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This week in Breakers sports

Wednesday, Dec. 27

1 p.m. – Boys Basketball vs. San Clemente in Coast Classic Tournament at Estancia High School

Thursday, Dec. 28

6 p.m. – Boys Basketball vs. Irvine in Coast Classic Tournament at Estancia High School

Friday, Dec. 29

TBA – Girls Water Polo vs. TBD in Holiday Cup at Newport Harbor High School

3 p.m. – Boys Basketball vs. San Bernardino in Coast Classic Tournament at Estancia High School

Saturday, Dec. 30

TBA – Boys Basketball vs. TBD in Coast Classic Tournament at Estancia High School

TBA – Girls Water Polo in Coast Classic Tournament at Estancia High School

Wednesday, Jan. 3

6 p.m. – Boys Soccer vs. Los Alamitos

7 p.m. – Boys Basketball at Los Alamitos

Thursday, Jan. 4

12 p.m. – Girls Water Polo at Foothill/Santa Ana

3 p.m. – Girls Soccer at Marina

5:30 p.m. – Girls Basketball at Los Alamitos

Friday, Jan. 5

6 p.m. – Boys Soccer vs. Newport Harbor

7 p.m. – Boys Basketball vs. Edison

Saturday, Jan. 6

2 p.m. – Girls Soccer vs. Newport Harbor

4 p.m. – Girls Basketball vs. Corona del Mar

11 p.m. – Girls Water Polo at Mater Dei

Past week’s results

Wednesday, Dec. 20

Boys Soccer beat El Modena, 3-1

Thursday, Dec. 21

Boys Basketball lost at Dana Hills, 84-59

Friday, Dec. 22

Girls Basketball beat Ocean View, 57-52 in Ocean View Tournament

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Laguna Beach girls water polo wins big on senior night

Photos by Scott Brashier

Laguna Beach High School’s girls water polo honored seniors in a rare home game against Huntington Beach, winning easily, 19-6.

Laguna Beach girls water polo photo 1

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Emmy Hensley (#3) prepares to fire a shot against the Huntington Beach Oilers

Laguna Beach girls water polo photo 2

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Ava Knepper (#12) stares down the Huntington Beach goalkeeper

Laguna Beach girls water polo photo 3

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Claire Turner loads up for shot on goal

Laguna Beach water polo photo 4

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Isabella Sarkis (#8) appears poised while looking to pass

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Polar Bear Toy Drive Christmas Volleyball Tournament for “Spark for Love”

The Laguna Beach Volleyball community came together last Saturday (Dec. 16) to collect toys for the Laguna Fire Department’s “Spark of Love” Toy Drive. Ninety players competed under beautiful conditions on Main Beach for really cheesy prizes and bragging rights.

polar bear firefighters

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Photos courtesy of Neil Olson

Firefighters (and friends) at the Polar Bear Toy Drive Christmas Volleyball Tournament on December 16

The entry fee to the tournament was a toy which the good people at the LBFD, under the direction of Fireman Pat Cary, picked up that afternoon and paused for an annual photo opportunity as well.

polar bear winners

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Some of the winners at last Saturday’s tournament

The tournament is one way that the City of Laguna Beach says thank you to the community and the local players for their patience while classes and high school teams use the public courts. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

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This week in Breakers sports

Friday, Dec. 22

5 p.m. – Girls Basketball vs. Ocean View in Ocean View Tournament

Saturday, Dec. 23

5 p.m. – Girls Basketball vs. La Quinta/Westminster in Ocean View Tournament

Wednesday, Dec. 27

1 p.m. – Boys Basketball vs. San Clemente in Coast Classic Tournament at Estancia High School

Thursday, Dec. 28

6 p.m. – Boys Basketball vs. Irvine in Coast Classic Tournament at Estancia High School

Friday, Dec. 29

TBA – Girls Water Polo vs. TBD in Holiday Cup at Newport Harbor High School

3 p.m. – Boys Basketball vs. San Bernardino in Coast Classic Tournament at Estancia High School

Saturday, Dec. 30

TBA – Boys Basketball vs. TBD in Coast Classic Tournament at Estancia High School

TBA – Girls Water Polo in Coast Classic Tournament at Estancia High School

Past week’s results

Saturday, Dec. 16

Girls Soccer beat Royal, 2-1, at Laguna Hills High School in the Best of the West Tournament

Girls Water Polo lost at Oaks Christian, 11-10

Girls Soccer beat Laguna Hills, 1-0, in the Best of the Division Championship

Monday, Dec. 18

Girls Basketball beat Norco, 48-27, in the Ocean View Tournament

Boys Soccer lost at Dana Hills, 5-1

Tuesday, Dec. 19

Girls Basketball lost to Marina, 49-31, in the Ocean View Tournament

Girls Soccer beat Dana Hills, 2-1

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LBUSD Board approves annual update to 10-year Facilities Master Plan

By SARA HALL

A majority of the local school board last week approved their annual review of a planning document that reflects district needs for the next decade.

Members of the Laguna Beach Unified School District Board of Education voted 4-1 on Dec. 14 to approve the 2023 update to the 10-year Facilities Master Plan. Board member Dee Perry dissented.

According to the staff report, the annual update for the comprehensive FMP was initially presented to the board on March 23, 2023. Since that time several additional study sessions (the latest on October 12) and open houses were used to gather feedback and get board direction related to the scope of the updates.

Some of the major projects included in the update are to replace the existing Laguna Beach High School pool with a new, 50-meter pool, expand transitional kindergarten and preschool facilities at each elementary school, renovate Thurston Middle School’s gym to allow for seating to be used during games, build a new counseling center and administration building at LBHS, and constructing new district offices in their existing location.

As with previous meetings on the plan, the primary topic of discussion was the pool and aquatic facility.

Board member Joan Malczewski reiterated the importance of working with the neighborhood regarding design of the aquatic facility. They need to ensure that the district continues to get public input and officials are responsive to the resident concerns to design it in the best possible way, given the residential neighborhood it’s in, she said.

Each neighbor has very specific issues and requests and the district should address them individually, instead of trying to summarize what the entire community feels, noted board member Kelly Osborne. Each neighbor should inform the board on how the project specifically impacts their property and they can work together to find a solution, she added.

“If a neighbor that is adjacent to the property where we’re trying to do construction has a specific issue, I encourage them to come forward with those specific issues instead of just going and trying to stir up opposition to a project that benefits our students,” she said. “We’re more than happy to take those comments.”

Neighbors should talk to staff first about incorporating ideas into the plan, clarified board member Jim Kelly.

LBUSD Board approves annual update pool site plan

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Rendering courtesy of LBUSD

A preliminary rendering of the pool and tennis courts site plan

Responding to the comments that the aquatic design group reportedly said that there are no benefit differences between the 40 and 50-meter pool options, LBUSD Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Jeff Dixon clarified the remark.

“When they spoke to the difference between a 40 and a 50-meter pool, no consideration was given for multiple programs or sports using that pool at the same time, they were simply talking about the technical ability of an individual pool to support an individual program with no consideration, as I mentioned, of sharing the space or having multiple teams,” he explained.

They have since clarified and recommended – based on the information provided and the programs they’ve reviewed – a 50-meter pool.

The board previously reached consensus on a 50-meter pool, Osborne said, and a majority agreed that a bigger body of water will better accommodate more uses.

“We don’t have very many successful examples of leading aquatics programs that also joint use their pool with an active community – they just don’t exist because they don’t work very well,” she said.

“We are moving in the right direction on this,” Osborne said.

The design will cover all of nuances of scheduling, how teams and other (student and community) groups will fit in there to fit their needs, and how the district may or may not share the pool with the city, she noted. All of that will be forthcoming, Osborne confirmed. A bigger body of water that doesn’t impact other programs or properties, like in the initial plans, is a good way to go forward, she commented.

Board President Jan Vickers also echoed a comment from student board member Chase Benson that an improved aquatics facilities that could host home games will bring the student body together and create a sense of community and unity. It’s doubtful that most students travel to watch the LBUSD games in other cities, but they would definitely attend at their own school site, Vickers noted.

Following up on comments she had heard, Perry questioned if – even with the 50-meter pool – not everybody would be finished using the pool by 9 p.m. and if there was a plan so kids aren’t in the facility late at night.

“We do need to actually begin design and start programming it in order to answer those questions,” Dixon said.

This is just the facilities master plan, he emphasized, which sets the vision that they want for this project. The actual technical components and how it would be scheduled will be contingent on the size of a pool, as well as negotiations with the city and how it could potentially be shared, he explained. At this point, there is no design on any of the projects, he reiterated.

But staff heard the concern for the late-night use by students “loud and clear,” Dixon added.

“I’m getting a lot of push back for swimmers who currently use the pool and they weren’t aware that this was going on, that the pool was possibly going to be closed for a period of time, and they were just appalled that that could happen,” Kelly said.

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Laguna Beach Unified School District honors exceptional educators of the year

The Laguna Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) has announced the selection of Shannon Chastain, a third grade teacher at El Morro Elementary School, as Teacher of the Year and Lynn Gregory, College and Career Specialist at Laguna Beach High School, as Classified Employee of the Year.

Each year, LBUSD surprises its Employees of the Year at their school sites, carrying on a cherished tradition. Superintendent Jason Viloria, Ed.D., Board President Jan Vickers and El Morro Elementary School Principal Julie Hatchel, Ed.D., along with district and school site staff, surprised Chastain with the announcement in her classroom. Her students eagerly participated in the celebration, adding to the excitement of the moment.

laguna beach chastain

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Photos courtesy of LBUSD

Teacher of the Year Shannon Chastain (center)

Chastain and Gregory will also be celebrated as part of a broader recognition ceremony at the school board meeting on January 11, 2024 at 6 p.m. This special event will shine a spotlight on the outstanding achievements of various students and staff members within LBUSD.

Chastain’s impact extends beyond the classroom, positively influencing the entire school community, according to El Morro Elementary School Principal Julie Hatchel, Ed.D. Her contributions to student engagement and behavior management have played a vital role in making El Morro and LBUSD exceptional places for learning and growth.

laguna beach gregory

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Classified Employee of the Year Lynn Gregory (center)

Gregory, recognized as Classified Employee of the Year, serves as the College and Career Specialist at Laguna Beach High School. Described by Principal Jason Allemann, Ed.D., as consistently positive and informative, Gregory provides valuable direction to students and families exploring options for learning beyond high school.

In addition to the district-wide winners, LBUSD will recognize Classified Employee of the Year winners in specific categories, reflecting the diverse talents of its staff:

–Missy Palino: Clerical and Administrative Services, High School Reception and Counseling Office Assistant, Laguna Beach High School

–Doug Bowman: Custodial, Maintenance, Nutrition and Security Services, District Office Delivery Driver

–Erin Carlton: Paraprofessional and Instructional Assistance, Instructional Aide, Top of the World Elementary School

These exceptional individuals were chosen through a district-wide nomination and voting process open to all classified school employees. The district-wide winners will advance to the county competition, presented by the Orange County Department of Education.

All Orange County school districts are invited to submit nominations for the program, based on guidelines and timelines established by the California Department of Education. LBUSD uses a peer-driven approach, allowing colleagues to nominate and vote for the standout individual whose exceptional contributions and dedication have made a significant impact on the workplace.

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This week in Breakers sports

Tuesday, Dec. 19

5 p.m. – Girls Basketball vs. Marina in Ocean View Tournament

5:30 p.m. – Girls Soccer at Dana Hills

Wednesday, Dec. 20

6:30 p.m. – Boys Soccer vs. El Modena

Thursday, Dec. 21

7 p.m. – Boys Basketball at Dana Hills

Friday, Dec. 22

5 p.m. – Girls Basketball vs. Ocean View in Ocean View Tournament

Saturday, Dec. 23

5 p.m. – Girls Basketball vs. La Quinta/Westminster in Ocean View Tournament

Wednesday, Dec. 27

1 p.m. – Boys Basketball vs. San Clemente in Coast Classic Tournament at Estancia High School

Thursday, Dec. 28

6 p.m. – Boys Basketball vs. Irvine in Coast Classic Tournament at Estancia High School

Friday, Dec. 29

TBA – Girls Water Polo vs. TBD in Holiday Cup at Newport Harbor High School

3 p.m. – Boys Basketball vs. San Bernardino in Coast Classic Tournament at Estancia High School

Saturday, Dec. 30

TBA – Boys Basketball vs. TBD in Coast Classic Tournament at Estancia High School

TBA – Girls Water Polo in Coast Classic Tournament at Estancia High School

Past week’s results

Thursday, Dec. 14

Girls Water Polo beat Huntington Beach, 19-6

Friday, Dec. 15

Boys Soccer beat Tesoro, 4-2

Boys Basketball lost to Aliso Niguel, 48-43

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This week in Breakers sports

Friday, Dec. 15

6:30 p.m. – Boys Soccer vs. Tesoro

7 p.m. – Boys Basketball vs. Aliso Niguel

Saturday, Dec. 16

TBA – Girls Soccer vs. TBD in the Best of the West Tournament

12 p.m. – Girls Water Polo at Oaks Christian

Monday, Dec. 18

5 p.m. – Girls Basketball vs. Norco in Ocean View Tournament

5:15 p.m. – Boys Soccer at Dana Hills

Tuesday, Dec. 19

5 p.m. – Girls Basketball vs. Marina in Ocean View Tournament

5:30 p.m. – Girls Soccer at Dana Hills

Wednesday, Dec. 20

6:30 p.m. – Boys Soccer vs. El Modena

Thursday, Dec. 21

7 p.m. – Boys Basketball at Dana Hills

Friday, Dec. 22

5 p.m. – Girls Basketball vs. Ocean View in Ocean View Tournament

Saturday, Dec. 23

5 p.m. – Girls Basketball vs. La Quinta/Westminster in Ocean View Tournament

Past week’s results

Monday, Dec. 11

Boys Soccer lost at University, 4-2

Girls Basketball lost to Whitney, 83-39

Tuesday, Dec. 12

Girls Water Polo lost at Newport Harbor, 11-10

Boys Wrestling beat Huntington Beach, 44-36

Wednesday, Dec. 13

Boys Basketball lost at San Clemente, 56-44

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Laguna Beach Youth Water Polo Club makes it to championship contest in Holiday Cup

Laguna Beach Youth SNL 12.12

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Submitted photo

Last weekend (Dec. 9 and 10), the Laguna Beach Youth Water Polo Club placed second for the 10U boys in the 2023 K7 Holiday Cup. The team went undefeated until the championship contest. (L-R): Jonny Geiger, Nico Contursi, Landon Gruba, Connor Geiger, Wes Peters, Mason Chaldu, Greyson Kibbey, Owen Gruba and Coach Bridgette Alvarez.

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This week in Breakers sports

Tuesday, Dec. 12

3 p.m. – Girls Water Polo at Newport Harbor

Wednesday, Dec. 13

7 p.m. – Boys Basketball at San Clemente

Thursday, Dec. 14

4 p.m. – Girls Water Polo vs. Huntington Beach

Friday, Dec. 15

6:30 p.m. – Boys Soccer vs. Tesoro

7 p.m. – Boys Basketball vs. Aliso Niguel

Saturday, Dec. 16

TBA – Girls Soccer vs. TBD in the Best of the West Tournament

12 p.m. – Girls Water Polo at Oaks Christian

Past week’s results

Wednesday, Dec. 6

Girls Water Polo lost to Orange Lutheran, 15-4, at Santiago Canyon College

Girls Basketball lost to Mark Keppel, 61-28, in the Orangewood Academy Tournament

Boys Soccer lost at Irvine, 1-0

Thursday, Dec. 7

Girls Water Polo won at JSerra, 15-8

Girls Soccer beat St. Margaret’s, 2-0

Friday, Dec. 8

Boys Soccer lost to Laguna Hills, 2-1

Saturday, Dec. 9

Girls Soccer beat Kennedy/La Palma, 1-0, in the Best of the West Tournament

Girls Soccer beat Serrano, 3-0, in the Best of the West Tournament

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