Laguna Beach

Barbara’s Column

Scholarships delivered 


Laguna Beach High School scholarship winners will pick up their awards from their mailboxes this year instead of the stage of the Artists Theatre.

More than $396,000 in scholarships and awards will be delivered this week by the U.S. Postal Service to 110 students in the history-making Convocation styled by COVID-19. 

A total of 110 graduates will be receiving awards, of which they were already notified.

Isadora Feinberg will head off for college with financial support from the Laguna Beach Branch of the American Association of University Women, the Assistance League of Laguna Beach, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5868, the David and Betsy Paul Acting Award, the Festival of Arts, the First Team/Christie, the Hanson, Wilson Tempest Award, James Patrick Vincent and Marian Pickens  Scholarship, the Rotary Club of Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach Seniors, and the Soroptimists of Laguna Beach.

Scholarships delivered Feinberg

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Isadora Feinberg received numerous scholarships

The Ebell Club, a prominent local women’s community service organization, presented the first and only scholarship to a high school graduate of Laguna Beach High School in 1947. Since then, the scholarship program has grown through the combined efforts of community volunteers who serve on the Board of Directors of the Laguna Beach High School Scholarship Foundation, working with the school staff. 

This year 274 awards were announced. The $18,000 Patsy Ann Weaver Scholarship, received by Nathan Solomon, was the largest single award announced. 

“Donations are an investment in tomorrow’s teachers, innovators, entrepreneurs, artists, librarians, doctors, and leaders. We are proud your scholarships support all disciplines of education, including students with extraordinary educational and personal accomplishments and needs,” according to a statement from the foundation.

“One hundred percent of the donations to the Foundation are used to fund scholarships. The daily operations and the administration of the LBHSSF are handled by volunteers who generously donate their time and expertise. The Foundation is truly a collaborative, community effort!”

Sadly, the annual Donors Dinner held prior to the Honors Convocation had to be canceled, but foundation officials are looking forward to the 2021 Donor Dinner and Honors Convocation and expressed gratitude for the 2020 donations, many of them memorials.

Listed alphabetically by the name of the scholarship or award, courtesy of the foundation, with recipients’ names in bold face:

--A.H. Robertson Scholarship, $500 

Recipient: Elleni  Solomon

--AAUW Laguna Beach Branch $3,000 shared

Recipients: Isadora Feinberg, Kenya Ripley-Dunlap, and Riley Russo

Scholarships delivered Russo

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Riley Russo received several scholarships 

--Allen Bell Memorial Scholarship fund, $1,000

Recipient: Angelica Jorio

--American Legion Post 222 Citizenship Award, $1,000

Recipient: Vanessa Gee

--Anna Mary Beck Business Administration Scholarship, $3,000

Recipient: Elizabeth Cismoski

--April and Daphne Crevier Memorial Scholarships, $8,000 shared

Recipients: Sahba Azarli, Hailey Cortez, Janine Johnson, Dakota LeFronk, Izzy Meekma, Trent Ralston, and Anthony Ramirez

--Arthur B. Harward Scholarship, $2,000

Recipient: Brady Soloff

--Assistance League of Laguna Beach Scholarship, $47,500 shared

Recipients: Benjamin Duskin-Feinberg, Isadora Feinberg, Cesar Jacques, Logan Leeds, Dakota LeFronk, Izzy Meekma, Kendra Nugent, Anthony Ramirez, Bryanna Rodriguez, Olivia Shipp, Sam Suh, and Sam Tyrell

--Barbara Diamond Excellence in Journalism award, $500

Recipient: Claire Wittkop

--Barbara Fleming Williams Scholarship, $10,000

Kaitlin Ryan

--Barbara Laird ROP Memorial Scholarship, $500

Recipient: Bryanna Rodriguez

--Ben Blount Memorial Award, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 5868, $1,000

Recipient: Isadora Feinberg

--Berkshire Hathaway Real Estate Scholarship, $1,450

Recipient: Will Keary

--Bill O’Brien, Class of ’57 Memorial Scholarship, $1,000

Recipient: Will Potratz

--Bonnie S. Lang Memorial Scholarship, $500 

Recipient: Annamarie McIntosh

--Boys and Girls Club Scholarship – Bluebird, $500

Recipient: Eastyn Cianto

--Boys and Girls Club Scholarship – Canyon, $500

Recipient: Anthony Ramirez 

--Brandon Balsinger-Post Memorial Scholarship, $5,000 shared

Recipients: Morgan Falkowski and Kendra Nugent

--Breakers Opportunity Fund, $4,500 shared 

Recipients: Gabrielle Denny, Aiden Kidd, Gianna Morreale, Isabella Peterson, Sierra Read, and Nicole Rhyner

--Charlotte W. Munro Scholarship, $500 

Recipient: Giana Morreale

--Chic and Pat O’Neal Scholarship, $1,000

Recipient: Soren Patchell

--Christian Science Award, $1,000 shared

Recipients: Ethan Ghere, Izzy Meekma, Addison Orr, and Trevor Tyler

--Citizens Business Bank Scholarship, $1,000

Recipient: Amar Bhatia

--CLARK Family Scholarship, $500

Recipient: Nicholas NormandinParker

--Class of 2017 Fearlessly Authentic Scholarship, $1,000

Conley Good

--Community Learning Center PTA Scholarship, $1,000

Recipient: Olivia Nitoglia

--Courtney Kelley Cohen Memorial Scholarship, $1,500

Recipient: Anthony Ramirez

--Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award, $500 

Recipient: Amar Bhatia

--David and Betsy Paul Acting Scholarship, $500 

Recipient: Isadora Feinberg 

--Diane Alpert ‘I Love Laguna’ Scholarship, $500

Recipient: Isabella Peterson

--Dick Metz Surf Foundation Scholarship, $4,000 shared

Recipients: Hailey Cortez and Brady Soloff 

--Don Kucera Memorial Scholarship, $5000

Recipient: Catherine Keyser

--Dr. Steven and Mrs. Lor Speech Community College Scholarship, $10,000 shared

Recipients: Cosette Basto, Vanessa Gee, Ethan Ghere, Cesar Jacques, Cole Needham, Kendra Nugent, Bryanna Rodriquez, Omid Samanifard, Layla Shayan, and Claire Wittkop

--Driven to the Max Award, $3,000, shared

Recipients: Dylan Davis and Anastasia Ensminger

--Ebell Club, $4,000 shared

Recipients: Laila Cruz, Danielle Gagne, Sara Jacobs, and Silvi Lybbert

--El Morro Elementary School PTA Scholarship, $1,000 

Recipient: Olivia Shipp

--Eric Abernathy Memorial Scholarship, $500

Recipient: Eastyn Cianto

--Eva-Colette Smith Scholarship, $1,000 

Recipient: Avalon Brice

Scholarships delivered Brice

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Avalon Brice - multiple scholarship awardee

--Festival of Arts Scholarship – Performing Arts, $10,400 shared

Recipients: Kenneth Chu, Isadora Feinberg, Conley Good, Catherine Keyser, Silvi Lybbert, Luka Salib, and Zoe Waters

--FOA – Visual Arts, $3,100 shared

Recipients: Charles Besso, and Soren Patchell

--FOA – Writing, $1,500

Recipient: Logan Leeds

--Fred Pratley Memorial, $500 

Recipient: Ella Judd

--Friends of the Library Scholarship, $1,000

Recipient: Logan Leeds

--Gerald A. Dennis Memorial, $1,000

Recipient: Yusra Al-Alawi

--Gerald A. Neumann Memorial, $500

Recipient: Kian Trengrove

--Hanson, Wilson, Tempest Sober Service Award, $15,000 shared

Recipients: Isadora Feinberg, Malin Glade, and Kyle Herkins

--Heather Brobeck Memorial 

Recipient: Tanner Burton

--Helen F. and Alan E Adams Memorial, $2,000 shared. 

Recipients: Sahba Azarli and Anthony Ramirez

--I Define Me Scholarship, $3,000 shared   

Recipient: Izzy Meekma and Anthony Ramirez

--Integrity Award, $1,000

Recipient: Phoebe Van Es

--James Patrick Vincent and Marian Pickens Fagan Scholarship, $9,600 shared

Recipients: Isadora Feinberg and Silvi Lybbert

--Jennifer Lynn Bammer Memorial, $500

Recipient: Cosette Basto

--Jerome Karp Scholarship, $500

Recipient: Roxy Hoffman

--Joan of Arc Award, $2,500

Recipient: Bryanna Rodriguez

--Joe Thurston Scholarship Fund, $8,500 shared

Recipients: Aiden Blanton, Isabel Duong, John Ford, Kendall Fraser, Emlyn Griffiths, Jeremy Hayes, Adam Joyce, Weston Judd, and Hannah Metz

--Joey Marsella Scholarship, $500

Recipient: Avalon Brice 

--Juan Castro Memorial, $750

Recipient: Cosette Basto

--Julia Thomson Memorial, $500

Recipient: Sara Jacobs

--K.I.M. “Keep Imagining More” Scholarship, $2,000 shared

Recipients: Drew Fink and Olivia Shipp

--Kea Simon Medical Scholarship $8,000 shared

Recipients: Yusra al-Alawi and Elleni Solomon

--Keith Childers Memorial, $1,000

Recipient: Aiden Blanton

--Kenneth G. Beyer Memorial, $1,000

Recipient: Sara Jacobs

--Laguna Beach Arts Alliance Art Stars Scholarship, $1,000

Recipient: Casey Sorensen

--Laguna Beach Business Club Entrepreneurial Scholarship, $4,000 shared

Recipients: Elizabeth Cismoski, Hailey Cortez, Annamarie McIntosh, and Madison Rogers

Scholarships delivered Patchell

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Soren Patchell – multiple scholarship awardee

--Laguna Beach Garden Club Scholarship, $2,500

Recipient: Logan Leeds

--Laguna Beach Historical Society Scholarship, $1,000

Recipient: Grace Peterson

--Laguna Beach Live! Scholarship, $2,000, shared

Recipients: Malin Glade and Conley Good

--Laguna Beach Marine Safety Association LBHS Scholarship, $1,000

Recipient: Andrew Reavis

--Laguna Beach Lifeguard Foundation scholarship, $1,500 

Recipient: Keeler Nelson

--Laguna Beach Unified Faculty Association Scholarship, $1,000

Recipient: Sara Jacobs

--Laguna Board of Realtors and Affiliates’ Charitable Assistance, $2,250 shared 

Recipients: Catherine Keyser, Silvi Lybbert and Riley Russo

--Laguna Concert Band Scholarship, $1,000

Recipient: Conley Good

--Laguna Dance Festival Scholarship $1,000

Recipient: Moorea Pike

--Laguna Greenbelt Inc. Scholarship, $2,000

Recipient: Logan Leeds

--LBHS Athletic Boosters Scholarship Award, $2,000 shared

Recipients: Sahil Das and Cameron Russo

--LBHS Band Boosters Scholarship, $2,675 shared

Recipients: Kenneth Chu, Timothy Crawford, Laila Cruz, Sahil Das. Conley Good, Kyle Herkins, Oliver Murray, Nicholas NormandinParker, and Sierra Read

--LBHS Class of 1998 Scholarship, $1,000

Recipient: Bryanna Rodriguez

--LBHS Faculty La Vern Dugger Family Memorial, $1,000 

Recipient: Andrew Johnson

--LBHS Surf Team Scholarship supported by the team, $4,000 shared

Recipients: Kalohelani Danbara and Joseph Schenk

--Lila Zali Memorial 

Recipient: Moorea Pike

--Linda and Joseph Leighton Memorial, $13,000

Recipient: Kathryn Petrovich

--Lique Hoskins Trust Scholarship, $1,750 shared

Recipients: Caroline Gabus and Trevor Richardson

--Little Church by the Sea Scholarship, $1,000 shared

Recipients: Dylan Petway and Moorea Pike

--Lu Campbell Memorial, $1,000 

Recipient: Charles Besso

--Luby Family Musical Theater Scholarship, $1,000

Recipient: Zoe Waters

--MacGillivray-Freeman Film Award(s)

Recipients: Malin Glade and Luka Salib

--Mark Pitz Memorial, $1,000

Recipient: Cameron Russo

--Margret Louise Cox Memorial, $500 

Recipient: Kenneth Chu

--Mark Tiner Memorial, $1,000

Recipient: Rishitha Kasaraneni

--Mark Tiner Memorial, $2,000 shared

Recipients: Connor Fink and Nathan Solomon 

--Mark Tiner Memorial Spirit Award, $1,000 

Recipient: Andrew Reavis

--Massen Greene Foundation Scholarship, $20,000 shared

Recipients: Logan Leeds, Silvi Lybbert, Sam Nelsen, and Kenya Ripley-Dunlap

Scholarships delivered Leeds

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Logan Leeds received numerous scholarships

--Masson Foundation Water Polo Scholarship, $5,000

Recipient: Katherine Houlahan

--Mathew Reedy Memorial, $1,000

Recipient: Sahil Das

--McPhisto Society award, $500

Recipient: Ethan Ghere

--Melvin J. Tonkon MD Medical Scholarship, $5,000

Recipient: Sophia Vandertoll

--Michael G. Smithers Memorial – Overcoming, $5,000 shared

Recipients: Trent Ralston and Brady Soloff

--Michael G. Smithers Memorial – STEM, $2,500

Recipient: Silvi Lybbert

--Moe Money, $1,250 shared

Recipients: Jessica Berk and Claire Wittkop

--Naude Family Clean Ocean Scholarship, $2,000 

Recipient: Jade Howson

--Next Wave Finance Scholarship, $1,000

Recipient: Sahil Das  

--No Square Scholarship, $1,000

Recipient: Zoe Waters

--Nolan Watters Memorial, $1,500

Recipient: Claire Wittkop

--Odyssey Award, $2,500

Recipient: Jade Howson

--Officer John Coutchie Criminal Justice Scholarship, $1,500

Recipient: Riley Russo

--Offield Family Scholarship for Ocean Conservation, $10,000

Recipient: Andrew Shutts

--P & M Herbert Family Scholarship, $1,000

Recipient: Conley Good

--Patsy Ann Weaver Scholarship, $18,000

Recipient: Nathan Solomon

--Paul Wollam Memorial, $1,000 

Recipient: Izzy Meekma

--Red Guyer Athletic Scholarship, $500

Recipient: Aidan Booth

--Roger Shew Memorial, $1,000

Recipient: Nicholas NormandinParker

--Rotary Club of Laguna Beach Grapes for Grads Business Scholarship, $2,000

Recipient: Elizabeth Cismoski 

--Rotary Club Grapes for Grads Business Scholarship, $2,000

Recipient: Madison Rogers

--Rotary Club Grapes for Grads STEM Scholarship, $2,000 shared

Recipients: Dylan Petway and Isadora Feinberg

--Rotary Club Harry Bithell ‘Service Above Self’ Scholarship, $2,000

Recipient: Riley Russo

--Rotary Club Jim Lawler Rotary Service Scholarship, $2,000

Recipient: Kendra Nugent 

--Rotary Club Student of the Month Awards, $5,000 shared

Recipients: Charles Besso, Laila Cruz, Chloe Hale, Kyle Herkins, Angelica Jorio, Beck Kesler, Catherine Keyser, Silvi Lybbert, Kenya Ripley-Dunlap, and Sophia Seidensticker

Scholarships delivered Herkins

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Kyle Herkins – multiple scholarship awardee

--Rotary Club Youth Service Award, $2,000 

Recipient:  Jessica Berk 

--Sappho Award, $2,500

Recipient: Silvi Lybbert

--Sawdust Visual Arts Scholarship, $5,000

Recipient: Soren Patchell

--Skills Pay Bills Scholarship, $1,000

Recipient: Tanner Burton

--Skipper Carrillo Scholarship, $1,500 shared

Recipients: Connor Fink, Jade Howson, and Brady Soloff

--Skipper Lynn Laguna Beach Seniors Scholarship, $1,000

Recipient: Isadora Feinberg

--Soroptimist International of Laguna Beach Alberta Patterson Scholarship, $2,000

Recipient: Izzy Meekma

--Soroptimist Laguna Beach Special Achievement Award, $8,000 shared 

Recipients: Isadora Feinberg, Dakota LeFronk, Silvi Lybert, and Madison Rogers

--Soroptimist Laguna Beach Violet Richardson Award, $1,000 

Recipient: Isadora Feinberg

--South Laguna Civic Association Scholarship, $1,000

Recipient: Julia Henry

--Ten Boys Good Sportsman Scholarship, $2,300 shared

Recipients: Kalohelani Danbara and Nathan Solomon

--Third Street Writers Scholarship, $1,000

Recipient: Kathryn Petrovich

--Thurston PTA Scholarship, $2,000 shared

Recipients: Jessica Berk and Angelica Jorio

--TOW PTA Scholarship, $1,000

Recipient: Sara Jacobs

--Village Laguna Annual Scholarship, $1,000 

Recipient: Kenya Ripley-Dunlap

--Walt Lawson Student Service Challenge Scholarship, $500

Recipient: Jessica Berk

--Warren B. Blossom Memorial Gol Scholarship, $500

Recipient: Kenya Ripley-Dunlap

--William R. Stapleton Memorial, $850

Recipient: Nicole Rhyner

--Winston and Dorothy Updegraff Memorial, $500

Recipient: Nicole Rhyner

--Woman’s Club of Laguna Beach Scholarship, $3,000 shared

Recipients: Jillian Goson and Riley Russo 

Special thanks to Frank Aronoff for his assistance with this column. Contributions to this column are welcomed. Submit to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Graduating seniors host book drive for children in Club Juntos through June 4

Now through Thursday, June 4, LBHS seniors Elleni Solomon and Sara Jacobs are hosting a book drive for children in Club Juntos. 

Club Juntos supports Elementary level ESL (English as a Second Language) learners within the Laguna Beach Unified School District. Juntos mentors provide academic as well as emotional support for their Elementary level mentees. 

Elleni and Sara formulated the service project for their AP Government and Politics class.

Graduating seniors host kids

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Courtesy of LBUSD

Book drive will support children in Club Juntos

Elleni and Sara have been Juntos mentors for the past three years. They work alongside other dedicated mentors under the leadership of Mrs. Ivonne Redard, the Community Liaison for LBUSD. 

As mentors, Elleni and Sara have learned that their roles go far beyond academic tutoring – they have become leaders to their mentees, focusing not only on teaching them what to do, but also on making sure they feel strong, capable, and confident along the way. 

Graduating seniors host hug

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Courtesy of LBUSD

Club Juntos mentors provide mentees with academic and emotional support 

Throughout their experience serving as mentors, Elleni and Sara have realized that ESL learners have faced significant barriers, both culturally and academically. Students often struggle with confidence as a result of having to learn English amidst the culture of American hyper-individualism. 

To drop off children’s books and journals or to schedule a contactless pickup from home, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

2020 High School seniors advised of alternate graduation ceremonies: City honors June graduates


The 2020 Laguna Beach High School graduating class was notified on May 29 that they will receive their diplomas in a drive-through graduation ceremony on June 11, and possibly an “in-person” presentation of diplomas if restrictions on gatherings loosened enough for a more traditional ceremony later in the summer. 

An updated protocol from the Orange County Health Authority authorized the drive-through version. 

“We have strict guidelines we are reviewing to appropriately plan an event for the original June 11th graduation date,” stated Laguna Beach Unified School District Deputy Superintendent Leisa Winston in an email. “We will also continue to hold the week of July 27th for a potential in-person gathering if we are permitted to do so. I will have more specific details at a later time, which I’m happy to share with you.”

Caps and gowns were distributed to graduates on Thursday in a specially organized caravan of cars led by Laguna Beach Police that paraded from Thurston Middle School, past cheering teachers and staff down Park Avenue, to the district parking lot where the masked graduates were handed their graduation regalia. 

2020 High sign

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Photo by Jan Schrieber

Mrs. Bergen of LBHS congratulates seniors during caravan on Thursday

School Board member Dee Perry said the district had been encouraged by parents to do more than hold a virtual ceremony. 

“The district will try hard to make something memorable happen,” said Perry.

A proclamation issued by the City Council at the May 26 meeting will contribute to the memories. 

The proclamation honors the class of 2020, whose singular senior year and graduation ceremony will go down in the city’s history books, urging a citywide effort to recognize seniors.

According to the proclamation, all Laguna Beach residents and business owners can honor the graduates by turning on their porch lights at 20:20 in military time (8:20 p.m.) for a minimum of 20 minutes for the first 11 days of June. 

The proclamation further stated the date of June 11 as the official day of the Laguna Beach High School Senior Class of 2020 and concluded with an invitation from Mayor Bob Whalen in conjunction with the school district to all residents to participate in recognizing and honoring the graduates. 

It passed unanimously.

Luca Elghanayan: Stu News salutes Laguna Beach High School 2020 Graduating Senior

Luca Elghanayan is very happy to have been accepted to the College of Chemistry at University of California Berkeley! Luca is thankful for all his science courses with Mrs. Perkins, Mrs. Merritt, and now with Mr. Sogo in his senior advanced Chemical Research class where he just received an award. 

Luca Elghanayan sign

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Luca Elghanayan will attend the College of Chemistry at UC Berkeley 

Luca’s mother Suzy says, “Although the UC system will be online until – what appears to be – next spring, I’m sure that semester will be a much relished time for Luca and all the other freshman college students! Here’s to all the 2020 Laguna Beach High School Graduates!”

Congratulations, Luca!

In order to celebrate our graduating seniors’ achievements together as a community, we would like to extend an invitation to graduating seniors and their parents to submit announcements about college acceptances and plans for next year. Please submit your information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Soren Patchell: Stu News salutes Laguna Beach High School 2020 Graduating Senior

Soren Patchell will be attending Brigham Young University in the fall to study art. She was awarded an art scholarship from the university, as well as receiving Laguna Beach High School Scholarship Foundation scholarships from the Festival of Arts, the Sawdust Festival, and the Chic and Pat O’Neal Scholarship for the Arts. 

Soren Patchell volleyball

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Soren’s volleyball senior portrait 

Soren was a varsity girls indoor and beach volleyball player for all four years at Laguna Beach High School and a Scholar Athlete. She also served on the Associated Student Body (ASB) for two years. 

In addition, Soren received the Golden State Seal Merit Diploma (GSSMD). This Seal is awarded by the Laguna Beach Unified School District and the State of California for academic excellence.

Soren Patchell painting

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Self-portrait shown at Laguna Beach Cove Gallery as part of LBHS art show 

Congratulations, Soren!

Soren’s paintings and ceramics can be seen at

In order to celebrate our graduating seniors’ achievements together as a community, we would like to extend an invitation to graduating seniors and their parents to submit announcements about college acceptances and plans for next year. Please submit your information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Kyle Herkins: Stu News salutes Laguna Beach High School 2020 Graduating Senior

Kyle Herkins, a member of the Laguna Beach High School Class of 2020, will be attending Texas A&M’s Engineering Honors Program in the fall. Kyle’s favorite things about high school were participating on the Varsity Tennis Team and being on the Mathletes Team, where he has been the Team Captain the last two years. 

Unfortunately, the tennis season was cut short this year, but the Math Team was able to compete virtually a few weeks ago. Kyle also participated in band, Juntos tutoring, the Varsity Tennis Team’s big CIF win in 2018, and was part of the Destination Imagination Team that went to the State and Global Finals.

Kyle Herkins plaque

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Kyle Herkins will attend Texas A&M’s Engineering Honors Program 

Kyle wants to thank all of his coaches, teachers, principals, counselors, and everyone else who has helped him along this journey, including his friends. He also wants to wish his fellow classmates a great future.

Congratulations, Kyle!

In order to celebrate our graduating seniors’ achievements together as a community, we would like to extend an invitation to graduating seniors and their parents to submit announcements about college acceptances and plans for next year. Please submit your information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

LBHS Grads Parade

Photos by Mary Hurlbut 

LBHS Grads cheers

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On Thursday, LBHS graduating seniors picked up their caps and gowns in a specially organized parade. After gathering at Thurston Middle School, the parade turned left on to St Ann’s, down to Wilson, and up to Short Street, while passing teachers and staff spread out along the road cheering them on. According to their last names, the cars paraded down Park Ave in an organized caravan led by LBPD.

LBHS Grads cars

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Once they reached the District parking lot, graduating seniors picked up their caps and gowns.

LBHS Grads Julia

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Seen here is Julia Henry receiving her cap and gown. On Friday, LBUSD announced that it had received an updated protocol from the OCHCA that will grant LBHS authority to host a drive-through graduation celebration. “We have strict guidelines we are reviewing to appropriately plan an event for the original June 11th graduation date. We will also continue to hold the week of July 27th for a potential in-person gathering if we are permitted to do so,” stated Deputy Superintendent Leisa Winston.

For more photos by Mary Hurlbut, see the slideshow below

LBHS junior surpasses goals for COVID-19 Relief Passion Project

Laguna Beach High School junior Katelyn Kolberg has been working with other high school students from around Orange County to provide relief as part of the COVID-19 Relief Passion Project. The group is divided into eight task forces: art, sewing, face shields, business, outreach, research, writing, and distribution.

As Vice President of the Writing Group, Kolberg is responsible for assigning article topics and editing final drafts before publishing them to the website, which she also designed and developed. 

“I am glad to be a part of this group because I wanted to give back and inform the public on what is going on through something I enjoy doing, which is writing,” says Kolberg. “All aspects of the project, from sewing to writing to research, have made such a difference to inform and help the community.”

As many communities suffer the effects of COVID-19, the group’s mission has been to inform and serve the members of their communities by helping those in need and bringing awareness to prevent the virus’ spread. The group has surpassed their goals by a longshot. 

LBHS junior computer

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Katelyn Kolberg provides relief through her writing as part of the COVID-19 Relief Passion Project

Here are some of the group’s accomplishments to date:

--The team started out with a dozen students and has grown to more than 60 students. 

--They made and distributed over 500 hand-sewn face masks to local nurses and hospital staff, shut-in seniors, and families across Orange County.

--They made and distributed over 100 face shields to local clinics, the Long Beach Fire Department, families in and out of state, ER staff, the local senior center, and hospital doctors.

--They created a website and publish a variety of articles and activities on it, including research about COVID-19, effects of the pandemic on families/minority groups/businesses, encouraging pieces, comparisons to other countries’ responses, updated symptoms, and mental wellness tips.

--They facilitated a pen-pal program with the local senior center.

--They helped the elderly, who are at high risk of getting the virus, to obtain groceries.

--They have partnered with a group of women in Cambodia who are selling masks to help fundraise for their education and necessities by setting up social media platforms, an online store, and a website in addition to helping with publicity.

--They started a rock art project in which students can paint or write messages on rocks and deliver them to their neighbors to spread some joy during these hard times.

--They wrote and sent thank you notes to first responders.

--An article by one of the students was published in the LA Times on Redefining Social Distancing.

--They fundraised to purchase all supplies.

--They post craft ideas to help keep people busy and entertained at home, such as coloring book pages for kids that group members made, art pieces that provide emotional support during these times, video tutorials with music played and recorded by students, educational animations, and flyers to help spread the word or fundraise.

The group originally started out by focusing on making masks to donate to those in need, raising money for medical-grade masks and gowns, and providing companionship via a “pen pal” program for the elderly, but has evolved into many other forms of comfort and support for the community. 

The project was organized by LBHS alum Shellee Howard, founder of, in an effort to inspire her students to make a difference.

“Both of my children are in medical school and I am concerned about what they have to face,” said Howard. “I believe the students I get to mentor are change makers and I wanted to give them an opportunity to show how amazing they are.”

 High school junior Grace Jones states, “I got involved in this project because I have never witnessed a bigger need, and I knew I could lead my peers to make a huge impact. Even if we only ended up helping a few people, I would be honored to have helped in some form during these trying times.”

If you would like to volunteer, donate, or need supplies and/or support, you can find out more information at or donate via

These driven students are actively looking for eager individuals and companies to contribute to their cause. This is a great opportunity to make a difference in the community.

Logan Brooks: Stu News salutes Laguna Beach High School 2020 Graduating Senior

Logan Brooks and his mother Lisa moved to Laguna Beach in 2018 after Logan lost his father. During his two years of attendance at Laguna Beach High School (LBHS), Logan has garnered many athletic accolades. He will be attending University of California Irvine in the fall on an athletic scholarship.

Logan significantly contributed to the cross country and track and field programs in the two years he was at the school. In his junior year, only a few months after arriving in Laguna, Logan helped lead LBHS to a State Title in Cross Country in 2018 and then on to the Nationals for Track and Field that same year. Logan was also named All-American at Nationals. 

Logan Brooks closeup

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Logan Brooks will be attending UCI on an athletic scholarship

In the 2019 cross country season, Logan took first all around at the Sunset Wave League Championships then went on to the take third at state. Logan has broken numerous school records as well. It was recently announced that he will be named Athlete of the Year for the Sunset League Conference for All Sports All Athletes and will also be named Laguna Beach High School’s Athlete of the Year.

In order to celebrate our graduating seniors’ achievements together as a community, we would like to extend an invitation to graduating seniors and their parents to submit announcements about college acceptances and plans for next year. Please submit your information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Seniors’ scholarships to be presented in slide show


Laguna Beach High School graduating seniors will receive awards and scholarships courtesy of the Laguna Beach High School Scholarship Foundation in a Convocation Slide Presentation, different from past award ceremonies but one for the history books.   

This year honors will be presented in a slide show set for 6:30 p.m. on Friday, the date and time originally planned for the traditional awards ceremony in the Artists Theatre. The show can be watched and shared by graduates with family and friends via Scholarships will be announced with graphics and a slide for each scholarship and the recipients. 

The slide show format was proposed by Jennifer Sweet, a foundation board member. 

“We wanted to do something more than just send a letter,” said Sweet, who was inspired by filmed church services. “My husband is a pastor at Laguna Beach Presbyterian, and they have been holding online services. My son has been filming them.”

Sweet’s son Nathan, a 2014 graduate of the high school and a scholarship recipient, who has degree in video production, is putting the slide show together.

Seniors' Scholarships Mary Hurlbut

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

LBHS senior scholarship recipients will be honored on Friday in a virtual slide presentation

 An email was sent prior to the slide presentation to students who will be receiving an award and inviting them to attend the virtual Convocation by watching the show. Emails also were sent to students who will not be receiving awards, thanking them for applying and wishing them well in the future. 

Award winners will receive an email after the slide show to confirm the scholarship and instructions to watch for a letter with details. 

The award letter will include the name of the award(s), the amount of the award(s), the next steps to claim the award(s), a special banner with the #LBHSSF hashtag, and directions on a photo opportunity. 

Updated directions on how to claim the scholarships will be posted on the LBHSSF website. 

The annual Donors Reception and Dinner is also a casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic. Donors were notified of the presentation in a letter from the trustee related to the donor’s scholarship. 

“We will miss the excitement of a live Convocation and seeing you in person this year but are doing our best to make Convocation 2020 a meaningful and wonderful experience for this year’s graduating class,” stated the organization in the letter. Donors were thanked for their thoughtfulness, dedication, and generosity.

Last year, awards and scholarships exceeded $400,000.

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