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january 2012

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Student Expresses Hope For Less Fortunate Del Sur Elementary is working under the umbrella of a wonderful organization called Feeding the Soul. It’s a group of local artists and musicians who collectively raise funds for different local and global organizations.  Alex Howell wrote a wonderful poem which expressed great intuition, compassion and hope. He was asked to read it in front of the entire school. We’ve included it inside for all of you to enjoy. Page 6

Growing Champions in Del Norte/4S Ranch This past season, the Del Norte Nighthawks Pee Wee team put 4S Ranch on the map. This team, composed of sixth graders attending local area schools such as Oak Valley Middle, Bernardo Heights Middle, Maranatha and St. Michaels, is the first Del Norte team to make it to the Q Bowl Championship game. To get there the team had to play against some of the toughest youth teams in the County in the regular season. 

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Are Your Resolutions Among the Most Popular? I think we can all agree that there are a handful of resolutions that one way or another make their way to everyone’s list. I did a little research and put together a collection of what I consider to be the more popular New Year’s Resolutions for 2012. Your list may be more specific or more personal but check it out and see if any these are also on your list.

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Volume 7. numb e r 1

january 2012 community news & lifestyle for 4S Ranch

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editor’s corner

Debi Renken

Take A Deep Breath It’s here again. The new year. Sigh. So much pressure. The world keeps turning, taxes keep coming and the new year keeps showing up. What to do, what to do. Most everyone’s first instinct is to engage in what I call “resolutionism.” Resolutionism is the art of making a list of all the positive things you are going to accomplish as well as all the negative things you will no longer be doing. To be honest, it all makes total sense and there really isn’t any shame in engaging in resolutionism. Psychologically speaking, it’s a perfectly perfect time to set up and take on goals. Reason being for most everyone, the new year signifies a clean slate, a fresh start. Out with the old and in with the new. New goals, new beginning, new insight. Our world is conveniently sectioned into blocks of time that has 12 tidy little months that fit quite nicely into an entire year. Once that year is over, you get the chance to reassess and start again. It’s all very opportune. Another good reason for resolutionism is that with the new year, not only do you get a clean slate, you also get hope. It’s an irrepressible spirit this thing called hope. It’s a delightful feeling that bubbles up inside you and motivates you and fills you with optimism. It’s the ideal setting and time to put forth new attitudes. With hope on

your side, no goal is too large or too small. Hope springs eternal and the best part of hope is that even if you don’t follow through on your goals, you at least made the effort to list them. Okay, so you’ve got a clean slate and you’ve got hope; what else is a strong element in this decision to make resolutions? Tradition. It’s something you do every year. It’s difficult to not participate in at least one tiny, itty, bitty little New Year’s resolution. Even those of you who stoically stand in front of the mirror and say “I will not make any resolutions this year” are basically making the resolution to not make resolutions. It’s all so convoluted but it is without a doubt a rite of passage into the new year. Admittedly, some years are better than others for resolutions, but just the act of making new goals is good for the soul. There is something inherently irresistible about the new year and starting fresh so take advantage of it and grab yourself a few resolutions. Take a deep breath and feel confident that resolutionism is alive and well. Happy New Year Everyone!

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Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any form, in whole or part, without written permission is prohibited. Back at the Ranch (BATR) is a monthly publication highlighting house, home and community building. BATR accepts freelance contributions, though there is no guarantee that unsolicited material will be returned. BATR is not responsible for the views of contributing writers and assumes no responsibility for errors appearing within. Opinions expressed are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the Publisher or advertisers. We reserve the right to restrict all advertisements to their proper classification and to edit or reject any copy.



STONE R A N CH e le me ntary sch ool






DEL NORT E H IGH sch ool


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school news

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on your doorstep Del Sur Elementary Student Expresses Hope For Those Less Fortunate Del Sur Elementary is working under the umbrella of a wonderful organization called Feeding the Soul. It’s a group of local artists and musicians who collectively raise funds for different local  and global organizations.  Each month a different grade level will participate in a project working side by side with what Feeding The Soul has on tap. During the month of December, the fifth graders got their opportunity to shine. They focused on making collections for the Indigenous Educational Foundation of Tanzania (IEFT). They learned about Africa, everyday blessings we take for granted, and the value of education (the Tanzanians can’t progress without secondary schooling, which is very expensive). IEFT helps fund and supply secondary education for Tanzania. The fifth graders were quite dedicated to this cause and showed extreme passion toward the task at hand. One fifth grader, Alex Howell, even wrote a wonderful poem which expressed great intuition, compassion and hope. He was asked to read it in front of the entire school. Here it is for all of you to enjoy as well.

A Gratified Life

By Alex Howell, 5th Grader, Del Sur Elementary I wish you, I wish you,

I wish you, I wish you

I wish you these wishes:

Peace to be with you both in your land and in your heart,

Sparkling, crystal-clear water to quench your thirst, Plentiful food to satisfy your hunger,

Robust health and stamina for your well-being, and safe and secure villages to protect you from harm.

and cozy, safe homes to share with your loved ones. I wish you a gratified life. I wish you a gratified life. I wish you, I wish you I wish you, I wish you

Protective clothing and shoes to cover you,

Endless opportunities for learning,

Abundant toys, games, music, and sports to amuse you,

Proficient, sedulous, and intellectual teachers to lead you through your education,

and a heart bursting with love and laughter.

and your knowledge gained results in an enriching future.

I wish you a gratified life.

I wish you a gratified life.

City Champs! The 4S Nighthawks won the 10 and Under San Diego City Flag Football Tournament on Dec 10, capping an undefeated, 15-0, season where they outscored opponents 300-24! En route to the city championship, the Nighthawks also won the Master Your Sports North City League title and the North San Diego District Title. The City Tournament included 48 teams from areas in North County all the way down to the Mexico border.

4S Ranch Vocal Ensemble Performs At Disneyland The 4S Ranch Vocal Ensemble, under the direction of Melissa Touvannas, performed at Disneyland on November 19. This was the first performance by the group at Disneyland. In order to sing at Disneyland, groups must send in a recorded performance that is judged by the musical staff there. “It was a great honor to be chosen,” said Touvannas, “and the Disneyland staff was very kind and helpful. What a great place to sing. I hope we can make it an annual event.” The Vocal Ensemble rehearsed weekly for three months and sang their set in Carnation Plaza at the end of Main Street in Disneyland. The set included several holiday favorites, including “Do You Hear What I Hear,” “Carol of the Bells” and “We Three Kings.” The 4S Ranch Vocal Ensemble is an auditioned group made up of 17 singers in middle and high school. While many of the singers live in 4S Ranch, others live in and around San Diego. The members of the group include: Samantha Ajang, Cheyenne Allen-Ramirez, Lucy Arvizu, Caitlin Burtner, Geneva Casebolt, Amanda Clopine, Rachel Downs, Payton Fitzpatrick, Liana Madeiros, Elissa Moody, Denise Neumerkel, Grace Roberts, Julia Steele, Amanda Tai, Maria Touvannas, Marie Trischman and Giovanna Zavala.

Front Row (L to R): Carson Ellis, Wyatt Marchant, Jake Sandburg, Daviel Rubin, Christopher Erpelding, Jagger Brooks Middle Row (L to R): Cash Marchant, Ethan Graubart, Carson Taumoepeau, Blake Jarrett, Blake Cole, Brayden Ellis, Brycen Mautz Back Row (L to R): Coach John, Head Coach Jim, Coach Charlie, Coach Alex

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In addition to the performance at Disneyland, the Vocal Ensemble has performed this winter at the Poway Home Tour, the Escondido Library and the Del Mar Festival of Lights. The group rehearses each week and is available to perform at community events, fundraising events, and private parties. For more information, contact Melissa Touvannas at

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on your doorstep Growing Champions In Del Norte/4S Ranch
 Millions of people will soon tune in to watch two NFL teams battle for supremacy in the Super Bowl. In San Diego County, American Youth Football (different than Pop Warner – tougher weight classes, etc.) teams play to meet up for the championship at the Q Bowl held at Southwestern College each year.  This past season, the Del Norte Nighthawks Pee Wee team put 4S Ranch on the map. This team, composed of sixth graders attending local area schools such as Oak Valley Middle, Bernardo Heights Middle, Maranatha and St. Michaels, is the first Del Norte team to make it to the Q Bowl Championship game. To get there the team had to play against some of the toughest youth teams in the County in the regular season. With their explosive running game and impressive passing game, the

When asked about what defines this Nighthawk team, Coach Antoine’s admiration for his team shows. “One of the most special things about this team is their genuine love for one another. I have never coached a group of boys with  as much mutual respect and passion to fight for each other. Our success this season was a direct reflection of the boys going to battle for the player next to him. One of the most gratifying things for me during the Q Bowl Championship game was to hear how many parents and coaches were saying ‘we now know all about Del Norte.’ Letting San Diego know that we’re the team to beat was our goal all along.”
 While football is a serious game, this team of exceptional and talented boys also knows how to have fun. On the morning of the Q Bowl, the team was celebrated with a pep rally. Crowds of supporters from the community showed up at the 4S Commons to cheer them on and to show their pride in this young group of champions. To cap off the pep rally, the Nighthawk Pee Wee players were greeted by a surprise party limo bus that whisked them off to the big game in style and for some pre-game bonding.    

team’s 8 wins, 2 ties, 1 loss record got them into the playoffs. Make no mistake about it, getting to play in the championship game at the Q Bowl is a big deal. Here in 4S Ranch/Del Norte, we’re grooming a new class of champions. 
 Head Coach Antoine McCall, who has been coaching with the league since 2007, doesn’t take his job of developing young champions lightly.  Along with his team of assistant coaches, Chris Staal, Nano Sacay, David Justice, Meccan Greene, Daina Ponce, Brian Phillips,and Team Manager/Team Mom Angie McCall, Coach Antoine has a unique take on building talent that focuses on instilling belief and self-confidence while also teaching physical toughness and discipline.  Coach Antoine nurtures a strong sense of team bonding. Celebrating team efforts over individual achievements, each player has a vital role on the team. 

The big game between the Nighthawks and the Balboa Raiders (perennial Q Bowl participants) did not disappoint the large Q Bowl audience. Completing a pair of passes to Bradley Bryant and CJ Franklin for first downs on the first drive, quarterback JR Justice got the crowd roaring.  The Nighthawks played from behind most of the game, but in the final minute of the game, running back Jelani McCall ran in a touchdown to bring the Nighthawks within eight points.  Jelani McCall then recovered the onside kick by Gerardo Cordoba to give the Nighthawks the opportunity to tie the game. Although the Nighthawks came up short by a touchdown, they played with the heart of a champion. You can bet that they’ll be back for the Q Bowl next year.  
 Del Norte Youth Football is one of the only North County associations that offer both fall and spring football. The Nighthawks also have a winning competitive cheer program, recently taking second place at the countywide AYF cheer championships at Del Mar Fairgrounds. The Nighthawks will be hosting spring sign ups this month. Visit www.nighthawksyouthfootball. org for dates and more information.

Kids’ Care Club Child Development Center Celebrates Fifth Anniversary Kids’ Care Club Child Development Center, 4S Ranch celebrates its five-year anniversary on January 3. The Center opened January 3, 2007 and has served many families in the 4S Ranch, Del Sur, Santa Luz and Rancho Bernardo areas. The local business wants to thanks the community for letting it be a part of the education of the area’s children. Kids’ Care Club Child Development Centers located in the 4S Ranch

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and Rancho Peñasquitos communities have earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) – the nation’s leading organization of early childhood professionals. “The NAEYC Accreditation system raises the bar for preschools and other early childhood programs,” said Mark Ginsberg, Ph.D., Executive Director of NAEYC. “Kids’ Care Club’s Accreditation is a sign that they are a leader in a national effort to invest in high-quality early childhood education, and to help give all children a better start.” Kids’ Care Club Child Development Center offers half and full day programs for children starting at the age of 6 weeks to 5 years old. Whether it’s the Infant, Toddler, Preschool, or Pre-K class, the business is sure clients will be excited about the program. For more information or to schedule a tour call the 4S Ranch Center at (858) 675-7000 or the Rancho Peñasquitos Center at (858) 538-KIDS (5437).

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on your doorstep San Diego Soccer Club Boys and Girls U7 – U14 Tryouts Announced San Diego Soccer Club is a premiere soccer organization for boys and girls who wish to play soccer at a competitive level. The club offers an award-winning and very experienced coaching staff with teams for girls and boys ages 7 to 19. Teams compete at various levels including elite leagues such as Southern California Development Soccer League, Western College Development Association, Far West Regionals and Presidio Soccer League. The club is focused on developing a player’s talent while instilling a love of soccer. The  club is proud to have produced many Olympic Development Program, regional and national team players as well as many players who have gone on to play in college.    Tryouts for Girls and Boys U7 – U14 begin January 18 and  run through February 15 and will be held in various locations in the area. For specific dates, times, locations, and information about the club and coaching staff go to Don’t miss the chance to be part of an ever-growing group of kids that are proud to be part of one of the strongest clubs in the area. 

Donate To Del Norte Grad Nite! The Grad Nite committee is reaching out to the community to assist them with raffle items – specifically college fundamentals, gift certificates and other fun items for the graduates. Your help is greatly appreciated! Get your Grad Nite tickets now – don’t miss out on this fun event celebrating four years of hard work, great friends, exciting sports achievements and more! Tickets are currently $115 and will increase to $125 after March 1. Tickets forms can be printed from the Del Norte Website – click on parent resources, then PTSA. Bring the forms into the Del Norte High School office along with a check made out to DNHS PTSA. Students will receive their ticket in homeroom. For questions, to make donations or to purchase tickets, please contact Tami Koch at

Mountain Lion Sightings In early and mid December there were several mountain lion sightings near Oak Valley Middle School and Stone Ranch Elementary School. The schools both took appropriate precautions to keep the students safe and there were no mishaps. According to authorities, even when there are no immediate dangers or sightings of these beautiful creatures, its best to always be aware of your surroundings. From the California Department of Fish and Game, here is some pertinent information to file in your brain. Mountain lions are quiet, solitary and elusive, and typically avoid people. More than half of California is mountain lion habitat. Mountain lions generally exist wherever deer are found. Mountain lion attacks on humans are extremely rare. However, conflicts are increasing as California’s human population expands into mountain lion habitat. • Do not hike, bike, or jog alone. • Avoid hiking or jogging when mountain lions are most active—dawn, dusk, and at night. • Keep a close watch on small children. • Do not approach a mountain lion. • If you encounter a mountain lion, do not run; instead, face the animal, make noise and try to look bigger by waving your arms; throw rocks or other objects. Pick up small children. • If attacked, fight back. • If a mountain lion attacks a person, immediately call 911.

L-O-V-E Is in the Air – Share Your Sentiments! February means Valentine Day! We’d l-o-v-e to hear from you. Send a sentiment of love or positive energy or well wishes to someone or something (ie, new puppy, your first car) you feel the need to share a thought about. We’ll publish them in the February issue of Back At The Ranch. If you want to send photos, we’ll accept those too! Please submit your messages to Thanks and looking forward to hearing from you!

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on your doorstep Are Your Resolutions Among The Most Popular? I think we can all agree that there are a handful of resolutions that one way or another make their way to everyone’s list. I did a little research and put together a collection of what I consider to be the more popular New Year’s Resolutions for 2012. Your list may be more specific or more personal but check it out and see if any these are also on your list. The resolutions are not in any particular order.

1. Hang Out With Family and Friends More Recent polls conducted by General Nutrition Centers, Quicken, and others shows that more than 50 percent of Americans vow to appreciate loved ones and spend more time with family and friends this year. Whether it be to watch a movie in the den or dress up and go to a show, hangin’ with your peeps will be highly meaningful this year.

2. Fun in Fitness Regular exercise has been associated with more health benefits than anything else known to man. In short, exercise keeps you healthy and makes you look and feel better. More people will get on board the fitness train, but they’ll try to make it more fun – trendy “bar” classes, yoga and Pilates will be top choices. My two cents? If your knees can handle it, there’s nothing better than a good ole fashioned run around the neighborhood – fresh air and lots of scenery – it’s free too!

3. Tame the Tummy Recent studies show that over 66 percent of adult Americans are considered overweight or obese so it is not surprising to find that weight loss is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. Setting reasonable goals and staying focused are the two most important factors in sticking with a weight loss program. Taming the Tummy goes hand in hand with #2 above – exercise is oh so important in trying to shed those extra pounds!

4. Toss The Tobacco Even if you’ve tried to quit before and failed, don’t let it get you down. On average, smokers try about four times before they quit for good. California has some great ads to discourage people from starting and to help convince people to stop. Like it or not, tobacco is harmful not only to a person’s body but also to the environment. Visit for loads of info about how to quit, the harms of tobacco and more.

5. Enjoy Life More, Learn Something New Given the hectic, stressful lifestyles of millions of Americans, it is no wonder that “enjoying life more” has become a popular resolution in recent years. Make time for things you enjoy doing and try just getting out and doing something new! Take up painting or photography. Strap on the ski boots and give it a try. Making time for these activities is, admittedly a difficult task, but you only have one life, why not live it to its fullest.

6. Help Others During this rather uncomfortable state of our economy, volunteerism can be especially gratifying. Whether you choose to spend time helping out at your local library, serving meals on wheels, or building a house, there are many nonprofit volunteer organizations that could really use your help. Or if your time is really in short supply, maybe you can at least find it in you to donate furniture, clothing and other household items that you no longer need.

7. Manage the Mess Whether you want your home organized enough that you can invite someone over on a whim, or your office organized enough that you can find the stapler when you need it, getting organized is always a crowd pleaser. If you feel you can’t go it alone, learn from an organized friend or take the time to hire help. Gaining control of your messes reduces stress and frees up time for other activities.

library events 4S R A N CH L IBR A RY ( 8 58 ) 67 3 -4697

Highlighted Events and Classes for January NEW PROGRAMS!! |

Yoga Meditation for Every Day Stress Reduction with Dr.Afshin Nahouvandi - 1st and 2nd Tuesdays of the month at 6:45 pm. For 15 years old and above. Chinese Calligraphy Class with Miss Lily - Wednesday, Jan 25 at 4 pm. Learn to use traditional Chinese brush and ink to write Chinese characters. For school age children. Registration required.

ADULT PROGRAMS 4S Foodies  - 4th Tuesday of the month at 6 pm. Food and Cooking Enthusiasts Group: Bring your best recipe! Call for information on guest speakers and the Sample of the Month. Baby & Me Yoga with Miss Courtney - 4th Wednesday of the month at 10:30 am. Yoga class for moms with pre-walking babies.

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Please bring a mat, a baby toy and a towel. Sign-ups required. Basic Computer Training in Farsi - Tuesdays at 8:30 am. Open for Farsi speakers interested in learning basic computer skills. Citizenship Class - Mondays at 6:30 pm. Open for all interested in taking citizenship tests. Knitting Circle - Wednesdays at 5 pm. Join your fellow knitters by the fireplace every Wednesday evening and knit for fun. Mahjong Madness- 1st Monday of the month at 9:30 am. Learn to play mahjong with the experts in the area. Friends of the 4S Ranch Library Meeting - 4th Wednesday of the month at 6:30 pm.

Fine Free Friday @ all SDCL Branches - Return your County owned books, CDs, DVDs, or other overdue materials on the last Friday of each month and we’ll get rid of the fines for those items!

CHILDREN PROGRAMS Spanish Bilingual Story Time - 2nd and 4th Monday of the month at 10 am. Spanish bilingual story and craft for children. Baby Story Time - Tuesdays at 10:30 am. Pre-walking babies only. Enjoy this one-on-one lapsit activity that introduces babies to stories and songs. Preschool Story Time & Craft with Mrs. Z - Fridays at 10:30 am and 11:30 am. For Children 3 to 5. Mrs. Z.’s Story Times engage children and focus on the skills and concepts children need to be ready for Kindergarten. Parents

and Caregivers get to see proven, modeled techniques to help their child succeed. Play to Learn Time with Teacher Lee - Thursdays at 10:30 am and 12:00 pm. Music, Stories, Art and Fun! For children 5 years old and under. Crafts for a Cause - Thursdays at 4 pm. Arts and crafts for K-3rd grade students. Homework Club - Fridays at 4 pm. Students from Del Norte High tutor children from Kindergarten through 9th grade. Registration required.

TEEN PROGRAMS Science Lab @ the Library 2nd Wednesday of the month at 5:30 pm. Hands-on science experiment for high school students.

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meet your neighbor The Pahuja Family Anil, Meenakshi, Sagar (15) and Mannya (4 ½) Pahuja very recently moved back to San Diego from one of the coldest states in America – Minnesota! Meenakshi was practically kissing the ground when they first set foot on San Diego soil. They had lived in Scripps Ranch and Poway for over 11 years, but job reasons moved them to Minnesota. They had no sooner breathed the cool Minnesota air, when Anil and Meenakshi began plotting their return to San Diego. Meenakshi is quick to point out that the people in Minnesota are incredibly nice and the schools are fantastic, but the winters were just too harsh for their liking. They spent a great deal of time indoors – frigid winters and sticky hot summers – it wore on them and the need to return home became increasingly important. After five years in Minnesota, they couldn’t get back fast enough. Now subzero temperatures are a thing of the past because as luck would have it, Anil was able to nail down a job back here in San Diego. Anil moved in April of this year and the family followed when school got out. The family searched for homes in early June, liked what they saw at 4S Ranch - newer area, technologically-advanced schools and to top it all off, they have friends that live here. They also liked that you could walk to just about any-


thing you needed – grocery stores, restaurants, drug stores and more! Anil, a scientist, currently works for a pharmaceutical company as a Project Specialist. Being back in San Diego is extremely conducive to one of his most favorite pastimes – walking. Anil walks with his family, walks to the stores, walks the trails, walks to the parks – basically he walks everywhere! Another activity he genuinely enjoys is playing basketball with his son Sagar. Meenakshi works from home, in fact she was able to bring her stay-at-home-Minnesota-job to San Diego. She is a SAP (it’s a type of software) analyst for G & K Services. She too loves to walk but her real passion is writing. She especially loves to write short stories and hopes to be able to enroll in creative writing classes as soon as they are more settled. Sagar is the quiet, calm type. He was a little reluctant to leave Minnesota, not because of weather, but because of leaving his friends. Understandably so, it’s difficult to leave friends behind when you are 15 and in high school. He keeps in touch with his old friends, but has also managed to make new ones. Sagar is quite the musician playing guitar, piano and the bass. He plays in the Del Norte Orchestra. And as stated above, he enjoys playing basketball. Little Maanya is also musically talented. What she loves most is singing. She spontaneously bursts into an impromptu song at any given moment. One day while walking with her family they stopped at a stop light and out came the following song: Twinkle Twinkle I am light How I wonder what you do Red lights, Yellow lights, Green lights say Red light says stop Yellow light says ready Green light says go

Inner Beauty

Trust Your Home to Us

The lights turned green and she said, “it’s green light Mama, let’s go.” Maybe not Grammy material just yet, but it has potential. Right now the family is enjoying walking around the neighborhood looking at all the beautiful Christmas lights. Living in 4S Ranch is one of their best Christmas gifts and they are keeping their fingers crossed that it’s the gift that keeps on giving.




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school news Del Sur Elementary School REMINDERS... All visitors to our campus must check in through the Administration Office at the front of the school. Del Sur has read, 6,398 books and 67,195,189 words thus far this year.

Feeding the Soul And Del Sur Elementary


A Word From Principal Johnson Greetings Del Sur Explorers! Our students in grades two through five will have an opportunity to access the Compass Learning software program in the area of English Language Arts and math. This program aligns with each of our students’ RIT scores in reading, language, and math. It has been shown that students who work with this program at least three times a week for at least one hour in total per week show marked improvement in all three areas of study. For our students in grades K and 1, it is very important that they spend time working with the Lexia software program. Information about logging on to these two programs can be found on our website. Our staff is always interested in looking at new programs that can help our students to achieve at high levels. Continue to be a supportive partner in your child’s education. We appreciate all of your efforts. See you on campus, Doug Johnson, Principal

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Del Sur Elementary is working under the umbrella of a wonderful project called Feeding the Soul. It’s a group of local artists and musicians who collectively raise funds for different local and global organizations.  Each month of the school year, a different grade will run a drive in conjunction with Feeding the Soul’s drive. For example the November Drive for Feeding the Soul was the Humane Society. The first graders ran this drive for DSE. They placed their “animal learning� core into the month, took a field trip to Helen Woodward Center and collected pet supplies for sheltered animals. For each monthly drive, Feeding the Soul then picks up and distributes the collections. It’s a much easier way to control all the collections, and reaches a wider variety of different organizations. December was the fifth graders turn. They made collections for the Indigenous Educational Foundation of Tanzania (IEFT).  They learned about Africa, everyday blessings we take for granted, and the value of education (the Tanzanians can’t progress without secondary schooling, which is very expensive). IEFT helps fund and supply secondary education for Tanzania. The fifth graders at Del Sur are passionate about making a difference in the world and are excited to help their friends in Tanzania. The fifth graders collected over 10 bins of school/art supplies, sports equipment, cleats, tennis shoes and music instruments. They also made posters (see photo) and one student, Alex Howell, wrote a poem that he read to the entire school (see “On Your Door Step� section). In conjunction with all of this, Feeding the Soul raises money for their monthly/quarterly cause, by having music concerts (usually with artists’ wares on sale). For their biggest benefit concert of the year, “KFTS Radio Variety Show� which was held on Dec 17 in La Jolla, they invited the winter children’s group of Broadway West to perform with the artists. Billy Galewood is one of the artists who both performed at the concert and assisted in teaching Broadway West students.


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Defining moments happen here. Defining moments change lives. The power of defining moments shared within a community of supportive teachers and eager students has created an educational culture unique to Pacific Ridge School. Young people discover their passions and define their place in the world.

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Join us on campus for an Admissions Open House: Middle School Sat., Jan. 7th 2-4 p.m. High School Tues., Jan. 10th 3:30-5 p.m. RSVP: 760-448-9844 6269 El Fuerte St., Carlsbad APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR FALL 2012 IS FEBRUARY 1ST

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school news Stone Ranch Elementary Variety Show News Families of 1st thru 5th graders: Our 7th Annual Variety Show is coming up, so start planning those acts! We will have evening performances on January 26 (grades 1-3) and February 3 (grades 4-5) and school assembly on January 30. Auditions will be held on Wednesday, January 11. For questions, please contact Annalisa Barrett at

Love To Read? Share that love with a child by being an “Everyone A Reader” Volunteer. This highly successful program links an adult volunteer with a first grade student.  Your commitment?  One afternoon a week to give the joy of reading to a child. We provide all the materials and the training! If you are interested in being a part of a Trailblazer Team that has made a huge impact in the lives of others, please consider giving one afternoon a week to this very special program. Contact Amy Yamasaki at for more information.

Calling All Movie Makers The 4th Annual Character and Ethics Film Festival is coming! This is an opportunity for students to highlight the importance of making good decisions and showing good character by creating a video. Students may also address acts of kindness by featuring one or all of the Six Pillars of Character or filming anti-bullying messages. The top three videos will be shown at the film festival in May. A few helpful hints… All students do not have to be “on camera.” Students can work behind the scenes as photographers, film editors, script writers, set designers, costume designers, publicists, etc. Parents are asked to sign a media release form before filming begins. Photographers need to use a tripod. Have fun! This can be a class project or a project which involves a few students. The submission date is March 23, 2012 – start thinking of ideas! Feel free to follow up with any questions. Thanks for your support of CHARACTER COUNTS! For questions contact Linda Ellett at (858) 521-2834 phone or

Art Corps Volunteers Are Needed Love Art? Come be part of our hands-on art program. We are looking for parent volunteers to teach and assist in the classroom. If you are interested or just need more information, your questions can be directed to Cathy Keast, Stone Ranch Art Corps Volunteer coordinator, at ckeast@schoppakeast. com.

Students Give Back “Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.” Hi, my name is Audrey D. and after learning more about Locks of Love I would like to invite the students at Stone Ranch Elementary to join me in donating our hair to kids who need it. It only takes 10 inches of hair to be able to give self-confidence and joy to kids who are our age that for many reasons no longer have hair of their own. Mrs. Venolia will announce the date soon, which will be in February during our Wednesday Gathering, to cut hair for donations. If you would like to participate in Locks of Love, please send a Pony Express letter to Audrey Skeen, in G5, to Mrs. Moyer’s class if you are interested. Thank you!

Stone Ranch’s Second Annual Science Fair GEMS (Gifted and Extremely Motivated Students) recommended activity. We are thrilled to announce the 2nd  Annual Stone Ranch Elementary School Science Fair.  It will be taking place Monday, February 27  thorugh Thursday, March 1.  The Fair is open to all students (K -5th).  Please read the rules and guidelines that are on our website Read the entire packet very carefully for information. It’s not too early to start researching a topic of interest to you and to start planning your project now.  Students are also encouraged to go to the California Department of Education website at pdf to read about the state standards for science. 

Box Tops Are Worth A Lot! Start saving those box tops! Collection sheets went home already. Color them in, attach 10 box tops and return them for a chance to win a $20 gift card. Visit to find a list of box tops products (and money saving coupons), and other ways to use box tops to raise money for the school.

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school news Monterey Ridge Elementary Martial Arts Classes At MRES

We Need YOU!

Thursday @ 3:20 in Lunch Area, Jan. 5, 12, 19, 26; Feb. 2, 9, 16; Mar. 1 About our Program Manna’s Martial Arts: Our approved Enrichment Programs are designed to help children develop self-confidence, strong character and self-discipline while learning the Martial Arts. All class teachers have received their Instructor Certification through MANNA’S Martial Arts. Please notify us if your child has any allergies due to classes being held outdoors.

Make A Difference: Volunteer! Please consider volunteering this year! There are many volunteer opportunities available that suit working parents, as well as parents with little ones. Whether you have 30 minutes or several hours, we’ll find something that fits your schedule and your strengths. Can’t work on campus? That’s OK! We have projects you can do at home. Please contact Julie Golich at for more information. Involved parents help make better schools!

To Register: You may register at: or complete the (TEMAS) Enrichment Registration Form and mail with a check payable to: TEMAS Enrichment 12285B World Trade Drive San Diego, CA 92128 Cost: Cost is $76 per session. Uniforms are $35

MRES Yearbook Is Gearing Up Our yearbook theme for this year is “Making Every Day Count.� Families will be able to purchase online through Jostens or via two order forms that went home before Winter Break and the other order form will be sent before Spring Break. The yearbooks will be sold for $20 until January 1. After that, the price will increase to $25. We sold out quickly last year and not every family received one that would have liked one, so we encourage families to order early. If you have any questions or would like to help, please email Heather Long at or Sheila Lee at

PTA Sponsored Playground Partners Needs You Playground Partners is a YMCA program on our campus that runs structured sports, games and activities during lunch sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 12:10 pm until 1:40 pm. Parent volunteers are needed to help the onsite YMCA staff member run the organized games as prepared by the YMCA. No planning by parents is necessary. The YMCA prepares the schedule of games. You simply come to help. Playground Partners is a great way to keep our students healthy. Please contact Karen at if you are interested and are willing to help for an hour a week.

Ice Cream Sales Every Wednesday Ice cream is for sale every Wednesday after school at the lunch benches. Ice Cream is $1 and the profits help support PTA programs. If you have any questions, please contact Nicki Ellis at

Recycling Every First Thursday At The Flagpole Don’t forget to bring your cans and plastic bottles to the flagpole every first Thursday of the month. Please do not send milk cartons. This is a great way to help our planet, earn Butterfly Catches or Monarch Dollars and raise funds for our school. We are thrilled that our recycling program is once again back up and running. 4&37*$&40''&3&% 1SJWBUF1VQQZ5SBJOJOH 1SJWBUFJO)PNF5SBJOJOH (SPVQPCFEJFODF$MBTTFT $BOJOF(PPE$JUJ[FO$MBTTFT


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school news Oak Valley Middle School A Plea To The Community To Put Students First During Drop Off And Pick UP Dear Oak Valley Community, This is truly a heartfelt plea to all of our community to help us with our traffic situation. Oak Valley has grown to almost 1,400 students this year!  And this means we have much more traffic around our school. Additionally, we have seen an increase in non-school traffic using Bernardo Center Drive/Carmel Valley Rd. With this in mind, I am reaching out to each one of you to help me make this a safe zone for our students. 

Our challenges:

• Middle school students tend to think they are invincible, or they are more involved in talking to their friends. • O ur parents are in a rush to get in and out of our school area quickly. • O ur neighborhood has a private road that is being used for school traffic, causing those residents to file complaints with Sheriff ’s Department and the Fire Department. • Many of our parents are using drop-off and pick-up methods that are actually dangerous for our students.

My biggest fear:

• As you know, I take the safety and well-being of our students very seriously. When I hear there is an accident involving one of our students, I am always so fearful, and my heart breaks when I arrive and see one of our students injured.

If we could make a collective commitment, and all work together, we can keep our students safe from harm. If we could do this together, our collective participation for safety would: • Set an example for our students about caring for others, being courteous, being safe and following rules,  • Show our students that we care about each one of them, • Show that we are not asking our own students to do something that could possibly endanger them, • Help everyone follow all traffic laws, and signs, curbs and help everyone be courteous. We can spread a feeling of kindness and goodwill in our community. In closing, I do need you to know that after several community reports of traffic hazards, the County Office of Traffic Engineers came out to review our traffic situation.  Since we have grown to almost 1,400 and we have established the best possible system for drop off and pick up, the County found that the challenges are actually drivers not following the posted signs for speed and no parking, and that drivers are not following traffic laws.  Therefore, based on their findings, they have determined that this area will receive additional law enforcement patrol. I am not sure when this will begin, but I did want to make you aware of this increased presence. Please be sure you keep all of our students safe, and follow the traffic laws and posted signs.  Students first, Sonya Wrisley, Principal

Falcon Center Wish List


Our Falcon Center is open to students during lunch time everyday and is an option for students to play board games, foosball, ping pong and interact in a safe place. We are asking for donations of the following: Foosballs, ping pong balls, ping  pong  paddles, outdoor  foosball table, mini basketball hoop for indoors and air hockey paddles. Thanks for your generous support!

Jan. 16 – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day (No School) Jan. 27 – Professional Growth Day (No School)

Two Free Workshops for Parents The following workshops will be offered by our District: Strategies for Coping with Stress Dec 14 from 6-8 pm and Eating Disorders on January 18 from 6-8 pm. Please visit for more info.

Middle School College Readiness Fair PUSD and Palomar Council PTA are sponsoring a Middle School College Readiness Fair. Note: Similar program at both locations. Please contact: Lorna Reese, (858) 705-4310 or Laura Kishaba at Wednesday, March 7, 6 pm – 8pm, Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 6 pm – 8 pm. Twin Peaks Middle School or Black Mountain Middle School

Adopt-A-Family Thanks! The PTSA would like to thank all the parents, students, teachers and staff who participated in the Adopt-a-Family Giving Tree program. With your combined generosity, we were able to support 10 families in need this holiday season! Thanks also to Annie Koshenina’s class and ASB for each adopting a family, and to our OVMS families who made monetary donations and to those who took on whole families to adopt this year. We appreciate everyone’s willingness to give to our PUSD community at this time of year!

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ASB is sponsoring a school wide charity benefitting Coins for Critters. Donation boxes will be located in the quad at lunch and in the Welcome Center. You can donate money, new food, toys, blankets, etc. If you would like the full list, visit the charity’s website online at All the proceeds will go toward the animals and pet owners who can’t afford to care for their pets. Everything makes a difference, so please help out!

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school news Del Norte High School Boys Varsity Soccer Wins Their First Season Game! It may not seem like a big deal to outsiders, but to the boy’s varsity soccer team and their loyal followers it was very much a big deal. The varsity team has struggled for two years, playing against

Buy Your Senior Grad Night Tickets Tickets are currently $115 but will increase in February. Don’t be left out of the fun! Some of the activities included will be airbrush tattoos, coffee bar, taco bar, candy bar, wacky hair, zip line, huge swing, boxing arena, two fire pits with chairs and s’more fixings, DJ, dance floor, magician, casino game area, arcade and so much more. Contact Tami Williams for more information:

Grad Fest Coming Soon much faster, bigger and more experienced seniors and juniors. The team persevered however and turned what should have been very negative energy into positive energy. The boys never looked down or back and they learned to never give up and to believe in themselves. They have slowly closed the score gap until finally, on Thursday, December 1 against El Camino High School in Oceanside, the proud Nighthawks won their very first season game ever with a score of 1 – 0. The boys enjoyed the win, especially since they won it with pure, clean, textbook soccer. Even though they know the road ahead is still paved with some tough competition, they have tasted victory and sense that it will come again. Congrats boys, you’ve worked hard, best of luck for the remainder of a very promising season.

Tentative Date for Grad Fest is January 17. Make sure to check the Del Norte Website for more information and confirmation of the date. Leis, bouquets and Grad Nite tickets will be sold at the event, also representatives from Visual Photography and Jostens will be present. There is little in life that says celebration and happiness like a Hawaiian Lei! Let your graduate standout and show his or her pride with a beautiful fresh flower lei or bouquet. Preorder your graduate’s lei for graduation day. Prices will be higher on graduation day. Leis - $20, bouquets - $25. For questions about the Leis, contact Bernie Kidwell at If you already have an order form filled out, it can be turned in to the front office at school.

DNHS Dance Team Shines in Winter Concert

Del Norte Foundation Hard At Work 2011-12 FUNDING GOALS #1 Fund Teacher Supply Budgets

The Foundation just released $15,000 to support teachers! These funds can be used to pay for instructional supplies, classroom release time and professional development.

#2 Support Literacy (Library) - The Arts (Electives Team) and Science Instruction

The Foundation just released $2,000 to the Library to help maintain our current book collection and $3,000 to the Electives Team to help offset the cost for consumable materials (like paint, paper, clay, chalk, art brushes, etc.).

#3 Underwrite the new Character Education/Student Recognition Program in partnership with the PTSA

This program has been launched! The Electives Team recognized 18 outstanding students in September at an event sponsored by the Foundation. The English Team honored more students in October followed by a new department each month from now until June. We expect to recognize over 200 students this year for exemplary character!

The goal is simple: We need 999 families to join us in making a $99

Cornerstone contribution. In just a little over a month, 105 families have already stepped forward. Between Registration and Back-to-School Night, the Foundation received over $20,000 in contributions! And these funds, desperately needed to support teachers and instruction, have already been released. Visit the Del Norte website for more information: for more info on the $99 X 999 program! Help Del Norte Today!

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Tis’ the season to dance and sing as the local community found out Thursday and Friday, December 8 and 9 at the Performing Arts Center at Del Norte High School in 4S Ranch. The DNHS Dance Team held their annual Winter Concert, where they danced to routines choreographed over this fall season. The 25-person dance team moved together intricately as a large group and then broke into smaller groups throughout the night. A handful of dancers performed duo and solos, as well. The team performed all genres of dance including jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, tap, contemporary and ballet. As a special guest, the DNHS Glee Club performed favorite Glee songs such as “Just the Way You Are,” “Forget You,” and “Marry Me.”  The audience also admired younger guest dancers that included mini jazz teams from Danceology and GiGis. The show ended with a number from Elf that reminded everyone of the spirit and magic of the holidays. Proceeds from the show will go toward dance team performance expenses. Be sure not to miss the Spring Concert in May, as the dancers and invited guests wrap up the second half of the year and dazzle with another fantastic performance!

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Kick off New Years 2012! Why go anywhere else?

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Top Selling Agent in 4S Ranch 2005 · 2006 · 2007 · 2008 · 2009 · 2010 Each and Every year.

Help For The New Year While the housing market seems to be improving, that doesn’t help those who are underwater on their homes. We feel fortunate that 4S Ranch has supported our business so well over the past nine years and would like to help. If a loan modification is not possible, an owner is left with the option of a short sale or foreclosure. Typically, a short sale is better for a home owner: It is always better for the neighborhood. Unfortunately, short sales in CA are successful less than 60% of the time (California Association of Realtors). In 2011, we were successful in over 80% of our short sales. Although a short sale does not cost a homeowner anything, there is still the cost of moving, which many underwater homeowners are not prepared for. That is why we are offering a new program for 2012:

Short Sale Moving Assistance.

If we successfully close your short sale, we will pay for your move within San Diego County.

Back At The Ranch - January 2012  
Back At The Ranch - January 2012  

Community news and events for 4S Ranch and Del Sur