New Hires, Fields and Trophies Stand Out in ’16

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The Breakers baseball team celebrate their history-making win. Photo by Anna Goddard.
The Breakers baseball team celebrate their history-making win. Photo by Anna Goddard.

While the school year ends in June, this year-end report card corresponds with the calendar. Here are 2016’s highlights.

After 78 years, the Laguna Beach High School baseball team finally got to have its dog pile.

The Breakers scratched out two runs and pitcher Ashton Goddard made sure that was enough as Laguna Beach defeated Kaiser High School of Fontana 2-0 to win the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 championship at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino June 4, a first in 78 seasons of baseball.

The high school athletic field renovation finished a week before the first day of the

An areal view of the Laguna Beach  High School track, which will temporarily close for renovations. Photoby Cyrus Polk - Sparkle Films.
An areal view of the Laguna Beach High School track, which was temporarily closed for renovations.
Photo by Cyrus Polk – Sparkle Films.

new school year on Aug.  31. The estimated $3.2 million project was completed over four months. To combat player concussions, the artificial turf where football and soccer teams play was replaced and an impact-absorbing shock pad installed between the fake grass and base. A new drainage system was also installed for an area that is the low point of the campus that flooded even in a light rain.

Challenger Peggy Wolff and incumbent Jan Vickers received the most votes for two open seats on the Laguna Beach school board, beating back a challenge from Howard Hills. Wolff, the top vote-getter, received 39.1 percent of the tally and 6,029 votes. Vickers earned 35.8 percent or 5,532 votes and Hills garnered 25.1 percent or 3,874 votes in the Nov. general election.

The school board hired Laguna Beach native Jason Viloria to lead the school district March 22. Viloria said he thinks he emerged as the top candidate because individual board members saw unique qualities in him. He succeeded Superintendent Sherine Smith, who last year announced plans to retire.

The school board shifted policy on grade-weighted classes. Six or seven honors classes at Laguna Beach High School will carry less weight in the GPA of incoming students for the graduating class of 2020. In a split vote, the school board voted 3-2 to revise LBHS grade-weighting practices Feb. 9.

In the wake of several acts of vandalism on school grounds and in the interest of school security, administrators ordered the installation of surveillance cameras on all campuses. As many as 100 cameras were installed between four schools during the 2016 school year.

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