North County School News, May 15



LCC prepares for the Spring Pops Concert

The La Costa Canyon High School Music Program will perform its Spring Pops concert on May 25 at the high school theater, 1 Maverick Way. The evening begins at 6 p.m. with food vendors, a silent auction, breakout performances and more outside the theatre. The concert begins at 7 p.m. in the theater and features the jazz band, the rock band, the instrumental pianists and the LCC band. Selections will range from the 20th to the 21st century and include the world premiere of a piece composed by senior Ian West. Tickets are $5 and all proceeds from the event will go towards new instruments and equipment, repairs, instrumental trainers and other expenses. Visit


The Bank provides grants for literacy projects

The City National Bank recently awarded nearly 100 Reading Is The Way Up Literacy Grants totaling nearly $83,000 to support literacy-based projects as well as financial literacy to elementary, middle and high school teachers in California, Nevada, Georgia and Tennessee. Literacy grants range from $500 to $1,000 and will help augment or expand literacy projects that have been found to be creative, interesting, and likely to increase student achievement. Educators receiving literacy grants were selected from among those who submitted an online application. The one-page app was available to educators in every school district across the bank’s footprint across the country in the fall of each year. In North County, those who received grants were: Carlsbad: Magnolia Elementary School Library, Aaron Nelson; Escondido: North County Education Foundation for The Classical Academy, Kenna Molina; North County Educational Foundation for Classic Academy High School Personalized Learning Center, Stacey Perez; North County Education Foundation for Classical Academy Middle School, Jen Morrow; Oceanside: North County Education Foundation for Coastal Academy Charter, Marcy Cashin; Poway: Poway High School, Richard Nash; Ramona: Mount Woodson Elementary School, Barbara Chiment; San Marcos: High Tech High North County, Joseph Davidson; High Tech Middle North County, Kelly Jacob. For a list of all grant recipients, visit

Teams from the region score at the robotics challenge

Several San Diego teams performed well at the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics World Championship held recently in Houston. In the FIRST Robotics Competition (ages 14-18), the Gracious Professionalism Award in the Hopper Division was awarded to Team 3128, Aluminum Narwhals of San Diego. In the FIRST Tech Challenge (ages 12-18), Team 11212, The Clueless of San Diego, won in the Jemison Division and became runner-up for the 7,000 Team World Championship title. The Clueless set the world record 410 points – the highest score in any game in the 2021-2022 season – and was also a finalist for the World Championship Inspire Award. The Motivate Award was won by Team 16884, Mechanical Advantage of San Diego, and the Dean’s List Award went to Rohan Bosworth of that team. More than 3,200 FIRST Robotics Competition teams competed in the 2022 season, with 454 teams qualifying for the championship round.


MiraCosta honors five outstanding students

MiraCosta College and the MiraCosta College Foundation announced the 2022 recipients of the 58th Medal of Academic Merit, the college’s highest academic honor. It is awarded annually to students nominated by the faculty of education who have achieved a minimum GPA of 3.75 in the courses applicable to the degree. The winners are Negar Farahbakhsh, Armando Gabriel Leon, Hayat Sherif, Gilbert “Gib” Barbo IV and Rocio “Rosey” Gutierrez. Each recipient receives a $1,500 scholarship donated by members of the community, businesses and service organizations, including Union Bank, the Rotary Club of El Camino and the Carlsbad Rotary Foundation.


PHS Music Boosters cancels casino night

The Poway High School Music Boosters have canceled their Casino Night Dinner and Silent Auction scheduled for May 20, sponsored by the Poway High School Music Boosters. Auction items will instead be available during the school’s Spring Band concert on June 2. Visit

Preschoolers release ladybugs for Earth Day

Discovery Isle Preschool students recently celebrated Earth Day by releasing more than 12,000 ladybugs into the schoolyard and returning them to the environment on plants, flowers and trees. The students dressed up for the occasion in handmade ladybug hats. Prior to the celebration, students learned that ladybugs act as a natural pesticide by feeding on insects that could otherwise harm the health of gardens, trees and shrubs. Discovery Isle Preschool is located at 11740 Creek Road. Dial (858) 434-8423.


Ernie Montano

(Boys and Girls Club of San Marcos)

Club names County Youth of the Year

Ernie Montano, a member of the Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos who has volunteered for over 400 hours, was recently named San Diego County’s 2022 Youth of the Year. Ernie, 17, is a senior at Mission Hills High School and has been a member of the Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos for more than 11 years. He represented San Diego County in the California Youth of the Year contest in April. Ernie has also been part of the club’s Leaders in Training program, serving meals and creating care packages for local homeless people, and has been involved in fundraising efforts for those affected by natural disasters. He was the first member of the club to be offered a paid summer internship as a junior member of staff. At the club, Ernie worked with kindergarten and first grade students on summer programs to make up for learning losses. He was also chosen to join members of other Boys and Girls Clubs in California to help renovate another Boys and Girls Club’s outdoor playground. Ernie hopes to use his platform as San Diego County Youth of the Year to advocate for changes in gender stigmas and societal norms that can affect young adults and prevent them from speaking up. The Boys & Girls Club is an environment where “they care about you, regardless of your identity and preferences,” he said in a statement. Ernie’s goal is to attend Palomar College next fall, transfer to a UC college, and continue helping others through a career in dentistry. Visit

The president of Palomar “installed” in the window

The Palomar College Foundation recently hosted its third annual Community Showcase at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, marking the college’s 75th anniversary. During the event, Star Rivera-Lacey was officially “installed” as superintendent/president of the college. Rivera-Lacey was named the 11th Superintendent/President by the Palomar Community College Board of Trustees in July 2021, but her first few months of leadership coincided with the final months of the COVID-19 crisis, delaying her public introduction. The event also featured a tribute to the late John Masson, former chairman of the foundation’s board of directors and member of the Escondido City Council, who died in March 2020. Masson’s wife and two children accepted the Comet Award 2022 in his name, and the foundation announced a $10,000 endowed scholarship in his name. The showcase was sponsored by the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians.

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