Grabbing Life By the Horns with Mr. Marine and Mr. Avilla
By Aaron Marine
Grabbing Life By the Horns with Mr. Marine and Mr. AvillaMay 26, 2023
Episode 29 - Vangi Sugden and Tori Ha
Marine and Avilla chat it up with one of the best vice principal duos Granada has ever seen, current VP Tori Ha and former VP Vangi Sugden. The two VPs reunite on Granada's campus to talk about all the good times they had together. We find out that Vangi was a "pure" mathematics major in college and that Tori looks up to Vangi as her "life coach." Listen to hear more about these two from their days as teachers together at Mission San Jose High in Fremont to vice principals together at Granada to becoming a couple of really good friends that have fancy tea together.
Episode 28 - Jennifer Advincula
Marine and Avilla sit down to learn all the Livermore details from Granada class of '88 alumnus and now Granada administrative assistant to the principal Jennifer Advincula. We learn some Livermore history from Jennifer going back to the days of her working at the local JC Penney's in downtown on second street to coming back to work at Granada starting in 2017. Listen to hear more about Jennifer's ups and downs in life and great life advice as well as her many connections with former guests on the pod.
Episode 27 - The Wives Valentine's Day Special
Marine and Avilla have both our wives on the show. Hillary Marine and Nicole Avilla grace studio 511 with their presence. Both couples tell their origin stories of how they fell in love as well as talk about challenges and advice in relationships. Listen in to hear more about these two amazing women and the fun twist we put on the 20 questions round.
Episode 26 - Steve Sartori
Marine and Avilla have some laughs and learn the life story of Granada alumnus class of 2003 and Altamont Beer Works owner/founder Steve Sartori. We get to hear the origin story of how the brewery came to be and all the hard work and dedication that Steve put in to make his vision come true. Listen in to hear more about his strong ties to the Livermore community and how whenever he breaks a bone in his body good things end up happening.
Episode 25 - Lexi Marine
Marine and Avilla have a fun and interesting conversation with Granada alum class of 2010 and Marine's sister Lexi Marine. Lexi talks about changing career paths after getting a degree in graphic design and becoming a pastry chef. She discusses working at many different top restaurants in the bay area and which celebrities have tipped well at her restaurants in the past. We also hear about Lexi's many other talents including glass etching and rollerskating. Listen in to hear more about Lexi's career path and hobbies.
Episode 24 - Kelly Bowers
Marine and Avilla finally get to have an awesome conversation with long-tenured former Livermore superintendent Kelly Bowers. We delve into Mrs. Bowers' journey from educator all the way up to being the top dog in the district and all the stops in between. Listen in to hear more about Mrs. Bowers' leadership style, her constant connection with students, and, of course, stories about her dog Boomer.
Episode 23 - Will Smith
Marine and Avilla sit down with new Special Education teacher Will Smith. We discuss all of Mr. Smith's connections to Granada while he was growing and how he was meant to be a part of the Granada family from the start. Listen to hear more about Mr. Smith's different coaching philosophies, especially coaching the recent JV football team in their undefeated season. Mr. Smith also shares his near-death experience and how that has changed his outlook on life.
Episode 22 - Darin Anderson
Marine and Avilla sit down with local pastor, Granada parent, and collaborator with the FIT program Darin Anderson. Mr. Anderson drops so many sage words and truth nuggets throughout our conversation. Listen in to hear more about his journey to becoming a pastor, how he organizes the money in his wallet, and his approach to parenting six children.
Episode 21 - Coach Q
Marine and Avilla talk basketball shop with Granada boys head basketball coach and new health teacher Coach Q. We get to hear Q's own basketball journey trying to make it to the NBA as well as the behind-the-scenes insights into his excellent five year tenure with the Granada boys basketball team so far. Listen in to hear more about Q's college days playing pickup games against NBA players and his simple yet relaxing perfect day off.
Episode 20 - John Thayer
Welcome back HG's to season 2 of the podcast! Marine and Avilla were ecstatic to have an enlightening conversation with Granada math teacher John Thayer. We discuss his time teaching at LHS and in Albuquerque before coming to Granada. Listen in to hear more about his crazy experience getting hit by a car on his way to the first day of at Granada as well as his connection with host Mr. Avilla before coming to Granada. Get ready to experience how time bends with Mr. Thayer.
Episode 19 - Will Rasor
Marine and Avilla sit down with beloved former Granada science and FIT teacher Will Rasor for the final episode of season 1. We discuss all the different involvements that Mr. Rasor had on campus during his 12-year stint at Granada, especially his great ability to organize the staff for homecoming skits and other events. Listen in to hear about Mr. Rasor's passion for tie dying t-shirts and all the great memories that Marine and Avilla had with him.
Episode 18 - Rich Cortez
Marine and Avilla have a light-hearted yet inspiring conversation with Granada alumnus class of 1978 now Granada PE teacher and volleyball coach Rich Cortez. We discuss Rich's love for volleyball as well as the moment he realized that work ethic and dedication lead to real results in life and sports. Listen in to hear more about Rich growing up in Livermore being the oldest of 8 siblings and his love for water skiing.
Episode 17 - Kevin Drake
Marine and Avilla have an historical and passionate conversation with former Granada principal ('94-'04) Kevin Drake. We learn about his time playing football at Pacific University and all the NFL players and coaches that he rubbed shoulders with during his time there. Mr. Drake also talks about how the school transitioned from a traditional schedule to a block schedule in the 90s and 2000s. Listen to hear more about Mr. Drake's great leadership philosophy and his hilarious hypothetical name for a boat.
Episode 16 - Nubia Pokam and By'reiona Mott
Marine and Avilla have our first current students on the podcast. Juniors Nubia Pokam and By'reiona Mott sit down with us and have an honest and hilarious conversation about Granada life as a student now. Both of them give great advice to incoming high school students and speak to the culture at Granada in regards to race and gender. Listen in to hear about By'reiona's interesting fear as well as Nubia's thoughts on bagels.
Episode 15 - Terri Grass
Marine and Avilla have a relaxing conversation with science and marine biology teacher Terri Grass. We talk about Mrs. Grass coming to Granada in 1990 as the only female science teacher in her department as well as her career shifting from being a naturalist to becoming a classroom teacher. Listen to hear more about Terri's favorite sea creatures and the mystery varmint that has recently been eating plants in her garden.
Episode 14 - 1000 Plays Celebration
Marine and Avilla celebrate passing 1000 total plays on the podcast and flip the whole show around. The hosts ask each other questions about their own journeys and make each other go through the Quick Fire 20 Questions gauntlet. We also reminisce about some highlights from the past 13 episodes and reveal the listener who actually was the official 1000th listener. Tune in to hear who the 1000th listener was and see how well the hosts do having to answer all the questions we usually throw at our guests.
Episode 13 - Matthew Hart
Marine and Avilla sit down with former English teacher, former vice principal and current principal of Granada High School Matthew Hart. We talk to Principal Hart about how he ended up coming to Livermore from the Fresno area and his appreciation for everything Granada and the city of Livermore has given him. Hart also discusses many stories on campus throughout the years that deal with rodents, mainly squirrels, and the interesting teal accent color on all the buildings on campus back in the day. Listen in to hear more about some hilarious responses to the quick fire round of questions, especially Hart's pet peeve.
Episode 12 - Brandon Cardwell
Marine and Avilla have an intellectual and philosophical conversation with Granada alumnus class of 2002 and now innovation director for the city of Livermore Brandon Cardwell. We discuss Brandon's journey from getting a government degree at Sacramento State to then getting involved with the city of Livermore and helping run Daybreak labs formerly called iGate, an incubator in town. Listen in to hear more about Brandon's life including marrying his high school sweetheart and his love for Range Life restaurant downtown.
Episode 11 - Gasia Mikaelian
Marine and Avilla have a fun chat with Granada alumnus class of '92 and now KTVU channel 2 news anchor Gasia Mikaelian. We learn about her journey she took towards becoming an anchor at channel 2, making stops in Arizona, Alabama, and Texas before coming back to the Bay Area. She gave great advice about pursuing passions and goals in life and being truly grateful for what life gives anyone. Listen in to hear more about Gasia's journey as well as all the great Granada memories she had back in the 90s.
Episode 10 - Rick Watt
Marine and Avilla have a fun chat with former Granada PE teacher, football coach, and now construction company owner Rick Watt. We discuss that Rick was born and raised in town and actually born in a former Livermore hospital off of seventh street. Listen in to hear more about Rick's career at Granada as well as having to teach some years at Christensen middle school because of budget cuts at the time. He also talks about how his construction company keeps him connected to Livermore schools by doing jobs on campuses all around town and that Mr. Avilla actually worked for Rick's company for a couple summers back in the day.
Episode 9 - Jan Freytag and Monica Brickwedel
Marine and Avilla have their first guest duo on the show with two Granada legends Jan Freytag and Monica Brickwedel. Both Freytag and Brickwedel taught together for many years and have almost 80 years of Granada experience between them. Freytag talks about the early days of teaching PE at Granada and leading the cheer team and rally committee together with Brickwedel. Listen in to hear more from these two Granada mainstays and lifelong friends.
Episode 8 - Curtis Lillie
Marine and Avilla sit down for a fun conversation with Granada alumnus class of 2002, former ASB student body president, and now pastor of Discovery church in Livermore Curtis Lillie. We discuss Curtis's three near death experiences that led to his change in career path to be a pastor as well as his amazing halloween costume and resemblance to the TV character Ted Lasso. Listen in to hear more about Mr. Lillie's Granada homecoming vision back in the early 2000s and his love for lasagna.
Episode 7 - Chris Van Schaack
Marine and guest host Mr. Moore have an enlightening conversation with former teacher, former Granada baseball coach, former Granada principal, and now Deputy Superintendent of our Livermore school district Chris Van Schaack. We talk about his journey in his all different positions working for the same district as well as some great memories of teaching at Phoenix with Mr. Gomes. Listen in to hear more about Van Schaack's long-standing connections to Granada as well as some fun moments had with students and staff along the way.
Episode 6 - Chris Moussa
Marine and Avilla have a wonderful conversation with alumnus class of 2015, former baseball player, and former ASB president Chris Moussa. We discuss Chris going to college in a major field of computer science he had no former knowledge with as well as how his parents ended up coming to Livermore from Lebanon. Listen more to hear about Chris's newly started Nike shoe collection and his great acting skills he showed off during homecoming skits.
Episode 5 - Brad Morisoli
Marine and Avilla learn so much from Granada alumnus class of '73, former track and football coach, and adaptive PE teacher Brad Morisoli. We talk about his first career in electrical and construction, working on many of the major bridges in the Bay Area and his life-long passion for teaching, which pushed him to go back to college to his degree and his credential. Listen in to hear more about Brad's amazing morning routine and the wealth of knowledge about Granada's history.
Episode 4 - Katy Johnson
Marine and Avilla have a fun and engaging conversation with Granada alumnus class of 2016, cheerleader, pole vaulter, former student of Mr. Marine's, and now Granada math teacher herself, Katy Johnson. We learn about Katy's life-long passion of teaching going back all the way to being a young kid and asking for a student desk and a legitimate white board from her parents for christmas. Katy discusses some challenges she had in her early years of college and how that has guided her and given purpose to her life and teaching. Listen in to hear more about Katy's journey and her total disdain for wind.
Episode 3 - Aimee Wingen
Marine and Avilla sit down with Granada alumnus class of 2004, star baker, and owner of Wingen Bakery in downtown Livermore, Aimee Wingen. We cover all the events leading up to the bakery opening as well as hear some great advice from Aimee about finding your way in life. Listen in to learn more about Aimee's journey growing up, finding her passion, and dancing and listening to E-40 in the student parking lot.
Episode 2 - Greg Gomes
Marine and Avilla have an enlightening and uplifting conversation with former coach, teacher, and administrator Mr. Gomes. We cover great coaching memories over Mr. Gomes's career as well as hear some great pieces of advice about life. Gomes also expounds on some light-hearted shenanigans he got into with Mr. Conover and Mr. Hahn in the early 2000s. Listen in to learn more about the smooth-voiced Granada legend.
Episode 1 - Clark Conover
Marine and Avilla sit down with current Granada Vice Principal Clark Conover. We find out some interesting facts about his school attendance as a student as well as hear some great stories about Granada's past. Listen in to learn more about this Livermore legend.
Mr. Marine and Mr. Avilla welcome listeners to the show. They explain how the show will be run and formatted as well as discuss and preview their first guest--Mr. Gomes