association (JBA) in 1989. From 1989-1991, he was a Trustee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. In 1995, Judge Fujioka became a board member for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.
William T. Fujioka ’70
William T. Fujioka graduated from the University of Santa Cruz with a degree in Sociology. He worked as an administrator in many healthcare facilities that paved the way to becoming a public administrator, where he gained over 39 years of experience in local government. One of his major accomplishments was heading efforts to build a new Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital in South Los Angeles with the partnership of the University of California. He worked for the City of Los Angeles from 1975 until 2006. Mr. Fujioka was then appointed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors as Chief Executive Officer in 2007, a position he continues to hold.
Marilyn Smith Hurlbut, Ph. D. ’53
Dr. Hurlbut has 25 years’ experience in consulting, executive coaching, managing and teaching. In that time she has validated and marketed 2 major test-instruments that reflect both value differences and responses to change. In addition, she served on the Education Committee, was Vice President, and is currently President of the Mozambique Development in Motion (MDIM) where she initiated the Distance Mentoring Program. Dr. Hurlbut has done a lot of philanthropic work in Mozambique for the past 11 years and will continue to do so to help the people of Mozambique better themselves.
R. Edward Sanchez, MD ’54
Dr. Edward Sanchez graduated from Stanford University in 1958 with a B.S. in Biology. He received his M.D. from the University of Southern California School of Medicine in 1966. He served our country as a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve at the U.S. Naval Hospital at Camp Pendleton from 1971-1973. Dr. Sanchez was the Chief of Surgery of Bay General Community Hospital in 1975, Chief of Staff of the Chula Vista Community Hospital in 1978, President of the Society of General Surgeons of San Diego County in 1984, and he was a member of the San Diego Chapter ACS in 1985. Prior to retiring, Dr. Sanchez volunteered as a Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of California San Diego’s School of Medicine.
Captain Donald E. Watkins (Retired Navy)’58
Capt. Watkins attended the U.S. Naval Academy. He then moved his way up the ranks from Midshipmen to Captain of a James Madison-Class Nuclear Submarine. He was also Capt. of the USS Ulysses S. Grant SSBN 631 Nuclear Missile Submarine. The latter was armed with 16 Poseidon Ballistic Missiles each with Multiple Nuclear Warheads to which he had to oversee.
2013 Inductees
Dr. William Loose ’70
Dr. Loose’s passion for music and the betterment of community, through education and personal commitment, has dominated his life. His endeavors and the many accomplishments along the way show just how successful he has been, from Teacher to Principal to Administrator to Superintendent.
Barney Rosenzweig ’55
Mr. Rosenzweig is an award-winning producer and best-selling author. He has been honored with USC’s “Award of Merit”, ACLU’s “Bill of Rights Award”, the N.O.W. Award, and USC’s prestigious Board of Councilors School of Cinema & Television award, “The Christopher Award.”
Larry Sanchez ’56
Vietnam War Hero, Holder of the Silver Star, 5 Bronze Stars w/V device, Air Medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry.† One of Calif. most highly decorated combat soldiers in Vietnam War and a†Proud Member of the 173rd Airborne - Inducted into the Oiler Athletic††Hall of Fame in 2004.
2012 Inductees
Robert Bagwell ’58
29th Mayor of the City of Montebello, “Oiler Athletic Hall of Fame” inductee, High School & Jr. College All-American for Football, All-Service Award for 50+ years of leadership and community service.
Robert Capps ’50 *
“Bob” was an educator for the Montebello Unified School District. He wore many hats: Teacher, Principal, and Administrator. He was also a distinguished community leader and recipient of the “All Service Club Award.”
Jay Nomura ‘64
Jay is a behind-the-scenes type of man whose philanthropic work is never discovered until months later. He heads a very successful florist business in Montebello and has worked tirelessly for the betterment of his community.
2011 Inductees
Marshall Ezralow ’55
Founder of one of the largest and most successful real estate companies in California. His business philosophy includes a wide range of philanthropic endeavors and he has received numerous awards for his humanitarian deeds.
Norm Kirschenbaum ’58
Has a long and distinguished career in public education and community service spanning nearly five decades.
2010 Inductees
Dr. Herbert K. Lyerly ’76
Internationally recognized for cancer therapy research.
Lawson Sakai ’41
World War II hero twice a recipient of the Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.
2009 Inductee
Steve Simonian ’63
A dedicated individual who has served with distinction in the field of law enforcement.
2008 Inductee
Dale Zeigler '55
Founding President of MHSAA / MHS Athletic Hall of Fame - (Baseball - USC/NY Yankees)
2007 Inductee
Darrell Heacock '49
MUSD Board Member 20+ Years / Community Leader Recipient of the All Service Club Award
2006 Inductees
Dr. Bruce Odou, MD '45
Chief of Staff Beverly Hospital / Former Mayor City of Montebello / Private Pilot - flew medical mission into rural Mexico
Dr. Eugene Odou, MD '42
WWII Veteran - Flight Surgeon Korean War / Chief of Staff Beverly Hospital / Private Pilot - flew medical mission into rural Mexico
2005 Inductee
Al Zapanta '59
Brigadier General US Army / Highly Decorated War Hero / Holder of the Silver Star and Bronze Star for heroism in combat. Vietnam War
2004 Inductee
Jack Kramer '39
Wimbledon Champion. Considered by many to be the World's Greatest Tennis Player of All-Time. MHS Athletic Hall of Fame
2003 Inductee
Tak Kobayashi '39
Educator / WWII European Theater of Operations. Served with the famous 442nd Regimental Combat Team. MHS Athletic Hall of Fame
2002 Inductee
Edward James Olmos '64
Actor/Producer / Academy Award nominee (Best Actor) for "Stand and Deliver"
2001 Inductee
Dr. Bruce Merrifield '39
Nobel Prize Laureate - 1984 Chemistry / 1998 ABRF Award for Outstanding Contributions to Biomolecular Technologies

* Inducted into Oiler Hall of Fame posthumously