LBUSD Board of Education presents awards, recognizes retiring staff at Tuesday’s meeting

At the May 28 School Board meeting, the LBUSD Board of Education recognized several students for their academic excellence for the Elementary Spelling Bee and Destination Imagination. 

Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Public Communications Leisa Winston, together with the Board, recognized the 2018-2019 Employees of the Year at the meeting as well. Steve Sogo, an LBHS science teacher, was selected as the district’s Teacher of the Year. Nikki Romano, library media specialist at Top of the World Elementary, was named Classified Employee of the Year. 

LBUSD Board students

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Students Zoe Chan and Elise Chen were recognized for placing first and second in this year’s Spelling Bee

The school board also honored Classified Employee of the Year winners in specific categories, including Linda Butler-Stoll, child nutrition; Kelli Merda, office and technical support; and Heidi Winegard, support services and security.

During the May 28 meeting, the LBUSD Board of Education also honored the 2018-2019 employees that will be retiring this year. 

Below is a full list of the 2018-2019 retirees:


--Mary Schoenfeld, District Office

--Kris Landrum, Top of the World Elementary School

--Angie Perez, Top of the World Elementary School


--Sean Mehegan, Laguna Beach High School

--Carrie Leventhal, Thurston Middle School

--Anna Tejchman, Thurston Middle School

--Ina Inouye Wu, Thurston Middle School

--Robert Billinger, Laguna Beach High School

--Patricia Rabun, Top of the World Elementary School

--Odile Dewar, Laguna Beach High School

--Teryl Campbell, Top of the World Elementary School

--Nance Morrissey, Thurston Middle School

Also during the meeting, Chris Clark, on behalf of the SchoolPower Endowment Board, presented the Laguna Beach Unified School District with a check to support classroom projects.

LBUSD Board group

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Chris Clark and Sarah Durand presented 16 teacher grants 

Clark and SchoolPower Executive Director Sarah Durand presented 16 teacher grants totaling $111,450 to support innovative teacher programs that will be implemented in the 2019-2020 school year. 

Projects and programs include a greenhouse and shed for the learning garden at El Morro Elementary, controlled text readers for reading intervention, and an “Away Place” at Thurston Middle School for students to de-stress.

The Board took action to approve the job description for a Career Counseling Coordinator that will be funded out of the K-12 Strong Workforce Program grant. The primary intent of the coordinator position is to provide alignment and coherence for “career education” across all LBUSD schools. 

Although this position will at times work with students, their primary work will be leading and supporting school counselors and administrators at all four schools with career education.

Later in the meeting, staff provided information to the Board of Education in response to questions presented by the Board and discussion held at the April 23 Board meeting regarding weighted grades/credit at Laguna Beach High School. 

LBHS will grant weight to Honors English 10 and Honors Algebra II, pending approval from the University of California; if approved, the grade bump would be retroactive two years. The Board did not request an action item on this topic.

The Laguna Beach Unified School District records School Board Meetings and makes them available to the public within 24 hours. Visit to watch. For more information on all action items, visit

The next regular Board meeting scheduled for Tuesday, June 11 at 6 p.m.