Briefly In Education

Rachel's Challenge successful

On May 20, students at Top of the World Elementary School celebrated being kind, caring and positive during an assembly and parade.

It was all part of Rachel's Challenge, a nationwide movement inspired by a student who died during the Columbine shooting. Similar to "pay it forward," Rachel found it important to pass on acts of kindness.

At TOW, when kids, staff or parents saw someone doing something nice, they were encouraged to write it on a "chain link" and give it to the person. The paper links were later connected into one long strand.

Principal Ron LaMotte challenged his students to meet a goal of 10,000 links. On May 20, they celebrated with 10,024 links.

All 650 kids walked with the chain that day, with LaMotte covered in links, as they showed off their accomplishment to the community.

Mayor Toni Iseman, City Council members and City Manager John Pietig were all there to congratulate the students.

"People drove by and honked their horns and waved," LaMotte said. "The kids loved it, and the parents loved it. It was a really nice celebration."

LaMotte also lent laughs to the kids, who got to see a magician saw him in half.

The party doesn't stop now. LaMotte said he plans to continue the challenge and hopes to set a goal for next year.


Washington Post ranks LBHS

A recent Washington Post story ranks the top 1,905 high schools in the nation, with Laguna Beach High School making the cut.

LBHS ranked No. 725 on the list with an average SAT score of 1734, sandwiched between Eagle Rock in Los Angeles and Eastside in Greenville, S.C.

Other nearby schools that made the list include Aliso Niguel (1,180), Laguna Hills (841), Newport Harbor (634) and Capistrano Valley (765).


Collector's Choice at LCAD

On June 4, the Laguna College of Art & Design is hosting its Collector's Choice Dinner & Auction on the college grounds.

The fundraiser includes a fine art raffle, where guests have a chance to win art, and a silent and live auction. The art is donated by local and regional artists.

The art collection will be on display at the college gallery Tuesday until June 4 for the public to see before it hits the auction block.

Funds raised go to student financial aid and to enhance the college's facilities.

Admission includes dinner, entertainment and valet parking.

For more information, go to


Local student named National Merit Scholar

A Laguna Beach High School student is the recipient of the National Merit Northwestern University Scholarship.

Austin M. Schlatter was selected by his future university from a group of finalists. The scholarships give up to $2,000 for their undergraduate studies.

The National Merit Scholarship Program has 198 universities currently sponsoring the awards.


LBHS play looks at dysfunctional families

Laguna Beach High School's Park Avenue Players are performing "A Lie of the Mind" at the Artists' Theatre until June 4.

Written by playwright Sam Shepard, the drama looks at two families as they deal with domestic violence, addiction and emotional distress.

"Sam Shepard is a master of blending heightened realism with dark comedy," director and LBHS alumna Amanda Saunders said in a news release. "I know our audience will be by turns amused, shocked, touched and inspired by this incredible piece of drama and by the work of these student actors."

Showings are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Thursday and June 3.

Tickets can be bought at the box office at 625 Park Ave.

— Joanna Clay

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