Think we’ve identified the Mystery Students!

Three weeks ago The Jolla Light published these six images of La Jolla students who graduated from eighth grade in 1976 and whose graduation photos were all painted by artist Luis Sarubbi.

We did not know their identities at the time, Sarubbi said he painted an image of each child in the class at the request of a local banker who displayed them in his lobby with the plan of giving them as a gift to the parents if they stopped by the bank.

These six paintings were never claimed and Sarubbi said he recently came across them while cleaning out a drawer in his studio in Hemet. His hope was that if published, La Jollans would recognize the children and he would be able to send them these paintings of themselves as a gift.

At this point, we think we’ve identified five of the six graduates as indicated above in the captions.

For sure, No. 4 is Audrey Kisner.

“That’s my daughter,” confirmed her mother Inga Grove of Rancho Santa Fe after hearing about the story from her former neighbor Ursula Darby. “And I would love to have that painting to give to her. I think No. 1 might be one of the Henry girls.”

Kisner also corrected the name of the school.

“These children attended Scripps Elementary School in La Jolla Shores. It doesn’t exist anymore, but it was a wonderful little place in its time for them,” she said.

Jon Taylor e-mailed in the other four ID hunches.

“I did not attend La Jolla Elementary,” he wrote, “however, I was at Muirlands the following year. I found my 1977 yearbook to compare the portraits in the paper with the yearbook pictures.

Here are my guesses: 1) Diane Henry. 2) Mark Granger or Don Engh. 3) John Covell. 5) Tom Olafson.

If these IDs can be confirmed, I will forward their email addresses to Luis Sarubbi! Your thoughts are welcome at sdemaggio@lajolla or (858) 875-5948.

— Susan DeMaggio, Lifestyles Editor

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