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Laguna Beach High School Class of 2003 is seeking alumni for 20-year reunion

The Laguna Beach High School Class of 2003 is holding its 20-year reunion on October 21 right here in Laguna Beach. Festivities will include food, drinks, dancing and a DJ.

Laguna Beach High School Class of 2003

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Photos courtesy of LBHS Class of 2003

Laguna Beach High School Class of 2003

The class is trying to reach alumni and parents of alumni to assist in passing on this information, so graduates can reconnect with their former classmates.

Laguna Beach High School yearbook

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Laguna Beach High School Nautilus Yearbook cover for the 2002-2003 school years

Visit their website for more information and to buy tickets. Check out their Instagram page for news, fun throwback photos and teacher cameo videos. Visit View their Instagram page: @lbhs20yearreunion2003.

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Laguna high school students walk for water

Laguna Beach has a history of being a waterwise community, so it’s not surprising 25 of LBHS’ students have taken that motto to heart by “Walking for Water.” Last year, the $100,000 they raised helped underwrite the costs of building six freshwater wells in West Africa and India. This year, organizers of the next walking event, which will be held on Sunday, March 26 at the Laguna Beach High School track, hope to raise even more money.

“What would you do if you had to walk for hours every day just to fetch water, some of it contaminated, for yourself and your family?”, asked high school senior Cleo Washer. “Sometimes you might have to climb steep hills, like Park Avenue here in town, or walk on damaged roads for miles in sweltering heat. Imagine how much easier, and healthier, a person’s life would be if there was a fresh water well in their village,” she added.

“The ‘Walking for Water’ project is a nonprofit organization with local roots here and in Virginia,” founder Susan Hough of Laguna Beach said. “I’m so proud of what so many high school students have been able to accomplish. None of the work in West Africa or India could have been possible without the proceeds from previous annual walks,” said Hough. Through this project, “We engage youth to care for the world around them.”

Charitable donations to the March 26 walk, which takes place 12-3 p.m., will help pay for new wells in Togo, Africa.

Supporters can register for the 5 or 10k walk and encourage friends and families to donate in their name or pledge support to those already signed up to walk.

“Families with young children are encouraged to attend the walk,” Washer said. “There will be face painting and games, plus opportunities to meet with the high school students who truly are making a difference in people’s lives,” she said.

“If you can’t attend the walk, the students and I encourage you to help by donating to,” Hough said.

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LBUSD technology chief recognized by Association of California School Administrators 

Laguna Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) Chief Technology Officer Michael Morrison has been named 2023 Technology Administrator of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region 17, which covers all school districts in Orange County.

ACSA is the largest umbrella organization for school leaders in the nation. Region 17 focuses on serving educational leaders in the pursuit of equity and excellence to meet the diverse needs of all students in Orange County. One of ACSA’s priorities is to ensure that school leaders are recognized for their excellence and dedication to public education; administrators of the year are selected for their outstanding performance and achievement in their respective categories.

LBUSD technology chief Morrison group

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Michael Morrison (front row, second from left)

“Mr. Morrison’s technological leadership and innovation have paved the way for new methods of teaching that engage our students and inspire our staff to explore different tools and platforms for experiential learning,” said Superintendent Jason Viloria, Ed.D. “He has been leading our technology initiatives for nearly a decade, but the impact of his work will extend far beyond his time with LBUSD,” he added. 

Morrison was nominated by Executive Assistant to the Superintendent and Board Victoria Webber and Thurston Middle School Principal Joe Vidal, and surprised with the award announcement by Dr. Viloria, technology services staff, school district and site administrators.

“It is an honor to receive this award from ACSA. I really believe in the work ACSA does in creating opportunities to connect with colleagues and learn from each other’s expertise. I am lucky to be in a district that supports creative solutions because nothing I’ve accomplished could have been possible without the remarkable team in LBUSD and a supportive Board of Education.”

ACSA Region 17 will recognize all award recipients at the Orange County Administrators of the Year banquet on May 8 in Irvine.

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Annual “Celebration of the Arts” showcased LBUSD student visual and performing arts talent

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

On Tuesday, March 14, the Laguna Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) invited the community to a “Celebration of the Arts,” its annual showcase of student visual and performing arts talent at Laguna Beach High School.

Students in grades K-12 participated in the arts festival to showcase their work across many artistic disciplines. The event featured live performances from students in theater, choir, wind and string ensembles, the jazz band and dance. The evening also included an art exposition, sale, digital art and film exhibit. 

Performances began at 6 p.m. in the Artists Theater and continued throughout the event as audiences visited different stations on the high school campus to connect with community partners, including the Laguna College of Art + Design, Laguna Art Museum, Festival of the Arts, No Square Theatre and Coast Film & Music Festival.

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LBHS will be performing the musical “Mamma Mia!” at the end of March

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A graduating senior’s art display

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3D wooden masks

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One of the community tables was No Square Theatre promoting their summer show with local youth

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Let’s dance! (L-R) Rachel Blanca, Chase Benson, Tomato Davis, Amanda Nguyen and Christina Pai

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Lisa Cheng and Archer Joseph warming up in the band room

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The baked goods fundraiser will benefit LBHS Theater and Thurston Middle School 

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Parents endured the rain to come out and support the student arts showcase

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LBHS Sophomore Sebastian Lambrinos earns Eagle Scout rank, Scouts BSA’s highest honor

Sebastian Lambrinos, a member of Troop 35 and resident of Laguna Beach, earned the rank of Eagle Scout along with a Bronze Eagle Palm, further recognition for completing six additional merit badges beyond the required 21. Since its establishment in 1911, only one percent of Scouts in the program have attained this combined achievement.

While holding various positions of responsibility from Instructor to Senior Patrol Leader, earning a National Outdoor Award and demonstrating proficiency in a wide range of skills, Lambrinos was the first Boy Scout in the troop to initiate and receive three STEM Nova Awards focused on his interest in science, technology and engineering. During his research, he observed the construction of NASA’s Perseverance Rover at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and his name was included on an etched microchip affixed to the rover before its mission to Mars. In addition, he was a Maker Faire participant in the Bay Area, San Diego and Los Angeles.

Sebastian Lambrinos Photo

Courtesy of the Lambrinos family

Sebastian Lambrinos

For his Eagle project, he replaced a weathered bench with one made of Brazilian Ipe along a coastal bluff trail. It was only natural this community service benefited Crystal Cove State Park after having previously volunteered more than 250 hours of his time, mostly towards local beach cleanups, habitat restoration and trail stewardship events. The project included planning, management and leading 12 youth and adults to remove, repair, reweld and repaint the original damaged frame as well as to cut, sand and stain the more durable hardwood before assembly. Many locals have expressed their appreciation for his sustainable effort which once again provides a rest stop to take-in amazing ocean views.

The project was made possible by generous donations from Ganahl Lumber, Home Depot, Whole Foods and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5868.

Lambrinos wishes to thank the many dedicated past and present Troop 35 adult volunteers and fellow Scouts for their support over the years.

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A look at Career Technical Education at LBUSD

By Abigail Roedersheimer

Laguna Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) hosts five pathways on the Laguna Beach High School (LBHS) campus during the bell schedule and three after school. Beyond that, there are 15 additional pathways available to LBUSD students taught after school at high schools in the Capistrano Unified School District. The programs at these campuses typically meet once or twice a week and begin after 4 p.m. 

The Career Technical Education (CTE) program is led by Kellee Shearer, the LBUSD Coordinator of Career Education, and supported by Lynn Gregory in the College and Career Center. 

“CTE courses are unique because they provide high-rigor, high-quality college-prep curriculum while incorporating career readiness skills, training and experiences,” said Shearer. “CTE courses provide opportunities for students to earn industry certifications, which enhance the job search process and career development.” 

According to Shearer, multiple examples of exciting work within the pathways exist. Including, but not limited to:

–The student-run enterprises within the Graphic Design Pathway allow students to work with clients.

“They create quotes, complete cost estimating, create invoices, manage accounts receivable and payable, develop mockups and proofs and then tailor to the client’s requests,” said Shearer.

–An internship provided by a course in the Patient Care Pathway.

“Students are placed in a doctor’s office, urgent care center, hospital, or emergency room to practice the healthcare skills they have learned in the pathway,” said Shearer.

–Ride-a-longs with ambulance companies or firefighters are offered through the Emergency Response Pathway.

“The students respond to real 911 calls with other EMTs in the ambulance and can assist victims at accident scenes,” said Shearer.

Kate Motherway has participated in the CTE program for two years, taking Medical Core and Emergency Medical Technician Honors. 

“CTE has confirmed my desire to work in healthcare and has given me an upper hand in the industry,” said Motherway.

Estella Newton began the Systems Programming Pathway this year by enrolling in Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Principles. 

“I plan on having a major in computer science. I feel that participating in a CTE has given me some advantage over my peers because it shows my commitment to this field and teaches me skills I need to know to pursue a major/career in this field,” said Newton.

Both students have found that their CTE courses vary from their traditional classes.

“My CTE classes have taught me how to save lives. None of my other classes have given me such essential skills,” said Motherway.

“It allows me to be more creative than other classes,” said Newton.

An important aspect of CTE is that all teachers must have a combination of direct industry and education experience of 3,000 hours to earn a CTE credential. 

To enroll in a CTE course on campus that meets during the bell schedule, a student will add the first course in a CTE pathway to their online course selection during the spring online course selection. 

To enroll for a course that meets outside of the bell schedule, whether it be on the LBHS campus or on a Capistrano campus, the student must complete the same first step of adding the course to their online course selection, and they need to talk to Mrs. Gregory in the College and Career Center. Lastly, the student needs to complete a Google form and a permission form. 

Abigail Roedersheimer, a senior at Laguna Beach High School, contributed this story to Stu News Laguna. It follows Career and Technical Education Month, which was designated by LBUSD in February.

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Annual “Celebration of the Arts” showcases LBUSD student visual and performing arts talent tonight, March 14

Laguna Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) invites the community to a “Celebration of the Arts,” its annual showcase of student visual and performing arts talent at Laguna Beach High School tonight (Tuesday, March 14), from 6-8 p.m. 

This is a family-friendly event, open and free to the public.

Students in grades K-12 participate in the arts festival to showcase their work across many artistic disciplines. The event will feature live performances from students in theater, choir, wind and string ensembles, the jazz band and dance. The evening will also include an art exposition, sale, digital art and film exhibit. 

“Arts education enhances a student’s learning experience,” said Sarah Wolsey, LBUSD K-5 Visual and Performing Arts Teacher on Special Assignment. “Art education closes achievement gaps, improves academic skills and increases student engagement. The student work at our annual exhibition highlights the amazing things that happen when we embrace visual and performing arts programs as an investment in our students.” 

annual celebration poster

Courtesy of LBUSD

“Celebration of the Arts,” a free family-friendly event, takes place in the LBHS Artists Theater

Performances will begin at 6 p.m. in the Artists Theater and continue throughout the event as audiences visit the different stations on the high school campus. Visit the quad to connect with community partners, including the Laguna College of Art + Design, Laguna Art Museum, Festival of the Arts, No Square Theater, the Coast Film & Music Festival and more. 

“Career readiness is unique for every student – our ‘Celebration of the Arts’ showcase is a significant real-world experience for our visual and performing arts students interested in pursuing a career in the arts,” said Superintendent Jason Viloria, Ed.D. “Our students are professionally trained and incredibly talented, producing a caliber of work that is impressive. I look forward to sharing the creativity and innovation of our students with the community.” 

Baked goods will be available for purchase from the Laguna Beach Performing Arts Boosters. For more information, visit the LBUSD website at

Laguna Beach High School is located at 626 Park Ave., Laguna Beach.

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LBUSD board approves contract for 24/7 assistance with finding mental health services for students, staff


Last week, the Laguna Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) Board of Trustees unanimously approved a contract with a company to provide 24/7 assistance to students, families, and staff with finding mental health services and programs.

Board members voted 5-0 on Thursday (March 9) in support of the $13,000 agreement with Care Solace, Inc., to provide students, families and all staff members confidential 24/7 web-based, email, telephone, or text-based support to search, identify and secure initial intake appointments with qualified local licensed mental health providers. The service starts on March 15 and will be provided through June 30, 2024. It’s funded through the Learning Recovery Emergency Block Grant.

Board President Jan Vickers noted that the service agreement supports one of the board’s goals: Foster social-emotional competencies and self-identity through student agency, engagement and positive relationships.

“This is a continual emphasis on what we moved up as a high priority in this district,” she said, “the emotional health (and) mental health of our students and our staff.”

Board member Kelly Osborne noted that while the students are their top priority, this is an important service for LBUSD staff as well. There have been some tragic recent events in nearby school districts, she noted, referencing a Huntington Beach school principal who died by suicide at Disneyland in December. She’s heard from other districts and trustees that this is a valuable and beneficial service, Osborne said. 

And, at about $4 per student, per year to connect to health care professionals, it’s a good deal, she added. 

It’s very cost affordable, agreed Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services Chad Mabery.

LBUSD’s school-based mental health team brought the program forward.

Care Solace works with more than 600 school districts in 34 states across the country.

“We’ve been looking at the work they’ve been doing, really it’s an enhancement to our current program,” of working with families and making referrals, Mabery said. “They provide that personalized, concierge service that helps them get them from a recommendation to someone that matches up with their insurance.” 

They’ve seen it be successful in other school districts and wanted to offer to LBUSD students and staff, he said. 

LBUSD board approves contract for 24 7 assistance admin

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

The board approved a service agreement for 24/7 assistance to find mental health services for LBUSD students and staff

Currently, Laguna Beach Unified School District keeps a local external service provider referral list of licensed mental health providers. If a student or family needed licensed mental health care that extends beyond the scope of practice for school-based services, LBUSD staff would refer parents through their insurance provider and/or three or more local licensed providers.

“One of the most important aspects of effective mental health systems of care is ensuring that individuals in need of services get connected to qualified care in a timely manner,” LBUSD staff explain in the details of the agenda item. “This is especially true when students or families are in need of services that extend beyond the scope of practice for school-based mental health care.” 

Parents were tasked with setting appointments and any follow-up. According to the agenda item details, school-based providers reported substantial wait-list times for external providers extending into weeks and months with some local providers. 

Care Solace will help find and secure initial intake appointments with qualified local licensed mental health providers. The team provides an individual service from a trained care companion to partner with the student, parent, or staff member to complete the handoff between the school district and the external licensed mental health services provider. 

“Care Solace is not a direct mental health service provider, however, they fulfill an important service in the continuum of care to ensure that students, families, or staff successfully navigate the complexity of securing licensed mental health care,” LBUSD staff explains in the agenda details. 

The agreement includes a custom-branded LBUSD Care Solace web page and a unique phone number for publication on all district and local school site resource pages. The process includes a brief screening, matching with local providers, booking appointments and checking in with the consumer to ensure match satisfaction. All providers are vetted through a constant verification process with state agency licensing boards, Better Business Bureau ratings and family feedback. 

Across the U.S., Care Solace has served 15 million students, staff and family members. The company serves 46% of the total K-12 student population within California. 

“Schools are overwhelmed with the increased demand for mental health support,” Care Solace officials note on the company website. “We help school districts address the mental health crisis.”

The service agreement is prorated for the rest of the 2023 school year, with a full-year commitment from July 1 to the end of the 2024 school year. 

The funding source identified as the Learning Recovery Block Grant supports county offices of education, school districts, and charter schools for learning recovery initiatives that, at a minimum, support academic learning recovery, and staff and pupil social and emotional well-being.


Sara Hall covers City Hall and is a regular contributor to Stu News Laguna.

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School Notes

News and notes from our colleges and universities

Brayden Shickley, Laguna Beach, has been named to the Dean’s List while majoring in Nursing for the fall semester of 2022 at Biola University. Students are placed on the Dean’s List to honor those with a GPA of 3.6 or higher while enrolled in 12 or more credits and whose cumulative GPA is at least 3.2.

Biola University is a nationally ranked Christian university in the heart of Southern California. For more information, visit, or call 562.777.4061.

• • •

Cosette Chesley, of Laguna Beach, has made Emmanuel College’s Dean’s List for the Fall 2022 semester. To earn a spot on the Dean’s List, Emmanuel students must achieve a grade point average of 3.5 or higher for a 16-credit semester.

Emmanuel College is a co-educational, residential institution with a 17-acre campus in the heart of Boston’s educational, scientific, cultural and medical communities. 

• • •

Saba Saffarian-Toosi of Laguna Beach, from the Class of 2023, has been named to the Dean’s List at Tufts University for the Fall 2022 semester. Dean’s List honors at Tufts University require a semester grade point average of 3.4 or greater.

Tufts University, located on campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville and Grafton, Mass. and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States.

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Laguna Beach hosts first-ever NCAA D1 sand volleyball tournament, as a local star returns

Story by Gavin Zaengle 

Photos by Zealan Munsey 

On the first weekend in March 2023, three of the top collegiate NCAA women’s beach volleyball teams in the Big West Conference battled it out at Main Beach in the first-ever Best in the West tournament. After two days of tough competition against Cal Poly SLO and Long Beach State, the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors went an undefeated 4-0 on the weekend, taking down their opponents on both days. 

Laguna Beach hosts women jump serving

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Kaylee Glagau serves it up for the eventual tournament champion Hawaii Rainbow Warriors

The squads were each led by veteran coaches who looked to use this tournament to establish their ranking in the conference. Coach Evan Silberstein led his hungry Hawaii team, who was coming off a tough loss in last year’s Big West title matchup against the Cal Poly Mustangs and looked to avenge that loss. Olympic gold medalist Todd Rodgers coached Cal Poly, winner of three straight Big West titles and last year’s champions. Finally, Coach Mike Campbell, a seasoned professional coach on the pro tour, captained the Long Beach State 49ers.

According to Tournament Director Blair Applegate, the best players in the game have played in Laguna since 1955.

“It’s so inspiring for us to play at Laguna Beach. This is a great opportunity to promote our brand of Hawaii beach volleyball here at one of the best places to play beach volleyball,” said Silberstein. “We’re playing against one of our biggest rivals on one of the best stages, so we’re fired up to be here.” 

Perhaps the biggest story for Laguna locals was the return of Piper Naess, who graduated from Laguna Beach High School in 2020. Like her father Coby (Class of 1986) before her and her younger brother Griffin (Class of 2023) behind her, Piper is carrying out the Naess family legacy of graduating LBHS before competing for Cal Poly SLO as a D1 athlete. Piper and her partner Jayelin Lombard fought against the Hawaii duo Brooke Van Sickle and Kaylee Glagau early Saturday morning and the match kept all fans on their toes.

Laguna Beach hosts first ever two playes hands on knees

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(L-R) Laguna Beach’s own Piper Naess teams with Jayelin Lombard to represent Cal Poly SLO

“It meant the world to me,” said Naess. “I had a ton of friends and family out here cheering me on, and it made a huge difference in the game.”

Naess and Lombard lost the first set 23-25, but they battled back to win the second set 21-17. In the tie-breaking third set to 15 points, the Cal Poly duo was down 7-11 as Hawaii was starting to gain momentum. 

Laguna Beach hosts first ever girl diving in sand

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Hawaii’s Brooke Van Sickle dives to pick up a Cal Poly attack in the second set but can’t get a good touch on the ball. Cal Poly went on to win the second set 21-17.

“In that moment, my partner and I realized we just needed to focus on our side and keep the ball in. Focusing on getting those serves in, hustling to every ball, and letting them make the mistakes is what let us climb back and win the match,” said Naess.

Backed by Laguna locals, Naess and Lombard regained the lead and won the match. 

Laguna Beach hots first ever two women celebrate

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And when things go right, you celebrate! Teammates Jayelin Lombard (3) and Piper Naess (14) are jubilant.

“Piper’s made some really tremendous growth this year. She’s really improved, especially confidence-wise, since her freshman and sophomore years,” said Coach Rodgers. “You can see the results, as she’s playing some really good volleyball.”

The first-ever Best in the West tournament was a great success, and coaches, players and fans alike hope that the beaches of OC will continue to provide a home for future collegiate events. 

Laguna Beach hosts first ever woman receiving serve

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(L-R) Long Beach State’s Christine DeRoos passes a serve with a perfect platform. DeRoos and her teammate Mari Molina fell in the match 12-21 and 15-21.

Thanks to the sponsorship of Pacific Coast Wealth Management, Jill Witte of Berkshire Hathaway Realty and Tournament Director Blair Applegate, the weekend marked the first time NCAA Division 1 College volleyball took to the sands of Laguna Beach. In just two years, the 2025 NCAA National Championship event will be held in Huntington Beach. 

Volleyball fans from across the world were able to tune into a live stream of the event.

Editor’s Note: Gavin Zaengle is the LBHS Brush and Palette sports editor and Zealan Munsey is an LBHS Brush and Palette photographer.

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