Weekly roundup: Loara High retires jersey of softball alum, county names classified employees of the year, and more

After playing professional softball and competing in the Olympic games, former Loara High School softball star Lauren Lappin returned to home plate to have her jersey retired at a ceremony held March 20.

(Courtesy of Anaheim Union High School District)

During the special event attended by friends and Loara families, Lappin spoke about her successful career in softball and shared her advice on being a woman in sports. The Orange County Register reported that four members of the Saxons softball squad addressed Lappin’s impact as a role model and inspiration for a league of young female athletes.

Lappin, now an assistant softball coach at the University of Arizona, was named the Orange County Register’s female athlete of the year in 2002. After graduating high school, she went on to earn many accolades at Stanford University, becoming a two-time Pac-10 defensive player of the year and later winning a silver medal for Team USA at the 2008 Olympics.

“I’ve never taken lightly my role in impacting young women to be empowered to be their best self through this sport,” Lappin said at the event. “Everything that you young women said, it’s my daily goal and I now have a reminder of how special and important that is.”

One Loara student thanked Lappin for the standard she has set for her and all female softball players, according to the Register.

As the ceremony came to a close, the former professional softball player greeted a long line of students wearing her number, taking time to pose for pictures, sign autographs and exchange hugs. A special banner with Lappin’s No. 37 was unveiled to event attendees in the school gym and will be placed on display at Loara’s softball field.

Here are the other stories we’ve been following this week:

  • The Westminster School District Board of Education voted Thursday to appoint its new superintendent, Dr. Gunn Marie Hansen, who previously served in the same role for the Orange Unified School District.
Marina High School students beautification project
  • The Helping Hands club at Marina High School in Huntington Beach recently welcomed spring by planting flowers and shrubs around campus to kick off its beautification project.
  • Costa Mesa middle and high school students sketched and painted portraits of Ukrainian children for this year’s installment of the nonprofit Memory Project, connecting classroom arts programs with children facing hardship around the world.
  • Garden Grove Unified eighth-grader Jayden Ham has taken on a new role as the star of “Bossy Bear,” Nickelodeon’s new animated preschool series.
  • On March 22 and March 23, teams of Orange County high school students tested their construction skills by building structures based on original designs during the 38th annual Design Build Competition at Golden West College.
  • A student-created app that combines study techniques with a timer to increase productivity and reduce mental burnout will be presented to Congress by three Garden Grove High School juniors in April.
  • Capistrano Unified student Edward Reising was presented with an award at a recent San Juan Capistrano City Council meeting for his courage and resilience in overcoming a brain tumor.
  • Anaheim High School celebrated its 125th anniversary on March 16 by unveiling a new school logo and announcing a $2 million community project fund to restore its auditorium.

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