Patch received the following press release from the family of Sam Loeb about an important event happening at North Hollywood High School. The press release is based upon a story that originally ran on the Galatzan Gazette, the online newsletter for LAUSD Board District 3. (Editor's Note: the an earlier version of this story did not include the Galatzan Gazette as the original source of the press release.)
Sam Loeb was just 14 years old, starting ninth grade at North Hollywood High School’s Highly Gifted Magnet, when he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer that strikes adolescents during growth spurts. Despite painful surgeries and a year in a wheelchair, Sam never stopped attending school, but continued to beam academically. He also completed a comic book story for Dark Horse Comics, titled Tales of the Vampires: /Some Like it Hot, which was drawn by Tim Sale.
After three years battling cancer in his leg, jaw, and eventually lungs, he died on June 17, 2005 at the age of 17.
That summer Sam’s parents, Christine and Jeph Loeb, formed The Sam Loeb College Scholarship Fund which, to date has raised over $150,000. A huge part of those funds were raised by Sam and finished by an award-winning team of 26 artists and writers, all donating their fees and royalties for the tribute. Inside is “Sam’s Story," which was written by Jeph just ten days after Sam’s passing, about Clark Kent befriending Sam, a boy who gets cancer.
Six years later, thousands of dollars have been given away in college scholarships to North Hollywood High grads, but Sam’s parents were interested on creating a more lasting legacy on campus by renovating the very ceramics classroom in which Sam created bowls and his trademark frogs, which he painted and gave to friends. He also participated in an annual competition, Clay Day at CSUN, with then-teacher Greg Price, where he won several award medallions
Complex Project Manager Ken Devine said the District’s Carpentry Department has removed the old ceiling, and the Plumbing Department has modified water and vent pipes, which are essential to keep the room dust-free. The classsroom has been cleared out, leaving room for new kilns, countertops, sinks, fan hood, whiteboards, electrica l equipment, tables and chairs.
Recently, Sam’s parents and friends gathered to make hand-painted tiles to hang in the classroom. A dedication is planned for this today, 2 p.m. at the school.
“Sam had a loving and gregarious spirit,” Christine said. “He was brilliant, generous, and mischievous. The faculty at North Hollywood High made it a great place for him.”
You can visit Sam Loeb’s Facebook page at:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sam-Loeb/108285029193443