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School Board Wrapup

May 11, 2007

The following is from the May 8, 2007 meeting of the Laguna Beach Unified School District Board of Education.

Successful dance teacher announces resignation

Longtime Laguna Beach High School dance teacher Tod A. Kubo announced his resignation to a shocked board.

"Everything was going so well that I decided it was time to pass it on," he said.

"In true Tod fashion, Tod decided to talk to the kids first," Board Member Theresa O'Hare said. "I have a huge amount of respect for [Tod] for doing that."

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Several board members expressed dismay at Kubo's resignation.

"It will leave a huge void here, and it will be nearly impossible to fill," Board President Betsy Jenkins said.

Kubo was hired by the district in 1995 as a choreographer for school theatrical performances. The following year, he became the full-time dance teacher, and brought the department from its dwindling enrollment to a program so popular it has a waiting list.

The school's dance studio is now state-of-the-art, and its dance company performs regularly. More than 300 former students have moved on to professional dance careers and programs, Kubo said.

An unusually high number of boys also perform in the program, which is divided between the performing arts and physical education departments; it's a popular course for football players, Jenkins said.

Board Member Ketta Brown said Kubo gave her children hope. Kubo said he plans to continue his choreography work regionally, on the East Coast and internationally.

"You've just done a stunning job," O'Hare said. "I thank you from the bottom of my heart."

Pinto given inaugural service award

Longtime district volunteer and SchoolPower Endowment Foundation architect Michael Pinto was honored by Board Member Theresa O'Hare for his service to the schools.

He is the first recipient of the district's new Community Volunteer Awards, which were brought about as fulfillment of a campaign promise by O'Hare to honor those who have donated their time and services to the district.

Students raise funds for cancer research

High school student representative Taylor Dodson said the April 21 Parker Games student/faculty basketball tournament fundraiser raised more than $2,200 for breast cancer research.

The second annual event was held by the school's Pink Ribbon Club. Last year's Parker Games raised about $4,000.

The proceeds will go toward Laguna Beach High School teacher Kristin Parker's involvement in the 60-mile Breast Cancer Three-Day walk in San Diego.

— By Candice Baker

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