Briefly In Education

Children can sing with Presbyterian church

Laguna Presbyterian's new music and drama program is on the lookout for new talent.

Choral Director Linda White will hold rehearsals at 6 p.m. Mondays.

Anyone interested, especially middle school students, is encouraged to attend to get more information and learn about the program.

White will produce a mini-musical, "Esther-Ordinary Faith" with the kids, which tells the biblical tale of Queen Esther, who saved the Jews from being killed.

They will perform during the church's Father's Day service June 19.

For more information, call Choral Director Linda White at (714) 321-9860.


LCAD and USC get their game on

The Laguna College of Art & Design and USC recently collaborated on a video game project, "Unchained," to present at USC's Demo Day on May 4.

Students from both schools spent a year on the project. USC provided the programming efforts and LCAD students provided art, design, sound effects and voice-over.

The game was lauded as the most visually stunning title submitted.

"Creating bridges and partnerships between schools has been one of the jewels of the job as founder of the game art major at LCAD," Game Art Department Chair Sandy Appleoff said in a news release.

USC's game design program, Game Pipe, is ranked No. 1 in the nation by the Princeton Review.

"It was an honor to be a part of such a great team, and I am glad that our game was so well-received," LCAD senior and project co-director Wesley Martin said in a statement. "We started last September and basically worked full-time on the project — each spending between 40 and 100 hours per week — creating art, managing the team and communicating with USC."


LBHS honored for drama

Laguna Beach High School's drama department was recognized by the John Raitt Awards at Fullerton's Plummer Auditorium on Sunday.

The nominations were judged by a panel of theater professionals who visited high schools in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties.

LBHS took home nominations for best lighting, choreography and production for "Footloose." The crew and student Makenna Zur Schmiede received awards for best show crew and supporting actress.

Students were also individually recognized: Caroline Rechter, best stage manager; Natalie Redwitz, best female dancer; Haley Castuera, best female soloist; Karina Parker, best supporting actress; Luke Dressler, best comedian; and Sawyer Pierce, best actor.

LBHS looks forward to its next awards banquet at MACY Day on May 22.


TOW garden teaches values

Top of the World Elementary School has started an outdoor classroom/garden to teach students about nature and the environment.

"Our students learn the value of hard work as they till the soil, plant the seeds and pull the weeds to ensure a hearty harvest," Principal Ron LaMotte said in a statement. "Another valuable lesson involves the mulching of our school's lunchtime leftovers.

"Students gather the waste and take it to the garden to watch it become nutrients to support their crops. For many students, this is the only experience they have ever had growing their own food."

Retired teacher Terry Hustwick oversees the program with her sister, Mary Porter.

"This hands-on garden experience has opened their eyes to the importance of caring and having ownership in a product that will be shared with others," Hustwick said in a statement.

For more information, visit


LBHS to host conference

Laguna Beach High School is co-hosting the College and Career Readiness Conference with InnovateED on Aug. 15.

"It is going to be a rare opportunity to highlight our district, while bringing together several hundred California schools, businesses and colleges," said LBHS Principal Don Austin.

The conference is part of the district's efforts to ensure its students are ready for higher education and careers.

Internships, which are an important component for preparing students for the "real world," will be a topic of discussion for LBHS, which is hoping to have industry professionals serve as mentors to some students interested in pursuing similar employment.

For information, visit


Coffee Break welcomes author

Michael Riera, author of five books, including "Staying Connected to Your Teenager," will speak about parenting during the PTA coffee break Wednesday.

Riera has expressed his opinions on communicating and understanding teen behavior on CBS, "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and National Public Radio.

Topics will include: when and where to talk to your child; how to keep communication lines open; how to listen; and why your opinions make a difference in your teen's life.

The PTA coffee break will take place at the Surf & Sand Hotel. It costs $5, which includes coffee and pastries.

For more information, contact Cindy Newman-Jacobs at

— Joanna Clay

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