by LIZ ONUFER | photos by Spark Photography

Exploring the World

Since 2012, the Paterno-McMahon family has lived in Westwood, drawn to the schools, community, and proximity to activities. In fact, Stephanie and Mike are both alumni of Poway Unified School District. Stephanie graduated from Rancho Bernardo High School in 2000 and Mike went to Poway High School, graduating in 2002.family_paterno1Stephanie went on to earn her degree in business administration at Cal State San Marcos. While in school, she interned at Climatec, a building automation contractor in Poway, where she would eventually meet Mike. Today, Mike is a field installer and Stephanie is an account manager. “Mike installs the jobs that I sell, which makes for a fun family dynamic,” Stephanie said.

The family enjoys participating in the activities around 92127. Their youngest, Annabella, is almost two years old, and will start the parent and me classes at the Westwood Club Preschool in the fall. Owen and Giovanni are active in the Rancho Bernardo Little League (RBLL) program. The RBLL and RB Girls Softball League have been an important part of the Paterno family for many years. Stephanie’s father, Tom Paterno, who passed away suddenly in early 2017, was an active community member and coach with the organizations.

“If your kids ever want to learn about panning for gold, send them his way!”

Stephanie is also involved in promoting babywearing education in San Diego. She began volunteering as a babywearing educator in 2013, teaching parents and caregivers about the options available for baby carriers. Meanwhile, Mike enjoys teaching others about panning for gold. The family has a complete prospecting setup in the backyard. “If your kids ever want to learn about panning for gold, send them his way!” Stephanie said.


Any season of the year, the whole family can often be found camping – winters in the desert and the rest of the year at Mt. Laguna. “We tend to go with large groups, and the kids have an absolute blast exploring the world around them,” Stephanie shared. Exploring in the outdoors is a trait the kids get from their dad, whose favorite activities range from metal detecting and fishing to surfing and mountain biking. “The guy really is a jack of all trades,” she acknowledged.

Closer to home, the kids enjoy the Westwood Club’s summer camp programs and Mike spends time exploring Lake Hodges. Settling down in 92127 has proven to be the perfect fit for the Paterno-McMahon family.

Parents: Stephanie Ginetta Paterno and Michael Patrick McMahon
Children: Owen Lewis McMahon (11), Giovanni Luigi McMahon (5), and Annabella Gaia McMahon (20 months)
Community: Westwood since 1990
Hometowns: Stephanie – Cranford, NJ; Mike – Poway
Occupations: Stephanie – Account Manager; Mike – Field Installer
Pets: Two cats – Fia and Nice Kitty (Yes, he’s really named Nice Kitty!)
Favorite Local Spots: Lake Hodges, Rancho Bernardo Community Park, Rancho Bernardo Inn, and Westwood Club (of course)