Mariners of the Month

Angel Express | December 2017

Dear SLM Parents,

I hope that you’re finding a bit of time to rest and reflect during this Advent Season. I know how difficult it can be during this season to slow down. Here at the school, we have had a busy few months. The following are some highlights:

SLM Christmas Concert

Under the direction of our music teacher, Ms. Sepulveda, our students will be performing at our annual Christmas concert this coming Thursday, December 14th. The concert begins at 6 p.m. Doors to the church will open at 5:45 p.m. Students should be seated with their teachers. Come celebrate the season with us!

NOTE: Volunteers needed to set-up before the concert and then to tear-down and clean up after the concert. Please contact Mrs. Sepulveda at if you are able to contribute.

Geography Bee

The school’s annual Geography Bee took place last Friday, December 8. Grades 4 through 8 participated in classroom contests to whittle the field down to two contestants per grade. Then the finalists from each classroom competed in a school-wide tournament. Students were expected to respond to questions concerning continents, countries and U.S. states. We congratulate all of the contestants for winning their classroom competitions and for our two finalists in the school-wide competition. They are the following:

4th Grade: Payton Hofilena and Marcus Pirie
5th Grade: Jenyne Ebreo and Trey Nilson
6th Grade: Julia Camacho and Noelle Nelson
7th Grade: Giselle Groe and Hadley Hanson
8th Grade: Devan Cornelio and Marcelo Long

Our school-wide Geography Bee winner is Jenyne Ebreo (5th Grade) and runner-up is Devan Cornelio (8th Grade). Congratulations students!!!

Jenyne will move forward to take a National Geographic test, and if she proceeds further will compete in a state competition in Sacramento, California. All state champions then compete for the National Championship in Washginton, D.C. The winner receives a $50,000 scholarship and a trip. We wish you the best, Jenyne!!

SLM Mock Trial Team

Our Mock Trial Team competed at the Constitutional Rights Foundation Mock Trial Competition in Downtown Los Angeles at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse on November 6th and 13th. The knowledge, poise, and quick sense of both our defense and prosecution teams, as well as our witnesses and defendant were wonderful to observe. Our team, led by their attorney coaches, Mrs. Edna Earley, Mrs. Erika Dominguez, Mr. Scott Dominguez, and Mrs. Jolina Abrena, put in many hours of study and practice to perfect their roles which consisted of witnesses, lawyers, defendants, court clerks, and bailiffs. The students gained much from this experience, such as, knowledge of the U.S. judicial system, communication skills, analytical skills, and a greater understanding of a citizen’s obligations in the U.S.

The SLM Mock Trial Team was comprised of the following individuals:

Olivia Alajian, Julia Camacho, Nolan Cary, Brynn Drye, Jack Earley, Isabelle Fuentes, Isabella Gonzalez, Giselle Groe, Emily King, Katherine Murray, Karma Sarni, Gianna Soriano, Xander Soriano, Lauren Takakawa, Auburn Thomas, Emily Tramontin, Paulina Villanueva, and Lucca Volkman.

Special Mention: Jack Earley received MVP for Prosecuting Attorney and Giselle Groe received MVP for Defense Attorney during the evenings of their trials.  Outstanding work, students!

Congratulations to our students for a job well-done and thank you coaches for sharing your valuable time and expertise in the field of law!

Mariners Of The Month

At November and December assemblies, the following students were recognized for their excellence in following these School-wide Learning Expectations:

“St. Lawrence Martyr students BECOME independent and self-motivated.” (October, 2017):

Jantzen Ebreo (8th), Giselle Groe (7th), Reagan Takakawa (6th), Alexa Wollner (5th), Marcus Pirie (4th), Sydney Sellan (4th), Adrian Vilca (3rd), Luke Banfield (3rd), Michael Flink (3rd), Cate Cansino (3rd), Natalia Nelson (3rd), Brendan Rivas (2nd), Jake Albano (2nd), Connor Smith (2nd), Megan Shimabukuro (1st), Gavin Haynes (1st), Dylan Sheedy (1st), Cailey Bryant (K), Layla Joy Buncio (K), Noa Dagampat (K), Braxton Simmonds (K), and Sophia Gibbs (TK).

“St. Lawrence Martyr students BELONG by using their gifts and talents to better their community.” (November, 2017):

Alyssa Cansino (8th), Andrew Song (7th), Talan Holladay (6th), Aidan Morais (5th), Kendall McKechnie (4th), Lance Robert (4th), Nathalie Haynes (3rd), Juliette Ruiz (3rd), Carley Medina (3rd), Logan Lara (3rd), Benjamin Volchok (3rd), Mercury Cox (2nd), Christopher Camacho (2nd), Sophia SerpaKarthaus (2nd), Stella Koch (1st), Natalia Soebich (1st), Isabel Utpadel (1st), Delaney Sheedy (K), Valentina Schneider (K), Sophia Kavulich (K), Michael Diaz (K), Reed Lyons (TK), and Fiona Bellante (TK).

Way to go students! Thank you for making it a priority to become self-starters and in using your gifts to better the community! We are proud of you!!

Sports News

Football - Congratulations to our varsity football team for a terrific season under the helm of coaches, DeLuca, Montoya and Sellan. Our varsity team finished 2nd in the South Bay league and made it into the top brackett of the CYO play-offs. They ended the season 6-2. 

Cross-Country News from our cross-country coach, Coach Vicario:

“On Friday, November 10th thirty-nine schools sent their cross country athletes to compete in the CYO Cross Country Championship at Hollydale Park.

138 Girls competed in the 3rd & 4th grade course where 3 from SLM (K. McKechnie, M. Viera, A. Olderwurtel) finished in the top 10 overall propelling our girls team to place First Overall in the Championship Meet. Similarly, 155 Boys competed in the 3rd & 4th grade course where 1 from SLM (A. Hayes) finished in the top 10 overall helping the boys to a Fourth Overall place at the Championship Meet.

Today at assembly we presented Mrs Kaiser with the Girls Championship Plaque to hang alongside the Girls and Boys Invitational 2nd Place Plaques. Chloe Nunamaker was the winner of the Brooks Sneakers in the morning raffle and each athlete was recognized with a certificate of achievement. I couldn’t be more proud of all that they have accomplished these past few months.” ~ Coach Vicario

Congratulations SLM Cross-Country Team and THANK YOU, Coach Vicario, for your time and energy training our students!

Winter Sports Teams

Basketball -Boys and Girls Basketball teams have formed and practices have begun. We wish you the best of luck this season!!

Golf - The next CYO Golf Tournament is on Sunday, January 28th, 2018. It will be held in Long Beach at Heartwell Golf Course, 6700 E. Carson St., LB, CA. Tee times begin at 10 a.m. The fee for this tournament is $45 and will be billed to your Smart Tuition account. To register, email Mrs. Kaiser at


Feel free to send updates on how the teams are performing to AND thank you for sharing your time and talent with our students! Our success is because of YOU!

Facebook Page

For more on “happenings” at SLM School, check out and like our Facebook page titled, St. Lawrence Martyr School - SLMS *Official Page*

Advent Season

As we are in the middle of the Advent Season, the busyness of our lives seems to pick up a bit. I found this wonderful resource that has helped me to slow down and contemplate the richness of our faith and to connect with our lord, Jesus. On the following Ignatian Spirituality site there are video reflections for Advent: I hope you’ll join me in taking a moment to reflect and pray.

Thank Yous

As we close this year, I want to thank you for your patience with me as I continue to grow in my position as principal. I am certainly not perfect, so your support and kindness have given me strength throughout the process. Thank you!

I’d also like to thank all of our parents who volunteer their time in making so many things possible.  Thank you to our librarians, art docents, health room nurses, parking lot patrol people, athletic team coaches, academic coaches for mock trial and decathlon, volunteers who set-up and tear-down during special events, those who help make costumes or backdrops, our fundraiser chairs, our room moms and our PTO reps. All of the wonderful functions and activities that we have for our students and parents would not be possible without your help. This is an amazing community to belong!

Finally, I wish you all a wonderful, safe, and joyful break.  May the hope that Jesus brings brighten and enliven your hearts and minds this Christmas and throughout the New Year!

Mrs. Diane Kaiser


Angel Express | October 2017

Dear Parents,

I write this newsletter from Running Springs (just below Big Bear) at the Pali Institute. I’ve joined our sixth grade class at outdoor school and am enjoying watching them engage in science lessons and activities, such as Geology & Engineering (formation of rocks, layers of earth, plate tectonics, causes of earthquakes and designing model structures to be tested against an earthquake simulator), Weather (patterns and tools to make predictions), 21st Century Energy Dilemmas (renewable and nonrenewable resources and how to be a conscious consumer), Forest Navigation (compass and coordinates), as well as a night hike to learn about nocturnal animals (their environment and survival tactics). The weather in this part of California is gorgeous with day temperatures in the mid-sixties, beautiful blue skies above and lots of greenery below. The biggest joy for me, though, is seeing how respectful our students behave toward their outdoor school teachers and how caring they are toward their peers. At my exit interview with a Pali Institute staff member, I was told that our students are some of the best behaved they’ve ever worked with. I know this to be true as our SLM students have a great reputation for their behavior at outings such as these! Thank you for raising such great kids!!

On another, less peaceful note, two Sundays ago, we heard of the terrible tragedy that occurred in Las Vegas. I’m sure there is not one of us who has not spent time reflecting on the incident. Those sweet, innocent lives that were senselessly taken are still fresh on my mind - particularly the St. John Fisher parent, Lisa Patterson, mother of three children (who happened to be attending the concert with a very close friend of mine) as well as the young woman from South High School, Christiana Duarte, who has relatives that attend our school. I can’t help but wonder why so many incidents such as this are occurring in our country today. 

Although the founding of America separates church and state, our country’s forefathers were influenced by Christian ideas and, thus the founding of America was deeply rooted in Christian moral truths. Even the verbiage in many of the United State’s founding documents are unique to Christianity. In addition, there are 68 references to God in the U.S. code, such as, anyone who swears into any of the branches of the armed forces or into office as a justice or a judge must conclude with the words “So help me God.” The American Pledge of Allegiance states that we are “ Nation under God…” and our national motto is “In God We Trust.” However, it seems that more and more society is forgetting those basic principles that made up the fabric of our nation. The landscape of our culture is changing and, in my opinion, I feel this is due to society moving away from God and Faith as central to the formation of each person. 

There was a time, not long ago, where attending religious services on Sundays and daily prayer at home were a normal part of most American families’ lives. In rearing children, parents made it a high priority to lead their children closer to God. It is without a doubt that in the past and now, Catholic schools have provided the environment for students to learn Christian moral values and deepen their faith in God, which leads to compassion for and service to others. However, while Catholic schools have “some” influence in rearing children toward leading better, more God-centered lives, it is the home-life that holds the greatest influence. In other words, teachers may teach about God and open a child’s heart to faith, but it takes root and is nourished by word and deed in their homes, especially by their parents. Our greatest purpose as parents is to model Christian deeds, speak God’s wisdom to our children, and care for their little souls.

In the gospel reading this coming weekend, we hear the story of The Parable of the Wedding Feast. In summary, a king sends out invitations for a great feast that he will host for his son to be wed. Those invited, initially accept the invitation. When the second invitation goes out (which serves as reminder to the event), the guests ignore and dismiss the invitation. A third reminder goes out and the guests flatout reject the invitation. In this parable, the wedding feast is the kingdom of heaven. We all want to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but what is the cost? What must we do to enter? Share our goods with those less fortunate, be kind to our enemies, forgive those who have wronged us, show compassion to the downtrodden, etc. In addition, to care for our souls we attend Mass, receive and partake in the sacraments, go to confession, pray daily. So we initially accept the invitation to the Kingdom of Heaven, because who would not want that...but often times when the “second” and “third” invitation arrives, we find our lives too busy or practicing faith too inconvenient or perhaps we feel that it is not relevant to our lives at present. We know however, that our lives on earth are very short compared to eternal time and what we do here on earth matters in the ever after.

Society can no longer afford to put aside or be inconvenienced with actions that nourish our souls and unite us with God, who longs for peace in our hearts and peace in the world. We must begin to put God back into our daily lives and we absolutely must make it our priority to care for the souls of our children by being good stewards of the faith through word and action. Please continue to pray with me that the hearts of our families, our communities, our nation and of all the faithful may be passionately driven toward a renewed sense of urgency in bringing God’s presence in the world in word and deed. We can change the movement toward a world without God by the small things we do each day within our family units. Let’s do this!

More News:


Progress reports for students in 3rd through 8th grade will be posted on School Speak on Thursday, October 12th, by 5 p.m. For our TK - 2nd grade students, your child’s teacher will be in touch with you to indicate when those will be sent home.


Each month our students are directed toward learning and living out one of the School-wide Learning Expectations (SLEs). The SLEs can be found in our School Calendar Handbook listed underneath each month. At the end of each month, their teachers choose students who have exhibited behaviors in alignment with the SLE. September’s SLE was “A St. Lawrence Martyr Student BELIEVES through understanding and living our Catholic faith. We are proud of the following students for living out this schoolwide norm:

Brook Banfield
Maggie Battle
Genevieve Bellante
Ava Brownlie
Caleb Burke
Arianna Ciuffoli
Devan Cornelio
Charles Cress
Isabelle DiLeva
Connor Guerreiro
Colin Hall
Olivia Higgins
Grayson Javier
Andrew Jensen
William Johnson
Peter Lyons
Abigail Martinez
Natalie Nilson
Rachel Oppenheim
Megan Reynolds
Sadie Smith
Reagan Vieira

Congratulations students! Well-done!!

SLM Sports:

Our Fall team sports are underway. Coaches please send information to post in the Angel Express!


We have results from our first ever swim meet. Here they are in a message from our swim coaches (parents - Mr. Ciuffoli and Mr. Curry):

Swimmers and Parents,
Thanks for participating to the first SLM Swim Meet ever!
Coach Curry and I are so proud of the kids, they all had a great performance, they kept cheering their teammates, they were extremely focused with lots of positive energy, always on time and ready to race at the starting block.
Some of our kids placed in top 12th overall and earned a medal, which we will distribute during next swim practice on Friday.
Bailey Solheim: 2nd 50 Breast, 4th 50 Back, 6th 50 Free, 6th 50 Fly
Jake Smith: 10th 50 Free
Jack O’Shaughnessy: 1st 50 Back, 1st 50 Fly, 2nd 50 Free, 2nd 50 Breast
Liam Curry: 6th 50 Fly, 9th 50 Free
Davide Ciuffoli: 1st 50 Back, 3rd 50 Breast, 4th 100 IM, 5th 50 Free
Ryan Oldewurtel: 8th 50 Breast, 11th 50 Free, 11th 50 Back
Reiley Solheim: 5th 50 Back, 6th 50 Free, 6th 50 Fly, 8th 50 Breast

Congratulations to all!!!

Go SLM!!!


Two students participated in their first CYO golf tournament this past Sunday -- Isabelle DiLeva (4th gr.) and Matthew Kaiser (6th gr.) Great effort to you both! We look forward to more SLM students participating in the golf tournaments.

UPDATES ON FOOTBALL, VOLLEYBALL AND CROSS-COUNTRY will be sent soon in a separate e-mail.


The SLM Mock Trial Team and coaches have been working around the clock to prepare for the competition. Keep up the excellent work and dedication, students! (Dates of the competition to be announced soon!)

Finally, please check School Speak frequently for more news and updates. 

Thank you for your continued support and generosity of time and treasure to our school. It is the partnership between parents and staff that help our students to thrive!


Mrs. Kaiser