How We Started
Team 79 Krunch, originally named the Navigators, is one of the oldest FIRST robotics teams in the Tampa Bay area, it was established at East Lake High School in 1998 by Ms. Kathryn Phebus and Ms. Joyce Svabek. In 2002, the team continued its success under the leadership of Mr. Paul Wahnish, founder of Career Technical Education Foundation (CTEF) and founder of the Academy of Engineering at East Lake High School and Middle School. In 2015, the team was handed over to Ms. Taycora Canfield and continued to influence the community through STEM principles and values. As of 2019, Team 79 Krunch is currently under the leadership of Coach Todd Brooks, eager and excited for the next years to come. Over the years, Krunch has hosted various FIRST and community activities, including Lego League tournaments, STEM summer camps, an off-season competition, and assisted in Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
Ms. Kathryn Phebus and Ms. Joyce Svabek
In 1998 both Ms. Phebus and Ms. Svabek established Team 79 Krunch at East Lake High School. Founding teachers at ELHS, both Ms. Phebus and Ms. Svabek started teaching in 1989. Ms. Phebus taught various science classes including physics while Ms. Svabek was the math department head. They both had a large amount of teaching experience with Ms. Svabek being an educator for more than 50 years and Ms. Phebus for almost 38 years. Team 79 Krunch extends a thanks to both Ms. Phebus and Ms. Svabek for all they have done for the students and the team.
Mr. Paul Wahnish
In 2002 Mr. Wahnish took on the role of being the head coach for Team 79 Krunch. For almost 13 years, he lead Team 79 Krunch into victory while accomplishing many other projects on his own. In 2001, Mr. Wahnish became a substitute teacher at East Lake High School and then later became an official teacher in 2002. While leading Team 79 Krunch into various activities and competitions, he started the Academy of Engineering in 2006. Mr. Wahnish also founded the Career and Technical Foundation, Inc. (CTEF), setting an example for nationwide engineering companies, students and robotics teams.
Ms. Taycora Canfield
Ms. Taycora Canfield was handed the role of head coach for Team 79 Krunch in 2015. She lead and mentored the team from 2015-2019. Ms. Canfield started teaching at East Lake High School in 2014 as an English teacher. When she came to East Lake, she began helping Krunch under the leadership of Mr. Wahnish and later took over the team the following year. Ms. Canfield helped Team 79 Krunch win various awards including the Team Spirit award and an overall Regional Award. On the team, her expertise included marketing and community outreach as well as a well-rounded passion for the team.