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School board agenda includes policy and by-law change

By BARBARA DIAMOND

The Laguna Beach School Board will discuss at tonight’s meeting changes to its policies and by-laws that were first discussed at a special meeting on February 6.

District Superintendent Jason Viloria recommended a first reading by the Board of Education of by-laws and policies recommended by the board to move forward for addition, deletion, or revision, according to the agenda.

The board may waive a second reading or require an additional reading if necessary. 

Possible violations of the by-laws pertaining to chairing the board were brought to the attention of board members James Kelly, Jan Vickers, Peggy Wolff and newly re-elected Carol Normandin and Dee Perry. 

According to the current by-laws:

“The board shall hold an annual organizational meeting. At that meeting, the board shall each year elect one of its members to be clerk. 

After serving one year as clerk, the elected member may serve one year as president of the board. It is the intent of the board that all board members will rotate through the sequence of clerk and president.”

The board is proposing to drop from the by-laws the order of appointment and the intent for all board members to rotate though the sequence.

It has been noted that Perry was twice bypassed for appointment. 

The discussion is scheduled as the 24th item on the agenda. The public meeting begins at 6 p.m., preceded by a closed session at 4:30 p.m.


NJB Championship won by sixth grade Laguna Beach Basketball team in game against Anaheim Hills

The sixth grade Laguna Beach Basketball team just won the NJB Championship on Sunday. They beat Anaheim Hills in the finals 40-28. 

NJB Championship team

Submitted photo

(L-R) Kai Patchell, Dylan Sirianni, Henri Rounaghi, Luke Tankersley, Sawyer Thompson, Santino Rossi, Preston Towe, and Rex Bradshaw with Coaches Chris Sirianni and Arash Rounaghi 

Coach Sirianni says, “This year’s team was so fun to coach because of their hustle and unselfish play. All of their hard work paid off this weekend in winning the Championship against Anaheim Hills! “


Laguna’s U14 Girls win AYSO Section 11 Championship, ending season with 25-0 record

The U14 Girls division of AYSO Region 86 - Laguna Beach won the Section 11 Tournament this weekend held in Santee, CA. After winning the South Orange County Area L tournament back in December, the team advanced to the Section 11 tournament, which was comprised off all area tournament winners from San Diego, Orange, and southern Los Angeles counties. 

Lagunas U14 team

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Submitted photo

AYSO Section 11 Champions - GU14:

Kneeling front row (L-R): Rosie Murphy, Ellie Marshall, Talia Stewart, Chloe Cismoski, Sienna Mason, Lucce Sutula, Lila Golden

Standing back row (L-R): Mara Williams, Julie Van der Baan, Coach Trevor Murphy (arms raised), Rylee Goode, Cate McMackin, Sophia Boultinghouse

Coach Trevor Murphy says, “Our team from Laguna Beach has accumulated a 25-0 record dating back to the beginning of the fall season in September.”

Lagunas U14 trophy

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Submitted photo

(L-R) Mara Williams, Julie Van der Baan holding trophy, and Rosie Murphy

The team will represent the Southern California Section in the Western States Championships scheduled for March 16 at the Lake Forest Sports Park. They will be facing winning AYSO squads from Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and Northern California.


LB Riptide girls’ soccer team secures epic semi-finals win in monsoon weather

By Coaches Paul Parker & Sophia Parker

Photos by Sean Mulvaney

The Laguna Beach Riptide U12 girls’ soccer team, competing in the 2019 All Star Tournament, secured an extraordinary victory last weekend in the semi-finals against Mission Viejo.

“It turned out to be an epic encounter,” said coaches Paul and Sophia Parker. “Both teams holding nothing back in a see-saw game in what started out as a mild drizzle but soon turned into something resembling a monsoon.”

LB Riptide girls Gonzalez

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Elizabeth Gonzalez drives the ball down field contributing to one of two goals during regular time that led to the shootout

The Riptide team includes local superstars Cailin Mulvaney, Capri Henrichsen, Elizabeth Gonzalez, Ava Steris, Ava Guziak, Morgan Saunders, Payton Taylor, Anna Sandquist, Chiara Berman-Yumas, Aubrey Anderson, Karina Aleknavicuis, and Shaye Bruns.

LB Riptide girls goalie

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Cailin Mulvaney poised to block Mission Viejo’s final penalty shot that led to Laguna’s epic victory

“We went a goal behind in the first half due to a penalty decision against us, but came storming back in the second half equalizing from a strong run and finish from Capri,” said the coaches. “We then started to find our stride and soon took the lead through a long range effort from our central midfielder Elizabeth.”

LB Riptide girls Taylor

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A rain-soaked Payton Taylor clashes with Mission Viejo and clears the ball out of danger

“By now it was a game of endurance, with the field resembling a lake in parts, both teams fully committed to try and get through to the final. With just minutes to go, Mission Viejo equalized and when the final whistle blew it was all square at 2-2. This meant it would be decided by a dramatic penalty shootout.”

LB Riptide girls Karina

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Karina Aleknavicuis launches one of many counter attacks during the semi-final battle

“Each team had to nominate an initial five penalty takers, with the team scoring most winning. The first two players on each team converted and then we fell behind with our next two penalties being saved, so our fate was hanging in the balance. Mission had to convert just one of their next two penalties to win, but one went wide and the other hit the crossbar and bounced over the goal.”

LB Riptide girls Morgan

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A flooded field couldn’t stop Laguna’s Morgan Saunders from shutting down Mission Viejo’s offense

“Morgan had to score for our team or it was all over, but she held her nerve and duly found the corner of the net. It was now sudden death, one miss would decide the tie. The next two penalties were converted for both teams and then dramatically our keeper Cailin saved Mission’s final penalty to send us through to Thursday [last] night’s final against Ladera Ranch.”

LB Riptide girls Capri

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Capri Henrichsen fakes out Mission Viejo’s defender before scoring one of the two goals during regular time that led to the shootout

“There were jubilant scenes in the pouring rain as we had triumphed in the most testing conditions against excellent opponents. We are all excited for the next chapter and, hopefully, prevailing in the final, the winner of which then goes to compete in the Section All Star Champions Tournament in San Diego.”


Boys & Girls Club of LB presents Mindfulness Yoga for kids during Ski Week

On Wednesday, Feb 20, the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach will be hosting a one-of-a-kind Mindfulness Yoga Day featuring UCLArts & Healing©, Beat the Odds Drumming®, and kids yoga classes.

This special day is happening during Ski Week at the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach’s Canyon Branch; members and kids in the community are invited to attend. 

Activities are designed to “Help children experience and celebrate their true power [through yoga]; a gift that brings peace, kindness, ease and joy to our global family,” according to Don Wenig, Co-Founder of YogaKids®, a nationally recognized program in which the event is modeled after and embraced every day at the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach.

Boys and Girls kids

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Kids are invited to Mindfulness Yoga to stay active during Ski Week in Laguna Beach

The activity schedule for the day is:

--1 p.m.: Guided mindfulness storytime – all kids join in!

--2 p.m. - 5 p.m.: Afternoon yoga classes for kids according to age

--3 p.m. & 4 p.m.: Drumming! Beat the Odds is a trauma-informed program that integrates activities from group drumming and counseling to build core strengths such as focusing and listening, team building, leadership, expressing feelings, managing anger/stress, empathy, and gratitude.

For added fun, each program area will be running mindfulness activities throughout the day to enhance the involvement for all members. Ed Tech will create healthy smoothies and perform a “watch the clouds outside and observe what you see” activity, group games will be held to support “Mind Body & Soul” enrichment on the playground and in the Games Room, while mindful art projects will take place in the Art Studio. 

This extraordinary day of activities is free for members. Non-members/drop-ins are welcomed and the rate is $40 per day. 

For more information about the Mindfulness Yoga Day, contact Jennifer McDonell, M.A., AMFT, Director of Social Emotional Development at the Club at (949) 715-7424. 

To become a member, or inquire about how the Boys & Girls Club can benefit your child, call (949) 494-2535 or go to www.bgclagunabeach.org.


Laguna Beach Football Skills Camp kicks off on Saturday

On Saturday, Feb 9 from 2 - 4 p.m., middle school students that are interested in playing high school football are invited to the free Football Skills Camp presented by LBHS coaches and staff. 

“Our hope is to start a football feeder program for the high school. The idea is for the middle school kids to learn how to execute what the high school football program is doing, so that way they are better prepared when entering high school,” states Ryan Kollock. 

Laguna Beach team

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Photo by Sammer and Luna Tarazi

LBHS football team with Coach John Shanahan 

Students will learn offensive and defensive skills, have individual position instruction, and train in speed and agility. 

The camp will be held at the Guyer Field at LBHS. Bring your cleats and wear athletic clothes. 

To sign up, visit www.lagunabeachyouthfootball.com/registration

Laguna Beach High School is located at 625 Park Ave.


LBHS Girls Water Polo defeats Los Osos, finishes regular season 26-1 and advances to CIF Playoffs

Photos by Scott Brashier

LBHS Girls Water Polo continued to dominate the pool on Friday, defeating Los Osos of Rancho Cucamonga 16-3 on “Senior Day,” in the final match of the 2018-19 regular season. The team finishes the regular season 26-1, including 6-0 in Sunset Surf League play, where the Breakers captured first place honors.

LBHS Girls team

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Coaches and team excited after a great match on Friday

The team takes on Mater Dei (17-8) on Thursday at LBHS in the CIF-Southern Section First Round. The Breakers defeated the Monarchs earlier this year, on December 21, 14-6.

LBHS Girls splash

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Goalie Quinn Winter stops a shot from Los Osos

LBHS Girls Cici

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Senior Cici Stewart making a play during Friday’s game

LBHS Girls fans

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Fans cheer on the team from the side with signs held proudly 

LBHS Girls group

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LBHS defeats Los Osos, finishing 26-1 in regular season play and advancing to CIF Playoffs

LBHS Girls robe

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Seniors with coach Ethan Damato 

All five of the team’s graduating seniors will go on to play at the college-level in the fall. Claire Kelly will attend UCSB; Quinn Winter will play at UCLA; Evie Laptin at UCSB; Bryn Giofreddi at Brown; and Cici Stewart at Princeton.


PTA Coffee Talk presents “Cyberwise: No Grownup Left Behind”

Save the date for the next PTA Coffee talk on Wednesday, March 20, where Diana Graber will discuss the important topic of cyber safety with parents. Coffee Talk will take place at Seven7Seven from 8:30 - 10 a.m.

PTA Coffee sunset

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Students are constantly using social media; learn how to keep them safe

Snapchat, Instagram, and Fortnite are just a few social media channels students are using on a daily basis. In this lively presentation, Diana Graber, author of Raising Humans in a Digital World, will offer actionable strategies to help parents of kids at all ages and stages build a healthy and safe relationship with technology. 

To RSVP, visit www.ptacoffeetalk.org. The event is free to PTA members or a $10 donation for non-members.

Seven 7 Seven is located at 777 Laguna Canyon Rd.


Spring registration for Girls Basketball now open at Boys & Girls Club

Registration is now open for the Girls Spring Basketball League at the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach-Main Branch. Boys & Girls Club Athletic Coordinator Erik Vasquez has an outstanding reputation among both Club kids and parents for making this league a great experience for everyone involved.

The cost for Club members to participate is $125 per player, which includes a new team uniform. Non-club members who wish to participate for the spring season will be required to pay $125, plus the yearly Club membership of $100. Scholarships are available for qualifying families.

Spring registration team

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Submitted photo

Girls Basketball at the Boys & Girls Club is an enriching experience

Player evaluations are mandatory and will be held the week of March 4 - 8. Thereafter, teams are formed. Preseason Camp begins March 11 - 22, practices begin April 1, and games will start on April 15. 

From Kindergarten through the ninth grade, all participants learn basketball skills, enhance their self-esteem, and have a great time being part of a team. Volunteer opportunities are also available for parents interested in coaching teams. 

Annual sponsorship opportunities that support Boys & Girls Club Athletic programs are available, including a family or business name that can be displayed on a colorful banner hung in the Club’s gym for one year. Over 600 Laguna families see these banners each year. 

For more information or to become a member, call (949) 494-2535 or visit www.bgclagunabeach.org.


Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach seeking donations for Annual Awards Night Ceremony

Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach is proud to announce its Annual Awards Night Ceremony will be held on Friday, Feb 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the Canyon Branch. 

The club will be honoring over 200 young people at the event, announce the Youth of the Year, and recognize outstanding volunteers. This is a very special night for all and one that the community looks forward to every year. 

In an effort to relieve Boys and Girls Club families the stress of coordinating dinner before the ceremony and as part of the celebration, the club would like to provide dinner for everyone attending. They are asking for locals’ help in donating any of the food items listed below or by donating funds they can use to purchase the food needed:

--Large green salads

--Garlic bread

--Fruit platters

--Cookie trays 

--Donations to purchase food

All food donations need to be dropped off at the Canyon Branch on the day of the event, February 1, between the hours of noon and 5 p.m.

“Many of you donated last year and we appreciate your support. Thank you very much for all you do for our kids,” said Michelle Fortezzo, chief development officer at Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach. 

Email Michelle at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or call (949) 715-7584 and let her know what you would like to donate. 

Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach Canyon Branch is located at 1085 Laguna Canyon Rd.

For more information, visit www.bbclaguna.org.

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