Antonio CarbayoClass of 1978. Antonio Carbayo embodies the classic immigrant success story. Born in Mexico City, the son of a U.S. citizen father and a Mexican mother, he became a naturalized U.S. citizen settling in Southern California. After receiving bachelor degrees from both UCLA (Literature) and UCI (Biology) he attended UCI Medical School specializing in family medicine. As a bilingual doctor, he gives back to his community by providing medical services to an under-served populations and serves as a frequent medical commentator on Spanish Language television stations. Inducted in 2013.
BARBARA FONTANAClass of 1983. Barbra Fontana's volleyball career is a testimony to hard work, perseverance, and generosity. Barbra was a four-year starter at Stanford where her teams made it to the Final Four each year. She had a 25-year career in beach volleyball, participating in more than 300 tournaments and was a member of the first U.S. Olympic Beach Volleyball Team at the 1996 Games in Atlanta. She also attended the Santa Clara law school, wrote for its Law Review, actively practiced law, got married, and had two children. Barbra continues to be actively involved in volleyball, coaching the next generation of great players. Inducted in 2018.
BEVERLY ROHRERClass of 1955. Beverly Rohrer has had an immense impact on education in the South Bay. Beginning as a teacher at Mira Costa, she rose in administrative ranks until she had served as school superintendent not just in Manhattan Beach, but also in Redondo and Hermosa. Under her leadership, fine arts programs flourished, technology expanded and test scores continued to rise. More than instrumental in making Mira Costa the outstanding school that it is today, she earned local, state and national recognition for educational innovation and inspiring leadership. Inducted in 2012.
CAMI ANDERSONClass of 1989. Cami Anderson was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” for her efforts to improve American education. She received a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and a master’s degree from Harvard University. Now the superintendent in Newark, N.J., she was previously the executive director of Teach for America and received the Sallie Mae National Teacher of the Year Award and Teach for America’s Peter Jennings Award for Civic Leadership. Inducted in 2012.
CARRIE NUGENTClass of 2002. Carrie Nugent’s life’s work is identifying, naming and tracking previously unknown asteroids. She is part of a team of scientists searching for asteroids using the NEOWISE spacecraft—an Earth-orbiting infrared telescope that takes a photograph of outer space every eleven seconds. She’s also on a science team proposing a next-generation asteroid hunting spacecraft called NEOCam, one of five Discovery missions funded by NASA. An asteroid was actually named for her in 2013, officially called 8801 Nugent. Carrie earned a doctorate at UCLA in geophysics and space physics. She is a Fellow with the TED Talks organization and produces a weekly podcast titled Spacepod. Inducted in 2017.
CASEY MINERClass of 1988. During Casey Miner’s over 20 years in the Army, he has served around the world in senior positions focusing on leader development, healthy organizations and strategic communications. During a 2013 deployment to Afghanistan, he was recognized for developing a program that reinforces effective coping skills to avoid high-risk behavior and a strategy for leaders to sustain healthy organizational cultures. Casey’s doctoral research at UCLA focused on better transitioning youth to adulthood, and he continues to work with school districts and speak at education conferences. Casey has been recognized with two Bronze Star Medals, four Meritorious Service Medals and four Commendation Medals. Inducted in 2013.
CLIFF MEIDLClass of 1984. In 1986, Cliff Meidl was in a construction site accident resulting three live electrical cables sending 30,000 volts of electricity through his body, causing massive damage to his knees and severe burns to his back and head. Over the next three years, he underwent 17 surgical and medical procedures to save his legs. Not satisfied just to walk again, Cliff took up kayaking and he became one of the best in the world. He competed in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, where he was chosen as the U.S. flag bearer. Cliff is now a national spokesperson for construction safety and an internationally known motivational speaker. Inducted in 2013.
DANNY STRONGClass of 1992. Danny Strong is an actor and writer who has worked on some of the most well-known films and TV shows of the last 20 years. As an actor has had roles on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Gilmore Girls Mad Men, Pleasantville, Seinfeld, Nip/Tuck, Grey’s Anatomy, How I Met Your Mother and many more. As a screenwriter, Danny wrote and produced the highly acclaimed HBO Film Game Change, which won him an Emmy for Outstanding Writing, a Writer’s Guild Award, a Golden Globe, a Peabody and the Pen Award. He also received another Emmy nomination and won the Writer’s Guild Award for for Recount, an HBO movie about the 2000 US election. Inducted in 2013.
DARLA SOWERS CALHOUNClass of 1960. Darla Sowers Calhoun life’s work has been centered around giving children greater opportunities. A experienced registered nurse, Calhoun worked on community health issues in villages and small towns surrounding Kisumi, Kenya. This experience led Darla to found the Agape Children’s Ministry to help children living on the streets of Kenya. Agape has grown into three campuses and employs a dedicated Kenyan staff of more than 85 teachers, other personnel. Agape’s goal is to preserve, rehabilitate and ultimately reintegrate these children with their families. Inducted in 2017.
DAVID BENOITClass of 1971. David Benoit is a world-renowned jazz pianist, conductor and composer and has performed at the White House for three U.S. presidents: Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr. Nominated for five Grammy awards, he has released more than 25 solo recordings. He is the principal conductor for the Asia America Symphony Orchestra, but has also led eminent orchestras around the world, including the L.A. Philharmonic. Inducted in 2012.
DENNIS JARVISClass of 1977. Few people embody the true surfing spirit of the South Bay like Dennis Jarvis. Founder of Spyder Surfboards, which he started only six years after graduating from Costa, he is a world-renowned surfboard shaper who, at the height of production, was producing between 12,000 and 15,000 boards per year. The Spyder Surfboard brand has been on the cover of more magazines than any other Los Angeles surfer manufacturer. Dennis Jarvis’ contributions to the sport of surfing have brought him recognition by Manhattan Beach City Council, Congressman Ted Lieu, and Assembly Members Al Muratsuchi and David Hadley. Inducted in 2019.
DENNISON KERLEEClass of 1962. Den Kerlee has built a career out of serving others. After graduating Mira Costa, Den was deployed to Vietnam, where he served with great distinction as a combat medical corpsman, saving many soldiers’ lives in field hospitals. Wounded twice himself, he earned two Purple Hearts during his tour of duty. In a post-military career spanning 40 years, he has worked as a physician’s assistant committed to serving the poor, first in a rural clinic in Oahu, then in Seattle serving the medical needs of indigent urban Native Americans and, since 2007 in Bedford, England providing care to working class British and immigrant populations. Den is a Fellow in the American Academy of Physician Assistants. Inducted in 2015.
DEWEY WEBERClass of 1956. Dewey Weber is one of the most familiar names in surfing. Dewey Weber was a California surfing pioneer who became legend at his untimely death in 1993 at age 55. In the 1950s, Weber surfed Hawaii and features prominently in surfing films of the period. By the 1960s he had returned to California where he took over a surfboard company and turned it into an international success. A new biography, Little Man On Wheels, details Weber’s life story from his childhood through his rise to surfing stardom, the creation of Dewey Weber Surfboards, his impact on the sport and his enduring legacy. Inducted in 2012.
DON LONGClass of 1957. Don Long has been called “the Michelangelo of race car builders.” After beginning his drag racing career with a Fiat altered coupe in the early 1960s, he built other altered, gasser chassis and later, Funny Cars. But his fame and recognition principally rest on the more than 130 superbly designed and fabricated dragsters turned out by his Southern California shop in the 1960s and 1970s. In 2001 he was inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame and in 2010 received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Hot Rod Association, the largest of all motorsport organizations. Inducted in 2012.
ELKA WORNERClass of 1980. Elka Worner is an award-winning journalist. As a United Press International reporter covered both the LA riots and the Northridge earthquake. As a national and international producer for Fox News, she reported on the Afghanistan war and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Elka speaks fluent Spanish, French, and German and some Turkish. She is currently the West Coast Bureau Chief for Fox Business Network, reporting on trade, technology, and the economy. Elka was nominated for an Emmy for her work on the 2016 documentary “The Fidel Castro Tapes.” Inducted in 2018.
ELROY LANGClass of 1954. Elroy Lang was a member of the first graduating class to attend Mira Costa all four years. He taught for decades in the school’s social studies department and spent evenings teaching at local colleges including El Camino, Loyola Marymount, and Pepperdine. He also coached four freshman baseball teams to league championships. His other classroom was the beach where he pioneered Mira Costa’s first surf team and laid the foundation for the competitive interscholastic surf program (now widely popular across the South Bay). Inducted in 2013.
ERIC FONOIMOANAClass of 1987. Eric Fonoimoana, a national champion indoor volleyball player while at Mira Costa and a two-time All-American at UC Santa Barbara was a force on the professional beach volleyball tour for over 20 years, winning 14 Open titles, including the 2002 Manhattan Beach Open. His shining and most memorable moment came in the 2000 Olympic Game where he shocked the volleyball world by winning gold. He devotes much of his time to his foundation “Dig 4 Kids” helping inner-city youngsters excel in volleyball, school and life. Inducted in 2012.
ERNIE WOODSClass of 1957. Ernie Woods is an internationally-recognized basketball coach and teacher. He is the winningest coach in the history of Washington State community college basketball. He received basketball’s “Coach of the Year” honor seven times and was selected as the 1977 Basketball Clinician of the Year by the United States Pacific Air Force. He has worked with professional teams in Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Spain, and Korea and has been a consultant and scout for various NBA and WNBA teams. Woods’ bestselling basketball book, Advanced Basketball Defense, has been translated into seven languages. Ernie has volunteered for the American Red Cross, Special Olympics, and served on the United States Basketball Academy Advisory Board. Inducted in 2019.
GARY HARTZELLClass of 1960. Gary Hartzell began his career as Costa history teacher as is responsible for initiating the AP History program. Later as principal, Gary led in the development of Scholar Quiz, Pride Day and other programs. Leaving Costa in 1987, he became a professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a leading expert on library administration. He was one of only eight people invited to speak at the White House Conference on School Libraries in 2002 and in 2005 the American Library Association in 2005 identified Gary as one of the 100 most influential people in the school library field. Inducted in 2013.
GIL ARCHULETTAClass of 1957. Gil Archuletta was the first Mira Costa graduate to become mayor of Manhattan Beach. The prominent attorney was commended by the president of the L.A. City Council for outstanding community service. He has volunteered many hours as president of the South Bay Junior Football Association and as a Little League and Youth Basketball coach. Of all of his accomplishments, he says that he’s most proud of being the father of four — all of them Mustangs. Inducted in 2012.
GREG FONTANAClass of 1979. Greg Fontana is an award-winning architect and principal partner at Cotton Fontana Architects. His desisgn work spans everything from theme parks to improved living environments for disadvantaged families. Fontana’s firm teamed with Walt Disney Imagineering on the original Disney’s California Adventure. Internationally, Fontana worked on the first Disney theme park in mainland China, Shanghai Disneyland and his company received the 2014 Walt Disney West Coast Design & Construction Innovation award. His work has earned awards from organizations such as the American Institute of Architects and the National Association of Home Builders 50+ Housing Council. Inducted in 2017.
HEIDI GHENT SNYDERClass of 1998. Heidi Ghent Snyder (Class of 1998) is an accomplished entrepreneur, innovator, and philanthropist. After graduating from BYU as valedictorian, Heidi founding several successful businesses in the health and wellness arena. In 2011, Heidi co-founded The Color Run with her husband, Travis. Known as “the Happiest 5K on the Planet.” The Color Run is the largest running series in the world with 200 annual events and more than 2 million participants in countries throughout North and South America, the UK, Europe, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Australia, and Asia. Since its inception, The Color Run has donated more than $5 million to local and international charities. Inducted in 2016.
HOLLY MCPEAKClass of 1987. Holly McPeak helped revolutionize women’s volleyball. Recent Olympic gold medalist Misty May-Treanor said, “As a beach volleyball player, it doesn’t get much better than having played with Holly. I want to thank her for laying the foundation not only for me but for all the young women that will come after.” One of just five women worldwide to compete in the first three Olympics in beach volleyball and having won multiple tournament titles, McPeak was inducted into Volleyball’s Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2002, she became the first woman to surpass $1 million in career earnings. Inducted in 2012.
HOMER JOHNSTONEClass of 1953. Brigadier General Homer Johnstone attended the U.S. Military Academy and served in the U.S. Army for 26 years as a Brigadier General in the Corps of Engineers, a Ranger and a parachutist. His awards include twenty Air Medals, Bronze Stars, two Legion of Merit Awards and the Distinguished Service Medal. Retiring from the Army, Homer and a partner created AFA Construction, Inc., specializing in environmental engineering and remediation. With multiple master’s degrees and a doctorate, he has served as a professor in the engineering school at Golden Gate University for two decades. Inducted in 2015.
HUNTLEY CASTNERClass of 1981. Following Costa, Huntley Castner attended Stanford University and then UCLA business school. At 26, he and a partner founded a successful restaurant chain in San Francisco, running it for ten years before selling it off. Huntley later became vice president of strategy and finance for Panda Express and then served as CFO and later CEO for Yogurtland, helping it become one of America’s fastest growing companies. Huntley also is a leader in organizing the annual UCLA Restaurant Industry Conference, a specialized program for food industry leaders to learn, network, and be inspired. Inducted in 2014.
JEFF ROHRERClass of 1977. Jeff Rohrer was an all-Ivy league linebacker at Yale University. He was then drafted by the Dallas Cowboys and played seven seasons under legendary coach Tom Landry. After football, he has enjoyed a successful career in advertising, producing award-winning commercials in 15 countries across four continents. His work has been honored at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival and has garnered a Clio award, two of the most prestigious awards in all of advertising. One of his commercials even played during this year’s Super Bowl broadcast. Inducted in 2014.
JIMMY LINDBERGClass of 1983. Jimmy Lindberg is the co-founder along with two other Costa graduates of the renowned punk rock band Pennywise. Having sold over 4,000,000 records, Pennywise play to sold-out audiences worldwide. Jim is the lead singer and songwriter, but his accomplishments reach beyond the music world. He is a published author whose book inspired a Showtime documentary and a community philanthropist, contributing to both local and international causes. A lifelong surfer, he helped arrange two compilation albums and a concert to benefit the Surfrider Foundation and was elected to the foundation’s board of directors. Inducted in 2014.
JOE MOELLERClass of 1960. An All-Conference pitcher at Mira Costa, Joe Moeller had an astounding 0.44 ERA during his high school career. Joe signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers and was the National League’s youngest player on opening day. Moeller made his major league debut at home against the Cincinnati Reds on April 12, 1962. When his pro career ended after a string of injuries, Moeller earned a degree in physical education from CSU Dominguez Hills. From there he went on to coach the El Camino Warriors baseball team and eventually became an advance scout for the Montreal Expos and later the Florida Marlins. Inducted in 2019.
JOHN FEATHERSTONEClass of 1967. John Featherstone is the most successful head football coach in El Camino College history and has the highest winning percentage of any active coach in the Southern Section of California. Voted National Coach of the Year for the second time in 2012, he also picked up his eighth California State Coach of the Year award. More than three dozen of his players have gone on to successful professional football careers. Inducted in 2012.
JOHN JACKSONClass of 1972. John Jackson began his career as an educator in Torrance in the 1980s. In 2005, he became principal at Manhattan Beach Middle School. Over the next decade, John helped create one of California’s most outstanding middle schools. Among other initiatives, he ensured school-wide implementation of one-to-one iPad use, earning designation as an Apple Distinguished Program School; led a shift in writing instruction to a Writers Workshop model; and created a STEM program with a focus on female students. John’s leadership earned him the Association of California Administrators Middle Grades Principal of the Year Award in 2015. Inducted in 2018.
JOSH FREDRICKSClass of 1967. Josh Fredricks started his career as a Manhattan Beach police officer, worked his way through law school, taught law and police science classes at El Camino, practiced criminal law and had a distinguished career as both a Municipal and Superior Court judge. His service on the South Bay Union High School Board of Trustees (1977-1982) came at a crucial time for local education. His legal expertise, calm demeanor and ability to find consensus helped guide the district through one of its most difficult periods. Inducted in 2012.
KELLY GIBSONClass of 1983. Kelly started out as a world-class surfer, winning the 1982 National Scholastic Surfing Association Championship and competing on the World and US Pro Tours in the late 1980s and early 1990s. After his surf career, through hard work and initiative, he moved through a myriad of leadership positions in the surf wear industry. In 1999, Kelly joined O’Neill Clothing USA as National Sales Manager, where he climbed the ranks to President in 2002 and CEO in 2005. Kelly was later appointed President & CEO of Rip Curl USA in 2006 where he serves today. He is also the president of the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association, which raises money for ocean-related non-profits and humanitarian organizations. Inducted in 2016.
KENDRA FLEAGLE GORLITSKYClass of 1969. Kendra Fleagle Gorlitsky edited La Vista for three years in high school. She now practices Family Medicine with underinsured populations including the homeless, immigrants and others in Central and South LA where she supervises students as Clinical Professor of Medicine at USC and Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCLA. She has served as an expert witness for asylum seekers under the auspices of Program for Torture Victims and chairs California Hospital’s Bioethics Committee Consortium Newsletter. Inducted in 2013.
KIM KOMICKClass of 1979. Kim Komick is a female pioneer in the South Bay Construction industry. As owner of KKC Fine Homes, she as built over 100 homes locally. Her approach to building is socially and environmentally aware and she often works with organizations like the Reuse Network to promote clean demolition practices and building material recycling. Kim’s company partnered with Growing Great, a garden and nutrition non-profit to promote healthy eating habits in local schools. Kim also serves on the South Bay Boardriders Club board, a group dedicated to protecting our shoreline. Inducted in 2015.
LANCE DIXONClass of 1978. Lance Dixon is a distinguished professor at Stanford University’s Linear Accelerator Center. He researches particle physics and the origins of the universe and has published more than 160 scientific journal articles. Lance is also the editor of the Journal of High Energy Physics and serves on numerous prestigious national and international scientific advisory boards, including the National Science Foundation and the Munich Institute for Astro- and Particle Physics. A Fellow in the American Physical Society, he won the 2014 J. J. Sakurai Prize which recognizes outstanding achievement in particle theory research. Inducted in 2014.
LEONARD ARMATOClass of 1970. Leonard Armato has been at the forefront of the convergence of sports, entertainment, marketing, and technology. He has represented sports icons, such as Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Hakeem Olajuwon, Oscar De La Hoya and, Shaquille O’Neal and has been an innovator in creating unique celebrity brands for his clients. Armato has also been a leader in the sport of beach volleyball, serving as CEO of the AVP Pro Tour and more recently creating the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball. Armato also served as CMO of Skechers where he oversaw the company’s creative agencies and orchestrated two Super Bowl campaigns. He graduated from the University of the Pacific and the University of San Diego law school. Inducted in 2016.
LESLIE BECKERClass of 1972. Lesley Becker is an award-winning Broadway actress, Billboard artist and bestselling author. Her Broadway and national tours credits include Wicked, Bonnie & Clyde, Cinderella, Nine, Anything Goes, Show Boat, Beauty and the Beast, Amazing Grace, and others. Her bestselling book, The Organized Actor, is celebrating its 25th year as the #1 organizational tool for actors. She has written book and lyrics for musicals and in 2016, her debut song "Slow Burn" hit #4 on the AC Billboard/Hot AC chart. Leslie lives in New York City where she balances her life as an actress, writer and coach to other creatives. Inducted in 2019.
MARK FISHClass of 1975. Mark Fish graduated from the USAF Academy with a BS in Civil Engineering. He is a Retired USAF Colonel, Test Pilot School graduate and senior systems engineer with over 32 years leading large organizations and endeavors. While on active duty, he earned the Department of Defense’s top certifications in Program Management and Test & Evaluation. After military retirement and with SAIC, he led a 35-member team located across the US engaged in GPS Enterprise-level testing. Now with Raytheon, he serves as a Chief Test Pilot, conducting Research & Development flight test and leading their FAA Safety Management System. Inducted in 2019.
MARK SUNDEENClass of 1988. Mark Sundeen is the author of Car Camping (2000) and The Making of Toro (2003), both of which drew critical attention. In 2010, he co-authored North by Northwestern, a New York Times bestseller. His latest book, The Man Who Quit Money, established him as one of America’s most innovative writers of literary non-fiction. Recently receiving the Innovative Artist’s Award for his genre-bending approach, his works have appeared in the New York Times magazine, Outsider, National Geographic, and other publications. He has taught in creative writing programs at the University of New Mexico and Western Connecticut State University. Inducted in 2012.
MARRIANE SELLEK WIBBERLY AND CORMAC WIBBERLYClass of 1982 and 1979. Marrianne Sellek Wibberly (1982) and Cormac Wibberly (1978) are two of Hollywood’s most successful screenwriters. Their first major movie was “The 6th Day” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Later credits include “I Spy,” “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle,” “Bad Boys II,” “The Shaggy Dog,” and “G-Force.” They are perhaps best known as the architects of the very successful “National Treasure” franchise, starring Nicolas Cage. Generous in sharing their knowledge and experience, they volunteer substantial time helping aspiring writers through screenwriting conferences and the Writers Access Project. Inducted in 2014.
MATT WARSHAWClass of 1978. Matt Warshaw is a surfing writer and historian who has published eight books on surfing and is universally acknowledged as the foremost expert on the sport. A former editor of Surfer Magazine, Matt’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Esquire, Outside and Surfer. His Encyclopedia of Surfing was described as “a living, breathing masterpiece” on Salon.com. The Honolulu Star-Bulletin wrote “Warshaw has written more cogent words about surfing than any other human.” He also serves as the surfing consultant to the Oxford English Dictionary. Inducted in 2012.
MICHAEL MOOREClass of 1987. Michael Scott Moore is a writer and public speaker who survived 977 days held for ransom by Somali pirates. His book, The Desert and the Sea, chronicling his captivity, received rave reviews and Mike has used the experience to educate the public regarding modern piracy and to influence U.S. policy on dealing with hostage situations. Before his abduction, he was an accomplished author and journalist, whose work has appeared in The Atlantic, Slate, Der Spiegel, Businessweek, and the Financial Times. His comic novel about Los Angeles, Too Much of Nothing, was published to acclaim in 2003, and his 2010 book about the spread of surfing across the world, Sweetness and Blood was named a book of the year by The Economist. Inducted in 2019.
MICHELE TAFOYAClass of 1983. Michele Tafoya is a nationally known sportscaster for NBC and made history at CBS in 1996 when she became the first woman to ever call the television play-by-play of an NCAA tournament game. She is a highly visible sideline reporter for a number of sports including Monday Night Football. In 2006, The Davie-Brown index ranked Tafoya among the most likeable TV sports personalities, including Biggest Trend-Setter. She recently won the first-ever Emmy for Sports Personality—Sports Reporter. She just finished covering her third Olympics in London. Inducted in 2012.
MIKE DODDClass of 1975. Mike Dodd helped change the face of beach volleyball around the world. With his partner, Mike Whitmarsh, he won the silver medal in the men’s inaugural beach volleyball tournament atthe 1996 Summer Olympics. Closer to home, he has won the Manhattan Beach Open title five times. Now retired from competition, Dodd is as an internationally known analyst for NBC and a coach for both men’s and women’s teams, including the American doubles team of Gibb and Rosenthal in this year’s London Olympics. Inducted in 2012.
MIKE SILVAClass of 1979. Mike Silva, a former naval flight officer, was three blocks away when the first plane hit the World Trade Center on 9/11 and rushed to the scene to assist others. In a time of national distress, he then worked around the clock for two weeks as part of the Federal Reserve team that stabilized the financial system. Mike has served as an attorney and then chief of staff for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, playing an important role in international finance for the U.S. government, including time in Iraq working to stabilize its Central Bank, a contribution that earned him special recognition from the Department of the Treasury. Inducted in 2013.
MILO AUKERMANClass of 1981. Milo Aukerman is a modern day renaissance man. He is widely known as the talented lead singer of the Descendants, a punk rock group started at Costa in the late 1970s and generally considered the pioneer “pop punk” band. But Milo is also a research biochemist with a doctorate in biology from UC San Diego, post-doctoral work at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Pennsylvania, the winner of a National Institutes of Health research fellowship, and the author or co-author of twenty articles published in peer-reviewed scientific research journals. Inducted in 2015.
NANCY MULEADY-MECHAMClass of 1973. Nancy Muleady-Mecham achieved distinction as a U.S. National Park Ranger, professional naturalist, National Park Service consultant, biology professor, author of four books and numerous articles, emergency room registered nurse, paramedic, astronomy lecturer, medical trainer, Civil Air Patrol instructor, national emergency response team member, researcher and explorer. A Fulbright Scholar at the Gorno-Altaisk State University in the Russian Federation, she credits her Mira Costa biology teacher, Betty Estill, for encouraging her far-ranging interests and sparking a lifelong passion for her subject. Inducted in 2012.
NATHAN BROSTROMClass of 1981. Nathan Brostrom serves as the chief financial officer for the University of California system, serving 190,000 employees, 10 universities, and more than a quarter million students. He graduated Phi Betta Kappa from Stanford and earned a master’s degree from Princeton. Prior to working for the University of California, Nate worked in private banking, facilitating financing deals for numerous public and charitable institutions. He was the lead banker on the single largest bond program in California history, raising money to recover state revenue lost in the 2000-2001 California energy crisis. Nate serves on the boards of Futures Without Violence and the East Bay Community Foundation. Inducted in 2017.
NOAH MAMETClass of 1987. Noah Mamet was confirmed as U.S. Ambassador to Argentina in 2014 and during his tenure focused on themes of innovation, entrepreneurship, renewable energy, and educational exchanges. A UCLA graduate, in 2007 he was a member a high level international delegation to Sierra Leone to monitor and report on the first democratic election since that country’s civil war. He has also served on the executive board of Green Dot Public Schools, the largest public charter school operator in California and as a board member of NatureBridge, a nonprofit educational organization. Inducted in 2016.
NOREEN HARRIS BAERClass of 1980. Noreen Harris Baer is a renowned trombonist, performing with symphony orchestras and chamber music ensembles across the country, including the Long Beach Civic Light Opera, the Milwaukee Symphony and the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey. As a bandleader for Disney, she played trombone for artists as different as Frankie Valley and the Four Seasons, Charlotte Church, and Styx. Noreen teaches trombone and music theory at the Rockland Conservatory of Music in New York and trombone and brass chamber music in the Mason Gross School at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Choir. Inducted in 2014.
PAUL SILVAClass of 1980. Silva was the editor and publisher of the The Beach Reporter, where he worked for over 30 years. During that time he covered hundreds of news stories on issues affecting the South Bay community and became well known for his popular “Signs of Life” columns, of which he wrote over 1,000. He is a two-time winner of the California News Publishers Best Local Columnist Award and was honored three times by the Manhattan Beach City Council humanitarian acts and for service to the city and the greater South Bay. His insights helped shape events and clarify the community’s vision of what the South Bay is and should be. Inducted in 2017.
RACHEL BLOOMClass of 2005. Rachel Bloom won the 2015 Golden Globe winner for Best Actress in a Comedy Series for her show, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. She the co-creator, lead actress and Executive Producer of the show. After a standout drama career at Mira Costa, she attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Following college, Rachel found a home with the improv troupe, Upright Citizen’s Brigade and created her own viral comedy videos, before hitting it big with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Rachel was listed as one of People Magazine’s “World’s Most Beautiful 2016: Faces of the Year.” Her comedy explores topics such as mental health, empowering females, finding strength within, and creating healthy relationships. Inducted in 2016.
RENEE WILLIAMS-SMITHClass of 1979. As a student at Costa in the 1970s, Renee Williams-Smith was on the first-ever girls cross country, track, and soccer teams. She received an athletic scholarship to Kansas State, where she was a member of the first women’s championship cross country team in the school’s history. She took over the cross-country program at Mira Costa in 2004 and during her tenure the team has won numerous Bay League Championships and qualified twice for the National championships. In 2014 she was awarded the Brooks National Inspiring Coach of the Year. Renee is known for creating a team culture where girls gain confidence and a sense of self in an environment that is inclusive, loving and, of course, competitive. Inducted in 2016.
RICHARD PARKERClass of 1964. Richard Parker is an Oxford-trained economist and a lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard University. Earlier, he was a journalist and co-founder of Mother Jones magazine. A philanthropist, he has directed various foundations to donate more than $40 million to social change groups. He is also a social entrepreneur who grew Greenpeace from 2,000 to 600,000 supporters and a political consultant advising, among others, Senators Kennedy, Glenn, Cranston, McGovern and former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou. His book on economist John Kenneth Galbraith was described by William F Buckley as “the best biography of the century.” Inducted in 2012.
RUSS LESSERClass of 1958. Russ Lesser still lives about 100 feet from the Manhattan Beach house his grandparents purchased in 1917. After a successful CPA career, he became president of Body Glove International in 1990, which sponsors Costa’s Scholar Quiz program. A dedicated runner himself (he has run more than 50,000 miles), he established the Manhattan Beach 10K Run, which boasts one of the country’s highest local participation rates. Lesser also served eight years on the Manhattan Beach City Council, two terms as mayor. Inducted in 2012.
SWATI ADARKARClass of 1981. Swati Adarkar has dedicated her career to improving the lives of children. As the CEO and co-founder of the Children’s Institute in Portland, she brings business, civic, and early childhood specialists together to create real change for Oregon’s children, especially the disadvantaged. Swati has served on the early childhood development advisory councils for two Oregon governors and received the 2011 Women Leaders of Oregon Award from Portland State University. She is also a member of the Portland State Board of Trustees and the International Women’s Forum of Oregon. Inducted in 2015.
TONI BEAUMONT TOMASEKClass of 1989. Antoinette “Toni” Beaumont Tomasek devoted her life to human services in third-world countries and in poverty-stricken areas in America, but was tragically lost in a 2013 traffic accident. Tomasek joined the United States Agency for International Development in 2009, working first in Indonesia, where she programs for local organizations trying to eradicate tuberculosis. She was principal author of Indonesia’s Global Health Initiative, guiding USAID’s mission in the country. She also served as Director of Peace Corps Health Programs. She received Meritorious Honor Awards from both USAID and the State Department. and her work was officially recognized by President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, California Senator Feinstein, and Congressman Waxman. Inducted in 2017.
WALTER TURKClass of 1953. After high school, Walter Turk enlisted in the Air Force, launching a 37-year military career. In the Vietnam War, he flew 15 missions as a Rescue Crew Commander and was instrumental in saving five downed American pilots, earning the Silver Star for valor. He also earned the Legion of Merit, National Defense Service Medal with two Bronze Stars, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Republic of Korea National Security Medal. After a long career as a test pilot and maintenance director, he retired as a Colonel in 1991. Inducted in 2018.