The following graduates of the East Side Union High School District will be formally inducted to the Thomas P. Ryan Hall of Fame during a dinner ceremony at the Hayes Mansion on Saturday, November 11, 2017:
- Heidi Black (Oak Grove)
- Steve Caballero (Andrew Hill)
- Hon. Magdalena Carrasco (Independence)
- Jeff Clanagan (Silver Creek)
- James Davis III (Independence)
- Eric Guerrero (Independence)
- Hon. Rose Herrera (Overfelt)
- Sal Pizarro (Santa Teresa)
- Dr. Raymond Raven III (Silver Creek)
- Eldon P. Regua (Silver Creek)
- Angel Rios (Overfelt)
- Dr. Marco Sanchez (Independence)
See below for more background on these outstanding East Side alums.
Heidi graduated from Oak Grove High School and earned her credential along with a double major in environmental studies at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Park ranger jobs were scarce at that time, and she landed at Independence High — in a room next to Corky, her future spouse. Two wonderful children, Ryan and Laura, would follow. Heidi later earned a physics credential partially with coursework through the Teacher Institute at the Exploratorium. Eventually, the institute invited her to serve as a Teacher-in-Residence, where she developed exhibits, teacher trainings, and curriculum, wrote articles for the Physics Teacher academic journal, and helped in local classrooms. Heidi returned to Oak Grove, where she served as teacher liaison to the Synopsys Outreach Foundation, which had formed to support science projects and fairs throughout California. Heidi’s first task was to develop a districtwide science fair, and she jumped right in. Every year since, 700-1,500 East Side students have competed in sciencepalooza! Additionally, Heidi sits on the Board of Directors for the Santa Clara Valley Science & Engineering Association, reviewing projects, chaperoning, and presenting trainings. She has helped to ensure that a minimum of two East Side projects are selected to attend the International Science Fair each year, with four of those projects earning first place. During the 2010 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in San José, Heidi managed Public Visitation Day, coordinating hands-on activities and presentations for 5,000 local students. She continues to enjoy developing and leading teacher trainings and helping to empower students with science and engineering skills.
Steve Caballero is one of the greatest skateboarders of all time, and a proud graduate of Andrew Hill High School. Steve was born and raised in San José. He is known for the difficult tricks and air variations he invented for vertical skating and for setting a long-standing record for the highest air achieved on a halfpipe. Steve started skating in 1976 at the age of 12, and began his career at 14. His first sponsor was Campbell Skate Park. In 1979, Steve entered a national skate contest in Escondido. After finishing in fifth place, he was approached by the legendary Stacy Peralta, who offered him a sponsorship with Powell Peralta. He turned pro in 1980, during the Gold Cup series at the Oasis Skatepark in Southern California. During the first half of the 1980s, Steve was arguably the best professional skater in the world. In 1987, Steve won both Street and Vert titles at the World Championships in Munster, Germany. That same year, he also set the world record for highest air achieved on a halfpipe at 11 feet — a record that stood until 1997. In 1999, he set another record, this time for the longest board slide on a 44-step handrail. That year, Thrasher Magazine named Steve the “Skater of the Century”. He recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of his Half Cab shoe, made by Vans. Steve is most proud of being a father, husband, grandfather, and a person of faith.
Hon. Magdalena Carrasco
Magdalena graduated from Independence High School and has worked for the East Side community for decades. Growing up the child of immigrant parents, Magdalena learned the value of hard work and community service at a young age, a value that has propelled her to serve families, children and this community her entire life. Magdalena was the first in her family to finish high school, and went on to the University of California at Santa Barbara to pursue a degree in Chicano Studies. Magdalena worked her way through college as a caregiver at a home for youths transitioning between juvenile hall to the adult world. She taught them life skills, conflict resolution, anger management, and how to respect themselves and their communities. Magdalena’s passion for improving the quality of life for children and families led her to a ten-year career with the Santa Clara County Department of Family and Children Services. There, she served as a powerful advocate and spokesperson for the Foster Care and Adoptions Program. Magdalena also served as a Family and Child Advocate with First 5 Santa Clara.At First 5, Magdalena has had firsthand experience with families and children in difficult home situations and has seen the profound ways violence impacts our community. Magdalena is committed to advocacy, volunteering, and her role as a mother to four children. She has served on the ESUHSD Board of Trustees and was elected the San José City Council in 2014, representing District 5 on the East Side. She currently serves as the city’s Vice Mayor.
Jeff is a prolific producer and innovator in the entertainment industry and a graduate of Silver Creek High School. After graduating from the University of Washington and Harvard Business School, he began his career as a concert promoter for artists such as NWA, Run DMC, LL Cool J, and MC Hammer, long before hip hop reached mainstream appeal. Jeff’s reputation and success allowed him to secure corporate sponsorships from companies such as Citibank, Budweiser, Sprite and Snapple. In 1998, Jeff moved into the film and television industry when he was named the President of No Limit Films. Jeff continued to expand his expertise in strategic marketing and home entertainment with his successful releases of the Def Comedy Jam series, BET’s Arabesque Films, and the Fat Albert TV series. From 2005 to 2011, Jeff produced and released over 300 movie titles. In partnership with Lionsgate, he founded and became President of Codeblack Films. Codeblack continues to innovate and produce groundbreaking projects. Jeff was awarded the Pioneer Award from the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) in 2014 and the Game Changer Achievement Award from Uptown Magazine. Jeff has also been named in the Ebony Power 150 and Black Enterprise top 50 Power Brokers. He has been profiled in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and GQ Magazine. Jeff has a passion for mentoring young people. In 2015, he created a sports division called Codeblack Elite Track Club, allowing him to coach and mentor young adults in track and field at Calabasas High School. Jeff currently lives in the Los Angeles area with his family.
James Davis III
James graduated from Independence High School and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law and Society from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1989. In 1994, he received his J.D. from the University of Arizona. He is currently a regulatory attorney for American Express in New York. He and his family are members of Fountain Baptist Church in Summit, New Jersey. James is also an active member in his community and serves as a board member for the Black Parents Workshop, a children’s advocacy group. In addition, he serves on various committees that focus on education issues in his local school district. In his spare time, James has been married to his wife, Shanease, for 17 years. They have four children, ages 15, 13, and 11 (twins). While at Independence, James was a musician and played with various music ensembles such as the North Area Youth Jazz Ensemble, the San José Youth Symphony, and the Children’s’ Musical Theater. He was captain of the varsity soccer team in high school while also participating in other sports such as football and track and field. His academic and athletic successes led him to be a finalist for the Frank Fiscalini Sports Award. The award is based on number of sports played and the student’s GPA. James’ drive and determination served him well as he excelled in college and law school and went on to become a successful attorney.
Eric Sebastian Guerrero
Eric was a four-time league and section champion wrestler for Independence High School from 1992 to 1995. He was also a four-time state medalist, three-time state champion, and a member of Independence’s 1995 State Wrestling Championship team. Eric also won the 1993 junior world championships held in Germany. He went on to become a three-time NCAA Champion for Oklahoma State University, and a member of the Oklahoma State coaching staff for 17 years. The 2004 Olympian made the United States World Team four times, placing 7th in 1999 at 127.5lbs. He was on the Cowboys staff for four NCAA team titles. In 2017, Eric was named the Head Olympic Regional Training Center Coach at Oklahoma University. Eric’s coaching philosophy is to help student athletes become fully-rounded individuals so that they emerge better equipped to succeed in life after the thrill and notoriety of competition fades away. As Eric puts it: “The only way to develop students is to get your hands dirty and get involved in their lives. Visit, talk, mentor. Be there for them when they need you and even when they don’t think they need you. Also, knowing when to back off and give them space to figure some things out on their own. It’s not complicated, it’s just time well spent. I learned that from my coaches.” Eric is married to Kristin Blair, a former Miss Texas, and lives with his family in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Hon. Rose Herrera
A native of East San José, Rose graduated from William C. Overfelt High School and received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Santa Clara University. She was elected to the San José City Council, representing District 8 in the Evergreen area from 2009 to 2016, and serving as Vice Mayor from 2015 to 2016. Rose played a significant role in stabilizing the city budget during the Great Recession and saving city services such as the Lake Cunningham Skate Park. As a councilmember, she successfully advocated for new highway projects, a new library, two new fire stations, youth sports fields, and an Eastridge-to-BART Light Rail line. Rose served her country in the United States Air Force and was named Veteran of the Year in 2011 by the San Jose Veteran’s Center. She has been an advocate for women’s rights going back to her days at Overfelt. In 2010, Rose founded and served as President of the League of California Cities Women’s Caucus and was recognized as one of the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 100 Women of Influence for 2012. She also had a career in tech, starting a company that created 250 jobs and was named one of Silicon Valley’s fastest growing companies. Rose serves on the United Veterans Council board and was recently appointed to the VTA Measure B Oversight Committee. She and her husband Matt enjoy volunteering with Involved Evergreen, a neighborhood association that Rose founded in 2007, and spending time with their children and two grandsons.
Sal has been the Around Town columnist for the Mercury News since December 2005. His column is a daily journal of people, places, and events in Silicon Valley with an emphasis on cultural activities, community happenings, and philanthropy. He also writes Cocktail Chronicles, highlighting local bars and lounges. Sal was born and raised in San José graduated from Santa Teresa High School, where he was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and also served as president of the Model United Nations club. At San José State University, he studied journalism and wrote articles for the Spartan Daily. He transferred to the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he received a bachelor’s degree in political science while working as a staff writer and campus editor for the student-run newspaper, the Daily Nexus. After graduation, he returned to his hometown paper, the Mercury News, where he worked as an editor in the local and sports sections for more than a decade before becoming a columnist. Sal is a member of the Rotary Club of San José and serves on its Board of Directors. He also serves on the Advisory Board of Silicon Valley Reads, the committee for the San José Sports Authority’s REACH Youth Scholarships, and chairs the Leigh Weimers Emerging Artists Awards. He is a frequent emcee at community events in Silicon Valley, including the Cinequest Media Legacy Awards, the Anita Borg Institute’s Women of Vision Awards, and the holiday campaign awards for Second Harvest Food Bank. Sal lives in San José with his wife, Amy, and their two children.
Raymond B. Raven III, MD, MBA
Dr. Raven was born and raised in San José and graduated from Silver Creek High School. He studied Molecular Biology and Philosophy of Science at the University of California, and earned his Medical Doctorate at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF). After graduating in the top of his class, he trained with leaders in the field of orthopaedic trauma, hand surgery and reconstructive limb surgery at UCSF and Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is a Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon with subspecialty training in Hand & Upper Extremity Surgery. He has Certificates of Added Qualifications in both Surgery of the Hand and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine — one of only a few surgeons in California with this distinction. Dr. Raven is the Managing Partner and CEO of Orthopaedic Surgery Specialists in Southern California, where his practice focuses on the management of musculoskeletal and neurovascular conditions of the shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand in both children and adults. In 2013, Dr. Raven completed an MBA at the University of California at Irvine, and he is currently pursuing a Masters in Health Care Innovation at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to serving on committees for various national medical societies, Dr. Raven serves on the board of directors for Rocketship, a national non-profit network of charter schools serving primarily low-income students. He gives back to Silver Creek students by volunteering to provide athletic screening physicals. He continues to devote a great deal of his time to closing the achievement gap and increasing access to health care throughout the United States.
Major General (Ret.) Eldon P. Regua
M.G. Regua graduated from Silver Creek High School and served in the United States Army and Army Reserve for over 36 years. His leadership assignments included overseas tours in Europe and the Pacific region, along with numerous visits with soldiers in hostile fire zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan. As a general officer, M.G. Regua commanded two nationwide Army Training Divisions, consisting of over 3,000 soldiers and civilians. He served as Deputy Commanding General and Chief of Staff (Wartime) for the Eighth Army in Seoul, Korea, overseeing 20,000 soldiers, and has also spent time on the Secretary of the Army’s Reserve Forces Policy Committee in the Pentagon. His awards and decorations include the Army Distinguished Service Medal (2), the Legion of Merit (2), and the Meritorious Service Medal (6). M.G. Regua has civilian experience in the Silicon Valley working for various high-tech corporations. He has served on the Board of Advisors for RightStep Services and the Campbell Veteran’s Memorial Foundation, and is an active member with the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Association of the United States Army. M.G. Regua currently serves on the California Governor’s Military Council, where he advises the Governor on defense matters related to the 30 bases, posts, and installations of all U.S. Armed Forces in the state, as well as protecting and promoting defense-related jobs. His degrees include a B.S. in Commerce from Santa Clara University, an MBA from Chapman University, and a Masters of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. He is currently a candidate for a B.S. in Biblical Studies at Northern California Bible College.
Angel Rios, Jr.
Angel has over 20 years of professional experience working in both the public and non-profit sectors. A graduate of William C. Overfelt High School, he currently serves as the Interim Director of the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services for his hometown of San José. Angel is responsible for the administration of 200 parks, 55 community centers, and the City’s nationally-recognized Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force. Prior to joining the City of San José, Angel served as the Associate Director of the largest Latino non-profit community-based organization in Santa Clara County. In that capacity, he oversaw the construction of a multi-purpose youth center on the city’s east side and was instrumental in the development of several award-winning gang prevention programs. Angel also served as an appointed member on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s California Gang Reduction, Intervention, and Prevention Board (CalGRIP). He is currently a lead member of a City of San José team assisting the White House and the Office of the Attorney General in launching a National Youth Violence Prevention Forum. Angel also played a key role in the development of the California Cities Gang Prevention Network, and he has served as one of the chief architects and re-engineering specialists of the Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force. This anti-violence initiative is lauded as one of the main reasons the City of San José has been named one of the “Safest Largest Cities” in the United States. Angel holds a Master’s in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
Dr. Marco Sanchez
Dr. Sanchez graduated from Independence High School in 1988 and has served as Principal of Gilroy High School since 2009. He has been in education since 1994, serving in such roles as teacher, activities director, dean of students, and assistant principal. Under Dr. Sanchez’s leadership, Gilroy High School has earned the California Golden Bell award, the Santa Clara County Glenn E. Hoffman Award for Academic Excellence and has been named a California Star Honor Roll School. Dr. Sanchez was named the 2015 Gilroy Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year and the 2016 Santa Clara County High School Principal of the Year. He serves on both the Central Coast Section and California Interscholastic Federation Executive Committees. Dr. Sanchez graduated from Arizona State University, earned his master’s degree from the University of Phoenix, and his doctorate from Northcentral University. As a wrestler at Independence, he was a three-time league and Central Coast Section champion, a California State champion, and a junior national champion. He placed fifth in the 1987 junior world championships, earning the nickname “Superman” for his accomplishments on the mat. Dr. Sanchez went on Arizona State, where he became a two-time All-American, three-time University national champion, and three-time U.S. Olympic Festival gold medalist. The highlight of his athletic career was competing as an Olympian in the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Sanchez finished 15th at 62 kg (136.5lbs) in Greco-Roman wrestling.