Jim Bass - Baseball Coach
At Kearny Alumni Picnic - October 2001
Coach Jim Bass, Ollie Harris, Ellen Bass
At Kearny Alumni Picnic
- October 2002
Coach Jim Bass & Phil Butcher
E-Mails to Ollie from Coach Bass:
10/13/01 - Annetta & Ollie - It was truly thoughtful of the two of you to
think of the Dowell's and Bass' and invite us to share memories experienced during the early 1950's. We were Coach at that
time due to respect of position; but, friendliness to youth matures into a friendship that hopefully causes each of you to call us Ellen and Jim...Ken and Marg.
Ollie, I don't know if you remember Bob Roeder or not, but I had the privilege of working with him for a few years in the late 40's /early 50's. In early November, he is receiving an honor from a San
Diego organization, and asked Ellen and me to be his guests at this affair.
We called the Dowell's this morning and Margie is going to call you guys to see if we can get together for a breakfast. Once again, THANKS GUYS!
Ellen and Jim
9/29/01 Annetta and Ollie, thanks for the phone call!. Ellen and I have been blessed to have the
pleasure of once again having the opportunity of conversing with former athletes from each of the schools where we were privileged to be a part of their respective lives.
It has always been our goal to assist each individual in succeeding in making the transition from youth to a contributing adult in whatever endeavor each of you selected as your specific goal.
Ellen and I, would truly enjoy getting together with the Kearny crew and we think Coach Ken Dowell and his wife, Margaret, would enjoy it also.
Thanks again for the visit. Please give our regards to mutual long-remembered friends.
Ellen and Jim
9/28/01 - Thanks for the early invite to your 1953 class picnic. We placed a call to Ken and Marg Dowell and they,
along with Ellen and I, plan to attend. I'll be receiving info from you soon; and, we know the Dowell's would appreciate same as we, as each of you, also wish to contribute to your reunion.
Ollie, feel free to share our thoughts with your classmates. Hopefully, we have walked the talk! Also, it would be neat to be a part of the Kearny website.
Sorry to hear about Paul Deacon. He was the guy that paved the way for me to be his replacement as his Military Substitute. When he returned from his military commitment, I was transferred to La
Jolla. The La Jolla kids were great too, but we have always fondly remembered a special community relationship as I was fortunate to also work for PAL (Police Athletic League) & Linda Vista Community
Thanks for the e-mail. Ellen and I, & our very close friends (Dowell's), look forward to once again seeing and talking to friends.
Jim & Ellen
LEONARD FIERRO, 77, long time resident of San Diego passed away
November 20,1995. He is preceded in death
by beloved son Leonard Fierro Jr. Survived by loving wife Mary, dear
children Elissa Collins (Tim), Gilbert Fierro, grandchildren Maria
Williams, Monica Collins, Tim Collins Jr., Leonard Fierro III, Mario,
Lisa, Carri & Rosina Fierro, 6 great grandchildren. Visitation Sun.
2-8 p.m. Rosary 6 p.m. both at Goodbody Mortuary. Mass Mon. 9 am at Our
Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. Interment Holy Cross Cemetery
GOODBODY MORTUARY 582-1700
Born in El Paso, Texas, Mr. Fierro spent
72 of his years in San Diego. He attended San Diego High School and
earned bachelor's and master's degrees in education from San Diego
He served in the Army during World War II
and received the Purple Heart after he was wounded by shrapnel.
Mr. Fierro, whose parents immigrated from
the Mexican state of Chihuahua, started his teaching career at Kearny
High School and transferred to Clairemont High in 1959. He taught
history and government. An activist in the Chicano movement during the
1960s, he helped develop an English as a Second Language curriculum for
San Diego Unified School District.
His efforts were partly funded by the
federal government since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 required schools
to better address the linguistic needs of non-English speakers, said
Alberto Ochoa, a colleague. "He traveled throughout California
assisting school districts that needed to comply with the federal
mandates," said Ochoa, a professor at San Diego State.
In 1968, Fierro began working at a center
for English as a Second Language that was located on National Avenue.
Ochoa said it was one of the first of its kind. The center later moved
to San Diego State, as did Mr. Fierro, becoming an employee of the San
Diego State Foundation. Mr. Fierro helped establish the Association of
Mexican-American Educators (AMAE). He also was a key founder of the
local Chicano Federation, Ochoa said.
Since retiring in 1987, Mr. Fierro had
been interviewing local activists in the Latino community for a book,
which he was almost ready to begin writing, Ochoa said.
"He was documenting the voices of
those who came before us," Ochoa said. "What's going to happen
to that document?"
known as "Mr. Science Fair" to generations
of San Diegans, died Thursday, May 30, 2002 at his home in Loma Portal.
He was 91.
believed that, given the proper stimulus, students could find science as
compelling and exciting as he did.
While teaching at Kearny High School in
1954, he organized a competition for young, creative minds that became
an international model: the Greater San Diego Science & Engineering
The cause of death was heart failure,
said son-in-law Chuck Persons.
For the past 48 years, Mr. Weisbrod was a
regular at the San Diego event, attending his last one in March at
Balboa Park. He saw it grow from about 120 entries to 750, reinforcing
his confidence that students would respond if they "found out they can
do something for themselves that is productive, constructive and
In 1978, his decades of contributions to
science education resulted in the Distinguished Service to Science Award
from the National Science Teachers Association.
After launching the Greater San Diego
Science & Engineering Fair with the help of the late Bryant Evans, a
former San Diego Union science writer,
Mr. Weisbrod became a teacher consultant in the city schools'
gifted-child program. From 1957 to 1967, he served as a science
For the next four years, he directed
international science fairs as coordinator of the Science Services
organization in Washington, D.C.
"It would be impossible to say with any
degree of accuracy just how many hundreds of thousands of young science
and engineering students throughout the world have benefited from the
dedicated service of Howard Weisbrod," said King Durkee, president
emeritus of the Greater San Diego Science & Engineering Fair.
Mr. Weisbrod left the San Diego Unified
School District in 1971 to serve as environmental education coordinator
and consultant for the county Department of Education. He later served
nearly two years as chairman of the education and activities department
of the San Diego History Museum.
Mr. Weisbrod, a native of Lake County,
began his teaching career in 1942 at Redlands High School after
graduating from the University of Redlands.
In 1943, he joined the faculty at Kearny,
where for the next 13 years he taught biology, botany, physiology and
When he arrived at Kearny, it was in its
third year as a junior-senior high school. For the previous two years,
all classes had been conducted in bungalows on horseshoe-shaped
Ingersoll Street in Linda Vista.
Mr. Weisbrod, who had worked in landscape
gardening before studying science at the University of Redlands,
directed landscaping for a campus on Ulric Street.
A decade later, in 1953, Kearny's 10th-,
11th-and 12th-graders moved to the high school's current site on
Wellington Street. The Ulric Street site became the nucleus for what
today is Montgomery Academy.
A former Boy Scout, he remained active in
Scouting circles during his teaching career. He once took six Boy Scouts
to Washington, D.C., stopping to see the sights along the way. "Those
Scouts remained his friends for life," Persons said.
Mr. Weisbrod also was active in First
Presbyterian Church of San Diego, serving as a Sunday School teacher and
His wife, Dorothy, for whom he had been a
care giver for 11/2 years, died in April.
Survivors include a daughter, Marion
Weisbrod Persons of San Diego; a son, Donald of Bosnia; a sister, Helen
Moore of Sacramento; a brother, Kenneth of Long Beach; six
grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
A memorial service is scheduled for 12:30
p.m. June 9 at First United Methodist Church, Mission Valley. Donations
are suggested to the music program at the church or to the Greater San
Diego Science & Engineering Fair, P.O. Box 120191, San Diego, CA 92112.
written about Howard Weisbrod
by Mary Domb Mikkelson for the
on-line newsletter, NewsNote, of the Greater San Diego Science and
Who, exactly, was Howard Weisbrod?
For starters, listen to one of his former
students: "He was to me, first, my high school (Kearny) biology teacher
and had our relationship ended there I would still be the richer, my
life enhanced by the memory of 'that one special teacher.' He spurred
and encouraged my interest in both science and college, interests that
led eventually to a career in engineering. I remember, especially, his
ability to make learning exciting and challenging, his willingness to
'be there' when his students needed him-in and out of class, and his
obvious belief that 'kids are people too.' In a community of low-income
families and government housing, an area where the primary opportunities
offered kids were those to get into trouble, he ran a youth club,
involved students in the landscaping of their school, sponsored trips to
southern California colleges, and opened his home and his heart to
youngsters seeking help, advice or simply a chance to talk."
The bare-bones facts of Howard's career are
exciting in themselves:
Thirty-seven years a science educator
Forty-eight years a vital part of the
Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair
Coordinator of the Meet the Scientist
and Science and Technology Today! lecture programs which brought
leading local scientists into San Diego County's junior and senior
highs as speakers and role-models
Chairman of the Education and Activities
Department of the San Diego Natural History Museum
Member of the Science Steering Committee
of the San Diego City Schools, the Education Committee of the San
Diego Zoological Society, the National Science Teachers Association,
the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the
National Science Supervisors Association
Recipient of many special awards, among
them "National Science Teacher of the Year"
Scout leader, Sunday School
Superintendent, church elder, sponsor of youth activities.
Husband, father, grandfather,
great-grandfather (and by popular acclaim, the "grandfather of the
science fair"). Mr. Weisbrod was the founder of the Greater San Diego
Science & Engineering Fair.
at Kearny High, much of
it still in place, was installed by Howard
Weisbrod and his
Kay Bryan wrote on
5/30/02: I saw Mr. Weisbrod at the retired teachers luncheon in
April. Talked with him for some time. (He even remembered me!) His
wife was in the hospital at that time. At that time he was sharp as a
tack and surely didn't appear to be over 90. I followed him out of
the parking lot - He was still driving. He also said that Virginia
Mashin and Mr Sipple where still alive.