Seven honored as Balers of the Year

San Benito High graduates excel in work and community

On March 23, the Baler Education Foundation celebrated seven distinguished people at the annual Baler Hall of Fame Fest.

This year’s honorees are:

Sandy Lydon

Sandy is a 1957 graduate of San Benito High where he was a member of the California Scholarship Federation and where he lettered in baseball. Sandy was a history teacher and baseball coach in Elk Grove and taught history at Cabrillo College 1968 to 2000. He is a nationally known historian and considered the pre-eminent historian of the Central Coast.

Julian Flores

Julian was a 1960 graduate of San Benito High where he played four years of baseball. After a stint in the U.S. Army, he taught science and P.E. at Rancho San Justo and taught at Maze Middle School 1994 to 2001. In 1989 he received the Mexican American Committee on Education Man of the Year Award. Julian passed away in 2011.

Dario Casarino

Dario Casarino was a student at San Benito High from 1972-76 where he played quarterback and tight end; in basketball he was All League his junior and senior year. He and his teammates were the first team ever to win a basketball tournament championship. He played football for the University of Washington, which won two Rose Bowls and the Sun Bowl and played for Boston and New Orleans in the U.S. Football league. He worked for the City of Hollister 1997-2014 when he retired.

Leonard Alvarez

Lenny graduated from San Benito High in 1983 where he played football all four years and was a member of the Block H Club. He was supervisor at AT&T. He was a Hollister Pop Warner Coach from 1984-91, a Hollister Little League Coach for seven years, a Hollister Heat Coach, a Special Olympics volunteer, a Muscular Dystrophy Association volunteer, a member of Baler Backers, and received the Baler for Life Award in 2012. Lenny was diagnosed with ALS in 2007 and battled the disease for eight years before passing away at 51.

Laurie Chavez

Laurie graduated from San Benito High in 1996 where she was with Cross-Country and Track. She taught P.E. for 13 years and is currently teaching 10th grade AVID. Laurie received the Baler Code Award in 2008 and 2014 and has been nominated twice for Teacher of the Year. Laurie and her husband founded the team, Fly Bye Runners in 2017, for children grades third through sixth.

Casandra Guerrero

Casandra graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a Bachelors Degree and began teaching at San Benito High 2007. She has worked as an English teacher, a speech therapist, as a Special Education Specialist and Department Chair. She started San Benito County’s founding chapter of Circle of Friends-the Path to Inclusion that has positively impacted the culture of inclusion on campus. Casandra has been honored by the Autism Parents Club of San Benito County and the San Benito County Office of Education. At San Benito High School she has received the Baler Code Award, the Haybaler Award, the Baler Strong Award and was Educator of the Year in 2018.

The Baler Ed Foundation’s mission is to provide resources to support & enhance educational programs at San Benito High.

Assemblyman Robert Rivas attended and gave certificates of acknowledgment to all inductees.


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