Since 1955, the Oneonta Club has provided scholarships to over 130 South Pasadena High School students.
By Dean Sheldon Serwin
In fact, the chairperson and master of ceremonies at the meeting (once again held over Zoom due to COVID-19 related issues) Monday, May 10th, was Dan Evans, one of four winners that first year. Dan’s scholarship in 1955 was $100. This year’s awardees received $10,000, each.
The Foundation selected three students from dozens of well-qualified applicants. “Each year it gets more difficult to choose only three from among all of the remarkable individuals who have applied,” said Foundation president Bill Cullinane.
Frances Chiu has been involved in assisting youth in other countries since the age of 7. Recently her family has fostered minors migrating to the US, and Frances founded a campus club on efforts to combat human trafficking. After attending college at Emory University, Frances intends to pursue a career in healthcare supporting international non-profits.
Gillian Terhune has already been an elementary school teaching assistant and has 4-years of tutoring English to Cambodian teens through the TASSEL program under her belt. She will attend UCLA as an education major in the fall.
Emily Wei found time to hold jobs, wrestle and run track & field, staff a student stress reduction program, be a teacher’s aid at Arroyo Vista, and log over 200 community service hours, all while maintaining a 4.1 weighted GPA on her way to studying Public Health in the fall at San Diego State University.
Teachers of the Year
Also honored Monday night were: Yvonne DeRaad Carlson, 2nd grade teacher from Marengo School (introduced by Marengo principal, Patty Cheadle), and South Pasadena Middle School math teacher, Dean McCoy (introduced by principal, Cheryl Busick. Each teacher received a $1,000 honorarium and a commemorative plaque from the Oneonta Foundation.
Oneonta Club president Steve Hennessey declared, “we are proud to recognize outstanding educators each year, and Yvonne and Dean are no exception. It is truly an accomplishment to stand out amongst all of the gifted and dedicated instructors we have here in South Pas.”
In addition to all of the awards handed out at the May meeting, South Pasadena City Councilmember (and former SPUSD School Board member) Jon Primuth presented a discussion comparing education here in South Pasadena with school systems in China where he lived for several years.
Through the vision of past Club President Philip V. Swan (for whom the Scholarship is named), the Oneonta Club Foundation was created in 1975 as a separate 501c3. The dedication and foresight of Swan along with that of his good friend Ross MacMichael (who served as the Foundation’s President for 22 years) created a lasting legacy in South Pasadena.
Dean Serwin, an attorney based in South Pasadena, is the incoming First Vice-President of the Oneonta Club and an on-going board member of the Oneonta Foundation.
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