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Tonight’s School Board meeting includes technology department information update

The agenda for tonight’s (Tuesday, May 14) regular LBUSD Board of Education meeting has been posted online here. Open session will begin at 6 p.m. at the District office, at 550 Blumont St, with closed session occurring beforehand at 5 p.m.

Tonights school palm

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

LBUSD School Boarding meeting tonight (May 14) is open to the public and begins at 6 p.m.

The Board will receive a technology department information update. Action items for consideration by the Board include a MOU with the city of Laguna Beach to implement a jointly operated adult education program and renewal of routine contracts.

The LBUSD Board of Education’s vision is to take ownership of each child’s learning in our schools, accepting no limits on potential. Their mission is that each student gains the knowledge, experience, world perspectives, and skills needed to become a lifelong learner and producer in a competitive and interconnected world.

For more information on District happenings, visit www.lbusd.org.


LBHS Girls Swim Relay team makes it to CIF finals

During the CIF prelims on May 2 at Riverside Aquatic Center, the Laguna Beach High School Girls Swim Relay team swam the 200 and 400 Free Relays and out of the co-ed prelim teams, advanced to the CIF finals. Molly Renner made finals for the 200 individual.

Laguna Beach girls

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Swimmers on both the 200 and 400 free style relay team who qualified and made it to the CIF final: (L-R) Coach Kari Damato, Jessie Rose, Claire Kelly, Molly Renner, and Ella Judd

Laguna Beach boys and girls

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CIF Prelim Team: (L-R) Coach Nicky Clark, Will Kelly, Nathan Solomon, James Nolan, Colton Gregory, Molly Renner, Claire Kelly, Jessie Rose, Ella Judd, Emma Lineback, Head Coach Kari Damato, and Coach Ethan Damato

The CIF finals were held on May 4 at Riverside Aquatic Center.


Laguna Beach Water Polo Club girls win double gold at the San Diego County Cup Tournament

It was a very successful three days for the girls teams from the Laguna Beach Water Polo Club who competed in the San Diego County Cup Tournament. Both the 12U and 14U A girls won gold medals in their respective divisions against some very tough competition from around the U.S. The 14U B girls won bronze in their division.

Laguna Beach 12U girls

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12U Team: Back row – (L-R) Coach Rob Carver, Kara Carver, Kirra Pantaleon, Sofia Umeda, Siena Jumani, Kaelyn Chism, Coach Marc Umeda, and Presley Jones; Front row – (L-R) Caitlin Stayt, Elizabeth Nicoloff, Molly Wilkerson, and Maya Tovar

Laguna Beach 12U All

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All Tournament Team 12U: (L-R) Sofia Umeda, MVP Molly Wilkerson, and Siena Jumani

Laguna Beach 14U girls

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14U Team: Back Row – (L-R) Livvie Ouellette, Helene MacBeth, Charlotte Riches, Cleo Washer, Coach Kelcie Ferreira, Ava Knepper, Myha Pinto, and Avery Montiel; Front Row (L-R) – Jordan Schneider, Lauren Schneider, and Lauren Short

Laguna Beach 14U all

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All Tournament Team 14U: (L-R) Charlotte Riches, MVP Lauren Schneider, and Avery Montiel

Laguna Beach 14U B team

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14U B Team: (L-R) Sophie Colladay, Rebecca Storke, Chiara Amoroso, Claire Turner (All Tournament Team), Mac Jenal, Taylor Naughton, Eleanor Ramsey, Ryley McDennon, Bella Nenadov, Nina Rogers, and Coach Bridgette Alvarez

The prestigious San Diego County Cup is the second largest water polo tournament in the U.S. after the Junior Olympic National Championships.


LBHS cheerleading team offers Cheer Clinic and Parents Night Out on Friday

Laguna Beach High School’s cheerleading team will offer a special Cheer Clinic and Parents Night Out this Friday, May 10 from 6 - 9 p.m. at LBHS Duggar Gym. The event will offer children an evening full of cheers, chants, dances, and more while parents are able to enjoy a night out. The donation amount is $45. Pizza and snacks will be provided.

LBHS cheerleading squad

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Kids can join LBHS cheerleaders for Cheer Clinic on Friday

The clinic is a fundraiser for the LBHS Cheer Team. Laguna Beach helps the team strengthen their program, and the cheerleaders thank the community for its support. The money raised will assist in covering the cost of summer camp, skills clinics, spirit wear, the team’s banquet – and so much more.

LBHS is located at 625 Park Ave.

Participants are asked to pre-register by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


LBHS Boys Golf plays to determine who moves on to compete in the CIF playoffs

This week, Laguna Beach High School played in the two-day Wave League boys golf tournament to determine which individual players from the league will move on to play in the CIF playoffs. The tournament started at San Clemente Municipal Golf Course on Monday, April 29. Day two was held at Skylinks Golf Course in Long Beach on Tuesday, April 30.

Coach Sean Quigley reports, “Everyone played 18 holes each day; the top 12 players and ties on the first day made the cut and moved on to the second day. At the end of the second day, the scores from each day were added together and the top six players qualified for CIF individual playoffs.” 

Laguna’s six players in the tournament included senior Chase Gioffredi, senior Gus Morck, junior Aiden Svenson, senior Kyle Shaw, junior Tai Diggins, and senior Hayden Myers. 

Boys Golf Morck

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Gus Morck

Coach Quigley continues, “Unfortunately, several Laguna players were off their game on the first day and at the end of play and only Gus Morck made the cut. Gus shot 81 and the cut came in at 84, so he made it by three strokes. Gus’s round included three birdies and six pars. Aiden Svenson came close shooting 85. Tai Diggins and Chase Gioffredi missed by three strokes with both of them shooting 87. Kyle Shaw shot 94 and Haden Myers shot 97.”

Day two was played at Skylinks Golf Course in Long Beach – this is the same course where the first round of CIF individual playoffs will be held, so it gave the players a tough test of golf. They played from the back tees with the course measuring 6,909 yards. 

“Gus went out in the first group and ran into some early trouble on the front 9 holes carding a 41, with a double bogie on hole 2,” says Coach Quigley. “However, he then settled down and posted a 38 on the back 9 holes, including 2 birdies and playing even par golf for the last 7 holes. 

Morck’s finishing score came in at 79 for a two-day total of 160. According to Coach Quigley, Gus played solid golf, especially on the longer Skylinks course, and he finished the tournament T7, missing a spot in the playoffs by one place.


LBHS cheerleading team offers Cheer Clinic and Parents Night Out on Friday, May 10

Parents can enjoy some free time out while their child participates in a fun Cheer Clinic with the Laguna Beach High School cheerleading team. The event will be an evening full of cheers, chants, dances, and more from 6 - 9 p.m. on Friday, May 10 at LBHS Duggar Gym. The donation amount is $45. Pizza and snacks will be provided.

LBHS cheerleading squad

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Kids can join LBHS cheerleaders for Cheer Clinic on Friday, May 10

The clinic is a fundraiser for the LBHS Cheer Team. Laguna Beach helps the team strengthen their program, and the cheerleaders thank the community for its support. The money raised will assist in covering the cost of summer camp, skills clinics, spirit wear, the team’s banquet – and so much more.

LBHS is located at 625 Park Ave.

Participants are asked to pre-register by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Laguna Women’s Open beach volleyball tournament returns to Main Beach on May 11

Photos by Scott Brashier

For years, the best beach volleyball players have played in Laguna. 

On Saturday, May 11, the Laguna Women’s Open beach volleyball tournament is sure to excite the crowd again. Check-in starts at 8:30 a.m. and the games being at 9. Bring your umbrella, head down to Main Beach, and let the fun begin. 

Womens Laguna ball

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Bump, set, spike…get ready for a fun tournament in Laguna 

This tournament will be a pool play tournament on five courts with a single elimination playoff. There will be a guaranteed prize pot of at least $3,000. The winners will also have their names put on a perpetual trophy. 

Womens Laguna team

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Fun in the sand at a previous Laguna Women’s Open 

For more information and to register, www.cbva.com.

Main Beach is located at 107 South Coast Hwy.


LBHS student Joseph Hovanesian’s Eagle Scout Project receives top OC honors 

Laguna Beach High School sophomore Joseph was honored on Wednesday night with the Eagle Scout Project of the Year award at the Eagle Scout recognition dinner of the Orange County Council of the Boy Scouts. His project involved creating a sewing program for a nonprofit youth shelter in the developing country of Armenia. 

Hovanesian, whose video describing his project was played for the audience of 500 at the recognition, has been a Scout since he joined Tiger Cubs in first grade. He dreamed up the project in the spring of 2017, when his family was planning a two-week summer vacation to their ancestral homeland. “I’ve always enjoyed creating things, and I had learned to sew the year before. I wanted my Eagle project to benefit young people in Armenia,” he said. 

He learned about Orran, a shelter in Armenia’s capital city that takes children who were found begging on the street and gives them educational and enriching after-school activities. Sewing was notably missing from their offerings, so Joseph set out to raise $1,500 in the US to buy Orran two sewing machines and supply them with enough fabric and supplies for a year’s worth of teaching. 

To raise the money, Joseph created a website, made an appearance on KX 93.5’s “Caroline’s Cause Corner” with Caroline Rustigian, and made presentations at Thurston Middle School and at his church. 

Hovanesian Eagle Project Award

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Hovanesian (center) receives the Eagle Scout Project of the Year Award from (L to R) Jeff Herrmann, CEO, and Mark Engstrom, Chairman of the Board of the OC Boy Scouts

An outpouring of support ensued. He raised over $5,000 – more than twice his goal – and received five large duffel bags of donated fabric, much of it from a local dress shop and from Pacific Coast Drapery Manufacturing, owned by Sam Eidt, the dad of a fellow Scout. With the added funds, Joseph’s project was able to buy four sewing machines and support the salary of a teacher in Armenia for the sewing program’s first year. 

With his family and his donated supplies, Joseph traveled to Armenia and taught the first two lessons to about 20 local children. “Before the trip, we did a dry run sewing lesson with my guy friends in Laguna to get me ready, but I actually found it easier to teach a bunch of girls whose language I didn’t speak in Armenia because they paid much closer attention,” said Joseph.

At LBHS, Joseph takes part in drama and Destination Imagination. Only one in 25 Boy Scouts earns the Eagle rank. The requirements include leadership experience, 21 merit badges ranging in topic from Environmental Science to Lifesaving, and a service project where the Scout plans, develops, and gives leadership in a significant effort that benefits others. Having achieved their Eagles together on December 5 last year, Joseph and his fellow Scout Logan Leeds added to the list of 117 Eagles in the 73-year history of Troop 35, chartered to Laguna Presbyterian Church. 

Scouts BSA is a program of the Boy Scouts of America for both boys and girls from kindergarten through high school. 

To learn more about Laguna Beach Pack and Troop 35, visit www.lagunabeach35.mytroup.us.

To view Joseph’s project video, click here.

 


LBHS Boys Tennis brings home four CIF medals

On Monday, April 22, Laguna Beach High School Varsity Boys Tennis, under the leadership of Head Coach Rick Conkey, sent four singles players and four sets of doubles to compete in the Varsity Individual CIF championships at Edison High School. 

One player made it to the finals, Mason Lebby, battling all the way to his final match where he ultimately lost to the Wave League champion. Mason will receive a medal and qualified to compete in the state championships in May.

LBHS Boys court

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Playing for the CIF win

On the same day, the boys’ JV team, under the leadership of Coach Nic Radisay, sent four singles players and four sets of double players to compete in the JV Individual CIF championships also hosted by Edison High School. 

LBHS Boys group

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Boys JV Tennis Winners – Singles and Doubles Championship for Wave League – stand proudly with their coaches

Freshman Jeff Herkins destroyed his opponent with a 6-0, 6-1 win to be named the JV Wave League champion. Our doubles champions, Freshmen Jake Rasmussen and Junior Andre Marciano, dropped their first set but showed heart and brains to adapt against their opponents as they staged an epic comeback winning the last two sets both in dramatic tiebreakers.


LBUSD April 23 Board of Education Meeting summary

At the April 23 meeting, the LBUSD Board of Education recognized Thurston Middle School’s designation as a California Distinguished School. Thurston Middle School was recognized for its exemplary programs focused on increasing student academic achievement and social-emotional strength through collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and communication. 

LBUSD April group

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Thurston Middle School Principal Jenny Salberg (second from left) with Thurston staff members

At the meeting the Board also took action to approve a recommended Student Board Member Selection Process developed by Student Board Members Kaitlin Gunsolley and Piper Warner in conjunction with staff. The recommendation is a four-step process that includes an invitation to all eleventh grade students, an application process, and a two-part interview process. 

The Board additionally took action to reschedule the September 10 meeting to August 27. 

A community member placed an item on the agenda to request clarification on the policy and practices for weighting grades at LBHS. After public comment, the Board provided direction to staff to present information on this topic at the May 28 Board meeting.

The Board took action to approve the contract services agreement with The Aspen Group for a one-day Governance training session. 

Ending the meeting, the Board took action to approve several updated Board policies and approved Board Bylaw 9310. The Board did not approve Board Bylaws 9322 and 9323.3 at this meeting and provided direction to bring them to a future Board policy workshop for further discussion.

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut is our Chief Photographer.

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. Scott Brashier is our photographer.

Stacia Stabler is our Social Media Manager & Writer.

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