Briefly In Education

Team LEGOna Beach nabs first place

Laguna Beach students took home first place overall at the First LEGO League Cup at Legoland in Carlsbad last weekend, according to a news release.

Team LEGOna Beach, comprised of middle school students Michael Beu, Jack Fast, Michael Wogulis, Tyler Cheves, Perry Cheves and JP DeBarber, beat out 60 teams in this year's challenge, "Food Factor: Keeping Food Safe."

The team's use of LEGO and robot models received high marks in project presentation, robot design and core values.

"We're so fortunate that the boys have been able to work together closely for three years now. They remind me that we can face big challenges and have fun at the same time," head coach Brandon Cheves said in a statement.

The group will compete at the RoboGames in San Mateo in April.


LBHS announces 'Sound of Music' auditions

Auditions for Laguna Beach High School's spring musical, "The Sound of Music," begin at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Rodgers and Hammerstein's "The Sound of Music" tells the story of Maria and the von Trapp family set during World War II in Austria, according to a news release.

"We are thrilled to bring this family classic to our stage this spring," drama teacher Mark Dressler said in a statement. "This is a title that is probably most often requested by our audiences because of its famous score and important story set in one of history's most dramatic periods."

Younger actors will be needed to fill out the cast as members of the von Trapp family, according to a news release. A special audition for elementary and middle school students will be at 1 p.m. Jan. 7 at the high school.

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Laguna students perform in winter concerts

This month, students of all ages will be singing, dancing and playing music in a variety of shows at the Artists' Theatre.

First up is Laguna Beach High School's "Perceptions" dance show at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Many different styles of dance will be represented in the show, including hip-hop, ballet and jazz.

Tickets are $20 for reserved, $15 for adults and $8 for students. Call the box office at (949) 497-7769. Tickets will also be available at the door.

At 7 p.m. Dec. 12, the LBHS Jazz Orchestra will perform "La Cha-Cha-Ra," an original composition from Laguna musician Dan Reckard. Also, Thurston Middle School's Junior Jazz Ensemble will play, with some students performing solos for the first time.

Attendees may purchase Jazz Orchestra's CD "Wrong…but Awesome" at the concert, with proceeds going to the instrumental music department. Admission is free.

The Winter Choral Concert will be at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15. Choral Musical Director Roxanna Ward will conduct the show, featuring singers from LBHS, Thurston and the LagunaTunes.

Donations of $5 for students and $10 for adults are appreciated.

"I hope our families and community members take advantage of these wonderful holiday performances. The talent on display is phenomenal and the music selections are sure to be crowd-pleasers!" Supt. Sherine Smith said in a statement.

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Win a VW Beetle in SchoolPower's raffle

McKenna Volkswagen has donated a 2012 Beetle, which will be raffled off in support of SchoolPower and Laguna Beach schools.

Only 500 tickets will be sold, and the drawing will take place at SchoolPower's 27th annual Dinner Dance on March 3 at the Montage Laguna Beach. Tickets are $100 each. The winner doesn't have to be at the event to win.

The car is worth about $25,000, according to a news release.

To purchase tickets, call SchoolPower at (949) 494-6811.


St. Mary's students welcome Italian counterparts

In November, students at St. Mary's School in Aliso Viejo said benvenuto to exchange students visiting from Italy.

Eighteen seventh- and eighth-graders at St. Mary's welcomed students from the International School of Milan into their homes. The two schools have been partnered in an exchange program for the past seven years.

The Italian students attended classes with their hosts and just generally experienced the life of a young American for a week.

"One of our core principles is to teach a global perspective," Headmaster John O'Brien said in a statement. "To succeed in their future lives, our students need to understand other cultures and different points of view."

Every fall the Italian students visit, and in the spring, St. Mary's students take a trip to Milan. While there, the American students will immerse themselves in Italian culture while living in and exploring the country, according to a news release.

— Kelly Parker

Twitter: @KellyParkerTCN

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