Wahkiakum High School will hold its annual Veterans’ Day Assembly on Friday, November 8, at 10:40 a.m.
Veterans are invited to attend; students will meet them at the high school entrance before the program to escort them into the gymnasium.
Program highlights include
--Guest speaker, Therese Pasquier, who will speak about her life as a youngster who fled Vietnam and began a new life in the United States.--Readings of students’ essays and poems about service
--Special recognition of veterans and students who have family members serving;
--Music from the Wahkiakum High School Band.
Pasquier was born Le My Ngo in 1965 in Da Lat, Vietnam. Her Father was a professional officer in the Vietnamese Army and recognized that he and his family would be at extreme risk if Ho Chi Minh’s Army prevailed. Realizing that Vietnam was about to fall he and his family fled in the dead of night and escaped under fire via boat, down the Saigon River, to the South China Sea. She was one of the first “boat people.”
After several days adrift her family was rescued by the U.S. Navy. The family was transported to Guam and then Camp Pendleton, California, where they lived in a tent camp with other refugee families. Ultimately her family was sponsored by a Lutheran church in Peoria, Illinois, where they settled.
She began the sixth grade only knowing, “You’re number one,” which she learned from the American soldiers. Therese and her four sisters were tutored in English five nights a week and supplemented formal instruction with Gilligan’s Island and The Brady Bunch. Her English instruction paid off because she was valedictorian of her graduating class and went on to earn her Bachelor of Arts degree from Illinois Wesleyan and her master's degree from Governors State University.
Her professional and community service career are distinguished. Professionally she was the Development Director, Tacoma Philharmonic; Hospital Administrator, Harborview Hospital; Vice President, LTC Solutions and currently she is Director, Business Development for Paladina Health which is a subsidiary of the Fortune 500 Company DaVita. In her community she has served two terms as PTA President, served on the Board of Directors of the Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation, the Emergency Food Network and Saint Francis House, and has written and secured $300,000 in grants for school needs.
Therese lives in Puyallup with her husband Steve, a business man and her teenage sons Nicolas and Beau who are scholars and athletes.