Class Notes


LBHS Awards Top Two Musicians

LBHS students Sydney Davison, left, and Zachary Bonnin were honored as the top LBHS jazz and band musicians for 2019. Photo courtesy of Kathleen Fay

Laguna Beach High School seniors Zachary Bonnin and Sydney Davison were announced as the winners of the top two instrumental music awards for 2019 at the LBHS Band Boosters’ annual picnic held June 8 at Bluebird Park.

Zachary Bonnin received the John Philip Sousa Award recognizing superior musicianship and outstanding dedication. Since 1955, this award has represented the pinnacle of achievement in honoring the top high school band student each year. Bonnin’s name will be added to the National Sousa Registry.

Sydney Davison was presented with the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award, which was inaugurated shortly after Armstrong died in 1971. This achievement represents the highest level interscholastic award given to a high school jazz musician in recognition of outstanding musical achievement and dedication to the program.

Both winners received trophies, certificates, and award pins. Their names were added to the perpetual plaques for each award showcased at Laguna Beach High School.


 Hexberg Family Foundation Receives SchoolPower’s Top Honor

On Sunday, June 2, SchoolPower presented “The Hall of Fame Award” (aka The Claes Award), to the Hexberg Family Foundation. The award was created in honor of Claes Andersen, owner of The Hotel Laguna and Claes Restaurant. Andersen opened his restaurant to SchoolPower back in 2001 and underwrote an annual dinner for seven consecutive years, in addition to other generous donations. The Andersen family contributions to SchoolPower totaled over $200,000.

Deborah Hexberg, Greg Hexberg and SchoolPower Vice President of Business Alliance Rob Alshuler at SchoolPower’s annual trustee dinner, hosted by Nirvana Grille. Photo by Kristin Karkoska/Blue Sky’s Studio

“With the Andersens as the benchmark, this award is not given lightly,” SchoolPower officials said in a statement. “However, it would be hard to find a more deserving recipient than the Hexberg Family Foundation. As their three children participated in the high school’s sports programs, Greg and Deborah Hexberg developed a love and commitment to LBHS athletics. Their enthusiasm grew into an ambitious plan to benefit as many student athletes as possible and help take the Breakers to the next level of competition. For the last seven years, the foundation has generously given over $335,000 to help the LBHS athletics program.

“We found a way to impact every student athlete, whether they are in band, cheerleading, track, whatever it is,” said Greg Hexberg. “Over time it all matters, and it all makes a big difference.”

The Hexberg Family Foundation has funded items such as hurdles for the track team, bleachers for the water polo and swim teams, girls’ lockers, and new scoreboards on the field and by the pool.

“Laguna Beach athletics is extremely grateful to the Hexburg foundation for the support of our student athletes,” said LBHS Athletic Director Lance Neal. “The most visible contribution is the state-of-the-art scoreboard at Guyer field that is used for football, boys and girls soccer, and boys and girls lacrosse games. Additionally, we annually host an invitational track meet that brings over 30 schools to Laguna. The scoreboard and its capabilities have substantially enhanced the event.”


LBHS graduating senior Sydney Davison, who is enrolled at University of Wisconsin-Madison next fall, is one of 16 recipients of a Cox Charities scholarship.

Laguna Student Receives Scholarship from Cox Charities

Sixteen Orange County and Palos Verdes area teens who have overcome major challenges, including serious health issues, while excelling in academics and community work recently received scholarships from Cox Charities.

Laguna Beach High School’s Sydney Davison, who is enrolled at University of Wisconsin-Madison, was one of the 16 recipients. Davison said in her application that she hopes to one day use computer science in the film industry.

“I enjoy solving engineering problems, but my true passion is using technology to express myself artistically with digital music and computer graphics,” she said. “My engineering and coding classes in high school inspired me to pursue this career path. In those classes, I had projects that blended computer science with music and visual art.”

When asked what inspires her to volunteer in her community, Davison said, “My mom grew up in Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge genocide. She did not have the opportunity to attend school regularly and participate in extracurricular activities such as music and sports. In contrast, I have had a blessed childhood growing up in Laguna Beach, California, and pursuing my passion for academic learning and music. Comparing my mom’s childhood to mine made me realize how lucky I am and inspired me to want to help kids in the community find their passion for things like reading and music.”

The Cox Charities scholarship program is open to graduating high school seniors who are residents of a Southern California Cox service area and are able to meet various academic and community service criteria. The average amount of the award ranges from $1,000-$5,000. The applications for the 2020 Cox Scholars program will open in January 2020. For more information visit


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