Colusa alumni present “you inspire me” awards

The names of three former Colusa High School teachers will be added to the inspiration wall near the school’s football field.

The Colusa High School Alumni Association on Thursday honored Barbara Donnelly, Frank Ferraiuolo, and the late Tom Guild with the “You Inspired Me” award for leaving positive and lasting imprints on their students during their tenure at the school.

Donnelly, who taught English and literature 33 years, from 1970 to 2003, said she was deeply honored by the recognition, after accepting the framed commemoration from former student and Alumni Association founder Jerry Davies, who graduated from Colusa High School in 1975.

The presentations were made before a large crowd during the varsity girls basketball game.

Following the ceremony, Donnelly praised her former students and association members, including those who stayed in the community or donate their time and money for the betterment of the school.

“It is truly wonderful that we had a hand in their growing up,” Donnelly said.

Alumna Mary Little presented Ferriaiuolo’s award to his sons Mike, Dave, and Jeff.

Ferrauiuolo, who was unable to attend the ceremony, was a teacher, coach, and Colusa High School principal from 1957 to 1989.

Guild’s widow Carolyn accepted the award for her late husband from Bonnie Peterson.

Guild, a popular math teacher and coach retired in 1991. He died in 2004.

Donnelly said this year’s recipients had close ties to one another, and that she worked with both men.

“Frank was my children’s principal, and Tom was my son’s math teacher,” Donnelly said. “They were just great people, and we were all part of this community.”

The Colusa Alumni Association in 2017 celebrates 15 years of giving back to the school.

Members include graduates from as early as the 1930s to the Class of 2016, said Davies, who started the foundation with a donation from 1977 graduate Ben King.

Each year, alumni typically donate an amount equal to their graduating year, such as $19.62 for the Class of 1962.

Colusa High School alumni donated about $8,000 to support high school athletics the first year.

Today, the Colusa Alumni Association supports all curriculum, and members can choose to have their donations apply toward supporting science, agriculture, business, arts, music, library/English, and math. Donations can also be made in memory of alumni no longer living, Davies said.

Previous “You Inspired Me” recipients include Dave Dana, Barbara Boggs, Georgia Racaniak, Art Heliker, Joe Unzueta, Larry Yeghoian, Juanita Roberts, Ron and Sue Rasmussen, Claire Pence, Frances White, Vern and Floss Regier, Dale Townzen, George McCarthy, and Darlan Drane.