Coronado HS Navy Jr. NJROTC ‘Islander Company’ Receives Distinguished Unit Award for 7th Consecutive Year
Captain Ken Ireland USN (Ret) spoke to the Optimist Club about the goals and accomplishments of Islander Company. 118 students are cadets in the program which focuses on developing leadership skills, academic excellence, physical fitness and teamwork. Three representatives of the unit, Cadets Angela Ahern, Jacob Blauser, and Tess Woodson, also spoke about the opportunities, enjoyment and satisfaction each has experienced as a cadet. Post high school military service in the military is not a focus of the program; however, some of the cadets do opt to enlist in the military or gain a commission. In the ten years the program has been at CHS many cadets have received service academy appointments or ROTC scholarships. Islander Company participates with Coronado Optimists in the strand clean-up. The Optimists salute the performance of this outstanding unit!
Optimist Youth Appreciation Award Winners for 2014 – May 1, 2014
Coronado High School
“A Joy to Have in Class!” These words by CHS Assistant Principal Steve Abbot accurately describe each of the students who received these prestigious awards given annually by the Optimist Club of Coronado. The awards are presented to one boy and one girl in each class who best exemplify those qualities expressed in the Optimist Creed. Concern for others, cheerfulness and doing your best in all phases of school life are but a few of the character traits of these outstanding students. The Optimists salute them, their parents and teachers. You make Coronado proud!
Freshmen: Kristofer Leslie & Siobhan Homan
Sophomores Lucas Darquea & Carson Ricks
Juniors: James Harbaugh & Jordyn Kastlunger
Seniors Israel Dedina & Isabella Cuellar
Principal Kevin Nichols spoke about the optimistic attributes of Frankie Slattery and Brooke Anns, the students nominated for the awards, with equal appreciation for what they brought to the class. Of particular note were the recent challenges faced by Frankie, who was injured in a bike-auto accident in Coronado. His fighting spirit has been instrumental in a recovery process that is proceeding well. An unusual happening took place at the Optimist meeting – Frankie’s Fan Club came to also recognize him! They, along with Frankie’s mom, cheered loudly when Frankie received his award. It was a moment to remember.
Young and talented orators Eugenia Dominguez and Max Kunes were First Place Winners in the Optimist Oratorical Contest and will compete at the next level with the winners from four other Optimist Clubs in San Diego. The Second Place Winner was Samantha Russell; Third Place Winner was Natalya Gomez. The four winners are students at Sacred Heart Parrish School. Other students who competed were: Ariana Martin, Sofia Rubio, Ivana Letayf, Carolina Salome, Gabriella Ryan and Adelaide McCargill.
This year’s topic was, ‘How My Passions Impact the World’. Ten students accepted the challenge to participate and all the orators excelled in their prepared speeches. Each speech was between 4 and 5 minutes long and points were awarded for content, delivery, poise and overall effectiveness. It was evident that extensive preparation had been done by all the contestants. The three judges had a most difficult time because of the high quality of every speech given.
To follow one’s passion in life is one of the keys to not only happiness but also to making great contributions to fellow human beings in the process. The passions of which these fine students spoke included; helping others in need, education and teaching, leadership and public speaking, technology to help advance the human race, music and singing, photography, physical and mental health. The importance of striving, accepting challenges as opportunities as well as integrity, empathy, kindness and character were addressed in all the speeches. The parents and teachers in the room, hearing and witnessing the positive outlook of these outstanding students, were both proud and inspired.
The Optimists want to thank the students, parents and teachers who all participated in this wonderful event this year. These Coronado students are remarkable. We are privileged to have them in our community.
Burrowing Owl Eagle Scout Project Sponsored by Optimists
Photo: Optimist Pres Ahern, Scout Rafael Uribe, Optimist Scout Coordinator Ted Krohne
Eagle Scout candidate Rafael Uribe recently described his outstanding project to the Optimists.
He became aware that endangered Burrowing Owl has a major need. This particular owl is a cute little brown and white bird that burrows under the ground during the day. Their burrows have been threatened, the number declining significantly in recent years.
Rafael obtained a design for an underground shelter along with a materials list. It is a fascinating design using common building materials. It will be fun for the scouts to build. Between 8 to 12 shelters are planned for installation at NAS North Island.
Projects like these are wholeheartedly supported by the Optimists because of their obvious merit, not only to those being served, but also for the positive growth experience of all the scouts involved in completing a project.
Optimist International President Salutes Coronado Optimist Club as Best in the California South District
Optimist International President J.C. St. Onge and a host of California-South District officials recently visited the Coronado Optimists Club at a Thursday morning meeting here in Coronado.
He spoke of what the very best clubs have: great fellowship, outstanding service projects, support from their community, success in attracting new members who come with new ideas that refresh and regenerate. He noted with pleasure the high quality of the Optimist Club of Coronado and recognized it as being the best in the California-South District.
President St. Onge’s home is in Canada. He related how he became active in his home club, the results of the efforts of that club in getting great support from the community, his leadership roles from club, to district, to international levels. His one-year tour as the OI President has him traveling to all parts of the USA and Canada. The Coronado Optimists were pleased he was able to visit. As he looked out at the beautiful view from the Coronado Community Center, where the Optimists meet every Thursday morning, he stated that he now understood why the club was so successful! The Optimists agreed, we do indeed have a beautiful town, and that includes the people, too!
Optimists Sponsor ‘On Applebee Pond’ Puppet Shows for Youth
Photo (L-R): Puppeteers Bruce Johnson, Mike Napolitano, Dianne Baldwin, Andrea Webster
Dianne Baldwin and Andrea Webster of the PACE Program in Coronado presented an opportunity to the Optimists to sponsor, On Applebee Pond, a series of puppet shows for the students of Coronado schools.
The focus of the puppet shows is development of good character — while having fun.
Dianne came with a prepared script and puppets and enlisted the help of Optimists Bruce Johnson and Mike Napolitano in a show demonstration. It was funny and fun for all. The puppets’ actions show kids how to handle, in a positive way, challenging situations they often face while growing up.
Following the demonstration, the Optimist Board voted to provide $5000 to support this wonderful activity. About 1000 students per month will see the shows. The Optimists know the kids will love it and hope they will relate to their parents the messages they will learn. It should make for some great discussions at the family dinner table.
SDSU Head Football Coach Rocky Long came to speak with the Optimist Club of Coronado, sharing his message, “Team First& Hard Work”.
Photo (L-R): Optimist President Charlie Ahern Receives Handoff From Coach Rocky Long
Getting to the Coronado Optimists’ 7AM Thursday morning meeting was easy for Aztec coach Rocky Long. He normally gets up at 4:30 AM and is in his office about an hour later, leaving work around 9 PM.
Speaking to a full house, he told everyone present that he was an ‘old-school’ type of coach. He insists that his coaching staff provides mentoring, maintains discipline and sets high standards with the focus always being team first & hard work. He said that it is the same method he has used in all of his years of coaching and the difference between winning seasons and others is due to the talent and dedication of the athletes.
During the lively question and answer session, he stated that football has changed a lot over the last twenty years and that most rule changes have been made to increase scoring. “In the old days, when a ball was in the air, both offense and defense players had equal rights to the ball. Now, the defense can’t hardly touch the receiver without getting a penalty”. He stated that all coaches want a great quarterback, big and strong and fast linemen, and that at the high school level, most of the top athletes play on both offense and defense. He believes in letting his quarterback make a lot of play-calling decisions because he is at the scene of action. He stated making an open field tackle of a fast, agile runner is the most difficult task in football.
The Aztec’s recent win over Boise State in Boise was the first time in Aztec football history of a win over a ranked team on the opponent’s home field. In 1977, Don Coryell’s SDSU team beat highly ranked Florida State University here in San Diego. Both were monumental wins.
It was a rousing Optimist Club meeting with a great speaker!
U-T’s Kevin Acee Sports Journalist Tells Optimists, ‘A New Day Has Begun For The Chargers’
Photo: Optimist Pres. Ahern and Kevin Acee
Kevin Acee covers the San Diego Chargers for the SD Union-Tribune. Living in Fallbrook, he had to get up early to be at an Optimist meeting starting at 7:00 AM in Coronado.
He spoke of the changes taking place in the news industry, from papers to the digital communications age. His children seldom read a paper, getting almost all of their news from their cell phones. It is a problem faced by all print media. The Copley owners were aware of it. The private equity group who purchased the U-T from the Copleys was aware of it, and current owners Manchester and Lynch are aware of it. The stories must still be created so there should always be a place for writers.
Kevin related an interesting fact regarding print media vs. the internet, twitter, etc. With print media, one seldom gets feedback regarding how many folks read what is written. With the ‘new’ media, there is almost instant feedback. The ‘number of hits’ are available, not only to writers but also to bosses and owners. Good stories do not necessarily receive a lot of hits, and that can lead to coverage of only ‘popular’ sports subjects.
Kevin spoke candidly to those present about the challenges he faces writing about the Chargers. His strength is that he develops close relationships with those involved – owners, coaches and players. He job is to write candidly and honestly about what he observes and what he is given access to. That is sometimes unpleasant. He will often give a ‘heads up’ to an individual who may read of his ‘less-than-expected’ performance.
The change in personalities and styles between the new and the old Charger’s GM and Head Coach is dramatic. He thinks it will have a big impact, the results of which will be shown in seasons to come, and he thinks the change is positive.
He also stated the current stadium is a major issue for the Chargers and opined that, without progress being made on that issue, he feels their move to LA is probable – driven by the financial side of the sports business.
The Optimists have had several media persons speak and all have demonstrated the gift of telling interesting stories. Kevin’s remarks and willingness make an early morning meeting are much appreciated.