Here are our "stars" for this year's event. Click on the links to read their bios!
Our Stars have not only donated their time and energy to participate in this show, but they are also working hard to raise money for Sparrow Clubs and the USA Dance Scholarship Fund! The prestigious Shining Star Award is given to honor and thank the Star who raises the most money for these very worthy local causes. The Shining Star Award will be given at the evening show only.
You can help your favorite Star win this prestigious award by making a donation of any amount to their team! Just find your favorite Star below and click “Donate to my team now!” You'll be taken to a secure online payment page for your favorite Star.
Get to Know
Ted Bennion, Bennion Orthodontics
Ted has been practicing orthodontics in Medford for fifteen years. He spent his youth living in California, Idaho, Utah, Washington, and Argentina. He attended Brigham Young University for undergraduate studies followed by four years at Oregon Health Sciences University School of Dentistry. He then studied orthodontics at Saint Louis University, graduating at the top of his class.
He completed a term as president of the Southern Oregon Dental Society this past year and has also served as the president of the Children’s Dental Clinic that provides free dental services to needy children in the Rogue Valley. He currently serves on the Board of Advisors for SureSmile and has published in the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics.
Ted loves spending time with his family. He is married to Kristi Bennion and they have five children: Mary (19), Sarah (17), Rachel (15), Emma (10), and Luke (8). He enjoys singing, playing piano, sports and reading books with his children. His proudest dance moment was performing parts of the Napoleon Dynamite dance in front of a very large, easy-to-please crowd. He also does a passable Justin Bieber imitation for extremely small audiences. We think tonight may become his new proudest moment in dance!
Get to Know
Music Director, Radio personality, "The Dove"
Jerry Bilden, Music Director, Radio personality, "The Dove"
For the past eight years Jerry has been the music director and afternoon DJ on KDOV radio 91.7 fm. This year he also had news presenter added to his duties as he presents the Thursday evening news updates on the Dove TV. Jerry has been married to his wife Pam for thirty-three years and they have three children. He has been very involved with their kids’ activities as they grew up in the Rogue Valley, serving as little league baseball coach, Pop Warner football coach and AAU basketball coach. As an ex professional ski instructor, Jerry is also his family’s ski coach as they regularly ski at Mt. Ashland. He also serves as a music worship leader in his church; and although Jerry has a deep musical background, he'll be the first to admit that it doesn't include much experience with dance. But he says that he is really enjoying the experience and all the moves that he's been learning. His wife Pam loves the fact that Jerry is participating in Dancing with the Rogue Valley Stars and that all she has to do is watch!
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Radio personality - 105.1
Brian Bishop, Radio personality - 105.1 "The Wolf"
Brian Bishop has been waking up Southern Oregon radio listeners since 1980, and now hosts mornings on Southern Oregon’s New Country Station, 105.1. He is the radio personality “The Wolf.”
Brian has written hundreds of song parodies, some of which have been featured on the CBS Morning News, local TV newscasts, and the nationally syndicated “Dr. Demento” radio show. Brian has also played bass guitar in several local rock bands. A native Oregonian, Brian is a graduate of Southern Oregon University, and lives in Central Point with his wife Angela.
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Sal Esquivel, State Representative
Sal was raised and still lives in Medford. After graduating from Medford High School in 1966, Sal joined the Navy where he served our country in Vietnam from 1969 through 1970. Upon his return to Medford, Sal went to work in the wood products industry at KOGAP. Highly motivated to succeed, and driven by the work ethic ingrained in him, Sal rose to a supervisory position. Sal attended Southern Oregon College (now University) to further advance his knowledge and skills. In 1982, Sal set out on a business path and created a successful heavy equipment and parts business, and then became involved in real estate.
To understand Sal is to understand the pride he feels in one of his accomplishments while serving on the Medford City Council. Sal brought together local Rotary Clubs, the City of Medford, students and parents to create playgrounds at Jackson, Howard, Roosevelt and Wilson Elementary Schools. Sal served for 7+ years on the City Council.
In March of 2003, Sal was chosen to represent Senate District 3. Sal then ran for House District 6 (primarily the same people he represented on the City Council) and has been your four-term State Representative ever since.
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Dist. Manager, PremierWest Bank
Monica Garvin, VP, District Manager, PremierWest Bank
Having worked in banking for the past 24 years, Monica Garvin is a Vice President, District Manager for PremierWest Bank. Her duties include oversight of 12 branches in Southern Oregon. Monica and her children, Emily and Jared, actively participate in our community. She is a softball, baseball, ice hockey, volleyball, football and basketball Mom. In our community, she is known and respected for her volunteerism and ability to just get things done.
Monica has served with numerous civic organizations, such as United Way, Southern Oregon Financial Fraud & Security Team and Junior Achievement. Perhaps her most notable work has been directed toward The Children’s Advocacy Center of Jackson County, where she was recently recognized with a prestigious award from the Children’s Trust Fund of Oregon for her work, one of only four such honors awarded in our state.
Monica’s dancing career started when she was very young — she won several dance/cheerleading State competitions in California and 2nd and 5th in Nationals. Unfortunately, she was injured in a car accident that ended her dancing career almost 25 years ago. After two hip surgeries, she is absolutely thrilled to be able to rekindle her love of dancing again for The Southern Oregon Sparrow Clubs and USA Dance.
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Julie Hill, Principal, Ruch Elementary
Julie Hill, principal at Ruch Elementary School, has been in education for 22 amazing years, teaching at elementary and secondary levels. She has coached volleyball, soccer, softball and basketball. Her position as half-time principal and half-time 6th grade teacher is both challenging and rewarding. Julie is grateful to be part of the community in the beautiful Applegate Valley!
Julie’s greatest accomplishment has been raising her sons, Christopher and Garrett. She is also proud of her grandson, Cayden. She and Cayden love to wrestle, shoot hoops, go to the beach, and discover great books.
Julie loves to dance! While growing up, she aspired to be a professional dancer or a teacher. She believes she has accomplished both. While living out her dream job as a teacher, students in her class get to experience the fun and drama of learning dance moves and performing them in front of an audience. It doesn’t get better than that!
Julie has been involved with Sparrow Clubs in the past and has supported their efforts in empowering children to help children in need. She is very excited about being a participant in this year’s DWTRVS. Julie offers a “Thank you” for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
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Asst. Principal - South Medford High School
Hal Jones, Asst. Principal - South Medford High School
While he’s often mistaken for Conan O’Brien, or the 1970’s version of Robert Redford, Hal has been an educator in the Rogue Valley since 1990. As Assistant Principal at South Medford High School, Hal has had the privilege of working with our community’s youth and the most dedicated, dynamic and skilled group of educators he’s ever seen. In 2011, South High School met the rigorous academic standards set forth in No Child Left Behind – one of the few high schools in Oregon to achieve this. He attributes this success to the efforts of staff to ensure that each student is known, prized and supported to be his or her best.
This January Hal and his wife, Melinda, celebrate 28 years of marriage. They have three amazing children – Kate and Micah (both students at Loyola Marymount University) and Elijah (a junior at South). In addition to a 23-year career in public education, Hal serves on the board of Magdalene Home and has been active in community programs that support children and families. He’s excited to do whatever he can to support Sparrow Clubs and gives a shout out to South’s Sparrow, Marco Alvarez and his brother Humberto.
Get to Know
KDRV NewsWatch12 Meteorologist
Kristin Ketchell, KDRV NewsWatch12 Meteorologist
Kristin Ketchell is incredibly excited to compete in this year's Dancing With The Rogue Valley Stars. Although she admits to being a bit nervous to perform in front of a live audience, she’s thrilled to be able to help Sparrow Clubs.
Dance is not a new venture for Kristin. She was a cheerleader in high school and learned jazz, hip-hop, and some ballet while growing up in New Jersey. However, ballroom dancing is uncharted territory, and she is looking forward to learning and performing.
Kristin is proud to be your morning meteorologist on NewsWatch 12 This Morning, a job she has enjoyed for the past two years. She is a self-proclaimed “weather dork” with a degree in Meteorology from Millersville University of Pennsylvania.
When she is not forecasting the weather or practicing the Samba for DWTRVS, she loves spending time with animals. She volunteers at the Southern Oregon Humane Society and recently got a beautiful, two-year-old Australian Shepherd/Corgi mix of her own, named Isis.
She is happy and honored to be a participant this year, and is humbled to be a part of such a stellar group!
Get to Know
KDRV NewsWatch12 anchor
Kaylin Krashesky, KDRV NewsWatch12 Meteorologist
Many people in the Rogue Valley start their day with breakfast, a cup of coffee and Kaylin Krashesky. Kaylin is co-anchor of the top-rated Newswatch 12 This Morning from 5 to 7 AM. She also adds her flair to the evening news, reporting stories on Newswatch 12 at 5 and 6 PM. Originally from Chicago, Kaylin now enjoys all the Rogue Valley has to offer and really enjoys the perks of living in wine country. A Graduate of the University of Missouri with degrees in Journalism and Political Science, Kaylin worked previously in Myrtle Beach, South Columbia, Columbia, Missouri and Chicago.
Kaylin has no previous formal dance training, but that hasn't stopped her from acting, dancing and singing in the past. She has always enjoyed music, theater and dance performances and participated in several musicals over the years. Although ballroom dancing is a new experience, Kaylin is thrilled to be learning West Coast Swing with the help of her talented partner, Jason Younker.
Kaylin especially wants to thank all those who support Sparrow Clubs and USA Dance through Dancing With the Rogue Valley Stars and though she secretly hopes to beat Kristin Ketchell, she really hopes you'll enjoy her performance, along with all the contestants in the competition.
Get to Know
Lindsay McPhail, Extreme Makeover Mom
Lindsay McPhail has been married to the love of her life, C.J. McPhail, for 11 years. She is a stay-at-home mom to her three boys and is the co-founder of Earth Monkeys — a green baby gear company. In 2002 she and C.J. were blessed to be a part of bringing Sparrow Clubs to the Rogue Valley where she worked/volunteered for 6 years. Now she spends her time raising her little ones, two who have been diagnosed with PDD-NOS, a form of autism and running her company and blog from her home.
This past September, the McPhails were chosen to be the recipients of a home makeover from ABC's hit show Extreme Makeover Home Edition. She is excited about the awareness the show will bring to autism and about the chance to reach out to millions of other ‘mother warriors’ with a message of hope and encouragement that they are not alone in their struggles. More than anything, she is so grateful for the overwhelming blessing our community has given to her and her family.
Get to Know
Rose Passione, Stage actress
Rose was born in Oregon and has lived all but 18 months of her life here. In February 2006, Rose made her way back to the Rogue Valley. Within two weeks, she started rehearsal for her first stage production at the Camelot Theatre. Many shows followed. Her favorite performances include: Meg Brockie in Brigadoon, Ayah in The Secret Garden, Sister James in Doubt: A Parable, Rebecca Hershkowitz in Rags and Fanny Brice in Funny Girl.
Music is one of the most important things in Rose's life--all kinds of music. She has a passion for worship and can often be heard singing praise with her church family at Living Waters Foursquare. Locally, she has performed opera, jazz, and various German arrangements at Oktoberfest.
In addition to performing, Rose enjoys hiking the glorious outdoors. One of her favorite things about this area is the seemingly limitless number of hikes within a few hours--or even a few minutes.
While attending George Fox University, where she earned her B.A. in Music, Rose grew to love dance with her first ballroom class. She is honored and blessed by the opportunity to "bust a move" while fundraising for such amazing programs.
Get to Know
Business leader; Service Manager, South Valley Bank
Kitty Powell, Business leader; Service Manager, South Valley Bank
Kitty Powell “came back home” to the Rogue Valley twelve years ago when she and her former husband, Bill, had the opportunity to open Red Robin of Medford. She feels very fortunate to have been a stay-at-home mom for ten years, raising her three wonderful kids, Kaleigh, Courtney and Tanner.
Upon deciding to re-enter the workforce, Kitty had criteria that needed to be met by the prospective employer. She is a strong believer in community service and in giving excellent client service. Kitty joined South Valley Bank & Trust in October of 2008 and is now the Service Manager for their entire 24 branches.
Kitty has been recognized in the community for her willingness to give back. She was awarded Greeter of the Year at the Medford Chamber in 2009 and served as co-host at Greeters in 2009-2010. She is currently enrolled in the Chamber Leadership Program. People are drawn to Kitty because of her cheery smile, positive attitude and her willingness to give a helping hand.
Kitty and her family have supported the Sparrow Clubs in Southern Oregon through Red Robin since 2004. Kitty is very proud to be part of tonight’s program.