North County School News, Dec. 26


St. Patrick’s students complete food drive

Students at St. Patrick Catholic School recently collected more than 4,300 items for their food drive, shattering their goal of 1,000 items. Students had three days to collect shelf-stable food and milk for Got Your Back San Diego, a local charity that feeds hundreds of hungry children in the community every week. The kindergarten, third- and sixth-grade classes collected most of the food, with more than 2,000 items. The public is welcome to continue to donate to Got Your Back, as there is still a great need for food. Got Your Back gives backpacks with kid-friendly food to children who otherwise would have only a school lunch to eat. Preferred items include boxed shelf-stable milks, individual or boxed macaroni and cheese, pastas, and shelf-stable pudding or gelatin cups. Food items can be dropped off at 3820 Oceanic Drive, # 313, Oceanside. Visit The St. Pat’s Angels program is always open to suggestions from the community on ways to give. To make a wish request, email [email protected]


Local students graduate

Manchester University, North Manchester, Ind.: Fariba Attarnezhad of Carlsbad, Master of Science in pharmacogenomics

University of the Cumberlands, Williamsburg, Ky.: Diane Studinka of Escondido, Doctor of Education in educational leadership


MiraCosta in running for $1M award

The Aspen Institute has named MiraCosta College as one of 150 entities eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. This award honors achievement and performance of America’s community colleges. Colleges selected to compete stand out among more than 1,000 community colleges nationwide as having high and improving levels of student success, as well as equitable outcomes for Black and Hispanic students and those from lower-income backgrounds. The $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence is awarded every two years. MiraCosta College will now submit data and narratives for the intensive review process. Selection of the top 10 finalists by a panel of 15 experts in community colleges, higher education, and workforce training, will be announced in spring/summer 2022. The Aspen Institute will then visit each of the finalists and collect additional data, including employment and earnings data. A jury will make award decisions by late spring 2023.


AAUW Speech Trek competition open

California high school students are invited to compete in Speech Trek, a speech competition sponsored by the American Association of University Women of California. The topic is: “Has the United States lived up to its pledge of liberty and justice for all? Would requiring the study of diversity, equity and inclusion in a high school setting help ensure liberty and justice for all?” Registration deadline is Jan. 22 for the Feb. 5 contest. The Poway-Peñasquitos branch of the AAUW will hold its contest at the Rancho Peñasquitos library. Prizes are $1,000, $500 and $250 for first, second and third place respectively. The winner of the local contest competes in the state semifinals. Contact the AAUW Poway-Peñasquitos branch at [email protected]; visit


Water district offering scholarships

Vista Irrigation District invites high school seniors to compete for scholarships from the district. Up to six scholarships may be awarded in amounts ranging from $1,000 to $3,000. The scholarship program aims to encourage students to learn more about water-related issues affecting their community. Applicants must complete an essay and provide a personal statement related to their background and/or goals. The judges will also evaluate community involvement or volunteer service and letters of recommendation from high school faculty. Download an application package from, or contact Alisa Nichols at (760) 597-3173 or [email protected] for materials. Applications are also available through high school counseling offices. Application deadline is 5 p.m. Feb. 25. Eligible students must live or attend school within the Vista Irrigation District’s service area. The district provides water service to more than 133,000 people in the city of Vista, and portions of San Marcos, Escondido, Oceanside, and unincorporated areas of San Diego County.

Please send items to [email protected] at least two weeks before events take place.