Weekly roundup: Power soccer players wow Marina High students, OC Civic Learning Celebration, and more

MHS and LASC power soccer team
Marina High School students and staff showed their support for sophomore student AJ Lopez and his power soccer team on March 28. (Courtesy of Huntington Beach Union High School District)

All eyes were on Marina High School sophomore student AJ Lopez as he zipped down the basketball court in his wheelchair during a power soccer game on March 28. 

Held on campus during fourth period and lunch, school leaders invited classes to watch AJ and his teammates from LASC, a national championship-winning United States Power Soccer Association team, play a game with school administrator leaders like Principal Dr. Morgan Smith. 

Marina High School sophomore AJ Lopez
Student AJ Lopez

The association’s mission and hope is that all persons who use power wheelchairs will have the opportunity to play and experience power soccer. Athletes’ disabilities include quadriplegia, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy and many others.

AJ is living with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness. The sophomore is involved in many campus activities and is a member of the yearbook committee. 

The school administration encouraged students to attend the game to support their fellow Viking in his passion and emphasized the importance of school spirit and building a compassionate community.

“It was truly an honor and privilege to not only watch them compete in the sport that they love, but to also play with them in one of the power chairs,” said Assistant Principal of Activities Ashleigh Naughton. “They are an amazing group of young men that forever left a mark on our hearts.”

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

Seal of Civic Engagement
  • The local Association of California School Administrators unveiled its list of 18 exemplary educational leaders who will be honored at an in-person event in May.
  • Newport-Mesa Unified and the city of Costa Mesa hosted an event designed to give girls and young women the opportunity to meet and talk to local women working in the engineering field.
Westminster School District leaders welcome Superintendent Dr. Gunn Marie Hansen
  • An eighth grader from McAuliffe Middle School who has volunteered for beach cleanups and made scarves for residents at a local hospice is on a mission to complete 100 hours of community service during this school year.
  • Parents of a first-grader in Orange Unified filed a lawsuit alleging that the school board majority violated California’s Brown Act, the Register reported.
  • The Irvine Unified School District held an Abilities Awareness Fair with hopes of teaching elementary school-aged children to instill empathy and foster compassion.
Mika Ikemori
Marina High School tennis player Mika Ikemori (Courtesy of the Tennis Channel)
  • Marina High School is suspending all activities on the football field after a shorebird known as a killdeer landed there and laid a handful of eggs on the artificial turf.
  • On a mission to build more female representation in science and engineering fields, Los Alamitos High School senior Sarah Saadeh gives one-hour STEM lessons to girls in second to sixth grade each week.

This is the part where we encourage you to keep up with local education news stories by bookmarking the OCDE Newsroomsubscribing for emailed updates and following us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.