Ramona Elementary PTA presents first Tony Newman Road to Success awards

Ramona Elementary School sixth-graders Edna Gaspar, Patricia Ochoa and Perla Torrecillas receive the first “Tony Newman’s Road to Success Awards” from Principal Phyllis Munoz, left, Dr. Christopher Smith and PTA President Julie Njaa at the school’s sixth grade promotion and awards ceremony on June 14.
Ramona Elementary School sixth-graders Edna Gaspar, Patricia Ochoa and Perla Torrecillas receive the first “Tony Newman’s Road to Success Awards” from Principal Phyllis Munoz, left, Dr. Christopher Smith and PTA President Julie Njaa at the school’s sixth grade promotion and awards ceremony on June 14.

Each of the three students received a refurbished computer and printer, donated by Dr. Christopher Smith, a Ramona resident and former school board member.

According to Njaa, for the past four or more years, Smith has been anonymously donating computers and printers to various sixth-grade students.

“This year, Dr. Smith has asked PTA to help institutionalize this award with the hopes that his giving legacy will always continue,” Njaa said at the awards ceremony.

“Our Tony Newman Road to Success Award recipients will be on their way with their computers to continue their path,” she said. “The students who have been selected may not have been the highest achievers, but they did their homework, they were helpful in class, helpful to their teachers, self-motivated, and, most importantly, eager to learn.”

Before presenting the award, Njaa gave students some background about Newman. After attending Ramona Elementary, he went on to the middle school and graduated from Ramona High School. He went to college at Brigham Young University and served on a mission trip in Costa Rica. He returned to Ramona and at Olive Peirce Middle School he taught world history, U.S. history and Spanish for five years followed by five years as assistant principal. He has been principal of Ramona High for the past five years.

Although Newman was unable to attend the award ceremony, Njaa said he is proud and honored to be named for the award.

Smith, who holds a doctorate and works at the University of California, San Diego in the department of physics, acquires the computers and printers through donations and purchases. The computers are cleaned, prepared and programmed for the recipients.

The PTA and Smith invite residents to donate 2005 or newer computers and printers, give a cash donation, or volunteer to refurbish the equipment. Anyone interested may contact the PTA through the school at 760-787-4400.

Ramona Elementary PTA also awarded two $100 savings bonds to students Nestor Garcia and Susana Garcia. Njaa said the students have worked hard academically and are good role models to others.

   
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