Honoring outstanding individuals
Last updated 11/8/2007 at Noon
BONSALL — When the Bonsall Chamber of Commerce held their 17th Annual Installation, Awards and Dinner gala on November 3 at Vista Valley Country Club, they bestowed honors on Jeff Felix, superintendent of Bonsall Union School District; Cathy Andressen, a teacher within the district; and business owners Stan and Laura Neiman.
Felix was named Community Service Leader of the Year. Prior to becoming superintendent of Bonsall Union School District in 2006, Felix was district superintendent and school principal of San Pasqual Union School District. This one-school district grew from 220 to 580 students in the 10 years he served there. In 2004 Felix was chosen County Superintendent/Principal of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators and California School Boards Association.
Recently, Felix earned a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of California San Diego and California State University San Marcos. He is the first student ever to receive a doctorate from CSUSM. His dissertation and research combined his communications and computer science degrees by studying the effectiveness of teachers “blogging” with their students as an instructional practice.
In addition, he is involved with Arts Off Broadway, a children’s theater group; is a past president of Hidden Valley Kiwanis Club; and has coached for North County Youth Soccer Association and Escondido High School’s football program.
Felix has been married to wife Debbie for 31 years and the couple has two daughters, Amber Friedrich and Whitney Felix, and two granddaughters, Samantha and Kylie Friedrich.
Cathy Andressen, named Teacher of the Year, said it was when she did volunteer work at an elementary school that her future was determined. “ that I decided that I wanted to teach,” she said. “I had the honor of working with a special education teacher who took me under her wing for the next five years.”
Andressen graduated from California State University at Dominquez Hills. She has a history of involvement with PTA and was recognized by Vista Unified School District for her volunteerism. She earned her educational specialist credential and a Master’s degree in 2002 and 2003, respectively. In 2002 she was hired permanently by Bonsall Elementary School.
Andressen lost her husband of 30 years to cancer in 2006, but she is the proud mother of three daughters and a son.
“It has been such a blessing to me to work at Bonsall Elementary School,” she said. “I would have never been able to make it through the trials of last two years without the wonderful love and support of the teaching and classified staff, Cathy Myhers, Bill Rash, my students’ parents and, of course, all my students.”
Touched by the honor of being named Teacher of the Year, Andressen said, “I hope with the greatest sincerity that I continue to live up to this great honor.”
Stan and Laura Neiman, owners of Neiman’s Collision Center, accepted the honor of Business of the Year.
After 35 years in the auto body business, Stan has experience in all phases of his work. Originally learning in his father’s auto body business, Tri Cities Auto Body in Escondido, he went on to teach auto body and paint at Palomar College and managed other body shops. He met Laura when he went to work for her father’s auto body business in Oceanside. The couple has been married 28 years.
Stan decided to purchase an auto body business in Fallbrook and opened for business in January of 1999. Laura joined him full-time at the shop in 2001 and is an important part of the business.
“Auto body repair is an art,” said Stan. “We can take a wreck with its variety of challenges and make it new and fresh.”
Stan also credits the expertise of his employees and their broad knowledge of automotive construction and repair techniques. Neiman’s Collision has 12 employees, four of which are body repair technicians with 20 to 47 years of experience in this field of expertise.
“The communities of Bonsall and Fallbrook have been good to us and our family,” said the couple. “[We] try to return the favor by being involved in the community.” Stan was president of the Fallbrook Village Rotary Club in 2001, served on the Board of Directors for the Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce and became president of the Fallbrook Chamber in 2005.