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Lyceum of Monterey County

2018 Spring Newsletter

As the 2017-2018 school year closes, we are happy to report that the Lyceum has had another superb year, thanks to our community supporters, teachers, parents, and participants.

  Major Academic Events:

  • 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 Palma High School in the final round. Carmel High took fourth place (out of 34 schools) in the State Finals on March 17th.  Rebecca Goren received the award for Outstanding Defense Attorney.  Also outstanding this year were our Monterey County Artists and Journalists! Lily Montori received 3rd place in the State Courtroom Journalist Competition.  Athena Foster-Brazil received 2nd Place and Paige Hartley received 3rd place in the State Courtroom Artist Competition.  Peter Funt returned to judge the journalism competition and work with students to hone their craft.  Monterey County Mock Trial Director and Legal Liason Mike Whilden marked his 20th year with the event.  

Cross examination of witness at Monterey County Superior Courthouse, judge Stephanie Hulsey presiding


  • Monterey County Spelling Bee for 4th and 5th Grade students. The event was held at San Benancio Middle School on Feb 24th with 60 finalists from all over the county. Thirty schools participated. David Riddle, of the Lyceum’s Board of Directors, was our word caller. Former and active Lyceum Board Members, Wayne Cruzan and Christine Westbrook judged the event. David Riddle also provided the support for our County Winners to attend the State Finals on May 13th.


  • Spelling Bee winners, L-R: Jayda Sherotte, 2nd Place San Carlos School; Joseph Zenk,  Sacred Heart School, 4th Place, Jesse Shu, Carmel River School,  3rd Place, Nixon Mitchell, Monte Vista, 1st Place. Carino Sanchez Ayon, Madonna del Sasso 5th Place.


  • History Day for students in grades 5 through 12. The event was held on March 10th at Los Arboles Middle School. Over 150 students participated, exhbiting their historical research through exhibits, documentaries, papers, websites or performances. The theme was Conflict and Compromise. 



Exhibit boards on display                                                       


  • Model United Nations for high school students was held on Oct 27 at CSUMB’s Gambord School of Business and IT. The 104 students debated and proposed resolutions related to: (1) the historic situation in Rwanda, (2) human rights and gender equality, and (3) the the convention on biodiversity. Dr. Shyam Kamath provided the keynote address.

High school Model UN students preparing Security Council resolutions


  •  The Middle School Model United Nations event will be held at Middlebury Institute of International Studies on May 12th. Topics were (1) the Syrian situation, (2) sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, and (3) sustainable development-disaster risk reduction.  The delegates are always most impressive with their sophisticated resolutions and insights into the diplomatic process. Visit the Lyceum website to see a film of last year's closing session and press conference.


  • Our Expanding Your Horizons event, held at Hartnell College on Nov. 18th, was a huge success with over 260 middle and high school girls in attendance. There were sixteen break out sessions taught by forty local educators working in STEM related professions. The inspiring keynote address was by Ruth Murray Clay, Astrophysicist, of UCSC.  She discussed her career and described her work with exoplanets. Twenty-three science related organizations presented at our Career Fair for the girls.


Young scientists measure a specimen.

At the Career Fair: NPS’s Cruser Program was one of twenty-three organizations represented.


Enrichment Classes and Summer Camps

  • Space Adventure Camp was held for it's seventh year for 25 students from throughout the county. NASA astronaut, Dan Bursch, was a special guest. Tours of Chabot Science Center, the Hartnell Planetarium, and the Monterey Institute of Research in Astronomy (MIRA) were featured. The event was coordinated by Bud Cook, retired MPUSD GATE Teacher. The camp will run again this summer on July 16-20.  

Space Camp teacher Bud Cook hears NASA Astronaut Dan Bursch explain moon’s orbit


  • Lyceum Enrichment Academic Programs These are our day-to-day after school and week-end classes in arts, humanities, and sciences. Please visit our website www.lyceum.org to see the range of classes.
  • Art/Natural Science:  Sharon Nelson remains the volunteer Arts Coordinator for the Lyceum and has been making an effort to align arts classes with a natural science focus.   Botanical Drawing & Painting, Pocket Sketching, Nature Journaling, Drawing and Painting the Seaside, Introduction to Pen & Ink, and Creating Herbariums, are just some of classes.  Among the artist/educators teaching are Sharon Nelson, Marie Gilmore, Julie Heilman, Kate Warthen, Lisa Handley, Erin Hunter, and Dana Goforth.  We are pleased to announce that they will also be on board in the coming year.


Intergenerational botanical art class.

  • Young Authors: Taught by Louann Baker of UCSC’s California Writing Project, for students at Los Arboles Middle School and at the Carmel Youth Center.  Each group will have an anthology of their work professionally published this spring.  Thanks to Lyceum Board Member Christine Westbrook for her assistance in organizing the program and to the Pebble Beach Foundation for funding.


Upcoming Summer Camps:

  • Indoor/Outdoor Sketching & Watercolor
  • Collage Art & Papercraft
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Digital Photography
  • 3-D Sculpture Design
  • Space Adventure Camp


Multimedia presence:

  • Lyceum Instagram, Facebook and Blog are being managed by our talented Middlebury Institute of International Studies employees, Ellen Olack and Chelsea Segal. 

      Chelsea                                         Ellen

Your support has been key to our on-going success. If you were unable to respond to our annual fund drive last December, you can still assist us in providing enrichment education by donating today!  Please accept our sincere thanks for your generosity.

Special thanks to all of our supporters:

  • Arts Council for Monterey County
  • Barnet Segal Charitable Trust
  • The Buffet Fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County
  • Chevron's Eagles of Education Program
  • The Clark Foundation
  • Community Foundation for Monterey County
  • Dunspaugh Dalton Foundation
  • Harden Foundation
  • Jim Tunney Foundation
  • Monterey Peninsula Foundation
  • Monterey Peninsula Volunteer Services
  • Nancy Buck Ransom Foundation
  • Pebble Beach Company Foundation
  • The Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation
  • The Talbott Foundation
  • United Nations Association
  • Upjohn California Fund
  • The William McCaskey Chapman & Adeline Dinsmore Chapman Foundation
  • Yellow Brick Road Foundation


Tom Nelson                   
Executive Director                                          

The Lyceum
Enrichment Center for Monterey County

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