Coaching Staff
Dave Halushka Head Coach

Coach Halushka grew up in Manhattan Beach where he attended American Martyrs Catholic School, swam for Surfside Swim Team (in the old Costa pool) and was a junior lifeguard. While at Mira Costa, he was a 4-year member of the swim team and water polo programs (100 fly was his event and he swam fly in the Medley Relay). Upon graduation, he earned a BA in Sociology at CSULB. Later, he earned a Special Education Teaching Credential and Master of Arts in Special Education at CSUDH. He is currently a Special Education Teacher here at Mira Costa High School.

He has been the Mira Costa High School boys’ and girls’ varsity water polo assistant coach since 2005. In addition to that, he was the varsity assistant swim coach here at MCHS for Coach Dan Bartlett from 2006- 2009, and has been coaching the frosh-soph swim teams here since 2010. He has also coached club water polo for 10 years.


Christina Paganelli Head Coach

American Swim Coach Association ASCA Level II

Certified Yoga Instruction, 200 hours Yoga Alliance

Bachelor’s in Science, B.Sc. Chemistry

Bachelor’s in Arts, B.A.

Christina grew up in Canada with big aspirations of being a swimmer. Christina began swimming competitively at age 11, and by age 12 was recognized for a number of excellence awards in swimming, and was introduced to national level competitions in both short and long course. Christina swam 19 hours per week until she was forced to take a break because she became ill. For many years the reasons weren’t evident, but in 2003 Christina was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and 6 months later she was overwhelmed with the news that she had stage 4 Thyroid Cancer, which had been growing for 10 years-undetected.     

After available medical procedures were exhausted, Christina had to find a way to survive with the tumors aggressively spreading into her lungs. Christina’s chemistry background led her to think outside the box. She changed her diet, and created an “Elixir” beverage for herself, that not only assisted her health, but earned her numerous Canadian research grants in technology, prestigious recognition for “Innovation in Business”, and an approval to retail her Super Premium Kale Smoothie products at Whole Foods Markets in the USA. In 2012, Christina introduced her fruit and vegetable beverages to over 200 Whole Foods Markets across the USA, and moved to Redondo Beach, to oversee the manufacturing of her products in Carson, CA.

Christina became certified as a lifeguard at age 16, and continued to stay near water working at swimming pools, camps, and beaches for approximately 10 years. She has over 10 years of experience working with children at crisis intervention centers and Level 5 group homes. Christina has been a School Art Docent for 5 years.

Christina has been on the coaching staff of Beach Cities Swimming for 3.5 years, and enjoys coaching all ages and levels. She also has 3 years experience as an assistant coach at Mira Costa High School.

In 2003 Christina earned a Bachelor of Science degree (Chemistry), and a Bachelor of Arts degree (Art History). She is certified in ASCA Level II, and a certified yoga instructor, 200Hours.

She is highly self motivated, enjoys business, yoga, ocean swimming, meditating, and dogs. Her history of recovery from 2 life threatening illnesses, incorporating proactive health and wellness, provides inspiration to many people of all ages.  

Christina has a husband (Rob) and two children (Antonio, 14) and (Giulia, 12) who love swimming, soccer, and spending time at the beach surfing and swimming under the California sun.

Melissa Krauth Assistant Coach
Mona Stone Assistant Coach
Heidi Nelson Assistant Coach