LBUSD Teacher (Mark Dressler) and Classified Employee of the Year (Donna Todd) honored

Mark Dressler Photo Donna Todd Photo

Mark Dressler                                      Donna Todd

Amidst a standing ovation and rousing applause, the 2010-11 LBUSD Teacher of the Year, Mark Dressler and 2009-10 Classified Employee of the Year, Donna Todd were honored at the recent annual LBUSD Welcome Back Breakfast.

Ms. Todd, who is the high school’s Registrar, is an inspirational, unassuming leader who routinely takes the initiative to discover innovative methods to improve education. She is a gifted problem solver and LBHS Principal Don Austin elaborates about her key contribution to the team, “Donna Todd is an excellent representative of all Laguna Beach classified employees. She is respected by her peers, our students, and the community. Donna treats every student like they are her own children. She follows through on every request with a smile and her best effort. We could not be more proud of anyone than our Classified Employee of the Year, Donna Todd.”

LBUSD Board of Education President Ketta Brown agrees, “If you have ever had a student at LBHS, you know Donna. She is the kind face and calming voice that assures parents and students that all will be well. She is completely dedicated to making sure each student has what he or she needs to succeed at the next level. She is truly a gem!”

Ms. Todd, who has been with the District’s high school team for ten years and as the Registrar for the past six, shares her enthusiasm for her position, “I have a great job! I get to do interesting work in a beautiful environment with lots of my favorite people and pretty cool kids!”

Mark Dressler has been the Thurston Middle School and Laguna Beach High School Drama teacher since 1990. Under his dynamic, talented tutelage his students have won thousands of awards and his commitment to excellence is evident in every aspect of his teaching.

TMS Principal Joanne Culverhouse describes his amazing work ethic: “Mark Dressler is a passionate and dedicated educator in his twenty-first year as the drama teacher in Laguna. He is gifted and has the ability to recognize the individual talents of all kids. He gives kids the opportunity to shine on stage or behind the curtain in the tech room. When kids shine on stage, their self-esteem and confidence shine. He is a gift to our schools and community.”

Board President Brown concurs, “There is truly no need to go to LA or even the Performing Arts Center when you can just drive down the hill and see what amazing performances Mark has inspired from our local pool of students! He has an uncanny ability to see the potential in our teenagers and tap into a core that produces divine results.”

Dressler shares his LBUSD experience, “As I begin my twenty-first year in this school district, I feel I have been doubled down by good fortune to be both a teacher and parent in Laguna Beach. It is most gratifying to be part of this excellent educational community with all four schools fielding caring teaching staffs who want nothing less than the best for their students, administration and school board that has been fantastically supportive, and a community that understands the importance of the performing arts in public schools.”

Dressler was also selected as an Orange County Department of Education 2010-11 Teacher of the Year Semi-finalist.

LBHS 2010-2011 Varsity scoreboard

Sept 20

Boys Water Polo: 4-3After two easy wins over San Marcos and Great Oak in the Riverside Poly Tournament Thursday, the Breakers lost a tough match against Agoura, 10-9, on Friday. On Saturday Laguna beat Royal, 14-8, and Los Osos, 18-6, to take fifth place in the tournament.

Erik Henderson’s stinginess in goal for Laguna was stalwart and helped get the fifth place finish. Nolan McConnell, Tyler Mancusso and Spencer Dodson were the offensive leaders.

Football: 0-2 – The lack of a running game made it difficult for Laguna to win last Friday at Ocean View and the home team took advantage, 36-14. The Breakers finished the game with minus-25 yards on the ground and 313 passing.

Laguna QB Austin Paxson had two TD passes to put Laguna ahead, 14-0, after the first quarter. He connected with Derek Reigel for 22 yards and his favorite target, Chris Paul, from 19 yards out.

The Sea Hawks received a couple of gifts via Paxson picks and advantageous penalties to take the lead into the break at 21-14.

Paxson was injured before the half and sophomore Larry Stewart took over at quarterback. After overcoming early jitters, he settled in and completed 8-of-14 passes for 90 yards and one interception that was returned for a Sea Hawk touchdown.

Girls Golf: 6-1, 5-1 – Taylor Weiss shot a plus-5 against Westminster on Monday as Laguna won easily, 221-281. Weiss has shown improvement each round so far this season as the Breakers seek to hold onto their 2009 Goldenwest League crown.

Girls Tennis: 0-2

Girls Volleyball: 4-2 – After taking Marina and Santa Margarita, 2-0 and 2-0 to open the Dave Mohs Memorial Tournament in Huntington Beach on Friday. Laguna continued winning Saturday beating El Dorado, 2-1 and Huntington Beach, 2-0. Los Alamitos ended the run with a 2-1 win.

LBHS finished the weekend play with the fifth place trophy in this annual tournament that matched the very best CIF-SS volleyball squads.

Polls: The Football team is no longer ranked in the CIF Southern Division rankings this week. Girls Tennis and  Boys Waterpolo are #10 in OC and Girls Volleyball moved up to the #5 spot OC

LBUSD leaders met with U.S. Secretary of Ed Duncan

LBUSD photo

Submitted photo by LBUSD

(Left to right) U. S. Deputy Secretary of Education Tony Miller, LBUSD Board of Education Clerk Theresa O’Hare, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, LBUSD Board of Education Member Betsy Jenkins, LBUSD Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services Nancy Hubbell, LBUSD Superintendent of Schools Sherine Smith

Last Friday, members of the LBUSD Board of Education and District leaders had the opportunity to meet briefly with U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education, Tony Miller who were in Laguna Beach for the Black Corporate Directors Conference.

The LBUSD team shared details about the success of Professional Learning Communities (PLC) in Laguna Beach schools. The PLC is a hallmark of educational excellence in the District and demonstrates the District’s long-standing commitment to continuous improvement.

LBUSD Board of Education Clerk Theresa O’Hare described the meeting, “This was an excellent opportunity for Laguna Beach education leaders to meet with the nation’s top education official and better understand the policies that President Obama’s administration is pursuing. Secretary Duncan also welcomed the chance to learn more about our achievements in Laguna Beach schools, including the successful deployment of PLCs, where our teachers collaborate and share best practices and lessons learned in their classrooms.”

Implemented by LBUSD five years ago, the PLC model is a research-based practice essential to student success. PLCs provide collaboration time for teachers, support staff, and administrators to focus on improving student learning. By providing schools with both the time and opportunity to research best practices, question, share, and collaborate, the District has enhanced and extended a rich educational program that builds students’ academic skills and provides targeted support for students with learning gaps.

One of the significant, measurable outcomes of the District’s PLC commitment is student test scores. Laguna Beach schools have exemplary test scores. The LBUSD team shared specifics at the meeting. Board of Education Member Betsy Jenkins explained, “I felt we were able to help Mr. Duncan see, through concrete examples, how teachers collaborating through their Professional Learning Communities can help students to raise their test scores dramatically, while still teaching to the whole child.”

Laguna Beach Unified School District posted a score of 894 this year, a remarkable increase of 20 points.

Superintendent Sherine Smith concluded, “Nationally, the Laguna Beach Unified School District has been on the forefront of implementing collaboration time to ensure high levels of student learning. You can see the results in the year-over-year student achievement growth. Our School Board members understood the importance of the research on PLCs from the very beginning and were willing to devote the time and resources needed to provide an outstanding educational program. We are grateful that our community understands and supports our efforts.”

LBHS 2010-2011 Varsity scoreboard

Sept 17

Boys Water Polo: 2-1The Breakers had it easy in the first two games of the Riverside Poly Tournament Thursday beating San Marcos, 24-8, and Great Oak, 19-1. Erik Henderson was in goal for Laguna in both games and made an incredible 18 saves against Great Oak.

Play continues through the weekend.

Football: 0-1 – Northwood was simply too much for Laguna Friday night, 62-27. Breakers turnovers and a dominating running game by the visitors never allowed LBHS to get closer than 13-6 in the first quarter.

Quarterback Austin Paxson completed 17-of-30 with three TDs and 272 yards but was intercepted three times. Travis Clawson caught Paxson’s first TD pass for 14 yards in the first quarter. Chris Paul had a pair of TD receptions – 66 and 37 yards. His 66-yard yard catch came with 2:37 left in the first quarter that ended, 27-13. Robert Clemons ran nine yards for Laguna’s other score.

Running back Norty Penney was injured in the first quarter and has a bruised back. No word yet on his availability for Friday night.

Girls Golf: 5-1, 4-1 – Estancia handed the Breakers their first loss Tuesday at Mesa Linda with a 230-272 win.

The ladies got back on course Wednesday beating Loara, 269-299, at Dad Miller in Anaheim.

Taylor Weiss had the medalist round for the Breakers against Loara.

Girls Tennis: 0-2 - The Breakers lost to Dana Hills, 12-6, on Tuesday. Laguna had success in winning singles, 5-4. Taylor Nederlander swept, 6-3, 6-0, 7-6 and Claire Jaeger went 2-6, 6-0, 7-5.

In doubles, Laguna managed just one set victory.

Girls Volleyball: 0-1 – Newport Harbor had little trouble in sweeping Laguna Tuesday night, 25-21, 25-21, 25-11. Chanel Stewart had 12 kills

Palmer Photo

Photo by Bill Darnall

Allison Palmer (Jr), above, led the team with 30 assists against Newport Harbor. She is the setter for the Breakers this season and marks the sixth year a Palmer has set for the team. Her sister Alexandra, now at Santa Clara, guided Laguna from 2005 thru 2008 including back-to-back section titles in 2006 & 07.

Polls: Despite the one-sided loss to Northwood, the Football team is ranked #8 in the CIF Southern Division rankings this week. Girls Tennis, Boys Waterpolo and Girls Volleyball are #9 in OC. In Cross Country, the Boys are ranked #2 in the CIF D-4 coaches’ poll with the Laguna Girls at #4. The highly successful Girls Golf team isn’t ranked in the OC poll probably on the simple basis that the Goldenwest League isn’t considered to be overly competitive. Thank goodness they still keep score.

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