NewLeftHeader

broken clouds

63.7°F

Laguna Beach


LCAD Alumna finds new purpose for her art with nonprofit organizations

LCAD Alumna Liz Espinoza-Nguyen began studying privately with Laguna College of Art + Design’s (LCAD) Fine Arts faculty members Brittany Ryan and Taylor Montague, who introduced her to LCAD’s Post-Baccalaureate in Drawing and Painting certificate program. “They said, ‘Don’t start over with another undergraduate degree,’” she remembered. “’Get your skills up, develop a portfolio and then go for your MFA.’”

LCAD’s one-year, 30-unit post-bacc program supports students in their personal journey toward artistic excellence while preparing artists and their portfolios for professional goals and/or advancement to an MFA program in studio art. 

Liz founded the Rosa Thay Nguyen Children’s Foundation (RTNCF), a nonprofit organization with the mission to give underprivileged children access to medical care and intervention in the U.S. and other developing countries after graduating from LCAD. 

The Foundation is dedicated to generations of women like Liz’s mother who immigrated from war-torn Vietnam to the United States with her young family. It was inspired by Rosa’s courageous spirit and her open-door policy to friends and family in need. 

LCAD Alumna artist

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

LCAD Alumna Liz Espinoza-Nguyen

No matter where her job took her – Chicago, San Francisco, and eventually Los Angeles – Liz Espinoza-Nguyen always carved out time and space to paint. As an officer with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, she managed many complex organized crimes, public corruption, human trafficking, and other white-collar crime investigations. But she never abandoned her passion for drawing and painting. 

“Everywhere I went, I took classes at community colleges or found private tutors,” Espinoza-Nguyen said. “But when I retired, and my daughters were grown up, I decided to make my art my life.”

Liz met with Betty Shelton, chair of LCAD’s Post-Baccalaureate program, and, in 2017, began her coursework in representational fine art. The work was challenging, but she began to see a transition in her art. She also found a new community of friends. “The women were like me,” she said. “We had put our art on hold to balance our families and careers. It was the best thing I’ve ever done.”

Liz decided to marry her art with her nonprofit’s mission. “The RTNCF is about love and compassion for humanity, especially children who desperately need our help for a chance to live a healthy life,” Espinoza-Nguyen said. “My paintings are a way to express the foundation’s spirit and to fundraise so we can get medical care to children in third world countries.”

Liz’s LCAD family – Betty Shelton, Any Dylan, Erin MacDonald, and Machiko Naganuna – are now members of Espinoza-Nguyen’s advisory board. They all have donated art to the RTNCF’s first silent auction and gala, The Journey of Courage, set to take place on June 15, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa, 21500 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach.

In December 2019, Espinoza-Nguyen will exhibit her work at John Wayne Airport, making her a very busy painter.

“If you have earned a bachelor’s degree with some studies in studio art and are considering pursuing your dream of becoming a skilled artist, you are a prime Post-Baccalaureate candidate” Espinoza-Nguyen said. 

“I have found a new purpose for my art.”

For more information about the RTNCF, visit https://rtncf.org.   

Founded in 1961, Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) is one of the top art and design schools in the nation. LCAD offers undergraduate degrees (BFA) in Animation, Drawing + Painting, Extended Reality Design (XRD), Game Art, Graphic Design + Digital Media, Illustration and Illustration in Entertainment Design, as well as Master of Fine Arts degrees (MFA) in Art of Game Design, Drawing, and Painting. 

For more information about LCAD admissions, news, events, and Annual Fund, visit www.lcad.edu.


LBHS student seeks clothing donations to support Kausakusun women’s shelter in Cusco, Peru

Laguna Beach High School (LBHS) sophomore Katelyn Kolberg was touched by volunteering at the Kausakusun women’s shelter in Cusco, Peru last summer and has organized a fundraiser to support the women and children at the shelter.

The shelter helps women who have suffered domestic violence, offering them a refuge to escape the violence and a safe place to re-group and plan for a better life. Most of the women who seek shelter and form part of the program have children. 

Volunteers spend their time caring for the women and children, offering them companionship, skill learning, education, and attention. The women have made the first step by leaving the abusive situation, however, they now need support to make a better life for themselves. 

LBHS student Katelyn

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Katelyn Kolberg with children at Kausakusun women’s shelter

Katelyn is seeking gently used clothing that will be sold at a pop-up event in May to raise money to pay for a sewing teacher at the shelter. Any clothing that is not sold will be donated to Laura’s House, a women’s shelter in Orange County.

While volunteering at the shelter, Katelyn was able to get the director to agree to open an abandoned sewing room. Katelyn used her proficient Spanish and sewing skills to teach the women how to sew bags that could be sold for profit. The women at the shelter are fleeing abusive relationships and need the skills to become financially independent. 

“I was so touched by the Peruvian children and want to help their mothers continue to sew,” said Katelyn. “Through teaching them how to sew, they can support their families. Your used clothing donations will help change lives.”

Drop off your clothing at Sourced at 950 Glenneyre St. The deadline for drop off is April 25.


LBHS golf team plays Los Alamitos during first Wave League match, loses close one 205-209

On Wednesday, April 3, Laguna Beach High School’s (LBHS) boys golf team played Los Alamitos in their first Wave League match at Aliso Viejo Country Club, par 35. Both teams were equally matched. After the match, Coach Sean Quigley said, “For us to be competitive in the Wave League, we really need to defend our home course. Unfortunately, Los Alamitos won a close match 205-209. So, we really let one get away from us today.”

The team went into the match with their #2 and #3 players sitting out, so they needed everyone else to step up to get a win. Quigley reported, “The top of our lineup scored great with Chase Gioffredi posting a match low score of 34 (-1) and senior Kyle Shaw shooting a career best at AVCC with a 37 (+3). 

LBHS golf 2019 team

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

LBHS 2019 Golf Team

After the first group finished, the team built up a solid 16 stroke lead, and Coach Quigley said, “It looked like we could pull it off. However, the players in the next two groups for Laguna shot well over their season averages, and when everyone had finished, Los Alamitos had a 4 stroke win.” 

Coach Quigley adds, “On a positive note, as a team we are continuing to improve and starting to consistently shoot competitive scores. Kyle Shaw really came through big for us with his 38; he’s always a hard worker in practice, and today it was great to see his game from tee to green as well as his short game both really clicking for him.” 

The top player scores for Laguna were: Chase Gioffredi – 34, Kyle Shaw – 38, Aiden Svenson – 42, Trent Ralston – 47, Cade St.Clair – 48, and Tai Diggins – 49.

In looking ahead to future matches, Coach Quigley says, “Chase has the ability to go toe to toe with all the top players in the league, and he’s starting to do that each match. If we can get all our players to put together a good round on the same day, we should get some league wins.”


Laguna Beach Girls Water Polo 14U A team makes a big splash at 15th Annual Laguna Beach Classic

This past Sunday, the Laguna Beach Girls Water Polo 14U A team won first place in the 15th Annual Laguna Beach Classic, beating their arch rival SOCAL 9-8. This coming weekend the team is playing in the California Cup State Finals in the Inland Empire.

Laguna Beach waterpolo team

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Back row standing: (L-R) Myha Pinto, Charlotte Riches, Coach Kelcie Ferreira, Livvie Ouellette, Ava Knepper, and Cleo Washer

Front row kneeling: (L-R) Jordan Schneider, Lauren Short, Lauren Schneider, and Avery Montiel


Laguna Beach Unified School District programs receive Festival of Arts Foundation grants

Laguna Beach Unified School District was awarded four grants totaling $18,000 from the Festival of Arts (FOA) Foundation to enhance fine arts programs at Laguna Beach High School and Thurston Middle School. 

The Laguna Beach High School art, drama, and ceramics programs each received $5,000. At Thurston Middle School, the drama program received $2,000 and the multimedia program received $1,000. 

The Laguna Beach FOA Foundation was incorporated in 1989 to preserve and promote the fine arts and all other artistic endeavors in and about Laguna Beach. The foundation operates independently from the Festival of Arts. To date, the Festival of Arts, along with the Foundation, has cumulatively awarded nearly $2.6 million in grants to the art community in Laguna Beach. 

Laguna Beach Joseph

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Johanna Ellis

LBHS drama program’s recent performance, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”

“I am grateful to the Festival of Arts Foundation for their generous support of Thurston’s multimedia program and for providing my students with the unique opportunity to learn about astrophotography,” said Thurston Middle School Multimedia Teacher Andy Crisp. He continued, “With this grant, we will be able to purchase a high-quality telescope, filter, and camera mount and host Thurston’s first ever astronomy night! Astrophotography is a challenging, yet really fun field of photography, and I am super excited to bring this art form to my students.”

Teachers have used the grants to provide students with real-world experiences and opportunities, including after-school open level master classes for the dance program and exhibit opportunities for the arts and ceramics programs at local galleries.

“Thanks to continued support from the Festival of Arts Foundation, we’ve been able to provide our Laguna Beach High School drama students with unique and meaningful opportunities both on stage and in the classroom,” said Laguna Beach High School and Thurston Middle School Drama Teacher and Director Alexis Karol. “This year, we’re excited to partner with the FOA Foundation at Thurston Middle School as well, as we focus on aligning our middle school drama coursework with the high school’s CTE Pathway in drama. Through the generosity of organizations like the Festival of Arts, we can provide quality production values and innovative curriculum designed to prepare our students for college, career, and beyond,” she concluded. 

The FOA Foundation has been a longtime supporter of the visual and performing arts in the LBUSD and will be recognized at a future school board meeting. For more information about the Festival of Arts Foundation, including its grants and scholarships, visit www.foapom.com/about/grants-scholarships/.


LBHS students perform at Carnegie Hall 

The Laguna Beach High School Wind Ensemble traveled to NYC and performed at Carnegie Hall last weekend. The group played two songs: Ride, composed by Samuel R. Hazo, and Shaker Dance, composed by John P. Zdechlik. Solos in Shaker Dance were performed by Oliver Reese Murray, Emily Thomas, and Zack Bonnin. 

LBHS students orchestra

Click on photo for a larger image

Orchestra at Carnegie Hall 

LBHS students outside

Click on photo for a larger image

Broadway in all its glory

LBHS students Oliver

Click on photo for a larger image

Oliver Reese Murray, who plays the clarinet, and his dad Charles 


LBHS student seeks clothing donations to support Kausakusun women’s shelter in Cusco, Peru

Laguna Beach High School (LBHS) sophomore Katelyn Kolberg was touched by volunteering at the Kausakusun women’s shelter in Cusco, Peru last summer and has organized a fundraiser to support the women and children at the shelter.

The shelter helps women who have suffered domestic violence, offering them a refuge to escape the violence and a safe place to re-group and plan for a better life. Most of the women who seek shelter and form part of the program have children. 

Volunteers spend their time caring for the women and children, offering them companionship, skill learning, education, and attention. The women have made the first step by leaving the abusive situation, however, they now need support to make a better life for themselves. 

LBHS student Katelyn

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Katelyn Kolberg with children at Kausakusun women’s shelter

Katelyn is seeking gently used clothing that will be sold at a pop-up event in May to raise money to pay for a sewing teacher at the shelter. Any clothing that is not sold will be donated to Laura’s House, a women’s shelter in Orange County.

While volunteering at the shelter, Katelyn was able to get the director to agree to open an abandoned sewing room. Katelyn used her proficient Spanish and sewing skills to teach the women how to sew bags that could be sold for profit. The women at the shelter are fleeing abusive relationships and need the skills to become financially independent. 

“I was so touched by the Peruvian children and want to help their mothers continue to sew,” said Katelyn. “Through teaching them how to sew, they can support their families. Your used clothing donations will help change lives.”

Drop off your clothing at Sourced at 950 Glenneyre St. The deadline for drop off is April 5.


LBUSD holds events to prevent students from substance abuse

By Carly Rohrer, LBHS students

In partnership with Brush & Palette newspaper

As the rates of teenage drug and alcohol usage skyrocket, each of LBUSD’s schools executes its own way to deal with the severe problem. The elementary schools, middle school, and high school have all put on unique events in an attempt to convince students to remain sober. 

At Top of the World Elementary School, music teacher Beth Sand teaches her students the song, “I Won’t Smoke – No Siree.” Mrs. Sand has taught many generations the catchy song. The purpose of teaching all of those students the song is to try to embed that smoking is bad in the flourishing minds of the students. 

On February 8, the Top of the World honors choir took a quick trip to the high school at lunch. They stood in the quad and belted out the song to all of the high school students. Eventually, some high schoolers were brave enough to join the children on stage and sing the song they once used to know. The whole goal of this activity was to remind the high schoolers of the pledge they made so many years ago. It was also to show the elementary students that there are cool high school students who don’t smoke. 

“The intention is really that our high school kids will remember that when they were in elementary school, most kids do pledge and plan not to ever smoke. Studies have shown that peer-to-peer teaching is 300 percent more effective than adults delivering the message, so having the elementary and high school kids making this pledge together will hopefully have a strong, positive impact,” said teacher Mindy Hawkins. 

Along with having a visit from the elementary students, the high school encouraged students to sign a big poster and pledge to remain nicotine free. By signing the pledge, they received a shirt with creative anti-smoking slogans such as, “I don’t dig your cig.” All of these events at the high school aim to deter students from drugs and alcohol. 

At the middle school, Student Resource Officer Corporal Cornelius “Corn” Ashton and Assistant Principal Lisa Brackez gave a lecture on the reasons not to get into drugs and alcohol. They gave their 45-minute presentation to all grade levels during the students’ physical education class. The main focus of the presentation was about how vaping can cause harmful long-term effects to the body. Ashton and Brackez also touched on the topic of bullying and choosing the right friends early on. 

“It was an important presentation because drugs and alcohol, specifically vaping, is an epidemic within teens, and most are not educated with the effects on the body,” said 7th-grader Hayden Rohrer, who attended the presentation. 

LBUSD holds t shirts

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

On February 6, the High on Life Club and ASB coordinated a pledge-signing in which students declared their intention to remain nicotine-free. After signing the pledge, students received a shirt with a creative anti-smoking slogan on it. This event was one of the many attempts to keep students out of drugs and alcohol in our school district.

At the elementary schools, the staff works diligently to keep the children out of trouble. Instead of having the elementary school students get stuck in the dangers of drugs and alcohol, the school tries to make the kids focus on healthy activities such as the arts, music, and sports. For the 4th and 5th graders, a program called “Botvin’s Curriculum” is used to educate students about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. The program teaches students about the devastating effects to the body that come with making the bad decisions. This program has been proven to reduce substance abuse by up to 80 percent. Along with Botvin’s Curriculum, school counselors provide additional presentations to the students to help ensure they remain sober. 

We are constantly evaluating our curriculum to ensure students are taught all the necessary skills they need to make them successful in the future. Our teachers work with the counselor to supplement the instruction as needed,” said Top of the World Elementary School Principal Michael Conlon. 

Curriculum, when it comes to drugs and alcohol, is always changing. Elementary schools are constantly reevaluating what should, and should not, be taught to the innocent minds. But when is there too much or too little education? 

“I don’t believe there is a need for more education at the elementary level,” said El Morro Elementary School Principal Chris Duddy. “Elementary school has a wide range of developmental levels. Unless there is new research indicating that there is an effective program for the elementary level. I know that past programs such as ‘Just Say No’ were proven as ineffective.”

If presented with information that is not age appropriate, younger students could end up exploring their curiosities about drugs and alcohol early.

All in all, the school district is uniting to make sure that none of their students fall down the deep hole of substance abuse. The only way there will be a change is if teens wake up and actually learn from all of the amazing programs and events that the district supports.

“All the money in the world isn’t going to make a difference towards these programs if the kids don’t buy into it,” said Hawkins.

Stu News Laguna is proud to feature LBHS students’ writing in partnership with the high school’s journalism class and the Brush & Palette student newspaper.


LBUSD Board of Education approves Course of Study for LBHS

At the March 26 LBUSD Board of Education meeting, the Board took action to approve the 2019-2020 Course of Study for Laguna Beach High School. The California Education Code requires the Governing Board of each school district to approve annually the curriculum for secondary schools under its jurisdiction.

The Course of Study contains a listing of course titles along with identification of new, University of California (UC) approved, and weighted courses. The LBUSD’s Curriculum Council reviews and makes recommendations regarding any new secondary level courses. The Curriculum Council process provides for teacher involvement along with parents and other members of the community through department groups and School Site Councils.

Pending enrollment and staffing, the approved course of study includes four new courses: Authentic Exploratory Research, Application Development, Creative Writing, and Yoga Core Fitness.

LBUSD Board bushes

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

The 2019-2020 Course of Study for LBHS was approved at the March 26 Board meeting

Also at the meeting, staff presented several textbooks to the Board for approval for implementation commencing with the 2019-2020 school year. In accordance with District Board Policy 6161.1, the textbooks were on display for public inspection in the Laguna Beach Unified School District Office from Tuesday, March 12 through Tuesday, March 26.

At the meeting, the Board took action to approve “Studies Weekly” (K-5), “National Geographic” (6-8), and “Teacher’s Curriculum Institute” (9-12) for History/Social Science; “Applied Calculus: For the Managerial, Life, and Social Sciences” from Cengage for Calculus; and, CodeHS Online Curriculum for the Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science “A” course at LBHS. 

Since November 2016, the School Board has met annually to review agreed-upon governance norms and protocols. The Board asked staff to provide several options for a facilitated workshop focused on three identified components vital to effective school governance: (1) The attributes of an effective individual trustee, (2) the attributes of an effective governing board, and (3) the specific jobs the board performs in its governance role. At the March 26 meeting, the Board gave direction to staff to arrange a contract with The Aspen Group for a one-day workshop. The Aspen Group designed “Coherence Governance,” which establishes standards for districts and helps identify and define values for outcomes for operational standards. 

Laguna Beach High School was among seventeen Orange County schools recognized for efforts to engage students in civic learning. The school received a Civic Learning Award of Merit from the California Courts system. 

On May 1, at 6 p.m., Dr. Denise Pope, Senior Lecturer at Stanford University, will be in the LBHS Artists Theatre for a presentation focused on strategies for reducing academic stress, living a well-balanced life, and finding individual paths to success. Light refreshments will be served. Students in grades 8 to 12 may attend with a parent or guardian. 

RSVP at www.lbusd.org/lbusdpresentsto ensure an accurate headcount for food and seating. 


El Morro 5th Graders participate in annual State Fair

El Morro 1

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

El Morro 5th graders sing “God Bless the U.S.A.” and “Fifty Nifty United States,” among other songs, to kick off State Fair festivities

El Morro 2

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Cody Peasley (left) and Logan Barreth, who chose Oregon as his state

El Morro 3

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

So many places to visit! The culmination of many weeks of hard work…

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Lynette Brasfield, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Stacia Stabler is our Social Media Manager & Writer.

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

Email: Shaena@StuNewsLaguna.com for questions about advertising

949.315.0259

Email: Editor@StuNewsLaguna.com with news releases, letters, etc.

949.315.0259

© 2019 Stu News Laguna - All Rights Reserved.