In June 2002, the Alumni Association donated $500 to a Ricardo Becerra, a Rancho High School Junior, to attend the Hugh O'Brian Youth World Leadership Conference (HOBY) in Washington, D.C. - an international youth forum with 300 other students from all 50 states and more than 30 nations. An article was written on Ricardo in the July 25, 2002 edition of the Las Vegas Sun Newspaper, Ricardo joined two other students from Northern Nevada at the six-day international youth summit. Ricardo is in Rancho's aviation academy and wants to be a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force. His leadership at Rancho led local organizers to select him to represent Southern Nevada at the HOBY World Leadership Conference. HOBY was started by actor Hugh O'Brian, television's Wyatt Earp, as a way of honoring outstanding sophomores and inspiring them to excellence in leadership.
In August 2002, the Alumni Association purchased a $500 advertisement that was placed on the back center of RHS spirit shirts that were sold to all RHS students and the community at a nominal cost. The shirts were and are still being worn at all school events and around the community in an attempt to raise school spirit and invoke a sense of community.
In 2002, the Association assisted in the advertising of several Rancho class reunions last year. The Association worked diligently with all of the committees for the class reunions for 1962, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1972, 1982 and 1992 and posted the information in the “Class Reunions”” section of the Association's website.
Helped raise money for the student council by selling Entertainment Books.
Purchased a full-page ad in the El Sol Yearbook.
In October 2002, the Alumni Association participated (for the second year) in Rancho's Homecoming festivities. Alumni drove Homecoming royalty in the parade and participated in the homecoming festivities during the football later that evening.
The Alumni Association solicited local sign companies for use of their empty billboard space to promote the Association.
The Alumni Board met with RHS's Principal, Bob Chesto, to discuss a mentorship program for the school.
To raise funds for the Association and the Alumni Scholarship, the Association started a campaign to recruit Alumni to volunteer to work a concessions booth at UNLV football and basketball games. The Association would be paid $75 per person who works or 10% of the proceeds from the booth, whichever is greater. This is a great opportunity to help the Association and have fun too. Interested Alumni must have or get a TAM card and go through a short training session at UNLV. Please contact Gregg Townsend at Ranchoalumni@yahoo.com, if you can help.
In December 2002, the Alumni Association participated in Rancho's Angel Tree Christmas Event by raising $2,250. With that money, each RHS homeless student received $100 worth of gift certificates and school supplies, in addition to a new backpack.
In April 2003, the Alumni Association established the Gwendolyn J. Scott-Paulk Memorial Alumni Scholarship for needy and deserving graduating Seniors. Gwendolyn Scott-Paulk was a member of Rancho's class of 1973. Her family donated $3,000 to initially fund the scholarship.
The Association assisted the classes of 1963, ‘73, ‘83 and ‘93 advertise their classes' reunions by posting them on the Association's website.
The Association is continues to update its website to keep Alumni informed re: the progress of the Association.
The Alumni Association awarded two $250 scholarships to __________________ and ___________________
December 2003 - The Alumni Association raised over $3,000 which was donated by many caring Alumni and Friends of Rancho - both businesses and individuals, for 33 needy students. Each student received a new backpack, sweatshirt, calculator, radio, watch, school supplies and $75 in gift cards.
In May, the Alumni Association participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the new Rancho High School.
The Alumni Association assisted in advertising for the RHS class reunions for 1964, 1969, 1974, 1983, 1984 and 1994.
In May, two Alumni scholaships of $250.00 were awarded to Rancho High School Seniors Rian Chin and Nicole Paes at Rancho's Senior Awards Banquet.
Rancho High School alumni group helps students of today
Organization reaches out by raising money for tutoring and scholarships and offering practical holiday gifts that enhance learning
By JOAN WHITELY
About 300 graduates of Rancho High School are involved in a formally organized nonprofit alumni group to support their alma mater in practical ways.
Organized in 2001, the Rancho High School Alumni Association has already done numerous good deeds.
It raised matching money for a tutoring fund to help seniors pass their state proficiency exams.
It placed a money changer machine in the school library so students can easily make photocopies when doing academic research.
It established a fund to buy athletic safety gear.
It started a scholarship program to assist two fresh graduates each year.
It sponsors a Happy Holidays program, in which needy students receive a backpack filled with useful goods such as calculators, dictionaries and digital wristwatches, as well as a gift card to use at local stores.
"We all loved going to school, and we all appreciated the direction that it gave us," says Larry Lermusiaux, class of '69. A real estate agent, he is one of the founders of the group and currently what he calls "lead sled dog" in getting the word out to other alumni.
Some of the other Rancho alumni who already are involved with the association include the group's president George Townsend; real estate agent Augie Bustos; former elected official Frankie Sue del Papa; Frank Martin of Martin Harris Construction; former Nevada first lady Sandy Miller; Gage Parrish, who is chief financial officer of Coast Resorts; and Las Vegas city attorney Bryan Scott.
Many of those alumni maximized their education because they grew up in two-parent households, Lermusiaux says, noting that is less frequently the case today, regardless of high school.
But Rancho High, in particular, is in a neighborhood on the "lower socioeconomic end of things," according to Lermusiaux. Some Rancho students live in home shelters near the campus.
"Rancho has always been a working-class school," Lermusiaux says. "But that sometimes works positively. ... People have a heightened sense of what a helping hand can do."
Lermusiaux declined to specify how much money the alumni association has raised to date. "While contributions have increased" during the four years the organization has existed, "the areas of need have increased even more," he says.
The association's goal is not only to raise more dollars, but also to raise participation by Rancho alumni. The total pool of graduates is about 15,000, he notes.
Rancho High was the second public high school built in Las Vegas, preceded only by the original Las Vegas High, which is now a magnet school. So the Rancho-Las Vegas High sports rivalry is the town's oldest. Rancho has "a sense of history even for people who didn't go there," Lermusiaux says.
Rancho High has new campus buildings under construction. The alumni association has big plans for an event in spring 2006, shortly before most of the current Rancho High buildings will be vacated and demolished.
The group plans to sponsor Last Dance, which will feature an actual dance on school grounds, accompanied by guided tours for the public of buildings that are slated for destruction. The new campus buildings are scheduled to open in August 2006.
"We hope to sell or raffle off memorabilia" related to the school history and old buildings, Lermusiaux says. To reach the association, call 592-5244.
The Rancho Alumni Association put together a dance for all of the graduating classes from Rancho High School. This dance was called "The Last Dance". There were close to 800 people that attended this dance and memories were shared by all. You can see the activities of this dance by clicking on the following link: