Monte Vista High honors Hall of Fame alumni
Even with around 200 people, it was an intimate event as Monte Vista High School inducted honorees into its 2016 Hall of Fame. Honoring “the best of the best” this year’s committee selected six Monarch alumni that contributed significant contributions to the campus community. Some of them, made Monte Vista a steadfast part of their life, others contributed as students and moved on to great things. Held at the El Cajon Elks Lodge on Oct. 29, this third installation dinner added to the diversity of Monte Vista’s Hall of Fame.
Lisa Stewart, Monte Vista PTSA president said when it was approached three years ago to start a Hall of Fame, it was honored to partner with the program.
“We are all about growing leaders, creating role models so students can achieve, know what it means to be successful. And that comes in all shapes and sorts,” she said. “This is not an athletic Hall of Fame, it is for all people. As a parent, not going to this school myself, not growing up in East County, every year that I come to the Hall of Fame dinners and hear the inductees talk, every single one of them has that common thread, ‘If it weren’t for someone at Monte Vista who believed in me, kicked me in the pants, put their arm around them and said here’s the direction you want to go in.’ That is what made them successful now and reach out to others.”
Principal Marietta Minjares said this is just the beginnings of Monte Vista’s Hall of Fame.
“We have something in common,” she said. “Being part of the Monarch family.”
As a student at Monte Vista, Bonnie Adams, Class of 1969, remained active in the Key Club, Youth for Christ and the Senior Bench Warmers. She chose to remain with the Monarchs and spent 18 years as classified staff at the school. Managing concessions also, she raised more than $500,000 in beginning a program with concessions with Qualcomm. This venture helped sports, clubs and groups on and off campus.
An All-Grossmont League selection, San Diego Section CIF Finalist, National High School All-American Water Polo Team and United States Junior National Team, Class of 1975 Tim Lindley went on to teach and coach at Monte Vista. He earned the title as Grossmont League Coach of the Year six times in water polo and swim and dive. He also earned the title of San Diego Section CIF Water Polo Coach of the year two times.
Lettered three years in baseball, Class of 1987 Scott Paul also was a State Scholar in mathematics. After graduating UC Davis he was accepted to University of Georgia’s Sports Management Masters program. He is now Director of Stadium Operations for the Carolina Panthers.
Jay Heiserman graduated with honors in the Class of 1997, active in Monte Vista’s Drama Department as a performer and set designer. He then went on earning his BFA in set design, working with “America’s Funniest Videos,” “The Surreal Life,” and the Grammy Awards. He received three Emmy Awards as Director/Production Designer for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Heiserman returns each year to design sets and inspire local youth for San Diego Junior Theater.
Owner of Valley Farm Market, Derek Marso, Class of 2001, was a three-sport letterman in football, wrestling and baseball. He was named to the All-League team in football three times, and while at Kansas State University All-Big 12 twice. Now he creates jobs, donates to youth sports as co-founder of the Maso Walchef Youth Empowerment Organization for underprivileged youth.
Starting as coach for Monte Vista’s basketball, Zachary Peck won eight league titles, appeared in four CIF semifinals, two CIF championships on one state tournament. He was awarded Coaching Legend by the San Diego Hall of Championships in 2010. As a teacher he taught Advancement Via Individual Determination, honors English, and reading.
There were wonderful testaments given by nominees of this year’s Hall of Fame inductees. Each had a personal story to tell that displayed not only the pride of being a Monarch, but the undeniable contribution that these honorees brought to the Monte Vista community and the many students, teachers and staff that were affected by them.
With pride, many expressed the positive effect that this Hall of Fame, not dedicated to sports figures only, makes it stand out against many others. With Monte Vista’s diverse community, honoring all those that continue the Monarch legacy was the theme of this event, and the honorees to come in the future. After all, “Once a Monarch, always a Monarch.”