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Paul Slocombe: Reflections on a Remarkable Year at Laguna Blanca

And looking ahead to 2012-13, with the launch of an innovative iPad curriculum and new Academic Resource Center

As the headmaster of Laguna Blanca School, I can say that this truly is a bittersweet time of year for our faculty and staff. On one hand, we celebrate the successes of each of our graduating students, some of whom have been with us for 13 years. On the other, we’re saddened to say goodbye to another class of outstanding young citizens who have made such an impact on our school’s community.

Headmaster Paul Slocombe
Headmaster Paul Slocombe

The academic accomplishments of the Class of 2012 are impressive, in and of themselves. More than half of this year’s graduating class will attend the top 25 colleges and universities in the country this coming fall. Still more impressive is that nearly 20 percent of Laguna Blanca’s graduating class will go on to play intercollegiate athletics — a statistic few schools in the country could match.

Yet, statistics tell only part of our students’ stories.

For the entire week before commencement, I had the opportunity to conduct exit interviews with the senior class. Each member had something unique to share about his or her experience at the school, and each story touched me in a different way. At the commencement ceremony, I was especially struck by what 2012 Associated Student Body President Justin Shand shared about his experiences in coming to Laguna so many years ago.

“In my first year at Laguna, I received all Ns for participation and attitude — N for needs improvement,” Justin said. “At any other school, I probably could have gotten away with the work I was putting in. But the teachers at Laguna demand excellence. They challenged me to be better, and I improved.”

Justin understood and accepted that challenge, resulting in his induction into the prestigious Cum Laude Society as a junior and his serving as Associated Student Body president his senior year. He will attend the University of Pennsylvania in the fall.

Students aren’t the only ones who are challenged to greatness at Laguna Blanca School. Our faculty and staff are constantly working to improve and enhance the learning opportunities available for our students.

This coming fall, our school will launch an innovative iPad curriculum, as well as introduce an Academic Resource Center that will integrate new media resources and progressive technologies for students to explore. We are truly committed to preparing our students to learn and thrive in an increasingly technological world.

While teaching techniques and resources may advance, there are some things at Laguna that will never change. The faculty and staff at Laguna Blanca know each student personally and celebrate his or her gifts and talents. They applaud student successes in the arts, athletics, community activities and the classroom. They believe in and remain committed to our school’s core values of Scholarship, Character, Balance and Community, taking significant pride in preparing students for college and the many endeavors they will take on in life.

Once again, I am so proud of our 2012 graduates, and I wish them the greatest success. We eagerly await the beginning of a new school year and the bright young students who represent our school’s future.

Laguna Blanca is a K-12 co-educational, college preparatory day school and is accepting applications from outstanding student applicants for the 2012-13 school year. For more information or to obtain an application, please contact Joyce Balak in our admission office at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 805.687.2461 x210.

— Paul Slocombe is the headmaster for Laguna Blanca School.

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