North County School News, June 13


Educational Foundation chooses new CEO

The Carlsbad Educational Foundation board of directors has chosen Laura Pitts to serve as its new chief executive officer. Pitts joined the foundation in 2019 as director of operations and educational programs, and for the past six months has been interim CEO.

Laura Pitts

(Courtesy photo)

While serving as interim CEO, Pitts helped the board of directors complete a new strategic plan and restructured the foundation to meet the emerging needs of the school district’s 11,000 students and their families. Before joining the foundation, Pitts was campus president for Brightwood College (formerly Kaplan College). She earned an M.B.A. from Purdue University Global and a B.A. in organizational studies from the University of Michigan. The nonprofit Carlsbad Educational Foundation supports educational enrichment for every student in the Carlsbad Unified School District. Visit


‘Salute to Education’ honors students, staff

The Encinitas Chamber of Commerce recently partnered with Rancho Santa Fe Security to present its annual Salute to Education. The awards ceremony highlights outstanding achievements by students and teachers in the city’s schools. Scholarships of $400 were awarded to the students honored from San Dieguito Academy, La Costa Canyon and Sunset high schools. The Encinitas Lions Club also donated $25 Office Depot gift cards to all nominees. Those honored are: Encinitas Country Day, Kylie Nordan, teacher Lida Pasquini; Capri Elementary, Danielle Smart, teacher Julia Alba-May; El Camino Creek Elementary, Sofia Green, all ECC staff; Mission Estancia Elementary, Pavan Sangha, teacher Katelyn Gill; Park Dale Lane Elementary, Adrian Briscoe, teacher Jessica Yagle; La Costa Heights Elementary, Aliana Kussalanant, teacher Arlene Oyagi; Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary, Beau Masterson, teacher Debbie Overlock; Ocean Knoll Elementary, Fabiola Perez, teacher Allie Sullivan; The Rhoades School, Grace Howard, teacher Julie Watts; Flora Vista Elementary, Ryken Mansavage, teacher Lori Carter; Paul Ecke Elementary, Miles Yui, teacher Monique Templeton; Cloud Campus, Keenan Walsh, teacher Mary Manbert; Ada Harris Elementary, Luca LaRocque; Diegueño Middle School, Mike Mehin, teacher Sarah Chi; Earl Warren Middle School, Kayla Sozinho; Oak Crest Middle School, Kai Rosenthal, teacher Connor Green; San Dieguito Academy, Alexa Mendes, teacher Sheryl Bode; St. John the Evangelist School, Sophia Frank; Sunset High School, Devon Hollingsworth, all Sunset staff; The Grauer School, Brandon Diep, teacher Shelley Boniwell; La Costa Canyon High School, Evelyn Berry, teacher Erin Charnow.


Masonic Lodge donates earbuds to students

Consuelo Masonic Lodge #325 recently donated 40 sets of earbuds and cases to students in the Escondido Union High School District. The earbuds will be used by students ranging in age from 18-22 to access learning across all modes. The pandemic has significantly altered in-classroom learning, and the earbuds will help students concentrate on their work, according to Joseph Dionisio, special education teacher at the district. Dionisio works with students who have moderate to severe disabilities. Consuelo Masonic Lodge #325 is active in the Escondido community in many ways, including supporting public education, providing scholarships, and participating in civic projects, highlighted by the Child ID program for area parents. Visit


Military academy admissions seminar set

A webinar to help families from the 50th Congressional District apply for admission to the nation’s military academies will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday. The session is hosted by the office of Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Bonsall. Nominations to the U.S. military academies are competitive. Applicants must be nominated by an approved source, often their Congressional representative or one of their senators. Graduates are obliged to serve for a set number of years as military officers. To attend the webinar, register at, or at

Students win laptops via essay contest

Forty students in San Diego County have been named winners in the annual Metropolitan Transit System and Reyes Coca-Cola Laptop Scholarship Essay Contest. The winners came from 33 different high schools and were each awarded a Lenovo Ideapad 3. To take part, students were asked to explore PRONTO, the new fare collection system that MTS passengers will be using this summer, and write about its new capabilities, including fare-capping, instant money deposit, multi-card family options, and online balance tracking. Area winners were: Kumail Afshar, Kyle Nagasawa and Aadil Umar, all grade 12, Del Norte High School; McKenna Berner, grade 12, Westview High School; Thomas Brackman, grade 12, Ramona High School; Tisha Chowdhury, grade 11, Rancho Bernardo High School; Ethan Chuang, grade 11, The Bishop’s School; Gabriella Hernandez, grade 9, Vista High School; Bennett Hochner, grade 12, Sage Creek High School; Noah Randahl Lopez, grade 12, Gavin Stewart, grade 10, and Aaron Vidales, grade 9, Escondido Charter High School; Tyler Costello, grade 12, and Kaley Mafong, grade 11, Canyon Crest Academy; Diana Perez, grade 12, Escondido High School; Adelle Belen Priest, grade 12, Valley Center High School; Noemi Rocha, grade 10, Fallbrook High School; Julianna Ruedas, grade 12, The Preuss School; Riley Sargent, grade 11, Rancho Buena Vista High School; Brayan Torres Anastacio, grade 11, Poway High School.

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