North County School News, Feb. 4


Engineer recognized for STEM assistance

Ada Harris School in the Cardiff School District is recognizing the contributions of Michael Deshler, a senior engineer in cybersystems at General Atomics Aeronautical Inc., for his longtime support of the school’s STEM program. He and other engineers recently donated $1,800 for 14 Tello programmable quadcopter drones with extra batteries, chargers and propellers. The drones are providing the students with a fun way to learn about physics, engineering and computer programming. Over the past five years, Deshler has applied for and received grants nearing $6,000 for Ada Harris School from the General Atomics Sciences Education Foundation. With those funds, he helped teachers buy STEM learning equipment. General Atomics has also arranged for engineers, including Deshler, to speak at the school about careers in engineering and cybersecurity.


Students exceed food collection goal

Pacific Ridge School’s middle school families collected above and beyond their goals in their 2020 food drive. The middle school annually contributes canned foods to the North County Food Banks during the holidays. Because of the pandemic, the students held an additional virtual food drive where families could donate by purchasing food items online. This year, the middle school families donated more than 2,500 dried and canned goods and more than $1,800 in virtual donations.


History Center award deadline next week

The Escondido History Center’s Escondido Legends Committee is accepting applications from Escondido high school seniors for eight $1,000 honorariums donated by Jack Raymond. Six will be awarded in the name of 2020 Escondido Forever Legends George Cordry, Pete Coscarart, Robert Freeman, Sid Hollins, Jack Port and Jane Trussell. Two are in the name of 2020 Escondido Founding Legends Juan Batista Alvarado and Gavvy Cravath. Seniors can apply for one or several of the honorariums. Application deadline is Tuesday. Find Escondido Legends biographies and applications at

COMPACT receives donation from Rotary

The Rotary Club of Escondido After Five recently presented Patricia Huerta, executive director of Escondido Education COMPACT, with a $7,000 donation to assist the agency with its programs for local youths. The donation was made possible through a matching grant from Rotary District 5340. Rotary of Escondido After Five has made financial contributions through the district matching grant program for the past four years. The club has also participated in programs with COMPACT, including a teen mentoring program. COMPACT offers teens and young adults academic support, health and wellness programs, leadership development, prevention and intervention, as well as workforce development. Learn more at and


Scholarships support women in college

SWE (Society of Women Engineers) Scholarships support those who identify as female/woman and are pursuing a bachelor or graduate student program. Programs must be accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology in preparation for careers in engineering, engineering technology and computer science globally. In 2020, SWE gave nearly 260 new and renewed scholarships valued at more than $1 million. Scholarships are available to freshmen through graduate students. Applicants complete one application and are considered for all scholarships for which they are eligible. Upperclass application closes for 2021-2022 academic year on Feb. 15. Visit

BBB scholarships awarded to students

Five Southern California students recently earned scholarships from the Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest in its annual essay contest. The contest encourages students to write about doing the right thing when faced with an ethical dilemma. First place and $1,500 went to Jasmin Salem from Academy of Our Lady of Peace, San Diego; second place and $1,250, Nicholas Drossel, Dana Hills High School, Dana Point; third place and $1,000, Lucia Rivera, Bonita Vista High School, Chula Vista; fourth place and $750, Lena McEachern, Carlsbad High School; and fifth place and $500, Mia Sherman, Classical Academy High School, Escondido. See the essays at Next year’s contest applications are now open; deadline is Aug. 15. Apply at

DAR chapter honors essay contest winner

Elizabeth Gregg

Elizabeth Gregg

(Courtesy photo)

Elizabeth Gregg recently won first place in the annual American History Essay Contest sponsored by the Rincon del Diablo Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. Her essay topic was the Boston Massacre, in commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the event preceding the American Revolution. Elizabeth will be honored at a virtual awards presentation, and she will receive the NSDAR Excellence in History bronze medal. Her work went on to win second place with the NSDAR District XIV judges. Elizabeth is an eighth-grader at Twin Peaks Middle School in Poway. Visit

Local graduates

Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.: Brody Litzinger, San Marcos, Bachelor of Science, criminology and criminal justice

Georgia State University, Atlanta: Enrique Gomez of Fallbrook, Associate of Science degree, engineering

Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y.: Maia Buchman of Del Mar, Bachelor of Science in community health; Donia Firooz of Fallbrook, Bachelor of Arts in political science; Alyson Sann of Fallbrook, Bachelor of Arts in political science and public policy and public service; Mackenzie Scott of Vista, Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater arts.

Ohio University, Athens, Ohio: Amita Denham of Oceanside, Shelsy Hanson of Vista, Augustino Pham of Escondido, Randi Swilley of Oceanside, Bachelor of Science in nursing; Kristin Sevilla of San Marcos, Master of Science.


Palliative care scholarships awarded

The California State University Shiley Institute for Palliative Care, based at Cal State San Marcos, recently awarded $25,000 in scholarships for palliative care education to 16 health professionals in San Diego County. The annual Donald and Darlene Marcos Shiley Scholarships cover full tuition in any of the institute’s online courses. This year’s recipients include registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, social workers and chaplains in hospitals, hospices, private practices and other health care settings. They are: Ian M. DiOrio, Shores Hospice; Mimi Kramer, Advantage Hospice; Susan Andera, CSUSM School of Nursing; Sergio Robert Conti, Hospice de la Frontera; Patricia Vlasin, Patricia Vlasin NP Inc., A Nursing Corporation; Melinda Bataan, Kaiser Permanente; Atavia Jones, Kaiser Zion Hospital San Diego Medical Center; Saundra Schmidt, Mental Health Systems Inc.; Basak Duru, The Elizabeth Hospice; Ryan Krause, Kaiser Permanente; Robyn Sarvis, Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center; Gin Lao, The Elizabeth Hospice; Melissa McClave, Last Acts of Love; Sarah Renshaw, The Elizabeth Hospice; Brenda Miller, CSUSM School of Nursing; and Samantha Gambles Farr, UC San Diego Health. Visit or call (760) 750-4006.

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