North County School News, Aug. 15


Retired educator receives award

Jay Klopfenstein was recently honored by the California Retired Teachers Area XI Division 45 with the Ruth de Prida award. This award is given to one state member a year who exemplifies the volunteer spirit in their work in the state organization and also in their community. Members are nominated by their divisions and chosen by a state committee. Klopfenstein retired from the Carlsbad Unified School District, where he taught science and was honored as an Apple Distinguished Educator. He has been a member of CalRTA since 2002. Working with CalRTA, he was the chairperson of the group’s state insurance committee and was one of the first members chosen to start the CalRTA Educational Foundation, where he has served as vice president since 2017. Klopfenstein volunteers on the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce Green Task Force and the Sustainability Committee, and is also the president of the Carlsbad Community Gardens Collaborative.


New HR assistant superintendent named

The Del Mar Union School District has announced Ryan Stanley as its next assistant superintendent of human resources. Stanley most recently served in the district as principal for 10 years at Ocean Air School. He has 26 years of service in education, including as a teacher and assistant principal. He started his new post in July.


Group donates duffel bags to foster youths

The Assistance League of Inland North County recently donated duffel bags filled with household items to 76 Escondido seniors graduating out of foster care. Operation Duffel Bag is a philanthropic program that helps high school seniors prepare for life on their own after graduation. Students in the foster care system become independent when they turn 18, so they need supplies to set up their own apartments or dorm rooms. Each duffel bag contained towels, a sleeping bag, blanket, pillow, first-aid kit, hygiene kit, tool kit, a $50 Walmart gift card and other items valued at more than $300. Ten of the students will be going to four-year universities and others to junior colleges. Visit


County seeking ‘remarkable teens’

The San Diego County Public Defender is seeking the community’s help for this year’s third annual installment of the “25 Most Remarkable Teens in San Diego” program. The program highlights youths ages 13-19 and celebrates them for positive accomplishments and showcases the ways they contribute to their community. All nominees will receive a certificate of recognition. Find the nomination form and list of award categories at Nominations must be submitted by Sept. 21. Email forms to [email protected] or mail to Connie Howard, San Diego County Public Defender Youth Council, 451 A St., Suite 1480, San Diego, CA 92101.


Westview student wins credit union contest

Yuktha Senthil, a student at Westview High School in the Poway Unified School District, recently won $1,000 in the first national Biz Kid$ Showcase. Biz Kid$ is a credit union-funded financial education program for young adults, championed by the National Credit Union Foundation. More than 100 students participated and completed learning modules focused on creating a business plan, building a brand, and setting a business up for future success. Each participant or team submitted a business plan and a final showcase project. Yuktha’s project idea, GradGenie, took first place at the state and the national level. GradGenie was proposed as a student social platform app with features that would promote school resources and give students a place to share posts and announcements about clubs, organizations and other services.


P.E.O. Chapter awards special scholarships

Samantha Hopkins Smith

Samantha Hopkins Smith

(Courtesy photo)

The P.E.O. chapter from Rancho Santa Fe, Chapter VL, recently awarded two specialty scholarships. Samantha Hopkins Smith of Vista has received a P.E.O. California Scholarship. P.E.O. California is part of P.E.O. International, a philanthropic organization where women celebrate the advancement of women through scholarships and grants. The California State Scholarship is offered to undergraduate and graduate California women studying in a variety of fields. Smith recently graduated from California State University San Marcos with a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a concentration in children, youths and families. She is now a graduate student in CSUSM’s Masters in Social Work program, studying to be a licensed clinical social worker.

Taylor Shimizu

Taylor Shimizu

(Courtesy photo)

Taylor Shimizu of San Diego, a senior at Canyon Crest Academy, has received the STAR Scholarship, which provides $2,500 scholarships to exceptional female high school graduates to attend post-secondary educational institutions in the United States and Canada. Recipients exhibit excellence in leadership, academics, extracurricular activities, community service and potential. Shimizu will attend Southern Methodist University in Dallas this fall on a full scholarship to study biochemistry.


Chamber gives out $10K in scholarships

The Vista Chamber of Commerce recently awarded 12 high school seniors with $10,000 in college scholarships in an online award ceremony. The seniors were selected from more than 50 students at nine local high schools who were honored in monthly ceremonies as part of the chamber’s Rising Star Student of the Month program. The program, now in its seventh year, recognizes high school seniors who show character, integrity, love of learning, involvement in school and community activities and/or the ability to overcome challenging life circumstances without compromising their education. The Rising Star Students of the Year received $1,000 scholarships: Leslie Lopez, Alta Vista High School; Izak Bunda, Guajome Park Academy; Kainath Kamil, Mission Vista High School; Gabriela Gonzalez, Rancho Buena Vista High School; Miranda Sherwood, Tri City Christian High School; Julia O’Neill, Vista High School; and Arianna Raquel Ayala, Vista Visions Academy. Jayde Wagner of Mission Vista High School received $1,000 as the Distinguished Female Student from PEO Sisterhood Vista Chapter ND. Receiving $500 Award of Merit scholarships were Alicia Llamas, Guajome Park Academy; Kulpreet Chhokar, Mission Vista High School; Jordan Deaver, Rancho Buena Vista High School; and Kylie Record, Vista High School.

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