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El Morro Families Hopeful At School Year’s Start

By Clara Beard, Special to the Independent Excitement was in the air as El Morro Elementary School students, teachers and staff rolled up for their first day of the school year on Monday. As parents took pictures and waved goodbye, Laguna Beach Unified Supt. Jason Viloria and new El Morro...

Laguna Beach USD prez won’t seek reelection, UCI professor joins ballot

The Laguna Beach Unified school board president won’t seek reelection in November, potentially creating an opening for a UC Irvine history professor. Carol Normandin, an eight-year veteran of the school board, succeeded former president Peggy Wolff after she stepped down in late 2020. The two women led the board through...

Laguna Beach USD spokesperson exits for Placentia-Yorba Linda

The public information officer for the Laguna Beach Unified School District said Tuesday that she plans to leave just over a year after taking over the communications office. District spokesperson Shelley Spessard said she's departing the Laguna Beach school district this week to be director of student achievement and success...

Laguna Beach USD Superintendent’s new salary exceeds $331,000

The top employee of the Laguna Beach Unified School District will see his annual salary increase to $331,813 starting Friday. A 3% pay increase and other contract amendments for Supt. Jason Viloria were approved by the Board of Education on a 4-1 vote on June 23. Board member Dee Perry...

Innovative Laguna Beach High School English teacher retires 

By Timothy Hessen, Special to the Independent In the months before the pandemic, English teacher Dawn Hunnicutt accomplished her goal of launching a Creative Writing course at Laguna Beach High School. Although she had to finish the school year remotely, her poetry workshop left a strong impression on the family...

Laguna Beach jubilant at Class of 2022 graduation

Laguna Beach High School capped the 2021-22 academic year with a graduating ceremony for its seniors at Guyer Field on Thursday night. Principal Jason Allemann handed diplomas to the 246 graduates as they walked across the stage in maroon and white caps and gowns. Camille Deckey, Class of 2022 valedictorian...

Class of 2022 takes celebratory march through Downtown Laguna

By Timothy Hessen, Special to the Independent Laguna Beach celebrated the Class of 2022, who endured a high school career marred by a global pandemic, in a triumphant parade down Ocean Avenue Wednesday. Families of the graduates lined the streets from City Hall to Main Beach waving signs and cardboard cut-outs...

Laguna Beach USD talks student satisfaction, sustainability goals

By Megan Miller, Special to the Independent With the academic year coming to a close, results of a recent survey show 86% of students feel the Laguna Beach Unified School District provides a positive learning environment. The school district administered the survey earlier this spring to hear community input on the...

Laguna Beach teacher survives coma, sees upswell of community support

A Laguna Beach High School art teacher who reportedly experienced a medical emergency while behind the wheel in April has seen a GoFundMe campaign raise more than $20,000 to support her recovery. Bridget Beaudry Porter was driving to work on April 21 when she suffered spontaneous cardiac arrest and crashed...

Laguna Beach High School seniors to parade in Downtown Laguna

The Class of 2022 will parade through the downtown at 3:30 p.m. on June 8. Graduating seniors are planning to walk from City Hall down Ocean Avenue to Main Beach. Laguna Beach police have traditionally provided traffic control for the event.