Briefly In Education

School district awarded honor from club

The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach awarded the Laguna Beach Unified School District the 2012 Outstanding Agency Partner Award, according to a news release.

"The club is honored to have such a strong relationship with the school district," club President Bill Wood said in a statement. "The kids get so much more from both."

According to the club's Executive Director Pam Estes, "Our Boys & Girls Club feels so fortunate to have a such a united partnership with LBUSD, based on the shared goal of enabling young people to reach their potential. It seems like whenever there is a great idea that could enhance students' lives, whether in or out of the classroom, the first question that mutually comes up is, 'How can we make this happen?' The openness, innovation, and mission-driven dedication of the people who make up the Laguna Beach Unified School District is what makes our partnership so special."

Supt. Sherine Smith expressed her appreciation of the club.

"The Boys & Girls Club is an integral partner that helps us fulfill our mission," she said in statement. "We are proud to offer the gold standard of education in our district, and the Boys & Girls Club supports and expands our efforts."


LCAD graduates honored with awards

Laguna College of Art + Design graduates Tiffany England and Karsen Slater were honored earlier this month at the 29th annual L. Ron Hubbard Achievement awards in Los Angeles.

LCAD now has three students who've received the Illustrator of the Future award. James Galindo was the first graduate to receive it in 2008.

England and Slater were two of 12 winners of the Illustrator awards.

"Most of the time you never hear back from the contests you enter," England said in a news release. "I am honored to have received this prize, which affirms that all the hard work is paying off, but it also shows me how much further I can still go."

England graduated from LCAD in 2008. Slater recently graduated from the college.

"The most impressive thing I learned at LCAD was the advice I gleaned from my mentor and teacher, Lou Police. He told me not to get caught up in becoming extremely specialized but to be the best painter and illustrator I can be. I got my bigger picture in terms of my art," England said.

Each illustrating and writing contest winner was given a trophy, combined cash prizes and royalties of more than $30,000 with their and story and artwork published in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Volume XXIX book, the release said.


Annual Art of Giving event May 11

The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach will celebrate 61 years of serving youth in the community during the 13th annual Art of Giving Gala-Cirque du X¿nzàng on May 11 at the Montage Laguna Beach.

Guests will enjoy hors d'oeuvres, signature cocktails, a silent auction and entertainment by the "world renowned Cirque performers," according to a news release. There will also be a red dragon and drum procession before an Asian-inspired dinner is served.

Proceeds from the event will go toward the Boys & Girls Club, which serves 2,000 youth and their families. The Art of Giving event provides huge support for the club.

"The success of this very special event has a substantial impact on the club's ability to promote the healthy development and academic success of over 60% of Laguna Beach elementary school students, as well as over 200 young people living in Aliso Viejo. Proceeds raised at the Art of Giving Gala go directly toward continuing the exceptional enrichment programs at the club and for making sure that no child is ever turned away based on financial hardship," the news release stated.

For more information or to buy tickets, contact Michelle Ray at (949) 494-2535 ext. 103 or visit


Schools named to CBEE Honor Roll

All four schools in the Laguna Beach Unified School District — El Morro and Top of the World elementary schools, Thurston Middle School and Laguna Beach High School — were named to the 2012 California Business for Education Excellence (CBEE) Honor Roll, according to a news release.

In order to receive the honor, schools must "demonstrate consistently high levels of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement levels over time and reduction in achievement gaps among student populations," the release said.

High schools are also recognized for their level of college readiness.

The CBEE honors schools in two categories: Scholar Schools and Star Schools.

"Star Schools are those with significant populations of socio-economically disadvantaged students that have shown a significant increase in grade-level proficiency over time. Scholar Schools are schools that are showing significant levels of academic achievement, but do not have a significant socio-economically disadvantaged student population."

Laguna's schools were honored in the Scholar School category.


District names Employee of the Year

LBUSD accountant and budget analyst Raymond Lee was named the district's Classified Employee of the Year for the 2013-14 school year, according to news release.

"Ray is a quiet hero in LBUSD. He works hard, is a team player, and has a great sense of humor," Supt. Sherine Smith said in a statement. "Ray is an integral part of the team and we are fortunate to have an employee of such high caliber in our district."

The Classified School Employee of the Year program recognizes the efforts of "an outstanding classified school employee."

Lee joined the district in 2009 and has a bachelor's in Spanish from UC Irvine and has been pursuing continued education in accounting.

— Alisha Gomez

Twitter: @agomezberman

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