Beth Penny works behind the scenes to better La Jolla High for faculty and students
Beth Penny has been a member of the Foundation of La Jolla High School for seven years and is currently the school’s PTA president. She was born in a suburb of Chicago, the oldest of five children. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Indiana University, she moved to Boston looking for adventure. Beginning as a cardiac intensive care nurse, she became interested in research and primary prevention of heart disease. She participated in some of the early research for cholesterol-lowering medications at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital.
After moving to La Jolla in 1991, Penny was the director of clinical research for the San Diego Cardiac Center until 1998. Her volunteer interests began with the Junior League of Boston and then the San Diego Junior League. After her children were born, she participated in the school boards at Methodist Nursery School and All Hallows Academy, where she served as PTG president and a member of the finance committee.
Penny currently works part-time for La Jolla Meals-On-Wheels, in addition to her position at La Jolla High School.
What brought you to La Jolla?
I met my husband Bill in Boston while he was doing his cardiology fellowship. His first job brought us to La Jolla, where he grew up.
What might you add, subtract or improve in the area?
I would like to see a totally renovated La Jolla High School and the La Jolla community anxious to gather for fall football games.
Who or what inspires you?
I’m inspired by people (especially teens) who are curious, lighthearted and enthusiastic.
If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?
1. My wonderful husband Bill
2. Oprah Winfrey
3. Bill and Melinda Gates
4. Craig Venter
5. Michael Rosenberg (La Jolla Playhouse)
6. Tina Fey
7. Sster Pat Farrell
8. Ina Garten (but we will ALL help cook, “Big Chill” style!)
What are your five favorite movies of all time?
“Gone With the Wind,” “Amadeus,” “Life Is Beautiful,” “Forest Gump” and “Crash”
What is it that you most dislike?
Arrogance — it’s such a waste of time.
What is your most-prized possession?
I am not a “stuff” person, and I know they are not possessions, but I cherish my three children — Katheryne, 20; Billy, 18; and Michael, 16, more than anything else.
What do you do for fun?
La Jolla High School sporting events, yoga, swimming, walking, reading and going to the theater
What is your motto or philosophy of life?
An amalgam of Gratitude, Kindness and Just Do It!
What would be your dream vacation?
That would be Skylonda in the Redwood Forest with my family — hiking, yoga, massage, organic cuisine taught and prepared by a masterful chef — that same experience in Asia would be my ultimate dream.
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