Posted by Sanjiv Prabhakaran on Sep 28, 2018
We had a great audience today with many guests. Charles' 2 sisters from the Carolinas were here. Bocce team announced that over $54,000 in sponsorships has been collected so far and urged members to make the final push to invite guests to the BocceFest event on Sunday September 30, 2018! Charlotte mentioned that the online auction had over $12,000 worth of items for bidding.
Due to shortage of time, the "My 3 Things in Life" talk was postponed to next week.
Our speaker today was Don Collins, the Inspiration teacher from Torrey Pines High School.  Don grew up in metro Detroit and graduated from Pomona College in Claremont, CA after completing a degree in Mathematics and receiving his commission as Air Force Officer in 1989. He worked as a Public Relations Officer during the first Gulf War where he received a Commendation medal for his work with the national and international media in the Middle East. Don worked in sales, fitness, construction and ran a halfway house downtown before returning to get his teaching credential from CSU San Marcos in 1996.  Don has California state credentials and experience as an instructor in math, English and technology, a Masters in Educational Administration, and a Masters of Science in Educational Technology. He is a Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher (2002) and was awarded Teacher of the Year at both Sunset High School (2003-04) and at Torrey Pines High School (2014-15). From 2005 to 2008 he was a National Director for the Center for Teacher Effectiveness where he works as a trainer for improving classroom management strategies. He is currently on the Board of Directors for Directing Change, a statewide film contest for high school students to create one-minute PSA’s on suicide prevention and mental health awareness. 
Don is in his 21st year of teaching in the San Dieguito District and his 8th at Torrey Pines High School where he is the Peer Assistance Leadership Support Adviser, as well as the teacher for a pilot course called Academic Success & Survival. Don was also selected by the San Dieguito Union High School District to create and run the Sanford Inspire Program in partnership with National University to train teachers to be inspirational. He and his husband Anthony are excited to welcome the birth of their twin sons, Floyd and Stanley, next month. 
He inspires those failing and depressed kids to rise and shine. He sees a lot of value in these troubled kids. He compares them to a crumpled $20 bill that you find on the road-side. You open it up and it still has a $20 value. In a similar manner he sees lot of potential in these troubled kids. His program inspires these kids to learn and achieve. One such kid Nick Gulino was a troubled and dropout kid, who eventually under Don's guidance and training went to Yale Law School and graduated from there. Nick's story can be read at this Del Mar Times article.
Don is also a teacher trainer at the Sanford Inspire Center. He says that his motivation and inspiration came from his mom, who was a very tough lady that used to chase him up the stairs with a broom. At TPHS he used to hold monthly lunch programs and encouraged those troubled kids to come and participate and share experiences. The participation tripled and so he then increased that to 4 monthly lunch programs.
In the end DMSB Club President Ken Barrett presented the speaker with the Joshua certificate that represents our club DMSB donating school supplies to schools in Malawi in the name of the speaker.