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Barry Manilow

#83 Barry Manilow

It was the music that did it for me. Once I stepped into my first music class I felt like I was on solid ground. That’s a feeling I want others to share, especially in my hometown. I’m proud to endow the Barry Manilow Scholarship Program at College of the Desert. Join me in stepping up for music. Step up for COD.

Ossil V Macavinta

#82 Ossil V Macavinta, Class of 1990
( A.A. Business Administration and Economics )

In 1982 he played as the number one player on the Varsity Men's Tennis Team at College of the Desert, Palm Desert, California. He won the singles and doubles State of California Division II Junior College Tennis Championship. In addition, the team won the team title for the State of California.

He chose to forgo a scholarship from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, to pursue a professional tennis career. He traveled internationally competing in Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, and the Philippines. Furthermore, he competed in Europe, traveling to Spain, France, Switzerland, and Italy. He also competed all over the East Coast from Florida to Washington DC. He attained a world ranking in singles as high as 662 with wins in the top 200 players; and in doubles 457 with wins over the top 50 players.

After ending his professional tennis career, Ossil taught tennis in various tennis clubs and resorts throughout the Coachella Valley. Realizing that his future was somewhat limited without a college education, he returned to College of the Desert where he obtained an associate degree in Economics and Business Administration. While attending College of the Desert, he managed to be a Senator and eventually President of the Associated Student Body. He was asked to coach the Women's Varsity Tennis in the Spring of 1989 where the team won their division conference. The Women's team went on to reach the quarterfinals of the state championship. He was privileged to coach the MVP and number one tennis player in the conference.

He was instrumental in organizing, directing, and implementing the first and only successful Mayors' Forum on the College of the Desert Campus in the Fall of 1989. This was a forum in which mayors were asked pertinent questions by students which affected the citizens in the Coachella Valley. This was a very successful event! (Side Note: Mayor Sony Bono of Palm Springs was in attendance at this forum, which was instrumental to the launch of his political career.)

Ossil transferred from College of the Desert to University of Redlands and finally completed his Bachelors in Business at California State University, San Bernardino. In August of 1995 he completed his Master's degree in Business with the concentration in organizational management at the University of Phoenix. He completed a Doctor of Education in Instructional Technology and Distance Education from Nova Southeastern University in 2002. He intends to utilize all that he has learned from life, academics, and experiences to better the outcome of those he serves.

Ossil is currently a teacher at Palm Desert High School where he teaches in the Business Technology Department Accounting 1 using QuickBooks Pro and Web Page Design. He is also the lead advisor for the first ever No Cussing Club in the Coachella Valley where the City of Palm Desert made a Proclamation that September 29, 2011 as "Cuss Free Day" and the 1st week of March, of every year will be "Cuss Free Week" for the City of Palm Desert.

This will coincide with the passage of "Cuss Free Week" which passed the California State Assembly in February 1, 2010. McKay Hatch, Founder, was very instrumental in its passage. For more information visit the national site: or to visit the local chapter website at Palm Desert High School visit:

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#81 Mary Lou LaPierre
(My father attended.)

When my Father, Al LaPierre was 79 he learned to type of COD because he felt his beautiful handwriting was not what it had been. His willingness to learn something new at that age has inspired me to keep learning.

He also took cooking classes that year. He loved it.

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Ignacio Otero

#80 Ignacio Otero, Staff
(PSA Fire Technology Advisor)

As the Advisor for the Fire Technology Program and also an Instructor, it gives me great pleasure to see so many students that are interested in the public safety field.

I recently retired as a Deputy Fire Chief after serving 34 years with Cal Fire & Riverside County Fire Department. Our Public Safety Academy has a bright future; we are in the process of starting a certified fire academy in the Fall of this year and hopefully a

paramedic program in a couple of years. I'm very proud to step up for COD.

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Levi Miller

#79 Levi Miller, Staff
(Recruit Training Officer, BPOT-062)

As a Recruit Training Officer at College of the Desert Public Safety Academy (COD-PSA) I instruct and hold recruits accountable to Academy rules and regulations in our Basic Peace Officer Training (BPOT) program. Our staff ensures our program meets or exceeds standards set forth by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training for California law enforcement.

The BPOT program at COD-PSA strengthens our surrounding communities. Our program produces reserve and full-time peace officers who grew up, live, and are emotionally invested in the communities they serve. Nothing could be more important when it comes to the success of public safety.

As a full-time peace officer myself, nothing makes me more proud than to meet a fellow officer on the beat who is a graduate of COD-PSA.

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