; Area Service Award | CADA

Area Service Award

The Area Service Award is presented each year for overall contributions to CADA. Recipients should have been active on the Area Council, summer camp program, as a state officer, as a presenter at area conferences or state conventions.

2024 CADA Area Service Award Recipients 

AREA A: cameron chitwood, tracy High School

Cameron Chitwood has been an educator at Tracy High School since 2017, primarily teaching GOV/ECON as well as Student Government. Over the past four years, he has assumed the role of Activities Director, demonstrating exceptional leadership during the unprecedented times of the pandemic and continues to challenge his students to be the best possible versions of themselves each day. Cameron's primary objective has been to cultivate a strong sense of belonging within his students and the school community. His commitment to fostering a positive and inclusive environment is emphasized through his and his student's commitment to servant leadership, as he sets high expectations for his students while maintaining a vibrant student activity culture.

Cameron's involvement with CADA Programs extends beyond his role at Tracy High School. He has served on the Area A Council, completed the M.A.A. Program in 2023, served on CADA Summer Camp Staff, and continues the tradition of student leader development, he personally experienced under the mentorship of CADA legend Steve Southard, by bringing his own students each Summer to Santa Barbara! Cameron actively shares his insights and experiences with new Activities Directors, presenting at conventions and advisor conferences. He also takes every opportunity he can get to guide student leaders at area conferences, equipping them with valuable tools to implement in their respective schools.

Cameron attributes much of his success to his CADA family, Area A council family, and mentors who have played a crucial role in his first few years as an Activities Director. He values these relationships as essential components of his professional growth and continued development.

AREA B: martine kelsch, jefferson High School

Martine has been teaching for 15 years, starting her journey in New York City and has been the Director of Student Activities at Jefferson High School for 11 years, thanks to her mentor Michael Simon, She has been attending CADA programs and conferences since 2012 where she’s earned her MAA and stepped up to be part of Area B council since 2020!

Bringing the Area technology up to date, she single-handedly created, promoted, and currently manages the Area B Instagram and LinkedIn accounts, while also helping to design logos or anything creative such as social media contests for students at the Area B conferences. She is super creative, spirited, and always ready to laugh and have fun!! Her energy is contagious and last year also started a “newbie” group chat and social media challenge to help mentor and support them at their 1st adviser conference!! Congratulations Coach Tini!!

AREA C: bryan speed, matilda torres High School

Speed has been an Activities Director for the past 8 years. His career has taken him all over the state from LA to the Bay, and now to the Central Valley. He has had the honor of serving on the Area E, B, and C councils helping to plan leadership development opportunities for the students and advisors of throughout the state. He is a member of the CADA Camps Staff, also serves as the Digital Media Coordinator for the CADA State Board. Speed’s ASB Leadership roots run deep, he was involved in ASB all 4-years of high school, and his time as a student leader inspired him to pursue a career in education with the goal of becoming an Activities Director. He currently serves as the Activities Director and Leadership Teacher at Matilda Torres High School in Madera, CA. He had the opportunity to attend CADA Camp, CASL, and many area conferences as a student, and feels blessed to have the opportunity to give back as an advisor.

AREA d: marsha cordes, oxnard High School

Marsha Cordes is in her 4th year as the ASB Advisor of her Alma Mater Oxnard High School. She is a Yellow Jacket through and through and was actually the ASB President in 2004. She is passionate and proud to be a Yellow Jacket. This is one reason why she suggested hosting the Area D South Conference at OHS! With the help of her assistant principal, Ashley Maeshiro and Area D Council, she was able to successfully host the Area conference at Oxnard High School. Ms. Cordes is looking into hosting a district wide LDD to further the leadership abilities of the student leaders in the Oxnard Union High School District.

AREA e: celia collins, lyle s. briggs k-8 School

Celia Collins is a 32-year seasoned educator, 15 of those years she enjoyed being the ASB Advisor! This year, Celia stepped away from her Leadership/ASB Advisor role and is mentoring the new advisor on campus. She continues to teach English and has taken on the challenge of creating a Drama Class!! Celia is a past Bob Burton Award Winner & takes pride in being an Area E Council Member. She has presented at numerous Area E Student and State Conferences, and regularly volunteers to help with Registration Booth set up and take down, working the Registration table, being on the Ask Me team, helping with the Area meetings, and other numerous tasks! She credits the CADA family for all the knowledge she gained over the years and is especially grateful for the noteworthy times working behind the scenes alongside the Area E Council members!

AREA f: becca cook, hillcrest high school

Becca Cook is a member of the Area F Council and works at Hillcrest High School in Riverside. She has been a teacher for 19 years and open Hillcrest in 2012. She started the ASB and Activities program in 2013 with only Freshmen and Sophomores. She has been a CADA member for 12 years and an Area F Council member for 4 years. Becca has presented at the high school, middle school, advisor conferences as well as the CADA State Convention.

Becca is a passionate educator dedicated to fostering student empowerment and creating a positive environment for all. She emphasizes involving students in decision-making and fostering a sense of community, creating a school environment where students feel supported and motivated to succeed. Becca is honored to receive this award and grateful to all the Area F Council members for their wisdom, collaboration, innovation, and friendship! Area F brings the FUN!

AREA g: Alexis melrose, mira mesa High School

Alexis first learned about the value of building community as an AVID teacher at several SDUSD schools, including Mira Mesa High School. Alexis became a class advisor for the class of 2022 before becoming the ASB Advisor for the last three years. Her associate principal, Brittani Reyes, encouraged her to join CADA and has played a significant role in helping Alexis to grow the ASB program at Mira Mesa from one class of twenty-two students to two classes with a combined enrollment of fifty-five students. Alexis is grateful to her husband, Brian, for his unwavering support, and to her co-advisor, Michael Harris, for his guidance and expertise during her first year as ASB advisor. Since joining the Area G council, Alexis has presented at both the advisors and the middle school conferences. Alexis is excited to continue learning from the knowledgeable leaders in Area G council and to help Area G continue to flourish.

Past Area Service Award Recipients




2024 Cameron Chitwood Martine Kelsch Bryan Speed
2023 Pete Totoonchie Laura Saldana Nyrie Karkazian
2022 Deena Koral-Soto Brian Glaze Shawna Sousa
2021 Raven Coit Christina Hillman Debbie Hawkins
2020 Leah Darby Christina Carreras Ronnie Scott
2019 Jill Mortensen l Jessica Banchieri Jessica BanchieriJessica BanchieriJessica Banchieri Larry Lopez Néstor Cerda
2018 Leah Grant Michael Simon Angie Guerra
2017 Corissa Stobing Stephanie Gibson Melissa Bangerter
2016 Kristin Patten Joanna Butcher Erin Tobias
2015 Craig Grivel Kelly Todd Isaac Lopez
2014 Tamara Givens Monique Walton Adrienne Nau
2013 Lori Sato Francis Rojas Julie Larrivee
2012 Melissa Edsall Melissa Foster Kevin Harris
2011 Bill Williams Laura Castro Leslie Loewen
2010 Kim Karr Lorraine Martinez Joseph McMahon
2009 Matt Soeth Tanya Rianda Mary Alice Orin
2008 Bill Battaglia Bonnie Kay-Calder Teresa Hutson
2007 Allison Gadeke Tracy Walker Brooke Slayton
2006 Carrie Stepp Cindy Bader Lauretta Eldridge
2005 Jack Ziegler Eileen Beckley Carol Holland
2004 Tom Palmer Addison Jones Stella Kidd
2003 Suzy Krzaczek Ken Barber Julie Peterson
2002 Linda Cooper Derek Padilla Shelly Henderson
2001 Dave Larson Mike White Radon Fortenberry
2000 Patty Judge Diane Burbank Linda Veach
1999 Ron Jones Cheryl Kuhlmann Matt Mueller




2024 Marsha Cordes Celia Collins Becca Cook
2023 Lori Lowensen James Jontz Dilene Pulsipher
2022 Mark Dover Casey Shotwell Ricky Castro
2021 Katie Rowe-Kairys Ruth Simonds Jennifer Pfeffer
2020 N/A Todd Arrowsmith Lindsey Charron
2019 Mark Dover Kara Johnson Dinah Greene
2018 Chelsea Warner Alex Cervantes Cari Strange
2017 Julie Brusa Valerie Vera-Mineer Ken Nedler
2016 Laurel Gast Terri Wood Michael A. Pattison
2015 Lisa Walton Farrah Rigo-Witt Petra Davis
2014 Darlene Johnson Kyle Svobada Geniel Moon
2013 Joe Hurtado Jeff Culver Randy Jensen
2012 Leigh Cambra Richard Noblett Jeff Cornelius
2011 Shannon Hurtado Angel Ceniseroz Mary Jane Smith
2010 Christy Hertsch Ron Ippolito Jason Kaylor
2009 Carol Cook Leslie Phillips Linda Westfall
2008 Jennifer Duston Dee Varela Ron Inman
2007 Becky Kasper Kelli Baumunk Jennifer Graves
2006 Jim Johnson Lynda Richardson Judy Wilson
2005 Kevin Lorch Kathy Stewart Curt Chase
2004 Chuck Norian Robin Ramirez Patricia Holt
2003 Rick Kent Janet Roberts Jeanne Ellis
2002 Wendy Henchy Ron Capps Dave Adams
2001 Monica Anderson Mark Lantz Linda Williamson
2000 Jose Duenas Tony Ortega Paul Chylinski
1999 Steve Hirt Deborah Weiss Jerry Halpin


2024 Alexis Melrose
2023 Lauretta Eldridge
2022 Valerie Tapia
2021 Kodi Keller
2020 Joe Gizzo
2019 Judy Zazvrskey
2018 Brittani Siracusa
2017 Toshimi Minami
2016 Danny Kung
2015 Carol Cultrera
2014 Tj Carr
2013 Christina DeSanto
2012 Denise van Doorn
2011 Alex Villalobos
2010 Jeremy Hersch
2009 Daniel Camacho    
2008 Laurie Norcross    
2007 Casey McKibbin
2006 Craig Lyon    
2005 JJ Barlow
2004 Sandy Kurland    
2003 Ida Williams
2002 Marie Cashion
2001 Robert Weldon    
2000 Valerie Kear-Gold
1999 Betty A. Peterson    
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