Oliver Valcorza
Photo courtesy of
Bronson Photography

On Monday, May 14, the Oneonta Club Foundation will be awarding three $10,000 college scholarships to graduating SPHS seniors. The Foundation will also be awarding $1,000 each to the SPUSD primary and secondary teachers of the year.  Over the last ten years, the foundation has awarded more than $250,000 in college scholarships.

Originally begun as a civic program of the Oneonta Club, in 1976, member Philip V. Swan established the Oneonta Club Foundation to endow and provide an ongoing legacy for supporting education in the community.  The endowment has continued to grow thanks to the generous contributions of Oneonta Club members in the ensuing years,

According to the current Foundation president, William Cullinane, the Oneonta Scholarship seeks to recognize those students who display a passion or commitment for or about something in their life.  “We are looking for the person who will achieve and one day, we will look up and be amazed at what they have accomplished. These are all outstanding students academically, but the Oneonta Scholarship is not based on the highest GPA’s or test scores.”

The Oneonta Club Foundation scholarships are by far the most generous offered by any social or service organization in the city.  The application process is rigorous and extremely competitive, requiring essays from each applicant and in person interviews for the finalists.

After Philip Swan, Berkeley Johnson took over as president of the Foundation, followed by Ross MacMichel, who served as the Foundation’s president for 22 years.  In 2016, Bill Cullinane replaced Ross as president. Both Philip and Ross passed away in 2017. They left behind the legacy and standard of excellence to which they never compromised.

Lisa Robinson
Courtesy photo

Marengo 3rd Grade teacher, Lisa Robinson, is the primary school Teacher of the Year and will be introduced by Marengo principal Patricia Cheadle. SPHS Principal Janet Anderson will introduce Oliver Valcorza, Social Studies and Academic Decathalon teacher at South Pasadena High School.  Under Mr. Valcorza’s leadership, South Pasadena High School won the 2018 Academic Decathlon competition for Los Angeles County and has now won four consecutive years. The 2018 team won a jaw-dropping 94 medals at County and finished third in state competition, medaling in all 11 subject categories while collecting 41 medals overall.

Ms. Robinson and Mr. Valcorza will each be presented with a $1,000 award from the Foundation. The names of the scholarship winners will be announced at the awards dinner on May 14.  Tickets for the dinner are $35, for more information, please contact Alan@thinq.works. Tax deductible contributions supporting the Oneonta Club Foundation can be sent to the Foundation at 1613 Chelsea Road  #134, San Marino, CA 91108.

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