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Release Date: 05/11/2009


SAN DIEGO, CALIF.(May 9, 2009) – Three local students earned the prize for Top Essays through this year’s San Diego’s 50 Best Moms essay contest hosted by Time Warner Cable. The contest, now in it’s eighth year, asks students in grades four through 12 a very simple question: “Why do you think your mom is one of San Diego ’s 50 Best?” More than 3,000 entries were received from San Diego County students, but only 50 rose to the top. These finalists, and their Best Moms, were invited to a luncheon on Sat., May 9 at the Hyatt La Jolla at Aventine . More than 200 people attended, and witnessed the following students claim top prize:


·       Elementary School Category: Olivia DeRoche, grade 4, Sage Canyon Elementary School ( Carmel Valley )

·       Middle School Category: Evan Reider, grade 6, Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary School

·       High School Category: Jesse Vargas, grade 11, Santana High School ( Santee )


Journalists, politicians and teachers evaluated each essay. These students received a new Sony VAIO laptop computer. In addition, the winning students’ teachers will also each receive a $250 gift card for supplies for their classrooms, plus a $50 gift card to Anthony’s for a well-deserved night out. The Best Mom finalists each received their time in the spotlight, walking down a red carpet as an excerpt from the essay was read. The Best Moms also each received an engraved award with their name and year, as well as gifts from local sponsors such as Mission Federal Credit Union, Ultra Star Cinemas, and San Diego Repertory Theatre.


To learn about this year’s roster of San Diego ’s 50 Best Moms, please visit




Best Mom: Katrina DeRoche, Carmel Valley

Student: Olivia DeRoche, Grade 4, Sage Canyon Elementary School – Elementary School Essay Winner


Olivia wrote: Although Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world,” my mom lives these words each day. I can tell you that my mom is caring, loving, and the best thing in the world. My mom is extraordinary! Her actions speak louder than words. She walks for important causes, stands up for what she thinks is right and supports me every day. In 2001 my brother was diagnosed with Autism. As an advocate for autism, my mom brought “Walk Now for Autism” to San Diego in 2004. This organization supports the national efforts to raise awareness through Autism Speaks. Walk Now for Autism has raised over $750,000 since it began. I see my mom as a shooting star among the sea of stars in the night’s sky.


Best Mom: Heather Reider, Encinitas

Student: Evan Reider, Grade 6, Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary School – Middle School Essay Winner


Evan wrote: My mom is always prepared. She always seems to have everything a person could need. My brothers and I always say, “You’re not going to need half of that stuff.” However, her eclectic collection of items usually comes in handy. When my lips are chapped, when I have a headache, when I am thirsty, or when I need anything, chances are she has it. She also has all the love I could possibly need. She’s always caring and supportive. My mom is always there for me at any time and that’s why I love and admire her the most.


Best Mom: Angie Vargas, Santee

Student: Jesse Vargas, Grade 11, Santana High School – High School Essay Winner


Jesse wrote:  My mom epitomizes the hard work, sacrifice, determination, and humility that define loving parenthood and her accomplishments are reflected in her eight children. I have been impressed by my mother’s versatility: she volunteers at her children’s schools, runs our church’s largest fundraiser, picks up night jobs when necessary to help ends meet at home, and always does everything with a smile and selfless enthusiasm. She motivates my siblings and me to work hard from a very young age by teaching us to do things the right way, not the easy way, and to treat others the way we would want to be treated. The results reflect the value of her approach: her children have attended and succeeded at great universities like Harvard, Princeton , and Stanford, and all of her children are hard working and persistent with a strong sense of moral character and family pride. Growing up in a family of ten was an incredibly rewarding experience that only worked because of my mother’s hard work and fortitude. She is absolutely wonderful and I believe you won’t find a more deserving Best Mom in San Diego .


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