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LBHS Boys Golf team wins two out of three matches, improves to 4-1

Last Thursday, March 7, the LBHS Boys Golf team won a non-league match against Ocean View HS at Mile Square Golf Club. Senior Jameson Roller and junior Tai Diggins earned co-medalist honors with scores of 43. The win brought the team’s overall record to 3-0 on the season.

This week, the team played home and away matches against old league rival from the Orange Coast league, Estancia HS. The teams ended up splitting the matches, with each team winning on their home course.   

On Tuesday, March 12, the Breakers played at Mesa Verde Country Club in Costa Mesa, par 36. It is a very nice William Bell designed course with tough green complexes.   

Estancia won this match by the score of 242-226. LBHS only had two players who had seen this course before, and all the player’s scores were higher than normal on the tough course. Chase Gioffredi earned medalist honors for the match with a score of 42. Other player scores for this match were: Aiden Svenson - 46, Andrew Mundy - 51, Trent Ralston - 51, and Tai Diggins - 52.

Laguna Beach Mundy

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Sophomore Andrew Mundy hitting his tee shot on the #1 hole at Mesa Verde Country Club Tuesday

On Wednesday, March 13, the team played on Laguna’s home course at Aliso Viejo Country Club, par 35. The Breakers bounced back nicely, earning a win by the score of 215-224, bringing the team’s overall record for the season to 4-1. Senior co-captain Chase Gioffredi continued with his solid ball striking getting two birdies on the round to earn medalist honors with a two over par score of 37. 

Senior co-captain Gus Morck also played great with one birdie, shooting 40 in only his second round back after recovering from an injury. What really contributed to winning the match, however, were two good scores from the middle of the lineup – senior Jameson Roller with a 43 and junior Tai Diggins with a 45. Senior Kyle Shaw and junior Aiden Svenson both finished with scores of 50. 

“This was our best team performance of the year and a big win for us before moving into the tough Sunset Conference matches beginning next week,” said Coach Sean Quigley.


School board dumps bylaws at contentious meeting

By BARBARA DIAMOND

A majority of the Laguna Beach Board of Education dumped bylaws at a testy meeting Tuesday night, including those that pertained to the annual election of officers and rotation of the presidency.

Recently re-elected board member Dee Perry was the lone opponent of the 4-1 vote that she believes was aimed at her for questioning why she had been blocked from assuming the presidency after serving two years as clerk, a longstanding board tradition, if not a mandate. Veteran board member Jan Vickers is serving her third consecutive term as president, a violation of the now defunct bylaws, according to Perry.

“I think not following our own bylaws is taking away confidence in the community, confidence in the board, confidence in the administration,” said Perry. “I am sad we are doing it this way.”

According to the discarded bylaws, the board was to hold an annual organizational meeting at which one of the members would be elected clerk and one president. After serving one year as clerk, “the elected member may serve one year as president of the Board,” the bylaw reads. “It is the intent that all board members rotate through the sequence of clerk and president.”

Perry was twice bypassed for the presidency.

“It’s a ‘may’ – you have to be nominated and you didn’t nominate yourself,” said board member Carol Normandin, also re-elected in November. “If you wanted to be president you should have nominated yourself.”

Normandin accused Perry of convincing the community that there is a conspiracy against her when in fact she is not equipped to be president, according to Normandin.

“If you want to be president, you have to know how to conduct a meeting,” said Normandin. “You don’t know how to conduct a meeting. You caused this ruckus.”

At this point, board member James Kelly called for a vote.

However, Perry requested time to respond to Normandin’s comments. She said she did not think she had to be nominated because the clerk always became president, which board member Peggy Wolff claimed was not always true.

Perry also said she had offered to serve as Co-President (a non-existent office) with Normandin, who was elected clerk at the December organizational meeting.

Prior to the vote, board watchdog Howard Hills called for a new election of the president, in one of his several appearances at the speaker’s podium.

Normandin’s husband, Ken Parker, said for the record that Hills should stop wasting the board’s time so his wife could get home a half-hour earlier after meetings.

Laguna Beach Republicans President Emil Monda posited that the board preferred expelling Perry, an option not available because she is a duly elected official.

“So you did the next best thing which is to marginalize her and ignore your own rules,” said Monda.

“You are about to take a vote that is going to deny due process in handling the presidency because you don’t like someone.”

Monda and Hills were the only members from the public that spoke in support of Perry.

However, Perry informed the board that she had heard from about 100 people that they are afraid to speak up for fear of retaliation on students.

The District’s attorney said only certain anonymous complaints can be added to the public record and remain anonymous.

Perry said she was approached by many folks who assumed she had been elected president at the December organizational meeting and had to explain to them that the board was not following the bylaws and rotating the terms of the clerk and president so that each member would have a chance.

“The upset is not about me being president; it is about the board not following the bylaws,” said Perry.


LBUSD honors LBHS Girls Water Polo team – CIF Division 1 Champions

LBHS girls team

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Photo courtesy of LBUSD

At the March 12 School Board Meeting, the LBUSD Board of Education recognized the athletic excellence of the Laguna Beach High School Girls Water Polo team. The team finished the CIF Southern Section season with a 29-1 record, beating Corona del Mar for the CIF-SS Division 1 girls water polo championship.


Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach will host 19th Annual Art of Giving Gala at the Montage

Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach is proud to present its 19th Annual Art of Giving Gala, “Under the Sea,” on Saturday, May 11, at Montage Laguna Beach. This is an event you will not want to miss. It is a chance for every female to express her inner Mermaid, and every guy to get just as decked out as the ladies.

Guests will start the evening on the Montage lawn with tasty morsels and signature cocktails. The evening will continue with an elegant dinner and rousing live auction followed by dancing to some live music. 

Boys and Girls hats

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Last year’s derby-themed gala was a major success

The event will raise funds to help the Club reach more young people and to instill integrity, compassion, and respect in them. This promises to be the event of the year, and a chance to generously support the Club and its 4,000 youth and families. 

Proceeds raised at the 19th annual Art of Giving Gala go directly towards empowering children of all ages to reach their full potential, no matter their financial situation. So mark your calendars and join the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach for a good time at the 19th Annual Art of Giving Gala. 

Table sponsorships are available. For more information about the Gala, contact Michelle Fortezzo at (949) 715-7584, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit the Club website at www.bgclagunabeach.org.


LBHS Drama and Park Avenue Players present “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”

Laguna Beach High School Drama and Park Avenue Players return to the Laguna Beach High School Artists Theatre on March 15 at 2:30 p.m. with “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” 

The musical is a reimagining of the Biblical story of Joseph, his father Jacob, 11 brothers, and the coat of many colors. The show will continue on March 16, 22, and 23 at 7 p.m. 

The musical follows preferred son Joseph who, after being sold into slavery by his brothers, ingratiates himself with Egyptian noble Potiphar, but ends up in jail after refusing the amorous advances of Potiphar’s wife. 

LBHS Drama school

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Join LBHS Drama and Park Avenue Players for opening night on March 15

While imprisoned, Joseph discovers his ability to interpret dreams, and he soon finds himself in front of the mighty but troubled, Elvis-inspired, Pharaoh. Joseph’s solution to Egypt’s famine elevates him to Pharaoh’s right-hand man and reunites him with his family.

The company of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” includes more than 50 Laguna Beach High School student cast and crew members and 12 students from El Morro Elementary, Top of the World Elementary, and Thurston Middle School in the children’s choir. 

The musical is directed and choreographed by guest artist Paul Nygro. A veteran performer, Nygro has appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and in productions across the globe. His credits as a producer, director, choreographer, and actor span a range of mediums, including theatre, film, and television.

“Paul’s (Nygro) energy is infectious. He dives into projects with passion, commitment, and creativity,” said Laguna Beach High School and Thurston Middle School Drama Teacher and Director, Alexis Karol. “We are grateful that amidst his many professional commitments in Los Angeles he is willing to share his talent and skill with our Laguna Beach High School students,” she concluded. 

Tickets are on sale now at lbhs.booktix.com. Tickets are $12 for students, $17 for adults, and $22 for premium. 

Laguna Beach High School is located at 625 Park Ave.


LBHS Boys Golf team wins first two matches of 2019 season

The LBHS Boys Golf team is off to a strong start to open its 2019 season, winning its first two matches last week. The team captured it first win on Tuesday, Feb 26, by a score of 223-260, in a non-league match against Ocean View High School at Aliso Viejo Country Club (par 37 – the team played the back nine holes). The team followed up with another victory in a non-league home match on Thursday, Feb 28 against Costa Mesa High School at Ben Brown’s at The Ranch, that one by a score of 197-244.

In Tuesday’s match, Laguna senior co-captain Chase Gioffredi had a good day shooting one over par at 38 and winning match medalist honors. The team was missing its number two and number three players that day, according to Coach Sean Quigley, and this was also the first time ever that the team played the back nine at AVCC. 

LBHS Boys Golf

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(L-R) Aiden Svenson, Gus Morck, and Tai Diggins at last Tuesday’s match

“This was overall a good start for us,” said Coach Quigley. “It gave our players a chance to learn the course and post an initial team score to use as a benchmark for future improvement.”

In addition to Gioffredi finishing at 38, juniors Aiden Svenson and Trent Ralston finished at 45, sophomore Andrew Munday finished at 47, and junior Tai Diggins finished at 48.

During Thursday’s match, Gioffredi made two birdies and shot the lowest score of the day with a 2 over par 34. He earned the match medalist honors for the second consecutive match. In addition, Diggins had a good day scoring a 38. 

“As a team we played pretty well on one of our home courses, although there 

were several big numbers on the player’s cards, which we will need to eliminate in order to improve in upcoming matches,” said Coach Quigley.

The team has two matches this week, including tournament play on Monday (the results were not known by deadline) and another match against Ocean View, this time away, on Thursday.


LBHS Surf team takes second place at NSSA Regional State Championships

Story by Coaches Scott Finn and Alisa Cairns

Photos by Ellen Nelsen

The LBHS Surf team had a very successful weekend surfing in the NSSA Interscholastic Regional State Championships for the third year in a row. Laguna’s tremendous showing took them all the way to 2nd overall with an 84-point total, just 9 points behind San Clemente. 

Surf team one Jameson Roller

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Jameson Roller finishes third in Longboard

In all there were 10 schools competing. This is the best result for Laguna to date. It was definitely a whole team effort. 

Laguna was represented in each of the Division Finals. Jameson Roller led the way in Longboard finishing third, Kayla Coscino and Tess Booth both did awesome taking fourth and fifth, while Sam Nelsen won heat after heat dominating the field on Saturday and closed out the Men’s Final for Shortboard in sixth place.

Surf team two Sam Nelsen, Coaches Scott Finn, and Alisa Cairns, Kayla Coscino and Tess Booth

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Sam Nelson, Coaches Scott Finn and Alisa Cairns, Kayla Coscino, and Tess Booth help lead the LBHS Surf team to a big team

The rest of Laguna’s Men Shortboarders did super well also, making several rounds and helping LBHS to its impressive finish. Trey Lockhart and Liam McCue had some outstanding performances barely coming up short of advancement in the Quarterfinals. Meanwhile there was great surfing and efforts also put in by Kiko Nelsen, Jett Nelson, and Kyle Shaw.

Surf team three Kayla Coscino

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Kayla Coscino takes fourth in Longboard

The event was held at Seaside Reef at Cardiff-by-the-Sea in San Diego. Surf on Saturday was pretty good in the morning, but got progressively worse as the day went on. The weather was pretty bad with plenty of rain and some wind. Sunday afternoon prior to the Finals there was more wind and rain, but the kids still managed to navigate the conditions very well.

Surf team four Sam Nelsen

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Sam Nelson won heat after heat, dominating the field on Saturday, and closed out the Men’s Final for Shortboard in sixth place


LBHS Boys Tennis has busy week with four back-to-back matches

The LBHS Boys Tennis team had a very busy first week back from Ski Week with four back-to-back matches. 

The first opponent they faced was a mighty Aliso Niguel squad, resulting in a 7-11 loss in a match where three of the sets lost were in tiebreaks. This match easily could have gone to the Breakers, and Coach Rick Conkey was pleased with the depth of his Breakers team.   

Senior Mason Lebby won two sets at #1 singles (6-4, 6-3) but fell against Aliso Niguel’s #2 singles in a tiebreak. Junior Andrew Johnson notched a set at #2 singles and lost a tight set against Aliso Niguel’s #3 singles in a tiebreak.   

LBHS Boys Lebby

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Senior Mason Lebby

Sophomores Casey Boehm and Matthew Duong teamed up at #2 doubles to secure two sets (7-5, 6-2) but lost against Aliso Viejo’s #2 doubles team in a tiebreak. Kyle Herkins and Matt Berk paired up at #1 doubles to get a set (6-2) and seniors Scott Yoder and Francis Pillsbury also notched a set (6-3).

Wednesday’s opponent was Mission Viejo High School, resulting in an 11-7 victory for the Breakers. Coach Conkey was impressed with the tenacious and gritty play of doubles duo Casey Boehm and Matthew Duong, who won all three of their sets at #2 doubles (7-5, 6-3, 7-5). 

In the final set, Matthew came down with severe leg cramps – he found a way to dig deep to overcome his body and tough opponents and Casey was awesome as a supportive partner. Kyle Herkins and doubles partner Matt Berk won two of their sets (6-3, 6-3) at #1 doubles. 

Singles players Mason Lebby won two sets (6-2, 6-2) at #1 singles and freshman Ian MacLaughlin also notched two key sets (7-5, 6-2) at #3 singles. Scott Yoder and Francis Pillsbury added a set (6-4) at #3 doubles as did Andrew Johnson (6-2) at #2 singles.

LBHS Boys Ian

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Freshman Ian MacLaughlin

The closest match of the week was against St. Margaret’s Episcopal School, who lost in the second round of the CIF Division 2 playoffs last year. This match was a nail-biter until the last two sets of doubles, both lost in tiebreaks. If either set had gone to the Breakers, the score would have been tied 9-9 and the Breakers would have won in games. That was not in the cards as the Breakers lost 8-10. 

#2 doubles Kyle Herkins and Mo Berri won twice (6-4, 6-1) as did the #3 doubles team of Scott Yoder and Andrew Duong (6-4, 6-3). Casey Boehm and Matthew Duong had a win at #1 doubles (6-2). All three Breakers singles players (Mason Lebby, Andrew Johnson, and Ian MacLaughlin) won a set each (6-0, 6-1, 6-0, respectively).

Friday’s match against Laguna Hills High School resulted in dominance by the Breakers’ doubles teams as they swept in doubles, winning all 9 sets with four of the sets scoring 6-0 for the Breakers, and the Breakers winning 12-6. Coach Conkey relied on the depth of his doubles players, with Taylor Tran and Diego Tellez also seeing a lot of court time. 

The boys rested over the rain filled weekend ready to take on their next opponents before league play begins later next week.


Thurston Middle School recognized as a 2019 California Distinguished School

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond recently announced that Thurston Middle School is among the 162 middle and high schools honored under the 2019 Distinguished Schools Program. 

Sponsored by the California Department of Education and California Casualty, the program recognizes outstanding education programs and practices. Schools are awarded for achieving exceptional student performance for two consecutive school years or closing the achievement gap between two school years. 

Thurston Middle School was recognized for its exemplary programs focused on increasing student academic achievement and social-emotional strength through collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and communication. 

Thurston Middle outside

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Thurston Middle School honored as a 2019 CA Distinguished School

“When a child feels connected and cared for in their school environment, they are better equipped for the academic rigors of school,” said Thurston Middle School Principal Jenny Salberg. 

“Because we believe this to be most vital during the middle school years, our staff focus on developing and maintaining positive relationships with students. They work tirelessly to build meaningful connections with each student, and we see the fruits of their labor every time we witness a student overcome a challenge to continue on their path to success,” she continued. 

In recent years, Thurston Middle School has implemented programs such as Where Everybody Belongs (WEB), No Place for Hate®, Restorative Justice, and a Co-Vitality Social-Emotional Health Survey, which helps identify students who are struggling emotionally.

Schools that applied were eligible based on their performance and progress on the state indicators as described on the California School Dashboard. Indicators include test scores, suspension rates, and graduation rates. 

Distinguished School award winners represent examples of not just excellent teaching, learning, and collaboration, but also highly successful school climate efforts ranging from real-time conflict resolution to positive behavior intervention. 

The Laguna Beach Unified School District Board of Education will recognize Thurston Middle School at an upcoming Board meeting. This year’s award-winning schools and districts will be honored by the California Department of Education in April during a ceremony at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, and they will retain their titles for two years. Elementary and secondary schools are awarded in alternating years.

Thurston Middle School is located at 2100 Park Ave.


LBHS Drama & Park Ave Players present Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

One of the most enduring shows of all time, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will be performed by the Laguna Beach High School Drama Department and Park Avenue Players on March 15-17 and March 22-24 at The Artists Theatre at LBHS. The Friday and Saturday shows start at 7 p.m. and the Sunday shows begin at 2:30 p.m.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a musical with lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The story is based on the “coat of many colors” from the Bible’s Book of Genesis. This was the first Lloyd Webber and Rice musical to be performed publicly. (The Likes of Us, written in 1965, was not performed until 2005).

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a reimagining of the Biblical story of Joseph, his father Jacob, eleven brothers, and the coat of many colors.

LBHS Drama and poster

Performances on March 15-17 and March 22-24 at Artists Theatre at LBHS

Told entirely through song, the musical follows preferred son Joseph. After being sold into slavery by his brothers, he ingratiates himself with Egyptian noble Potiphar, but ends up in jail after refusing the amorous advances of Potiphar’s wife. While imprisoned, Joseph discovers his ability to interpret dreams, and he soon finds himself in front of the mighty but troubled, Elvis-inspired, Pharaoh. Joseph’s solution to Egypt’s famine elevates him to Pharaoh’s right-hand man and reunites him with his family.

The magical musical is full of catchy songs in a variety of styles, from a parody of French ballads (“Those Canaan Days”), to country-western (“One More Angel in Heaven”) and calypso (“Benjamin Calypso”), along with the unforgettable classics “Any Dream Will Do” and “Close Every Door.”

The irresistible family musical about the trials and triumphs of Joseph, Israel’s favorite son, is appropriate for all audiences. 

Tickets are on sale now and are $12 for students, $17 for adults, or $22 for premium seats. To book, go to lbhs.booktix.com.

The Artists Theatre at LBHS is located at 625 Park Ave.

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