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Breakers’ girls lose in CIF Open Division Championship game 

Breaker s girls lose Knepper

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Photo by Scott Brashier

No. 2 ranked Breakers’ Ava Knepper with the ball

Water Polo

The No. 2 ranked Laguna Beach girls water polo team fell behind early in their CIF Southern Section Open Division Championship match with Newport Harbor and never recovered. 

The Sailors scored the first five goals of the contest, eventually winning 11-6.

Senior Ava Houlahan led the Breakers with three goals, while Kara Carver, London Boyd and Ava Knepper each contributed one.

Still, the Breakers now move on to the CIF State Southern California Regional playoffs this week.

Basketball

The Breakers girls basketball team moved into the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Championships, with a 45-33 victory Friday over Yeshiva from Los Angeles.

Laguna Beach plays again Wednesday against the winner of Desert Christian Academy or Milken Community.


LBHS Amigos Alliance Club hosts Ethnic Diversity and Black History Month Celebration for Children 

The Amigos Alliance Club from Laguna Beach High School is thrilled to host the Ethnic Diversity and Black History Month celebration for children to spread the positive message of having a culturally diverse community as well as excite youngsters to explore the world.

Students are partnering with the Laguna Beach Library, Laguna Art Museum and the City of Laguna Beach to bring storytelling across diverse ethnic groups. Their goal is to inform other students about diverse cultures and give them an opportunity to dig deeper into their ethnicity.

LBHS Amigos Alliance students

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Courtesy of Natalie Sutton

LBHS Amigos Alliance Club students

During the weekly Zoom meetings, the high school club members read a book, have fun discussions and create artwork with the children in grades K-5. The Zoom meetings take place every Monday from 4:30-5:30 p.m. throughout February.

According to organizer Natalie Sutton, “We will invite them to explore the world of differences, look at similarities and spread a positive message of living in a culturally diverse community.”

If you are a student who would like to sign up, go to https://forms.gle/aTEtjLFyv2qTyPfc8.

 Students can pick up packets at Top of The World and El Morro elementary school offices and Laguna Beach Library. Parents need to be in attendance at the meetings.


LBUSD launches new anonymous tip reporting system 

Yesterday, February 7, Laguna Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) launched a new anonymous tip reporting system called WeTip2.0.

This tip reporting service enables students, parents, staff and community stakeholders to make anonymous (or non-anonymous if the reporter chooses this feature) tips to site safety team members to launch an investigation, provide support, intervene and resolve school-related safety matters.

The WeTip2.0 service in LBUSD is called, “See Something, Say Something” and anonymous tips may be placed by:

–Live Phone Tip Line: Dedicated LBUSD tip phone number where a trained live call center staff member takes tips in English or Spanish 24 hours per day, 365 days per year;

–Text Line: The same LBUSD tip line can field tips that are initiated via text messaging and the reporting party is immediately provided a weblink to the online tip reporting platform with English or Spanish tip forms; tips placed outside of school hours are received by a trained WeTip staff member who triages the response level and connects the tip to the appropriate reporting agency.

–Homepage website links on all four school sites and district office pages with the “See Something, Say Something’ cloud-based reporting links and the WeTip LBUSD phone number; and

–Scanning the QR code web link on the “See Something, Say Something” posters in multiple areas around each school campus and in classrooms for the 24/7 tip reporting system or the dedicated LBUSD tip phone number for voice or cloud-based forms submission.

“Creating an environment where students feel empowered to take actions that keep our campuses physically and emotionally safe is a top priority. This innovative and widely adopted tip reporting technology provides timely investigation and support for important school-related concerns,” said Dr. Chad Mabery, assistant superintendent of instruction.

According to Dr. Michael Keller, director of social emotional support, “Our top priority is always student and staff safety. The new LBUSD WeTip “See Something, Say Something” campaign is one of many best-in-class safety strategies that LBUSD already implements across the district. We strongly encourage students and individuals who directly observe school-related safety issues, including threats, vandalism, bullying, or other misconduct to submit their concerns to the LBUSD WeTip reporting system so site safety teams can investigate, intervene and support a resolution. The power of WeTip is in the default option for tip reporters to remain anonymous during the tip reporting process, which is now available 24 hours/day, seven days/week, to further encourage bystanders, witnesses, or victims to make actionable tip reports to improve school safety, culture and climate.”

Laguna Beach Unified School District is committed to ensuring all students have a safe and nurturing environment to learn and thrive in. By launching WeTip2.0 and introducing an anonymous platform, LBUSD provides students a safe space to report safety concerns and alleviate any anxieties or worries associated with reporting.


LBHS wrestlers on their way to CIF

LBHS wrestlers on their way

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Courtesy of LBHS

Four members of the Laguna Beach High School wrestling team are on their way to the CIF Championships this week. The four (L-R) are junior Micah Chavez (152 lbs., 4th in league), junior Jeremy Kanter (182, 4th), freshman James Kramer (138, 4th) and junior Malik Hassan (195, 3rd).


Thurston’s newly remodeled field is open and ready for play

Laguna Beach Unified Board of Education (LBUSD) announced the opening of the newly renovated 2.86-acre Thurston Middle School athletic field.

Last Friday, Feb. 4, a small group led by Principal Joe Vidal, the facilities team, ASB Co-Presidents Brighton Welch and Ariana Ghane, second-period PE students and LBUSD Board members commenced at the entrance of the athletic field with the TMS band playing in the background. 

Thurston's newly remodeled girls

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Photos courtesy of LBUSD

(L-R) ASB Co-Presidents Ariana Ghane and Brighton Welch get ready to cut the ribbon

“A new field is very motivating,” exclaimed Ghane, as she gazed across the field.

The Board of Education began discussions regarding the renovation of the field in 2015 as part of the facilities master planning process and then approved the renovation in August 2020. 

The new field expands playability for TMS students, community sports, and is now a CIF regulation field for varsity softball, soccer and lacrosse. The renovation repaired significant erosion damage, improved drainage and stabilized the slope. The field is environmentally sustainable with organic infill and uses significantly less water.

“It is my honor, on behalf of Laguna Beach Unified School District and our Board members now and those before us – to say we are grateful to Jason Viloria for leading the District administration team, all who worked with pride and diligence to utilize the Capital Improvement Program and realize a new and stunning athletic field in this historically celebrated setting,” said Carol Normandin, school board president. 

“The school district couldn’t be more excited to reopen our facility to the community,” said Jason Viloria Ed.D., superintendent. “This new field will provide desperately needed, year-round access to all students and community members in Laguna Beach, reduce our water usage and provide an amazing new field for our LBHS Softball program as well.”

Thurston'snewly remodeled kids running

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The field is officially opened!

Principal Vidal added, “This amazing project would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of Ryan Zajada, director of facilities, and the Thurston Middle School facilities team comprised of Ken Konkel, Todd Foote, Eddie McReynolds and Roger Romero Sr. 

“I would also like to acknowledge and thank Mr. Wade and our band for setting the vibe on this beautiful day and to our PE teachers and students who have the extraordinary privilege of being the first Thurston students and staff to embrace our newfound space.”

“It has been an honor watching this incredible project come to fruition,” shared Dr. James Kelly, board member. “I have truly enjoyed listening to Jeff Dixon provide regular updates at our board meetings and couldn’t be more excited for our students and community members to have a second track to run on. Our new field is absolutely superb!”

After several years of planning, hard work and dedication, the TMS field is officially open and ready for our community. LBUSD plans to host an official ribbon-cutting ceremony in late March 2022.


LBHS Freshman Boys Soccer wins Sunset League

Congratulations to the LBHS Frosh/Soph boys soccer team for finishing undefeated in league and first in overall division play. They won D2 Sunset League with a record of 4-0-2 (wins, losses, ties). Overall, the team finished with a record of 12-2-4 despite being short-handed for part of the season and a tournament during the holidays.

LBHS Freshman Boys Soccer Wins Sunset League

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Photo by Simonson Photography

LBHS Boys Frosh/Soph Soccer Team

The offense and defense were equally impressive having scored 38 goals during the season and only allowing 13 goals scored against them. In fact, nine out of the 18 games were shutouts, meaning the opposing team did not score a goal against the boys.

This year’s team was comprised of all freshmen, many of whom have played together for years in local AYSO and club soccer programs. Parents and players alike look forward to another successful season next year.

Thank you coach Max Woodruff for your commitment to this special team.


The Ranch at Laguna Beach launches new sustainability program, the OC Tree Collective

As the stewards of an incredible natural landscape, The Ranch at Laguna Beach continues to pioneer sustainability efforts by launching the OC Tree Collective, a tree planting initiative designed to reduce carbon emissions, capture water resources and cool local communities. In partnership with The Ecology Center, a 28-acre regenerative organic farm in San Juan Capistrano, the resort’s new sustainability program invites guests to purchase and plant trees at The Ranch and The Ecology Center, two environmentally forward locations.

The Ranch child with tree

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Photos courtesy of The Ranch

The OC Tree Collective continues The Ranch at Laguna Beach’s commitment to sustainability

A single tree is available for $50 and can be purchased on www.basecamplagunabeach.com with 100% of donations directed toward buying, planting and caring for each planted tree. Although this is not a tax-deductible donation, guests will be entered into an annual drawing to be selected for a two-night stay at The Ranch at Laguna Beach. The complimentary stay includes dinner for two at the resort’s signature restaurant, Harvest, along with a tour of the donated trees at The Ranch at Laguna Beach and The Ecology Center. Those who participate in donations will receive a tree token as a thank you from the resort.

The Ranch canyon

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The Ranch at Laguna Beach is at the forefront in protecting the surrounding location, environment and community

With sustainability at the forefront of this boutique coastal ranch, the resort hosts a variety of innovative and practical measures to protect the surrounding location, environment and community. This past December, The Ranch at Laguna Beach achieved the highest level of certification in California’s Green Lodging Program, an organization recognizing accommodation facilities that demonstrate leading standards of integrity and environmental ethics. Additionally, the 87-acre property recycles glass bottles into sand for its golf course bunkers, swapped plastic key cards for biodegradable room keys, operates a biodynamic farm and compost program, irrigates with reclaimed water and more.

For more information on sustainability efforts at The Ranch at Laguna Beach, visit www.theranchlb.com/ranch/sustainability.

For more information or to inquire about a booking, call 949.499.2271 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Laguna Beach U10 AYSO wins tourney

The Laguna Beach U10 AYSO All Star Team, after fighting some tough competition, won the 16-team 11L region tournament on Sunday, Jan. 23. The Red Fireworks beat Ladera Ranch in the finals, 1-0, on Madeleine Gregg’s goal.

Laguna Beach U10 team

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Courtesy of Stacy Gavin

Laguna Beach U10 AYSO Team takes home the win

The weekend ended with the top four teams eventually advancing to play the semi-final games on Saturday. The Red Fireworks were tied 1-1 in the semi-final game against San Clemente after Harper Noonan scored a goal. Penny Jameson was the Red Fireworks’ goalie in overtime, stopping two of the five place kicks.

Laguna ended up winning on place kicks with Brooke Gavin, Lulu Hurst, Gregg and Jameson all successfully scoring. The Fireworks were strong all weekend long with Hadley Parkin and Raelyn Ruisch playing great defense, along with Jameson, Hurst and Jocelyn Zingale all adding excellent goal tending, that fired up the offense. Keira Dye and Lilli Avakian kept the pressure on the opponents with their speed and determination offensively.

Under Coach Ryan Howe and Assistant Coach Stacy Gavin, this talented team will play against other region 11 teams in February in San Diego. Great job girls!


Rally at LBHS “peps” it up

Rally at LBHS cheer

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Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Rally at LBHS band

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Rally at LBHS students

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The pre-winter formal pep rally took place at Laguna Beach High School on Friday morning, January 28. According to Principal Dr. Jason Allemann, this is the second one they’ve had and it was great to have all the kids outside together.


U.S. Navy honors LBHS varsity football coach

Laguna Beach High School (LBHS) Varsity Football coach John Shanahan was awarded the U.S. Navy Impact Influencer Award Thursday afternoon, January 27 in a surprise celebration from the Navy, LBHS Principal Dr. Allemann, LBHS College and Career Center and the LBHS Football team. In November 2021, LBHS teacher Mr. Todd was also recognized with this award. The incredible designation comes back to LBHS from the same alumnus, Jack Strickland, who was accepted into the Navy’s Nuclear Engineering Program. 

This prestigious engineering program is one of the hardest and most sought-after programs the Navy has to offer. The program entails a $38,000 signing bonus, 77 college credits towards an engineering degree and the experience needed to translate well into a high-paying job. Students enrolled in this program explain who their greatest influences were in high school, and Strickland knew Coach Shanahan was one of the top individuals who impacted his life during his high school career. Honoring those who helped shape the well-rounded, incredible individuals accepted into the Nuclear Engineering Program is one simple way the Navy shows their appreciation. 

U.S. Navy Shanahan

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Photos courtesy of LBHS

(L-R) Navy Petty Officer Garcia presents Coach John Shanahan with the Impact Influencer Award

Coach John Shanahan was elated with the recognition and commented to Dr. Allemann, “There’s not a better place to work in the world.” Shanahan led the Breakers to a 10-2 season this year, where they were crowned champions of the Pac 4 league. Their incredible season included a nine-game win streak, and they had scored more than 40 points in their last four games before entering the quarterfinals. While the Breakers’ season ended in a tough competition against Claremont in the CIF quarterfinals, Shanahan has never failed to coach his team with pride, dedication and a love for the game. 

“Coach Shanahan is a great coach but a better educator,” said Dr. Jason Allemann. “The investment he puts into the young adults he works with has always been impactful beyond the game. I am proud to call him a colleague and friend simply because of the way he cares for others.” 

According to College and Career Specialist Lynn Gregory, “Coach Shanahan goes above and beyond every day, mentoring young athletes to master the game of football but more importantly, he trains them in character development. He leads by example, and his team respects and admires him greatly.” 

U.S. Navy team

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LBHS staff and Breakers Varsity Football team members celebrate Coach Shanahan’s recognition

LBHS Athletic Director Denise Selbe, said, “This acknowledgment of Coach Shanahan by the U.S. Navy is a wonderful affirmation of the work Coach puts into his players and the Laguna Beach football program. Coach Shanahan is a passionate and motivating coach who runs a disciplined program. As much as he wants to win football games, he is most interested in developing quality young men who possess high moral character and are hard-working citizens. We are grateful that Jack Strickland chose to honor Coach Shanahan and we are honored the U.S. Navy visited our school to recognize him.”

Shaena Stabler, President & CEO - Shaena@StuNewsLaguna.com

Lana Johnson, Editor - Lana@StuNewsLaguna.com

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In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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