Four LBHS students named as Semifinalists in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program 

Laguna Beach High School students Charlotte Hoffs, Andrew Keyser, Joseph 

Ravenna, and Ben Sharp have been named semifinalists in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program. These talented seniors will have an opportunity to continue in the competition for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million next spring.

“In recognizing the accomplishments of these National Merit Scholarship semifinalists, it is truly impressive to have these students vying for an opportunity as a National Merit Finalist going into their senior year,” said principal Dr. Jason Allemann. “This group of students fairly represents the product of hard work in rigorous classroom settings.”

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Left to right: LBHS Principal Dr. Jason Allemann, Ben Sharp, Charlotte Hoffs, Joseph Ravenna, Andrew Keyser

To be considered for the Merit Scholarship, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance for the Finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and about half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title. 

The nationwide pool of Semifinalists represents less than one percent of US high school seniors. About 1.5 million juniors entered the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists will be notified of their Finalist status in Feb 2018.  National Merit Scholarship Program winners will be notified beginning in April.

Varsity cross-country team says aloha to Hawaii, does well - one athlete comes home with a first-place win

LBHS’s Varsity cross-country girls’ team, under the leadership of coach Steve Lalim, recently traveled to Hawaii for the Iolani Invite at the Kualuoa Ranch.

Laguna’s Evie Cant won first place overall at the meet with a time of 17:37:18 for the three-mile course out of 157 varsity runners. Overall the team of 12 girls came in third place. Sidney Schaefgen, Jessie Rose, Kaitlyn Ryan and Emily Engel also scored. 

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Varsity girls (L – R) Jessie Rose, Emily Engel, Kaitlin Ryan, Angelina Dyrnaes, Sierra Read, Evie Cant, Sydney Schaefgen

Girls not pictured who traveled: Hannah Vogel, Whitney Winefordner, Katie Rollins, Isabella Peterson ran in the open race; Grace La Montagne (did not race)

Children’s Book Fiesta celebrates visual delights of award-winning illustrators at LCAD from Oct 5-26 

Laguna College of Art and Design’s (LCAD) BFA Program in Illustration, in conjunction with Chemers Gallery, proudly presents a unique collection of original works from some of the world’s most renowned award-winning children’s book illustrators at their Children’s Book Fiesta, running from Oct 5-26. 

The opening reception will be held on Thurs, Oct 5, from 6-9 p.m. at the LCAD Gallery, 374 Ocean Ave. Admission is free. LCAD invites guests and families to celebrate the visual delights of a child’s imagination. 

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Giraffe on Hot Air Balloon by Rafael Lopez

Included in the event are original works from the following illustrators: Robin Preiss Glasser (illustrator of the Fancy Nancy series), Mary Grandpré (illustrator of the Harry Potter series), Brett Helquist (illustrator of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events), Jane Dyer, E.B. Lewis, Rafael Lopez, and Gennady Spirin.

LCAD Gallery hours: 11 a.m.- 4 p.m., Wed through Sun, closed Mon and Tues. For further information, go to | 949.376.6000 or contact Bryan Heggie, LCAD gallery director via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by telephone number listed above, ext. 289.

LBHS launches wrestling in the fall for boys and girls

LBHS is launching a wrestling team, with former All American Robert Morales, Laguna Hills High School graduate, appointed as the coach. Cho Academy’s Jason Bukich as the assistant Coach.

“A community survey showed interest in the sport,” LBHS Athletic Director, Lance Neal, explained.

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Jason Bukich will be the assistant wrestling coach at LBHS

Jason Bukich also teaches Brasilian Jiu Jitsu at Cho’s Academy and at his school, The Dojo. He holds the rank of second degree black belt with BJJ legend Baret Yoshida.

Enrollment is open now. Practices begin in October and the season begins in December.

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