LIFE

Scripps Ranch: What we like about you

Scripps Ranch: What we like about you

Meet some of your neighbors:
Lives filled with experience, faces full of character and hearts brimming with passion for their community

Suha Chari
Board member, Sustainable Scripps Ranch

About: I host a Food Waste Drop Off Hub run by Food2Soil. My intention is to foster and be part of a closely knit community with a warm, friendly and joyous environment, where we take care of one another.

What I like about Scripps Ranch:I enjoy the undulating walks of Scripps Ranch, cherish its tree cover and all the meandering trails in the vicinity. The opportunities it presents for work and play are wonderful.


Michelle Abella-Shon
Volunteer chair of the Miramar Ranch North Planning Committee and project manager for the City of San Diego

About: With a background in urban planning and architecture, Michelle is recognized as a visionary and a community
leader. She is a lifelong advocate on conservation, sustainability, preservation of eco-systems through ground-breaking strategy, community sense approach and civic engagement while deeply engaged in promoting the values of architecture and urban design and planning. She is a contributor to various social media platforms, talks and webinars on planning-related topics to address density, walkability, affordable housing, redevelopment, revitalization, protection of local neighborhoods, responsible growth, policies and regulations, design and other social perspectives.

What I like about Scripps Ranch: Living in wonderful Scripps Ranch for the last 23 years has truly enhanced our quality of life, meeting a diverse group of neighbors from all walks of life with convenient access to essential amenities and services such as parks, trails, open spaces, Miramar Lake, pond, public library, good schools, fire station and commercial centers.


Darrel Brown
Owner, Savagewood Brewing Company

About: As the purveyor of the true Scripps Ranch neighborhood brewery, I have worked to support our community in any way we can. Fundraisers, school and team sponsorships, neighborhood outreach – we love our community where we live and work.

What I like about Scripps Ranch: Scripps Ranch is truly a magical place. You get the small town feel in the middle of a big city, and the people are absolutely amazing. We love our neighborhood and the people that live here.


Sharon Camarillo
Sixth grade teacher (Del Mar Union School District), member at large – Jerabek Family & Faculty Organization, admin – Scripps Ranch for Diversity & Inclusion

About: I have been a part time elementary teacher for seven years in Del Mar and an active member of Jerabek’s Family & Faculty Organization for the last three years. I’m also a co-creator of the Scripps Ranch Diversity & Inclusion group on Facebook. My husband and I have three young daughters.

What I like about Scripps Ranch: I love the natural beauty of this community and how it’s not too far from “the action.” I love how many residents are welcoming and willing to learn and grow together.


Beverly Cassity
Market manager for the “New” Scripps Ranch Farmers Market

About: Right after we moved here to Scripps Ranch in 2000, I volunteered to chair the SRCA Community Fair for 11 years. I managed the Old Scripps Ranch Farmers Market from 2002 to 2018.

What I like about Scripps Ranch: I absolutely LOVE the people in Scripps Ranch and the wonderful community spirit.


Cynthia Collins
Bill and I are owners of Collins Family Jewelers. I am also the Scripps Ranch Girl Scouts Service Unit co-manager.

About: I’ve been married for over 39 years. Bill and I own and operate Collins Family Jewelers. Our store has served the community for over 42 years. I have co-managed the Scripps Ranch Girl Scouts Service Unit, with over 500 girls, for over 11 years.

What I like about Scripps Ranch: When I met my hubby in 1979, I loved Scripps Ranch’s trees and rural vibe. We have lived in the community since 1989 and still enjoy its small town feel!


Melanie Durkin
I have taught full time at Southwestern College for the past 21 years. I teach in the Exercise Science Department. I also have owned Fitness Quest 10 in Scripps Ranch with my husband Todd for the past 21 years.

About: I am married and a mom of three kids: Luke (18), Brady (16) and McKenna (13). We have lived in Scripps Ranch for 20 years. My husband and I opened Fitness Quest 10 in 2000 and moved to Scripps Ranch shortly after opening. We have truly made a life out of fitness. We met in graduate school at SDSU in the Kinesiology Department and turned our passion for health and fitness into two full time jobs. I was fortunate to get a full-time (non coaching) position at Southwestern College which has allowed me to have flexible hours and, on some days, get paid to work out! Fitness Quest 10 has been more than a gym to my family, it has become my family.

Giving back through serving as the Lion’s Heart coordinator for my son Luke’s class and serving as the VP of SRHS football boosters has been my recent volunteer titles that I enjoy and gives me an opportunity to give back to this community which I love.

What I like about Scripps Ranch: Our team, friends, clients, community, student athletes have all been a huge blessing to us and being able to live and work in this community will be something I am forever grateful for.


Yves Fournier
Owner of The French Oven Bakery

About: I have been a baker/pastry chef for the last 30 plus years. Grew up in a bakery in France and I am a fifth generation baker. Married to Susie Fournier and proud dad of Ella (13) and Charlie (11). I live in the beautiful Scripps Ranch community.

What I like about Scripps Ranch: I love the community and support for each other. Fortunate to be part of this beautiful area of the world.


Josef Fradkin
Head of school, Chabad Hebrew Academy; academic chair, COL; WASC, visiting chair

About: Chabad Hebrew Academy is a unique academic environment. I’ve had the honor of leading the school since 2007, along with my talented colleagues. COVID has been a tremendous time of personal and professional growth. We’ve been at the forefront of Public Health Policy, trained with UCSD and the CDPH to serve as an onsite COVID PCR and antigen testing lab for our students and staff. We’ve worked diligently with Zero COVID outbreaks across all of our divisions since opening in September 2020. I am blessed to be part of an amazing, can-do team that does everything possible for our students’ benefit.

What I like about Scripps Ranch: Scripps Ranch is home to some of the best mountain bike trails, right at our doorstep. I could not imagine a better place to raise a family.


Alicia Gonzalez
Founder, Scripps Theatre Arts

About: Founded Scripps Theatre Arts (a non-profit) to give youth in Scripps Ranch a place to learn, grow and shine on stage. The focus of Scripps Theatre Arts is to allow kids to work together to create a cultural masterpiece that can be shared with the whole community.

What I like about Scripps Ranch: Scripps Ranch is filled with people committed to creating a “village” that supports one another to success. I love that I share a common interest with others in wanting to do the best for our kids.


Drew Hoffos
Chef, owner, Nutmeg Bakery & Cafe

About: San Diego born, my wife and I started Nutmeg with her mother 8.5 years ago after training in San Diego restaurants like Café Chloe, Bridges, Market Del Mar. I wanted to bring locally-sourced, chef-driven dishes to somewhere other than downtown and North Park, so we picked Sabre Springs/Scripps Ranch.

What I like about Scripps Ranch: The sense of community and pride that comes with being here. Folks who are regulars support us and spread the word to their friends. They treat Nutmeg like “their place” and help us grow.


Felicity Hunter
Real estate agent and community supporter

About: I have lived in Scripps Ranch for the past 14 years and love everything about this community. From the beginning of my real estate career, I have looked for ways to give back to Scripps Ranch – sponsoring Little League Home Runs, Taste of the Ranch, donating to the local elementary schools and supporting our teachers.

What I like about Scripps Ranch: When you love where you live, it just comes naturally to want to give back!


Cynthia Kurose
Brand and marketing consultant

About: I’m a work-at-home mom, wife, and independent brand and marketing consultant assisting businesses small and large. I’ve also been active in the community – at one time serving as a volunteer admin for three different Scripps Ranch Facebook groups, a freelance writer for Scripps Ranch News and as chair of the St. Gregory the Great Ministry of Mothers.

What I like about Scripps Ranch: I love the sense of community and neighborliness in Scripps Ranch. I also appreciate that it is a peaceful place to raise my family.


Nancy Lavell
Owner, CKO Miramar
About: I have been highly involved in fitness most of my life. When the opportunity came for me to purchase CKO Miramar, I was excited to be able to use my passion to motivate and inspire others on their fitness journey. At CKO Miramar, we believe in giving back. It is important for us to be involved with local community events and supporting not only our local members, but military, health care workers, etc. At the start of COVID, CKO Miramar donated lunches to all local community hospitals as a thank you for their service, as well as continue to offer “1 month free” to all first responders, teachers and essential workers.

What I like about Scripps Ranch: Scripps Ranch has been my home for over 10 years now. I feel lucky to reside in an area with a strong community presence that allows myself and my family to feel comfortable and safe.


Dr. Matt Lawson
Principal, Scripps Ranch High School

About: This is my sixth year as an administrator at Scripps Ranch High School and my first year as principal. I believe in equity, discipline, building relationships and instilling self-efficacy in students. I hope to be a positive influence within the community.

What I like about Scripps Ranch: The families, students and staff, along with the bond and pride community members have, are what make Scripps Ranch such a special place. I truly feel blessed to be a part of, and lead, in a community like this.


Laura Kay Stephens
Real estate advisor/kindness ambassador

About: I’m a wife, mom of two awesome kids (Malie/Benjamin), friend, passionate volunteer and licensed realtor at 24/7 Realty serving San Diego. I believe business and kindness must be paired together for success. Kindness is my powerful and strategic commitment to approach the world and everyone in it in an intentionally respectful manner and take action to elevate the communities and people I serve.

What I like about Scripps Ranch: I always believed there were communities out there where neighbors would take care of neighbors, people would know each other’s names, smiles and waves would be abundant. I feel so grateful to have found it!


Holt Mebane
President, Kiwanis Club of Scripps Ranch

About: I retired from 36 years of engineering at Hewlett-Packard. I’ve lived in Scripps Ranch with my wife Janet for 35 years, raising three children. I was involved in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts with my two sons for 15 years. In my free time I enjoy being a private pilot, hiking, golf and skiing. I’m also a serious Halloween enthusiast!

What I like about Scripps Ranch: I love the friendly, family oriented nature of the Scripps Ranch community, the hills and trees that give it that country feel, and the central location that provides quick access to the beach, downtown and the northern county.


Kay Merg
Team leader, RE/MAX United in Scripps Ranch

About: Kay loves living in Scripps Ranch and is passionate about helping local residents with their real estate
needs. Kay is the “Resource-Queen” by providing her clients with reputable vendors whenever needed. As a military spouse and military relocation certified, Kay has helped over 425 military families buy and sell homes in over 22 states.

What I like about Scripps Ranch: Scripps Ranch is one of the best places to live in California due to the small town community living feel and philosophy. I love living here because people truly care about serving their community and neighbors are committed to helping neighbors.


Eric Morgan
Girl Scout troop leader, service unit cookie co-coordinator (training). I also opened a business in Scripps behind Newtopia. I do Laser cutting and engraving along with graphic design work (Pengi Wynn Inc).

About: This year, all of our work has been online meetings with the girls (scouts). We try to get together every other week. Service unit cookie coordinator is a position that oversees all of the sales of cookies by Scripps Ranch Troops. Upwards of
almost 80k cookies have been sold by Scripps Ranch scouts in a year.

Laser cutting and engraving business – We have done everything from logo design, to engraving metal water bottles, glassware, acrylic LED signs, wood signs, slate coasters.

What I like about Scripps Ranch: I like the schools. That was the whole reason I moved here from Utah. I also like that there are small shops I can walk to for food, treats, coffee, etc.


JL Nuss
Feline advocate

About: Cat advocate who organizes community fundraisers, including an annual Real House Cats of Scripps Ranch calendar whose proceeds were used to purchase a community microchip scanner with extra funds going to various cat charities. Also executed towel drives to benefit the FCC and Humane Society.

What I like about Scripps Ranch: I love the tight knit community of Scripps Ranch which feels more like an extended family to me.


Dave Parker
Financial advisor – Edward Jones

About: I taught high school and college, and was a campus president before serving as a leader and mentor for 13 college presidents across eight states. After decades of personal and professional experience with business, money and investing, I now help professionals and business owners solve their troubles.

What I like about Scripps Ranch: As a current Poway-Scripps Rotary President and Scripps Ranch Old Pro, plus long-time resident, I enjoy the feeling of community we have. I’m looking forward to all the local events coming back such as the Fourth of July parade and run, summer concerts in the park, softball and soccer in the parks, etc.


Jessica Pearson
Creator of Real House Dogs of Scripps Ranch; Real House Cats of Scripps Ranch; Real House Plants of Scripps Ranch; and Camp Blue Diamond Backyard Camp Experience since 2007

About: She has compassion for the vulnerable in our community, and helps out by doing collection drives for St. Paul’s PACE and collect/create gifts for residents for Casa Mahal. She has also collected Christmas gifts for foster youth who have aged out of the system. A stay at home mom to two high school students and one college student. Her husband is an airline captain for Delta Airlines.

What I like about Scripps Ranch: I love the ease of Scripps Ranch. In our community you can be your true authentic self with no need to pretend you’re something you’re not. We’re all in this adventure together, and it helps being in a great neighborhood.


Teodora D. Purcell
Immigration counsel, Duane Morris, LLP

About: An immigrant myself, I have a passion to help people and advise on individual and corporate immigration and compliance. I help clients fulfill their American dream and represent pro bono indigent immigrants. I devise global mobility strategies for businesses and their talented employees.

What I like about Scripps Ranch: I love the beautiful surroundings and family-friendly, kind and caring community. I enjoy the amenities of the Scripps Ranch Swim & Racquet Club, as well as walking around Miramar Lake and the hills and hidden trails of Scripps Ranch.


Kristin Young Rayder
Owner, Law Office of Kristin Young Rayder, APC; founder and president of Scripps Ranch Fire Safe Council (SRFSC); coach, Scripps Ranch High School Mock Trial Team – 11 years; member, Rotary Club of Poway-Scripps – 14 years

About: Working and volunteering in Scripps Ranch is amazing! SRFSC and the Fire Department, Police Department and our community work together to keep Scripps Ranch safe during the next wildfire. I love working with the SRHS students who work so tirelessly to make Scripps Ranch Mock Trial Team consistently competitive.

What I like about Scripps Ranch: I love the sense of community which we all feel in Scripps Ranch, almost as though we are all from the same family. It is unmatched by any other community – like a fabulous oasis in the eighth most populous city in the United States!


Amalea Rose Ribeiro
Singer/songwriter/actress

About: I have been singing and performing since I was 8 years old and have started to write and arrange my own music recently. I will definitely pursue music in college and beyond and am looking forward to being able to perform again after quarantines lift.

What I like about Scripps Ranch: I love the community and the beauty of Scripps Ranch. I have made so many friends here and I feel fortunate to live in such a great place.


Elaine Rosen
Scripps Ranch High School Music Boosters president; managing partner at TurningPoint

About: Since moving to Scripps Ranch, I’ve been able to experience the joys of volunteering in various organizations. I honestly believe that while work may pay the bills, volunteering feeds the soul. As a SRHS Music Booster, we provide logistical and financial resources/fundraising to support our talented musicians.

What I like about Scripps Ranch: I love living in Scripps Ranch, and not just because the eucalyptus trees remind me of my Australian roots. I’m proud to be part of a community that genuinely cares for one another.


Liz Sloan
Principal of Ellen Browning Scripps Elementary School

About: I have been the principal of EBS for the past eight years. I started my teaching career in 1990 at Jerabek Elementary School, so Scripps Ranch holds a special place in my heart.

What I like about Scripps Ranch: I love how the residents of Scripps Ranch take care of their community and take care of each other.


Alex Szeto
Coach, Robotics Team Inspiration

About: Education allowed me, someone who immigrated to the U.S. with an incomplete high school education, to become a successful aerospace engineer working on national systems to safeguard this great country. It is my endeavor to help others to achieve their dreams and share my knowledge of systems engineering.

What I like about Scripps Ranch: I love the open and supportive community of neighbors helping neighbors and the enthusiasm for volunteering.


Josh Way, Ed.D
Principal, Marshall Middle School

About: Eighteen years ago, I started my career as a high school social studies teacher and coach at Fallbrook High School. In 2011, I became an administrator in San Marcos Unified where I served middle and high schools, as well as K-8. In May of 2020, I became the proud principal of Thurgood Marshall Middle School.

What I like about Scripps Ranch: I’m impressed by how quickly and efficiently the community comes together to support those in need. Whether it’s been a family in need, a staff member, or even our entire school, the parents rally and mobilize to lend a hand. It’s impressive and unlike anything I’ve seen before.


About The Faces of Scripps Ranch

The purpose of The Faces of Scripps Ranch is to recognize some of the outstanding individuals in this community as well as letting readers know a little more about their neighbors.

The selection criteria for this inaugural feature were simple: we made a list of unique individuals we covered or who were helpful during the first three years of this newspaper. Relying on memory alone, we came up with an extensive list within minutes.

Those who participated were extremely gracious and thankful. We were so impressed and honored by the kindness expressed in their responses that we plan to conduct another, improved and more clever, version of this feature within a year.

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