Distinguished Alumni Award

The 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award nominations are now OPEN!


June 4, 2021

Distinguished Alumni Award Nomination Form

2020 Distinguished Alumni Award

Teddy Overleese

Image of Teddy OverleeseThe LWTech Foundation is pleased to announce Teddy Overleese as the recipient of the 2020 LWTech Foundation Annual Distinguished Alumni Award! We look forward to formally honoring Teddy at Commencement on June 18, 2021.

Teddy is an accomplished artist, entrepreneur, business, and community leader with numerous strong ties to Lake Washington Institute of Technology. Among her many talents, Teddy is known to be an outstanding “connector” of people, organizations,
and causes.

Teddy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fashion Design from Woodbury University
in Glendale, California. She moved to Kirkland, in 1974 with her husband John and sons, Erik and Jason. Teddy’s first connection to LWTech, then Lake Washington Technical College, was as a student in the Sewing program in 1988. She continues to actively participate in this vibrant area of study which has grown to offer students an opportunity to earn a certificate of completion. She currently tests women’s clothing patterns for Vogue Pattern Designer, Marcy Tilton.

Teddy and her late husband John started several successful businesses in the Kirkland area. Possessing a strong commitment to giving back, Teddy has been deeply involved in many civic and community organizations. She has served as chair of the EvergreenHealth Foundation Board, chair of the Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and chair of LWTech Foundation’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing Campaign Committee. Teddy also served as a board member of the Kirkland Arts Center, Kirkland Performance Center, Seattle Symphony Women’s Association, St. Thomas Day School, and the LWTech Foundation. Teddy has led and participated in numerous task forces. She was the founding executive director of the Kirkland Downtown on the Lake (Downtown Association) and was instrumental in the formation of the Kirkland Fourth of July parade and Farmer’s Market. She also raised funds for the Kirkland Centennial.

As an artist, Teddy is passionate about fabric arts and sewing. She participated in the Kirkland Fish Frolic, creating the only fabric fish (and indoor fish) in the collection.

In addition to sharing her time and expertise, Teddy funds an annual scholarship at LWTech and has connected her family to LWTech. Her daughter-in-law, Kristen Overleese, is currently serving on the LWTech Foundation Board of Directors.  Her son, Erik, a teacher, has toured the campus with his fifth-grade students and her son, Jason, is active in the selection for Kirkland Rotary’s annual scholarship recipient at LWTech.

Congratulations to Teddy on this distinguished honor!

About the Distinguished Alumni Award

Established by the Lake Washington Institute of Technology's (LWTech) Office of the President in 2013, this is the highest honor the institution can bestow upon an alumnus in recognition of professional accomplishments as well as service to the college and/or the community.

The winners of this award exhibit the qualities of community and professional leadership that are symbolic of the mission of LWTech. They promote excellence, inspire others to reach their potential, encourage personal growth, and promote the enrichment of life through education and community service.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to an individual who exemplifies at least one of the two following criteria:

  • Has achieved success in their business, profession, military, or other vocational endeavors
  • Has achieved success in their community, civic and/or volunteer activities

A distinguished alumnus is selected each spring from nominations received from the community. Each year's award recipient is honored at the LWTech Commencement ceremony held in June.

To be eligible for this prestigious award, nominees must have earned a minimum of 15 quarter credits from LWTech. Additionally, winners will be selected based upon notable achievement in his/her career, military or vocational field, outstanding service to the community and/or LWTech, and inspirational impact.

Past Winners