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Mustang Salute

Beach Cities Robotics Advances to National Competition

Last weekend Beach Cities Robotics Team competed in the FIRST LA Regional Competition. The team finished 2nd overall in a competition with 66 teams competing! The team’s 2nd place ranking enabled the team to advance to compete in the FIRST Championship in St. Louis, MO at the end of April. Click photo for pics and details.
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National High School MUN Champions 2016

Four thousand students from schools of 13 different nations around the world competed over 3 1/2 days. Mira Costa is a "3 peat" champion from past years. Our team consisted of 40 students: 7 seniors, 18 juniors and 15 sophomores. When we go to NY we go to compete at one of the most elite and well run conferences in the world. Other groups tour, we take on the best and the brightest. Any country, any topic, any time.
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Costa Dance Team Division Champs!

At a recent competition, Mira Costa's Dance Team received 1st place in jazz, small jazz and lyrical divisions; 2nd in hip hop. Caprina Benson and Samantha Lonergan won 1st place with their solos. These high scores qualified the Team for division champions in three categories! Now they have to figure out where to showcase their 5-foot trophy. Good luck in Nationals!
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Mustang Rocks Poetry Out Loud

Congratulations to Miriam Sachs, the first Mustang to both compete at and place in the state-level competition of Poetry Out Loud! As the Los Angeles County winner, Miriam went on to compete at the state capitol against 38 other contestants from counties all over California...and she was awarded 3rd place!
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Mustang Musicians Selected for State Level Honor Groups

Congratulations to our Mustang musicians who were invited to perform with the 2016 All-Southern and All-State Honor Bands and Orchestras. These accomplished student-musicians were selected through a competitive audition process that involved several hundreds of highly skilled high school students from throughout California. Click here for a list of our honor musicians.
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Continuing to March to Victory

Congratulations to the MCHS Marching Band and Colorguard who had a fantastic performance at the Oxnard H.S. Tournament on Nov.7, with the band winning Tournament Sweepstakes (including all caption awards). Percussion placed 1st in the 4A division, while Colorguard placed second. What a great outcome for all their hard work!
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Costa's Band and Colorguard Shine

The Mira Costa Marching Band and Colorguard gave a stellar effort in their 2nd of 5 field competitions on Oct. 17 in their show : "Stratosphere Above the Clouds." They placed first in their 4A division for Band and Auxiliary and Percussion placed first in Sweepstakes!
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Costa Senior Awarded Highest Girl Scouts Honor

Pooja Nagpal was selected by Girl Scouts of the USA to receive the prestigious Young Woman of Distinction Award (YWOD). Only 10 women are honored each year across the country with this award which is determined by their outstanding Gold Award project. Pooja and her family will travel to New York next month to receive her award.
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Gaudeamus Igitur, Pleia Hall!

We are proud to announce that rising sophomore PLEIA HALL achieved a perfect score on the 2015 National Latin Exam. Less than 1% of students across the globe attained this distinction. We are happy for Pleia and for her Latin teacher, Mr. Cook!
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Costa Surfers National Finalists

Congratulations to Andrew Neal and Sara Kohrogi who were finalists in the NSSA (National Scholastic Surfing Association) High School National Championships held June 13-14, 2015 at Salt Creek. Sara finished 4th in the women's division and Andrew finished 6th in the men's longboard division.
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Mustang Named U.S. Presidential Scholar

We are pleased to announce that the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars has selected Costa senior Julia McDermott as one of 20 students in the country to receive this honor in the visual and performing arts. Julia will be recognized in Washington, D.C. in June where she will also get to perform at The Kennedy Center. Congratulations, Julia!
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California All State Honor Choir

Andrew Anton, Kayla Elson, and Antonio Sellitto were selected to the 2015 California All State Honor Choir. In late March, our Mira Costa singers joined with 130 others from around the state for a weekend of intensive rehearsals, culminating in a beautiful concert. Congratulations to our outstanding singers.
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Costa Orchestra student selected to tour Japan

Congratulations to Moses Aubrey who was one of only fifteen musicians selected to receive a full scholarship to tour Japan for a joint youth orchestra program exchange! Facilitated by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, student musicians from the U.S. performed with the Soma Children’s Orchestra & Chorus, including a combined open rehearsal with Gustavo Dudamel, music director of the LA Phil. The selection process included a written application and essay, as well as an interview and solo audition for a panel of five music judges. Moses is currently a senior and serves as the principal bassist of the Mira Costa Symphony Orchestra. Click this headline to read more about the LA Phil’s collaboration in Japan.
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Mira Costa musician wins National Finals Chamber Strings Competition!

Leonard Chong, senior violinist and concertmaster of the Mira Costa Symphony Orchestra, recently performed at the Music Teachers National Association Performance Competition in Las Vegas, NV. Competing in the Chamber Music Strings category, Leonard was joined by his brother and Mira Costa alum Erick Chong on cello, along with pianist Isabella Ma. To qualify for the National Finals, contestants had to advance from the state and regional division rounds. As the 1st place winner, Leonard’s trio received a $3,000 prize, as well as the distinction of being the first group from California since 2003 to advance to the finals round, let alone winning the competition.
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Costa Dance Team Rocks Regional Competition

Costa's Dance team was outstanding March 15 at their 2nd regional competition!!!
1st Place Soloist, Jazz: Samantha Lonergan
1st Place Soloist, Lyrical: Quinn Gardner
1st Place, Jazz Routine
1st Place, Lyrical Routine
Division Champions, Lyrical
1st Place, Hip Hop Trio
Best Jumps 1st Place: Samantha Lonergan
2nd Place, Best Turns: Samantha Lonergan
3rd Place, Best Jumps: Caprina Benson
and Most Spirited Team!!!
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Model UN Earns Best School at Berkeley and NY

Mira Costa was recently named Best School at the Pacific Coast Championships at Berkeley MUN February 27 - March 1. Just days later, Costa won Best School at the National High School MUN conference in New York March 4-7. Top winners in Berkeley: Katie Shalvarjian, Fran Caflisch, Natasha Brunstein, Walker Heintz, Eva Abramson, Tooba Wasi, TJ Ford, Catherine An and Risha Rohera. Top winners at NHSMUN: Momo Bolsajian, Sarah James, Rachel Waxman, Erin Clifford, Louis Yudowitz, Haley Kay and Maggie Hackney.
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Mustangs Make Waves at NASA's JPL

The first ever Mira Costa National Ocean Science Bowl team competed in the Los Angeles Regional Surf Bowl on Saturday at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where they beat Peninsula by a score of 66-26 on their way to the 8th round and finishing in 5th place behind some very stiff competition. This is the farthest that any first year team has made it, and we look forward to doing even better and building the program in the following years!
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Costa Freshman Shines at Nationals

Mira Costa student Isabelle Connor placed 3rd All Around in her division at the USA Rhythmic Gymnastics Invitational Feb. 14 & 15 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. She then went on to compete at the Moscow Grand Prix Juniors Tournament Feb. 19-23 in Russia. Congratulations, Isabelle!
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TWO Mustangs Are Grand Prize Finalists in Music Center Spotlight Awards

Julia McDermott and Darynn Dean were both named finalist winners in The Los Angeles Music Center Spotlight Awards in the non-classical voice category. They both will receive $5,000 and will each be singing a solo at The Walt Disney Concert Hall downtown at the awards ceremony on March 31st. They were the two winners out of 532 high school students from all over Southern California who competed in this category. It's an extremely hard competition to win and to have both winners in the same category from the same high school is unheard of. They both went through 3 rounds of auditions over 3 months. Darynn sings jazz and Julia sings musical theatre.
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Rotary Solo Music Competition Finalists and Prize Winners

Congratulations to the twenty-one student musicians who performed in the Rotary Solo Music Competition Finals on Fri., June 30th. Each finalist advanced by performing in a competitive preliminary round earlier in January. Their performances on Friday night were executed at an exceptional level, and represented very well the high standards of our music program and school community. Click headline for a complete list of finalists and prize winners.
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Phoebe Lyons Wins NATS Western Region

Costa senior Phoebe Lyons participated in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Western Regional Final Sunday, January 18 and won in the Upper High School Classical Women Category. Phoebe will now be going to the NATS Finals to compete on July 7, at University of North Carolina in Greensboro. Founded in 1944, NATS is the largest professional association of teachers of singing in the world with more than 7,000 members in the United States, Canada, and nearly 30 other countries. Congratulations, Phoebe!
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2014 Dodgeball Champions

Congratulations to Kevin's Warehouse, this year's undisputed MCHS Dodgeball Champions! Bringing home the trophy for Kevin's Warehouse: Trevor Franklin, Reese Alexiades, Dylan Tyrer, Rollie Nichols, Jackson Michalski, Ty Conrad and Tommy Bothwell.
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SCVA Honor Choir Selections

Four choir students were selected for the Southern California Vocal Association Senior High School Honor Choirs: Andrew Anton, Kayla Elson, Owen Konsmo, and Antonio Sellitto. Congratulations to these fine students for being selected for these exceptional SCVA Honor Choirs.
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Young Arts Finalist Darynn Dean

Darynn Dean was selected as a Young Arts Finalist and will be traveling to Miami, Florida, to participate in the National Young Arts Week January 4-11, 2015. She will participate in master classes in the area of Vocal Jazz. This nationally recognized programs offers exceptional educational opportunities and scholarships for the finest high school talent. Additionally, for the second year in a row, Darynn has been selected to sing in the GRAMMY All-Star Vocal Jazz Ensemble. She is one of eight singers, one of two altos, chosen nationally to participate in this ensemble and perform during the GRAMMY week festivities, including singing at the closing party the night of the GRAMMY Awards. Congratulations to Darynn!
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Costa Senior to Perform with U.S. Army All-American Marching Band

Mira Costa High School senior Ryan Cosner received a very special honor on September 24 when it was announced that he is one of only 125 musicians across the nation selected to perform with the United States Army All-American Marching Band. Over 1,300 marching band students were nominated for this honor. Only four from California were selected and Ryan is one of them. This is the first time that a Mira Costa High School student has been inducted into this national marching band. Ryan was selected for his exceptional musicianship, marching achievement, character, and leadership. Ryan is a very popular leader of the Mira Costa bands as a Drum Major of the marching band and trombone player in the Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra. At the award celebration, his fellow band members burst into song and applause to congratulate him. Ryan receives an all-expenses paid trip to San Antonio to perform during half-time of the US Army All-American Football game on January 3, 2015.
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Mira Costa musician featured as a soloist with the Beach Cities Symphony

Alex Luo, a freshman violinist and member of the Mira Costa Symphony, was one of four musicians selected to perform a featured solo with the Beach Cities Symphony Orchestra in late May. Through the “Artist of the Future” Competition organized by the South Bay chapter of the Music Teachers’ Association of California, Alex competed against some of the most talented student musicians from across the South Bay, spanning both the instrumental and vocal categories. According to Mr. Park who attended the concert, “Alex was the hit of the night. Getting to play a solo with an orchestra is a huge honor that only comes by every so often. He pulled off his performance with excellent skill, command, and artistry.” Congratulations Alex!
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Mustang Dives into CIF Championships!

CONGRATULATIONS to freshman PAIGE RICHARDSON for her outstanding achievements in diving. She placed 3rd overall in the CIF - Southern Section Diving Championships. Thank you for putting Mira Costa back on the diving map in athletics!
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Mustang musician honored at the 26th Annual Music Center Spotlight Awards

Erick Chong, a senior cellist and member of the Mira Costa Symphony Orchestra, recently competed in the nationally acclaimed Spotlight Awards, sponsored by the Los Angeles Music Center. Over 2,300 talented student artists auditioned for this program in several categories, including voice, instrumental, art, and dance. 124 students advanced to the semifinals round, and then 16 were selected as finalists to perform in the awards show at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, hosted by Oscar-nominated actor John Lithgow. As a finalist, Erick earned the runner-up prize in the Classical Instrumental division that included a $4,000 scholarship award. Congratulations Erick for this distinguished achievement!
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MCHS Winter Guard Completes Stellar Season

Under the direction of Coach Richard Hernandez and Advisor Stefani Owen, the Mira Costa Winter Guard team won silver in Division Intermediate A at the Winter Guard Association of Southern California Championships in Huntington Beach on Saturday, April 12. The team placed second with a Twilight Zone-themed show and a score of 84.28. Their award-winning performance earned them a coveted invitation to the WGASC Championship Finals at UCI Bren Events Center on Sunday - a first for Mira Costa's team. Their final performance capped off an award-winning season and earned the team a 4th place overall win - beating out over 40 teams across Southern California. Congratulations to the team for their amazing achievement.
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WGI Western Percussion Championships - 1st Place!

Congratulations to the Mira Costa Competitive Concert Percussion Ensemble for their FIRST PLACE performance at the WGI (Winter Guard International) Western Percussion Championship in San Bernardino March 22 and 23. Saturday, the ensemble received a score of 87, which earned them 1st place in the scholastic concert "A" division. Sunday, the ensemble really turned it up during their performance by jumping up 3.5 points earning them not only another 1st place, but also a score of 90.5 becoming the first ever Mira Costa Band performance ensemble to break in to the 90's!
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Costa Wins Sweepstakes Award at Fullerton College High School Theatre Festival

For the second year in a row, Mira Costa’s Drama Department has won the Sweepstakes Award at the Fullerton College High School Theatre Festival. Approximately 60 Southern California high schools participated. The top award is presented to the school with the most overall points. In addition, Mira Costa took top honors in Musical Theater — which featured 49 entries — with a first-place win for a 10-minute scene from “Peter Pan,” their upcoming spring musical. Peter Pan opens April 25. Click headline for more!
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Rotary Solo Music Competition Winners

Congratulations to all of our amazing Mustang musicians who performed at the 5th Annual Rotary Instrumental Music Solo Competition Finals on Friday, January 31st. After a two round competition process, students have been recognized as the division winners for their superior solo performances. Click this headline for a complete list of winners.
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Mira Costa's Got Talent!

Mustangs strutted their stuff at the Talent Show January 30. Congratulations to the evening's winners:
• Best Group – “Chinatown String Octet: Evolution of Music”: Carina Chong, Danica Chong, Erick Chong, Leonard Chong, Chris Fong, Kirk La, Alex Luo, Koh Shoda
• Best Duet – “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room”: Anand Landon and Tony Nguyen
• Best Solo Performance – “Hey Jude”: Michael LoCascio
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Mustang Named to Grammy All-Star Ensemble

Darynn Dean was named to the 2014 Grammy All-Star Vocal Jazz Ensemble, a group of 8 nationally. This is Mira Costa's second Grammy All-Star in 4 years. As a 2014 Grammy All Star, Darynn will perform at various Grammy-sponsored events in Los Angeles, including the Grammy's signature after party that night. Additionally, Darynn was named one of 16 semi-finalists out of 500 signers in the LA Music Center's Spotlight Awards in the Non-Classical Category. This is Darynn's second consecutive year as a Spotlight Semi-Finalist. Congratulations Darynn!
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Mira Costa Drama Dept. Shines at 5th Annual JRAY Awards

Costa’s Drama Department received 19 nominations and brought home five awards at the John Raitt Awards for Youth (JRAY) 5th annual awards show, presented by the Fullerton Civic Light Opera at the Plummer Auditorium in Fullerton on Sunday, April 28. Click here for a complete list of honorees.
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Two Mustangs Candidates for U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

Mira Costa seniors Munam Wasi and Jason Kim have been selected as candidates for the prestigious U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. Established in 1964 by Executive Order of the President to recognize some of our nation's most distinguished graduating seniors, Munam and Jason are being hailed for their academic success, leadership and service to school and community.
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Costa Senior Among Top UCLA Freshman Scholars

Senior Alec Lautanen recently participated in the 2013 UCLA Alumni Freshman Scholarships State Finals Competition in Westwood, where out of a field of 42 finalists representing 14 regions of California, he was awarded runner-up. Lautanen was initially selected to compete in the LA region based on academics, leadership and service. Congratulations, Alec!
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2013 Senior Awards

The Senior Awards were announced on May 30th. Congratulations to Lauren Hagedorn - Student of the Year. Click here to see the list of all recipients.
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Seven Juniors Selected for Boeing High School Summer Internships

Boeing has selected seven Mira Costa juniors for internships this summer. Interns are paired with an engineering mentor and are required to work between 125 and 150 hours during the 8 week internship. Congratulations to Jigar Bhakta, Arani Bhattacharyay, Ryan Gulland, Madison Miketa, Stefan Palombo, Michelle Tran and Zach Griffin.
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Mira Costa MUN Shines from Coast to Coast

Last weekend, the Costa Model UN team dominated conferences on both coasts. In New York City, 40 delegates competed in the National High School Model UN conference; Mira Costa won top honors with the Award of Distinction. Out west, another team of 40 delegates took part in Berkeley Model United Nations 61st annual conference. Costa was named a Best School Delegation in addition to numerous other awards and commendations. Way to go, Costa MUN!
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Beach Cities Robotics Team Wins Xerox Creativity Award

Students won this prestigious award for designing, fabricating and programming "Eris," a robot which played a Frisbee and climbing game, "Ultimate Ascent," at the FIRST Central Valley Robotics Competition March 1, 2 & 3. Seven Mira Costa students participated on this award-winning team: Chris Golden, Milo Davis, Ryan Gulland, Erin Sagisi, Lauren Gulland, Brian Anschel and Arani Bhattacharyay.
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Sophomore DARYNN DEAN in LA Music Center's Spotlight Awards

Congratulations are in order for Darynn, who has made it to the semi-finals in the non-classical vocal category of this prestigious competition. She started with over 450 singers, making it to the second round of 60 singers and then onto the semi-final round of 15 singers. Good luck to her as she vies for the finals on January 27!
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Four Mira Costa student-musicians were invited to perform with the University of Notre Dame Symphony Orchestra on Jan. 7 at nearby Manhattan Beach Community Church. Filling in for university students who had to attend the BCS National Championship game with the Fighting Irish Marching Band, Mira Costa students Brad Afzali (percussion), Erick Chong (cello), Michelle Comroe (oboe), and Axel Zwissler (bassoon) performed with discerning preparation, professionalism, and musicianship. Congratulations Mustang musicians on a job well done!
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Costa's Model UN Competes Globally

In December, a select group of Mira Costa students showed off its talents on a world stage. Debating in the actual United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) building, 15 Mira Costa Model United Nations delegates represented their school at Paris Model United Nations (PAMUN) 2012, an international conference put on from Dec. 7-9 by the American School of Paris. (click headline for complete story)
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Mustangs Earn Admissions Nationwide

With many colleges and universities still releasing admission decisions this week, Mira Costa High School seniors have had more than their share of success in college admissions. Student in the class of 2012 have been admitted to all eight Ivy League universities as well as Duke, Georgetown, Stanford, Berkeley and UCLA. This success can be attributed to the hard work of our students in the classroom and in their pursuit of athletics and extracurricular activities, in addition to excellent preparation by our teachers and counseling staff.
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Mustang Named Jefferson Scholar at University of Virginia

Kudos to Costa senior Mackenzie Austin who has been chosen as a Jefferson Scholar at UVA, a program that reflects the educational ideals of Thomas Jefferson. Only 30 students are selected each year for this prestigious honor. She was one of 100 students flown to the campus where she went through a series of interviews, participated in debates, was tested and informally evaluated at social functions. Mackenzie has earned this honor and stipend which includes free tuition, room and board and expenses for four years. Congratulations!
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MCHS Student Speaks at Global Education Conference in Korea

Mira Costa junior Adam Gerard traveled to South Korea March 9 to speak at the KORCOS International Education Conference hosted by Chadwick International. Adam became the youngest president of Tree Musketeers at the age of 13 and spoke to over 1,200 people of his experience and goals. Click here to see the interview, article and translation by the Korean Daily Focus.
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Costa Drama Team Wins Accolades at the Fullerton Theater Festival

At the Fullerton College Theater Festival on March 16 and 17, Mira Costa drama students received the following awards:
° 2nd place, Musical Theater: “Fiddler on the Roof”
° 1st place, Theater Games: Team On the Roof
° 2nd place, Theater Games: Team HaHa
° 3rd place, Graphic Design: Matt McElroy
This is Costa’s 22nd year attending the Fullerton Theater Festival. There are 60 to 75 Southern California schools that attend this competition, which includes approximately 2,000 drama students. Congratulations! (click headline to see pictures of the winners)
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Costa Science Students Win Northrop Grumman H.S. Innovation Challenge

Congratulations to the following students whose team beat out eight other high schools to win $1,500.00 for the MCHS Science department in Northrop Grumman's High School Innovation Challenge on February 24: Allison Doami, Cynthia Pham, Evan Westerberg, Gabriel Mel, Marshall Pitman, Michael Powell, Noel Castellanos, Prerana Poddar and Joshua Shu. Thanks go to Costa science teacher Mr. Jon Lewis who sponsored this group of talented young scholars!
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Mira Costa Cellists Play Walt Disney Concert Hall

Los Angeles is hosting the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival and two of our students -- junior Diane Lee and sophomore Stephanie Caridad -- have been accepted by audition to play at the Closing Concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on Sunday, March 18th with 20 students from around the world and 78 cello virtuosos. Bravo!
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Congratulations to Mira Costa's Boys State and Girls State Delegates!

American Legion Boys State has selected Costa juniors Jack Hadley and Jackson Webster to serve as delegates at their Sacramento session in June. Congrats, too, to alternate Brian Sydow. Representing Mira Costa for Girls State will be Hannah James; Morgan Livingston will serve as alternate. Congratulations to all 5 juniors on this accomplishment!
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Taylor Howat - 2012 Poetry Out Loud Winner

Congratualtions to Taylor Howat for winning the inaugural MCHS Poetry Out Loud Recitation Contest. To garner the top honor at the event, Taylor recited Thomas Moore's "The Time I've Lost in Wooing" and Dorothy Parker's "Song in a Minor Key". Taylor will now move on to the LA County competition!
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Maegan Manasse Wins CIF Tennis Championship

Congratulations to junior Maegan Manasse who defeated Palm Desert's Desirae Krawczyk at the Seal Beach Tennis Center Friday, December 2nd to win the girls' CIF Southern Section Individuals singles title. In doing this, Maegan becomes the first Mustang girls tennis player to win a CIF Individuals tennis title!
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Mira Costa MUN wins top Honors!

We had 40 kids attend the McGill University Secondary Schools Model UN conference (SSUNS). Costa won best Delegation (school) for the 3rd time in 4 appearances over the last 8 years. There were 40 schools from Canada, the US, Uganda, Sweden and Trinidad Tobago who attended. This came out to 800 students total. MC earned 11 gavels and 9 outstanding wards individually. The debate went for 3 1/2 days. The team also toured Quebec City, had a personal tour of McGIll from a Costa MUN alumnus, and saw a variety of sights in Montreal from Olympic Stadium to Old Town Montreal.
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