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Superintendent's Newsletter

November 18, 2022

Dear Parents and Community,

I hope this newsletter finds you well. With Thanksgiving approaching, I want to take a moment to thank all of you for your commitment to MBUSD. I am grateful for your dedication, time, and energy to enrich our students’ lives and offer them the best educational experience. I am also appreciative of the support from our community. Whether you are an MBUSD teacher, staff member, parent, or community partner, it’s because of you that our students are achieving success and are preparing to be our leaders of tomorrow. 

It’s my privilege to be part of this great community! I hope you have an opportunity to relax and spend time with family, friends, and loved ones over the Thanksgiving break next week. 

Today’s issue highlights academics at Meadows, Fox 11 News Feature on a Costa student making a difference, and MBUSD soon to be the first school district with all schools designated as No Place for Hate schools in the Southern California Anti-Defamation League region.  

Spotlight on Meadows (Special Thanks to Staff and Principal Michelle Krzmarzick)

At Meadows, teachers are implementing WIN (What I Need) intervention and extension time for 30 minutes each day for their students. During this time, they reteach one-to-one with students, extend learning through book clubs, and engage in project based learning. Teachers are already seeing improvement in academic growth. Also in the classroom, one way staff support literacy is through reading partners in every class and grade at school.

Pictured are kindergarten students reading with their class reading partner, and 2nd and 4th grade class buddies reading to each other in the grass outside classrooms. Principal Michelle Krzmarzick says reading is better when it is a shared experience.

Staff Spotlight: Morgan Henderson 


This week’s Staff Spotlight is Morgan Henderson, a 5th grade teacher at Pacific Elementary (her alma mater!). Morgan grew up in Manhattan Beach and attended MBUSD schools. In her 9th year serving MBUSD, she has taught 2nd grade at Pacific for two years and has been teaching 5th grade for the last seven years. Morgan says she never thought she would be teaching 5th grade since she started her career in kindergarten but she has enjoyed it! “I love working with 5th graders and am continually impressed with their knowledge, curiosity, and humor.”

Morgan says it was always a dream to be a teacher at Pacific since she was a student there. “I loved my 2nd grade teacher and wanted to be just like her. I wanted to make learning fun and come alive for all students. I enjoy coming to work here every day. It truly is my dream job!”

When asked about her favorite part of being a teacher, Morgan says it is teaching her students. I want them to learn, help them reach their goals, and watch them grow. “It is especially fun when students come back to visit as middle and high schoolers,” says Morgan.

She says MBUSD is a special district because of the involvement and dedication of our families, teachers, and staff. “We collectively have students’ best interests in mind and want them to be successful and happy! MBUSD teachers are innovative, hardworking, and inspiring.”


Morgan says a fun fact is that she teaches in the same 5th grade classroom she used to attend when she was at Pacific! She enjoys attending District professional development and working alongside some of her past teachers. 

Patch News Selects MCHS Band Director Joel Carlson as Community Hero Spotlight - Read story here

FOX 11 News: MCHS Senior Cindy Lin is Helping Other Students Succeed 

Cindy Lin is making a difference in the lives of students across the country through her non-profit "One World Anchor." Cindy says she was inspired to support others because of her parents who are first-generation immigrants and wanted to extend educational access to students who need it. 

Watch the latest “Destination Education” spotlight here!

MBUSD Slated to be the First District to Receive the “No Plate For Hate” Designation at all Schools in the ADL Los Angeles Region

Joining the four Manhattan Beach Unified School District (MBUSD) elementary schools previously designated as No Place for Hate® schools, Pennekamp Elementary, Manhattan Beach Middle School, and Mira Costa High School are slated to receive the same recognition from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of Los Angeles upon completion of all program requirements. MBUSD is proud to be recognized as the first school district in the ADL region to have all schools implement the program. In addition to the Los Angeles area, ADL LA includes Riverside, San Bernardino, and Kern Counties.

Click here for the full press release

Meadows Elementary NPFH Pledge Assembly

Meadows Elementary had a No Place for Hate® pledge assembly for the second year as part of their United Against Hate Week activity. Students signed the banner committing against all forms of hate. This is one of the many activities students participate in as part of the No Place for Hate® program. The initiative by the Anti-Defamation League is a student-led framework to combat bias, bullying, and hatred. It creates long-term solutions to build a more inclusive and positive school culture. 

In June 2022, Meadows officially earned its No Place for Hate® campus designation. 

United Against Hate Week Kicks Off in Manhattan Beach

It was a privilege to be part of the City of Manhattan Beach CommUNITY event unveiling the rainbow pathway at Polliwog Park to kick off United Against Hate Week. There were special guest speakers including our Board of Trustees President, Sally Peel, students from Pacific Elementary, MBMS, and Mira Costa. 

Students shared their stories of the efforts they are making to create a more inclusive environment on campus. This was the first event of the week as part of the South Bay Community Against Hate Coalition’s “MB Stands United Against Hate” campaign. 

(left to right) MBMS Vice Principal Katie Cavallaro, MBMS ASB Students (Landen, Jane, Maren, Grace), ASB & 8th Grade Social Studies Teacher Megan Mackey, and 4th grader from Pacific, Ava)

As part of the kick off, attendees picked up lawn signs, which were also distributed at our school sites throughout the week. On Tuesday, MBEF in collaboration with the Anti-Defamation League hosted a free screening of RACE to be Human. After the showing, the panelists answered questions and had an open dialogue about race. The panelists were MCHS School Psychologist, Janet Allen, Mira Costa High School Student Activist and Artist, Eva Asiddao, Director of Jewish Community Center Chaba, Rabbi Yossi Mintz, and Associate Education Director, ADL Los Angeles, Megan Nevels, MFA. 

You can watch the Polliwog event here. Stay updated with other events hosted by the South Bay Community Coalition Against Hate by visiting

News Coverage of the Polliwog Park CommUNITY Event:

Click the images below to read stories!

Spectrum News 1:

Manhattan Beach Launches 'MB vs. Hate Awareness Week' to Spark Change

In the Classroom: MCHS AP English Literature and Composition 

Students dressed up in character and brought to life what they are reading in the classroom! Mrs. Diana Sieker’s class read the absurdist play Rhinoceros for the Theatre of the Absurd unit in AP English Literature and Composition. The play is about an entire French town slowly turning into rhinoceroses. They dressed up in costumes and performed all three acts. Mrs. Sieker says they did an exceptional job bringing the play to life on the Room 44 stage! 

Manhattan Beach Coordinating Council Honors Local Students

I had the opportunity to attend the MB Coordinating Council Luncheon yesterday at AdventurePlex, where they recognized six outstanding MBUSD students. They were nominated by their teachers for being positive role models on their campuses, and good individuals overall.

Students, their parents, principals, and the teachers who nominated them enjoyed this time-honored tradition that included students from American Martyrs, as well. Honored yesterday: Isla Sellers and Greyson Nugent, 5th graders at Robinson; Naomi Abraham and Trussell Meyer, 5th graders at Grand View; Sandra Baxter-Nuzzi, 8th grader at MBMS; and Brent Torres, 12th grader at MCHS.

We look forward to honoring students from Meadows, MBMS, and MCHS in January!

Mira Costa Sports Compete in CIF


Mira Costa Girls Volleyball finished their season this week tying for 3rd in the state and ranking 6th in the nation. Coach Cam Green says the team beat Sierra Canyon in a rematch of the CIF finals in the State Regional Semifinal with an incredible 5 set match. This week they lost to Cathedral Catholic, which is the #1 team in the country in 4 sets. Costa was the only team to take a set off of them. Cathedral Catholic had not lost a set all season. Great job to all of our athletes! We are proud of you!

Cross Country

The Girls’ and Boys’ cross country teams competed at the CIF Southern Section Prelims recently, qualifying them for the CIF Southern Section Finals tomorrow at Mt. SAC. Both teams are hoping to advance to the State Championships by placing in the top seven out of sixteen schools.

The CIF State Championships will be held in Clovis on November 26. The Girls’ and Boys’ teams are currently ranked 3rd in Division 2 Southern Section. Good luck!

E-Bike Safety Assembly

Students are learning about bike safety across campus through various types of interactive assemblies. The “Ride Safe, Ride Ready” safety campaign with the City of Manhattan Beach hosted an assembly at Pennekamp for 5th graders. MBPD School Resource Officer Torres, Councilman Joe Franklin, and Zack Canning from South Bay Cycle presented to students the importance of e-bike safety. Mira Costa students Justin Newman, Kai O’Neill, and Luca O’Neill who are the student leaders in the campaign were also at the assembly. 

There was a show-and-tell lesson that explained the essential rules of the road, a live watermelon demo, and a “Family Feud” style game to test students’ bike safety knowledge. 


This is the second assembly MBUSD PTAs have hosted. In October, this took place at Robinson Elementary.  

COVID-19 Testing Schedule for Holiday Break

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, our Malibu Medical Group testing schedule will be modified next week.


  • PCR and Rapid Antigen testing will be available to all registered students and staff on Tuesday, November 22, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Mira Costa High School (at the west end of the football field/Waller Stadium) only.
  • Testing will not be offered on Wednesday or Thursday.

In order to participate in on-site testing through Malibu Medical Group, individuals need to be registered in advance; registration only needs to be completed once and can be done using this form. We will resume our regular testing schedule, which can be found here, after the Thanksgiving break. 

Celebrating MBEF

Wednesday, November 16 was MBEF’s Annual Giving Day! Across our District students and staff rallied together to show support at school sites for MBEF.

MBEF Board members, PTA leaders, and volunteers were on campus during drop-off and pick-up at school entrances to celebrate the day. Our community partners Chevron and Kinecta also joined in on the fun. Chevron matched all donations made on MBEF Giving Day and Kinecta brought its ice cream truck to the District Office for everyone!

You can still donate or pledge to the Annual Appeal that supports academic enrichment programs in our classrooms! 

MBUSD Choir Performs at City of MB Pier Lighting Ceremony 

MBMS Choir groups, the Ocean Wave Chorale and Sand & Sea, and Mira Costa’s Choirs, Vocal Ensemble & Choral Union brought holiday cheer to the City of Manhattan Beach during the 33rd Annual Pier Lighting. The event begins the official start of the holiday season in Manhattan Beach. Click here to watch a portion of the Mira Costa Choir performance!

Click here for details on Mira Costa's Upcoming Winter Concert

MBMS Sign Language Club "Shoe us Your Love" Drive

They are collecting gently worn, used, and new shoes! You can donate now through December 21, 2022.

Click Here for more information on MBMS Shoe Drive

Visit our Facts vs Rumors page! The purpose of this page is to answer any questions in regard to the rumors we hear and read in our own MBUSD community and sometimes beyond. It is our long-standing commitment to continue to be transparent with our community.

We will continue to update this page when new information becomes available.

Join the MBUSD Family!

We are hiring classified and certificated staff. We’re looking for individuals with a passion for helping students discover the joys of learning and creating a safe and engaging learning environment. 

We have an opening for an MBUSD Personnel Commissioner. Click here for more information and to apply.

A Personnel Commission is a nonpartisan public body responsible for the administration of a “merit system” for the selection, retention, and promotion of classified (non-certificated) employees in a public school district. 

Click the links below to learn about the variety of MBUSD job openings currently available.

Classified Job Opportunities

Certificated Job Opportunities

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The next Superintendent's Newsletter will be published on Friday, December 2. 

Thank you as always for your continued support and partnership. Have a wonderful weekend!


Dr. John Bowes
MBUSD Superintendent
Manhattan Beach Unified School District

325 S. Peck Avenue
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
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