Four facilities at Paso Robles High School will be named for local honorees on June 7

PASO ROBLES — On Tuesday, June 7, at 5 p.m., the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District (PRJUSD) will honor four of its own with facilities dedicated in their name. The event will begin with a short presentation, including a speaker for each honoree, sharing the life and careers of Randy Canaday, Don Parish, Bertha Phillips, and William F. Stroud Jr.

The public is invited to join the district’s Board of Trustees, administration, staff, friends, and families at the Paso Robles High School (PRHS) Performing Arts Center for a short program and a self-guided tour of the newly dedicated facilities. The honorees are:

Randy Canaday was an electrician for many years before he decided to lead the trades classes at PRHS. He has influenced and changed the lives of hundreds of students, with between 150 and 200 completing the pathway in his time at PRHS and around 20 percent of them starting careers in the trades after high school. He not only taught students the various trades and skills in construction but taught them many key personality traits that would lead them to be successful no matter what their future career choices might be.

Canaday changed the involvement of SkillsUSA for PRHS and led over 30 students to win state championships and compete on the national level. During his time at PRHS, his students in electrical construction wiring won 18 total state championships in 19 years. He also had aides from other trades come in to instruct the students competing in the plumbing and cabinet-making competition, which led PRHS to dominate in those fields of competition. The impact Randy has had on this district and community will last for generations.

The Building Trades and Construction Classrooms 601-602 will be named for Randy Canaday.

Don Edward Parish attended elementary, middle school, and PRHS. He was active in high school functions as a student, athlete, sports letterman, and in student government. He played football, basketball, and baseball and was one of the school’s top student-athletes. Don graduated from PRHS and was an inductee to the school’s Hall of Fame.

Parish attended Stanford University, receiving scholarships while completing a dual major in history and math. His football awards and accolades are numerous, resulting in his induction to the Stanford Hall of Fame.

Don was drafted into the National Football League and played professionally for the St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, and Denver Broncos. 

The PRHS field will be named for Don Edward Parish.

Bertha Phillips arrived in Paso Robles in 1969 after accepting the librarian position at PRHS offered by Superintendent Dr. Bill James. Her career as a librarian spanned 42 years, 39 of which were spent at PRHS. Phillips retired in 2008. 

When technology became mainstream, it was Phillips who became the site technology mentor, managing all the technology for the campus. She wrote and applied for many grants to get funding for the library. One grant she was particularly proud of was for 35 computers for the new computer lab that was located adjacent to the library. This grant was instrumental in giving PRHS students access to the world of technology.

The PRHS Library will be named for Bertha Phillips.

William Fred Stroud Jr. taught welding, general shop, auto, and work experience at PRHS for 34 years from 1961-95. He also taught Cuesta College welding at PRHS for 31 years, 1988-2009, and started the work experience program at PRHS.

Stroud started getting students interested and competing through 4-H and FFA in welding competitions at the SLO County Fair (now the California Mid-State Fair), starting with coupon welds and moving to barbecue pits, trailers, iron furniture, wine bottle stands, and more. Today this is a Mid-State Fair event where the students sell their projects in an auction.

He placed many students with local businesses who needed welders, including Nunno Construction, San Luis Tank & Steel, Wood’s Welding Shop, Hank’s Welding, PR Welding, and had many students take their skills and go work out in the oil fields for Texaco and Chevron.

Stroud also had an extensive coaching career at PRHS from 1961 into the 1990s in basketball, football, baseball, and softball.

The PRHS welding building will be named for William Fred Stroud Jr.

The entire Paso Robles Bearcat Community is proud to honor the contributions of these four individuals.