La Jolla Christmas Parade salutes community’s youth

Local principals were asked to selected outstanding young people to be honored as youth marshals in the 53rd annual La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival to be held Dec. 5 in downtown La Jolla. The event, which runs down Girard Avenue and then turns down Prospect Street, begins at 2 p.m. A holiday festival follows at the La Jolla Recreation Center.

The “Christmas By the Sea” aquatic-themed event includes marching bands, floats, equestrian units, vintage automobiles and an appearance by Santa Claus capped by a tree-lighting ceremony in front of La Jolla Rec Center.

Here are the Youth Marshals and information on why they were nominated:

• All Hallows Academy

Connor Goldman, Elementary Grade Representative, Grade 2

Connor entered All Hallows as a kindergartner. He has always demonstrated excellent study skills and great citizenship. He is a very happy and courtesy young man and very aware of all of his classmates. He is a great athlete, loves sports and plays with good sportsmanship. He is a reliable volunteer and follows through on all of his tasks. He is a great brother to Alex and his sister Abby.

Aileen Dalton, Middle School Representative, Grade 7

Aileen Dalton has been in All Hallows Academy since her kindergarten year. She is an outstanding representative of our academy. An A+ student always on the Honor Roll, a Student Council officer, super athlete, as well as very active in a variety of outreach programs. She was very instrumental in keeping our recycling program going and with her family, has been to Casa de Los Pobres in Tijuana, for Christmas and at Easter, Meals on Wheels, and Thanksgiving Food drives.Aileen is an altar server at All Hallows Church and participants in a number of parish activities. She is a friend to all, happy and very caring. She is a great sister to Dillon at LJHS and Conor at All Hallows. .

• Bird Rock Elementary

Nora Joyce, Grade 5

Youth Marshal Nora Joyce is Student Council president at Bird Rock Elementary School. Nora is in Ms. LaRowe’s fifth-grade class and is excited to represent her school here today. In addition to student council, Nora plays soccer, tennis and piano, is a Girl Scout and loves performing in school plays. Happy Holidays to everyone from Bird Rock Elementary!

• Bishop’s School

Alina Pham, Grade 9

Alina Pham, 14, is a ninth-grader currently attending the Bishop’s School. In her free time she enjoys playing the guitar, dancing, making movies with her sisters and singing. She hopes everyone enjoys the parade, and has a very Merry Christmas!

Lily Mojdehi, Grade 9

No information available

• La Jolla Country Day

Zoey Turek, Grade 12

Zoey is a three-year member of the Madrigal Singers, a Glee Club officer and has participated in multiple school musicals. In addition to her musical and theatrical talents, Zoey is a gifted writer. She serves as editor in chief of the student newspaper, “The Palette,” and co-editor in chief of the school yearbook, “L’Esprit.” For the past two years, Zoey has earned the position of co-captain of the Country Day women’s water polo team. In her spare time, Zoey is helping to organize the second Annual Concert for Wishes, benefitting the Make A Wish Foundation of San Diego.

• La Jolla Town Council

David Bache, Grade 7

David’s nomination recognizes his many services to the Town Council; webmaster for the Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival; computer technician for the Town Council office and envelope “stuffer” for various mailings. As webmaster (

), he created the site for the 2009 and 2010 parade, and this year David created the site and the fully web-based registration system at considerable savings to the council.

He is a self-taught electronics expert who gets the call whenever there are problems with friends, family and school computers, audio equipment, or anything electronic. After school, David builds and maintains websites for commercial clients and service organizations. His most widely used websites are those for the La Jolla Christmas Parade and La Jolla Boy Scout Troop 506.

He is 12 and in seventh grade at Stella Maris Academy (SMA) where he is the senior manager for the 2010 SMA Christmas Pageant. David is a Boy Scout in Troop 506 and an avid outdoorsman who has hiked and backpacked many hundreds of miles in the California and Colorado mountains and deserts. He is an accomplished equestrian who rides endurance races (50 miles or more) on Lucky Charm, his Arabian gelding. He is the top-ranked junior (16 or younger) endurance rider in the Pacific Southwest region and ranks in the top five nationally.

• Muirlands Middle School

Jordan Bowman, Grade 8

A native La Jollan, Jordan Bowman is in the eighth grade at Muirlands Middle School where he is an honor roll student and the station manager for the school’s radio station, LJRadio,

  1. Jordan has a passion for technology, people and for helping others. He is always willing to lend a hand and help out. He combines these interests with his love for entertainment, theater, TV and radio production, computers, sound and lighting and stage management. As station manager at LJRadio, he is responsible for maintaining the station and its equipment, and producing weekly shows on everything from news to politics to sports.

Jordan’s love for technology and the arts started many years ago when he taught himself to set up the sound system at Torrey Pines Elementary School for his school’s choir, plays, concerts and assemblies. Then starting in third grade he joined the Young Actors Workshop as their first junior stage crew member. He then started taking on other roles with the local theater group handling sound and lighting, building a web site for the group and helping with the technical aspects of the production. He is now the Young Actors Workshops’ head technician and devotes six weeks every summer and time during the school year at local elementary schools such as Torrey Pines Elementary, La Jolla Elementary and All Hallows Academy for the groups’ shows. He has worked on the kids theater company’s production of the Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, Charlotte’s Web and Peter Pan, to name a few.
In addition, Jordan has done sound and lighting for live performances by Flip Force San Diego, an elite-level acrobatic, tumbling, dance and cheerleading gym for kids and most recently, was hired with his friend, Luke Gulley, a freshman at La Jolla High, by Barona Casino to do sound and lighting for the East County Posse’s Masquerade Ball, a gala and benefit attended by 500 people. He has also been hired as a D.J. for a wedding reception and for birthday parties.

Jordan enjoys sports including tennis, soccer, swimming, surfing and snow skiing. He is currently studying and practicing at Gracie Jiu-Jitsu La Jolla several days a week. In addition, he and his dad build and launch rockets together and are involved in the local rocket club. Jordan has two sisters and two Siamese cats who he adores, James and Jenny. Jordan loves attending USC football games (where his mother and grandfather are alums).

• San Diego French American School

Ines Cerf, Grade 5

Emily Abdo, Grade 8

No information available.

• Stella Maris Academy

Kristina Vu, Grade 6

According to her teachers at Stella Maris Academy, as early as the first grade found Kristina Vu displaying acts of service. Kristina, a sixth-grade student at the academy, has been unanimously nominated as this year’s school representative for youth marshal in the annual La Jolla Christmas Parade.

Each summer finds Kristina assisting classroom teachers in setting up their classrooms for the start of the school year. When school is in session, Kristina continues to help her teachers on a daily basis. This school year Kristina will extend an offer to help her fellow classmates, as well, when she begins tutoring students during the week.

Reaching out beyond the school community had its roots early in January when Kristina helped sponsor a “Bake Sale for Haiti.” Along with several other students, Kristina helped raise $600 for Haitians who were displaced during last year’s devastating earthquake. All proceeds went to the Red Cross.

This year Kristina is contemplating participating in a book sale to benefit hungry children. In addition, she plans to sponsor another drive to help needy schools in the Diocese of San Diego. She envisions filling backpacks with school supplies and then donating them to the school children.

Kristina excels in all the academic areas at her school. Last year Kristina received the “Women of Character” Award from the Office of the San Diego County of Education after doing research on the life of Sojourner Truth.

An avid reader, Kristina also enjoys skiing and swimming. Kristina completed the Junior Lifeguard Training Program and has been recently voted Captain.

When asked what her future ambitions will be, Kristina confidently replies, “Why a teacher, of course!”

• Torrey Pines Elementary School

Emily Sophia Knara Gold, Grade 6

Emily Sophia Knara Gold is the newly elected Student Council president of Torrey Pines Elementary School. She was elected with the desire to give back to her school and be the voice of the student body. Emily will be 11 years old at the end of December. Her parents are Ken Knara and Jerry Gold. Emily’s twin brother Evan also served on the Student Council last year as treasurer. Emily and Evan also attend Beth El Torah School and are on their journey to their Bnai Mitzvah in February 2013. Emily enjoys ballet at the California Ballet School and will be appearing in the family scene of the Nutcracker in December at the San Diego Civic Center. Emily’s other activities include synchronized swimming and music and art appreciation.