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DEEP DIVE WITH LBHS COUNSELOR

Mrs. Pilon is a school counselor serving students with last names P-Z at Laguna Beach High School. Counselors are available to offer direction as students plan their academic futures. Let's get to know a little bit about her in this Q & A with LBUSD.


Mrs. Pilon is a school counselor serving students with last names P-Z at Laguna Beach High School. Counselors are available to offer direction as students plan their academic futures. Starting in ninth grade, students work with their counselors to create a four-year academic plan that will lead to a career or the university or college of the student's choice. Each year, the counselors help students continue to achieve their short-term goals to support them in meeting their long-term aspirations. Counselors also provide confidential and supportive counseling and intervention to foster independence and help students face emotional challenges. Let's dive right into our Q & A with Mrs. Pilon! 

  1. What is a mantra that you want all students to have for themselves? 
    Never compare yourself to anyone else, because there is no one out there who is authentically just like you.
     
  2. What is something you can never over-invest in? 
    You can never over-invest in love. 
     
  3. What is your favorite song of all time? 
    "I Can Only Imagine" by Mercy Me
     
  4. What is your go-to breakfast? 
    Ezekiel bread and almond butter
     
  5. What are you currently excited about in life right now? 
    I am currently excited about watching my daughter dance! 
     
  6. What do you want to be remembered for? 
    I want to be remembered for loving my children unconditionally.
     
  7. Who would you say was your role model growing up? Why?
    My role model growing up was my sister because she believed in me and pushed me to challenge msyelf regardless of the circumstances. 
     
  8. How do you unwind? 
    I unwind by working out.
     
  9. If you could go back and tell your 13-year-old self one thing, what would it be? 
    Don't stress, love yourself just the way you are, it all works out in the end.
     
  10. If you had a superpower, what would it be? 
    If I had a superpower, it would be the ability to heal.
     
  11. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? 
    Life is not a race, it's a journey.  Slow down and enjoy the ride because life happens when you are busy making plans.
  • District
  • LBHS
  • Elementary School
  • Staff
A MINUTE WITH SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST GRACE JONES

In her role as school psychologist at Top of the World Elementary, Mrs. Jones consults with teachers, staff, and parents to evaluate possible learning disabilities in students. Learn more about her in our short interview! 

In her role as school psychologist at Top of the World Elementary, Mrs. Jones consults with teachers, staff, and parents to evaluate possible learning disabilities in students. She also supports staff to develop learning plans for students who need additional assistance to be successful in school. Here's a little more about her!

  1. What is something you can never over-invest in? 
    A sense of humor.
     
  2. What is your favorite song of all time? 
    "Fireworks" by Katy Perry
     
  3. What are you currently excited about in life right now? 
    Seeing kids' faces in person again!
     
  4. What’s your favorite book? 
    Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud
     
  5. What do you want to be remembered for? 
    Helping unique humans achieve goals they didn't imagine!
     
  6. If you had a superpower, what would it be? 
    To go back in time and tell myself and others to enjoy small moments more.
     
  7. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? 
    "You can't care more about a problem than the person who owns it." I find this helpful because I can internalize others' setbacks as my own and this advice helps me move past that thinking and towards supporting others to dig deep and work towards their own solutions.
  • District
  • TOW
  • Elementary School
  • Staff
NINE QUESTIONS WITH SCHOOL COUNSELOR JOLENE HAMILTON

School Counselor Jolene Hamilton is currently supporting the students and families at Top of the World Elementary. As a school counselor, Mrs. Hamilton is trained to help students with three domain areas: personal/social needs, academic concerns, and career planning. Here's what we learned about her in our Q & A.

School Counselor Jolene Hamilton is currently supporting the students and families at Top of the World Elementary. As a school counselor, Mrs. Hamilton is trained to help students with three domain areas: personal/social needs, academic concerns, and career planning. Here's what we learned about her in our Q & A. 

  1. What is something you can never over-invest in? 
    Other people!
     
  2. What are you currently excited about in life right now? 
    Seeing my toddler twin boys learn new things - they are just starting to talk! 
     
  3. What’s your favorite book? 
    The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
     
  4. What do you want to be remembered for? 
    Being helpful, kind, and encouraging! 
     
  5. Who would you say was your role model growing up? Why?
    My big sister. She's always been so considerate and responsible. When my parents divorced, she was protective over me, sometimes acting in a parental role when one parent wasn't around. We now live in houses next door to each other! 
  6. How do you unwind?
    I'm the queen of taking naps! 
     
  7. If you could go back and tell your 13-year-old self one thing, what would it be? 
    Friends, popularity, and looks will change... pay more attention to growing your character! 
     
  8. If you had a superpower, what would it be? 
    Flying! I still have flying dreams... 
     
  9. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? 
    Don't take anything personally. (I'm a pretty sensitive person!)
  • District
  • TOW
  • Middle School
  • Staff
GETTING TO KNOW SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST LUISA MOSSA

School Psychologist Luisa Mossa on a mantra she wants all students to have, advice she would give to her 13-year-old self, and more. 

In recognition of the importance of the role that social-emotional learning plays in the lives of our students, we are dedicating some time to getting to know the staff that support the social-emotional health and wellbeing of LBUSD students. Luisa Mossa is a school psychologist currently serving the school community at Thurston Middle School. 

  1. What is a mantra that you want all students to have for themselves? 
    "I can do this!"
     
  2. What is something you can never over-invest in? 
    Time with family. 
     
  3. What is your favorite song of all time? 
    "Amazing Grace"
     
  4. What is your go-to breakfast? 
    Oatmeal with berries or a banana
     
  5. What are you currently excited about in life right now? 
    Decorating my new home and seeing my grandkids in October.
     
  6. What’s your favorite book? 
    The Old Man and the Sea
     
  7. What do you want to be remembered for? 
    How I helped students feel better about themselves and got them the supports they needed to be successful.
     
  8. Who would you say was your role model growing up? Why?
    My best friend Kelly. She was super social while I was shy.  She was my only friend but that's all I needed because she knew everyone.  She was super determined and like MacGyver (a show from the '80s); she could figure anything out and make things happen. If she said she was going to do something she would.  
     
  9. How do you unwind? 
    I go on a hike, run, or mountain bike ride.
     
  10. If you could go back and tell your 13-year-old self one thing, what would it be? 
    Read the good book and follow the right path, it's as simple as that. It sure makes life a lot easier.
     
  11. If you had a superpower, what would it be? 
    I always loved Aquaman and how he could communicate with sea life. I would love to communicate with animals.
     
  12. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? 
    Be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.
  • District
  • TMS
  • Elementary School
  • Staff
Q & A WITH DR. HATCHEL

The new principal at Top of the World Elementary on her heroes, who she would share a meal with (living or dead), her go-to karaoke song, and more.

Born and raised in Huntington Beach, the new principal at Top of the World Elementary has served in public education for more than 20 years. 

We sat down for a Q & A to get to know the new LBUSD school administrator.

  1. Who is your hero?
    I have several heroes...the closest to me would be my parents. I’m blessed that they are still close by and that I get to speak with them every day on my way into work.  They are heroes to me because they both faced adversity and challenges as children, including poverty and emotional abuse.  Despite their situations, they exhibited grit, perseverance, and joy to build a better life for my brother and me.  My mom and dad are retired school administrators and profoundly influenced my calling to be a school leader to serve others.   
     
  2. What makes you laugh the most?
    My kids. They are smart, witty, and they enjoy life. They know how to bust out the laughter when I least expect it. 
     
  3. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
    So many choices, and I’m way too analytical about this!  I’d say a good cobb salad; lots of flavors while being reasonably healthy if I had to eat it for the rest of my life.
     
  4. What would you sing at Karaoke night?
    "Have It All" by Jason Mraz. It's a happy song with a positive message and I am a huge Mraz fan
     
  5. If you could share a meal with any 4 individuals, living or dead, who would they be?
    I need to cheat on this one and have two separate groups.
    Dinner 1: John Wooden (another hero, Go Bruins!), Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, and my dad. I grew up as a huge Lakers/basketball fan with my dad.  
    Dinner 2:  Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, and God.  I’d love the opportunity to entertain a conversation about some of the world’s major religions to seek wisdom, guidance, and answers--it would make for an interesting conversation! 
     
  6. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
    Both.  I enjoy being around people and am energized by others, but I need my “alone time” to be grounded, mindful, and reflective. 
     
  7. What was your first job?​​​​​​​
    I worked for the City of Huntington Beach in the planning department. I had a clerical job and learned about the importance of public service.
     
  8. If you could breed two animals together to defy the laws of nature what new animal would you create?​​​​​​​
    A “Doat.” A combination of a dog and a cat.  I love both and can never answer the question when asked about my favorite animal.  This way, I wouldn’t feel bad about naming one above the other and picking “favorites” between my pets!
     
  9. If you joined the circus, what would your circus act be?​​​​​​​
    An acrobat...I’m scared of heights, so it would make me conquer that fear.  They look so graceful and have incredible talent!
       

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        District News Logo

        U.S. News & World Report has ranked nearly 18,000 public high schools based on their state assessments and how well they prepare students for college. Once again, a number of Orange County campuses can be found high on the list.

        Read more here: https://newsroom.ocde.us/oc-campuses-are-ranked-among-the-best-high-schools-in-latest-u-s-news-rundown/

        By Ian Hanigan

        • District News
        • LBHS News
        Read More about Laguna Beach High School Ranked Among the ‘Best High Schools’ in latest U.S. News Rundown
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        Public high schools prepare students for higher education or post-graduation careers. AcademicInfluence.com rounded up the top 50 options in America today, with the help of artificial intelligence and data technology. Read more here: https://www.parents.com/kids/education/high-school/new-poll-ranks-best-public-high-schools-in-america/

        • District News
        • LBHS News
        Read More about New Poll Ranks Laguna Beach High School One Of The Best Public High Schools in America
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        LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. - The Laguna Beach Unified School District Board of Education approved the creation of a Public Information Officer for LBUSD at the February 11 Board Meeting. After an extensive search, we are excited to introduce Shelley Spessard Ed.D. as LBUSD's new PIO.  

        Shelley began her career as an elementary special education teacher, general education teacher, and finally as an administrative designee at the elementary and high school level with Lincoln Unified School District. She then transitioned to Stockton Unified School District, where she served as an assistant principal, principal, and most recently as Director of Marketing and Communications.  

        Read More about LBUSD Announces New Public Information Officer