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JUNE 2021

Seniors Gus Sabino, Violet Zhou, Nic Richmond, Elizabeth Bisno and Finn Walker. PHOTO by HANNA MASRI and FRANCES CARLSON


THEME 24 — Laguna Lifers 25 — Comic 26 — Dear Seniors 28 — College Map 30 — Dear Freshmen Selves 32 — Stance of the Staff 34 — Senior Quotes 36 — Spotify Playlist 37 — Senior Projects 38 — What Sports Mean

5 — Portfolio Reboot 6— Urban Studies 8 — Los Padres 10 — Newsom Recall 12 —Mock Trial

FEATURE 13 — Illustrated Interview 15 — Instagram 16 — Women in Suits 18 — Poetry Competition 20 — Struckmeyer To-Do List 22 — Dog Days 23 — Farewell to Herefords

OP-ED 40 — The Rise of STEAM 42 — Movie Reviews

LIFESTYLE 43 — Summer Plans 44 — Summer Fashion Trends 45 — Summer Must Haves 46 — Intro to Sailing 47 — Athletic Director Discusses Changes

STAFF EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Daisy Finefrock Phoebe Stein CREATIVE DIRECTORS Frances Carlson Madeleine Nicks

NEWS EDITORS Daisy Finefrock Phoebe Stein

BUSINESS MANAGERS Dare Fitzpatrick Hanna Masri

FEATURE EDITORS Frances Carlson Madeleine Nicks

WEB EDITORS Keenan Surber Nafisah Fathima



LIFESTYLE EDITORS Dare Fitzpatrick Hanna Masri


Alex Bates Carson Bohnet Lyla Bollag Luca D’Agruma Olivia Davenport Myles Hazen Abby Kim Nikki Mielcarek Cierra Nervo Patrik Nugent Taylor Smith Andreas Jackson Elli Westmacott

Letter from the Editors


or the final time, hello and farewell Laguna! What exactly to address in our last letter from the editors was not an easy choice to make—there are too many people to thank, and too many experiences that we want to highlight, if only there was enough space to fit them all. We have published nine letters, as your Editors-in-Chief, and with each one we tried to give you, our readers, a brief introduction to both the process of writing the issue with our staff, and what you can expect to read in the pages in each issue. In this letter, however, that doesn’t seem enough. First, we need to give a true thank you to the Laguna community. We’ve spent the majority of the last four years on this campus, learning, growing and reporting on the most important, or the exciting, updates and changes on our campus. While a part of the staff, we reported on the Montecito mudslides, the Thomas fire and the coronavirus from its beginning to we are now, equipped with vaccines and a little bit of hope. The Fourth Estate has acted as a place of catharsis, where we could turn tragedy or times of stress into informative stories, student and teacher perspectives or simply a time to reflect on the best part of our community as we came together. For that, we must thank you all. Next, the staff itself—a group of students from every grade, from every social group and subject interest, all coming together a few times a week to focus on our communal passion, The Fourth Estate. As freshmen, we walked into Kalfas for our first journalism class unaware that this would become our legacy on campus. We have made friendships, grown as writers and artists, and most importantly, learned how to be leaders, all while working with a group of peers who supported us, every step of the way. I can’t express how proud I am of the growth that each staffer made this year. Finally, to our adviser, Trish (yes, we get to call her that — sometime during a 10-hour work party with just the three of us, Trish ceased being Ms. McHale). We’ve had our differences, but without those little arguments, we would never have learned to listen to constructive criticism, and would not have been able to meet deadline, issue after issue. It’s been four years of learning with our adviser and without Trish, this magazine wouldn’t be what it is today. So, for the final time, thank you all. We have been so lucky to learn at a place like Laguna.

Editors-in-Chief Phoebe Stein & Daisy Finefrock

• MISSION STATEMENT The Fourth Estate is an open forum created for and by journalism students of Laguna Blanca Upper School. We hope to use this space to cover events, interviews and topics of interest in greater depth. Our staff seeks to be a platform for creative expression and to report on events and ideas of importance to our readers and to focus on topics of significance and interest to inform and entertain the school community. • LETTERS TO THE EDITORS The Fourth Estate welcomes guest columns and letters to the editor. Letters must be signed and must be no longer than 400 words. Editors reserve the right to edit for length, clarity and/or taste. Anonymous letters will not be published. The Fourth Estate reserves the right to reject advertising. Opinions expressed in this publication reflect the perspectives of the staff whose goal is to inform our readers with reliable information from which to base decisions and opinions. Editorials represent the voice of the staff and are voted on by the entire staff. Columns and commentaries are labeled as such and represent the opinion of the author. The Fourth Estate publishes four issues per year with a senior insert in the last issue. • BYLINE POLICY When two or three people work on a story, all names will be listed. If an editor rewrites a majority of a story, the editor’s name will be listed. • CORRECTION POLICY The staff strives for accuracy. When factual errors occur, mistakes are found or brought to the attention of the staff, corrections will be printed in a corrections box in the next issue. • CORRECTION In our March Issue, we incorrectly identified the writer of the article “Our Democracy Is Threatened.” Luca D’Arguma is the author and Claire Tolles is the artist. • COLOPHON This is the fourth and final issue and 26th volume of The Fourth Estate, Laguna Blanca School, 4125 Paloma Dr., Santa Barbara, CA 93110. Contacts are available at, (805) 687-2461 x0317 or Laguna Blanca School has an EK through 12th grade student population of approximately 400, with 100 in the Lower School, 110 in the Middle School and 182 in the Upper School, and a faculty of approximately 60. The Fourth Estate is an 8.5 by 11 general magazine, created on Apple computers on Adobe InDesign CC2019, using FreightNeo Pro and Big Caslon font families and printed on glossy paper free for students and $30 for an annual subscription. The magazine is distributed to all Upper School students through the school’s advisory program and sent by mail to subscribers. We are associated with NSPA, CSPA and JEA.

4 • NEWS

Portfolio Gets a Reboot

The Arts Club takes a new and exciting approach to this year’s literary magazine, including paintings, essays and multimedia works.



his year’s Portfolio is different from the format of previous years. Rather than being a print magazine composed only of visual and written art, the 2021 Portfolio includes extensive online submissions. Behind the scenes of the literary magazine, are more differences; while there is usually a Portfolio team, which changes each year, the magazine is now run by the Art’s Club, which is a newly formed club this school year. The club’s founder and president, junior Claire Tolles, describes the vision and the conceptual changes made to Portfolio. Claire said that the initial reason for making the switch from print to online is, “Since the Arts Club took up the mantle later in the year, we weren’t necessarily able to put out a print issue with the manpower that we had.” However, the solution to the problem of “manpower” turned out for the best. Claire explains that she and club members recreated Portfolio to make it a “multimedia experience” in which all could participate. “It’s an online magazine, and instead of including just written works and photographs that you can put on paper. We

“Can’t Be Tamed” Senior Taylor Smith based her multimedia piece from a figure study drawing. “[I] screen printed it at another artist’s studio and put the piece through Photoshop to make it digital.”

“Pop Art Eclipse” Sophomore Molly Morouse took inspiration from graphic designs on Pinterest and put her “own artistic spin on it” for this vibrant color-blocking piece. She decided to submit the work to Portfolio because her sister worked on the Portfolio magazine before, and she saw it as “a great opportunity to share [her] work.”

wanted to include the music students, the performing arts students, the game design kids [and] the animation kids.” Portfolio showcases artistically motivated students’ work in a space where it is shared, admired and appreciated. One of the benefits to this unconventional Portfolio approach, Claire said, is the fact that the Arts Club “gets to display anything and everything that students create.” Another valuable aspect of the online Portfolio experience is the inclusive approach Claire, and the Arts Club are taking. Upper school students dominated Portfolio in previous years, but the new management made a conscious effort to reach out to younger kids in middle school. Claire said that before this new advancement, Portfolio “felt exclusive”— now, the Arts Club has “a ton of[students in]Digital Arts [classes] from the middle school that wanted to have their work up, so it’s nice we get to include that.” From painters to writers, artists share the inspirations for their works and why they chose to submit them to Portfolio. Junior Patrik Nugent submitted a poem titled “Phenomenon Born.” “The idea just started with me thinking about what to write about—then I thought about a window. I wish something did spark inspiration, but it was more just a concept, and I kept adding more concepts to it.” NEWS • 5

Urban Studies Unit Takes Students Downtown...

As part of the Urban Studies unit, students ventured off campus in order to bring different perspectives and real-life experience into their writing.


he Downtown Trip to Santa Barbara (DTSB), part of the Urban Studies interdisciplinary unit for ninthgrade, is the result of the collaboration of three teachers: Ashley Tidey, Amanda Whalen and Kevin Guay. Together they led the freshmen class downtown to invite them to experience their surroundings through a different lens. Initially, the plan was to go to Los Angeles, but due to COVID-19, it changed to Santa Barbara. Explains Tidey, “The idea of a ‘neighborhood walk’ is really an offshoot of our Cannery Row unit about tide pools, ecosystems and adaptation. This year, we all had to adapt—and that meant adapting the curriculum as well.” Students prepared for the trip in English and Civilization classes by researching issues of homelessness and gentrification and in biology class by studying viruses. “The State Street corridor to the Funk Zone is a prime location for observing the juxtaposition between old and new developments,” explained Whalen. “The whole idea,” said Tidey, “was to look at incredibly familiar territory but with new eyes. We’re asking kids to think about what it means to walk, talk, look, listen in a city and Freshmen gather to listen to art teacher Douglas Uyesaka at his studio in the Funk Zone, Downtown Santa Barbara.

Mask-wearing freshmen gather in front of the George Floyd mural in downtown Santa Barbara.

6 • NEWS

grapple with real-world questions. And when possible, to push outside of their comfort zones and talk with people they don’t know.” Students began their trip in Alameda Park, near Kids World, where a significant number of people are experiencing homelessness. From here, students headed to the Farmers’ Market and the Funk Zone and ended up at art teacher Dug Uyesaka’s art studio. They explored areas with a new perspective and interacted with Farmers’ Market sellers and interviewed random people. “I took time to explore State Street musicians and their challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic,” freshman Griffin Rick said. “When I spoke to the musicians, I found how difficult it really was for people who did not have a steady income ahead of the chaos that we saw at the beginning of the pandemic where these musicians were not able to perform. So, I took away a great appreciation of what musicians have to go through to keep playing their instruments semi-professionally.”

... and to the Gainey Ranch The Gainey Ranch dates back to the 1800s. “My grandfather and father purchased 1,800 acres of undeveloped land stretching across the eastern end of Santa Ynez Valley,” said Dan Gainey owner of Gainey Winery and Ranch. “Within a year, they started a cattle operation and converted 600 acres into farmland for vegetables, fruit, flowers and hay crops that have sustained our family for generations.” While at the barn, ninth-graders also participated in team-building activities organized by physical education teacher Andra Wilson including a type of relay race where a student from a team would act out a specific topic and run back to Whalen and Wilson once the team guessed right. Later, students played various sports, including Frisbee, football, and volleyball, while munching on sandwiches and snacks provided by the parent volunteers. “The Gainey trip allowed us to fully immerse ourselves in the setting of `Of Mice and Men,’” freshman Elyse Weaver said. “Seeing the ranch helped me fill in the blanks for the parts of the book that I didn’t fully understand or couldn’t visualize.” Spencer Hllavaty and Joshua Hansen walk towards the barn on the Gainey Ranch.

The Gainey Ranch Field Trip is an annual excursion that aligns with the classes’ reading of Steinbeck’s novel “Of Mice and Men,” which follows a pair of friends and migrant workers, George Milton and Lennie Small, who try to make enough money to fulfill their dreams of buying their own land during the Great Depression in California. They continuously hop from ranch to ranch, trying to keep a job. The ninth-grade class started their day in the gym to watch the 1993 film production of Steinbeck’s novel before heading on their road trip. After arriving at the Gainey Ranch in Santa Ynez students walked a little over a mile to the 19th-century barn where parts of the movie were filmed. Having brought copies of their “Of Mice and Men” books, groups of students acted out different scenes from the novel in the barn setting. “It was really incredible to be able to read the book, watch the movie and then visit Gainey Ranch,” freshman Amelie Dalporto said. “I believe it gave the students several views and a new Students make their way along the dirt path to the barn at the meaning to the story. Being able to go on this field trip, we Gainey Winery. were able to visualize the book. I think it was an amazing adWORDS by CIERRA NERVO dition to this unit and curriculum.” and NIKKI MIELCAREK


A Trip to the Los Padres National Forest Over spring break, students bravely ventured into the depths of the Los Padres National Forest and spent four days hiking, doing trail maintenance, eating freeze-dried food and fighting off rattlesnakes. From the rigor and beauty of backpacking there was much to appreciate. PAGE and PHOTOS by FRANCES CARLSON and MADELEINE NICKS

“The trip was a great opportunity to bond with a new group of people and challenge ourselves on more difficult hikes,” junior George Nicks said.

“I left the trip grateful for the environment that surrounds Santa Barbara and the community I am part of,” said Spanish instructor Michelle Finck.

“I really liked when we all played card games and bathed in the river. Just lots of quintessential camping things,” junior Maura Jaye said.

“You’re benefiting the forest service and making it easier for other people to have that same experience in nature,” junior Harrison Jones said.

8 • NEWS

Five-mile backpack into P-Bar Flats, our base camp.

Jumping into the Oasis swimming hole. Photo by Matt Struckmeyer.

“Not only was Cottam Camp beautiful with it’s scenic views, but it also meant we were closer to finishing one of the hardest treks I’ve done!” senior Phoebe Stein said.

Heading down the mountain for the first time.

“The last hike back to Camino Cielo was definitely the most challenging part of the trip. A life changing experience,” junior Ben Rodgers said. NEWS • 9

Recall Newsom?

Dedicated opponents of the governor say “Yes!” But are Californians actually ready to fire him?



n April 26, 1.6 million signatures on the Recall Gavin Newsom petition were verified by the California Secretary of State. Within three months, the Secretary of State will schedule a recall election to be held, deciding whether or not Gov. Newsom will keep his job. In the election, voters will decide whether or not Newsom should be recalled and who should replace him. If a majority of voters vote for the recall, the state will replace Newsom with the highest-voted replacement. Spurred by the lockdowns, restrictions, and school closings, a coalition of activists have worked to recall Gov. Newsom since June 2020. This wave of anti-restriction sentiment caused Democrats who have supported COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns to face massive opposition. In California especially, the blow backs are severe. Small business owners, Republicans and parents whose children have been attending school remotely this past year are up in arms and demanding that the governor lessen restrictions. In Santa Barbara County, the Recall Gavin Newsom campaign secured 16,487 valid signatures, and there are over 600 members in its Facebook group. Electorally, the group has yet to make inroads within Newsom’s coalition, partly due to accusations of racism and extremist connections. We reached out to the recall campaign for comment but did not receive a response. However, the campaign hasn’t failed, instead finding a dedicated base of

supporters who are fighting the uphill battle in convincing others to their cause. In 2018, California voters elected Gov. Newsom with almost 62% of the vote. Although there have been 55 attempts to recall a California governor, only one succeeded. The non-partisan polling firm Probolsky Research released a survey that found that about 46% of voters opposed the recall, while another 40%

wing extremists behind this recall effort and against making meaningful progress on the issues Democrats care about.” The last recall election in 2003 had 135 candidates listed on the ballot. The current recall election is expected to have a similar number of wannabe governors running in the jungle election due to the low requirements to become a candidate. A large swath of names often overwhelms voters, leading to a reliance to party affiliation and name recognition. In 2003, his advantages on those fronts (being a Republican in the age of backlash against Democrats and having a household name) propelled Arnold Schwarzenegger from Hollywood to the Governor’s mansion. Ironically enough, a surprisingly similar candidate has now jumped in the race. Caitlyn Jenner, the famous Hollywood reality-TV star, announced that she will be running as a Republican in the recall election. In 2015, Jenner came out as transgender and is a household name across California. Her electoral chances will grow significantly depending on her ability to string together a winning coalition. But she only needs to win a plurality of the vote: something proven to be easier for a celebrity. However, the success, or failure of recall

“Anyone registered as a Democrat can jump into the race and claim the ‘Democratic’ brand.” supported it and roughly 20% of voters were undecided or said they would not vote. The poll concludes that the race is in a state of flux. It’s possible that Newsom could be recalled, but what would happen if he was? Among Democrats, that is a complicated and divisive question. The governor and his allies oppose any Democrat from running as his replacement. Instead, they argue, Democrats need to close ranks to oppose the recall and protect Newsom. Some Democrats disagree, claiming that the party must have a backup if the governor fails to defend his job. Spencer Brandt, the Organizing Director of SB Dems, told the Fourth Estate that “Because of our election system in California, anyone registered as a Democrat can jump in the race and claim the ‘Democratic’ brand; but to do that would be to side with the right-

10 • NEWS

candidates will be inconsequential if the governor successfully defends himself from the recall. Newsom won’t fall without a fight. He understands his political future is tied to the pandemic and his approval ratings skyrocketed in the beginning of the pandemic, but as cases rose, his ratings fell. Now Newsom is betting big on California’s ambitious vaccination program to keep him on solid ground. Some Democrats have criticized him for being too politically aware and accused him of manipulating numbers so that LA school districts could open prematurely, in order to appease angry parents. The governor denies their accusations and has stated reopenings based on science. In any case, the governor is ready to fight the recall, and Democrats stand with him. In a statement, the Santa Barbara

Democratic Party said that the recall’s goal is to “disrupt and distract from California’s progress on COVID-19 recovery, equitable mass vaccinations and school re-openings.” In Santa Barbara County, there will be a reckoning on pandemic policies and

Santa Barbara has been a democratic stronghold for many election cycles. However, the pandemic has thrown the reliability of anything into question. California has been a safe Democratic state for decades, and the hyper-partisanship of the Trump era suggests that it is unlikely to see Democrats voting against a Democratic incumbent. Newsom’s approval ratings have been increasing, and as vaccination rates rise, the possibility that California will defeat the pandemic before the recall election occurs is distinctly likely. However, the split nature of the election poses a challenge for Democrats if Newsom is recalled. No matter what, if the recall is successful, it would flip Santa Barbara and Californian politics upside down. Even if it fails, however, it shows the reaction of voters to the hardships of COVID-19, and whom they blame.

However, the success, or failure of recall candidates will be inconsequential if the governor successfully defends himself from the recall. politics, regardless of the success of the recall campaign. Restrictions angered residents, and the recent wave of households moving away from LA’s lockdowns and school closures threatens Democrats in power like Mayor Cathy Murillo, who is up for reelection in 2022.

Mock Trial a Success Despite the Pandemic

The Mock Trial team assembles in front of the Santa Barbara Courthouse. Victoria Campbell Goldman ‘23; Fiona Hernandez ‘23; Jaleya Calloway ‘23; Claire Kellett ‘23; Dylan Charney ‘24; Jade Silva ‘23; George Nicks ‘22; Attorney Coach Shelly Mossembekker; Attorney Coach Sarah Barkley; Lead Attorney Coach Neil Levinson; Aden Meisel ‘23; Teacher Coach Jessica Tyler; Kent Dunn ‘23; Robert (Robbie) Dunn ‘23. Note not all members are pictured.


ock Trial is an important extracurricular program offered at Laguna that allows students to learn about the judicial system, legal process and compete in a final trial with other schools within Santa Barbara County. While it is traditionally done in person with weekly meetings after school and some weekends, this year’s Mock Trial team has had a very unique experience because of COVID-19. While COVID delayed or stopped many activities from happening, Mock Trial continued this year in a hybrid form of in-person and zoom, which had its challenges. Still, there was a team of dedicated students that carried the program forward. This was a very unique situation, which had never been done before. Despite that, it did not stop the team from excelling in competitions against other schools in the area. When asked about their experience of doing Mock Trial over zoom compared to doing it in person last year, returning team member Jack Andrews, a Clerk Court last year and a witness for the prosecution this year, said, “It’s definitely not the same over zoom. Most of the experience of mock trials is going to the Courthouse in person. It definitely is a lot harder over zoom because it hasn’t been done before, and you miss the physical interaction between teams. All things considered, it worked out, and we actually did pretty well.” The team managed to perform well and ended the season going further in the competition than last year’s team and several students earned awards. These students include freshman Dylan Charney who earned the Defense Witness Award; sophomore Jacqueline Richardson who earned the

Clerk Award; sophomore Jaleya Calloway earned the Defense Trial Attorney Award; and junior George Nicks, who earned an Honorable Mention Award. George joined the team this year as a prosecuting attorney. “I was new on the team, and we were a little short-staffed, so it was a lot of work, but in the end, it all paid off.” Jaleya returned for her second year to the team and switched from being a Prosecuting Trial Attorney to becoming a Lead Defense Trial Attorney. “This year was more challenging because we only had one senior on the team. I took the role of Lead Defense Attorney and had to teach and guide new team members. We made it a lot further in the competition this year, and I look forward to going even further next year.” At the beginning of the year, Mock Trial students split into two teams: the Defense and the Prosecution. In preparation for the competition, Laguna’s team participated in scrimmages against teams from other schools.“I liked the scrimmages because there was less pressure, and it was good for mastering my act for the actual performance,” said sophomore Kent Dunn, who was a prosecution witness. Mock Trial is open to all students grades 9-12 to join each year. It runs from the end of September until the end of February. Students work with a closed packet and develop a case in hopes to prevail at the competition—pretrial arguments are made, witnesses are questioned and attorneys make opening and closing arguments. A lot of work is put forth gearing up to the Trial, working closely with attorney coaches and their respective team. WORDS by ABBY KIM and PHOTO by DEWEY NICKS

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The Illustrated Interview The Illustrated Interview is the Fourth Estate’s way of highlighting talented students on campus. This issue, it’s freshman Lucy Wang! PAGE by LYLA BOLLAG

Where would you want to travel?

One thing you couldn’t live without?

What is your favorite color?

What is your greatest fear?

What’s your favorite subject?

What is your favorite album?

What’s your favorite snack?

What makes you smile?

What’s your favorite TV show? FEATURE• 13


“Explaining the La Paz Mexico islands with my best friends.” (Bea Lujan 2’1)

“This is a drawing I did for my college application portfolio. I chose this subject because I liked how the light was shining through the glass vase.” (Jillian Lin ‘21)

“This picture was taken by Claire Kellet during a lunch period. (Rose provided by Jaleya).” (Franky Baron ‘23)

“I went downtown to Hana Kitchen with my two buddies, Devin Hernandez and Thomas Couvillion.” (Miles Sedlin ‘22)

“This photo is a distant and needed break from COVID-19.” (Finn Walker ‘21)

“This was taken at the Japanese Tea Garden, in San Francisco, during my trip to visit a College.” (Taylor Smith ‘21)

“My friend Penelope and I with our snowman. We went to Tahoe on spring break!” (Ally Jacobs ‘24)

“My mom took this of me when we were in the Bahamas!” (Victoria Goldman ‘23)

“In this photo, my sister and I were driving around and stopped to take photos since the view was so beautiful.” (Paloma McKean ‘22) FEATURE • 15

Women in Suits One element of the feminism movement that is resurfacing on social media and in political conversations is women wearing suits.


eminism is often incorrectly perceived as a movement to give women more rights than men; the truth is, feminism is the fight to ensure that both men and women exist on an equal playing field. The feminist movement is a fight for equality, which is at the forefront of many social justice conversations. Feminism calls for a drive for social fairness and an offensive against political sexism. Its battles date back to the late 1800s and early 1900s. One element of the feminist movement that is resurfacing on social media and in political conversations sees females stepping outside of the norm when it comes to fashion. More specifically, women wearing suits. The first notable appearance of a woman making a man’s suit her own was in 1870 when actress Sarah Bernhardt began wearing her “boy’s clothes” in public. The symbolism behind this look represents women’s efforts to be viewed as equally qualified and capable as men. Historically, the suit is a symbol of hegemonic masculinity. Women reclaiming this look goes deeper than the surface level. The Suffragettes were women who protested their inability to vote during the early 20th century. One of their central visual protests was the statement of women in suits, a concept they cleverly coined as the Suffragette Suit. In an article titled “Suffragettes, Smoking Jackets and the Senate Floor: The Brief History of Women’s Suits” by Michael Andrews Bespoke, the author dives into the symbolism and rich histo-

ry intertwined with the concept of women in suits. During the early 20th century, when the hobble skirt, a long skirt that barely allowed the wearer room to walk, was popular among women the Suffragette movement came up with the suit for women. This look was a statement because it fought against the idea that women should be confined to the restrictive piece and the stereotype that women weren’t as capable as men. The Suffragette Suit made waves in the fashion industry and broke every restrictive rule that society deemed fit for women. It consisted of a lengthy but

Still, these they have become some of the most influential women in our country. Vice President Kamala Harris spent most of her recent election campaign in a colorful power suit which, according to British Vogue, “will change power dressing forever.” Vice President Harris is a woman that many support and look up to. She has become a prominent face of the feminist act since the election when she became the first woman vice president in United States history. Another distinguished and progressive woman who was inspired by the Suffragette Suit and who fueled the women-in-suits movement is icon and fashion grande dame Gabriel ‘Coco’ Chanel. The famous French brand founded in Paris in 1910, by Chanel was one of the first brands to produce a suit dedicated to women. The suit came out in postwar society, allowing women to embrace their newfound freedom in the workforce. The design opened the door to creating the women’s power suits and tuxedo suits to inspire women, who were first entering the workforce, that there was the potential of equality. The suit plays an influential role in women’s transition to the workforce. Like the Suffragettes the suit is a badge of parity between the sexes. The ‘suit look’ evolved into a statement for equal rights between women and men and the equality of LGBTQ+ people. Today, the movement of women wearing suits is further gaining traction and spreading throughout the feminist and LGBTQ+ communities on social media

“Feminists recognized that fashion was (is) political for many women, and even more so in the male-dominated workplace, where women were expected to play a passive and supportive role.” simple skirt, one made for women to march in, along with a dynamic matching blazer. This was an age of oppression and an age of resistance for women, and the contest for women’s voting rights was a burgeoning movement—one that the compelling Suffragette Suit fueled. The Suffragette Suit was just the beginning of the women’s suits industry, that of which and the suit itself has rapidly evolved along with feminism’s rise. Wearing a power suit is often a statement that female activists make, both casually and politically. Female politicians are criticized for making the bold statement of wearing a suit in political debates.


platforms such as Tiktok and Instagram. Celebrities and politicians who have actively participated in this movement, such as Emma Watson and Hilary Clinton, are influencers of the movement.

In an age where the ideas of equal opportunity and freedom of identity spread throughout social media the recurrence of this power look allowed, once again, for people to rally behind the cause.

This movement, then and now, arouses empowerment and unity amongst women and continues to inspire change and individuality in expressing oneself.


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Struckmeyer’s Summer College To-Do List ART and PAGE by FRANCES CARLSON and MADELEINE NICKS

To make the most of your summer, here’s some advice for each rising grade level from our resident college counselor, Matt Struckmeyer.

To really make the most of the Laguna experience, a student needs to be a dynamic classroom presence, someone who regularly participates and interacts with the teacher and classmates. So my best advice would be this: ask your 8th grade teachers for a candid evaluation. What kind of classroom participant was I? With this knowledge, a 9th grader can really hit the ground running!

Summer is the perfect time to begin (or continue) investing in a meaningful activity that you’d like to pursue for subsequent summers. In my view, it’s never too early to take a crack at one of the Common App essay prompts, because the sooner one begins, the lower the stakes and the lower the pressure. Don’t worry about revising or overthinking. Consider sharing it with Mr. Struckmeyer to start a dialog with the college counselor!

Hopefully you will find the chance to move to the next level in something you began earlier. Aside from jobs, volunteer roles, and internships, the summer before 11th is a good time to consider a college-based class. While definitely not required to enter a top university, summer study at a college (including actual college courses) is a great way to build confidence and expand one’s intellectual horizons. Once again, summer is a great time to add to your portfolio of possible college essays. Try again with an entirely new prompt, and write without fear--or for that matter, adult input. Ask yourself: does this essay express something essential and unique about me?

Much of the former advice still applies here, but there is greater urgency to this summer than the others. If you haven’t begun a college essay before this point, the summer after 11th is definitely the time to write at least two entirely distinct drafts. This is also the last chance to impress colleges with a leadership role in an area where you’ve been building skill and experience.

Summer is, above all, a chance to recharge your batteries and to feel refreshed for rigors of the next school year. If it makes you a more competent, confident, and interesting person, then it’s probably worth your while! If you don’t enjoy the activity or find it meaningful, it’s unlikely to have much impact on college admissions.

Dog Days

In recent years “Bring Your Dog to School Day” replaced the infamous senior prank as a widely-enjoyed and appreciated day of fun for our seniors. This year’s Dog Day is the cutest one yet! PAGE by DARE FITZPATRICK

Ryan Purkait shares Bodie the pit bull mix to pose for his camera shot.

Homer (Phoebe Stein’s puppy) and Freddie (Daisy Finefrock’s dog) sit for dog treats!

Taylor Smith’s puppy, Poppy the Pomeranian, smiles at the camera and visits the journalism class.

A cat on Dog Day? Jillian Lin brings her cat to hang with the big dogs today!

Leaping Leo (Ryan Purkait’s dog) jumps into the rainbow!

Sweet Mary, led by Violet Zhou, the golden retriever is happy to come to school today.


Farewell to the Herefords

The Laguna community comes together for the bittersweet farewell of the Hereford Family and reflects on the impact the family left on the community.


s the school year comes to a close, students are reminded of the upcoming departure of the beloved Hereford family. Head of School Rob Hereford and his wife, biology teacher Amanda Whalen, and their two children, John and Jojo, have been completely immersed in our community for the past seven years. Everyone has felt their presence here; whether you had a biology lesson with Ms. Whalen or learned from Mr. Hereford’s leadership, you most certainly felt the couple’s compassion, kindness and generosity. Junior Sofia Anderson reflects on her time in freshman year biology, “Although I do not consider myself a science person, Ms. Whalen did an amazing job of making each chapter engaging for the whole class.” Whalen herself describes her time at Laguna as an opportunity to teach high-school biology creatively. She has done this by developing projects, collaborative units, and the interdisciplinary aspect of freshman year by working alongside English teacher Ashley Tidey, and history teacher Kevin Guay; Whalen embarked on ventures such as the Downtown Los Angeles trip and the Monterey trip, to immerse her students in the material, and in her words, “help [students] develop skills and not just learn biology.” Whalen cites this “freedom” in the curriculum as one of the defining aspects of her Laguna experience, allowing her to explore “what it means to be a teacher.” Science Department Chair Staci Richard worked alongside Whalen in the STEM department over the past few years. “Ms. Whalen and I are definitely kindred spirits. I couldn’t have imagined handing over 9th-grade Biology to anyone else,” Richard said. “She cares deeply about her students and their well-being and their need for choice and investment in their learning.” Division Heads Melissa Alkire, Upper School, and Shane Lopes, Middle School, work alongside Hereford to lead the community, something essential during this unprecedented school year. “I really appreciate how [Rob] just accepts individuals for who they are and what they are going through,” Lopes said. He is never “too busy to sit down and have a conversation and listen to someone,” Lopes proceeds, a leadership quality that he admires and applies to his own position. “He gives people permission not to be overwhelmed, but if they have to, he is there to support them.” “Working with Rob as been magic,” and “getting to know [the family] has been a gift,” Alkire said. “[Mr. Hereford] has been a truly unique person in this experience for me,” she followed. In the 11 months she has worked alongside Hereford, and she describes learning how to become “incredibly patient” and take moments to step back, take a breath, assess a situation and make a thoughtful decision.

The Hereford family Amanda, Rob, John, Jojo and family dog, Ollie. Tina Braniff, Middle, and Upper School Assistant shares a similar sentiment saying that she admires Hereford’s “wise and thoughtful leadership” and his ability to “see things logically and problem solve with a level head.” Jessica Tyler, the Executive Assistant to the Head of School and Board of Trustees, works closely with the Herefords. “Mr. Hereford has always been a great leader, listener and always envisioned the greatest for Laguna. I have learned a great deal, much more than I can communicate or put into words. From Ms. Whalen I learned how important it is to connect with Faculty/Staff in different ways and form relationships with the Laguna community. “From Mr. Hereford, I learned how to juggle the many different aspects of my job and the day-to-day schedule of what it takes to be a Head of School. I have appreciated Rob’s patience and support along the way,” Tyler said. Hereford is going to Metairie Park Country Day School as the 10th Head of School. His tenure will begin on July 1. WORDS by HANNA MASRI ART by TARA BROUCQSAULT FEATURE • 23

A Look at Lifers

From Kindergarten to 12th grade, these students attended Laguna for their entire school life. See how they’ve changed, their hopes for the future and how the teachers have shaped who they became.

Gus Sabino

Which teacher had the greatest impact on you? Ms. Richard. For a while, I considered my passion for game development to amount to nothing more than a hobby, but she let me take my passion and turn it into something that was tangible (and now I get to study it in college!). Favorite memory at Laguna? In second grade, we used to play a game on the steps of the library called "Dragon Tales." The premise was that we would all go on these incredibly fantastical journeys in our imaginations and I think that's probably where my love of video games and storytelling comes from. What would you tell your kindergarten self? I would probably tell myself to be more of a kid and that I shouldn't worry so much about the future, everything works out.

Jillian Lin

Describe Laguna in three words. Innovative, lively, nurturing Which teacher had the greatest impact on you? Mr. Moore and Mr. Faust’s teaching and classes have both had the greatest impact on me because of the way they helped me find my interests. From Mr. Moore’s engineering class, I have learned that I enjoy 3D modeling and design, and from Mr. Faust’s geometry class, I discovered my interest in architecture through the House Project.

Jillian Lin

What would you tell your kindergarten self? I would tell my Lower School self to enjoy all my classes to the fullest extent because it only gets harder from there.

Conley Ball Describe Laguna in three words. Flexible, supporting, outstanding What are you looking forward to most in college? One thing I’m looking forward to in college is learning more about the topics I love. I will be taking more math classes, of course, but I’m looking forward to exploring topics outside of STEM further. Which teacher had the greatest impact on you? The teacher who has had the greatest impact on me would be Mr. Ary. Since when he first taught me Pre-Algebra six years ago, he has taught me much more than mathematical concepts. Mr. Ary got me involved in engineering and active in clubs. He set me down the path I am on today.


24 • THEME

26 • THEME THEME • 27

Memories from our class trips starting with our freshman year class trip all the way to our senior year “Lapa Lapa” Day.

30 • THEME

Dear Freshmen, How does one sum up a mess of experiences, a collage of disappointments and victories, an unorganized web of lessons learned and lessons taught in a few pieces of advice intended for you dear freshmen? If there’s anything our class can do, it’s overcome the impossible—so please, bear with us as we try to put our experiences and what we have learned from our experiences into words that will, hopefully, inform and inspire you. First things first: talk to each other. Many of you are probably rolling your eyes reading this (if you even make it this far into the magazine… yes, we know you guys well), but it’s true. You’re the class of 2024, and like it or not, you will have to overcome a lot together. That puts you in an incredibly unique situation, one where you have will have the opportunity to make memories that last a lifetime—you might as well find things to like about each other in the process. Learn how to trust each other. You never know when you might need a class study buddy (or someone to desperately negotiate with in order to borrow their notes before a big exam). On the other side, it’s always nice to have people in your class to stick up for you. In a small school, socializing isn’t always pretty, so gain allies (or better yet, friends) and you’ll be better off. Trust us. Enjoy the simple moments. Yeah, sounds like a motivational poster with a cat hanging from a branch, but there’s a ton of truth in it. There might be days in the future when singing songs in the gym on Field Day actually sounds… fun? Yes, it might be hard to believe, but we’ve experienced it all, and we’re pretty sure you will want to listen to us. So dress up for the dance, run a few laps at the Jogathon and stop complaining. Try to make school the best it can be. Don’t just sign up for an AP course because you think it will help for college. That logic has only led to a ton of unnecessary stress because you are NOT a science person, but still attempted APES (okay, this specific example might just be us projecting, but we stand by the advice. Sorry Faust). Instead, sign up for programs like STEM or Humanities, join The Fourth Estate staff or La Honda staff, start a club… we are just spit balling here, but the point remains: do what you know you will enjoy instead of what you think will boost your resume. Be yourself, even if you don’t know who that is yet. We know as well as anyone that the person you are freshman year is not the person you are going to become in senior year. It’s called growth. As you grow and change, be true to yourself. Changing because you think you need to isn’t how you find yourself. And sure, you might never really figure out who you want to be (at least by senior year). But hopefully, you will be able to look back like we are right now and think, I like the person I’ve become. Finally, and most predictably, have fun. Be happy. Enjoy these four years, because they only come once. Make friends, say “yes” to more than you would normally, learn and grow and chase every experience. Now that we’ve successfully sounded like the inside of a Hallmark card, we’ll just say this: as strange as it has been, we’re jealous of you. Your journey is just beginning.

Love, the Class of 2021 THEME • 31

Seniors Elizabeth Bisno, Finn Walker and Violet Zhou jump for joy as they look forward to graduating. PHOTO by HANNA MASRI and FRANCES CARLSON

32 • THEME

Stance of the Staff Saying goodbye doesn’t come easily; it’s made harder by a year and a half of relying on our community to support us. This issue’s Stance is an important one, not just because it is the last one created by the staff of 2020-21, but because it is a celebration of seniors, members of the Class of 2021 who deserve highlighting. Being on campus this school year was nothing short of incredible, and the senior’s presence on campus only added to that. The best part of Laguna is that it allows for students to make connections and grow alongside their peers. Being in-person and in the classroom with the seniors of 2021 gave underclassmen the chance to learn deeper than they might have simply from a textbook. Sports were made possible and senior captains taught freshmen the rules of the court (or how to fill up water bottles—it’s a right of passage). Senior Student Council members—shout-out Finn Walker, Mr. President! You led the school the best way you knew how, offering a voice to the community. It is the greatest thing, to have a group of people who are willing to bridge divides, learn from each other and teach lessons that they themselves have learned. The Class of 2021 did this, and more, and for those reasons, Laguna is going to be just a little bit quieter next year. THEME • 33

Senior Quotes The formative years of high school have ups and downs with a variety of classes and experiences but the one thing that stays with the graduates is the relationships they form. Read what peers and teachers have to say about the graduating seniors.


“Being around Georgia makes me feel safe. I could spontaneously regress into a baby and she’d handle it wonderfully. Maybe it’s her sheer maturity, maybe it’s her nurturing mom instinct, both of which will earn her many visits from ailing animals once she ventures into the veterinary world. I just hope this noble career leaves her enough time to hang out with old friends like me.” - Elizabeth Bisno


“He’s a great person to be around: always ready to study and help out, but always ready to enjoy a joke and laugh.” - Nic Richmond

ALEX BATES “All I can say about that creature is that he is one of kind.” - Devin Hernandez


“Knowing Robbie the last 16 years has been an exciting thrill of humor and short jokes. While growing up being friends with him I’ve seen him develop into a confident, generous and charismatic individual. I am very thankful to have known him for all this time and am glad to call my closest friend.” - Finn Walker

ELIZABETH BISNO “Elizabeth, you truly are the change you wish to see in the world. You love Mother Earth and will defend her fiercely. Life on this planet is dear to you in all its diversity -- and you, its champion. I see you as a 21st-century Joan of Arc, a heroine with a heart of gold. Always curious about new cultures and human psychology, you approach both the texts and situations with a mind of an anthropologist. No matter your calling, you will build bridges into a better, brighter future!” - Ms. Hill


“Zack seems to have a natural talent for almost everything. He’s creative and determined, but most importantly, throughout the six years I’ve known him, he’s been my closest friend.” - Conley Ball


“Lucas has embraced and overcome numerous challenges in this foreign land with bravery and perseverance. My high school career would have been much more insipid and difficult without his camaraderie, dinner parties, odd imaginations and daily doses of wit.” - Violet Zhou

BRANDO CAIRONE “Brando is a very kind friend, he always has something interesting to talk about and he is someone I enjoy being around.” - Zane Zemeckis

ARABELLACAIRONE “When I met Bella in middle school, my first thought was, “She is definitely cool!” Turns out I was very right. I’m so grateful to have Bella as a friend.” - Jillian Lin

NAFISAH FATHIMA “Someone who is always there to make sure you’re OK, on track and feel loved. We weren’t friends at first sight, but now I can call her one of my closest friends.” - Taylor Smith

DAISY FINEFROCK “I find it crazy that I’ve only known Daisy for five years—I am so incredibly lucky to have found a best friend that I can spend all my time with and rarely get sick of. The last four years were a blur of mini-road trips, late night adventures and our favorite activity: getting food together. That’s what I’m going to miss most about High School.” - Phoebe Stein

ANNIE GABLER “How do you describe a limited-

edition coveted dead stock 90s vintage Y2K funky, psychedelic-print butterfly? You can’t—a rare find.” - Sophia Webster

ST. JOHN GERRITY “St. John is a smart lad and a great friend. He is very understanding and has a vast knowledge of Asian communist regimes.” - Brando Cairone

MAX GROTSTEIN “Max is the most classic example of a New Yorker you can find. Sarcastically funny and nonchalant on the outside, but caring and compassionate on the inside. I’ve asked him many times to do a favor for me, and to this day I don’t think he has said no. Our class wouldn’t be the same without him, and I can speak for everyone when I say we all appreciate him, even if he is a bit sarcastic sometimes.” - Oscar Houglet

DEVIN HERNANDEZ “Devin Hernandez is not only a spectacular athlete, but also a phenomenal best friend. He never ceases to impress whether that’s on the court or just day-to-day. Devin is very personable and motivated, I am inspired by his aspirations and achievements. I look forward to seeing what his future holds.” - Miles Sedlin

OSCAR HOUGLET “Oscar is the greatest friend anyone could ask for. He’s loyal to a fault and, although he is a terrible chef, he has supported me for nearly six years and I can’t thank him enough.” - Gus Sabino

34 • THEME


“Kipling has a racing mind and a million questions—revealing a million interests. In fact, I remember when I first met Kipling he never walked anywhere; instead, he ran. So I know that, wherever Kipling is headed, he is sure to get there in a hurry—asking a lot of questions along the way.” - Mr. Faust


“Jill is one of the kindest, most compassionate people I’ve ever met. Talking to her always puts me in a good mood.” - Arabella Cairone


“A fun loving smiley girl who never ceases to make ya laugh.” - Annie Gabler


“Ryan has always been a good friend and never fails to make me laugh. I know he will end up doing amazing things in the future.” - Keenan Surber


“Nic is a really nice guy that I’m really glad that I got to know over middle and high school he’s really interested in science and we really connected over that and I hope that he has a great time in college.” - Zack Boyle


“I’ve known Kate for almost a decade now and watching her grow into the person she is now has been inspiring and I’m incredibly proud of everything Kate embodies and puts forth into the world. She’s brave, smart, funny and we can talk about anything and everything for hours. I’ve loved seeing her passion for activism grow and can’t wait to see everything she accomplishes in college!” - Nafisah Fathima

SOPHIA WEBSTER “Sophia has been such a giggly and bright part of my four years at Laguna. She never fails to make those around her laugh about the silly things constantly happening around school. I have deeply enjoyed Sophia’s constant tripping on the stairs, random outbursts, little frolics and amazing sense of humor. I know with Sophia I have found a friend for life.” - Bea Lujan


“Gus is one of the best buddies a guy can ask for, just for the pure amount of homework assignments I would not have been able to complete without some help from him. He is always willing to help no matter the problem and he is one of the most genuine and cool people you will know. He is a great buddy that any guy would be lucky to be friends with.” - Robbie Brown


“I know I’ve found my best friend because we can wander the Santa Monica Pier late at night, binge watch cheesy teen-drama shows, sing car-karaoke on the freeway, and survive all the embarrassing high school years (We don’t talk the Broadway phase…) They weren’t lying when they called us codependent but there’s no one else I’d rather live life with!!!!” - Daisy Finefrock


“I met Taylor freshman year and she has been one of my closest friends since. We really got to bond during our long summer nights sleeping in the bed of a truck. Not matter what, she is always there for me and I will always be there for her. I cannot wait to see her flourish in college. I will miss you Taylorrrr!” - Fiona Hernandez


“Finn is one of the hardest working, kind-hearted people at this school. He goes above and beyond for not only his friends but for the rest of the student body while also being a great athlete and teammate.” - Max Grotstein


“Rodrick has been an amazing friend through high school. He is incredibly talented and has been a great classmate to work with in STEM research, math and science. I know that Rodrick will continue to thrive in college and cannot wait see what he goes on to accomplish.” - Ryan Purkait



“Violet is an awesome friend, and so dedicated to her classes, but always willing to just hang out and talk during lunch! She is such a talented musician and I love how she is always open to trying something new! I really am so lucky to be her friend, and I hope she has an amazing time at college!” - Georgia Avery


“Zane is a great guy who is always willing to listen and give support. Rarely will you find a nicer guy!” - Brando Cairone

“I have known Keenan for the past six years and he has remained as one of my closest friends. We have shared so many great experiences both in and outside of school, through STEM, physics and sneakers. I am excited to see what he achieves in the future.” - Ryan Purkait

“Andreas is both an exceptional student and athlete. He is fierce out on the tennis courts and the soccer fields, and in the classroom he is curious and enthusiastic. He is also fun to be around, evidenced by his enthusiasm to recruit new members into the chess club. It’s been a pleasure knowing him for the past two years. I wish him the best in his future endeavors.” - Rodrick Zhu


Senior Projects Program

The Senior Project Program represents a decades-long staple at Laguna. The Class of 2021 navigated through the challenges presented by COVID-19 to successfully undertake a wide range of projects.


enior projects have been a meaningful and long-standing tradition at Laguna for decades and are a distinctive feature of the curriculum. Project presentations, which take place over two days, are a capstone event for seniors. After finishing their AP exams, seniors undertake a three-week internship in the real world where they explore a profession, conduct research, embark upon a creative project or serve in a voluntary capacity. There are several benefits to the program. Seniors can discover that a field which they were planning to major in at college no longer interests them, thus saving them course time and tuition dollars.

Several seniors are offered summer jobs following their projects while also making connections to professionals who may provide recommendations for them in college. In past years, students have completed projects at Santa Barbara Magazine, Dreamworks Studios, Cottage Hospital, conducting research at UCLA and UCSB and countless projects. Last year, due to the pandemic, seniors adapted their projects and completed and presented their projects virtually. Many projects focused on helping the local community. Seniors are required to work with an on-campus advisor who is a member of the faculty or staff and an off-campus

job-related advisor and must work a minimum of 60 hours for their project. Upon completing their project, seniors write a four-to-five-minute speech and meet with either Trish McHale or Rose Steeber to rehearse and polish their presentations. A senior project committee led by Trish McHale that includes Melissa Alkire, Rose Steeber, Katie Pointer, and Blake Dorfman monitor and grade seniors on each step of the process, including timeliness in meeting deadlines, meeting all objectives, speech delivery and the senior reflection essay. A Senior Project Award for the best project is announced at commencement.

Taylor Smith

Robbie Brown

Andreas Jackson

What is your senior project? “I’m having members of the Santa Barbara community express art in their own way. I am creating boxes filled with art supplies, which they will use to create an art piece. I will have 10 members, from 7-year-olds to 30-year-olds. At the end, I will create a project showing passion through art.”

What is your senior project? “I’m going to work for a hyper-car dealership, Suppervettura, in the United Kingdom. I’m hoping to learn not only how to run a business, but also how to network and how the industry works.”

What is your senior project? “For my senior project, I will be working with MyDigitialMoney, an online investment guide. I will be learning the art of marketing and editing investment tutorial videos.”

What inspired you to choose this idea? “I was inspired because I think art is valuable in our community and isn’t something that necessarily requires skill and practice, but an expressed idea.”

What inspired you to choose this idea? “I wanted to do this project because I find cars and the car market interesting and would like to learn more. I also wanted the opportunity to travel and network outside of Santa Barbara and this was a great opportunity”

What inspired you to choose this idea? “My goal is to learn more about investing and video editing. I have always been interested in finances, video editing, and marketing, so this project is the perfect combination of my interests.” WORDS by ALEX BATES PHOTOS by HANNA MASRI THEME • 37

The Significance of Sports

Seniors reflect on their experiences playing sports, share what sports mean to them and give advice for underclassmen. PAGE by ANDREAS JACKSON ART by CLAIRE TOLLES

Phoebe Stein “I’ve been on varsity tennis since freshman year and I think that sports helped define my high-school experience— without going into tennis as a ninth grader I wouldn’t have had as much confidence as I did throughout high school. Getting to be friends with older players and all the seniors gave me a chance to branch out and experience more of high school than I would have without being on the team. Getting to be captain my senior year is a pretty cool reward for the four years I’ve put in. I really love getting the chance to lead the team now.”

Bea Lujan “I play sports because I love to be active and grow closer with my teammates. Sports, for me, are like a breath of fresh air after a long academic day. At Laguna my favorite thing about sports is getting to know people from different grades. My best piece of advice would be for everyone to be in a sport. You are at a school like Laguna where sports are not stressful and are a great way to meet people. It is where you will bond and connect with the people around you and strive to win! Laguna sports have helped me be more patient and go back to the basics and make sure I’m doing that right.”

Devin Hernandez “I play basketball and beach and indoor volleyball. I play sports because they allow me to escape reality and just focus on playing a game. Sports are important to me because they give me the opportunity to compete and better myself as an individual both mentally and physically. After high school I hope to continue to play basketball and beach volleyball. My favorite thing about sports is the fans, a crowd makes a game 10 times more intense. My biggest piece of advice would have be to stay focused and work your hardest.”

Finn Walker “I play basketball, soccer, indoor volleyball, sand volleyball, and football. Sports at Laguna are important to me because they have given me an outlet for exercise. Sports have always been a big part of my life and I’m hope to continue volleyball at a club level at college. My best piece of advice for newer players of high school sports at Laguna would be to try it out. Even if you aren’t good at the sport or don’t know anyone, I would say to try it out. You meet so many people during sports and Laguna offers everyone an opportunity to play at a high level. Many of my friends have tried sand volleyball out and have found a passion for it this year.” Jillian Lin “I play indoor volleyball, beach volleyball, soccer and track & field. Sports are important to me because they give me the opportunity to stay active while competing with others. I hope to participate in the club track & field team in college. My advice to new players would be to try different sports because you never know what you’ll end up liking.”

Oscar Houglet “I have played soccer, football and sand volleyball. I started playing sports for exercise just so that I could do something, but after a while it was also a way to see my friends. Sports are important to me because they have allowed me to bond with people. Especially at the beginning of the season, since we all suffer through the same thing together it creates a really powerful atmosphere and environment. For me, sports are all about having fun. It’s a way to reward yourself for grinding for months on end. My favorite thing about sports are my team-mates, and the stories that come from them. My best piece of advice would be to trust the coaches. It’s going to seem like half the things you do are pointless but trust me they all have merit.“ Elizabeth Bisno “At Laguna, our coaches are laid-back, hilarious and encouraging, which sets the mood for teams each season. My advice would be to avoid stressing about matches too much. Play against other schools as if you were at practice.”

Augustus Sabino “For new players, I’d say that they should just try as many sports as they can. In the relatively low stress athletic environment that Laguna offers, it is very easy to try out a new sport and not feel like you’re missing out on a sport you’re more comfortable with.” Robbie Brown “In my professional high school sporting career I gallantly captained the golf team and also played sand volleyball. Sports are important for me as they allows me to show off my natural abilities while asserting dominance on my colleagues. Sports are also a great way to build friendships and comradeship that last throughout high school.”


The age-old friction between analytical minds and creative thinkers comes to a head in our modern age of advanced technology and innovation. Where do students and teachers stand? How does society play a role in influencing education? And, most importantly, how can the education system move forward with such discord? And the topic? STEM versus Humanities.


he die is cast. The lines are drawn. Society picks sides, spitting arguments across a widening chasm of dysfunction and disagreement. There can be no doubt that STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) “enjoys a definite advantage when it comes to funding and popularity at this moment,” said Humanities Director Dr. Charles Donelan, “but I’m not convinced that this moment will last.” Especially today, in the age of exponentially-advancing technology, schools and businesses alike sing STEM’s praises. Of course, perception does take a hand in this societal imbalance. “There are stigmas to both. I don’t know how we begin to disassemble them,” said Upper School Head Melissa Alkire. Whether due to parental pressure or the fear of college admissions, students feel the need to beef up their transcripts with STEM-focused courses and APs. “All these stigmas hurt our ability to think critically and be analytical and creative,” Alkire said. But, perception--no matter how unfounded--is usually based upon a kernel of reality, and in the case of STEM hype, the reality is a strong argument. “I think it really is for practical reasons,” STEM program director Staci Richard said. “I’m sure the range in humanities is wide too, but I think it’s the practical nuts and bolts: we need vaccines, we need to figure out our energy grid and what sustainable energy looks like.”

The path of an artist or writer or historian is more shrouded than that of a medical professional or science researcher. “There is a clear linear [progression]” for STEM students, explains Alkire, “At the end of my history degree, I didn’t have interviews at history firms; they don’t exist!” This simple truth provides universities across the globe a justification for their emphasis of the sciences. The American Affairs Journal stated that, in 2018, the U.S. spent more money on STEM education than “the entire Israeli military budget.” And, like ducklings waddling after their mother, secondary schools “mimic

theorems, and facts so there is not as much room for creativity.” Whether it is acknowledged or not, there is an underlying perception that some students are good at science and others predisposed to the arts often, those stereotypes go hand-in-hand with gender divisions. Students who display analytical thinking are self-proclaimed as scientists or mathematicians or non-creatives. “There can be people that are interested in both,” junior Zoë Stephens said, “but I think they lean one way more than the other.” Students who express interest in both fields usually feel pressured to pick one or the other. For this reason, labels are counterproductive. According to Donelan, “The right-brain, leftbrain distinction strikes me as an oversimplification. Good scientists are creative, and good artists understand the world in a way that’s at least partly scientific.” Therein lies the crux of the issue. This intellectual split between the analysts and the dreamers is a man-made artifice—an invisible line in the sands of culture. The current climate might celebrate STEM accomplishments, but without the context of history and the enriching culture of artists, musicians, and writers, humanity’s accomplishments are lackluster. “For example, without the ability to explain science to non-scientists in a way that’s

“There is definitely a stigma associated with STEM more so than the Humanities Department.” the priorities of higher education” and will “likely continue [to do so]” Donelan said. Laguna is no exception. With the construction of long-promised science facilities on the upper school campus, “Laguna has focused on building out STEM,” Richard said. But the issue is not isolated to societal perceptions and external pressure. As a self-proclaimed humanities student, junior Sofia Anderson notices the disparity between the arts and sciences; “There is definitely a stigma associated with STEM more so than the Humanities Department. “STEM is based on subjects like science and math which consist of rules,


convincing and capable of changing people’s minds, important scientific discoveries risk being ignored or contradicted for reasons that are not only irrational but also inhumane,” Donelan added. Many teachers work towards incorporating STEM into their humanities courses and vice versa, attempting to marry the two subjects. “I do think we need to get rid of labels and

build out the humanities,” Richard said. “Look at Ashley Tidey’s work with Urban Studies. Just broadening our definition of humanities.” In striving for this happy medium, Richard counsels students who feel

pulled toward both fields and does her best to find this inter-disciplinary harmony. “Personally, I would love to find all sorts of space for the intersection of those two things.” Regarding academic pressure and the worry of college admissions, Alkire said, “We have to throw out that worry. If you can say that ‘I took these humanities courses because they made me a better person, a better thinker, and a more interesting, creative human being,’ that’s a much better story than ‘I took all my APs.” A robust knowledge of STEM subjects is more and more crucial to every professional field-no one can deny its rising importance. Some argue that the humanities approach irrelevance—that it’s lunacy to add “A” for arts to the STEM acronym. But, since there is no true split between the STEM and humanities fields, the current surge of technology precipitates the rising need for historical and cultural context. “We need to be able to engage on that human, ethical line,” Alkire said. To that end, the time has come to abandon the inane distinctions—to leave STEM and Humanities in the dust—and make way for the brainchild of both: STEAM.

Re-opening the Curtains The film industry’s response to the new COVID-19 restrictions and how students are reacting to movie theaters opening up.

Sisu, the dragon from the new movie, “Raya and the Last Dragon”


ith COVID-19 restrictions slowly lifting, movie theaters are beginning to welcome viewers back in person all over the U.S. The industry delayed dozens of new releases over the past year, disappointing millions of viewers. But now, fans rejoice as their favorite movies are beginning to appear on the big screen. In 2020, to address the movie holdups, studios put out their own streaming platforms: Disney+, Netflix, Hulu and more. In the absence of theaters, fans flocked to these platforms, creating opportunities for companies to reach out to viewers in a new way, including exclusive access to new films and weekly released TV shows. For example, freshman Kendall Keshen watched the new Disney+ premier access movie “Raya the Last Dragon” and said, “I love watching in the comfort of my own home.” But while viewers gained access to their favorite media at home, theaters suffered from the lack of business. This led movie theaters to offer single-party viewings, allowing patrons to rent out entire theaters for as little as $100.

“I hope that if they increase capacity, Marvel held back its big blockbuster “Black Widow” for almost a year. After they will mandate proof of vaccination,” three delays, Marvel now promises to re- Taylor said. Overall, this is a significant step for lease the film on July 9. “I am looking forward to seeing “Black the movie industry, and audiences hope Widow” the most. I am a big fan of Mar- things will get even better in time. If the community continues social disvel and Avengers movies,” sophomore tancing and wearing masks, things will Zoë Stephens said. Other upcoming soon-to-be-released be back to normal in no time. movies include “Free Guy” (May 21), WORDS and ART by NIKKI MIELCAREK starring Ryan Reynolds, and “Cruella “ (May 28), starring Emma Stone. It looks like there will be “some intriguing upcoming movies,” Zoë said. Still, some are reluctant to go to theaters and being in an enclosed space with fabric chairs, where COVID-19 can be easily transmitted. But there is still hope. Theaters have guidelines in place to make sure viewers can enjoy movies without worrying about the virus. While watching “The Unholy” in a theater, senior Taylor Smith said, “Considering it’s not a ‘COVID safe’ activity, I felt safe.” Life is slowly returning to normal. Santa Barbara County recently moved from the red tier to the orange tier which allowed for more people to visit restaurants and movie theaters. The community, although relieved, is still proceeding Black Widow from the upcoming movie, “Black Widow” with caution.


Summer Plans Students take advantage of summer vacation to begin academic programs, get ahead on school work and prepare for college admissions.



ummer is the time that students look forward to all year. The months-long break allows students to relax and have liberty in how they spend their time. Ambitious students prepare for college over their summer vacation, especially for rising upper-level students who prepare for standardized tests, revise their college essays and work on completing college applications. Summer is a perfect time to take college trips because once the school year starts, there isn’t enough time to travel. Some current juniors shared their summer plans and how they are going to prepare for the school year ahead. Taking courses at some of the nation's top colleges seems to be a popular avenue for many. "I'm taking a biomedical ethics class at Wash U [St. Louis]" junior Ben Rodgers said. The course will be conducted online and will span over a few weeks.” Washington University in St. Louis is one of the top colleges in the country, especially for programs in the natural sciences and STEM. Courses like the one Ben describes are a great way to concentrate on a specific area of study that is unlikely to be offered at high school. Similarly, junior Molly Newell will take part in a summer program starting this June. Molly says she "will be attending the NYU pre-college on Zoom at home. "The NYU pre-college program is a summer school for the NYU students opened to juniors and seniors in high school across the country."

Working and learning among actual college students introduces a unique and special chance to gauge college-life experiences, even if that experience may take place on Zoom. Molly is using this opportunity to gauge how she likes the "learning style" and "environment" of NYU and if she can see herself at the school as a college student. Demonstrating an expressed interest in a college is one way that admissions officers can understand the extent to which a student wants to attend their school. Participating in a program lead by that college is a prime method of communicating interest. Rising senior, Jack Shiebler, shares his summer schedule, which will consist of a "civil engineering course at UCSB" that will be "a mix of both [online and in-person learning]." Jack said that this summer, he will "be studying for the ACT and writing college papers." Although challenging, summer presents an excellent opportunity to invest time into SAT/ACT preparation while working hard on college applications and essays for college admissions. Since there is no distraction from other school work during the summer, it is a prime time to take advantage of and start the college application process. Whether participating in programs over zoom or in person, immersing oneself in extracurricular activities of some kind during the open months of summer distinguishes students in the large pool of applicants to highly selective colleges and universities.

“I’m taking a biomedical ethics class at Wash U [St. Louis]”

The University of California in Santa Barbara offers pre-college programs across various areas of study to promote students’ academic development.

Washington University in St. Louis provides a pre-college opportunity, the Young Scientist Program, aims to attract students to scientific careers.

New York University extends the opportunity to take classes from the many specialized college programs to high school and college students across the country. LIFESTYLE • 43

Summer Fashion Trends Summer and hotter weather is right around the corner, which calls for a new wardrobe. It’s time to switch out your hoodies and jeans for these top three fashion trends this summer. WORDS by CIERRA NERVO and ART by CLAIRE TOLLES

Dr. Martens



Dr. Martens shoes were first sold in the UK during the 1960s, but like most vintage clothing trends, Dr. Martens became popular again starting around 2010. On campus students can be spotted wearing the popular shoes. “Dr. Martens are probably my favorite fashion trend,” freshman Sasha Drucker said. They work well with multiple styles including grunge, dark academia or modern indie aesthetic outfits. They can be worn with baggy pants and jeans. Additionally, they’re versatile and can work for walking or hiking. The wide range of Dr. Martens sandals offer an effortlessly cool and comfortable summery look when paired with cut-offs, dresses and skirts.

Tie-dye clothes, once limited to hippie fashion or craft projects, have taken off and can be seen in T-shirts, hoodies, swimsuits, and more. Part of the attraction is because each piece is unique and fun to wear. “A trend I see a lot during the summer is tie-dye clothes,” freshman Keanu Nakamura said. “It would be fun to see more of those bright colors this summer as well.” Tie-dye has been around for many years, becoming popular in the 1960s as protest art, then as pop fashion in the 70s. Whether a DIY piece or one that’s premade, there are plenty of ways to wear tie-dye’s unique colorful patterns, such as spiral, crumple and bullseye—the possibilities are endless.

The indie aesthetic was originally based on individuality in music genres, but underwent a modern resurgence in 2019 and 2020. Labeled “indie kid,” the modern indie wave centers around bright colors, retro clothing, a skater lifestyle and an early 2000s-style fashion. This aesthetic rose in popularity through social media platforms. Junior Olivia Davenport said she’s inspired by her “friends and social media” when it comes to her leaning towards the modern “indie” aesthetic. Oversized jeans, large hoodies, small shirts and thrifted clothes are popular indie styles seen around campus. Beaded necklace, bucket hats, knit sweaters and flannels are just some of the accessories that add to the “indie” look.

Summer Must-Haves Here is a list of students’ favorite summer items to have fun and keep up with the top trends while staying cool and comfortable. WORDS and ART by TAYLOR SMITH


Junior Nicole Khodabandelou uses a Whole Foods brand Aloe Vera 365 spray at home during the sunny summer months. She likes to, “put it in the fridge, so when it’s applied, it cools the skin.” Aloe is perfect for retaining moisture in the skin, especially after too much sun. It also has healing properties.


In summer, senior Daisy Finefrock switches to tinted moisturizer when the summer sun starts to hit her skin. She recommends this product which, “isn’t heavy, has SPF for sun coverage and covers blemishes.” A lighter option as opposed to a foundation, tinted moisturizer is a great summer makeup product.




The problem of sunburns come around in summer for those with fair complexions. People who have a hard time tanning but want a sun-kissed appearance, try out fake tanner. Simply apply lotion to clean skin, and you will instantly look like you’ve been in the sun. Fake tanner beats the pain and damage of sun tanning.

Popsicles appeal to any age and you can make them a healthier treat by making your own at home, using fresh produce and natural fruit juice. Junior Freddie Russel enjoys strawberry Popsicles, “They refresh you after a long summer day, by quenching your thirst.”

Sophomore Fiona Hernandez says bead crafts are her summer must haves; jewelry and accessory making is a fun and easy activity to do with friends and family. Whether at the beach, at a park or at home, it is always entertaining to create colorful summer accessories.


During summer, many enjoy sunbathing by the pool or the beach. With that being said, a bikini is a must have; but not any plain bikini—a bright one to reflect the bright, fun nature of summer. Not to mention, bright bikinis are super fun and flirty. LIFESTYLE • 45

Intro to Sailing

Sailing, an obscure yet accessible sport, can give you both the peace of the ocean and the thrill of fighting to keep your boat upright that some may seek.


Santa Barbara High School Racing Corona Del Mar in Newport Harbor.

hy should you sail? “Sailing is a sport that will last you the rest of your life. You can race sailboats into your 90s. It’s is a high school, college and Olympic sport,” said Nick Kaschak, Director of Santa Barbara Youth Sailing Foundation. Everyone has a reason why they love sailing. “The frigid mist that occasionally blankets the face along with the utter yet refreshing shock of giant waves crashing down onto both you and your teammate truly invoke a sense of life. It makes you think ‘I’m alive’,” sophomore sailor Patrick Tanner said. Where to get started if one is interested in sailing in Santa Barbara? There are two main programs that offer sailing experiences, Santa Barbara Sailing Center (SBSC) and the Santa Barbara Youth Sailing Foundation (SBYSF). Both offer summer camps and after-school sailing opportunities. While both programs offer sailing camps, there is a big difference between them, mainly the types of boats they use. Different boats specialize in different fields of sailing. The Sailing Center uses keel-boats and cruising boats, while the Youth Sailing Foundation uses dinghies.

Keel-boats are larger boats with a keel—a sort of board below the boat with a heavy bulb on the bottom used to stop the boat from flipping over, making the boat very stable. Dinghies don’t have these stabilizing keels. Dinghies are quite common, require more athleticism and are used for highschool races.

“Sailing is a sport that will last you the rest of your life.” Another difference between the two programs is that the center is focused on boat charters and rentals, while the foundation focuses on racing. The foundation runs all the high school sailing teams in Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara High School, Dos Pueblos and San Marcos. The center offers everything from “Learn to Sail” summer camps to boat charters. They provides paddle-board and kayak rentals. Their instructional programs include American Sailing Association certified courses which allow people to learn how

to sail and rent sailboats upon completion as well as non-certified courses which allow people to learn how to sail without the pressure of certification. After completing the “Learn to Sail” course, which covers the basics of sailing, one could choose to transition to leisure sailing on the open water. Santa Barbara Sailing Center offers Kids Summer Sailing Camp for kids ages 7-15. The foundation, on the other hand, runs programs in two different types of dinghies. One is the Optimist, for children 5-15 the other, for children 13-18, which is called the Club Flying Junior or CFJ. After completing either course, racing programs are available. The foundation and the center offer after-school sailing as well. The foundations sessions are broken up into two-week pieces over the summer and have sailing Monday through Friday in both the afternoon and morning according to the sailor’s level. There are many positive reasons to go sailing, so take advantage of one of the various sailing programs in Santa Barbara. WORDS by MYLES HAZEN PHOTO by SBYSF


Athletic Director Discusses Changes Whether coaching a volleyball team or planning each seasons’ sports schedule, Athletic Director Jason Donnelly is always busy. Despite the unusual circumstances due to COVID-19, Donnelly works hard to give athletes the best sports season possible.

Where were the teams when sports had What was the inspiration for the after to be shut down? school sports program in September? We were early in our spring seasons last March when sports officially shut down. Our boys volleyball and boys tennis teams had a played a handful of matches and were off to a great start. Our girls sand volleyball team was just about to play their first match of the season when everything stopped.

When we started the school year remotely, we were able to find a way to get students on campus and working out in a safe, structured environment. We created the after-school training cohorts so that kids who were interested could come workout with their friends while following all of the protocols put in place. In fact, the 7th-grade group still How did the teams react to the meets every Tuesday. immediate stop? How do sports look now? For our boys volleyball team, in the week prior to the shutdown, we had Things regarding sports have been played three matches and went to a tour- moving forward recently. As COVID-19 nament down in LA. cases decreased in California and Santa After that Saturday tournament, we Barbara County, things became a little bit practiced on Monday, played a match at less restrictive. Foothill Tech on Tuesday, practiced on As we were one of the few campuses Wednesday and that evening was when in person, at least at the high school levthe NBA shut down, and I knew things el, we had to be very careful in how we were serious. did things in order to ensure that we were able to keep our students learning here on What types of things as an athletic campus rather than remotely. director did you have to reimagine? We were able to get many of our teams out there training, and a few were even to Everything had to be reimagined re- compete in a shortened season. garding athletics. There was a lot of waiting around for guidance from the state What does this summer look like? and county public health departments, not only for the end of the last school As of today, we haven’t received any year, but for the entire 2020-2021 school updated guidance about next year, but we year. There was much unknown, and that are planning on it as things will return to made it very difficult to plan. much closer to normal. We had schedules ready to go for this Schedules are being created for the fall, year, but they all had to be scrapped once winter, and spring seasons, and we hope the new dates were announced on July to be able to get going with our fall sports 20th. At that point, we created schedules in August. for the “new” seasons but had to wait to implement them until we were given ap proval.


Profile for The Fourth Estate

The June Issue  


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