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San Marcos High School Hosts Third Annual Gala

San Marcos High School’s Royal Pride Foundation Board Chair Eric Voulgaris and Executive Director of the Royal Pride Foundation Board Matt Laband flank community members who will be honored at this year’s Royal Gala:  Sal Rodriguez (Community Leadership Award), Katina Etsell (Citizenship Award)  and Mardi and John Warkentin (Philanthropy Award).
San Marcos High School’s Royal Pride Foundation Board Chair Eric Voulgaris and Executive Director of the Royal Pride Foundation Board Matt Laband flank community members who will be honored at this year’s Royal Gala:  Sal Rodriguez (Community Leadership Award), Katina Etsell (Citizenship Award)  and Mardi and John Warkentin (Philanthropy Award). (Sydney Black photo)

The Royal Pride Foundation will host the third annual Royal Gala to benefit San Marcos High School on Friday, Oct. 14, 2016, at the Fess Parker Double Tree Resort.

“The Gala provides a wonderful opportunity to bring people together in order to showcase the impact San Marcos has within the local community, while also helping to generate a significant source of additional support for the school,” said Ed Behrens, principal at San Marcos High School.

Funds raised support curriculum improvements, campus enhancements and beautification, and provide financial support to students in need, thereby benefiting every student at the school.

This year’s event honors three outstanding community members. Katina Etsell will receive the Citizenship Award for her contributions of time and expertise in various facets of the school, including PTSA, athletic boosters, Field of Champions project, and Founding Chair of the Royal Pride Foundation.

Sal Rodriguez, a San Marcos alumni and Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club, will receive the Community Leadership Award.

And John and Mardi Warkentin will receive the Philanthropy Award for their exceptional support of the Field of Champions project that allowed San Marcos to upgrade the school stadium with state-of- the-art synthetic turf and a new track.

The Royal Pride Foundation provides strategic guidance and funding for projects that support all students and drive San Marcos High School to achieve excellence in academics, extracurricular pursuits and facilities.

Over the past 4 years, the Foundation has raised over $2 million and accomplished many noteworthy goals, namely funding the Health Careers Academy, the Entrepreneurship Academy, the Café Royale Culinary Program, the performing arts department, new sand volleyball courts, school-wide landscaping and infrastructure improvements and the purchase of a new athletic van.

The Royal Gala will be a celebration of that success and a way for the community to come together to continue improvements to the school and its programs.

Co-chairs of this year’s event are Lauri Hamer, Pauline Lowe and Melinda Werner.

The celebratory affair includes dinner, live and silent auctions and dancing to the sounds of LA’s “The VIPS.”

The Royal Gala takes place from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at the Fess Parker DoubleTree Resort Rotunda, 633 East Cabrillo Blvd.

The event is open to the public. Tickets are $150 per person and can be purchased online at

For more information, visit

San Marcos High School

Established in 1958, San Marcos High School employs approximately 91 teachers, 7 counselors, and 5 administrators. It is accredited through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and was named a California Distinguished School in 1994 and 2005.

The school’s varied curriculum offers over 200 academic and elective courses.

Approximately 80 percent of San Marcos students continue their studies through higher education.

San Marcos moved from a traditional six-period day to a block schedule where students take three 90-minute classes a day with the option of a fourth class, allowing students to complete 16 classes a year instead of the traditional 12.

San Marcos High is located in a primarily suburban area eight miles north of the city of Santa Barbara, California, with a greater metropolitan population of 200,000.

– Ann Pieramici represents the San Marcos High School Royal Pride Foundation.


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