The Signal
Serving Los Angeles County

December 21, 2001

‘Retro Bill’ Rewards Students

Retro Bill rewards Canyon Students with Magic Mountain passes


    Remember when you were a kid and your mom and dad told you that “Good Guys Win” or “If you study hard and stay out of trouble you’ll be rewarded.” 

"Retro Bill" gives a thumbs up, alongside Juvenal Camacho (center left), Salvador Rodriguez, and Canyon Principal Vicki Engbrecht, as students receives their free Magic Mountain passes as part of the “Retro Bill Rewards Program.”

        Well, in an ever-changing and sometimes confusing world, one person is trying to keep “those values” alive in the hearts and minds of our children.  Retro Bill (performed by actor, director, writer, producer Bill Russ) arrived at Canyon High on Friday, Dec. 7th, in order to reward a few students whose lives and good deeds may act as an inspiration to others.  Retro Bill gifted Canyon High students Salvador Rodriguez and Juvenal Camacho with free tickets to Six Flags Magic Mountain in order to show his appreciation to these students who are making a positive who are making a positive change in their own lives and or are having a positive effect on the lives of others.  “I want to do whatever I can to help motivate America’s children to know that good does win, and that studying hard and staying out of trouble pays somehow, someway in your life,” said Russ in an encouraging tone.

Retro Bill gives students autographs.
He added, “My hope is that as I continue to travel the country teaching children safety and self-esteem that parents will be able to point to my “RETRO BILL REWARDS PROGRAM” (like the one here at Canyon High) in their local paper or on TV and say to their children, “See, Good does pay!”  Rodriguez recently moved to Santa Clarita from Mexico in order to learn to speak English.  He plans a career in business administration.  While learning a new language has proved to be a challenge, Rodriguez has maintained good grades while holding down a job.  In fact, Rodriguez had to pass his Magic Mountain tickets along to his brothers because of work.  When Retro Bill heard that, he gave Rodriguez a couple of big bills in cash to make up for having to miss out on Magic Mountain.  

    Canyon English teacher Katrina Bonner said Rodriguez is an outstanding student. “Salvador is a second-language learner and he takes great care to turn in his completed homework consistently.  He asks for extra credit so that he can learn quickly.  He is an exceptional role model for other students and takes his learning very seriously,” Bonner said. 

   Camacho was considered to be a difficult student, but with the help of his brother and teachers has gone on to be a model student.  Canyon teacher Daniel Kingery said Camacho has come a long way from the student he was last year.  “As a freshman he had numerous problems, but with this year he has seen great growth, mostly in the area of responsibility,” Kingery said.  “Juvenal has become one of the best-behaved and helpful students in all of my classes.  He completes all of his assignments and studies for all of his tests and he has a current GPA of 3.8 – if anyone deserves to be recognized for hard work and effort in the area of responsibility, it’s Juvenal Camacho,” Kingery added.

Camacho said he had fallen into hanging out with the wrong crowd and did drugs just to be cool.  At one point in his life, he decided the he just didn’t want to do drugs anymore.  He also made the decision to do well in school and to let his friends know that they had to accept him as he was.  Camacho credited his brother and his church for helping him to stay on the path he chose for himself.  Retro Bill is the National DARE Safety Buddy and stars in the Award-Winning “DARE Safety Tips Video starring Retro Bill,” which Russ wrote, produced and directed then donated to the National DARE program. 
Retro Bill finds a photo of Camacho and Rodriguez on the Canyon High Bulletein Board of the Cowboys “Making a Difference Program.”  

The video is available to parents and students via and will soon be available at retail and video stores nationwide. “I congratulate these students here today for their hard work and good deeds and hope that they are encouraged to stay on the right track.  And someday, I hope that like me, they will pass on encouragement to others,” Russ said.

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