Category: we support

$10,000 Gift for Social Emotional Support

Thank you to the Laguna Beach Community Foundation for a gift of $100,000 from the Wayne Peterson Fund. This generous gift to the SchoolPower Endowment will be used to help expand the Social Emotional Support program in our schools. Philanthropist Wayne Peterson, a former mayor of Laguna Beach, passed away in 2019. He was a member of the SchoolPower Endowment board, a longtime City Council member, and supported many Laguna Beach nonprofits during his lifetime. Wayne Peterson, left, and his longtime partner Terry Smith attend the Laguna College of Art + Design’s Collector’s Choice gala in June 2014. (Courtesy [...]

SchoolPower’s “Shine” is a Dazzling Success for Laguna Beach Schools

SchoolPower, Laguna Beach’s Education Foundation, hosted its 35th Annual Dinner Dance Shine on February 8 at Montage Laguna Beach. Chaired by Tim Bina and Gorjana Reidel, the event grossed over $350,000 for Laguna Beach schools. After a festive cocktail reception, SchoolPower President Allison Motherway welcomed over 300 guests in the ballroom under a canopy of lights. Both attendees and supporters from home bid furiously on unique silent auction items, including a signed edition of “All the Light We Cannot See,” glamping at Zion National Park, VIP access to Magic Castle, and jewelry pieces from Fredric H. Rubel. The successful live [...]

Thurston Students Program Robots

Sixth graders in Andy Crisp’s computer class, a 6-week long course on the Exploratory Wheel, are reaping the benefits of Mr. Crisp’s recent SchoolPower teacher grant, which funded two different types of robots that are programmable with Swift. The SchoolPower Endowment awarded over $110,000 to fund grants in diverse areas including outdoor education, athletics training, reading intervention, science and technology for implementation in the 2019-2020 school year. “It is such a joy to watch my students build robots from scratch, learn how to program the robots almost entirely on their own, and then use their creativity to have the robots [...]

LBHS Students Paired with Mentors

In 2018-19, thanks to your generous support, SchoolPower donated $736,675 to our schools. SchoolPower funding allowed LBHS to launch the new Authentic Exploratory Research (AER) class, an independent research course in which students explore their passions and career pathways in a variety of fields. Last week, each student was matched with a mentor to aid in their research. LBHS senior Holden Geary adds, "AER is very interesting since it is a new class and a different approach. I am excited because it could possibly lead to real life application and job opportunities!"

AER Mentors Needed

This fall, Laguna Beach High School kicks off the Authentic Exploratory Research (AER) course, which SchoolPower's 2019 Fund-a-Need "Building Your Future Self" helped support. Students enrolled in this independent research class will explore their passions and possible career pathways. Students identify a field of interest and are paired with a volunteer mentor in that field. Could it be you? Your role as a mentor would be to provide students with professional expertise and guidance as they work on a real-world project. Mentors can expect a time commitment of 40 to 50 hours, spread throughout the school year. (That's only [...]

Incredible Impact: Hexberg Family Foundation Over $330,000 to Athletics Funding in 9 Years

This year, funding from the Hexberg Family Foundation allowed LBHS Athletics to continue to provide and expand strength training for student athletes. Students flocked to the outdoor “muscle beach” weight stations, coached by a highly qualified staff. “The funded strength training staff has taken our strength program to the next level. Partnering with a trainer who thinks about our conditioning as their top priority has allowed us to run a much more detail-oriented program,” says Ethan Damato, Head Coach Boys & Girls Water Polo. Next year, the Hexberg Family Foundation will continue their support with a $50,000 grant, [...]

Fund-a-Need Update: Navigating the Information Age

This fall, LBUSD hired a Digital Media and Library Specialist and two part-time teacher coaches to improve digital literacy and bring coding and computer science to our classrooms. Teachers Brian Kull and Carrie Denton have been active in the elementary classrooms, exposing kids to the basics of coding through hands-on activities as well as a block-based language that teaches the logic and foundations of Python. In high school, Stephanie Gamache works with students to help them develop strong research skills, including keyword search logic and database navigation.The $185,500 raised by SchoolPower at our annual Dinner Dance made it possible for [...]

Hexberg Family Foundation Receives Hall of Fame Award

On Sunday, June 2, 2019, SchoolPower presented its top honor, “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. With the Andersens as the benchmark, this award is not given lightly. However, it would be hard to find a more deserving recipient than the Hexberg [...]

Inspired Teachers Awarded $111,450

Great teachers inspire their students, but many times, teachers find themselves inspired by their students. Thurston Middle School Health and PE teacher and Ecology Club mentor Penny Herrick-Dressler is one teacher who recognized a need amongst her students and was inspired to act upon it. “The Healthy Kids Survey shows us that our student body is experiencing stress,” she explains. “That stress is negatively impacting other areas of their lives.” Through a discussion with her Ecology Club students, Herrick-Dressler developed the idea to create the "Away Place," an outdoor space on the Thurston campus where students can sit by themselves [...]