New principal starts new tradition at Montecito High

By Maureen Robertson

Dave Lohman, completing his first year as principal of Montecito High School, decided to turn an end-of-the-year tradition into a celebration.

Seth Grybow, with Kim and Krysta Lasley to his right, serves dinner. Sentinel photos/Maureen Robertson

Instead of presenting scholarships and awards to seniors at the alternative school on graduation night, he planned something special. With help from school employees and Trustee Kim Lasley, he staged a Senior Scholarship & Awards Dinner for the seniors and their families and guests a week before graduation.

“We wanted to celebrate our kids’ successes,” said Lohman. “We decided to have a dinner, make it classy.”

With tablecloths on the tables, party lanterns scattered about, and Lasley and her crew serving smoked tri-tip, pulled pork, green salad, fresh fruit salad, coleslaw — with two cakes for dessert — the outdoor event celebrated the students’ achievements and college and career plans.

“What a special evening for these kids,” said Lasley, who prepared and donated the food for the occasion.

Representatives of Ramona Rotary, Soroptimist International of Ramona, and the district office participated in the scholarship presentations ranging from $200 from Sun Valley Council PTA to $1,000 from Ramona Chamber of Commerce and Plumbloco.

The Plumbloco Scholarship for Perseverance came from the husband-wife team of Greg Chick, a plumber, and Dr. Jane Tanaka, a psychiatrist. The scholarship went to salutatorian Alex Francisco Suazo. Tanaka quietly told Suazo that for every year he earns at least a 3.0 grade-point average in college, he will receive another Plumbloco scholarship of $1,000.

Suazo plans to attend Palomar College in the fall and is interested in exploring engineering with an emphasis on wind and solar energy. Tanaka told him Plumbloco scholarships will follow him through undergraduate and graduate school each time he hits the 3.0 or higher mark.

College and Career Center Director Lisa Filice and College and Career Adviser Katy Behnke joined Montecito teachers in the award presentations that culminated in the Future Plan Awards to seniors with specific college and career plans.

Six days later, on June 11, Class of 2013 graduation took place for 48 Montecito High and 30 Future Bound Independent Study graduates.

Perseverance and resilience were the themes in two key talks of the evening. Valedictorian Adrieana Rodriguez called perseverance the key to success, and Lohman focused on resilience.

“Each person here today has a history, a past, good or bad. I know it hasn’t been easy for anyone to get here, not the students, the teachers or our families,” said Rodriguez, whose parents are deceased. “…Although there are many obstacles in life that we have faced and even more to come, it is important we remember to just take things one step at a time and keep in mind that the best is yet to come.”

Resilient’s definition is “able to recover quickly from setbacks, the ability to bounce back from adversity,” said Lohman.

“Graduates, the word resilient describes each and every one of you,” he said. “All of you have overcome many obstacles. Each and every one of us hopes that you take this word resilient, keep it in your back pocket, and use it each and every day for the rest of your life.”

Related posts:

  1. Montecito High School Graduation
  2. Montecito High School Class of 2012 Graduation
  3. Dave Lohman to replace Nakhshab at Montecito
  4. New principal continues family’s tradition in education
  5. Montecito High students showcased at county fair

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Posted by Karen Brainard on Jun 22 2013. Filed under Featured Story, Schools. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

1 Comment for “New principal starts new tradition at Montecito High”

  1. Jane Tanaka MD

    I remember being told when I graduated from Hilo High School, that I would be the very first member of my family to go to college in America. I was also told that my education in Hawaii, even though I graduated #2 in my class of 800 students, was subpar and that I would probably earn Cs in college on the Mainland ( California). That is what I expected. But, because I was used to working hard, and didnt expect to get good grades, guess what happened? The kids who previously had it easier in HS didnt know how to do work as hard and not give up.
    So you graduates from Montecito High School, please know that I would like to cheer on all of you, not just Alex Suazo. You all have the potential for being very successful. Like your Valedictorian and HS Principal said, its about Perseverence and Resilence.
    And one day, Alex, if you can, pay it forward, and sponsor a scholarship to someone else at Montecito HS or Ramona Unified School District. Another key to life is Altruism, giving to someone else who could use the help.. even if it doesnt directly benefit you.

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