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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 Center.

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

Lee Bogle - Wrestling Coach






Paul Deacon - Coach and History Teacher

We are sad announce that Paul Deacon , 86, died at home in Durango, Colorado on Thursday, October 25, 2001.  Born in 1914, he served in the Navy in World War II and the Korean War.  Paul Deacon taught history and coached at Kearny High School for 27 years before retiring in 1975.  He is survived by his wife, Nancy Burnham Deacon, a stepson and two of Nancy's children.

E-Mail to Ollie from Nancy Deacon prior to his death:

Hi Ollie

     Thanks for the info on the 53 reunion and the web site etc. I see you're having a picnic tomorrow so thought I would send along Paul's response. I guess he didn't have a class of 53 but just the baseball team - is that right? 

   Any way, after your call he said "of course I remember Ollie Harris." and he was so pleased to hear that you called.
    He can't wait for the reunion but maybe some of his students will be at the picnic.  He said to tell them that he "really loved all those guys" and "thanks for thinking of him."
     I took a quick look at the web site and thought it was great and will bring it up to Paul so he can enjoy looking at it - music and all - wow. I'm impressed.
       Thanks again,  Nancy and Paul Deacon

Ken Dowell - Basketball Coach



      Kearny Alumni Picnic - October 2001

Margie Dowell, Ollie Harris, Ken Dowell

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 State.

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?"

Tom Kelly - Golf Coach




A. Lambert - Track Coach




Virginia Mashin


1/7/03  - We recently received an e-mail from Mark Vavra, an acquaintance of one of our teachers, Virgina Mashin.  I am sure she would love to hear fond memories from any ex-students. If you want to send an e-mail to Mrs. Mashin, please send it to the attention of Mark Vavra at, and he will make sure that she gets it..  She is 91 and as sharp as a tack but will be unable to attend our class reunion. 

Bill Newmin - Sophomore Basketball Coach





Eugene "Mike" Peshel - Mr Peshel was one of the original eleven teachers at Kearny High School, and continued to teach there until his death on November 15, 1975, at the age of 60.  He also served as a Sergeant in the US Army, and is buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in Point Loma.
Hal Smith - Football Coach




DELPHINE DELIGHT SMITH died on 01/10/1979 in San Diego, CA

Miss Smith, Dean of Girls, held the position of "chief trouble shooter" for every senior high girl, by being "head keeper" for the Girl's League, and the Dianas.  Miss Smith makes her made her headquarters in the office where anyone was welcome to drop in and say hello.


HOWARD WEISBROD - known as "Mr. Science Fair" to generations of San Diegans, died Thursday, May 30, 2002 at his home in Loma Portal. He was 91.

Howard Weisbrod 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 Fair.

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 creative."

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 instructional consultant.

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 plant science.

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 superintendent.

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.

(Excerpts from an article written about Howard Weisbrod by Mary Domb Mikkelson for the on-line newsletter, NewsNote, of the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair)

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.

The landscaping at Kearny High, much of it still in place, was installed by Howard Weisbrod and his first students.

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.

ELWYN RICHARD ZALOUDEK died on 09/21/1982 in San Diego, CA

Mr. Zaloudek was the Choirmaster during our era.



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