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LBUSD COVID-19 Dashboard

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For more information and to access the dashboard, visit www.lbusd.org/resources/covid19/covid-19-reporting

 


LBHS swim team vs Newport Harbor

Photos by Scott Brashier

LBHS swim diving

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Off to a good start

LBHS swim duo

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Fighting for a lead

LBHS swim on deck

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Cheering teammates on!


Local student prompts LBHS remembrance of Armenian Genocide

By SARA HALL

A local student used a PTA grant award to spread awareness and officially recognize a historical massacre, a tragedy that has close ties to his own family’s heritage.

Laguna Beach High School sophomore class president Ashton Azadian was awarded an LBHS student grant for his idea to recognize and remember the Armenian Genocide.

As schools across the country recognize Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day on April 24, LBHS joins them as Azadian made an announcement to the entire campus on Wednesday (April 21) and hung up a banner in the school’s quad.

Azadian came up with the idea to design, print, and hang the banner, which can continue to be used in the future. A QR Code on the banner links to the U.S. Congress’s most recent bill recognizing the Armenian Genocide. The proclamation condemns the killing of over 1.5 million Christian Armenians from 1915 to 1923, a campaign of ethnic and religious extermination. He received an $85 student grant from the LBHS PTA to create the banner.

Local student Ashton Azadian

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Courtesy of James Azadian

Laguna Beach High School sophomore Ashton Azadian by the banner he created to recognize the Armenian Genocide

“As someone who has Armenian heritage, it means a lot to me that our school and our PTA recognizes the Armenian Genocide because, as the saying goes, if we don’t learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it,” Azadian said during his message.

Azadian’s great-grandfather was a survivor of the Armenian Genocide. Although Hagop Azadian was just 4 years old when it happened, “he remembered the horrors inflicted on his family while he watched his mother and father and older siblings being mercilessly and brutally tortured and then murdered,” Azadian said.

Hagop Azadian was somehow rescued by a caravan of Kurds, Ashton Azadian explained in an email to Stu News Laguna on Wednesday. 

They marched all the way to Lebanon and left him at the Birds Nest orphanage, which is still active today. At the time Hagop Azadian was dropped off, it was run by Danish nuns; now the Armenian Catholic Church oversees the program. He grew up in the orphanage and came to the United States when he was an adult, his great-grandson said.

His own family connection makes the action more meaningful, Ashton Azadian said during a phone interview on Wednesday. Even as his great-grandfather aged, he remembered the tragedy.

“It was an honor to talk about my great-grandfather,” Azadian said. “Without my great-grandfather passing down his legacy and how he survived it, we all would not have been able to learn about it.”

Azadian learned about the Armenian Genocide with the help of his father and grandfather, who assisted in researching the history.

Local student Azadian family

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Courtesy of James Azadian

Local student Ashton Azadian’s (left to right) great-grandfather Hagop Azadian, his dad James Azadian, his uncle George Azadian, and his grandfather Steve Azadian

He wanted to organize the recognition last year, on the 105th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, but the COVID-19 pandemic paused his plans.

In his message to the school, Azadian encouraged his fellow students to scan the code on the banner and learn more about the Armenian Genocide and the U.S.’s formal recognition.

“I’m really happy with the results,” he said. “Hopefully it will have an impact.” After giving the morning announcement on Wednesday, some of Azadian’s friends saw him in school and gave him high fives and fist bumps. One friend said he had no idea there was an Armenian Genocide and thanked Azadian for bringing awareness of it to the school. Another said the story about his great-grandfather’s survival was inspirational and thanked him for sharing his story.

After classes were out for the day, Azadian noticed a number of students looking at the banner and using their phones to link up to the QR code and learn more about the Armenian Genocide, Azadian wrote in an email on Wednesday. 

President Joe Biden is expected on Saturday (April 24) to formally acknowledge the mass killings of Armenians as genocide. It will be the first time in history a U.S. president will use the term “genocide” while referring to the systematic killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1923 in what is now modern-day Turkey.

“I was really proud to be able to help increase our school’s awareness of this important event in our world’s history,” he said.

Azadian emphasized the importance of recognizing genocide so it’s not repeated in the future.

“When Hitler was asked how he thought he’d get away with the Jewish Holocaust during World War II, his response was this, quote, ‘Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?’ end quote,” Azadian said. The banner respectfully remembers the Armenian Genocide and pays tribute to the many lives that were thoughtlessly taken away, he said. 

“It sends an important message that our Breaker Nation stands against genocide,” Azadian wrote in his grant application. “I am hopeful that our Breaker Nation can appropriately remember the Armenian Genocide by commemorating the millions of children, men, and women who were brutally and meaninglessly killed in an attempt to eradicate the Armenian People from the face of the earth.”


LBUSD COVID-19 Dashboard

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Courtesy of LBUSD

For more information and to access the dashboard, visit www.lbusd.org/resources/covid19/covid-19-reporting

 


LBHS baseball team defeats Troy

Photos by Scott Brashier

LBHS baseball throwing

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April 16 home game against Troy High School, LBHS won 7-3

LBHS baseball hitting

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LBHS baseball team’s overall record is 6-4-0

LBHS baseball running

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Next game will be played on April 24 –  for schedule, click here


LBHS freshman Elliott Mason Leeds earns Eagle Scout rank, Scouts BSA’s highest honor

Laguna Beach Troop 35 proudly announces that Elliott Leeds earned his Eagle Scout rank on April 15. Elliott is 14 years old, a Laguna Beach High School freshman, and earned 21 merit badges as well as many other requirements needed to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. Elliott also earned 10 additional merit badges, enough to earn his Bronze Eagle Palm and Gold Eagle Palm. 

For his Eagle Project, Elliott made 15 durable music stands for the Laguna Beach Jazz Band and for student musicians of Laguna Beach High School and Thurston Middle School. The project was funded by Laguna Beach Band Boosters, Ganahl Lumber, Home Depot, and Coast Hardware. It took months to plan, design, fund, and build, as well as organize and lead members of his Troop and Patrol to build the tri-fold music stands.

LBHS freshman Leeds

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Laguna Beach’s newest Eagle Scout, Elliott Leeds

Elliott’s Eagle Project required proposing, planning, designing, and leading scouts of Troop 35 to cut, sand, screw, construct, paint, and finish 15 music stands, which were made from high-quality finished plywood, piano hinges, screws, wood, glue, and paint. Local businesses were very helpful and generous with hardware, food, drop cloths, sandpaper, and more!

Teacher/conductor Steven Wade is overjoyed with the quality of the workmanship, which will greatly improve the professionalism of the Laguna Beach Jazz Band. Wade, himself an accomplished jazz trumpeter, is a member of the Afro-Peruvian Jazz Orchestra, which was nominated for a 2021 Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album.

“Scouting has helped us as a family instill the properties of civic responsibility, community service, and character building in our lives,” said Elliott’s Mom Kimberly Bixler Leeds.

LBHS freshman table

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Members of Laguna Beach Troop 35 “Griffin” Patrol and friends assist Elliott Leeds (second from left in big hat) in the creation of 15 tri-fold music stands for the Laguna Beach Jazz Band. From left: Logan Leeds (Eagle Scout 2019, LBHS 2020), Elliott Leeds, Luke Stellar, Meredith Stellar, Will Briggs, Will Neukomm, Dad and Assistant Scoutmaster Clay Leeds, and Alex Stemple.

Elliott’s Dad Clay Leeds added, “Our family has volunteered many hours, days, nights, weekends, and Summer Camp weeks with Laguna Beach Troop 35, helping our kids and other members of our community learn the joy and benefit of being active citizens of Laguna, Orange County, California, the United States and of Planet Earth. 

“Laguna Beach Troop 35 has so many lovely and helpful people, and we’ve found scouting helps our boys and girls become nice, helpful members of the community.”

Elliott’s Dad was Troop 35 Scoutmaster from 2016 through 2019. 

“Some of the work was hard, but the play was harder!” Clay added. Elliott’s brother Logan Leeds (LBHS 2020) became an Eagle Scout in 2019, with his Eagle Project to restore all the interpretive posts in the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park’s Dilley Preserve. For the map, click here. 

Elliott and Logan got to play onstage together in 2019 in the Laguna Beach Jazz Band from Thurston and LBHS, along with legendary musicians Beth and Steve Wood, Frank Cotinola, Phil Gough, and more.

LBHS freshman flag

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Flashback: Pack 35 “Den” (and future Troop 35 “Griffin” Patrol) members Alex Stemple, Elliott Leeds, and Nico Bammer show their patriotism in the back of the Ganahl Lumber truck, at the 2014 Patriot’s Day Parade

The Eagle Scout rank is the highest rank offered by Scouts BSA. Only three percent of the Boy Scout members ever attain this prestigious honor. Even fewer achieve Bronze, Gold, and Silver Eagle Palms.

Laguna Beach Troop 35 is part of the El Camino Real District of the Orange County Council of Scouts BSA, and was chartered by the Laguna Presbyterian Church in 1945 (76 years!). Laguna Presbyterian is proud to announce the progression of another scout on his journey to the highest achievement available in Scouts BSA, formerly known as the Boy Scouts of America. 

LBHS freshman Wade and Leeds

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Laguna Beach Jazz Band conductor and teacher Steven Wade receives 15 tri-fold music stands from Life Scout (now Eagle Scout as of April 15, 2021) Elliott Leeds

Elliott wishes to thank the many dedicated adult volunteers, including Scoutmasters Michael Lindsey and Grandma Jane Heath, Assistant Scoutmasters (and Dad) Clay Leeds and Josh Bammer, Committee Chair Extraordinaire Pam Jensen, Advancement Chairs Katherine Stellar and Kevin Decato, Charter Organization Representatives Dick Maxwell and Tom Fay, and Committee Members (and Mom) Kimberly Bixler Leeds, Todd Hammett, as well as the Hovanesians and Laura Keyser in Troop 35 for all those many supportive hours that made his Eagle Scout award possible, Grandpa Ted Keyes (Eagle ‘74) for design assistance, Scott Wittkop for Graphic Design, and the Parkers for nitty gritty help. Elliott also was to thank the boys in Troop 35, and especially his Patrol (and Den!): Alex Stemple, Luke Stellar, Will Briggs, Will Neukomm, Nico Bammer, and Dylan Chestleson.


LBHS freshman Elliott Mason Leeds earns Eagle Scout rank, Scouts BSA’s highest honor

Laguna Beach Troop 35 proudly announces that Elliott Leeds earned his Eagle Scout rank on Thursday, April 15. Elliott is 14 years old, a Laguna Beach High School freshman, and earned 21 merit badges as well as many other requirements needed to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. Elliott also earned 10 additional merit badges, enough to earn his Bronze Eagle Palm and Gold Eagle Palm. 

For his Eagle Project, Elliott made 15 durable music stands for the Laguna Beach Jazz Band and for student musicians of Laguna Beach High School and Thurston Middle School. The project was funded by Laguna Beach Band Boosters, Ganahl Lumber, Home Depot, and Coast Hardware. It took months to plan, design, fund, and build, as well as organize and lead members of his Troop and Patrol to build the tri-fold music stands.

LBHS freshman Leeds

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Laguna Beach’s newest Eagle Scout, Elliott Leeds

Elliott’s Eagle Project required proposing, planning, designing, and leading scouts of Troop 35 to cut, sand, screw, construct, paint, and finish 15 music stands, which were made from high-quality finished plywood, piano hinges, screws, wood, glue, and paint. Local businesses were very helpful and generous with hardware, food, drop cloths, sandpaper, and more!

Teacher/conductor Steven Wade is overjoyed with the quality of the workmanship, which will greatly improve the professionalism of the Laguna Beach Jazz Band. Wade, himself an accomplished jazz trumpeter, is a member of the Afro-Peruvian Jazz Orchestra, which was nominated for a 2021 Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album.

“Scouting has helped us as a family instill the properties of civic responsibility, community service, and character building in our lives,” said Elliott’s Mom Kimberly Bixler Leeds.

LBHS freshman table

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Members of Laguna Beach Troop 35 “Griffin” Patrol and friends assist Elliott Leeds (second from left in big hat) in the creation of 15 tri-fold music stands for the Laguna Beach Jazz Band. From left: Logan Leeds (Eagle Scout 2019, LBHS 2020), Elliott Leeds, Luke Stellar, Meredith Stellar, Will Briggs, Will Neukomm, Dad and Assistant Scoutmaster Clay Leeds, and Alex Stemple.

Elliott’s Dad Clay Leeds added, “Our family has volunteered many hours, days, nights, weekends, and Summer Camp weeks with Laguna Beach Troop 35, helping our kids and other members of our community learn the joy and benefit of being active citizens of Laguna, Orange County, California, the United States and of Planet Earth. 

“Laguna Beach Troop 35 has so many lovely and helpful people, and we’ve found scouting helps our boys and girls become nice, helpful members of the community.”

Elliott’s Dad was Troop 35 Scoutmaster from 2016 through 2019. 

“Some of the work was hard, but the play was harder!” Clay added. Elliott’s brother Logan Leeds (LBHS 2020) became an Eagle Scout in 2019, with his Eagle Project to restore all the interpretive posts in the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park’s Dilley Preserve. For the map, click here. 

Elliott and Logan got to play onstage together in 2019 in the Laguna Beach Jazz Band from Thurston and LBHS, along with legendary musicians Beth and Steve Wood, Frank Cotinola, Phil Gough, and more.

LBHS freshman flag

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Flashback: Pack 35 “Den” (and future Troop 35 “Griffin” Patrol) members Alex Stemple, Elliott Leeds, and Nico Bammer show their patriotism in the back of the Ganahl Lumber truck, at the 2014 Patriot’s Day Parade

The Eagle Scout rank is the highest rank offered by Scouts BSA. Only three percent of the Boy Scout members ever attain this prestigious honor. Even fewer achieve Bronze, Gold, and Silver Eagle Palms.

Laguna Beach Troop 35 is part of the El Camino Real District of the Orange County Council of Scouts BSA, and was chartered by the Laguna Presbyterian Church in 1945 (76 years!). Laguna Presbyterian is proud to announce the progression of another scout on his journey to the highest achievement available in Scouts BSA, formerly known as the Boy Scouts of America. 

LBHS freshman Wade and Leeds

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Laguna Beach Jazz Band conductor and teacher Steven Wade receives 15 tri-fold music stands from Life Scout (now Eagle Scout as of April 15, 2021) Elliott Leeds

Elliott wishes to thank the many dedicated adult volunteers, including Scoutmasters Michael Lindsey and Grandma Jane Heath, Assistant Scoutmasters (and Dad) Clay Leeds and Josh Bammer, Committee Chair Extraordinaire Pam Jensen, Advancement Chairs Katherine Stellar and Kevin Decato, Charter Organization Representatives Dick Maxwell and Tom Fay, and Committee Members (and Mom) Kimberly Bixler Leeds, Todd Hammett, as well as the Hovanesians and Laura Keyser in Troop 35 for all those many supportive hours that made his Eagle Scout award possible, Grandpa Ted Keyes (Eagle ‘74) for design assistance, Scott Wittkop for Graphic Design, and the Parkers for nitty gritty help. Elliott also was to thank the boys in Troop 35, and especially his Patrol (and Den!): Alex Stemple, Luke Stellar, Will Briggs, Will Neukomm, Nico Bammer, and Dylan Chestleson.


LBUSD COVID-19 Dashboard

LBUSD COVID 19 Dashboard 4 16 21

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBUSD

For more information and to access the dashboard, visit www.lbusd.org/resources/covid19/covid-19-reporting

 


LBUSD COVID-19 Dashboard

LBUSD COVID 19 Dashboard 4 12 21

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBUSD

For more information and to access the dashboard, visit www.lbusd.org/resources/covid19/covid-19-reporting

 


LBHS Surf takes big win over JSerra, 56-36 

The Laguna Beach High School Surf Team had another successful event this past weekend, dominating the field with several surfers making the finals and taking wins in their respective divisions. It was an exciting day of surf competition at the Scholastic Surf Series event held at San Clemente Pier last Sunday. 

The event started with team competition and Laguna Beach High School was up against JSerra. Everyone surfed really well, and the team took the overall win by a good margin, 53-36. Some of the team helped out in multiple divisions and the entire team advanced to the individual competition. 

Top Overall Wins and Finalists were Christian Schenk, Lillie Kulber, and Dylan Zoller.

LBHS Surf Lillie and Scout

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Lillie Kulber and Scout Mitchell

The weather was a beautiful summer-like day, although the surf was pretty small and challenging, in the 2-ft. range. The entire team did their part and surfed really well and enjoyed the amazing weather. The team had a number of excellent scores posted from our surfers throughout the day. 

Dylan Zoller kicked off the finals with a win in the Bodyboard. Christian Schenk and Lilie Kulber dominated the Men’s and Women’s Shortboard respectively, both posting several outstanding rides throughout the day to stand out and win their overall divisions. 

Lillie also pitched in double duty in Longboard along with Scout Mitchell. Scout had a good day as well and made it to the finals in Longboard placing 3rd. 

LBHS Surf Dylan

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Submitted photo

Dylan Zoller won the Bodyboard Division and his overall division

In the Men’s Shortboard, Laguna placed four of the six finalists. Freshman Maddox Rapp was ripping all day and made his second final, this time taking 3rd overall; he also helped out in Longboard. Meanwhile Tyson Lockhart, usually a standout, was skunked in the final and finished in 5th. Ryan Magee was on fire all day, winning his semifinal to jump straight into the finals. Unfortunately, he had to leave before the final so he finished 6th overall. Just missing out on the finals, but surfing really well throughout the day, were Ryan Halloran and Dane Cameron. Both surfers helped out with double duty in Shortboard and Longboard and were impressive.

Next up will be the Scholastic Surf Series State Championships on April 24-25 at Southside Oceanside Harbor.

Coaches Alisa Cairns and Scott Finn say, “Thanks to our large support of family and friends who came out and cheered on the team!”

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

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Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Maggi Henrikson, Marrie Stone, Sara Hall, Stacia Stabler and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists.

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