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HIGH LIFE : Mater Dei Wins Pair of Cheering Crowns

March 12, 1988

Mater Dei became the first high school ever to win both the varsity and junior varsity championships at the annual National High School Cheerleading Competition, which was held Feb. 28 in Orlando, Fla.

The Monarch varsity squad, under the direction of John Merino for more than 25 years, has qualified for the national competition the past eight years. Last year, it tied for first place with a high school from Memphis, Tenn.

The Mater Dei teams competed against the top 29 cheerleading squads from across the nation in each division. To qualify for the national championships, cheerleaders must first compete in and win regional competitions.

Members of the varsity squad include head cheerleader Kevin Kelly, Jay Byrne, Tamara Harris, Rob Hartstein, Daphne Henn, Cindy Herrera, Amy Keller, Fred Olivieri, Sean Parsons, Noelini Prietto, Monique Raymer, Jenny Schwary, Larry Signaigno, Marlene Solis, Sharron Stanowicz and Kristen Wilmot.

The varsity team from Los Alamitos, the only other Orange County high school represented at the competition, finished fourth.

The Mater Dei song leaders were second-place finishers at the National High School Dance Championships on Feb. 14, also in Orlando.

Twenty years ago, 83% of college freshmen said "developing a meaningful philosophy of life" was either an "essential" or a "very important" life goal. Now only 40% say so, reports the March issue of the National Education Assn.'s NEA Today.

What at least 76% of the 210,000 first-year college students surveyed last fall by UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute say they want out of life is to get rich.

Still, some college presidents who are a part of a new project designed to promote public service as part of undergraduate education say the Me Generation is no more. They cite a 15% increase in the number of students earning advanced degrees in social work to support their contention that not all students are motivated by greed.

"There are more pleasant things to do than beat up people."

--Muhammad Ali on the occasion of one of his retirements

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