Ken Halle, 89, of Hawthorne will become the oldest person ever to receive a high school diploma from Torrance Adult School at the Meadow Park Adult Center, Principal Cal Eubanks said.
Halle, who quit school in Pennsylvania at age 13 to support his mother, said he resumed his studies in October "just to say I did it." A former steel mill foreman and maintenance man, Halle said his favorite subject was math. His fellow classmates honored him May 15 with a surprise birthday and graduation party.
The father of five children, Halle has been widowed twice. He will receive his diploma next month. He said he has no plans for college.
San Pedro High School has been awarded first prize in a statewide "wellness" contest sponsored by the state departments of mental health and education and Citicorp. The competition, which involved more than 1,800 schools, was designed to encourage schools to provide better physical and mental health programs. San Pedro school psychologist Dorothy Gram, who set up many of the lectures and wellness activities held throughout the school year, accepted the $5,000 prize for the school in Sacramento on May 13, along with student body President Weslie Williamson.
Sandra Alser of Rolling Hills has been given the Outstanding Volunteer Award of the National Council on Alcoholism's South Bay chapter. Alser, a telephone hot line counselor, was honored at the group's May 8 recognition banquet.
Eric Koury has been named Manhattan Beach's Volunteer of the Year for donating more than 500 hours to city programs, including the security, maintenance and repair team, butter and cheese giveaways and surveys and marketing studies. The award was given for dependability, inspirational spirit, resourcefulness accuracy and hours spent. Special awards were also given to volunteers Aster Magee, Steve McConnell, Stephanie Stolze, Carol Allen, Candice Lembeck, Jimmie Estrada, Wilmer Drake, Peggy Johnson, Doug Hamm, Michael Hefferman, Bob Porth, Jim Cimino, Kitty Mitchell and Lorei Munyoz. The volunteer program, operated by the recreation department, has saved the city more than $60,000 since it began two years ago, officials said.
Six students at Mira Costa Senior High School have been named winners of an Americanism essay contest sponsored by Redondo Lodge 328, Free and Accepted Masons. The winners are Timothy McDermott, Jeanne McAdara, Douglas McArthur, Janet Hubbell, Timothy Miller and Xandi Byrd. A plaque bearing their names will be presented to the high school.
San Pedro residents Brandon Ghan and Jason Kazama of Harbor City, both of Boy Scout Troop 213, have won Outstanding Youth Awards from the R. G. Canning Corp. The awards are presented to youths for outstanding achievements. Ghan won a trip to Walt Disney World in Florida. Kazama earned a trip to Santa Catalina Island.
Mary Cavanaugh's sixth-grade class at Roosevelt School in Lawndale has been cited by First Lady Nancy Reagan for the children's declaration to lead drug-free lives.
Gardena Key Club, a 22-member youth service organization sponsored by the Gardena Valley Kiwanis Club, recently helped bring relief to poor and hungry residents of Rosarito Beach, Mexico. Working through the Gardena Valley Sister City Assn., the Key Club held a clothes drive and a canned food drive in which more than 2,100 cans were collected. During several trips to Mexico, the Key Club and Kiwanis also set up bookshelves for the schools and painted the library with aid from Gardena businesses.
Palos Verdes High School student Larry Tominaga, 16, was awarded a first place in the California State Art Contest sponsored by the Parent Teacher Student Assn. His painting will be advanced to the association's national contest.
Leuzinger High School seniors Rolando Espinosa and Jacqueline Clement have received Soroptimist Club Youth Citizenship Awards for 1985. Espinosa, the local first-place winner, is now eligible to compete for a $1,250 regional award in June.
Seven Gardena women will be given the Soroptimist International of Gardena Women's Achievement Award this month for outstanding community involvement and leadership. The women and their award categories are Anna Arias, community involvement; Mary Bhuta, status of women; May Doi, government; Doris Ford, dedicated professional and community volunteer; Jill Gomes, professional; Frances Kaji, school-community involvement, and Ida Porter, professional/human services. An awards dinner will be held May 21.