Sierra Star (Oakhurst, CA) - July 21, 2006
Michael Lloyd Young died on June 3, 2006 at the age of 55.
He was born in Los Angeles on June 22, 1950 and was lost to his beloved Dinkey Creek. Mike was raised at the San Marcos Trout Club located in the coastal mountains of Santa Barbara where he developed his life-long love of the outdoors. He graduated from San Marcos High School and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Each summer throughout his college years, Mike proudly worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a Hotshot wild land firefighter and Helitack crewmember.
Mike began his teaching career at the South Pasadena
Unified School District in 1974-1975. He moved to Oakhurst, CA in 1978 where he taught and coached at Yosemite High School. In 1984, Mike transferred to the Clovis Unified School District and served in various site and district-level administrative positions until 1999. After battling a life-threatening illness for four years, Mike was miraculously healed and fulfilled his dream of earning a Doctorate of Education. He joined the Madera Unified School District in August 2002, where he was honored to serve as the Chief Academic Officer for grades 7-12 until his passing.
Mike was an avid L.A. Dodgers fan and outdoorsman. He will long be remembered for his drive and determination, captured by his motto, "Try hard and never quit." He viewed obstacles as opportunities and regularly proclaimed, "God has a plan and it's working perfectly." He celebrated his faith by being baptized into the LDS Church in 1998.
Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. William H. and Patricia Sheldon Young. He is survived by his son, Landon Young of Fresno; granddaughter, Madelyn Young of Fresno; brother, Tim Young, and nieces, Jessica, Caroline and Kelley Young all of Washougal, WA.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 22, 2006 at the Maroa Chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 5341 N. Maroa Avenue, Fresno, CA. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be mailed to Madera High School, Mike Young Scholarship Fund, 200 South L Street, Madera, CA 93637. Remembrances should be made payable to: MHS - Mike Young Fund.
Longtime Educator Feared Drowned
Posted on: Wednesday, 7 June 2006, 09:00 CDT
By Louis Galvan, The Fresno Bee, Calif.
Jun. 7--Mike Young, a Madera Unified School District official presumed to have drowned over the weekend during an outing at Dinkey Creek in eastern Fresno County, had a long history with the Clovis Unified School District before he left in 2001.
Young has not been seen since he reportedly left Saturday alone to go camping in the Dinkey Creek area.
On Sunday afternoon, a hiker saw a body floating in the creek north of the Dinkey Creek Campground.
Young's car was later found in the area, Fresno County sheriff's deputies have said.
The body, which was seen tangled in brush about three miles north of Honeymoon Pool, is believed to be Young's, according to deputies.
A helicopter crew also saw the body from the air Sunday, but it drifted away while the crew was picking up two deputies to perform the recovery.
A sheriff's search-and-rescue team searched Sunday and Monday, but the search has been called off until the water level drops.
Jake Bragonier, a spokesman for the Madera Unified School District, said Young attended Madera High School graduation ceremonies Friday and talked about leaving the next day on his camping trip.
Bragonier said Young, who would be 56 on June 27, was an experienced outdoorsman and familiar with the Dinkey Creek area.
Young joined the district in 2002 and was chief academic officer for grades 7 to 12, Bragonier said.
Young, was scheduled to become associate superintendent of educational services July 1, Bragonier said, becoming a key cabinet member under new Superintendent Larry Risinger, whose tenure also begins on July 1.
Young worked at Clovis Unified for 17 years before he resigned to become superintendent of the Central Union Elementary School District in Kings County, which includes the Lemoore Naval Air Station and Stratford areas.
Young was there less than a year before he moved to Madera.
Bragonier said that under Young's leadership, Madera High, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School and Thomas Jefferson Middle School exceeded their state Academic Performance Index growth targets for three consecutive years beginning 2003.
Madera High's API score alone jumped 86 points during that time, he said.
Bragonier provided some other highlights of Young's career.
He had extensive experience in the Clovis Unified School District.
He was area superintendent for the Clovis East Pyramid from 1994-99 and was a principal at two Clovis Unified schools -- Sierra Vista Elementary (1993-94) and Jefferson Elementary (1990-93).
From 1985-90, Young served as the learning director and assistant principal at Clovis West High School, and from 1984-85 he was the guidance and instructional specialist at Kastner Intermediate School.
Young began his career as a teacher at South Pasadena Junior High in 1974. He moved to South Pasadena High School in 1975 and then to Yosemite High School in Oakhurst in 1978.
In 1979 and 1982, he was named Yosemite High's Science Teacher of the Year.
He also was the coach of the Yosemite High cheerleading team that won two national championships.
Young had experience as a football coach at South Pasadena High.
As the team's top assistant, he helped guide South Pasadena High to four straight league titles and a CIF Southern Section championship.
The reporter can be reached at email@example.com or (559) 441-6139.
Sierra Star (Oakhurst, CA) - July 26, 2006
Mike Young: Body of former teacher found
A body found in the Sierra National Forest the weekend of June 16, has been identified as that of Mike Young, the former Yosemite High School teacher and coach who went missing last month and was believed to have drowned in the Dinkey Creek area.
The remains were identified by the Fresno County Coroner's Office June 18 through dental records.
Young was the chief academic officer for grades 7-12 for the Madera Unified School District. He was a former YHS science teacher, assistant football coach, student activities director and cheerleading coach before leaving for Clovis Unified in 1984.
Young, who would have been 56 on June 27, was last seen June 3 when he reportedly left alone to go camping in the Dinkey Creek area.
Jake Bragonier, a spokesman for the Madera Unified School District, said at the time Young went missing, he talked about leaving for a camping trip in the area at the Madera High School graduation June 2.
Bragonier described Young as an experienced outdoorsman who frequented the Dinkey Creek area.
Lt. Fernando Lopez, watch commander for the Fresno County Sheriff's Department, said the Dinkey Creek area was a place Young frequented and went to relax.
On June 4, a hiker saw a body floating in the creek but before the body could be recovered by search and rescue crews, it drifted away.
The search for the body was called off two days later, because of the high water levels.
Fresno County sheriff's deputies later reported that Young's car was found in the area.
Young was scheduled to become associate superintendent of educational services July 1, Bragonier said, becoming a key cabinent member under new Superintendent Larry Risinger, whose tenure also began on July 1.
From 1984 to 1985, Young was the guidance and instructional specialist at Kastner Intermediate School and from 1985 to 1990, he was the learning director and assistant principal at Clovis West High School.
Young began his teaching career at South Pasadena Junior High School in 1974. He went to South Pasadena High School in 1975 and YHS in 1978.
In 1979 and 1982, Young was named YHS's Science Teacher of the Year.
In 1984, as the YHS cheerleading coach, the team went to the western regional championships and won two national championships.
YHS Principal Steve Raupp, worked with Young at the high school from 1978 until he left and the two were hired as assistant football coaches together. Raupp also knew Young for more than 30 years.
"I considered him a really good friend," Raupp said. "He had a deep passion for everything he did and was really someone who put the kid's best interest first. We will miss him."
Funeral services for Young were held Saturday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in northwest Fresno.