De Anza DAR hosts Award Ceremony & Colonial Tea


De Anza Chapter Daughters in Revolutionary era dress welcomed students and their families to the annual American History Essay Contest award ceremony and Colonial Tea held at the Church of the Nativity in Rancho Santa Fe on Feb. 6.

The 2016 Daughters of the American Revolution history essay topic asked students elementary through junior high school to describe a colonial family’s discussion about the 1765 Stamp Act and the role it played in organizing the colonists against the British King and Parliament.

Special recognition was given to Nativity School teacher Kim Dixon under whose guidance students have entered the contest for 16 years and Rhoades School teacher P. J. Stanley with student essayists for eight years.

Fifth through eighth grade students from Nativity, Rhoades, Park Dale Lane, St. James and St. Michael’s schools submitted essays. School winners are listed in order from 1st place through honorable mention.

The Nativity School finalists were taught by Kim Dixon. Nativity school 7th grade finalists were Daniela Gil, Joelle Tran, Gabriella Bacino and Will Chamberlain. Nativity School 8th grade finalists were Erin Ruh, Georgia Sima, Frankie Loretta and Ella Murphy. Rhoades School 7th grade finalists, taught by Wendy Schramm, were Isabella Reims, Caroline Zdanowski, Carly Fiskness and Claire Fung. Rhoades School 8th grade finalists, taught by PJ Stanley and Julie Watts, were Ellie Silvester, Sydney Gerlach, Katrina Ordway and Luke M. Pusateri.

St. James Academy 8th grade finalists, taught by Leslie Beswick, were Calli Hill, Vinnie Catalano, Zoe-Daphnee Gagne and Mia Miel. Park Dale Lane 6th grade finalist, taught by Michele Lyons, was Davis Dudek. St. Michael’s School 5th grade finalists, taught by Dustin Geyer, were Pierre Paye, Carissa Zamora, Christopher Lumibao and Aiden Schatz.

Chapter essay winners were St. Michael’s Pierre Paye for 5th grade, Park Dale’s Davis Dudek for 6th grade, Rhoades School’s Isabelle Niems for 7th grade and Nativity School’s Erin Ruh for 8th grade. These first place winners received a monetary award, bronze medal, and an embossed certificate.

Three students also won and received certificates and monetary awards at the District level. Jan Quigley, chair of the District XIV contest committee, presented awards to Erin Ruh, Isabella Reims and Pierre Paye. They are eligible for awards at the state and national level.

San Diego Chapter Sons of the American Revolution served as honor guard for the ceremony. Daughters of the American Revolution is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women’s service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America’s future through better education for children. Any woman 18 years or older who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution is eligible for membership.For more information, contact Marti Meiners at or

Photos by Jon Clark. For photos online, visit