Letter from the Editors


Daisy Finefrock and Phoebe Stein

Hello Laguna!
It’s been a while. We can’t express how hard it is to not be on campus every day and feel sure that all of you are feeling the same way. Uncertainty is at the forefront of our minds, and during these past few months, we have tried our best to figure out a way to honor our seniors while also recognizing the changes our world and our community are experiencing. Usually, our fifth and final issue of The Fourth Estate is an ode to our graduating class, and we wanted this one to be no different.

The class of 2020 has been through so much during their time at Laguna — a mudslide, the Thomas Fire, and now, a global pandemic. None of us expected the year to end like this.

Our staff, in isolation like the rest of the world, initially struggled to decide how to properly recognize this class. We grappled with the idea of releasing our magazine online but decided that our goal should not be to do what is easiest but to do what is right. We decided, unanimously, that this issue would be no different from the rest — a 52-page magazine that the graduating class can keep for years to come.

Another group of students may not have been able to pull this Senior Issue together, but the 32 students on the staff of The Fourth Estate are no ordinary group of high school journalists.

We had to completely change the way we wrote, designed and organized this magazine, all from behind screens. It’s impossible to describe how challenging it was to take one of Laguna’s most interactive classes and move it to Zoom, emails and texts, but this letter you are reading proves that we accomplished what we set out to do, and for that, we are immensely proud of our staff.

So many senior staff members are leaving us this year, including both of our Creative Directors. The loss of our peers weighs heavily on us at this time, and it’s hard to imagine returning to Kalfas Computer Lab in the Fall without the presence of so many of our talented staffers.

The Senior issue is here to honor those staff members, along with the rest of the class of 2020.

We applaud you for the hard work you have put in for four years.

We celebrate you, even if it isn’t in person.

We are so proud of each and every one of you.



Phoebe Stein & Daisy Finefrock

Mission Statement

The Fourth Estate is an open forum created for and by journalism students of Laguna Blanca Upper School. We hope to use this space to cover events, interviews and topics of interest in greater depth. Our staff seeks to be a platform for creative expression and to report on events and ideas of importance to our readers and to focus on topics of significance and interest to inform and entertain the school community.

Letters to the Editors

The Fourth Estate welcomes guest columns and letters to the editor. Letters must be signed and must be no longer than 400 words. Editors reserve the right to edit for length, clarity and/or taste. Anonymous letters will not be published. The Fourth Estate reserves the right to reject advertising. Opinions expressed in this publication reflect the perspectives of the staff whose goal is to inform our readers with reliable information from which to base decisions and opinions. Editorials represent the voice of the staff and are voted on by the entire staff. Columns and commentaries are labeled as such and represent the opinion of the author. The Fourth Estate publishes four issues per year with a senior insert in the last issue.

Byline policy

When two or three people work on a story, all names will be listed. If an editor rewrites a majority of a story, the editor’s name will be listed.

correction policy

The staff strives for accuracy. When factual errors occur, mistakes are found or brought to the attention of the staff, corrections will be printed in a corrections box in the next issue.


This is the final issue of the 2019-2020 school year for The Fourth Estate the high school magazine of Laguna Blanca School, 4125 Paloma Dr., Santa Barbara, CA 93110. Contacts are available at [email protected], (805) 687-2461 x0317 or www.thefourthestate.net. Laguna Blanca School is an EK through 12th program with a student population of approximately 350, with 166 students in the Upper School, and a faculty of approximately 60. The Fourth Estate is an 8.5 by 11 general magazine, created on Mac computers on Adobe InDesign CC2020, using FreightNeo Pro and Big Caslon font families and printed on glossy paper free for students and $30 for annual subscriptions. The magazine is distributed to all Upper School faculty and to all high school students through the school’s advisory program and sent by mail to subscribers with 300 copies printed per issue. We are associated with NSPA, CSPA and JEA.