Ray and Elizabeth Cattin headshots

Ray and Elizabeth Cattin didn’t have a connection to LCC when career moves brought them to Cowlitz County, but both became ardent supporters and advocates for the college by seeing how well it serves the community.

Ray, who grew up in Omak, attended Eastern Washington University and earned a BA in education. Elizabeth hails from Anchorage, AK and graduated from Oregon State University, earning a BS in nutrition and food management before attaining a master’s degree in nutrition from the University of Utah. Each of them found their way to Longview-Kelso after college, where they eventually met.

“This is home and has been home for at least half of our lives,” Ray said.

Ray launched his education career at Kelso High School. He taught English and coached wrestling for several years before serving as the school’s athletic director from 2006-2016. He is now principal of Wallace Elementary School.

As a dietician, Elizabeth was hired in 2001 by PeaceHealth in Longview and has since obtained a master’s degree in business administration. She is director of Community Health for PeaceHealth in Southwest Washington.

Ray and Elizabeth were high school and college athletes: Ray wrestled and Elizabeth was a swimmer who transitioned to rowing at Oregon State. Their experiences and belief in the benefits that athletics and academics can provide give them a link to LCC and its commitment to providing opportunities to student-athletes.

Ray said he began to understand LCC’s positive community impact during his time as athletic director at Kelso High, as he saw Kelso student-athletes find success in the Red Devils athletic program.

“So many of our Kelso kids have had opportunity to participate at LCC, to stay local and have family and friends see them compete,” he said. “It’s just so cool to see.”

Elizabeth agrees.

“A lot of student-athletes go there and get a start in college that they may not have had the opportunity otherwise,” Elizabeth said. “It opens a lot of doors for people to go on.”

As parents, the Cattins saw how LCC helped one of their daughters, who attended the college before transferring to a university and earning her BA. She later decided to go in a different direction and returned to LCC in preparation to become a dental hygienist.

“For our daughter, LC was there for her to jump in locally, not leave town and fill in all her prerequisites to get into the program of her choice,” Elizabeth said. “If you’re ready, LCC is there for you.”