Party (on) time: Nautilus celebrates students tardy-free students

May 4, 2019

It was “No Tardy Party Time” at Nautilus Elementary School Friday when parents and students gathered for a picnic lunch. The 200-strong gathering was on the school’s playing field during the noon hour. Parents toted in younger siblings, lunches, blankets and camp chairs to celebrate their students’ on-time attendance at school.

Host and Principal Roger Burger thanked parents and students for the effort to be at school on time.

“Let’s celebrate!” he said, kicking off the festivities.

While children played with dozens of balls – beach and otherwise – many curious students investigated a highlight of the party. Sixth-grader Joseph Scaduto brought his junior dragster to the school for a little show-and-tell. Several of his school chums peppered Joseph, 12, with questions about the dragster and his sport.

His mother Terri Scaduto stood nearby, enjoying her son’s patient responses to the kids’ questions.

“He’s been racing three years. This dragster was actually his sister’s. Samantha aged out of it when she turned 18,” she said.

Joseph and his dragster reach a top speed of 75 mph on an 1/8-mile strip. That is the maximum speed for his age class. When he turns 13, the top speed is 85 mph.

The dragster burns about half a tank of fuel per run. The 16-ounce tank is refilled frequently at racing events. The family buys fuel in a 55-gallon drums because Terri is also a drag racer.

“I’ve been racing for about eight years. I grew up at a race track because my dad raced. We mostly race out of Bakersfield now. It’s a sport we enjoy as a family,” Terri said of her children and husband Jack. “Samantha raced, but our other daughter Amanda prefers horses. And Joseph loves racing. He’s good at it, too.”