Briefly In Education

Chef challenge to be held Feb. 4

Laguna Beach principals will go head-to-head to see who can create the best meal for a school fundraiser.

SchoolPower's Lumberyard Chef Challenge IV in February will feature a twist this year as principals compete to craft the best three-course menu. The principals will team up in twos to select the entrees, which will be prepared by the Lumberyard's culinary team.

Returning competitors Laguna Beach High School Principal Joanne Culverhouse and Thurston Middle School Principal Jenny Salberg will face off against El Morro Elementary School Principal Chris Duddy and Top of the World Elementary School Principal Ron La Motte.

"Chef Ortega is looking forward to working with the four principals this year in creating an exciting menu for our guests. The inclusion of the elementary school principals is a terrific idea that will hopefully introduce this fundraiser event to the parents of our younger students," said Lumberyard owner Cary Redfearn in a press release. "Duddy and LaMotte certainly have their work cut out for them, as I'm sure Salberg and Culverhouse are going to bring all they have to the competition."

The winning duo will be decided by diners, who will cast their votes for their favorites. The winning principals will be named top chefs.

The annual event, which is hosted by Cary and Suzanne Redfearn, will take place at 6 p.m. on Feb. 4. Tickets are $95 per person and seating is limited.

To make a reservation, go to the Laguna Beach Education Foundation's website at or call (949)494-6811.


District offering free development screenings

Laguna Beach Unified School District is offering parents a free screening of young children to make sure they are reaching developmental milestones.

The Laguna Beach Unified School Readiness Program is offering the developmental screenings on Jan. 30 for children ages 3 to 5.

"The Laguna Beach Unified School District is invested in getting each child off to a great start in elementary school," said Director of Special Education/Student Services Irene White, in a press release. "Our free developmental screenings offer parents an opportunity to verify early on that their child is meeting appropriate developmental milestones at specific time intervals. Findings help parents and educators determine needs of the specific child and highlight potential focus areas.

"This information helps us design interventions, if needed, prior to their official start in kindergarten. Our local data clearly shows that early intervention services, if needed, can significantly improve a child's development and readiness for school."

The screening will measure a child's development in communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving and personal and social skills.

Questionnaires will be reviewed by a school readiness team member, the results will be presented to the parent and a discussion of potential focus areas will occur. Each child will take about 30 minutes.

The questionnaires will be offered in English and Spanish.

The event will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Services building, which is above the Laguna Beach High School pool, at 625 Park Ave.

To schedule an appointment, please contact Early Learning Specialist Julie Olsen at or (949) 683-9825.


Essay and art winners announced

Two local middle school and high school students were named winners in an essay and art contest.

The Laguna Beach Patriots Day Parade committee named Thurston Middle School sixth-grade student Hannah Levinstein the winner of its essay contest and Laguna Beach High School freshman Aspen Rocha the winner of its program cover art contest.

The two winners will each receive a $100 award sponsored by Union Bank, Citizens Business Bank and the parade association. The awards will be presented at the Honoree Brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 3 at the Tivoli Terrace.

Hannah is in Sarah Schaeffer's language arts class and wrote her essay on the theme, "All Together Now!"

Aspen is in Kelly Pellow's graphic arts class.

The public is invited to attend the Honoree Bunch. Tickets are $25 a person.

For reservations, or more information, contact Sandi Werthe at (949) 494-6016 or email

The 47th annual Patriots Day Parade is scheduled for 11 a.m. on March 2.

— Britney Barnes

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