Spring 2016 Newsletter - by Tom Nelson, Executive Director

As the 2015-16 school year closes, we are proud to report that The Lyceum has had yet another strong year.  Below is an outline with some commentary about our activities and accomplishments.

Major Academic Events

Carmel High Mock Trial County Winners

•    Mock Trial for students in grades 9-12:  This year we had over 150 students participating from seven local high schools.  Carmel High won a narrow victory over Pacific Grove and went on to take 8th place out of 34 school teams at State.  They had a great victory, making it to the semi-finals at State for the first time ever, and going 3-0 in the first 3 rounds!  Additionally their Pre-trial Motion Attorney, Alex Poletti, won the J. Skelly Wright award for excellence in pre-trial advocacy.    

•    Model United Nations for middle and high school aged students: The middle school event was held at Monterey Institute of International Studies on May 7th. Effects of climate change on low lying counties, cyber security, education of immigrants and refugees, terrorism and curbing pollution were the key topics at the middle school event.  See a video of the event’s Mock Press Conference, moderated by Peter Funt here.  The keynote speaker was noted expert on water issues, Michael V. McGinnis of MIIS. The high school event was held on September 26th, where the topic was the impact of immigration on development. The guest speaker was Dr. Tsuneo Akaha, Director of the Center for East Asian Studies at MIIS, whose expertise is in the area of migration human security.  

Lyceum Spelling Bee Winners

•    Monterey County Spelling Bee for 4th and 5th graders:  Our 32nd Annual Spelling Bee was held at San Benancio Middle School on Feb 21st with 56 finalists from all over the County. Thirty-one schools participated, and we had a fantastic new word caller, Lisa Ledin, of KAZU. Winners: 1st,Grace Wang Carmel River School; 2nd: Emma Pugh, Tularcitos School, 3rd: Nikos Douros, Carmel River School, and 4th Samuel Low of Mission Park School. Active and former Lyceum Board members, Wayne Cruzan, Bob DeWeese and Christine Westbrook judged the event.

Lyceum History Day County Winners

•    History Day:  Our 27th Annual History Day event for students in grades 5 through 12 was held, on March 12 at Los Arboles Middle School. Over 150 students tackled this year’s theme of Exploration, Exchange, and Encounter, by delving into a specific topic of their choice, and creating a project in the form of an Exhibit, Website, Documentary, Paper, or Performance.  There were 26 county winners who went on to compete at the State Competition this past weekend.  Click here to see the results!  

Expanding Your Horizons

•    Our Expanding Your Horizons event, held at Hartnell College on Nov. 21, was a huge success with nearly 300 middle and high school girls in attendance.  The program educates girls on potential careers in STEAM subjects, and with sixteen break-out sessions taught by forty local practicing scientists, there was a lot to consider! Our keynote address was by Shalina Taylor of the Stanford Research Hospital.  Twenty-three organizations came together to present a Career Fair for the girls.  

Young Authors

•    Young Authors Club:  We have a new Academic Event in the works that we’re really enthusiastic about, and that is the Young Authors Club.  We’re still in the development and funding phase, but this will be a year-long program for Monterey County students to create their own book, seeing it through from the brainstorming of an idea to a completed bound copy.  Keep an eye out for this one!  


Enrichment Classes and Camps

Crafty Campers

•    Lyceum Summer Camps:  We’re gearing up for Summer 2016!  We have all of your favorites like iLead+Design, Digital Photography, Space Adventure Camp, and Indoor/Outdoor Sketching & Watercolor back again, and we are also very excited to be offering several new camps this year including Discovering Shakespeare, Fun Learning Mandarin Chinese, and a Mural Painting workshop with a focus on Environmental conservation!  Click here to learn more about our Summer Camps.

Herbariums Workshop

•    Art/Natural Science:  Sharon Nelson is our volunteer Arts Coordinator for the Lyceum and has brought a number of talented instructors to the Lyceum, offering arts classes with a natural science focus.   Botanical Drawing and Painting, Pocket Sketching, Nature Journaling, Drawing and Painting the Seaside, and Creating a Herbarium, are just some of those offerings.  Among the artist/educators teaching classes this coming year are Nina Antze, Amanda Bensel, Marie Gilmore, Diane Grindol, Julie Heilman, Madison Holland, Erin Hunter, Pat Lightfoot, Sharon Nelson, Janis Steinmann, Claudia Stevens, Jacqui Turner, and Patrice Vecchione.  See our current class listings here

Lyceum Botanical Art

•    Lyceum Enrichment Academic Programs (LEAP): These are our day-to-day after school and week end classes in arts, humanities, and sciences.  In addition to all of the wonderful new art workshops Sharon Nelson has developed for the Lyceum, we also have some great programs in language and math you don’t want to miss.  We’re offering ongoing Mandarin Chinese sessions for students, taught by Vickie Rockower of Monterey Mandarin Tutor, as well as a new (and very popular) course in Cosmic Puzzles taught by retired Carmel High Math Department Chair and author, Vic Selby.  We also continue to offer our ever popular classes for the animal lovers – K9 Search & Rescue, and Intro to Guide Dogs!  With new programs in development all the time, make sure to sign up to be on our email list so you get notified when new programs are added!   

Lyceum Mocoyojo Journalism Workshop with Peter Funt

•    Monterey County Young Journalists (MOCOYOJO) was offered by syndicated columnist, Peter Funt, for the fifth year. Students visited The Herald, KSBW, KAZU and KNRY to get hands on experience in the field of journalism. Several applied the skills they learned by joining the Journalism portion of our Mock Trial event in February.  In addition, three Young Journalists, Melissa Pavlov, Joyce Dougherty and Lexi Rohrer, conducted a press conference at the end of our Model United Nations event this May.  This was filmed and aired by Monterey County Office of Education’s Community Access Television. The MOCOYOJO ladies also wrote the article about MUN for the May 9th article in the Herald.  Read it here!  

Hidden Careers

•    Hidden Careers Program: Under the direction and coordination of Lyceum board member, Elaine Herrmann, we have launched a series of panel presentations for children enrolled in local high schools. This spring we held a Careers in Medicine event at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital’s Education Center on April 28. Food and transport were provided by the Mission Trails ROP Program.

•    Digital Story Telling: After a short hiatus due to installation of a new computer lab at the Carmel Foundation, we shall conduct a six week program in Digital Story Telling for senior citizens at the Carmel Foundation this Fall. Check out our previous classes stories here.  

Cyber Adventures Camp

•    Cyber Adventurers: a summer STEM and computer science program for middle school girls will be offered at La Paz Middle School June 20-24.  An additional two-weekend event will be held at MPC for Monterey Peninsula girls. (Dates TBA) Thanks to the Dunspaugh Dalton and the Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundations for funding this program.  See the video from last year’s program here.

•    Square Foot Gardening Classes have been taught at the Lyceum in Monterey, Laurel Wood School and Mission Park in Salinas and DLAMP at Fort Ord by Lynda Kamrath. 

Staying connected:  

Lyceum Instagram, Facebook and Blogs are great ways to keep up to date with Lyceum offerings, as well as all things educational!  If you haven’t checked in lately, take a look at our new social media pages being updated by our talented Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) work study students Addy Jimenez-Haga and Ashley Gora.  These ladies have been instrumental in revitalizing our communications, organizing the Model UN and Spelling Bee events this year, and taking some great photos!
Last but not least!: All of these programs are made possible by our generous sponsors and by donations from the community!  If you like what we’re doing, please consider making a donation today!  


So that is all for now folks!  We hope you have had a great year, have a relaxing but fun-filled summer, and take a little time to learn something new!  Maybe we will even see you at one of our Summer Camps!  

Tom Nelson
Executive Director
The Lyceum of Monterey County