Bob Burton Spirit Award

The Bob Burton Spirit Award is presented to a person who makes SPIRIT WORK, who makes a positive difference and who emphasizes inclusion with all students and members. The nominee must be a CADA member, indiviudal or vendor. The award is given through the area in which the nominee maintains business or membership. The nominee cannot be a current council member and will be given to one person, not to teams, partners or groups

2016 Bob Burton Award Recipients

AREA A: Verne Johnson, Antelope High School

Verne Johnson has worked at Bret Harte High School for the past 19 years as an administrator, teacher, activities director and Renaissance program advisor.  He has been a member of the Area A Council and serves on the CADA Leadership Camp staff.  He enjoys time with his family, home improvement projects, cooking, Freebirds Quesorittos and the color yellow.



AREA B: Jacob Headley, William C. Overfelt High School

Jacob Headley started at Britton Middle School with Marla Caroll. She asked if he would like to help with leadership;  they had donuts every week during their morning meeting so he thought,  “Why not?” He then moved to Castillero Middle School in San Jose where he helped reinvigorate a program, followed by Miller Middle School for 9 years where he created a two class leadership program increasing the depth and breadth of the program with the dynamic duo. In 2014, Jacob moved to Overfelt High School and started anew.  He brought back the yearbook after an 8-year hiatus, took over Prom because no other teacher on campus would touch it and had the highest number of participants in school memory. The school went from having four lunch rallies to having monthly rallies, quarterly spirit weeks and won two contests that brought over $12,000 to the school. Dances became fun and semi-famous with the end of the year Raverfelt Dance.

What Jacob loves most about being a Leadership teacher is seeing his students create something new and different and making it their own. He enjoys developing a school culture of fun and silliness where it's OK to dress up and have fun.

AREA C: Shelly Henderson, Dinuba High School

Shelly Henderson has been committed to the students and staff at Dinuba High School for the past 22 years and has been instrumental in developing the majority of the traditions and positive school culture they enjoy today.  Even though her students come from primarily poor, uneducated families, she sets the tone and conveys the challenge to students to get involved, take advantage of opportunities, work hard to achieve academic success, believe in themselves and their futures and to treat others with kindness and respect.

During her 19 years as a CADA member, Shelly has presented numerous workshops at her area and advisor conferences and has presented Crazy Crowd Pleasers at the state convention for over 14 years.  This popular multi-media workshop shows the involvement, spirit, and pride demonstrated by her students and staff.

You’ll see over 900 kids having a blast at their popular Icebreaker Dance held on the pool deck and in the gym, kids signing up for clubs during their two-day Club Fair, and hundreds of kids getting honored in front of the student body during their Academic Rally.  Students bring in thousands of canned goods for their local homeless shelter, and Football and Basketball Homecoming activities include hundreds of students as they dress up, participate in lunchtime activities  and rallies.  Because of their inclusive culture, multiple special needs students have participated in Homecoming and have been crowned king and queen.  Her students are eager to volunteer at Relay for Life events, city-sponsored events and at their local elementary schools.

Her Advanced Leadership class impacts their school and community through GO MAD Projects (Go Out and Make a Difference), and a number of projects have been featured in local newspapers and on TV broadcasts.  One of their most popular events is their annual talent show which is attended by over 1,000 students and community members.

She helped implement Most Inspirational Staff Member. Athletes invite one or two of their favorite staff members to stand alongside them and their parents during Senior Night as attendees hear how that teacher inspired them.  All school events are videotaped and shared with the School Board once a month and culminate with a Year-End Video Assembly the last day of school.

Shelly served on the Area C Council for 14 years, completed the MAA Certification program, and received the Warren E. Shull Award at the 2014 convention.  She is indebted to Bob Burton for encouraging and mentoring her during her early years as an activities director and is genuinely honored to receive the Area C Bob Burton Award.

AREA D: Lori Lowensen, North Monterey County High School

Lori is a 1986 graduate of North County High School where she has been teaching for 20 years.  She teaches 21st Century Skills to the freshmen and is happy to say that she has now had every one of the school’s freshmen in her class this year and is excited to be able to work with them and get them involved in HER school.  She is the advisor for the Interact Club, cheerleading and a very proud advisor for the Freshmen class (Class of 2019), who for the first time in school history won the Homecoming float decorating contest. She is a support to the ASB and Link Crew and steps in to help whenever they need it.  She is a strong advocate for students and pretty much cannot say no to one of her Condors!

Personally, Lori has been married for 25 years, has a beautiful 20-year-old daughter who is in her junior year of college and is on her way to becoming a teacher as well. Lori is very honored to have received the Area D Bob Burton Award.

AREA E: Fran Whitney, West Ranch High School

Fran Whitney felt lucky to be hired into the William S. Hart School District in 1990 at Placerita Junior High School. There, she opened their Student Store and worked hands-on with the ASB Director and got hooked on the idea of becoming an ASB Secretary. In 1994, she joined the staff at Hart High School in that role. After three days of training, the finance secretary walked out the door, wished her good luck and moved to Utah.  Somewhat nervous, yet excited, Fran’s ASB career began and each day was an adventure as she learned the ropes! She soon realized there was more to the position than paying bills, collecting funds and making deposits. She found the opportunity to work with students and teach them the business aspect of ASB: treasurer’s reports, class reports, purchase orders, budgets, meetings minutes and taxes. While at Hart, Fran’s two daughters were also a part of Hart ASB. She loved sharing their high school experience with them as not only their mom, but as a teacher and role model for the students.

Fran eventually joined the staff at West Ranch High School as it opened its doors for the first time. Under the mentorship of Principal Bob Vincent and ASB Director Todd Arrowsmith, Fran was introduced to CADA Leadership Camps where she joined the office staff and has helped run the office each summer.

Fran feels it has been a privilege and blessing to be a part of the Wildcat staff for the past twelve years and knows there could never have been a better job that provided her the opportunity to grow, learn, share and leave footprints for those behind to follow.

AREA F: Scott Mendelson, Rancho Santa Margarita Intermediate School

Scott has been teaching for 21 years, and this is his 8th year as the ASB advisor. With a school of slightly more than 1,300 students, Scott has cultivated a school atmosphere where school spirit can be seen, and more importantly felt, everywhere. When he took over, less than 20% purchased dance tickets. Now, it's routinely over 80%. Every week, Scott's ASB crew puts on lunchtime activities that bring out the majority of the school as their audience. From dodgeball, to spelling bees, to spirit shows, Scott finds opportunities for all Rancho Santa Margarita students to feel that Roadrunner spirit!

AREA G: Sanford M. Carvajal, Mt. Carmel High School

Sanford Carvajal is entering his 10th year as the A.S.B. Advisor, at Mt. Carmel High School.  He has helped turn a program that previously had to beg students to enroll into one that now has a waiting list.  Whether building traditions from scratch or reviving old ones, he has been instrumental in creating a positive class and school culture where kids want to be involved and learn.  The student cheering section, known as the Red Sea, has grown into one of the best in San Diego county.  The Sundevil Broadcast, a live T.V. show that is shown on Mondays and Thursdays, helps keep the student body informed about all of the student news and events.  Sports, clubs, academic recognition and more can be seen in every classroom on campus. These endeavors all reflect the Sundevil Way - a cornerstone of everything that is done at Mt. Carmel. Sanford just attended his 10th CADA Convention and credits it as the number one way he has helped make the program better at Mt. Carmel.

Past Bob Burton Award Recipients





2016 Verne Johnson Jacob Headley Shelly Henderson
2015 Kim Bair Jessica Holman Ronnie Scott
2014 Jessica Banchieri Eugene Wing Stephen Amundson
2013 Lisa Retnolds Sara Catalli Renee DeCanio
2012 Jeff Burghardt Glenda Wurm-Hayenga Brooke Slayton
2011 Terry Barker Kim Kuczon Judy Fortenberry
2010 Ted Wimberg Sandi Martin Julie Peterson
2009 Tamara Givens Debra LaPrath Howard Zinn




2016 Lori Lowensen Fran Whitney Scott Mendelson
2015 Kelly DeBernardi Jenn Childers Cathy Leseberg
2014 Melanie Lindsey Mike Motherspaw Kelli Cooper
2013 Peaches MacKenzie Scott Cavanias Sharon Tavaglione
2012 Barbara Johnson Melanie Wong Richard McAlinidin
2011 Lisa Avery Todd Arrowsmith Heidi Dunne
2010 Craig Combs Dave Olbright Colleen Hayashi
2009 Linda Frye Kyle Svoboda Linda Zeigler


2016 Sanford M. Carvajal    
2015 Brandi Friend    
2014 Joe Gizzo    
2013 Kelcie Butcher    
2012 Rob Keillor    
2011 Doug Roselli    
2010 John Schroeder    
2009 Suzanne McKibbin    
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