Placer’s finest inducted into school Hall of Fame

By: Shanley Knox Journal Correspondent
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If the value of a school’s education can be measured by its students’ accomplishments, Placer High has excelled. This Friday, the school will honor its 16th annual inductees into the Placer High School Hall of Fame, adding Bill Miller, Terry Cook and Dr. Roy Doi to an already impressive list of noteworthy Placer alumni. Since its origin in 1993, the hall has served not only as a venue through which to honor past alumni and faculty for their accomplishments, but as an inspiration for current and future students. “The real purpose is to show students here what people have done at Placer High, and what the endeavors and rich history of Placer High have produced,” said Gary Pantaleoni, one of Placer’s assistant principals and longtime hall of fame committee member This year’s hall of fame recipients will be recognized in a small ceremony during halftime of Placer High School’s varsity football game on Friday night. A dinner reception is also being held in their honor at the Tahoe Club on Saturday, and the recipients’ names will be featured on plaques hanging in the foyer of the Placer High School auditorium. Bill Miller After working for 23 years (1972-1982, and 1985-1997) in the Placer High school sports department, Bill Miller became known to those around him by one defining title: “Coach.” Miller’s legacy has been praised by students, faculty, administrators and community leaders. In the 11 years he coached football, and the 12 years he coached tennis, Miller’s teams took home 14 California Interscholastic Federation titles and 21 league championships. Miller said he was motivated by his love for the kids he worked with, along with the inspiration of assistant coach Tom Johnson and principal Dug Covich . “Every day I looked forward to going to work because I worked with the best kids in the world,” Miller said. “Those were lasting memories.” Miller was known for the positive ways he motivated his players, as well as the excitement his teams generated in the Auburn community, causing people to call the years he spent coaching Placer’s “Golden Age.” Terry A. Cook (Stanton) Theresa “Terry” A. Cook graduated from Placer in 1952 after spending her high school years participating in extracurricular activities she says prepared her for her future. “One of the things that I was able to do is be involved in student leadership when I went to high school (at Placer),” Cook said. “I got a lot of experience that way and it was interesting, challenging and worthwhile.” After graduating from the California State University, Sacramento, Cook served as a member of the Placer County Board of Supervisors, where she twice presided as chairwoman. Cook also served as a member of several county associations and councils where she held similar positions of authority. While consistently making herself available to the community around her, Cook worked to open doors for women in public office through serving as the first female president of the Regional Council of Rural Counties. Cook said that the confidence she gained in high school inspired her to keep trying, no matter what. “It put you on a path that said, ‘Well, I can do this,’ so you just did – or you tried anyway,” Cook said. Dr. Roy H. Doi After graduating in 1949, Dr. Roy H. Doi said the positive educational experience he had in high school made him want to continue learning. “I had some great teachers in labs and math and English and science, and so my memories are really of the great education I got while I was a student (at Placer),” Doi said. After graduating from UC Berkeley in 1953, Doi was drafted into the U.S. Army where he researched the causes of diseases contracted in GIs serving in Korea and Japan. After completing a second degree at Berkeley, Doi continued to study molecular biology, eventually taking on a position as a Distinguished Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of California, Davis. In 2006, Doi was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Doi said that high school gave him the tools he needed to succeed. “I want to give credit to my high school teachers who laid a very sound foundation for me,” Doi said. “That was very important for the rest of my life.”