Each year, The Malibu Times recognizes local students for their dedication to their schools and the local community. The recipients are chosen by teachers, administrators and peers at their respective schools. The Malibu Times Citizenship Awards were established in 1987 to acknowledge students who show commitment to the community and demonstrate a concern for the rights and needs of others.
Click on each student’s photo for an explanation of their accomplishments.
While at Juan Cabrillo, Liam Moore impressed teachers and staff by always being willing to help and continuously acting as a friend to all. He was described as a student who displayed exemplary behavior and was known for his community involvement. In an essay about citizenship, Moore explained that citizenship is important because if you help the community around you, the community will respect you. He also believes that if you gain respect, you gain trust, and life will open up more choices for you.
Emma Leyson, a third-grader at MUSE, spent the school year planting a flower garden and studying flowers native to Southern California, both beautifying the campus and attracting bees and butterflies necessary to help the environment. Beyond her dedication to gardening, Leyson was described as a model student, a community member who cares deeply about her peers and the world around her. Leyson was known at MUSE for taking time to connect with each of her classmates and teachers, especially her three- to four-year-old reading buddies. She took pride in using resources sustainably and setting a positive example for her peers.
DeLory spent her school year volunteering to develop a yearbook committee on campus, as well as leading class councils and conducting lessons. She has been described as a thoughtful student. DeLory created a system for students to collaborate on projects while working from home, increasing her peer’s level of productivity and making it easier for her classmates to work together. Teachers noted that DeLory displayed social awareness when communicating with other MUSE students, making her a solid candidate for Citizen of the Year.
While at OLM, Sabrina Carey and her family faced a huge challenge: their house burned down in a fire last fall. And though it would have been easy to give up in a situation like this, OLM Principal Michael A. Smith said Carey “was able to overcome this tragedy with strength and poise.” Even after losing her house, Carey remained dedicated to her schoolwork and was president of the school’s student council, leading her peers by example. Carey was known around campus for standing up for others when they were in need and always being courteous, kind and respectful — all characteristics of a well-rounded citizen.
A fifth-grade student at PDMSS, Georgia Kennedy-Bailey was described by a fellow student as “intelligent, radiant, giving … she needs to be rewarded for being outstanding in everything she does.” Kennedy-Bailey was active in the PDMSS Community Service Commission. She played an important role in writing a letter to the food services department of the school district to get healthier items on the school lunch menu. PDMSS teacher Kris Jennings wrote, “Her enthusiasm for learning, her willingness to go beyond what is asked, her positive demeanor and her compassion for others make Georgia a valuable member of our community.”
Brage Briar McDonald Blake was known around the Viewpoint campus for her warm smile and consistent cheerfulness. A staff member said, “She truly cared about others, as evident in her participation in many service endeavors.” Some of Blake’s service work included One Voice, Life Animal Rescue, Friendship Circle and Adopt a Block. Her commitment to community service led her around the world, including going on a service trip to Thailand. Back home, Blake showed off her leadership skills by leading her teammates as captain of the varsity soccer team.
Described as academically strong, athletically adept and exceedingly polite, Michael Lewis has continuously displayed characteristics that make him a standout citizen on the Viewpoint School campus. His senior year, Lewis undertook the Viewpoint Scholar Project, which is a yearlong independent academic exploration culminating in a presentation. The project Lewis worked on, an electrical engineering project to create synthesizers, coincided with his passion for music. He also qualified for CORE, a community service honor society for students who have exceeded 200 hours of service prior to the start of senior year. This year, Lewis earned nearly 100 hours through his involvement with Living On Insulin, a charity for diabetes prevention he cofounded.
Karla Polard is known for her compassion. Teachers have noticed that when Polard sees a peer feeling sad, she goes out of her way to talk to them and helps make them feel special. Polard, who has been described as charismatic, energetic and friendly, was chosen to represent Webster during the California Distinguished Schools verification visit when she was the tour guide for inspectors. Polard assumed another leadership role when she led adult tour groups during the Kindergarten Roundup, answering questions and showing off the campus. Polard works hard on her assignments, and that hard work paid off when she was chosen as the Malibu Women’s Club Essay Award winner, with a submission about how her family works together to reduce their water usage and their recycling efforts.
Described as a student who radiates happiness and warmth to those around her, Maggie Tyson does everything with beaming enthusiasm. She has been known to display qualities of a good citizen, whether others are watching or not, and has done so on her own accord. Tyson frequently thinks about how she may be able to improve the world around her, often leaving things better than she found them. Tyson has committed many acts of selflessness, including working with others to solve problems, sticking up for those around her and trying to cheer people up. Her involvement with the Girl Scouts has allowed Tyson to participate in many projects that give back to the community.
Gabriella Grahek may only be a graduating senior, but she has already gone above and beyond when it comes to willingness to help out those around her in any way possible. As the youth empowerment coordinator for Urban Light, a nonprofit dedicated to helping victims of the sex industry, Grahek has had the opportunity to raise awareness for the project’s goals, as well as work directly with victims. During her time at MHS, Grahek was also a member of the Operation Smile Club and she founded and led the International Awareness Club, which worked on fundraising events for Urban Light and other organizations throughout the school year. Grahek will attend the Minerva Schools as a member of the founding class in the fall.
Having attended Oaks Christian School since sixth-grade, Reilly Anspaugh has made a mark in the school’s theater program, playing an active role since seventh-grade. Anspaugh won the award for OCS Thespian of the Year all four years of her high school career. In 2012, she won the National Youth Arts Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play for her role as Emily in “Our Town.” Her senior year, Anspaugh directed her first OCS Bare Bones Production, “Midsummer/Jersey.” In the fall, Anspaugh will attend Boston University where she will major in theatre and minor in psychology.
Another graduating senior from MHS, Danny Maier, has cared about the world around him since he was five years old, leading him to study environmental science and volunteer for environmental groups, eventually becoming the president of the MHS Environmental Club. Maier has been described as kind, warm-hearted and extremely thoughtful, all characteristics that have helped motivate him to make the world a better place. He has dedicated time and volunteer work to organizations including Heal the Bay, One Voice and the American Cancer Society. His junior year, Maier spent the summer as an intern in the Planning Department for the City of Malibu, giving him a thorough perspective of what it takes to help the environment. In the fall, Maier will start at the University of Washington.