2006 Alumni Awardees

The Lewis-Clark State College Alumni Association has announced its award winners for 2006, including Lewiston High School teacher Dennis Ohrtman.

Ohrtman, who also serves on the Lewiston City Council, received the Aletha Pabst Award, which recognizes someone who is not an alumnus but has made an outstanding contribution to LCSC.

Paul Sinclair, a 1975 LCSC graduate, received the Educator of the Year Award. He is a physical education teacher at Sunset View Elementary School in Kennewick, Wash. Larry Heimgartner, who graduated from LCSC in 1971, earned the Alumni of the Year Award. Heimgartner is the theater and television program director for Los Angeles Harbor College.

The winners were selected by the LCSC Alumni Association Board of Directors after an open nomination period.

Ohrtman helped start and organize the LCSC Alumni Association. He taught at LCSC from 1969-81 before taking a job at Lewiston High School, where he now teaches Spanish and journalism.

Ohrtman was born in Iowa and graduated from Augustana College. He earned his master’s at the University of South Dakota and a Ph.D. from the University of Idaho. He moved to Lewiston in 1969. He remains active in the Lewiston Orchards Kiwanis.

Sinclair demonstrates his commitment to teaching by showing his students why health and physical fitness are life skills. His philosophy is to teach to the cognitive level of the grade, make sure the kids have fun and keep them all moving and participating. No children wait for their turn to play.

His active life philosophy is evident in non-class activities as well. During the spring, Sinclair put together a series of fun runs where all the elementary schools in the district are invited to send children. PTO volunteers help manage the event and all participants get ribbons. He has developed a Mileage Club where any children who want to come out at lunch to run or walk earn mileage tokens. At the end of the year, the class with the most miles (tokens) wins a pizza party paid for by the PTO. He also encourages parents to get involved and join their children at lunch to run/walk with the Mileage Club.

Sinclair serves as a member of the school district’s instruction council, the district benefits committee and was a member of the committee that proposed to the district to remove pop machines from the schools. He also serves on the Washington Alliance for Health, PE, Recreation and Dance.

Heimgartner is one of the most accomplished citizens of the Los Angeles southland area as evidenced by his award from Rotary International as Citizen of the Year in 2003. This honor was bestowed upon him for his work as the author and director of “Responsibility,” a moving musical play about the lives of children who live in a dump in Tijuana, Mexico. The play created a drive for one of the largest fundraisers by Rotary International. This is only one of several plays he has written with equal social significance and impact.

Heimgartner is also the force that drives the success of HCTV, a fully operational television studio that broadcasts to more than 50,000 homes in the college’s service area via cable TV. His success with children’s plays and musicals is being transformed into animation productions that have captured the imagination of thousands of local children with entertainment that educates along the lines of ethical behavior and social responsibility.

In the late 1960s, Heimgartner was named the LCSC Outstanding Student of the Year and was elected LCSC’s Student Body President.

For more information on the awards or the LCSC Alumni Association, contact Renee Olsen, Director of Alumni & Community Relations, at 792-2151 or at