North County School News, November 20: Poway robotics team in Geneva; Escondido District Collects Gift Cards


Opening of Art Association scholarships

The Escondido Art Association announces its 2022-23 Art Scholarship Program for high school seniors gifted in the arts and enrolled in any Escondido-based high school. A total of $1,000 in scholarships will be awarded as follows: $500 for first place, $250 for second place, $150 for third place and two $50 honorable mentions. Scholarship application documents and rules are available from the scholarship coordinators in the schools, as well as at Completed applications should be submitted to the Artists Gallery at 121 W. Grand Ave. from noon to 6 p.m. on March 4. Call Scholarship Committee Co-Chairs Rosemarie Woldin, (760) 743-6634 or Carol Crisci, (760) 745-3585.

School district collecting gift cards for students

The Escondido Union High School District is collecting $25 Target or Walmart gift cards as part of a holiday campaign for high school students impacted by homelessness. The cards will be given to the students before the December holidays. About 200 students in the district are homeless or in housing insecurity. Gift cards can be mailed to Escondido Union High School District, c/o Paula Zamudio, or dropped off at the District Service Center, 302 N. Midway Drive, through Dec. 1. Contact or call (760) 291-3237.


Veterans Writing Group Awards Scholarships

The San Diego Veterans Writing Group recently named its Ernie Pyle Scholarship winners for 2022. The scholarships support military veterans and those active in the military while pursuing their education and help cover expenses academics. Candidates submitted a personal poem or essay based on their experiences in military service. Damian Galley of Vista, who is studying business administration, management and operations at MiraCosta College, won the top prize of $1,000. Connor Maris of Escondido, a computer science student at MiraCosta, won third place $500. Second place and $500 was won by Rachel Griffin of Whittier, a biology student at Cerritos College. To apply for the next round of scholarships, visit The San Diego Veterans’ Writing Group was created to help writers write and publish stories. They meet regularly at the North County Veterans Association (VANC), 1617 Mission Ave., Oceanside. Visit; email


The robotics team goes to Geneva

Members of the FIRST Team Spyder 1622 robotics team, based at Poway High School, recently traveled to Geneva, Switzerland to join over 180 international teams in the FIRST Global Challenge 2022, an Olympic-style robotics event . Team Spyder volunteered in the robotic hospital, team pits, and competition area for all teams. The team also coached the Paraguay team, the Ecuador team, the Benin team and the Togo team. During the closing ceremonies and final matches, the Spyder team received the “Francisco José de Caldas Award for Sustainable Excellence”, given to those who have contributed positively to the FIRST Global Challenge by helping it grow, as well as positively influencing other challenged students. The students who received the award were Reza Bagheri, Aaron Ammar, Breana Birch, Oscar Huth, Irina Kozhenkova and Marshall Hamon. American rapper and record producer of the musical group Black Eyed Peas, as well as Jackie and Mike Bezos, founders of the Bezos Family Foundation and parents of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, also received the award.


New Directors to the CSUSM Foundation Board of Directors

The Cal State San Marcos Foundation Board of Trustees recently welcomed nine new trustees at its first meeting of the academic year. The board is made up of community leaders and philanthropists who cultivate and encourage charitable investment in the university, build regional relationships, and encourage philanthropy. All donations to the university are accepted and administered by the foundation, a 501(c)(3) auxiliary organization of the CSUSM. The nine new directors are: Jasmin Casas, a third-year literature and writing student and student worker for the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office; Kristin Crellin, Senior Vice President of Community and Membership Development for SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, and also Chair of the CSU Foundation Board of Governors; Ingo Hentschel, senior vice president and regional director of Cox Communications; Damian McKinney, owner of a real estate consulting business for over 35 years; Annie Norviel, chartered accountant and audit partner of accounting firm Moss Adams; Raj Pillai, professor of management and executive director of the Center for Leadership Innovation and Mentorship Building at CSUSM; Brian Reyes, senior vice president of higher education at C&W Services; Stephen Tsui, associate professor of physics at CSUSM and co-director of the Facilitating Identity, Retention and Successful Transition to STEM program, known as FIRST2STEM; and Alisha Wilkins, owner and founder of Temecula-based Hera Hub, a co-working space for women-owned businesses.

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