How To Find The Right University For You

The college application process is difficult; however, sometimes the decision process can be even harder. Yes, it is nice to have received an acceptance letter(s) to the school(s) of your choice, but now it is time to make the decision to where you will spend the next 4 years of your college career. We also understand that this choice can put a lot of pressure on you. If you’re having a tough time deciding where to attend in the fall, here are a few tips to choosing the right university for you!

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Think About What Is Important To You
This is a huge, important decision. It is smart to take a step back and breath for a minute. Ask yourself, why you initially choose to apply to these schools. What was important to you when you applied to them back then? Was it a program? A club? Close to home? These are all factors that will have an effect on your final decision.

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Visit The School
Many, if not most, colleges and universities offer campus tours. In fact, many campuses have special days dedicated to those students who have interest in attending their university. You may find yourself feeling out of place or not at home when you visit certain schools, but if you visit the school and it feels like home for you, it will narrow down your choices. The school you choose will be your home away form home for these next few years.

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Consider Curriculum and Your Future Career
College is a place to prepare you for your future. Look at the curriculum. Do the schools offer any classes you are yearning to take? Do they seem challenging and like a good learning experience for you? Do your research because it will help you determine which campuses will provide you with the classes to help pursue your career dreams.

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Think About Student Resources
Student resources will play a colossal role in your college successes. Do they have a career center? A library? A student union? Many college career centers have resume building workshops, provide lists of internship opportunities, and perform mock interviews to help prepare you for future interviews. A library is important because you will spend many hours studying there, this also goes for the student union. These often have study rooms, food restaurants, and places to relax while on campus.

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Deadlines for decisions are quickly approaching! Do the research now and go on campus tours. Now is the time to ask all the questions you have. Use the time you have left to research the different aspects of a college atmosphere that are truly the most important to you. Good luck!

Lion Pride!

LIONS SHINE AT LAGUNA BEACH FESTIVAL OF ARTS

Congratulations to our five Visual Arts students that were winners at the Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts Junior Art Show. JSerra’s five shining students, Quetzal Arevelo, Megan Lasken, Nicole Kurrasch, Shane Noviello and May Han were among the 13 student winners for the show. The student’s artwork was chosen from a field of thousands of entrants from schools across the county.

JSerra CHS Blog_Festival of ArtsThe Junior Art Show has been around since 1947 and has become a highlight to the summer event. It displays work from over 300 students, grades K-12, and keeps the importance and value of the arts alive in our youth.

Hundreds of family members and friends gathered at the festival art grounds to congratulate and acknowledge the recipients of the Junior Art Awards. Our students did an amazing job representing their artwork and JSerra.

Lion Pride!

Contursi Named Artist of the Week by the OC Register

NikkaBy: JEBB HARRIS, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

The Orange County Register profiles this week’s artist of the week, JSerra senior and Ladera Ranch resident, Nikka Contursi.

What art form(s) do you work in? Photography

How did you get involved in photography? I started taking pictures at my parents’ Christmas parties when I was about 4 years old. The angles were pretty hilarious – mostly shots of headless guests, legs and shoes. After that, I put down the disposable camera for a while until I borrowed my mom’s Nikon N2000 in middle school, and I haven’t put it down since!

What is your favorite work of art/photograph? Who is your favorite artist/photographer? I have loved Richard Avedon’s “Dovima With Elephants” since I was about 12, and it’s still one of my favorites. Something about the photograph just always seems to draw my attention. I admire so many photographers’ work, but to name a few: Avedon, Mark “The Cobrasnake” Hunter, Hugh Lippe, Arthur Elgort and Annie Leibovitz.

Who have been your influences? Did you have a mentor in your development as an artist? If so, how did they help you? Ms. Stehney, photography instructor at JSerra, has inspired me since the day I stepped foot in her classroom during my sophomore year. She has accomplished a wide range of work during her very successful career, and stories of her travels and work inspire me to continue shooting. I would not be where I am today without her enthusiasm and constant encouragement. She treats me like a professional rather than just a teenage student. She has continued to help me grow.

What inspires you? During the creative process I can be inspired by anything, but if I am looking for inspiration, I often go to couture and street fashion, people-watching and pop culture.

Other than photography, are you involved in any other activities?  If so, what are they? I am on the varsity tennis team at JSerra. I also volunteer by helping young children learn the fundamentals of tennis, and I work on my online portfolio:nikkaacontursii.tumblr.com.

What do you get out of taking pictures? I am a very visual person, so photography allows me to express my ideas without speaking. It’s also lots of fun because there are no rules and I’m able to create whatever I want. Photography also gives me a break from the real world. I can sit on my computer for hours editing photographs and never get bored. It’s something that brings me happiness.

How do the arts figure into your long-term goals? I hope to attend either Parsons in New York City or Academy of Art in San Francisco. I’d also like to spend a year studying abroad. My ultimate goal as of now is to become a fashion photographer and travel the world doing what I love.

What is the best advice you have received? Some of the best advice I have received has come from my parents. My mom and dad have been my support system since Day One, always catching me when I fall, and constantly telling me to never stop pursuing my dreams and not to let anyone get in my way. I don’t know what I would do without all of their continuous support.

Do you have any other thoughts about being a photographer that you would like to share with us? Don’t let anyone or anything hold you back in pursuing your dreams, shoot every single day and have fun doing what you love!

JSerra Students Win Pageant of the Masters Junior Art Contest

photo%201-1Congratulations to the Visual Arts students that were juried into the Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts Junior Art Show. Our three students that made the show were sophomores Ethan Worden, Megan Lasken and senior Noah Mudd.
We also congratulate Noah Mudd for winning first place in his junior division/category.
” I am so proud of the hard work these students put in to winn this prestigious award”, said  Nancy Harrell, Artist In Residence Director. The Festival runs through the end of August to view all the great work.

JSerra Students Exhibit Photography in Laguna Pageant of the Masters

student2Ten pieces of student photography will be displayed in the Laguna Pageant of the Masters, the most of any Orange County School.

Each piece was selected by art authorities from thousands of submissions representing schools throughout Orange County. The exhibit has become not only a showcase for new generations of young Orange County student artists but also a vivid testimonial to the value and importance of continuing arts education in our school systems.

Junior, Nikka Contursi will exhibit three photos at the Laguna Pageant of the Masters, the most from any school in the history of the pageant. 
The following students have demonstrated excellence in traditional darkroom skills, alternative processes and digital media:

Connection- Aryanna Hamidi

Playful Lions- Kelsey Testman

Dream Big- Josephine Duran

New Beginning- Zach Woznicki

Face Up- Courtney Vaccher

Insomnia – Nicolette Contursi

Cost was here- Nicolette Contursi

Broguiere’s – Nicolette Contursi

Blind -Courtney Strafeldas

Presentation of Time- Claire Grace

“I’m so proud of all my students and their hard work, this is such an honor,” said Regina Stehney, photography teacher.

The exhibit is now showing through August 31 from 10 a.m. –11:30, at Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach.

McLaughlin Named Swim Coach of the Year

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By Dan Albano, OC Register 

JSerra’s girls swim team faced a daunting, new challenge during its quest for a second consecutive CIF Division 1 title.

Instead of playing the role of surprising upstart that marked their championship season in 2012, the Lions were a hunted team this season.

“I think people are coming after them,” JSerra coach Mary McLaughlin said.

But despite the tag of favorite — which usually brings added pressure — JSerra still found its desired destination.

Thanks to an atmosphere of fun and team unity nurtured by McLaughlin, the Lions captured a second straight Division 1 crown, setting a then-national record in the 400-yard freestyle relay and four Orange County records in the process.

For her efforts, McLaughlin has been selected the Register’s girls coach of the year for 2013.

“I want to make (swimming) as fun as possible for them,” the fourth-year coach said. “I try not to make it a big deal, and let them have a good time, and this has been our result.”

JSerra took Division 1 by storm two seasons ago, leaping from a 22nd-place finish in 2011 to its first CIF title.

To read the complete article click Coach of the Year.

JSerra International Student Arranges Song for Choir’s Farewell Concert

AndrewBy Lauren Shepherd, OC Register 

JSerra Catholic High School’s first graduating international student Seung Hyun (Andrew) Lee, from Seoul, South Korea, has been teaching his fellow chamber singers his own arrangement of a Korean folk song for choir’s Spring Farewell Concert. Four years ago, Lee and his family searched for the right school in Southern California that would give him a unique high school experience.

“When I saw that JSerra was accepting international students I took the opportunity,” Lee said. He started his freshman year of high school at JSerra with a love for music and a prodigal talent that would impress his fellow chamber singers.

“It’s really interesting to know that someone so young can be so musically inclined,” said JSerra sophomore and first-year chamber singer, Ian von Gremp. “It’s nice to know that my friend Andrew arranged it,”

Lee became president of the chamber choir, and with his leadership taught his fellow chamber singers the ancient Korean folk song, “Arirang,” which he arranged to fit his own interpretation of its meaning.

“Andrew has always been our leader,” junior and third year chamber singer, Annie Pfost said. “Choir is like a family and Andrew is like the cool big brother.”

“Arirang,” a song handed down through many generations, was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, in December.

At last year’s Spring Concert, Renée Bondi, Christian inspiration singer and mother to JSerra chamber singer, Daniel Bondi, told Lee about her concert in Korea. She said when she sang “Arirang” for the finale, everyone there began to sing along with her. With that motivation, Lee decided to arrange “Arirang” for his high school choir.

To read the complete article click here.