President’s Report

SRCA 2019 Membership Drive

Part of what makes Scripps Ranch unique is the great people who put in the time, effort, and finances to keep our community special. We are very fortunate to have a beautiful place to live, work, and play.

The SRCA truly has its finger on the pulse of the community. This allows us to advocate for the needs of residents in so many ways. You may not even be aware that the SRCA is working for the community because a lot of volunteer work happens behind the scenes. Check out pages 30 and 31 for some examples.

For the SRCA to continue to serve the community and be the pulse of Scripps Ranch, we need your financial help. Please be an annual member of the SRCA. We are in the midst of our 2019 Membership Drive, and we invite you to join us on our mission to keep Scripps Ranch as the best community in San Diego.

Joining is easy to do. Just visit We all love Scripps Ranch and we can’t do it without your support. Thank you!

New Scripps Ranch Park

This year we assembled a diverse group of residents and organizations to collaboratively design the next new park in Scripps Ranch. It is located on Fairbrook Road on the south side of Pomerado Road. The Fairbrook Park concept began in 1998, and we hope to see construction begin no later than January 2020.

A majority of the delay has been the San Diego Unified School District not selling the property, and the developer wanting to finish its 17 homes before we can build the park. The city has some responsibility for the delay, too, by allowing the developer to put a bioswale—landscape elements designed to concentrate or remove debris and pollution from runoff water—in the park, which adds cost to the construction. Our dedication and resolve to get this park built is unwavering.

Your Official Source of News

Part of the SRCA’s mission is to bring information to the community, as well as provide our elected officials insight about what Scripps Ranch residents want and need. As we have for every development proposal, we use the SRCA Newsletter to bring in-depth special reports about all community projects.

In the past couple of years we led the way with a number of community developments:

  • The Watermark project at the corner of Scripps Poway Parkway and Interstate 15
  • The San Diego Unified School District’s apartment proposal at the current Innovations Academy site
  • The Glen retirement community
  • Chabad Life-Long Learning development
  • Carroll Canyon Road development
  • Renzulli property housing proposal at the end of Cypress Canyon Road

The latest potential project is the KB Homes proposal for the Alliant International University property. There will be a special meeting of the Scripps Ranch Planning Group (SRPG) in January about this project. See page 21 for details.

While we don’t “win” every “fight,” the SRCA and planning groups work with the developers and the city to try to make sure decisions are well thought out.

It’s Almost Over

One of the biggest challenges Scripps Ranch residents faced over the last two years was the SDG&E electric transmission line construction. As you know, it affected traffic on Pomerado Road and Stonebridge Parkway. To say it was aggravating is an understatement.

Many hours and hundreds of emails were spent answering residents’ questions and concerns. The SRCA inserted itself into the project to get a seat at the “table” with SDG&E and the city. By developing relationships with people who led the project, the SRCA was able to somewhat reduce the negative project impacts. Believe it or not, it could have been worse.

We are near completion of the repaving of Pomerado Road. The SRPG article on page 21 also has the latest on this.

SRCA Scholarships

Col. Bob Dingeman, also known as Mr. Scripps Ranch, has been the long-time advocate for community volunteerism. How can we instill that drive in young people? One way is to be a good example.

Two inspiring Scripps Ranch High School seniors were awarded the SRCA Bob Dingeman Scholarship and each will receive $1,500. Congratulations to Ashwin Kumar and Haley Nguyen! You can read their outstanding application essays starting on page 6.

Bob Ilko, SRCA President

Honoring our Volunteers

It’s that time of year again in Scripps Ranch! The 2019 Recognition Night event is just a few months away, and it’s time to begin compiling a list of volunteers to honor. Every year the SRCA hosts a special evening to show our appreciation to these individuals who volunteer for the good of our community. This year SRCA Recognition Night is on Monday, Apr. 1, at 6:30 pm at the Scripps Ranch Library.

We have many wonderful volunteers who give their time to benefit our kids, sports, religious groups, and many other organizations in our community throughout the year. We rely on residents like you to let us know who is doing great work and who we should recognize for his or her valuable contribution.

Volunteers can be honored for their involvement in a one-time event or work recurring over multiple occasions. If you know a volunteer who should be included, please submit his or her name at Volunteers also will be highlighted in a special edition of our SRCA Newsletter in May.

The event is coming up soon, and the deadline to submit names is Friday, Feb. 20. Feel free to honor as many volunteers as you wish. It is the mission of the SRCA to promote and encourage volunteerism, which is what makes Scripps Ranch such a special place to live. If you have any questions, please email me at [email protected]

Bill Feather, Recognition Night Chair

SRCA Bob Dingeman Scholarship Winners

Each year the Scripps Ranch Civic Association grants scholarships to graduating Scripps Ranch High School seniors. Recipients are chosen for their outstanding community service, among other factors. The scholarships are named after SRCA president emeritus—and longtime community leader—Colonel Robert Dingeman (retired). Due to Bob’s incredible decades of service to Scripps Ranch, our community is a special place to live. It also has top-rated schools, including Dingeman Elementary School, named after Bob.

This year’s scholarship recipients are Ashwin Kumar and Haley Nguyen. Each will receive a $1,500 scholarship. They are awarded early so that these outstanding young people can place this honor on their college applications.

One of the requirements for the scholarship is for applicants to include an essay about their community service. Following are Ashwin and Haley’s essays. Congratulations to both of there extraordinary young people!

Ashwin Kumar’s Essay

I walked out of the UCSD Hall, head spinning, unable to process the events that had just occurred. For the first time in ten years Marshall Middle School, despite having a pool of the brightest kids in San Diego, did not qualify for MathCounts state championships after an utterly dismal performance. Stumbling out of the gym, I trudged to my car, humiliated, watching schools celebrate their success. As I moved through school the embarrassment of that fateful day never left the back of my mind.

Everyone knew that Scripps Ranch had some of the most talented students in the state—the only question was how to harness that intelligence and apply it. Buoyed by my own success in past years, having reached 15th in California, I decided to start a new chapter and took over the program at Marshall, embracing a radical overhaul of the previous norms.

Instead of loosely held monthly meetings with makeshift teams, we held weekly meetings, with difficult homework but incentives and prizes for those who did it. For the three years I’ve taught this program, we’ve managed to send students back to the state championships, creating a new-found respect for our school’s place in the city.

Running a program the size of MathCounts is not easy, taking hours of preparation per week. Preparing practice questions, review problems, and original lesson plans for 60-plus kids all at different levels is challenging enough. And after adding in the difficult task of controlling a packed room of teeming 6th, 7th, and 8th graders, it becomes nearly impossible.

While my peers’ Friday nights were spent at Scripps football games or at dinner, mine were spent monitoring hundreds of emails, fielding questions from curious parents, coordinating logistics with the school’s administration and staff, conducting and proctoring tests, correcting assignments, and arranging for funds. But through these efforts, in three years, we created a lively environment with enough structural elements to keep people interested while cultivating their developing knowledge base.

Hand in hand with MathCounts was the Science Olympiad program at Marshall Middle School. Again, due to my own positive experience, I wanted to offer other kids the opportunity to develop a love for science outside the realm of a classroom. Having experienced the highs and lows, I knew how to teach and improve the standings of the students and the school.

For every year since 9th grade, I have prepared, administered, and taught many lessons—sometimes at home—leading teams to win and place. In addition, I, along with my entire family, helped with the administrative side of running such a large program, not only by volunteering countless hours but also by recruiting new volunteers.

But the most formidable challenge that paved the way for my biggest community service involvement during high school was my battle with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, a debilitating autoimmune disorder that affects one’s skin and joints. I had to endure incessant teasing, forcing me to withdraw and hide, paranoid that people would judge me based on my skin. On top of that, I could barely walk for a few months, making me abandon my activities like tennis, swimming, and piano.

Yet when I was completely down in the dumps, bordering on depression, I found the National Psoriasis Foundation, immediately transforming my life. I found new kinds of treatments, ways to cope, and an avenue to make a difference in the lives of others, especially children. Through this, I became the Youth Ambassador for Southern California, becoming intensely involved in fundraising through various events and traveling across the country to share my trials and travails.

In addition, I’m a youth mentor, helping youngsters cope with the same issues that almost shattered my confidence and destroyed me. I’ve been on television, Facebook Live, and the KUSI news to create more awareness about the disease and provide support to those who are hiding. This year I even became part of the advocacy group and lobbied for health care reform by sharing in front of senators in Sacramento. Even though my work may be on a national and state level, it all starts in one place—the local community of Scripps Ranch. My hundreds of hours of community service here all have one goal—to make a difference.

Ashwin Kumar, SRHS Senior

Haley Nguyen’s Essay

Walk into the Scripps Miramar Library. To your left, there’s a window display case. That’s where my story with the library began.

The summer of 2015, I saw the Friends of the Library was in need of someone to decorate the display case. I applied and was accepted. From there, I was encouraged to join the newly formed Teen Council. I had missed the first meeting, but I’ve been to every meeting since. During our meetings, we plan programs and events that we feel can serve the community. Rather than simply performing assigned tasks, we can invent library programs where we see a need or an opportunity.

Our past events include the annual Haunted Library with an annual attendance of 200, seasonal events for elementary school children, and a Teen Movie Night series. Currently, we are preparing for this year’s One Book, One San Diego program: a community art show that honors the Civil Rights movement, non-violence, and contemporary social issues.

My junior year I was elected to the position of publicity officer. When our president unfortunately resigned a few months later, I stepped into the role of president at her request.

Leadership has allowed me to become increasingly involved with our projects, working behind the scenes to make ideas that members propose at meetings possible. Not only could I serve the library, I could serve my peers.

That became even more essential because in the same month of our leadership change, our youth services librarian and advisor was promoted to another branch. We were without a youth librarian to support us from November to May. Despite this, we were able to organize and host three events and staff the library’s 25th Anniversary Celebration.

As president my work extends beyond the library’s familiar stucco walls: late night phone calls with other officers; frequent communication with library staff and Friends of the Library board members; tireless efforts to promote Teen Council and our events; visits to every other library in the San Diego City Public Library system in search of inspiration and networking opportunities; watching three copies of the same movie to find one without skips for our Teen Movie Night; explaining the city’s rigorous volunteer orientation process to new members; and making purchases on behalf of our council.

Last June I was elected by my fellow council members to a second term as president. I am honored to be the council’s last founding member and the first individual to be a four-year member of Teen Council. In four years our membership has changed, we’ve had three different librarians, and our branch celebrated its 25th anniversary.

We’ve grown from a fledgling council into a robust organization that other councils look to for guidance. Through all of these changes, my love of the library has remained. I volunteer for several other causes: mentoring Junior Model United Nations (JMUN) delegates weekly at Marshall Middle School, staffing the annual JMUN conference, and serving as a Youth Ambassador for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundations. However, serving my library is my greatest love.

Haley Nguyen, SRHS Senior