CSDR Old Times

CSDR Old Times Museum

Share this with your friends who have an ongoing need for signing professional development. I have 42 years of ASL teach...

Share this with your friends who have an ongoing need for signing professional development.

I have 42 years of ASL teaching experience with 13,700 student and 50 years of pursuing Deaf Studies. This should suffice to give prospective attendees what I have to offer to the niche audience.

Thank you for your network



The 2023 Regional Academic Bowl competitions are officially over! Over the weekend, 19 teams converged onto the beautiful rolling hills of the Kentucky School for the Deaf campus in picturesque Danville, Kentucky to battle it out for the title of East Regional Champion.

Tonight, California School for the Deaf, Riverside came out on top of Frederick County Public Schools (MD) 96-90 in an exciting championship match culminating in a heated tiebreaker. Congratulations to both teams, and to Model Secondary School for the Deaf, who defeated Maryland School for the Deaf, Frederick in a well-fought 3rd Place Match.

Marie Philip and Walden Schools (MA) defeated READS Collaborative (MA) to clinch the 5th and final spot to the 2023 National Academic Bowl competition next month.

Full list of award winners:
1st place: California School for the Deaf, Riverside
2nd place: Frederick County Public Schools (MD)
3rd place: Model Secondary School for the Deaf (DC)
4th place: Maryland School for the Deaf, Frederick
5th place: Marie Philip and Walden Schools (MA)
Wild card team: READS Collaborative (MA)

Team Sportsmanship: Mountain Lakes High School (NJ)
Team Sportsmanship: Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf

Four-Year Players:
Dee Cobb, READS Collaborative (MA)
Terell Demorcy, New York School for the Deaf
Bella Finkle, Maryland School for the Deaf, Frederick
Keanu Herzig-Wilcox, Maryland School for the Deaf, Frederick
Coffey King, Model Secondary School for the Deaf (DC)
Manuel Perez, New York School for the Deaf
Dalina Schwartz, Model Secondary School for the Deaf (DC)
Emma Weckbacher, READS Collaborative (MA)
Ty Willey, California School for the Deaf, Riverside

Rising Star Awards:
Elijah Echols, Tennessee School for the Deaf
Jaden Gamache, California School for the Deaf, Riverside

All-Star Awards:
Dee Cobb, READS Collaborative (MA)
Keanu Herzig-Wilcox, Maryland School for the Deaf, Frederick
Hiruni Hewapathiranage-Mayadunne, Model Secondary School for the Deaf (DC)
Delaney Ringer, Marie Philip and Walden Schools (MA)
Aaron Strom, Frederick County Public Schools (MD)
Ty Willey, California School for the Deaf, Riverside

Most Outstanding Player:
Sophie Fernandez, Frederick County Public Schools (MD)

Many thanks to the Kentucky School for the Deaf, and their host coordinators, Cheyenne Jennings and Billy Gulley Jr., for being amazing hosts for this year's East Regional! Join us for the National Academic Bowl competition in Washington, DC from April 20-24!

Gallaudet University

Ralph “Rick” Fertig in Heaven NowTonight I got a message from Mary Jane Fertig. She broke the news that Rick had died in...

Ralph “Rick” Fertig in Heaven Now

Tonight I got a message from Mary Jane Fertig. She broke the news that Rick had died in sleep yesterday morning on March 10. He was 74. To our surprise, his life journey on Earth suddenly came to an end.

It seems like Rick was around with us forever because he spent 40 years teaching and working in different departments at CSDR from 1969 to 2009. Like his wife of 44 years, Mary Jane, Rick made positive touch on thousands of students of all ages, especially in high school. Hundreds of staffers also enjoyed working with him. He was easygoing and funny. To be sure, he was exceptionally bright. He could have become a nuclear physicist, but, instead, he was attracted to Deaf Education.

Dr Brill hired Rick to teach in Fall 1969 and wanted him to teach in high school. In a counteroffer, Rick asked to start in elementary school. He was only 19 years old with an MA degree. He didn’t want to teach seniors at his age. His request was granted. Two years later, he transferred to junior high school for social studies. Several years later, he finally moved to high school, where he stayed for decades. He mainly taught reading which was a perfect match for him. He grew up with books.

In 1975, Rick invited me to see his childhood house in Los Angeles, and I was shocked to see thousands of books stacked up from the floor to ceiling in one bedroom. His love for books inspired me to do likewise for myself. Starting in 1974, I have 1,000 books on the Deaf community in my home library.

Photo 1: The recent photo of Rick in his retirement since 2009. He looks good with white beard.

Photo 2: Rick volunteered his time with student activities in the first 20 years of his long tenure at CSDR. He felt at home at CSDR.

Photo 3: If his ship sinks, he would be happy to curl up with books on a small island by himself to pass time while his SOS distress is in effect.

Alumni and retirees have many fond and funny memories with Rick. Let us remember him that way. It remains to be seen if we will have a service in his Memoriam. We will wait and see. But for now, we pray for Mary Jane and their daughter, Erica, to pull through this difficulty. Our thoughts are with them. We are one big CSDR family.

On behalf of the thousands of students at CSDR from 1969 to 2009, we thank Rick for everything he did for our education and beyond. We knew he was a good teacher and a true friend of the Deaf.

Kevin Struxness, ‘76, MA
Editor, CSDR Old Times
11 March 2023

My Birthday Today - Big 66!Everyone has a birthday once a year.  My day came today. That made me 66.  I have come a long...

My Birthday Today - Big 66!

Everyone has a birthday once a year. My day came today. That made me 66. I have come a long way since 1957. I am old enough to have seen how time changed with fashion, technology, transportation, etc.

The picture shows CSDR in the background and how the school and my family shaped my life as a young boy. I remain the same from my years at CSDR.

I drive a 2012 Toyota RAV4 with a license plate that spells “CSDRBOY.” That sums up who I am today.

I choose to spend my retirement writing the CSDR Old Times posts that will be incorporated into a published book in 2028 for the school’s 75th anniversary. I also spend time running the campus museum I started in 1995 - almost 30 years ago.

My mother told me years ago that age is a number. Don't let it bothers me. Stay positive and productive each day. She is right.

Thank you, my readers, for being my CSDR friends. That is enough for a good birthday gift today.

Thank you, Tom Divel, ‘77, for your creative work on the picture.

Cub Hugs,

Kevin, ‘76


Welcome back, Coach Norman!

CSDR Athletics is thrilled to bring back the baseball program after a long hiatus. The program will be led by Norman Weiss who served as a head coach for baseball in the 2000s. We are excited to see Coach Weiss in action once again!

We look forward to seeing the red and gray stripes in action once again!

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Before and Now Comparisons on CampusTom Divel, ‘77, found some cool pictures to compare campus parts from the past with ...

Before and Now Comparisons on Campus

Tom Divel, ‘77, found some cool pictures to compare campus parts from the past with today.

Photo 1: This is Gate 1 on Horace Street near Arlington Ave. The picture was snapped in 2011. The Superintendent's house was still in place. The Randall family was the last family to live there until June 1998. The chain link gate was used to close the traffic on weekends.

Photo 2: At Gate 1, the simple fence has been replaced with the iron-wrought fence that closes at 5:00 pm Monday through Friday and on weekends. Staff needs gate access cards to open the gate.

Photo 3: Today’s look on the corner of the Horace Street and Arlington Ave intersection. Take note of the four plants growing in individual letterforms.

Photo 4: The corner chainlink fence was filled with plants to maintain privacy and reduce the traffic sounds for the first three families: the Brills, the Lennans and the Randalls.

Kevin Struxness, ‘76, MA
Editor, CSDR Old Times
8 March 8, 2023

Ground Ivy Accompanied the Covered ArcadeThe older alumni and retirees look at the ground ivy in the picture with fond m...

Ground Ivy Accompanied the Covered Arcade

The older alumni and retirees look at the ground ivy in the picture with fond memories. The ivy added beauty to the campus. The arcade used to start at the dining room and continued to the gym about a quarter of a mile away. The ivy also continued from the dining room to the gym. Hence, the arcade and Ivy complemented each other.

In the late 1990s, Dr Randall issued a work order to remove the ivy from campus in its entirety. The reason for his work request was to combat the ongoing pest problems stemming from the ivy. It provided shelter for mice, rats, lizards, insects and other small creatures. It was next to impossible to remove the pests without removing the ground ivy. As a result, cobblestones became an alternative to the ivy in its place on both sides of the long arcade.

Photo: This image strikes anybody as a beautiful campus with well-tended landscaping. The campus landscaping requires several full-time groundskeepers to maintain the campus beauty. Unseen at the right is the dining room. Also unseen at the left is the old Shasta I dorm for senior girls. We also remember the well-pruned tree at the left.

Personally, I take the ground ivy in preference to the cobblestones for campus beauty. The ground ivy, however, stays in history as the common landscaping feature on the sprawling campus.

Kevin Struxness, ‘76, MA
Editor, CSDR Old Times
7 March 2023


The coach!

Jeremias Valencia wins his second national Coach of the Year recognization. During the most recent season, he became the fastest coach in school history to reach 50 wins as well!

Well deserved Coach V!

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USA Deaf Basketball Youth has announced its pick for the 2023 Boys Basketball Team of the Year. This marks the first time that our boys' basketball has won the Team of the Year honor by the USA Deaf Basketball Youth.

Congratulations to the team for the incredible achievement!

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Train Crossings on Arlington AveThe City of Riverside has two giant train companies, the Burlington Northern and Santa F...

Train Crossings on Arlington Ave

The City of Riverside has two giant train companies, the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF) and the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR). These carry over 75% of the freight from and to the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles through Riverside. It is impressive that 130 trains pass through the city each day. Construction of overpasses and underpasses is expensive but necessary to reduce traffic backups.

Next to CSDR on Arlington Ave, the development of the $12 million underpasses was recognized as necessary. The Riverside City Hall felt it was time to bring a solution to the traffic gridlock at train crossings, a significant source of concern because of the potential threat to the safety of students.

Photo 1: The train tracks were built on Arlington Ave in the 1920s. See the undeveloped school grounds in the background.

Photo 2: From the 1920s to 1955, drivers crossed the tracks at their own risk. In 1951 Arlington Avenue was a two-way street with an estimated one hundred vehicles per day.

Photo 3: In 1955, red blinking lights were installed for better safety. CSDR was the overriding reason for the installation.

Photo 4: In 1965, wood barriers were installed for extra safety.

Photo 5: The ever-busy Arlington Avenue was closed for six months in 1998 to construct a new underpass to allow smooth vehicle flow under the railroad tracks. The Avenue reopened in February 1999.

In 1948, CSDR Founder Perry E Seely was aware of the inherent danger the train crossings nearby could pose to the future school for the deaf. It was one disadvantage compared to the many advantages on the list. Fifty-one years later, in 1999, the underpass bridge's completion made the disadvantage disappear.

Kevin Struxness, ‘76, MA
Editor, CSDR Old Times
6 March 2023

Who Remembers Bear Claw Pastry at CSDR?Everybody loves bear claw pastries!  We at CSDR don't forget our favorite Danish ...

Who Remembers Bear Claw Pastry at CSDR?

Everybody loves bear claw pastries! We at CSDR don't forget our favorite Danish donut for breakfast. I don't know how far back in CSDR's history this pastry has been served in the dining room, but I believe it dates back to the 1950s because Rudolph Ackermann, the bakery teacher from 1953 to 1973, baked all goodies, including the bear claw pastries on school premises.

The Bear Claw pastry contains flour, butter, sugar, cinnamon, almond cuts and other smaller ingredients. The pastry has several layers of flaky flour.

I was in the Boy Scouts program at CSDR. Every time we went camping on the weekend, the dining room staff packed food products and cooking essentials. They always included bear claw pastries in a box with two for everybody. That was a treat!

Of course, the alumni and retirees can always go to Danish pastry shops to relive happy memories and good taste.

I wonder if the dining room continues to serve the Danish pastry now? I just learned from Dorm Counselor Daniel Ruccione, ‘05, that the pastry is no longer in the school menu.

Kevin Struxness, ‘76, MA
Editor, CSDR Old Times
5 March 2023

Bidding Farewell on the Train TrackEvery year a senior class decides how and where they get together and say goodbye for...

Bidding Farewell on the Train Track

Every year a senior class decides how and where they get together and say goodbye for a group picture. This is the tradition at CSDR.

The Class of 1981 came up with a bold idea that they stand on the train track for a yearbook picture. The class wildly went for the proposal. I assume the class sponsors secured clearance from the school administrators for the bold farewell picture.

The seniors with class sponsors walked through the small gate door on Arlington Ave direct across from the Gemco department store (now it is Target) and walked on the right side sidewalk towards the railroad track. They checked the track in both directions and saw it was a good time to form a line on the track. The sponsors with good hearing heard no familiar train sound at the moment. Jens Rechenberg, ‘81, took the golden opportunity to stand in the front of the line. Perhaps he was credited for coming up with the daredevil idea for the group pose on the track.

Today’s students and staff need to understand the train track of the 1980s on Arlington Ave is not what we see today. In the past, it was easy to get on the train track without any barriers and walk on it as a shortcut to a destination. On the other hand, it is much harder to get on it today with the new train overpass built in the 1990s to stem traffic backups and for increased safety.

After what happened tragically to Alex Avalos, E-‘95, on November 22, 1994, the school officials would NOT take a chance to say okay to a future senior class proposal for a class picture on a train track.

The Class of 1981 is the first and last class ever to stand on the train track. That is for sure.

Kevin Struxness, ‘76, MA
Editor, CSDR Old Times
5 March 2023

Sam Sepah, ‘00Can a foreign-born Deaf person succeed in the land of opportunities in the US?   Yes!  Do you remember rea...

Sam Sepah, ‘00

Can a foreign-born Deaf person succeed in the land of opportunities in the US? Yes! Do you remember reading my post about Ruben Macias, ‘62, in 2022? He is the first foreign-born CSDR alumnus to have earned a master’s degree. Now we have other foreign-born CSDR alumnus holding a master’s degree. His name is Sam Sepah, ‘00.

Sam was born in Iran. Her mother and father agreed their country was not a good place for education and employment opportunities available to Deaf people. They chose to settle in the US for Sam’s sake. They made a new home in San Diego for his kindergarten at Lafayette Elementary School, where he stayed for the next seven years, from K to 6. With appreciation for opportunities to succeed in the new country, he worked hard in school. His mother learned sign language to have a relatively good conversation with him at home.

In 1995 when Sam finished his elementary education, his family agreed CSDR would provide good opportunities for 8-12 education, extra-curricular activities and exposure to Deaf educators. CSDR provided a unique environment for his continued growth for six years. After completing his K12 education, he chose to study at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York for a BS in Social Science and an MS in Human Resources Management.

Sam landed a position with Google that has allowed him to lead a positive change in organization management and accessibility with technology for the last fifteen years. At Google, he drives innovations in accessibility technologies and maintains research portfolios that are global in scale. Most importantly, he elevates product experiences for users with deafness and other disabilities, bringing equity and increased quality of life to Google's consumers.

A tireless evangelist, Sam was instrumental in influencing Google to make products more inclusive. You can see the results of his impact on the following products and platforms: Android, Chrome, DayDream VR, Waymo, Google Glasses and YouTube.

Sam is equally effective in the workforce management domain. He has worked for such well-known organizations as Google, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the US Department of Labor, International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), GE-NBC Universal, Siemens, Sprint and Apple. Throughout his career, he has advised over 600 managers and executives.

Sam is recognized as a culturally Deaf human resources leader for Fortune 500 companies. He is also known as an expert advocating employment rights for underrepresented workers, especially for the deaf and hard-of-hearing population. Because of his expertise in workforce diversity management, he has been invited to give keynotes at over 200 business conferences on leadership and diversity best practices.

Currently, Sam is leading a research project at Google to build a mobile sign language translation platform where you can sign your phrases to Google products such as YouTube, Search, etc. So, deaf users can have an equivalent experience when using the computer.

Sam's longtime passion is to advance the Deaf community in any way he can. Currently, Sam serves on the Board of Trustees for the Ohlone College Foundation and NTID Employment Advisory committee.

For recreation, Sam enjoys traveling internationally with his wife and three daughters. The family lives in the Bay Area near the Google headquarters for the work he loves.

Photo 1: Sam met Kevin Struxness, ‘76, at San Diego State University, where he had graduate studies in Deaf Education in 1992. Sam had his mother take him there two days a week for one semester for clinical tutoring.

Photo 2 bottom left: For two years, Sam was involved in TV production for morning news signed in ASL campus-wide.

Photo 3: Like any other school, CSDR provided a variety of activities like prom.

Photo 4: Sam played baseball. He sits in the center.

Photo 5: Sam has a long tenure at Google, where 140,000 employees work in artificial intelligence, cloud computing, software, Internet and advertising. The headquarters office is in Mountain View, south of San Francisco.

As a retired educator of the Deaf in K12 education and college ASL studies with 41 years of teaching experience and 13,600 students, Sam Sepah is one of the most successful students I have ever worked with. And he is also one of CSDR’s rising stars whom we at CSDR look forward to hearing about in the coming decades.

Kevin Struxness, ‘76, MA
Editor, CSDR Old Times
4 March 2023

Alban Branton, ‘81, (1962-2016)Many former students and staff at CSDR still feel the absence of the great teacher and fe...

Alban Branton, ‘81, (1962-2016)

Many former students and staff at CSDR still feel the absence of the great teacher and fellow friend Alban Branton. He passed away at the relatively young age of 53 in 2016.

Alban was born into Deaf culture at home with Deaf parents and two Deaf siblings. His parents grew up at the Missouri School for the Deaf. Their two older children went to the Kansas School for the Deaf. When Alban reached the age of ready for first grade, the family moved to California and settled in Ontario. All three children enrolled at CSDR in 1967. Eventually, Marlon graduated in 1972, Brenda in 1974 and Alban in 1981.

Alban returned to CSDR in 1998 for a teaching career and started in middle school. He joined me in teaching 7th-grade and 8th-grade social science. I had already known him from our student days. I found him in common with me for keeping the standards up and expecting the students to give their best. Outside the classroom, we shared common traits for loyalty to our alma mater, preserving school history and saving old artifacts for a future museum.

When I found the 1940s Riverside map with red pencil marks, I invited Alban to ride in my 1964 VW Bug named Herbie. We found three sites near the Riverside airport and one near UCR for a possible CSDR site. We realized our important role in identifying prospective sites for school history. We spent many hours organizing school artifacts in museum storage behind the dining room.

Alban kept telling me that he didn’t want to have too many possessions in his home. He admired the Shakers' philosophy, which led a simple life with few possessions. He strove to KISS (keep it simple and stupid).

Photo 1: Alban with two middle boys: Alex Ramos, ‘04 and Kevin Cook, ‘04.

Photo 2 bottom left: Alban enjoyed working with fine people in the Middle School faculty family.

Photo 3 top right: Alban valued ASL for his easy expression of thoughts. He admired George Veditz in the late 19th century for his fight against oralism and preservation of ASL as a birthright for Deaf babies—photo credit to Ruth Rodriguez, ‘82.

Photo 4: Alban got a break in acting in the popular weekly TV program “Little House on the Prairie” in 1981. Todd Rutherford taught drama at CSDR for 20 years and worked with him in Hollywood.

Photo 5: In 2015, Alban confessed to me at the Riverside airport cafe that he was painfully aware he did not lead a healthy lifestyle. Soon he got the bad news that cancer had taken root in his bladder. He retired in Spring 2016. Later in July, his heart stopped beating. He is buried with his parents in Missouri. Look at both top corners of the tombstone for the “I love you” hand sign. How touching.

I am now retired and would love to work with Alban on volunteer CSDR projects that mean a lot to us. Writing this post about Alban appropriately reminds us of his time with us at CSDR.

Kevin Struxness, ‘76, MA
Editor, CSDR Old Times
3 March 2023

Bird’s View of the Sprawling CampusThis is yet another aerial photo of the school campus.  This is new for the readers. ...

Bird’s View of the Sprawling Campus

This is yet another aerial photo of the school campus. This is new for the readers. Based on the construction activity, I surmise the photo was snapped from an airplane in 1958. That is when the student population finally reached its full capacity at 500, making the school one of the largest schools of its kind in the US.

The campus was 74 acres, to begin with, in a land purchase in 1948 for a new school for the deaf. The acreage was later reduced to 69 acres when the unused five-acre land bordering Lincoln Ave was sold to the Riverside Unified School District around 1988. The land is where you can see the orange groves at the bottom. The RUSD soon built a new school for adult students to finish their education for a high school diploma and develop career skills for employment. Dr Lennan was unaware of the land purchase discussion between the RUSD and Mr Flores, the director of the special state schools within the California Department of Education.

Much of the construction remains in its place now. Take note of the new housing subdivisions on Maude and Horace sides. The Eucalyptus trees were already large and mature on both sides. The same goes for palm trees on Arlington Ave. See the undeveloped area where the abandoned modular buildings are clustered next to Maude Street.

New athletic construction will begin in Fall 2024 and finish in Summer 2028 for an allocated expenditure of $45 million. The new plan is now in the design phase to replace the aging athletic fields built in 1957 with modern facilities for football, track, baseball and softball. When completed in 2028, CSDR athletics fields and facilities will be the talk of the town.

According to retired CSDR Superintendent Mal Grossinger (2006 to 2014), the construction spending during his era was $300 million for new cottages, a modernized dining room, a new Multi Activity Center, a new gymnasium, dual swimming pools, new dual buildings for Career Technology Education, remodeled Brill Building, new coolant plant for air conditioning and refurbished Rubidoux I dorm for school support services. Hence, the present school has a mixture of new and old buildings to continue to provide educational services for today and decades to come.

The CSDR Alumni Association will host a two-day reunion on campus on June 16-17, 2023. The registered alumni, who have not come to campus in recent decades, will be in for a major surprise for many new physical changes campus-wide.

Kevin Struxness, ‘76, MA
Editor, CSDR Old Times
2 March 2023

Snow-Capped San Bernardino Mountain RangeRobert Connor, ‘00, shot this image today for the CSDR Old Times readers.  I to...

Snow-Capped San Bernardino Mountain Range

Robert Connor, ‘00, shot this image today for the CSDR Old Times readers. I told him how thoughtful he was.

It does not happen in the Inland Empire region often that snow falls on the lower altitudes of the local mountain ranges.

From looking at this image, I came to the conclusion that Bob took a photograph from a relatively new Middle School field. The buildings in the foreground are maintenance shops. Farther in the background is the abandoned DMHU buildings.

The school ground is on a very gentle slope from Arlington Ave on the lower altitude to Lincoln Ave on the higher altitude.

This year, we have had heavier precipitation than the average for this area. Still, it doesn't break the drought. Nevertheless, we welcome the extra wet weather.

Thank you, Bob, for furnishing the picture for visual appreciation.

Kevin Struxness, ‘76, MA
Editor, CSDR Olds Times
1 March 2023


Thank you, Coach David!

After serving as the CSDR Cheer assistant coach for 22 years, Coach David Terrell has decided to retire from duty.

During his long stint as a coach for the Cheer team, he helped the team win Clerc Classic champions 3 times, Western States Basketball Classic 8 times, Aloha International champion 1 time, second place at USA Nationals, and countless Spirit Awards and Sportsmanship Awards for WSBC/Clerc. He also helped the team win several 1st places from USA Regionals and Sharp. His former cheerleaders eventually went on to be head coaches for other deaf school Cheer teams.

CSDR Athletics must thank him for his heartfelt contribution to the program. The cheer program would not be where they are today without him. We are extremely thankful to have a person like David. Enjoy your retirement, David!

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The alumni and retirees are welcome to walk or run with CSDR students and staff on campus.   It is for fundraising to he...

The alumni and retirees are welcome to walk or run with CSDR students and staff on campus. It is for fundraising to help the PE Department and fun.

Read below for details and marking your calendar.

Kevin, Editor

The Class of 1966 Gift to CSDRThe class gift is a four-by-fifteen foot relief depicting the multi-activities a student e...

The Class of 1966 Gift to CSDR

The class gift is a four-by-fifteen foot relief depicting the multi-activities a student experiences at CSDR from the day he enters in the Lower School until graduation from left to right on the two-inch thick alder wood. The woodwork required approximately 800 man-hours of work altogether through the class of 1966 senior year. The design and work were done under the supervision of William “Bill” Peters, Vocational/Career Technology Education instructor.

The wood-carved mural was originally scheduled to be mounted in the teachers’ lounge (now the Bummy Student Center) near the Library, but then it was decided to mount it in the Brill Administration Building so the public could appreciate it when entering the lobby. The mural has been there ever since.

The master carver for the wood mural project was Teacher Bill Peters of the Vocational/Career Technology Education Department. Two students of the Class of 1966, David Conti and Dale Ritter, were selected to be chief carvers. They also had assistance from other seniors for the easy part of the woodwork. The helpers include Howard Sultan, Mike Cardinale, Greg Decker and other boys. Bill developed the design work to show the campus life on the wood mural. The carving work began in Fall 1965 and ended in Spring 1966. In the spring months, the helpers went to the General Shop classroom after school to speed up the process.

The Riverside newspaper printed a photograph and story on the mural on June 9, 1966. The mural needs to be treated once a year with a special coating to preserve the alder wood due to weather conditions, especially the dry air common to the Riverside area.

Photo 1: The brown mural is hung on the wall for public appreciation in the lobby.

Photo 2: The masterpiece of the Class of 1966 as the greatest gift ever given to CSDR

Photo 3: The left part of the mural depicts the daily school life in the Lower School.

Photo 4: The center partition of the mural shows Middle School life.

Photo 5: The right partition of the mural sheds light on High School life and going to Gallaudet.

In my personal opinion, the Class of 1966 gift is the school’s greatest class gift ever given since the Class of 1956. The gift is a true masterpiece that CSDR will treasure forever.

Kevin Struxness, ‘76, MA
Editor, CSDR Old Times
28 February 2023

Cars Must be Parked the Other Way AroundIn the 1990s, Middle School Colleague Holly Bernstein told me about the old rule...

Cars Must be Parked the Other Way Around

In the 1990s, Middle School Colleague Holly Bernstein told me about the old rule for all DMHU staff to park their vehicles a certain way for children's safety.

Holly started her teaching career in 1973 in the DMHU Department, the old name for today’s Alternate Curriculum Education Department. From 1969 to 1977, Dr Bob Lennan was assistant superintendent for the department for K-12 students with an additional disability.

Dr Lennan took the students under his supervision as a high priority. He instructed the classroom teachers and dorm counselors to park their vehicles the other way around within the lined parking spaces. He feared that one day a staffer might hit a student in the rear while moving out of the parking space. It was preferable to drive forward out of the parking spot.

Dr Lennan gained valuable administrative experience from running the DMHU department from 1969 to 1977 before he filled Dr Brill’s big shoes as the next school site superintendent in the Summer of 1977.

Photo 1: Take note of the vehicle parked the other way around for student safety in the DMHU area—Circa in the early 1970s.

Nearly all the DMHU buildings are now closed and waiting for unscheduled demolition.

Kevin Struxness, ‘76, MA
Editor, CSDR Old Times
28 February 2023


3044 Horace Street
Riverside, CA



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