Welcome to the Los Alamitos Alliance for Arts Education. Our coalition of parents, school officials, arts organizations, community and business leaders are working to keep the arts in our local schools. Join us!

September 15, 2018

Please join Los Al Arts on Facebook - news & info on arts education, recent posts from Los Al Dance camp, Musique sur la Mer orchestra, and Oak choir. 


May 15, 2018

McAuliffe teacher Mrs. Sherry Tanaka received the Orange County Music and Arts Educators Award for Visual Arts Teacher of the Year in a May 9th ceremony at Segerstrom Center. She was also recognized as one of the county's Outstanding Arts Educators. Photo by Sherry Kropp shows Donna Chinn (Los Al Arts organizer), Ann Allen (McAuliffe principal), Sherry Tanaka (OCMAA Visual Arts Teacher Award), Jeannine Ball ((OCMAA Outstanding Arts Educator), Diana Hill (LAUSD school board), David Moellenkamp (LAHS Director of Arts). Mrs. Tanaka's teaching prowess was described in detail by McAuliffe Principal Mrs. Ann Allen:

Sherry Tanaka is an exemplary Art instructor. In teaching the language of visual communication, she challenges her students to use their brains to see, to think and to express themselves in innovative ways. As examples, when delivering instruction to sixth grade students., Mrs. Tanaka teaches Betty Edward’s “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” exercises and observation techniques to assist students in creating their self portraits. In addition students study and use the Principles of Design and Composition to create their own diagonal line design, circular design and symmetrical square/rectangle and line/shape designs. In grades seven and eight students complete units in drawing, painting, sculpture and printmaking. For example, to begin the unit on drawing and painting, students study Leonardo DaVinci, viewing his drawings and paintings of figures as models. Then they create along with the teacher, practicing how to draw a person from head to toe using measuring by comparison, by drawing full face and profile portraits, and by digging deeper by focusing on drawing hands, arms and feet. Students also study printmakers (Kathe Kollowitz and Hokusai), study Picassoand abstract art, and create linoleum block prints to apply what they have learned. To prepare for the unit on sculpture, students study Louise Nevelson to view examples of monumental, 3 story high pieces and

May 14, 2018

The Orange County Music and Arts Administrators recognized LAHS Photography teacher Mrs. Jeannine Ball as an Outstanding Arts Educator for this year. The awards ceremony took place on May 9th at Samueli Theatre at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Photo shows Mrs. Ball (left) with fellow OCMAA honoree Mrs. Sherry Tanaka (right).  This is how LAHS Principal Dr. Brandon Martinez describes Mrs. Ball's exemplary teaching:

"Jeannine Ball is a tireless arts educator who first and foremost believes that every student can learn how to be an excellent photographer. However, taking pictures is really just a part of what she does. Through multiple teaching strategies, engages students on behavioral, emotional, and cognitive levels. Through these learning experiences, students learn about accountability and responsibility by taking care of equipment, managing ongoing tasks, and using time outside of class to take photos. She also gets students to care about each other, their school community, and themselves. Mrs. Ball finds ways to integrate current issues into her class discussions and as subjects for various projects. In addition to teaching the fundamentals of shooting an image to editing it, Mrs. Ball regularly affords students the opportunity to engage in critiquing. This is powerful about this endeavor because it affords students the chance to articulate critical thought, demonstrate their analytical skills, and develop their competence at evaluation. Moreover, they carry this skill beyond the photography class and into other areas of their learning. Lastly, Mrs. Ball is a teacher who boosts students’ self-efficacy for rigorous academic work. Namely, she instills the confidence in her students to pursue Advanced Placement Photo (AP Studio Art: 2-D Design).  She consistently has one of the highest pass rates, but more importantly makes a lifelong impact on student learning within and beyond the visual arts."

April 4, 2018


February 25, 2018

Congratulations to all Los Al students who participated in the Fourth District PTA Reflections Gallery, and to these 8 who received specific recognition:

April 18, 2017

This information is from the LAHS Marching Band website.

Tom Plunkett has been the Director of Bands at Los Alamitos High School since 2012.  He began his teaching career in 2002 at Damien HS in La Verne, CA, and has served as an adjudicator for the Southern California School Band & Orchestra Association.  Under his leadership, the symphonic and marching programs have gained local, regional, and national acclaim while emphasizing student growth and leadership.  Mr. Plunkett earned the City of La Verne Teacher of the Year Award in 2008, the Los Alamitos HS Golden Apple Award in 2015, and the Los Alamitos USD Cabinet Award in 2015, and was a member of the World Champion Concord Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps in 1994.  Tom married his high school sweetheart Lucia and they have two children, Oliver and Luna. 

April 7, 2017

This bio is taken from Spotlight Jazz 2017 program.

April 7, 2017

This bio is taken from the Spotlight Jazz 2017 program:

Jesse Chang grew up in nearby Cerritos, where he nagged his parents for music lessons for years.  He started on classical piano at 10, continued on through high school, and then began playing drums.

September 16, 2016
 This bio and photo are from the Oak Instrumental Music website: www.oakmusic.org
Robert Harrell was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California and was heavily                                        involved in the local music scene.  Besides receiving several acknowledgments                                                  of outstanding musicianship at Santa Barbara High School,  he was the solo  trumpet chair in the Monday Madness Big Band, and he played bass  professionally in local jazz groups and in the pit orchestra for several theater companies. He moved to Southern California for his undergraduate studies at Biola University. During his time at Biola he was a integral part of the music department, playing trumpet in the jazz ensemble, symphonic winds, brass ensemble, and brass quintet. He played both upright and electric bass for the jazz combo and vocal jazz group. He was the president and student conductor of the symphonic winds at Biola University, and he graduated in the Spring of 2015 with a bachelor's degree in Music Education, and then went on to complete his teaching credential that fall.
The first stop in his educational career was at Los Alamitos High School, as the director of the jazz and orchestra groups. He will never forget the rewarding time that he shared with the students and the achievements they accomplished that year. Robert has a passion for music and a passion for students, and he knows that music has the power to change lives. One of his biggest goals as an educator is to ignite the love for music inside each of his students, and to help them achieve whatever they set their hearts and minds to. Robert is grateful and honored to be at Oak Middle School. And most of all, he is excited to see the students at Oak bring music to life, because he is a firm believer that “when we create music, we create meaning.”
May 24, 2016
Each year, the Orange County Department of Education honors the outstanding arts educators throughout the county.  LAUSD is home to three of this year’s honorees.  McGaugh Art Teacher Terri Epps was given the additional award as the Teacher of the Year for Special Education.  The OCMAA awards ceremony took place May 4th at Segerstrom Center.  Congratulations all!
Terri Epps- Outstanding Arts Educator for Special Education.  
Special EducationTeacher of the Year  Award for 2016
Terri Epps is the art teacher at McGaugh Elementary School, where she includes the special education