“Dr.” Frank was the first Dean of Physical Educations and Athletics at Southwestern College.
Frank attended Chula Vista High School from 1956 to 1959. A gifted musician, he was valued member of the Spartan Blue and White Marching band who played at Friday night football games and participated in band contests across the state. He continued his music career as a member of the Marching Aztec Band at San Diego State. In 1963, Frank graduated with a bachelor’s Degree and Life Diplomas in General Elementary School, Junior High School, and General Secondary.
Frank returned to school and earned his Master’s Degree of Education in 1965 and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration in 1974, both from Arizona State University. Always the consummate “educator,” Frank has focused his attention on students. He began by teaching Social Studies at National City Junior High School and then Hilltop Junior High School. After hours, he helped his young students by coaching the 7th and 8th grade basketball teams. His efforts did not go unnoticed. He was nominated for the National City Junior Chamber of Commerce and received the Outstanding Young Educator Award in 1970.
In 1975, Frank left the classroom to become the Dean of Student Activities at the new Southwest High School. In 1977, he accepted the position as Assistant Dean of Student Activates at Southwestern College. A year later he was appointed to the new position of Dean of Physical Education and Athletics. Always a leader, Frank mentored a number of talented faculty member who became Athletic Directors under his tutelage: Carolyn Brady, Bob Mears and Dr. Jun Scopinich. Although the work load was demanding, the coached and personnel he worked with made Frank’s job as dean rewarding, challenging and fun.
Frank’s best memories include the now “infamous” trip to Mexico. Besides not getting any sleep and partying the nights away, he returned to work only to find that the college president has ordered an athletic budget audit to see where Frank has gotten the money to travel with his athletic directors south of the border. No one believed that it was Frank’s thank-you gift from the Mexican government for coordinating an American football game between two Mexican Universities.
Another memory Frank cherishes is remembering all the coaches he has worked with over the years. For Franks, they have always been the unsung heroes in education. He never forgets their efforts in not only helping their student athletes succeed in athletics but also in life. He has always considered it a privileged to provide administrative support for this group of educators who he respects and who give so much for their student athletes.
Over the years, Frank has grown to fully appreciate Southwestern College and the role it plays in the lives of its students. Although a much larger institution now, he will still proudly tell you that the College produces quality graduates and student athletes who make all of us proud.
Dr. Frank Giardina, recognizing your many contributions to the School of Health, Physical Education and Athletics, it is a special honor to induct you into the 2008-2009 Southwestern College Hall of Fame.