Mock Trial

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 | November 2017

Dear Parents,

Thanksgiving is only a few short weeks away, and we have much to be thankful for here at St. Lawrence Martyr School.  First of all, many thanks to Mrs. Romesser and her team (including Mr. Romesser) for organizing a fantastic Fun Run.  The weather was perfect for the run, especially after a few days of high temps.  As a reminder, if you haven't sent in your Fun Run funds please do so by this Thursday, November 9th.

More thanks goes to Mrs. Wynne and our dedicated student council members - Lauren Frisancho, Samantha Liu, Caelyn Morais, Drake McKechnie, Reilly Solheim, Colton Wimmer, Jantzen Ebreo, Giselle Groe, Daven Cornelio, Gabriella Lopez, Emily Tramontin, Gia Soriano, Hadley Hanson, Emily King, Auburn Thomas, Dominic Sellan, Jack Simmons, Lauren Dunne, Mason Tymick, Jeanyn Ebreo, Jaden Commandante, Camila Besada for organizing one of the best Octoberfest parties ever!  In addition, the students that participated in the Lip Sync contest are all very talented and were fun to watch, and the activities and food were terrific. Several parents and grandparents commented that it was great to see the students wearing respectful, sweet, and sometimes silly costumes.  I had a few others say, "Wow!  The students and staff really go all out when dressing up for Halloween!"   The staff and I are also grateful that the rain stayed at bay during the event!

All Saints Day

Last week, we celebrated two very important days in our liturgical year: All Saints and All Souls Day, November 1st and 2nd.  All Saints Day is the day we honor those who have led exemplary lives in following in the footsteps of Christ.  They were "real" people who had their own spiritual struggles and difficulties with faith and with human frailty.  The saints' personalities differed as much as their struggles here on earth; however, they lived their lives with a great amount of discipline in choosing to try to avoid sin and in choosing to serve those in need, even at the cost of their own suffering.  It is important to look to the lives of the saints as role models and to ask for their prayers for us. They are our greatest allies in helping us to become holy. There are many saints with whom I have become close to over the years. St. Anne, St. Theresa of Avila, St. Joseph, St. Paul, and St. Monica are a few of my favorite saints as I have sought intercessory prayers from them when difficulties have come about in my life.  I've included a link for you to learn more about The Solemnity of All Saints Day click here.  Please share information about this beautiful day with your children and encourage them to learn about and become friends with a saint or two.

All Souls Day

All Souls Day is the day we remember our loved ones who have died.  We believe that they have only died a physical death and that their souls live on.  One of the beauties of the Catholic Church is that we remain close to our loved ones even beyond death.  We continue to pray for them as they continue to pray for us.  I have included a video link here for you to learn more about this special day.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 25:1-13

This coming Sunday's gospel reading is a parable told by Jesus about 10 virgins who are waiting to meet the bridegroom at a wedding banquet.  The virgins, since they had a long wait, took lamps with them (the kind that require oil).  Jesus goes on to say that "five of the virgins were wise and the other five were foolish".  The foolish ones did not take extra oil to refuel their lamps, fell asleep and ran out of oil.  The other five were well-prepared and brought enough oil to keep their lamps going for the duration.  While the foolish virgins went off to purchase more oil, the bridegroom came and the virgins who were well-prepared entered into the wedding feast.  When the foolish virgins arrived wanting entrance into the feast, the bridegroom said to them, "Amen I say to you I do not know you."  Jesus goes on to say to his followers (and to us), "Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour."

It is not difficult to understand the main point of this parable.  It is to be prepared.  The bridegroom is Jesus, the wedding feast is heaven, and we are the virgins wishing to enter into the wedding feast. Jesus is telling us to prepare ourselves every moment of every day so that we, too, main gain eternal salvation and be witnesses’ of Christ so that others may also enter into the kingdom.  It is similar to the idea of an athlete preparing to compete in the Olympics.  Athletes would not wait until the last few days prior to the competition to train.  They would be honing their craft many years prior to the Olympics.  They would train and make daily choices in order to be in tip-top condition. We can think of ourselves as spiritually training for Heaven.  Through our words and actions we can practice virtues that lead us to holiness, such as,  Prudence , Temperance, Courage, Justice, Faith, Hope, and Charity.  In addition, to practicing these virtues, the small sacrifices (and sometimes large) that we make throughout our lives, as well as seeking reconciliation with one another and with God, help us to purify our souls. This spiritual training is not easy to do in a world that is counter-cultural to all that we believe as Catholic Christians.  That is why we need each other as community to lead one anther to that which is good and true.  Our children need us, too, to guide them through the faith journey and to be role models of how to train spiritually.  So as the wisdom of Jesus calls us to in this scripture passage, let us continue to prepare ourselves for the Kingdom of Heaven.

School News

Parent-Teacher Conferences

All families by now should have received confirmation of the date and time of your child or children’s conference.   All junior high students are highly encouraged to attend the conference with their parents.   

If you have filled out the meeting request form sent home in your family envelope a few weeks ago, but have not received a confirmation date and time, please contact Mrs. Richardson, our school secretary, at 310-316-3049 or .

PTO Meeting

The next Parent-Teacher Organization Meeting is on November 14th , at 7 p.m.  Any parents interested in attending may do so.  Feel free to drop by at 7 p.m. in the school library.

Restaurant Night

Our first restaurant night of the year is this coming Monday, November 13 th , at Rock & Brews.  Restaurant Nights are always a popular event for all families so you don’t want to miss this; it’s also a super easy way to raise funds for the school.  15% of all proceeds will be donated to SLM School.  A Rock & Brews flyer/coupon was sent home in the family envelope this past Tuesday.  The flyer/coupon must be handed to the server in order for the funds to be allocated to our school.  (Note that the flyer has the incorrect date.  The correct date of the fundraiser is November 13th.)  Thank you for supporting our school!!

Thanksgiving Drive

The school’s Annual Thanksgiving Drive is underway.  Your child received a food item to bring to school any time between now and Wednesday, November 15th .  The students may leave their items in their classrooms.  This food drive goes toward the needy in our community and all food collected will be distributed out of the St. Lawrence Martyr Food Pantry during the week of Thanksgiving.

Veteran's Day

This coming Saturday, November 11th , is Veteran’s Day.  The school will be closed on Friday, November 10th , in honor of those who have served our country.  Please join me and the SLM faculty and staff in taking a few moments this weekend to pray for our country and to express gratitude for all those who have and continue to serve our nation.

SLM Teachers

Did you know that our teachers go through at least two formal observations per year and several informal walk-throughs?  Most of the faculty had their first observation this past October.  Here are just a few of the positive remarks given:

  • Group investigation work before introducing the topic was a great way to get the students excited about the lesson.
  • The teacher is well-prepared with everything set up prior to the start of class.
  • Superb patience shown with all students and wonderful positive reinforcement given when deserved.  (This is also an excellent strategy for getting other less cooperative students on board.)
  • The teacher incorporated Christian principles by redirect students to behavior of kindness toward one another.
  • Teacher challenged the students to use “high-level” thinking by directing students to “change the question” to streamline looking up the information.  
  • Students are expected to come in quietly and begin responding to the “Do Now” prompt (Great procedure!)
  • All students knew what they were to be doing at all times (there was no confusion) as your instructions were very clear – notebooks out, pens, pencils ready.
  • Excellent hands-on activity.  (Cut out paper copies of bones and put them together to create organism.  Then draw a picture of what you think the organism looked like.)
  • Thoroughly models the learning activity to be completed
  • Retold the story to check for understanding
  • Verbal, written, and kinesthetic modalities used to teach the lesson
  • The instructional aide was used appropriately for pre-instruction and during instruction
  • Excellent positive feedback to students that speaks to specific skills.
  • Loved the bathroom signal.
  • Excellent use of parent helpers.
  • Great system for randomly calling on students to participate which keeps them engaged and accountable.
  • Students were given a choice to use the method of factoring that they liked best.
  • Great pointing out and correcting common issues with factoring.
  • Great explanation of various math terms.

We are very thankful for our teachers for the care and dedication they give toward educating the SLM students!

Other Information

Athletic Coaches

We’d love to share news about how our teams competed.  Please send any information you have to wrap up the Fall Season to

Mock Trial Team

Won their first round this past Monday.  Their second round competition is this coming Monday, November 13th.  Full details will be sent in a separate email.  Please keep the team in your prayers!

Fun Run Funds

Please turn in your Fun Run pledges by tomorrow, Thursday, November 9th.  They may be brought to the school front office.  Thank you!!

Many thanks to you, our parents, for your continued support in educating the SLM students!

Mrs. Kaiser