Class Notes


Two LBUSD Teams Advance to Destination Imagination Global Finals

Evan Henry, Joseph Hovanesian, Jared Moy, and Miles Riehle at the Destination Imagination state tournament.

Two teams from Laguna Beach Unified School District competing in the Destination Imagination (DI) Affiliate Tournament have advanced to the Global Finals taking place May 22-25 in Kansas City, Missouri.

DI is a project-based educational program in which student teams solve open-ended challenges and present their solutions at tournaments. Global Finals is the culminating event of the DI Tournament, with more than 1,400 of the top-scoring teams from 45 U.S. states and 14 countries participating. The scheduled festivities include the DI Tournament, interactive exhibits, pin trading, skills workshops, and more.

“Creative thinking is a critical problem-solving skill that encourages students to approach problems with fresh perspectives to develop new solutions,” said LBUSD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jason Viloria. “The Destination Imagination Tournament provides an opportunity for students to hone their social-emotional self-management skills as they learn to cope with risk, confusion, and disorder to complete the varying challenges.”

Quinn Butler, Uma Bhatia, Ophelia Chapman, May Chapman, and Ani Hovanesian at the Destination Imagination state tournament.

Laguna Beach High School’s Brilliant Boom Bam Bananas competed in the Technical Challenge: On Target. Their challenge was to design and build an aircraft that takes off, flies, and lands; design the aircraft to deliver a team-created payload; and to create and present a story about one or more characters exploring a remote place. The team placed second at the affiliate tournament, qualifying for global finals.

Thurston Middle School’s Catnip competed in the Improvisational Challenge (Heads Up) and placed third, qualifying for global finals. The challenge asked them to research historical figures found on coins from around the world, create and present an improvisational skit that includes the historical figures in a tale, integrate an event that has an impact on the tale, present the skit in two parts changing between comedy and tragedy, and present the skit in two styles, changing from verbal to nonverbal.

The annual Global Finals competition is the world’s largest celebration of student creativity with more than 17,000 people in attendance each year. Global Finals 2019 will mark the 20th year of the international event for creative problem solvers.

Joseph Hovanesian and Jared Moy with their Destination Imagination trophy.
Ophelia Chapman, Ani Hovanesian, Uma Bhatia, Quinn Butler, and May Chapman in Yosemite after the Destination Imagination competition.













School District Presents Dr. Denise Pope

Dr. Denise Pope, senior lecturer at Stanford University and co-author of “Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids” will make a keynote presentation from 5-8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 1, at the Artists’ Theatre, 625 Park Avenue.

The presentation will be focused on successful parent-school partnerships to promote healthy, engaged children. Strategies for reducing academic stress and increasing students’ creativity and well-being will also be discussed, as will the importance of the right college fit.

“Dr. Pope’s work as co-founder of Stanford University’s Challenge Success Program is revolutionizing how schools, parents, and students define success,” said LBUSD director of social emotional support, Dr. Michael Keller.

Light refreshments will be served at 5 p.m. and the presentation will begin at 6 p.m. Childcare will be available for children in grades TK-5. RSVP at ensure that there is an accurate headcount for food and seating.


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