Ruby Birch completed her seventh year at Los Encinos School by graduating in 2017. She now attends St. Cyril of Jerusalem School as an 8th grader. “St. Cyril is a Catholic school,” Ruby says, “but they accept kids from all backgrounds. I feel comfortable there, but I am not really affiliated with any religion in particular.”

Ruby says St. Cyril and Los Encinos School have some things in common, such as both have Halloween festivals, and the 6th graders build their respective haunted houses. “Their haunted house is way bigger, though, since it fills the gym and spills out into the auditorium!” Ruby exclaims.

In December, however, St. Cyril holds a Christmas concert which features Christmas carols, as opposed to the LES Winter Show which traditionally features music related to the school-wide theme. “Mass is every other Friday,” Ruby explains, “but the messages they teach are pretty universal, such as ‘be kind to everyone’.” Ruby points out other ways the schools differ, including St. Cyril’s annual Italian dinner dance, and their traditional grading system. “The grading surprised me at first,” Ruby admits, “but I’ve been able to adjust.”

We met up with Ruby this past summer on campus where she was attending Camp Los Encinos as a CIT. “LES is like a second home,” she says, happily. Ruby remembers many of her teachers, such as Ms. Byer, Bri Miller, Mr. Blanchard, and Valerie, saying, “all of them have known me since I was a baby.”

And while she notices that the school keeps getting updated, some things are very familiar. “The art room looks the same, and brings back so many great memories,” Ruby says.

Ruby’s favorite subjects in middle school are Literature and History. She also plays volleyball for St. Cyril, as well as with a club after school. Ruby says, “Volleyball teaches you cooperative skills, how to be a team player.”

Looking to the future, Ruby thinks she may want to pursue a career as “a film director, or something in the music industry.” She plays the ukulele, and is learning the guitar. Her favorite bands are obscure indie groups like Arctic Monkeys and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Her favorite movies of all time are “Lady Bird” and “Forrest Gump.”

When asked if she could go back in time and give her kindergartener self any advice, she is simple and direct: “Don’t be worried about meeting new friends. And be nice to your teachers.” She pauses for a moment, then adds, “And big kids aren’t as scary as they seem.”

Ruby helps wrangle campers at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

Halloween at LES

Another Halloween at LES

Peeling apples with a younger Coach Costin.

The shirts tells us this is a field trip.


Future optometrists

There’s a pattern here

The top three finalists in a smiling contest.

We want to hear your story!

Send us your story by filling out this Story or News Submission Form.