Weekly roundup: Corona del Mar High School senior publishes book, new aquatic center opens, and more

Luke Ianni

In about a week, Corona del Mar High School students will be back in school comparing their summer breaks, and rising senior Luke Ianni will be able to share how he spent his time.

The Newport-Mesa Unified student wrote a children’s book about a boy who lives with stuttering. In many ways, Luke’s book resembles his own life as he has also dealt with stuttering. His story was featured in the Los Angeles Times’ Daily Pilot.

“I know what it felt like to not really have a voice for myself,” said Luke. “I find it so important to be a voice in my community for those who can’t speak for themselves.”

The 24-page book, “A Standing Ovation,” is available in eBook format on Amazon and in hardcover at Lulu.com. It tells the story of a boy entered into a speech competition who uses grit and determination to overcome his stutter.

Luke hopes his book can inspire readers to find ways to accept and work through their challenges.

Here are the other stories we’ve been following this week:

  • More than 200 pieces of art created by students in Orange County are currently on display at the 90th Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach.
  • Student athletes at El Modena High School are not holding swim or water polo practices at neighboring schools’ pools anymore. The Orange Unified School District unveiled its new aquatic center at the high school this past week after nearly four years of planning.
  • Each county in California has a county office of education and they all work a little differently. OCDE’s Communications and Media Services team produced this video to explain what county offices do.
Understanding County Offices of Education
  • A new principal will be leading a K-8 school in Rancho Mission Viejo for the 2022-23 school year. Principal Greg Hauser previously served at an elementary school in Laguna Niguel, where he helped build a Mandarin immersion program.
  • The Anaheim Elementary School District welcomed about 15,000 students to school this week. In preparation for the new school year, the district increased the number of transitional kindergarten classes, reduced class sizes for all grade levels and hired more counselors to help meet students’ needs.
  • California is the first state in the country to launch a universal meals program that will allow students to eat breakfast and lunch for free, regardless of income status.
  • Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the creation of college savings accounts for children from low-income families. Enrollment is automatic and eligible children are identified by the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Education. 
  • The Orange County District Attorney’s office says two Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District board members may have violated California’s open meeting law earlier this year, the Voice of OC reported.
  • The Fresno Unified School District is planning to roll out a policy that will not allow students to access their cellphones during the school day.

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