Jamaica Sunshine Girls have two of the most talented and highly rated goal shooters on the planet in Romelda Aiken and Jhaniele Fowler-Reid. But no matter how excellent a team’s goal shooters are, they need players to complement them in order for the team to become successful.In goal attack Anna-Kay Griffiths, the Sunshine Girls have that player.Griffiths is expected to be the main supply line to the shooters, as well as provide backup shooting, but the Sunshine Girls, who has already played at the World Cup, is ready to play her part in the quest for gold Down Under.”I am very much ready, as ready as I can be. This year is different, the focus and the team bonding has helped us to gel together and it’s a beautiful feeling,” she told The Gleaner before the team’s departure on Thursday. “I am quite comfortable with the girls and I don’t have much to focus on more than to go out there and execute.”I gained some experience from my first World Cup, so my experience from the first one I will be applying it to this one,” she stated.Stronger, more confident”My game has improved a lot and I am stronger mentally and physically and I am more confident,” she added.The St Catherine Racers player, who took a two-year hiatus from international netball before returning to the squad last year, says, at first look, an opponent or spectator might underestimate her ability. However, she said, after seeing her on the court, one normally gets a total different impression, and she insists upon being ready to play her best in her supporting role to Aiken and Fowler-Reid.”I am a silent killer. People will look at me and say that I cannot do that, but when they see me do it they don’t believe. So I am a conservative person, but when I go out on the court I give it my best,” Griffiths remarked.”We have been training together and we have been doing a lot of passing (combination plays) in to Romelda and Jahniele and we seem to understand each other inside the circle, so that part of it is good.”The environment that we are in has been perfect, so that has been a plus for us. It’s for us to go out and execute. I am just focused and I know I will get the support from my coaches and my teammates, I’ve just got to go out and do my best,” she said.
“Opening day at Esperanza was quite an adventure. We were still finishing up some things. We had people putting down sprinkler lines,” Brunner said. Brunner also opened Hillview Middle School – that one in 1993. After starting his teaching career at Del Sur School, Brunner moved to Leona Valley School and then to Joe Walker Middle School, where he was an eighth-grade science teacher and administrative intern in 1977-78 and vice principal from 1978 to 1980. From 1980 to 1983 he was teacher-principal at Leona Valley School, then dean of boys at Joe Walker from 1983 to 1986. “That’s a glorified VP plus other things. I was in charge of boys. That was very exciting,” Brunner said. In 1986, he became principal at Quartz Hill Elementary School. Then he was principal at Joe Walker from 1991 until 1993, when he moved over to head Hillview Middle School. Next he was principal at Cottonwood School from 1999 until he became principal at Esperanza in 2003. “It has been a wonderful experience for me. I’ve met some wonderful children and very supportive parents and super teachers who are very compassionate about children and making sure they learn well,” said Brunner, 59. “He creates an environment that is very reflective of his loving personality,” Rossall said. “Every place he’s gone, he’s been a hard act to follow.” One of the significant changes Brunner has seen during his career is the amount of information that children are required to know and demonstrate in the classroom. “It’s a tremendous challenge for teachers to convey as much information as they are required to convey,” Brunner said. Brunner said he sees value in the emphasis on testing but also notes the pressures it puts on teachers. “There are some expectations that should be held. There should be some accountabilitiy that quality teaching is taking place, but it is sometimes difficult to put teachers in a position when they don’t have input on the students they are getting and to be judged then on the testing.” Unlike private schools that can turn away students, “we accept everyone, even if they are reading three grade levels below where they are supposed to be,” Brunner said. If given another chance, Brunner said he might have stayed in the classroom “because I think that there is where it really takes place. Being in the classroom is very special.” The son of a Long Beach naval shipyard inspector and stay-at-home mother, Brunner received a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in psychology at what is now California State University, Long Beach. He also has a master’s degree in systems management from Chapman University. He and his wife, Mary, live at Lake Elizabeth. They have two sons – one serving in the Army at Fort Polk in Louisiana and another in Washington state – and four grandchildren. email@example.com (661) 267-5744160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2To give Brunner the proper send-off, a retirement party will be held at 6 p.m. June 15 at the Cascades restaurant. The public is invited, and the cost is $40 per person. To reserve a spot, call the district by June 7 at (661) 722-0716, Ext. 118. Brunner is also known for his extensive Winnie the Pooh collection, started by him and built up over the years through gifts from others, school officials said. The silly bear’s presence has spilled out from his office into the clerical office and entrance area. Brunner often wears Pooh ties. “It’s every type of Pooh memorabilia you can think of – stuffed animals, figurines, pictures, wall hangings,” secretary Carrie Diaz said. “It makes his office so child-friendly. It’s very warm and very inviting for kids. When we have kids come to the principal’s office, it can be intimidating.” Brunner has been at Esperanza School since August 2003 when the campus, plagued by construction delays, opened eight months behind schedule with the main building, which houses the cafeteria and school office, not finished. PALMDALE – Esperanza School Principal Paul Brunner went to work at Westside Union School District in 1971 when it had 1,700 students and four schools with a fifth campus under construction. Brunner, who started out as a special-education teacher at Del Sur School and has worked at seven of the district’s 11 schools, including two he opened as principal, will retire at the end of this school year. “He has been a tremendous asset to the Westside school district. He is probably one of the most loved individuals by parents and students alike,” said Superintendent Regina Rossall, who started the same year as Brunner and with him holds the district’s longest-tenure title. “He’s helped more kids in his 35 years than we could probably count. He’s a very caring individual, very dedicated. He has always been the consummate professional. For me personally – he and I started in the district the same time – I’m going to miss him a lot.”