Laguna Beach

 Volume 14, Issue 52  |  July 1, 2022

Woman’s Club of Laguna Beach honors Dee Perry as 2022 Woman of the Year


On Friday, June 17, members of the Woman’s Club, community members, friends and family honored Dee Perry as Woman of the Year for 2022. Since 1995, the Woman’s Club has annually celebrated a local woman for her consistent community volunteer service.

woman's club iseman

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Photos by Nancy Villere, Crush Photo Studios

Laguna Beach Councilwoman Toni Iseman with proclamation for Dee Perry

The City Council was represented by councilmembers Toni Iseman and George Weiss. Some of those in attendance were Ann Christoph, Barbara Crane, Cheryl Kinsman, Deborah and Cody Engle, Gail Landau, Nadia Babayl, Stephany Skenderian, Renae Hinchey and Katie Burton-Gray.

Woman's club dee

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Dee Perry, 2022 Woman of the Year

For more than 40 years, Perry has fearlessly advocated for students and parents of the Laguna Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) from both inside and outside the classroom. She was an elementary school teacher at Top of the World and El Morro. Perry also worked as a special education teacher and speech pathologist and pushed to improve services for students in the English as a Second Language Program.

woman's club husband

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Jim Perry, her husband of 26 years, described Perry 

as courageous

In college, she worked at a home for foster kids and at 23, she and her then husband opened their home to two foster children, 8 and 11-year-old sisters. Soon after, Perry had her own child, Corey. After a divorce, she became a single mother of three and was seemingly undaunted by the task. 

During her tenure on the LBUSD boards, Stu News named her “Newsmaker of the Year” for the number of times her name appeared in the online publication in articles about her legal actions against the school board.

woman's club corey

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Perry’s son Corey Namba 

Perry is the president of the College and Career Advantage boards that serve more than 17,000 students from both the Capistrano Unified School District and LBUSD. She is actively involved in the arts, giving hundreds of tours for the Laguna Art Museum, serving both on the Crystal Cove Art Council and as a community development panelist for art grants for the State of California Arts Council. She is an advocate for and volunteer at our local school gardens and at San Joaquin Marsh & Wildlife Sanctuary and is a member of the Laguna Beach Garden Club and a board member of the Woman’s Club.

woman's club hula

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Perry and Hilde Pedersen Otterholdt hula to a ukulele tune by Brian Opengaard

Tributes were also made by teaching colleague Tamara Wong, lifelong friend Howard Hill, and friend and luncheon co-chair Jane Leary. 

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Perry’s brother, Kane St. John

Because of Perry’s interest in hula dancing, the Woman’s Club was tropically decked out in a Hawaiian theme, including table floral arrangements by Joyce’s Flowers and stage flowers by Ruben Flores. Attendees were treated to a lovely luncheon by Produce Catering & Design. 

woman's club award

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President of the Woman’s Club Kitty Malcolm presents Perry with “Woman of the Year” award

Throughout the ceremony, Perry was described as a role model, inspirational, someone with a heart of gold, and by Howard Hills as part of the extraordinary population of women in Laguna Beach who have always been remarkable. 

The main consensus regarding Perry seemed to be a quote from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, “Though she be but little, she is fierce.”

As the awards ceremony came to an end, Perry joined the ranks of the other 26 “Woman’s Club Woman of the Year” recipients.

For more information about the Woman’s Club, visit The Woman’s Club is located at 286 St. Ann’s Drive, Laguna Beach.


Shaena Stabler, President & CEO -

Lana Johnson, Editor -

Tom Johnson, Publisher -

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Marrie Stone, Sara Hall, Suzie Harrison and Theresa Keegan are our writers and/or columnists.

In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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