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Laguna Beach High School Scholarship Foundation held 2018 Emeritus Event

The Laguna Beach High School Scholarship Foundation recently held their Third Annual Emeritus event to honor those persons who have made significant service contributions to the mission of the foundation.

Laguna Beach High award

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Emeritus Award Honoree Lee Kucera presented by Marsha Aronoff

Among this year’s honorees was Lee Kucera, who served as Foundation President from 2001-2003 and worked as a board member until 2014. Lee is a retired teacher and currently serves as a national grader for Advance Placement math examinations and teaches at UCI.

Also honored, Jan Fritsen was hired in 1968 as a counselor at Laguna Beach High School. Jan took it upon herself to expand the scholarship awards from the handful that existed in the 1960s to help create the long list and variety of awards that we see today in our scholarship foundation.

Alex Alpert was honored (in memoriam) as a local resident with no children in the school system who joined the foundation in 1988. She was an active member for ten years and worked hard to expand the college scholarships available to students. 

Victoria Strombom, a local realtor with Surterre Properties, has been a director since 2011 and was honored for her work with a number of scholarships and increasing the rporation and in 2018 awarded $429,763 in 340 scholarships to 140 deserving graduating seniors from funds provided by 139 sponsors. 

To help create an award, add to the existing grants or help the foundation – contact Lynn Gregory, Scholarship and Financial Aid Specialist at (949) 497-7750 ext. 1212.


LBHS Football pulls off another big road win, defeats Marina 21-18

LBHS Football secured another big road win on Friday, defeating Marina High School, a school more than double its size, 21-18. With the win, the Breakers improve to 5-1 on the season (their only loss was to defending CIF champion Big Bear).

Big win this week over Marina! Sean Nolan was unstoppable scoring all 3 TDs and picking off an interception,” wrote a fan to Stu News after the game. “Andrew Johnson was on fire connecting with 8 different receivers. Jack Piggot had a crucial interception in our own endzone. Our defense held tight adjusting to Marina’s hurry-up offense. Shane Lythgoe kept pressure on the QB all night. Dominating the defensive line, Caleb Mostajo had 6 sacks helping our Breakers walk away with a 21-18 victory.”

LBHS Football pulls off Nolan

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Photos by Luna Tarazi

Sean Nolan helped lead the Breakers to victory with 3 TDs 

Nolan moves up to 4th all-time on receiving TDs with 10 (the school record is 19), while Johnson, who threw for 230 yards total and earned a QB rating of 144.0 on the game, moved up into 5th all-time for TD passes in a season with 19 (the school record is 260).

LBHS Football pulls Lythgoe

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Shane Lythgoe is tough on both sides of the field for the Breakers

This Friday the Breakers will host Rio Hondo Prep (4-1) in an exciting matchup at home for Homecoming. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.


PTA to host School Board candidates’ forum

If you are interested in who decides policy for our local public schools, come hear from all six candidates running for three open seats on the Laguna Beach Unified School Board at a public forum on Thursday, Oct 4, from 7 - 8:30 p.m. at the Laguna Beach High School Artists’ Theatre, 625 Park Ave.

This impartial and nonpartisan candidates’ forum is presented by the Laguna Beach Unified Council of PTAs in cooperation with the League of Women Voters of Orange Coast. The forum will be moderated by Gisela Meier from the League’s Central Orange County Area Chapter. Doors will open at 6 p.m. to begin accepting written questions from the audience.

The format will feature opening and closing remarks from each candidate, with questions asked by the moderator. All candidates have agreed to participate – Dee Namba Perry, James J. Kelly, Carol Normandin, Mark Nelson, Christine De Bretteville, and Howard Hills.

PTA is the nation’s oldest and most respected all-volunteer organization advocating on behalf of children, youth, and families. It is nonpartisan, noncommercial, and nonsectarian. The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. 

Editor’s note: candidates are listed in ballot order as determined by the Secretary of State’s randomized alphabet drawing.


LBHS Boys Water Polo wants to know if you’ve been “Flocked”

Have you been “Flocked?” Perhaps you’ve spotted these persnickety pink polo birds roosting on lawns throughout Laguna Beach over the past several weeks. They’ve been sent in an effort to raise funds for the Laguna Beach High School Boys Water Polo team.

LBHS Boys Water flamingo

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These pink flamingos were delivered to residents’ lawns to engage with the community and raise funds for the season

If you were one of the lucky residents whose lawn was a temporary roosting spot, the LBHS Boys Water Polo team would love for you to share with them on social media. You can find the team on Twitter @LBBoysPolo, Facebook @LBHSBoysWaterPolo and Instagram @lbhs_boys_waterpolo. Use the hashtag #ivebeenflocked and post a photo on your wall if you have one. LBHS Boys Water Polo thanks the community for your support. Go Breakers!


LBHS prompts 200 students to join voter rolls

LBHS has more than 200 students joining the ranks of newly registered voters-to-be thanks to the efforts of 12th grade social studies teachers Mark Alvarez and Jonathan Todd in promoting civic engagement.

Each year, PTA provides voter registration packets to high school seniors in their LBHS US Government/Economics classes to educate students about their rights and responsibilities when they turn 18 and encourage them to register or pre-register to vote (students who are 16 or 17 years old may pre-register and then vote when they turn 18). 

The teachers incorporate the information into their lessons and offer extra credit to students who register or pre-register to vote. The process prompts in-class discussions of civic engagement and upcoming elections, and gets the students thinking about the adult world they will enter after graduation. 

LBHS prompts students

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LBHS proudly registered more than 200 students to vote

“It was pretty easy to register,” said high school senior Drake Fay. “The ‘When You Turn 18’ guide has some really interesting and useful things in it.” The guide is published by the California Bar Association.

To help develop good citizens, the teachers incorporate civics education into what they teach students every day. “After studying the Constitution, registering to vote reinforced the principle that our government is truly ‘for the people’ and ‘by the people’,” said Todd. 

“Students are excited to get out there and vote in this next election,” said Alvarez. “We have been learning that at its heart economics is the study of decision making. What better lesson than for students to see firsthand how they can make a difference and that their choices matter.”


Laguna Beach PTA Coffee Talk presents New Families Welcome Tea

On Wednesday, Oct 3, families that are new to LBUSD are invited to attend PTA Coffee Talk’s “New Families Welcome Tea” at The Old House Garden Cafe from 8:30 -10:15 a.m. Longtime residents are welcome to join in to help welcome the new families into the community. 

Laguna Beach PTA Playground

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Longtime residents are invited to welcome new families into the district and our wonderful community

This is a chance for new parents to meet other families that are also new to the district. Parents will get to know more about the schools are our charming town. Light refreshments will be served.

To reserve a free seat to the Coffee Talk, visit www.ptacoffeetalk.org

Old House Garden Cafe is located at 320 North Coast Hwy.


LBHS Football continues its winning ways, dominates Estancia 41-6

LBHS Football earned its first road win on Friday, dominating Estancia High School 41-6. The win marks the third straight victory by the Breakers over the Eagles.

“Fun game last night against Estancia!” wrote a fan to Stu News on Saturday. “We had 9 different receivers with receptions, three running backs with carries, special teams looked outstanding and five different players scored TDs. The depth of talent this year is creating a real challenge for the opposing defense to zero in on a single target. The coaches are thrilled with the versatility of this year’s team. Time to prepare to for Marina next week!”

LBHS O line

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The Breakers’ O-line has been crushing the competition this season

Quarterback Andrew “AJ” Johnson was lights out again for the Breakers, throwing for 314 yards on 26-39 passing with 3 TDs – including 112 yards and 1 TD to Sean Nolan – earning him a 149.4 QB rating. (The highest possible QB rating is 158.3.)

Shane Lythgoe rushed for 101 yards, scoring one of the Breakers’ 5 TDs.

LBHS Sean Nolan

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Sean Nolan is breaking all-time records this season for LBHS

Milestones on the game included Nolan moving into a tie for #2 on LBHS’ all-time career catches record list with 117, tying Eric Fegraus (1989-91). Nolan is also 4th in career yards for the Breakers, and 2nd in career TD catches.

This week, LBHS Football takes on Marina (2-4) in another away game on Friday, Sept 28, at Westminster High School. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.


LBHS Boys Water Polo finished strong in weekend tournament, will play re-match against rival CdM tomorrow

LBHS Boys Water Polo participated in the South Coast Water Polo Tournament in Newport Beach this past weekend. The Breakers competed in some very high-level matches against powerhouses Newport Harbor and La Jolla’s The Bishop’s School.

LBHS Boys Water ball

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Marshall Eichenauer III scored four goals to beat Huntington Beach on Saturday

Marshall Eichenauer III scored four goals in Saturday’s victory over Huntington Beach, 13-11, which earned the team a strong 9th place finish in the tourney (its best finish since 2010) and its first win over HB since 2008.

James Nolan and Zach Cord each scored three goals for the Breakers (8-6), while Colton Gregory had two goals and three assists. Will Clark had a goal and four assists, while Caden Capobianco made eight saves.

Laguna Beach also beat Corona del Mar 11-10 in overtime in a ninth-place semifinal earlier Saturday. Freshman Logan McCarroll scored the game-winning goal on a penalty shot and led the team with three goals. Gregory and Clark each scored twice, and Capobianco had 10 saves and five steals.

The Breakers return to Surf League play on Wednesday at Newport Harbor in a re-match against Corona del Mar at 7:30 p.m.


PTA to host School Board candidates’ forum

If you are interested in who decides policy for our local public schools, come hear from all five candidates running for three open seats on the Laguna Beach Unified School Board at a public forum on Thursday, Oct 4, from 7 - 8:30 p.m. at the Laguna Beach High School Artists’ Theatre, 625 Park Ave.

This impartial and nonpartisan candidates’ forum is presented by the Laguna Beach Unified Council of PTAs in cooperation with the League of Women Voters of Orange Coast. The forum will be moderated by Gisela Meier from the League’s Central Orange County Area Chapter. Doors will open at 6 p.m. to begin accepting written questions from the audience.

The format will feature opening and closing remarks from each candidate, with questions asked by the moderator. All candidates have agreed to participate – Dee Namba Perry, James J. Kelly, Carol Normandin, Mark Nelson, and Christine De Bretteville.

PTA is the nation’s oldest and most respected all-volunteer organization advocating on behalf of children, youth, and families. It is nonpartisan, noncommercial, and nonsectarian. The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. 

Editor’s note: candidates are listed in ballot order as determined by the Secretary of State’s randomized alphabet drawing.


LBUSD to consider action on changes to 2019-2020 & 2020-2021 student calendars tonight at 6 p.m.

By SUZIE HARRISON

LBUSD’s Board will be holding an open session meeting for the public tonight, Tuesday, Sept 25, at 6 p.m. in the District Office Board room at 550 Blumont Street.

“The Board will consider action on the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 student instructional calendars,” said LBUSD Assistant Superintendent Leisa Winston. “Updated information regarding the student instructional calendars continues to be available on the district website.”

At issue is the start date of the school year, plus Thanksgiving and winter break schedules, and non-student days. The proposed change in the school year features a start date before Labor Day and a first semester end date before the winter break.

The Calendar Committee’s original recommendation for 2019-2020 included starting on Aug 21, 2019 with 180 school days, a week off at Thanksgiving, three district-wide non-student days, one and a half weeks earlier start date (two-plus weeks in subsequent years), finals ending before winter break, and the school year ending earlier in June.

The key issue is to end the fall semester at winter break, so students and families can enjoy the break with no homework being assigned.

“The number one priority was to have the semester break before the winter break. That emerged as the number one issue that was going to benefit students and their families the most,” Board President Jan Vickers said.

These recommendations were subsequently revised to include Board recommendations.

The revised calendar includes a start date of Aug 26, 2019, Thanksgiving week the same as the current calendar (Monday and Tuesday are school days), first semester ending at winter break, and two non-student days.

“We all on the Board want to do what’s best for the kids. We’re just trying to figure out what that is and sometimes we don’t know, and the parents don’t know themselves. We are all just trying to figure it out,” Board member Dee Perry said. “So I would like to see a calendar that’s more of a compromise.”

LBUSD front

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

The Board will consider action on the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 student instructional calendars at tonight’s LBUSD Board meeting

For the calendar year 2020-2021, the committee presented two revised versions based on Board recommendations, A and B: 

Version A – The school start date would be Aug 24, 2020. Thanksgiving week remains the same (Monday and Tuesday are school days), first semester ends on Friday, Dec 18, there are two non-student days, and the end of school year is on June 10. 

Version B – The school start date would be Aug 26, 2020. Thanksgiving week remains the same, the end of the first semester is on Tuesday, Dec 22, there are two non-student days (January 4, March 12), and the end of the school year is on June 10. 

Board President Jan Vickers listed many benefits that will be brought about by the change in calendar, which included:

--Reorganizing semesters so that the first semester ends at winter break (with 80 days backward from winter break) will positively affect 1,800 students at Thurston and LBHS. Students will finish the semester, they will have two weeks off, and the Board will make sure there is a policy that no homework is given during that time. Students will have a mental health break.

--Students will end the school year earlier, which will allow them to access many

opportunities in June, including college orientations, which tend to be the month of June. Students will have more instructional days prior to high stakes testing and fewer classes after testing and less filler instruction.

According to LBUSD Board communications, the Board has allowed this process to be long and involved to allow more discussion and to gather more input from the community. Changes have been made to the proposed calendars based on parent and community input. 

LBUSD football field

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

The gorgeous views overlooking LBHS and the City are peaceful in contrast to the heated emotions regarding proposed school calendar changes

As explained on the LBUSD website, at the direction of the Laguna Beach Unified School District Board of Education, district administration, staff, and stakeholders began the process of evaluating the current instructional year calendar to assess opportunities for improvement. 

On April 12, a Board Study Session was held to present a recommendation to restructure the student instructional year in 2019-20 and gather initial public input. 

At the conclusion of the study session, the school board provided administration with direction to provide a FAQ and comments from the study session, survey all parents and staff in addition to students in grades 8-12, have additional discussion with elected school site council representatives, and obtain additional data from the City of Laguna Beach and local art festivals. 

The survey was conducted by Hanover Research in May and received 2,105 responses. The Board reviewed the survey data at a special Board meeting on June 19 and directed staff to develop revisions to the committee’s recommendation for information only at the July 17 regular Board meeting. The Board reviewed and discussed revisions to the Committee’s proposed calendars at the meetings on July 17 and August 21. The Board directed staff to bring calendars for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years to the Board for action at the Sept 25 Board meeting.

Tonight’s Board meeting is open to the public. It will all be broadcast live at www.lbusd.org/page.cfm?p=981.

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