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NEIGHBORS : Secretary, 52, Strives for Law Career : Roberta Ann Novellino graduates from law school. She is studying for the State Bar exam.


At the tender age of 52, Roberta Ann Novellino of Ventura is focused on a new career.

Novellino, a clerk-typist at the district attorney's office, graduated from the Southern California Institute of Law last week and is studying for the bar.

"For years, I've watched my bosses get younger and younger. I was better qualified than they were, but they were getting the big checks. I got tired of it and I was looking for something to accomplish, to have a certificate or title, so that when somebody asks me what I do I can say something other than secretary."

The mother of two said her family was supportive during the degree course that consumed three nights a week for four years.

"Sometimes I had to skip my classes to go to school concerts or basketball games, but I decided early on that family was going to come first."

Novellino said she will dedicate herself to passing the bar in February. After that, she said she would like to develop a legal specialty.


Helen Everitt strikes her last chords today as the accompanist for the kindergarten program at Bernice Curren Elementary School in Oxnard. Everitt will retire after teaching 30 years in Oxnard schools.

Everitt, 61, laments that teachers who play piano are a dying breed. "I think there is another teacher here who plays the piano, but there are not many coming up who know how to play," she said.

Every school day for 26 years, Everitt's lullabies sounded from the same room at nap time. "It is amazing the effect the music has on them. 'Hush Little Baby' calms them right down."

Music figures heavily in her retirement plans. She may try her hand writing songs between gardening and traveling.


Matt Harvey of Ventura is staring 6,000 pounds of rock right in the eye. Well, actually he can't see the eyes, but he has an idea where they go.

Harvey is the designer leading a team of young sculptors who will work the stone into a likeness of Cesar Chavez. The carving is part of the Golden State Sculpture Show this weekend at the Peter Strauss Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

"This is the largest stone I've ever worked on," Harvey said. "This is a big step for me."

The sculpture, a head and shoulders likeness, will be composed of two stones donated by Paul Lindhard of Art City, the Ventura artists and sculptors collective. Lindhard said five carvers, most in their early 20s will work around the clock to complete the sculpture during the show.

"They brought up Chavez as a subject and I started reading about him and met some people who knew him, and I'm really excited about it," Harvey said.

The United Farm Workers will chose a permanent location for the carving.

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