On July 18, 2009, 160 Los Al Class of '79 classmates and guests joined together for a memorable and high spirited 30-year reunion at Old Ranch Country Club. From the moment people arrived the room was bustling with hugs, high fives, laughter, and reminiscing. Classmates reunited with old friends and made new ones. Many were thankful for the large nametags adorned with yearbook senior photos to help us recognize one another! In the room we had a Griffin memorabilia table filled with flexible scheduling schedules, mascot outfit, copies of our school newspaper, and photos from past reunions, among other keepsakes. The 30-year reunion keepsake booklets were given out to those who ordered them...everyone LOVED the look and contents of the booklet! So much so, that orders for more poured in after the reunion.

After the cocktail hour, we took a huge class photo...see above. The remainder of the evening we joined for a steak and chicken dinner, watched a few funny and special videos submitted by classmates, took a look back at the year 1979, and gave out awards (see recipients below). We also announced that we had raised $2,500 and presented the ceremonial check to a Los Alamitos High School administrator who came to our reunion to thank us for our Griffins Give Back philanthropy effort for student scholarships. (WE'RE STILL ACCEPTING DONATIONS TO THE PHILANTHROPY...mail your donations in to the same address below and let us know if you are donating in memory of a dear classmate.)

We recognized with appreciation those classmates who have served in the military, and remembered other classmates who had passed far too young. We concluded the event with a live band comprised of some of our fellow classmates who played 1970's tunes and some original ones, as well. They rocked the house! A number of classmates then went over to the Ayres Hotel where many were staying and we continued to gab until 4 a.m.

Old Ranch Country Club staff noted that our event was the most spirited reunion they had ever seen. And many in our class commented on how young and vibrant we all were! It was like a blast back to '79! Just like 30-years ago, our Los Al Class of '79 is full of special classmates who make reunions such a enjoyable and memorable occasion!

On a personal note, the highlight was seeing so many smiles and also seeing people who had never known one another during high school introduce themselves at this reunion. The energy in the room was amazing!

Thank You Notes

Tiffany and I had a fantastic time at our Class of '79 reunion, and, guessing by the high-octane conversations that flooded the country club banquet room, it appears we were not the only ones to do so. I want to thank you, Keri, and everyone else on the reunion committee: Richard, Sue Hamer, Sue Procter, Susan Cramer, Matt, Dana, Gail, and Dan -- as well as anyone else who has served on past committees (Irene, Kelli, Kim, Sonya, Debra, Kevin, and Julie are the ones that come to mind, and I know there are more). I hope all my kindred Griffins appreciate how lucky our class is to have had such consistently stellar reunion events. It's plain to see that a lot of care, thought and time went into selecting the venue and menu, tracking people down, scheduling the activities, budgeting, writing the invitation and survey, updating website info, decorating, assembling name tags, processing/sorting/filtering all the personal data, and creating such a beautiful memory book--even as some of us delayed sending in our stuff till the last possible moment! To me, the most colorful threads of life's crazy fabric are the connections we create and weave with other people. So the work you have all done is incredibly important: you have set the stage for helping us to make and maintain those connections. For me, every reunion has been a wonderful life memory, a fun and meaningful time to spend with really cool people I would otherwise have likely never seen again. Thank you for the gift you have all given to us.
~ Debbie Chaddock

Hi Keri,
Got the keepsake book today -- it looks fabulous! Great job on that! You and your committee members make reunions fun even when I'm not there. Thanks.
~ Larry Kawano



Most remarkable/thrilling/daring achievement accomplished?

Mark Schaffer – Climbed Half Dome  - Winner
Dana Spiegel – Climbed Mt. Whitney – highest mountain in US
Pictured with award emcee, Gail Matalon.

Honorable Mentions:
Debbie Chaddock – Bungee jumped 440 ft. at New Zealand′s Highest Bungee
Steven Spiller – Recorded a record album
Diana Wade – zipline in Maui
Lori Gasteiger – Repelled 80 foot waterfalls in Costa Rica
Steve Smith – Taking over 50 pieces of glass out of someone′s eye
David Sloan – Ironman Triathlon
Mary Ann Escalante – as Deputy District Attorney, received 3 death verdicts

Number of children? Grandchildren? Number went/go to Los Al H.S.

Letitia Taintor – 3 children, and 7 grandchildren
Pictured with award emcees Gail Matalon and Susan Cramer.

Contests you have won and/or records you have broken?

Debbie Chaddock – ′88 U.S. Olympic Sport Festival Marathon, numerous marathons

Honorable Mentions:
Steven Spiller – Several motorcycle racing trophies
Sheri Gall – 2007 Mixed Doubles Tennis Tournament 4.0
Lisa Cooper – Arm wrestling
Keri Barnett – PR Person of the Year in Orange County (2005) Award Recipient
Kathy Katzaroff – Newlywed Game, Family Feud
Gayle L Crider – 1 full marathon and 6 half-marathons – all after the age of 42
Mike Ellard – Track record racing motorcycle in Willow Springs

If you have already had your ′15 minutes of fame′ what was it?

Melanie Rook – Photographed two Presidents – photos appeared in Life Magazine

David Lily – Protected President Reagan
Ty Smith – 7 NASA Field Expeditions

Honorable Mention:
Keri Barnett – Being interviewed by Wolf Blitzer that aired on CNN Broadcast, also received commendation directly from First Lady Barbara Bush (during George Bush SR. presidency) for innovating and leading campaign re: literacy.


1st Place Foursome Team:
Steve Smith, David Sloan, Bob Rude, Mark Davis
(Pictured l-r Mark, Rob, Steve, Matt Wilkins)
Golf Tournament Chair and Award Emcee - Matt Wilkins.

Tim Reis won closest to the pin on #4 and was awarded a gift certificate card.
Paul Imamoto won closest to the pin on #16 – and was also awarded a prize.



On February 23, 2010 the videographer finished the reunion DVD. The DVD will be mailed out in the next week to those who ordered a copy. Thank you so much for your patience!



Thank you to all who have sent us thank you emails since the reunion AND to those who offered your gratitude in person at the reunion. We were happy to help plan this fun and meaningful event!

As shared at the reunion, we are fortunate to have had an amazing planning committee.
Those who helped plan this 30-year reunion really did a beautiful job.
As your chair, I was honored to work with:
Matt Wilkins - Coordinated all aspects of golf tournament, Missing Classmate Search, video presentation
Gail Matalon - Classmate Survey, Awards, Missing Classmate Search (her husband, Michael, did the nametags)
Dana Spiegel - Handled all venue logistics before and night of, helped with nametags
Richard Hatakeyama - Served as our reunion treasurer handling all checks, expenses, budgeting, videographer/photographer at golf tournament
Sue Procter - Assisted with memory keepsake book, designed and coordinated entire invitation mailing
Susan Hamer - Oversaw decorations and she & her family underwrote decorations and save-date postage
Sue Cramer - Assisted with awards, Missing Classmate Search
Dan Szilagyi - Updated our Website weekly (and sometimes daily), big help with clean up after event

A special thank you also to Steven Spiller, Joey Leon, and Mike Alvarez whose music truly rocked our reunion! AND, Cliff Parsons for his ongoing generosity and kindness to help us behind the scenes throughout our planning.

We also need to thank Los Al H.S. Class of '80 (Liz Wilk, Kim Rivard, and Suzanne LeBrun) who handled our entire registration check-in process so we could be with our class enjoying our reunion!

I've been honored to chair the reunion once again! It's wonderful to be part of the Los Al H.S. Class of '79!

~ Keri Barnett


Many have recommended we keep our Website up to announce things from time to time.
Thus, we plan to do that! We'll let you know when we post 30-year reunion photos and updates.

We also plan to include announcements about Los Al High School things from time to time - like the Taste of Los Al that attracts 3,000+ people in late fall each year - it serves as a mini-reunion as classes set up booths/awnings for their particular year so look for class of '79 this October!


AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, please email us any updates about your street/email address if you move so we can be sure to invite you to future reunions.


Look Who Came to the Reunion!

(Listed by maiden name)

Mike Alvarez Richie Austin & guest Keri Barnett & guest Michael Barrett & guest Bill Baxendell & guest
Judy Benoit David Bergman Sonya Branson Leslie Briscoe Cyndi Cabe & guest
Debbie Chaddock & guest Francisco "Chico" Chanes Terri Conkle Lisa Cooper Susan Cramer
Gayle Crider Danielle Craven Holly Crawford Clark Davis Mark Davis
Jeff DeGraaff & guest Susan DeLoss Mike Ellard Mary Ann Escalante & guest Katie Fisher
Robyn Foreman Tami Francis & guest Sheri Gall Jerry Garver & guest Glenn Garvin & guest
Lori Gasteiger & guest Chris Hall Susan Hamer Richard Hatakeyama & guest Ho Ho & guest
Donia Hodge & guest Matt Horan & Elissa Laskin Cyndy Hoskins & guest Andy Houck & guest Brad Howard & guest
Valerie Hufford Paul Imamoto & guest Mike Kaltenthaler & guest Kathy Katzaroff Karen Kearey
Brenda Kerby David Kerr Eddie Kesky & guest Greg Kivlen & guest Greg Larson
Mike LeBrun & guest Joey Leon & guest David Lilley & guest Joseph N. Lotts & guest Irene Magdaug
Bob Martin Jeff Mason & guest Gail Matalon & guest Kelli McCrackin & guest Ned Millett
Sue Minaker & guest Gary Minard & guest Karen Mock & guest Vicki Nash Carole Nunes & guest
Cliff Parsons Maria Perez Debbie Potter & guest Howard Pritchett & guest Sue Procter
Tim Reis Tricia Ritchie Tracy Roberts & guest Melanie Rook Bob Rude
Kevin Schaaf Mark Schaffer Shelly Shelton & guest Art Siliceo Steve Smith & guest
Ty Smith Cindy Solano & guest Dana Spiegel Steven Spiller & guest Alison Stapakis & guest
Paul Sullivan Dan Szilagyi & guest Letitia Taintor & guest Laura Taylor Debra Thompson & guest
Jamie Thompson & guest Kim Thornberry Kevin Turner Michael Uebel & guest Tammy Vali
Erica Vollmer Diana Wade & guest Cheryl Warner & guest Kevin Welch & guest Merriann Westney & guest
Laura Wilkins Matt Wilkins & guest Michael Womack