Distinguished Kearny Komets Hall of Fame Inductees
Morris Akers’ career with federal government service exceeded 36 years. His career began in 1958 with a four-year apprentice program at the Naval Air Station, North Island. He worked there from 1958 to 1962 as an apprentice Electronic Mechanic. North Island was an aircraft overhaul and repair facility for both the Navy and the Marines. Morris worked on numerous aircraft that ranged from those that had to be totally rebuilt to those that were combat ready. These aircraft types included the F8-U Crusader and the FH-4 fighter jets, and the P5-M ASW aircraft, including several ASW helicopters. He also worked with the individual system components that comprised these aircraft. Also during that time, he sometimes worked at the Navy Electronic Laboratories (NEL) where he calibrated many of their research and development equipment/tools, such as voltage regulators, Tectonic Oscilloscopes and other electronic instruments that the scientists used with regard to obtaining accurate measurements for the research and development that the scientists and technicians at NEL did with their electronic equipment. In general, they did not have the calibration accuracy that was required of their equipment. Frequently, Morris would bring back electronic equipment to North Island to calibrate. At any rate, this time spent at NEL, gave Mr. Akers a good overview of the work performed at NEL. The apprentice program at North Island provided Morris with a two-year college degree. Morris graduated from the apprentice program and San Diego City College (SDCC) with an Associate of Arts (AA) degree in 1964. During his entire four-year time span at SDCC, Morris supplemented his vocational education with fully accredited college classes in all math, science and numerous general education classes that were offered at that school. Morris graduated as an honor graduate of the San Diego Junior Colleges and received Permanent Membership in the Alpha Gamma Sigma California Junior College Honor Society and was only one of two students to be placed on the State Honor Roll.
Long before Morris finished that apprentice program, he had decided that he wanted a full college degree in physics and math, and wanted to be a full professional at the Navy Electronic Laboratory. In September 1962, Morris received a leave of absence from North Island and attended San Diego State College (SDSC) on a full-time basis. While in his first semester there, he was hired as an Electronic Technician with the Navy Research and Development (NRaD) Laboratory, the successor in name only to the Navy Electronics Laboratory. He was provided 20 hours of work during each week and given full tuition and books until graduating from San Diego State.
In January 1965, Morris received his Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree from SDSC, with High Honors and Distinction in Mathematics and a strong Physics minor; lacking only four college credits in laboratory work to have received a second degree in physics, as well as math. He was hired at NRaD in January 1965 as a GS-7 research physicist.
During his entire career with this laboratory and through all of their continuing name changes, Mr. Akers served in multiple levels of line management and major program management positions. He served as head of the Systems Concepts and Analysis Division, Sensors and Spatial Processing Division, and the Advanced Surveillance Concepts and Systems Engineering Division. He managed many technical programs, including the Expendable Sound Source, the Surveillance Towed Array Sensor (SURTASS) program, the Performance Evaluation Prediction computerized math modeling program, and the Surveillance Acoustic Environmental Support Program. He led the SURTASS effort from its prototype phase into the full Engineering Development Model phase. This program went on to become a military operation program with 18 passive (listening only) ships and four ships that were combined active and passive array capabilities (active sonar systems generate sound pressure level signals that are reflected from the targets and return to the passive part of the system). Many of the PEP models became solidly incorporated into environmental models for both Undersea and Overhead Environmental Predictions for both weather and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) range-of-the-day predictions. The success of these divisions and programs were the result of being surrounded by well-educated, dedicated, and bright people that made up the vast majority of laboratory personnel. Mr. Akers has always said that he knew that he could always find someone at the command who knew the answers to questions on any subject, either through education or as a hobby.
During a critical phase of the cold war, from July 1982 to August 1983, he served as the Science Advisor to Commander US Seventh Fleet under the Navy Science Assistance Program. For this position, Mr. Akers was selected from a national competition based on ASW knowledge and experience. Among his contributions to Undersea Surveillance and Antisubmarine Warfare, he served as the associate for ASW Architecture and Engineering. In 1985, he represented his Laboratory in a major high-level Navy-wide ASW planning and policy steering group. He received the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Medal (this is the highest honor given to a federal civil servant, other than the Presidential Service Award) for this effort and his contributions to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, ASW Investment Strategy and Long-range Planning Efforts. He received the American Defense Preparedness Associations’ Bronze Medal for achievements in the field of Undersea Warfare at the John’s Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, in 1989. During his government career Mr. Akers received numerous laboratory and national program achievement awards and group awards for various efforts and recognized talent skills.
When Mr. Akers retired from government service in 1994, at what was then known as the Navy Ocean Systems Center (NOSC); same lab, but different name, and now known as the SPAWAR Systems Center; he then spent a little over 17 years with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). At SAIC, he served as both Program Manager and Engineering Analyst with his specialty area as Computers, Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4 ISR) efforts based on Satellite connectivity and sensors.
Patricia (Feeley) Addesso, Ph.D.
Patricia Feeley graduated from Kearny high school in 1973. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from San Diego State University in 1997. In 1983, she received a Master of Arts degree in Human Behavior from United States International University (USIU) and her PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from USIU in 1988.
She owns her own business, a California corporation: Patricia Addesso Consulting Inc. Ms. Addesso is recognized as a leader in her field of industrial/organizational psychology. This branch of psychology applies theories and principles of human behavior to organizations. The field focuses on increasing workplace productivity and related issues such as the physical and mental well-being of employees, the work environment, the employee management interface and training with the goal of matching skills sets at all levels.
Ms. Addesso is the author of two books: “The Boss from Outer Space and Other Aliens at Work; a Down-to-Earth Guide to Getting Along with Almost Anyone” and “Management Would be Easy…… If it Weren’t for the People”. These books were published in 2007 and 1996, respectively. In September 1999, she was a major contributor to an online teaching guide: “A Handbook of Attitudes, Strategies and Technologies for the Virtual Classroom”.
With Ms. Addesso’s consulting firm she has consistently found employment since graduating and currently provides speaking, consulting and training in a variety of organizations. Projects include working in areas such as strategic planning, team building, conflict resolution, project management and personality conflicts. Her work includes anything that involves human behavior in the workplace. She is currently a feedback coach at the Center for Creative Leadership in San Diego, giving executives feedback as part of their training in Leadership Development Programs.
In addition to her consulting firm, she currently teaches business and psychological courses at the University of Phoenix, San Diego campus.This effort includes appointment as Senior Faculty Member, Area Chair and Lead Faculty Member as well is involvement in teaching new faculty certification classes. Since 1995 to the present, Patricia has been an online instructor for the University of Phoenix. She is considered one of the pioneer instructors of online education. She has taught numerous business, communications and psychology classes, at all levels, from beginning undergraduates to doctoral students. Also at all levels, she has been involved in developing curriculum and revising classroom curriculum for online use. Much of this effort has facilitated faculty training classes online. Since 1997 to the present, she has worked with Education to Go, an online certificate/noncredit effort providing courses focused on development and delivery criteria in basic skills. She also teaches online classes at Ashford and Southwestern College in management, business communication, and psychology/industrial psychology. She was previously involved in teaching and curriculum development for the business communication department at Jones International University. She has also taught numerous courses for DeVry University.
Patricia’s previous professional background includes work with Cox communications. Over a period of years, she worked as a training and organizational development manager. She was the Director of Academic Affairs (1991 to 1993) for the University of Phoenix, San Diego campus. She also worked with Safeway stores, Inc. as a management development specialist. She worked for the Vons corporate staff to ease the transition during the management between Safeway and Vons.
Since 2012, Patricia has been volunteering approximately 200 hours a year to the County Animal Shelter on Gaines Street, walking and socializing the stray and adoptable dogs there.
Rear Admiral Michael Hunter Anderson
Dr. Michael Anderson is a 1974 graduate and honor student from Kearny High School. He then attended the University of California, San Diego, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree (BA) with a major in biology in 1978. While attending UCSD, Michael received his Eagle Scout award from the Boy Scouts of America (January 1975). In 2012, he was presented with the National Distinguished Eagle Scout award for Lifetime Achievement in support of his community and the Boy Scouts. After graduation from UCSD, Michael was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy. He earned a degree of Doctor of Medicine in May 1983 from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, School of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland. Returning to Southern California, Michael completed a Family Practice internship at the Naval Regional Medical Center, Camp Pendleton. Subsequently, he was assigned to the First Force Service Support Group as a general medical officer and later deployed to the Western Pacific with the 11th Marine Amphibious Unit. Michael then returned to the Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton and completed specialty training in Family Practice in September 1987 as their Chief Resident. His first assignment as a family physician was to the medically remote Naval Communications Station, Harold E. Holt located in Exmouth, Western Australia.
Michael returned to the United States in October 1990 as part of the initial faculty with the newly established Puget Sound Family Medicine Residency. While assigned to the Naval Hospital Bremerton, Washington, he deployed with the Bravo Surgical Company, Second Medical Battalion to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in support of the Haitian migrant relief effort in November 1991. By June 1995, he accepted a three-year assignment as the Director of Clinical Services at the US Naval Hospital Keflavik, Iceland, where he prepared the medical staff for their first Joint Commission survey. Returning to Naval Hospital Bremerton in 1998, he subsequently served as the Director of Medical Services until he became the Executive Officer of the Naval Hospital Cherry Point in August 2000.
Moving to the Midwest, Dr. Anderson assumed command of the Naval Hospital Great Lakes in May 2003, where he completed the requirements for a Master’s in Health Administration from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. By August 2006, he had championed a transformational relationship with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that established a new form of joint healthcare delivery within the federal government. The Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (FHCC) continues to provide healthcare today to active duty and veteran beneficiaries taking advantage of a first-of-its-kind partnership between the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense (DoD), integrating all medical care into a federal health care facility with a single combined VA and Navy mission.
Michael reported to Headquarters Marine Corps in September 2006 as the Deputy Medical Officer to the Marine Corps where he established new clinical standards for garrison healthcare within the Operational Forces ultimately referred to as The Marine Centered Medical Home. Upon his August 2008 departure, he was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral in preparation for a two-year assignment as the U.S. Pacific Command Surgeon located at Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii. RDML Anderson’s broad executive skills, keen political-military understanding and sound advice to the U.S. Pacific Command Commander were responsible for the development of a highly successful theater medical security cooperation engagement strategy. Under his leadership his staff responded to multiple international crises, successfully deployed a 1,000-bed hospital ship promoting medical diplomacy, and provided crucial humanitarian assistance in response to natural disasters.
He was named the Navy Medical Inspector General in October 2010 and assumed the duties as the Medical Officer to the Marine Corps in November 2011.
RDML Anderson’s personal decorations include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, two Legion of Merit awards, three Meritorious Service Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
Dr. Anderson is currently the Chief Medical Officer of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) Franciscan Health in Tacoma, Washington. As a physician executive he provides oversight for nine hospitals in the greater Seattle/Tacoma area.
Rear Admiral Michael Hunter Anderson, class of Kearny High School 1974, retired from the military, after 34 years of service, in 2013. He is married to another 1974 Kearny alumni, Paula (Cranfill) Anderson; they are the proud parents of two very successful children. Their daughter Angela is a veterinarian nurse and their son LTJG Michael Anderson II is currently a Naval Aviation Student pilot.
Rick is a unique individual. He actually grew up on the grounds of the Naval Air Weapons Station in China Lake, California. Both of his parents were employees at this facility, which is most renowned for the development of the Sidewinder missile, one of the United States’ most powerful weapons. China Lake is an unincorporated community in Kern County, California. It is located along US Route 395 in the Indian Wells Valley. Rick graduated from Burroughs High School in Ridgecrest, California. Ridgecrest is an incorporated the city in Kern County that is located adjacent to the China Lake Weapon Station.
As a youth Mr. Corlett was always interested in filmmaking and photography. He began attending San Diego State where he studied radio, TV and film. He also studied at Long Beach State University; Grossmont College; Mesa College; and the University of California, San Diego. Additional areas of study included journalism, multimedia, and educational technology. He graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Telecommunications and Film and began his 34-year career at Kearny High School in September, 1983, as a Multimedia Specialist. Rick later received his Master of Science degree in Educational Technology. Rick spent his early years at Kearny supporting teachers and developing a production environment that enabled students to develop and utilize their media production skills by producing videos documenting sporting events, theatrical productions, speech presentations, mock trials, and science activities.
In the spring of 1986 the Kearny High School administration decided to develop the first Regional Occupational Program (ROP) Multimedia Production course in San Diego county. Rick was asked to become the instructor for the program. He developed the course outline, competencies, curriculum, and facilities. These documents were widely shared and eventually guided the development of multimedia courses throughout the county. Beginning with the Fall semester in 1987, Rick taught one two-hour section of the ROP Multimedia Production course every morning while continuing to support Kearny as the Multimedia Specialist for the rest of the day. The ROP course provided job-training for adults and older high school students and became very popular. In 1992 Kearny High added ninth grade students to the school. Mr. Corlett relinquished his Multimedia Specialist position and began teaching full time. He taught one period of video production for the ninth-grade students, one period for the tenth grade, and two two-hour Multimedia Production courses for juniors, seniors, and adults.
In the 1990’s Rick participated in numerous programs that expanded his knowledge and experience, and which also provided Kearny staff and students with new opportunities. These included Project STEP (Supercomputer Teacher Enhancement Program), a multi-year science education program for teachers at the UCSD Super Computer Center; the Triton Project, another multi-year project that placed cutting-edge technology in the hands of teachers and students; and the Global Affairs Institute (GAI), an interdisciplinary program developed by teachers at Kearny that combined World History, Language Arts, and Multimedia Production in the study of global issues. The educational vision that these programs enabled became the basis for the redesign of Kearny High School. Given the opportunity to add his experience to the restructuring efforts, Rick became one of the leaders in the development of the small-schools.
In 2004 Kearny High School became the Kearny Complex, home to what is now the School of College Connections; the School of Digital Media and Design, the School of Engineering, Innovation, and Design; and the School of Science Connections and Technology. Rick became part of DMD (the school of Digital Media and Design) and joined the staff in developing a school based on Kearny’s past experiences with interdisciplinary project-based learning. DMD’s client-focused grade-level projects have enabled students to practice and perfect adult skills by working with organizations such as the Surfrider Foundation, the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, the San Diego River Foundation, and the USS Midway Museum. DMD has received many awards, such as the California Distinguished School award and the National Blue Ribbon High School award, for its efforts, and is considered a prime example of an innovative and successful public high school. Rick has been recognized as a school leader at DMD.
This small-school approach was initiated at Kearny, San Diego High School and Crawford High School. Its greatest success is at Kearny, and in my opinion, this success is based primarily on the forward-looking thinking of Mr. Rick Corlett and other teachers like him. Rick retired from Kearny High School and the San Diego Unified School District in 2017, after working with Kearny students, staff and community for 34 years. Rick was honored as the 2017 site Teacher of the Year for the School of Digital Media and Design by the School Board for his achievements in this field.
During Mr. Corlett’s last seven years at Kearny High School as a teacher he was a member of the Kearny High School Alumni Association and provided multimedia support in honoring the inductees into the Kearny Hall of Fame. It is only fitting that Mr. Corlett should be awarded the same honor.
Robert W. Graeff, Ed.D
After 40 years in public education as both a school administrator and classroom teacher, Dr. Graeff is currently Professor and Faculty Program Chair for Educational Leadership at Point Loma Nazarene University. He accepted that position in August 2016. Bob is a professor in graduate studies working primarily with students seeking their preliminary or clear administrative service credential. He is teaching selected courses, supervising fieldwork and leading a collection of faculty members with this educational leadership program. Since 1976, Bob has served both students and staff in three school districts within San Diego County.
Bob was born at Naval Medical Center San Diego, raised in Serra Mesa, and graduated from Kearny High School in 1971. He then picked up his Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1975 from United States International University (USIU) in music and English. He then attended San Francisco State University from 1975 through 1976 and picked up his teaching credential in music and English, K-12. Following this year of study in the Bay Area, Dr. Graeff returned to San Diego where he taught for five years at Kearny High and six years at Hoover High, before taking his first administrative positions for two years as Vice Principal at Roosevelt Middle School in Balboa Park, followed by five years as Vice Principal at Mission Bay High in Pacific Beach. Altogether, Bob served the students of the San Diego Unified School District from 1976 through 1994. There can be no real question that his favorite professional service within that time period was teaching choral music at Kearny High as the heir to the program’s magnificent history previously led by his personal mentor, Mr. E. R. Zaloudek.
Bob earned his Master of Education (M.A.Ed.) in Educational Leadership from Point Loma Nazarene University while attending from 1980 through 1982. He followed this with his Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) from Northern Arizona University in the same field of Educational Leadership and Administration while attending from 1987 to 1990.
Leaving San Diego Unified in 1994, he became the Principal at Vista High School in the Vista Unified School District. Bob served as principal for Vista High, the single largest high school in San Diego County, for seven years. He then spent the next seven years in Ramona Unified School District as Assistant Superintendent for Education Services before accepting the position of Ramona Unified School District Superintendent of Schools. He served in that position for next eight years.
In May 2014, Dr. Graeff was presented with one of his numerous honors and awards by being named the Superintendent of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators for San Diego and Imperial counties. Bob retired in July 2016 after forty years of service to San Diego County’s schools and was then further honored to be offered the opportunity to move into his current faculty leadership position at Point Loma Nazarene University.
While moving from K-12 education to university work, Dr. Graeff has never forgotten the awesome responsibility assigned to school teachers who were charged with serving as the instructional leaders for their respective organizations, keeping the needs of the students and their families in the forefront of every decision. Inspired and heavily influenced by his own teachers during his student days at Kearny High, he hoped to “give back” to the thousands of students under his charge the same kind of mentoring and support he received several decades before on the beloved Linda Vista campus.
With his degree in music, he sings to this day as a baritone in the choir at Emmanuel Faith Community Church in Escondido. Among Kearny High School alumni, is remembered fondly for the wonderful choirs he assembled and led as a teacher at the school. The documentary video clips that he put together on previous teachers at Kearny, such as Mr. E. Richard Zaloudek (former choir director) and Ms. Erlene Speck (former English teacher). These videos still exist and though they may be infrequently viewed they are still viewed with pleasure. Still a faithful alumnus, Bob continues to co-sponsor reunions of the Kearny High A Cappella Choir – one just as recently as two years ago.
Teri Armbruster Hansen
Teri Armbruster Hansen currently manages the daily operations as President and CEO for the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation, a Sarasota, Florida based private family foundation. The foundation creates initiatives and awards grants in Sarasota and beyond in the areas of education, humanitarian causes, arts and culture, the environment and medical (research/resources). The family has long believed in the power of philanthropy to shape our world and enrich the lives of all people. It is the expression of this belief that led them in 2014 to establish the Foundation and Teri was hired as its first employee in July 2015.
Ms. Hansen has more than 25 years of experience in philanthropic leadership. Prior to joining the Barancik Foundation, she was president and CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation. During her 13-year tenure the foundation awarded nearly $200 million in grants and initiatives. Prior to that, she was vice president for gift planning and donor relations at the Cleveland Foundation, the oldest and one of the largest community foundations in the United States. She also worked as vice president of external relations for the Central Indiana community foundation and was the founding president of Legacy fund of Hamilton County (Indiana).
Teri graduated from Kearny high school in 1974. She then earned her bachelor of arts (B.A.) degree in journalism from San Diego State University (SDSU). Upon graduating from SDSU, she served as a public affairs officer in the U.S. Air Force. Teri is an alumnus of Harvard business school, having completed its Advanced Management Program.
Teri is honored frequently for her professional and personal contributions to the community. She received the International Women’s Forum “Women Who Make a Difference Award”; State College of Florida Presidents Award of Distinction; Tampa Bay Partnership Chairs Cup for Excellence in Regionalism; Girls Inc. of Sarasota County “She Knows Where She’s Going” Award; and AJC Civic Achievement Award. Teri was named a “Best Boss” by 941CEO magazine, one of the “50 Most Powerful People on the Gulf Coast” by Gulf Coast Business Review and to SRQ Magazine’s Women in Business Leadership Circle.
Ms. Vicky Phares, Ph.D. (in Clinical Psychology), is a full Professor and the Director of Alumni Outreach in the Department of Psychology at the University of South Florida (USF); Tampa, Florida.
Vicki is a Kearny graduate with the class of 1978. She received her bachelor of arts degree (B.A.) in psychology (with Women’s Studies Specialization) from the University of California, Los Angeles, in December 1982. She was awarded her master of science degree (M.S.) in psychology from the University of Wyoming; Laramie Wyoming, in July 1984. She completed her American Psychological Association (APA) Accredited Internship at the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institution, University of California, San Francisco in June 1990. Vicki received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology (APA accredited) from the University of Vermont; Burlington, Vermont, in May 1990.
In September 1990, after receiving her doctorate, Ms. Phares was hired as an Assistant Professor in the Department of psychology at the University of Connecticut, in Storrs, CT. She held this position until June 1992. At that time, Ms. Phares was employed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of South Florida, in Tampa, Florida. She was promoted to Associate Professor in July 1997. She served in that capacity until June 2004 when she became a full Professor and remains in that position currently. In addition to her position as a full Prof., Vicki is the director of Alumni Outreach in aiding both graduate and undergraduate students to find employment commensurate with their skills. Vicki has held this position from September 2014 to the present day. From August 2001 until August 2014, Vicki was the Director of the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Tanning Program within the Psychology Department. Prior to that assignment, from July 1994 until July 2001 Vicki was the Director of the Psychological Services Center.
Ms. Phares is in the midst of a truly wonderful career. A summary of her achievements in academia is as follows:
84 conference presentations and invited talks.
96 articles and book chapters.
4 books (two of which have multiple editions).
She is currently on the editorial board of two national journals.
She is a Site Visitor for the American Psychological Association.
She is a previous recipient of grant funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Spencer Foundation, and the Association of Psychological Science.
First recipient of the USF Graduate Faculty Mentor Award in 2011
Ms. Phares celebrated her 20th wedding anniversary on March 7 ,1998. Vicki is married to Chuck Owen and they have three children between the two of them; Nikki, Kelly and Carson. Carson is the only child that remains at home and is still in school. Chuck is a Professor of Music at USF.
Vicky is actually a second-generation Kearny graduate. Both of her parents, Bill and Rita (Yunker) Phares graduated from Kearny high school in 1954.
Miss Dorothy Jean Worthy
Miss Dorothy Worthy was a prominent English teacher at Kearny High School for 26 years, from 1966 through 1992. During that time, she worked diligently with her students to advance their achievements, through both classroom work and personally to ensure their growth to their full potential. Her teaching skills and the individual care, understanding and guidance that she provided to her students was a major impact on the lives of the vast majority. Her students will willingly share these experiences with you at a moment’s notice.
Miss Worthy was born in Memphis Tennessee, on October 12, 1922. With her next birthday she will be 96 years old. Her early years were spent in Blytheville, Arkansas. After graduation from high school there, she attended San Diego State College where she obtained her bachelor’s degree and teaching credentials in English literature. She taught for several years in San Diego at Morse High School prior to moving to Kearny. Although she always pursued her own educational advancement, her passion was always her students. “The greatest blessing God ever gave me were my students,” and “my students meant everything in this world to me,” are two quotes that many of her students have stated that they heard her say many times. She continues to say that she is so grateful and was so privileged to have had all her wonderful students throughout those wonderful years. She lives in her home in Lemon Grove, California, with her puppy ‘Penny.’