Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS)

An Inside Look

[Editor's note: Kate Stanhope, the SRHS Falcon Flyer editor, will write a column each month until the end of this school year to give the community an inside look at various issues facing SRHS.]

At a school of 2,300 teenagers, it takes a lot to get the student body up on their feet. At Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS) there are two consistent attention-getters: the piercing fire alarms; and, the word "fight." Like those cheesy and outrageous tabloids at the grocery store where only the downfalls and breakdowns make the cover, fights are a great crowd pleaser in the world of fickle fads, friends, and foes.

Even if both sides are unfamiliar faces, it gives students something to talk about in the next period. However, unlike the stereotypical school fights portrayed in the mass media, fights aren't only on account of vicious gangs or bullies from a bad home.

While I don't mean to get fearful parents reaching for that private school brochure, I simply mean that there is no stereotypical offender when it comes to the verbal and physical fights that occur on Falcon turf--it could be almost anyone. Rather than an outburst after months of silent animosity, these fights are usually over trivial issues and are day-altering at best; a bad mix of stress, hormones, and drama.

For many students, especially in an involved community like Scripps Ranch, school is almost a second home--six-and-a-half-hour school days, plus sports games, band practice, drama rehearsal, ROTC, tutoring, and the countless other after-school activities students take on.

Since we spend so much time at school, safety shifts from a concern to a major priority. A number of high schools across the country have inserted metal detectors and backpack searches into students' daily routines. While it's better to be safe than sorry, in the case of SRHS, these tactics seem both extravagant and unnecessary.

Although a Scripps Ranch student was found in possession of a gun on campus earlier this school year, studies by the Surgeon General's office found that serious youth violence has been substantially declining since 1993. Also, a National Center for Injury Prevention and Control survey showed that more than one-third of high school students claim to have been in a physical fight in the past year, but only 4% required medical treatment. Startlingly enough, a study performed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that more 7th and 8th graders participated in violent activities than high school students. The NIH also discovered that only 24% of adolescents have easy access to a gun.

If it weren't for the security staff and selected members of our administration, most of these quarrels would eventually escalate into black eyes and bruises. Although much of this year marked the absence of campus police, the security staff, selected counselors, and both vice principals could be seen parting the red sea of spectators of the day's highlight verbal brawl. So while the epidemic that is youth violence continues, the halls of SRHS remain relatively safe.

New Student Pre-enrollment

Pre-enrollment for all new students moving to the Scripps Ranch area begins Monday, Apr. 19, and continues through Friday, Apr. 30. Appointments are scheduled every half-hour, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday between 8 and 11 am. To schedule an appointment, please contact Debbie Torres, at 621-9020, ext. 1132.

Essay Contest Winner

Congratulations to James Zou who has been awarded a $10,000 cash award for the Kyoto Laureate Symposium Essay Contest. James is one of only three students in the United States to receive this award! His essay showcases his outstanding human achievement in advanced technology, basic sciences, and arts and philosophy.

The Symposium was conceived by the University of San Diego (USD) as a way to make the Kyoto prizes better known in North America. For more details about the Kyoto Laureate Symposium Essay Contest or the Inamori Foundation, contact Dr. Donald McGraw, USD associate provost professor of biology, at 619-260-4553 or [[email protected]].

Cardio/Fitness Program

Tony Kurtz has been teaching in our district for 25 years and has worked with our special needs students in a Cardio/Fitness Program for Adapted PE. Mr. Kurtz's program has now expanded to five different school sites, and the Cardio/Fitness Program is again in need of several pieces of exercise equipment. If you can donate any, please contact Tony Kurtz at [[email protected]] or Tom Nelissen, employer outreach specialist, at 621-9020, ext.1132.

Grad Night Volunteers Needed

The Class of 2004 is recruiting volunteers for Grad Night. This year's theme is "Party in Paradise," and it will be held on Friday, June 11, from 9:30 pm to Saturday, June 12, 5:30 am in the SRHS gym. Each shift is two to three hours, and we need about 200 volunteers.

We ask that all volunteers be at least 25 years old, but it is not necessary to have a student in the Class of 2004 or at SRHS. For more information, contact Ruth Burr at [[email protected]] or Kim Choo at [[email protected]].

Grad Night--Coming Soon

Due to the fact that the Senior Prom will be held just one week prior to graduation, we will sell tickets at a discounted price for "early birds." A Grad Night and Senior Breakfast package is $45. Tickets bought after Monday, May 10, will be sold at an increased price. Tickets for the Senior Prom, which is on Saturday, June 5, cost $45.

Our Parent Booster Organization (PBO) needs someone to be responsible for security at Grad Night. If you can organize a group for this purpose, please contact Sandy Price at 693-1531. Please join us at our next meeting in the SRHS teachers' cafeteria on Wednesday, Apr. 14, at 7 pm. We hope to see you then.

Class of 2005 PBO

The Class of 2005 will participate in the communitywide Garage Sale on Saturday, Apr. 17. Volunteers are needed to arrange items the night before and to sell items the day of. Items are also needed. Please contact Colleen Mossberg at 578-8524 or [[email protected]].

The golf tournament is right around the corner. Very special thanks to George and Menoula Stanitsas, owners of the Spice House Cafes on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard and downtown on 9th Avenue. They are donating all the food for the dinner. This is a very generous donation--thank you so much.

Our next meeting is on Wednesday, Apr. 14, at the SRHS teachers' lounge. For questions, contact our president, Dixie Hall, at [[email protected]].

Class of 2006 PBO

We are looking for parents to help with our fundraising events. Our last meetings this year will be on Wednesday, Apr. 28 and May 26, at the Crown Pointe clubhouse. If you have any questions, please call Holly Gray at 566-1554.

SRHS Football

Football parents are planning their vacations and need the football schedule for the year. Here is what we have so far:

  • Monday, May 17, through Friday, June 4--Spring Ball;
  • Thursday, June 3--Spring Ball barbecue, 5 pm;
  • Monday, June 14, through Wednesday, June 23--Summer conditioning, one session per day;
  • Friday and Saturday, June 18 and 19--SDSU Passing Tournament;
  • Thursday through Sunday, June 24, 25, 26, and 27--Fresno camp;
  • Friday, July 16--Football Golf Tournament at Mt. Woodson;
  • Monday, July 26, through Friday, Aug. 6--Dead period;
  • Monday through Friday, Aug. 9 to 13--Team meetings;
  • Monday, Aug. 16--First practice;
  • Friday, Aug. 27--Scrimmage; and,
  • Friday, Sept. 3--First game.

The SRHS administration, boosters, and football family would like to thank the community for its generous support in donations, time, and energy to make our program the most successful football family in the city. For questions, please call Velvet Gardiner, SRHS Football Booster Club president, at 549-9907.

Cheer Tryouts

SRHS cheer tryouts will be held on Monday, Apr. 26, through Friday, Apr. 30, from 3 to 5 pm in the upper field. Anyone with good grades and all of their paperwork is eligible. You must have a minimum 2.0 in citizenship and academics, with no F's or U's.

There is a pre-tryout meeting for parents and potential cheerleaders at the SRHS library on Tuesday, Apr. 20, at 6 pm. Applications are available in the front office, B-30, or the counseling office. Results will be posted by Monday, May 3.

A Great Year for Wrestling

The Scripps Ranch Wrestling Team captured its sixth Eastern League title and won its fourth City Conference Championship this year. Six of the wrestlers made the All-Eastern League Team: Byron Murphy, 119; Alan Soto, 130; Bryce Sorem, 135; Randy Vasquez, 145; Ryan Nejal, 171; and, Ron Vasquez, 215. In addition, Ryan was named All-Eastern League Team Wrestler of the Year.

Three wrestlers were City Conference champs: Byron Murphy, 119; Randy Vasquez, 145; and, Ryan Nejal, 171.

Three from the team earned CIF championship first place medals: Byron, Randy, and Ryan. Nine of the grapplers qualified in CIF to go to the Masters--state qualifying--Tournament. At the Masters, Scripps took tenth place out of 64 teams, with Randy Vasquez and Ryan Nejal leading the way and being crowned Master's Champions.

Randy Vasquez and Ryan Nejal qualified for the State Championship--Ryan placed fourth and Scripps placed 36th.

Lacrosse Season is Here!

It's time for Lacrosse season at SRHS. We have both boys and girls Lacrosse teams--JV and varsity. These are relatively new club sports at SRHS, and we are counting on community support for our athletes. Game schedules are on the SRHS website at [].

Annual Wine and Beer Tasting

The SRHS Girls Team parents will host the 6th Annual Wine and Beer Tasting event on Saturday, May 1, from 6 to 8:30 pm. Featured are specially selected fine wines and beers, with appetizers prepared by our own Scripps Ranch chefs and restaurants. We will also have a silent auction. Proceeds benefit the girls' field hockey, soccer, and softball teams, as well as the turf and track field.

Tickets are on sale for $20 per person or $25 at the door. You must be at least 21 years old. Tickets can be purchased at the Aviary Scripps Ranch Swim and Racquet Club, where the event will be held. Checks only please.

We are looking for corporate sponsors or donations, such as gift certificates, baskets, weekend getaways, or more. For details, please contact Kim Molina at 271-7630 or [[email protected]].

Marshall Middle School (MMS)

Calendar of Events

  • Tuesday, Apr. 13--PTSA meeting, 12:30 pm, lounge;
  • Wednesday, Apr. 14--Site Governance, 5-6 pm, lounge;
  • Wednesday, Apr. 14--Curriculum Fair Open House, 6:30-8 pm;
  • Thursday, Apr. 15--Minimum day, students dismissed at 11:30 am;
  • Thursday, Apr. 15--Fred Becker, Parenting Workshop;
  • Tuesday, Apr. 20, through Monday, Apr. 26--STAR-CAT/6 testing, special schedule;
  • Thursday, Apr. 22--Fred Becker, Parenting Workshop; and,
  • Thursday, Apr. 29--Fred Becker, Parenting Workshop.


STAR-CAT/6-CST testing begins on Tuesday, Apr. 20, and continues through Monday, Apr. 26. This is state standardized testing. Students will be tested in their advisory classes.

Our schedule for the five days of testing will be changed so that students remain in their advisory class until 11 am on Tuesday through Thursday, and on Friday, Apr. 23, and Monday, Apr. 26, the testing will last until 9:45 am.

Please do not schedule any appointments for your students during these times. Make-ups are very difficult, and students test better with their classes with familiar faces and a familiar setting.

Counseling News

The next progress report will be distributed on Friday, Apr. 30. That will be the final progress report before the semester ends on Friday, June 11. The district will mail June report cards home.

Remember to sign up for the outstanding parenting workshop presented by Fred Becker called, "How to Develop a Self-Reliant and Responsible Child." This workshop series takes place on Thursday, Apr. 15, 22, 29, and May 6, from 6:30-8 pm in the Marshall Middle School auditorium. Call 549-8840 for more information. The workshop is open to all parents and interested parties from Marshall, all the elementary schools, and Scripps Ranch High School!

Library Media Center

April activities at the Marshall Middle School Library Media Center will focus on literacy and reading. April is designated as School Library Media Month. April is also Poetry Awareness Month and our poetry books are on display.

The Library Media Center is also sponsoring a Book Fair during the week of Monday, Apr. 12, through Monday, Apr. 19. All language arts classes are scheduled to visit the Book Fair. Parents are invited to visit on Wednesday, Apr. 14, the night of the Curriculum Fair. Students will design bookmarks to promote reading and celebrate National Library Week. The theme for National Library Week, which is Sunday, Apr. 18, through Saturday, Apr. 24, is "@ your library."

Geography Bee Buzz

Congratulations to our school Geography Bee winner, Jeremy Patashnik, who has qualified for the California State Geography Bee! Jeremy will compete in the California state contest in Sacramento on Saturday, Apr. 3. One winner from each state will then compete in the televised National Bee hosted by Alex Trebek on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 25 and 26, in Washington, D.C.

Band Receives Another Award!

Congratulations to the hard-working and talented musicians in the Advanced Band. They received unanimous superior ratings from three judges at March's districtwide band festival at Lewis Middle School. Lewis was the only other band to receive unanimous superior ratings. This is the third year in a row Marshall has claimed this honor!

The Marshall Marching Band once again demonstrated their expertise at the Saint Patrick's Day Parade in Balboa Park. The students enjoyed the opportunity to demonstrate what outstanding performers they are. Another great job!

Elementary Schools

Dingeman Elementary

Spring Carnival

An important event coming up is the Annual Spring Carnival. Mark your calendar for Friday, May 7. This is one of the most fun events of the year. Even families who do not have kids at Dingeman participate just for the great games, prizes, food, music, and company.

There will be a silent auction of wonderful theme baskets and other exciting items! If you are interested in supporting our school and would like to donate something for the auction, or are just interested in helping, please call Doris Berry at 619-606-7076.

Book Fair

Dingeman held its annual Scholastic Book Fair. This was an exciting event for our students. The theme this year was "Treasure Hunt, Dig Up Great Books."

The volunteers outdid themselves with the set up. They worked hard and it looked wonderful. The children visited the Book Fair with their classes, as well as with their families before and after school. On Wednesday of that week, they held a special family night where the fair was open from 5:30-7:30 pm.

Honor Band

Dingeman had an incredible first this month. Three of our 6th graders made the San Diego All-City Honor Band 2004. The three talented students are: Andrew Boorman, trumpet; Amy Brown, clarinet; and, Luke Raudaskoski, alto sax. We are proud that they were the first Dingeman students to audition and be chosen for this band. The band performed at Point Loma Nazarene University in March. Andrew, Amy, and Luke, we are so proud of you and thank you for representing Dingeman!

Jerabek Elementary

Jerabek Koalas will be out on break much of April, but return on Wednesday, Apr. 21.

Celebrating A Special Birthday

Jerabek Elementary staff and students honored Dr. Seuss' 100th birthday in March. Local children's authors/ illustrators Edith Fine, Patti Schnetzler, Robin Garland, and Vivian Weand shared their creative talents with the students. We really appreciate their time and energy!

In addition to the four authors, Judy Kelly and Barbara McCormick, Jerabek's staff coordinators, and Shelly Lofy, Family Faculty Organization (FFO) member, recruited 16 community members from across the county to read to students: Katherine Nakamura, San Diego Unified School District board member; Michael Nigro, San Diego police officer; Marc Bailey, Fox 6 newscaster; Courtney Van Buren, San Diego Chargers #72; Renata Montiel, Jerabek Spanish teacher; Carla Latimer, Dorothy Bibeault, and Janet Wallace, former Jerabek teachers; Jill Weinstein and Andrea Ortega, SCORE educators; Shana Smith, FFO president; parent Mitch Diehl; and, retired radio personality Bill Stevens.

Mrs. Longfellow's 3rd grade thespians dramatized Seuss favorites. Following the read-ins, everyone assembled in the cafeteria arbor, along with surprise guest Clifford The Big Red Dog, to sing birthday greetings and share a big cake in honor of Dr. Seuss. The Cat in the Hat--Vice Principal Vickie Petersen--was also there. A good time was had by all.

Kindergarten Registration

Coming up in May, look for details for kindergarten registration. If you just can't wait to meet the parents and children expecting to join Jerabek's kindergarten class next year, you can join a playgroup now! Tamara Hurley and Andrea Tribolet are organizing a playgroup for children entering Jerabek kindergarten this fall. Contact them at [[email protected]] or [[email protected]].

The Holiday Store

Both the lower and upper grades benefited from a "new-again" fundraiser held this past December--the Holiday Store. We earned $5,700 during this weeklong shopping event.

Due to that event's popularity, the FFO has created a new Father's Day Gift Shop. Scheduled to open on Friday, June 18, it will be open all day in the quad. Our daddies will be spoiled on their special day! Call Debbie O'Toole at 586-6689 for information or to volunteer.

Winning Writer

It seems our Koala students are quite the writers. Andrew Sayer, a 5th grader in Miss Porter's class, won second place in the Paper Mate "You Write the Movie Review" contest. He received a congratulatory letter and a box of Paper Mate supplies. Well done, Andrew!

Construction On Campus

If you've been anywhere near Jerabek Elementary over the past months, you know there are major renovations taking place on campus. Although the presence of tractors, bulldozers, and other large construction equipment and schools don't normally go well together, they are on campus to upgrade both Jerabek's electrical and technology systems.

Once complete, there will be more than twice the number of electrical outlets in every classroom, and our school's network will run nearly four times faster. In addition, some of the interior of the school has been repainted, and the facilities are being "redesigned" to meet requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by remodeling some restrooms, installing ramps, and doing other renovations.

Although some of the work has been completed during the school day, most of the major work has been completed in the evening, weekends, and during school breaks. However, this coming break will involve a lot of trenching and rewiring, and things can get messy!

Therefore, it is very important that no one other than authorized personnel enter the site during the break--even the staff is not allowed to visit--to keep everyone as safe as possible. We look forward to the work being completed so we can enjoy the improvements to our wonderful school!

Enjoy the break. Enjoy your children.

Miramar Ranch Elementary (MRE)

School Events

Several exciting events have taken place recently at MRE. Mr. McKercher's 6th grade classes participated in the Jason 15 Project. Dr. Robert Ballard, oceanic geologist and locator of the Titanic, has been traveling to different countries for the last 15 years and working with students to relay his findings. He is now in the Panamanian rainforest studying mammals, insects, and plants.

Thanks to advanced technology and the new eMac purchased by the Family Faculty Association (FFA) this year, Mr. McKercher's classes did a live interview with Dr. Ballard via a webcam. They could see and talk to him and ask questions, and he could see and talk to them.

The Jason Project bought the class an eyesight camera to accomplish this task, and a digital video projector was used to project it onto a screen for everyone to see. Only 12 schools in San Diego were chosen to participate. Mr. McKercher's class was one of only two schools that did a live interview via the webcam.

Students Who Care

Students Who Care recently teamed with the MRE Student Council to facilitate its latest community service project to benefit Hidden Valley House, a women's shelter. Student representatives from grades 4 through 6 were named Students Who Care ambassadors and collected personal care item donations from their classmates for the shelter.

Under the guidance of Students Who Care parents, each representative was in charge of many important tasks. More than 12 big boxes of needed items were donated to the shelter. It was a wonderful lesson in leadership, community service, time management, and the joy of giving to others. A big thank you to these special kids and all those who participated.

Kindergarten Registration

MRE will hold kindergarten registration on Thursday, Apr. 15, from 8 to 10:30 am in the multipurpose room. To register your child, you need to bring:

  • Birth certificate, an original certified copy;
  • Immunization record;
  • Child's social security number; and,
  • Proof of residence--recent utility bill, rental agreement, deed to house, escrow papers, property tax payment receipt, mortgage documents, or military housing orders.

All documents must be originals and show both your name and address. To enter kindergarten, a child must be 5 years old on or before Dec. 2, 2004.


We are gearing up for our spring fundraiser, the 3rd Annual Miramar Ranch Elementary Sock Hop. If you or your friends are business or vacation rental owners, we would love for you to consider donating a service, item, or vacation rental. Contact Lynne Silverman at [[email protected]] or 566-9637.

Our first Family Restaurant Night in quite some time is set for Wednesday, Apr. 21, at Pat and Oscar's. The restaurant will donate a portion of all sales from MRE families to the FFA.

Ellen Browning Scripps Elementary (EBS)

April Events

  • Monday, Apr. 12--Academic Fundraising Partnership (AFP) meeting, 9 am, staff lounge;
  • Monday, Apr. 19, through Friday, Apr. 30--CAT6 Testing; and,
  • Friday, Apr. 23--Bingo Night fundraiser, 5:30-8 pm.

Kindergarten Registration

Registration for incoming kindergartners begins Tuesday, Apr. 20, from 9 to 11 am. To register your child, bring:

  • An original birth certificate;
  • Immunization records;
  • Child's social security number; and,
  • Proof of residence--recent utility bill, rental agreement, deed to house, escrow papers, property tax payment receipts, or mortgage documents.

All documents must show both the name and address of a parent. Children must be 5 years old on or before Dec. 2, 2004 to enroll for the 2004-2005 school year.

Kindergarten immunization requirements are as follows:

  • Polio--4 doses, 3 meet the requirements for ages 4-6 if at least one was given on or after 4th birthday;
  • DTP/Dtap/DT/Td--5 doses, 4 doses meet the requirements for ages 4-6 if at least one was on or after the 4th birthday;
  • MMR--2 doses, both on or after the 1st birthday;
  • Hepatitis B--3 doses; and,
  • Varicella--1 dose, or health care provider-documented varicella disease or immunity.

Extended Day Math Program

March concluded the Extended Day Mathematics Program that began at EBS back in October. I wanted to comment on this program in particular since my wife and I enrolled our daughter, and we now have some personal experience with both the class and the instructor.

We have found it to be extremely beneficial. My only wish is that it continued through the end of the school year. The instructor, Mr. Shobar, consistently attends workshops and seminars to enhance his teaching techniques as well as to keep up-to-date on current trends and developments. He is the reason this class was a success.

I cannot speak for all students who were enrolled, but my child's grades and understanding of math soared since she began several months ago. Early in the year, she struggled in class, struggled with homework, and basically math was her least favorite subject.

Since participating in the Extended Day Mathematics Program, she has received an "E"--that's excellent!--in math on all of her subsequent report cards. She now cranks out her math homework quickly and efficiently and maintains her high grades. Thanks to the AFP for funding this wonderful program and to Mr. Shobar for taking the time to teach this important subject to some kids who needed the extra boost.

Other Schools

Alliant International University (AIU)

Leadership Conference

The theme for the 2004 AIU Leadership Conference is "Tomorrow's Leaders, Today." The daylong conference for students, faculty, and the community will focus on bridging the gap between leadership theory and leadership. The conference provides the opportunity for anyone who has taken on a leadership role to tell others of their activities and successes.

AIU Leadership Conference 2004 is on Saturday, Apr. 17, in Green Hall. The Alliant Leadership Institute, University Student Government Association, and AIU are sponsors. For details on attending or participating, contact Joy Womble at [[email protected]] or Jacquie Higgins at [[email protected]].

Spring Fest

Renamed Spring Fest, this year's International Friendship Festival is a reinvented event. Spring Fest 2004 will be held on Friday, Apr. 23, from 11 am to 6 pm on the Walter Library lawn. The event still showcases multicultural entertainment and international food, while focusing on the community that is AIU.

Spring Fest 2004 provides a great opportunity for prospective students to visit the campus. For more information, call AIU Student Activities at 635-4673.

Chabad Hebrew Academy

An Emotional Rededication

In February Chabad Hebrew Academy conducted an emotional ceremony for students and parents to replace childhood memories lost in the fire. From the school's inception, a tradition was created in which 1st grade parents decorate a prayer book and inscribe it with a dedication to their child to cherish forever. Parents of all grades rededicated new prayer books in an emotional ceremony.

During this year's schoolwide ceremony, Rabbi Yonah Fradkin spoke on the significance of the siddur--prayer book in Hebrew--emphasizing the book's role as a place where one can connect with God, a place for comfort. Ordinarily, children in the higher grades would see the ceremony as childish, but, for one day, the aftermath of a disaster made them equals. The students wrote poems and presented essays at the dedication saying how they felt about the prayer books that are meant to be their lifelong companions.

If you would like to tour our beautiful new campus, please call 566-1996.

Miramar College

Buy a Brick--Leave a Legacy

The Miramar College Foundation "Leave a Legacy, Buy a Brick" campaign ends on Tuesday, June 1. Students, alumni, residents, and area businesses are invited to purchase engraved bricks to be used in the creation of a student plaza between two technology classroom/lab buildings under construction.

The 40,000+ sq. ft. state-of-the-art Science Technology Center and the Advanced Transportation Technology building opens this fall. Funds raised will be used to support technology initiatives, student scholarships, and to purchase equipment. Tax-deductible options include engraved 4" x 8" and 8" x 8" bricks, tree dedication plaques, and concrete benches. For details, visit [] or call 536-7876. Scripps Ranch residents Bob Dingeman and Sandi Rosalia serve on the Foundation board.