Our seven children attended Adams, TeWinkle Intermediate School and Estancia High School. They all are college graduates and most have graduate and professional degrees. Their children are now in Newport-Mesa Unified School District and are experiencing a different world — changing demographics and more competition for college admission.
We joke in our family that there are the Newport Forbaths and the Costa Mesa Forbaths. We have a grandson at Adams and two grandsons at Mariners Elementary School. The Adams student is achieving at the same level as the Mariners kids.
We have granddaughters both at Estancia and Newport Harbor High School. Each school provides its own benefits.
The academic challenge at Newport Harbor might be greater because of the competition and more resources, but because of its size, Estancia provides greater opportunity to actively participate in sports, drama, student government, journalism, etc. — all important pieces of a well-rounded education. Our oldest grandson graduated from Estancia and now attends UC Berkeley, as does a Latina classmate.
Our Newport grandchildren have wonderful friends, so do our Mesa Verde grandchildren, but they're lucky to have developed close friends with many young people and their families from the Westside.
We've attended many functions at Estancia, Adams and TeWinkle, and are moved when we see the beauty of mixed cultures and when we see the tears of joy and pride on both brown and white faces as their kids perform, receive awards and graduate. There's no greater common denominator than parents' love and pride in their children.
All I can say to those who hesitate to send their children to our Costa Mesa Westside schools, you're missing a lot of great experiences. You should give it a try.