Joseph L. Smith was Salutatorian of the 1965 GRHS class. He graduated from the University of Utah, Magna Cum Laude, and Cornell University College of Medicine. Dr. Smith completed residency training in Internal Medicine at Pennsylvania State University-Hershey Medical Center and postdoctoral training in Infectious Diseases at Stanford University Medical Center and Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine at LDS Hospital-University of Utah Medical Center. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and these three subspecialties of medicine. He also earned a Master of Science degree in Health Evaluation Sciences from Pennsylvania State University.
Dr. Smith served in the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) at The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States Public Health Service. During this service, he participated in research assessing hepatitis B exposure among healthcare workers and, when Saigon fell to North Vietnam, in relocating Indochina refugees.
During Infectious Diseases training, he worked on the team who were the first to treat patients with chronic hepatitis B infections with antiviral medicines. For the past 35 years, 30 + years at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania, he cared for critically ill patients. He worked in one of the first electronic ICU’s, participated in trials using medications to break up blood clots in the lungs and to modify a patient’s response to serious infections, trained medical students, residents and fellows (physicians training to be Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine specialists), authored/co-authored articles published in medical journals and was a clinical professor of medicine at Geisinger affiliated medical schools.
He has been honored with an endowed lectureship in his name at Geisinger Medical Center and by induction into Geisinger’s Medicine Institute’s Wall of Fame.
Don Polson, Professor Emeritus with the University of Wyoming College of Engineering, and Senior Fulbright Scholar, graduated from GRHS in 1971. While there he was active in student government, band, varsity swimming and track.
Don attended the University of Wyoming, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Architectural Engineering and a Master’s of Civil Engineering: Structures. During his final four years of school, he worked for the national award-winning architectural firm of Hitchcock & Hitchcock Architects.
Upon graduation, Don worked for GEM Structural Engineers, where he obtained his professional registration and became a partner in the firm.
Don accepted a call-back to the UW College of Engineering to teach courses In his areas of expertise, ranging from Engineering Graphics to Structural Timber Design. This quickly evolved into a full-time Professor of Practice position until his retirement from UW, some 34 years later.
During his UW faculty years, he received over twenty awards, including the Mortar Board: Outstanding UW Advisor; Tau Beta Pi: Outstanding Engineering Teacher; ASCE: Outstanding Service Award. His development grants brought in the first CAD software for UW’s Civil & Architectural Engineering program.
Don received a two-year leave from UW, to accept a faculty position with Purdue University, for their “Malaysia Project”. There, he was instrumental in the development of University Technology Malaysia’s graduate program in Timber Resources and Design, and the awarding of 22 graduate degrees.
His private practice included structural engineering work on the Wyoming State Capitol Building, Laramie High School, Wyoming Veterinary Sciences Lab, and numerous other Hitchcock projects.
After an undefeated season of 21-0, the lady wolves headed to 4A regionals. In the first game, they were victorious by defeating Evanston 70-45. The south regional title game was against Cheyenne East where the Green River girls remained undefeated with a 61-45 win. Players that received All-Conference honors included Heather Cannon, Ana Ortega and Jessica Zehr. Jessica was also south conference Player of the Year and also received the team MVP for her accomplishment of the 1000th rebound and 1000th point made during the season. Kristen Wilson earned honorable mention, and Coach Rick Carroll received the Coach of the Year award. It was the most success a lady wolves basketball team had ever experienced; the Green River girls were headed to the state finals for the first time in school history.
The first game of the state tournament was a win for the Lady Wolves as they beat Natrona 54-37 and then again in the semi-finals, Green River beat Cody 74-39. This led up to the final championship game where Green River played Gillette, whom Green River defeated earlier in the season 75-70. Unfortunately, the Lady Wolves fell short to the Gillette Lady Camels in the 4A state title game. Green River opened the game in strong fashion, but midway through the second period, they got in foul trouble and the Lady Camels capitalized on this. The Green River girls came home with 2nd place honors after receiving their first loss of the season to Gillette 53-76 and an overall record of 23-1. All-State honors were given to Ana Ortega, Heather Cannon, and Jessica Zehr.
The 1996-1997 girls’ basketball team continued with the success of the previous year by completing a second undefeated conference season. At the class 4A south regional tournament, the first game win was against Cheyenne East 66-31. The Lady Wolves won the honors of becoming 4A south champions by getting the win against Laramie with a score of 67-51. For the second straight year, Coach Carroll received Coach of the Year for the south region. Andrea Cannon, Heather Cannon, Cheryl Harmon, Kim Killpack, and Ana Ortega received All-Conference honors. Heather Cannon received Conference Player of the Year.
At the 4A state championships, Green River got a win in round one by defeating Cody with a score of 73-45. In the semi-finals, the Lady Wolves conquered Sheridan with a win of 69-57. However, once again they found themselves matched up against Gillette for the state title. Even though they fought hard, they again ended the season with one loss against the Gillette Camels, 88-68, and they took home the 2nd place trophy. Heather Cannon, Kim Killpack and Ana Ortega were honored with All-State awards.