Partnership Plan honors SAHS distinguished alumni

Beaulieu, Junker, Rosell, Vining enter Hall of Fame during graduation ceremony

Four Stillwater Area Public School alumni were honored during graduation ceremonies June 9 as recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Awards. The Partnership Plan sponsors the awards for Stillwater Area Public Schools.

This year’s honorees are: John-Paul Beaulieu, David "Choc" Junker, Conway Rosell and June Johnson Vining.

The annual recognition ceremony, started in 1987, honors Stillwater graduates who have made a significant impact in their communities. Following an afternoon gathering with friends and family, the honorees are formally inducted into the Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame for Stillwater Area Public Schools during graduation ceremonies.

Beaulieu, a 1986 graduate, parlayed his interest in computer graphics into a lengthy career in motion picture animation. He has worked for Disney, Pixar, Lucas Films, and Sony as well as with film production companies including Industrial Light and Magic, and currently Sony Pictures Imageworks, Inc.

Beaulieu’s name appears in the film credits for at least 16 major motion pictures including Flubber (1997), Star Wars: Episode II (2002), Star Wars: Episode III (2005), Alice in Wonderland (2010), Zookeeper (2011), and Green Lantern (2011). He is currently technical director senior at Sony Pictures Imageworks in Albuquerque, N.M.

Junker, class of 1952, has lived in Stillwater almost his entire life. Owner of Junker Landscaping, he spent 25 years in service to Stillwater residents. He is also a well-known Stillwater public official, holding several positions over the years. He was the Mayor of Stillwater for two terms (1974-1982), a city council member for one term (1985-1986), and a School District 834 Board Member for two terms as vice chair and secretary. Junker was also the Stillwater Public Works Director for 20 years.

Junker spent years volunteer coaching for VAA football and hockey teams, and is well known in the community for ordering pies from Joseph’s Restaurant every Thanksgiving and delivering them to all the nursing homes in the area.

Rosell was a 1943 graduate and served as a paratrooper during World War II. He was captured by German soldiers but managed to escape during a prisoner transfer.

Rosell later petitioned the state legislature to establish the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine and was one of its first graduates in 1951. He spent the next 41 years as a veterinarian. During his career, he partnered with ophthalmologist Dr. Hugh Monnahan, to perform experimental eye surgery on dogs. Their work was later applied to human ophthalmology.

Rosell also spent time serving on the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Association, School District 834 Board, and the Lakewood College Board. Rosell passed away in June 2010 at the age of 84.

Vining, a 1978 graduate, is currently the executive director of the Trauma Intervention Program (TIP) of Portland/Vancouver, Inc. Vining is one of two master trainers within the national TIP organization.

During her time with the organization, it has grown from ten volunteers in one city to over 200 volunteers in over 25 surrounding cities. In 2005, the Portland/Vancouver TIP chapter was recognized as the first national Model TIP Chapter, which led to its eventual status as an independent affiliate. Vining has trained hundreds of citizens across the country to become TIP volunteers, equipping them with the skills to respond to immediate trauma. She has also encouraged the introduction of TIP Teen (teenaged TIP volunteers) and has made Portland/Vancouver the first area in the nation to have an active TIP Teen program.

The Partnership Plan is the nonprofit educational fund that provides resources to enrich, engage and enhance the educational experience of Stillwater Area Public School students.