The Garden Grove Unified School District on Monday and Tuesday graduated the Class of 2017 with more than 3,300 seniors who leave GGUSD’s eight high schools with plans for a bright future.
Garden Grove High School co-valedictorian Marissa Garcia plans to attend Harvard University and will major in integrative biology and English with the goal of becoming a marine biology professor and co-valedictorian Jennifer Ailes will major in mathematics at UCLA. The school’s salutatorian Tricia Viveros will attend Yale and major in English literature with plans to become a writer or journalist.
Bolsa Grande High School co-valedictorian Alex Nguyen will attend UCLA in the fall and major in applied mathematics. He is also a National Merit Finalist, a recipient of the UCLA Stamps Scholarship and Edison Scholarship, and was a member of Bolsa Grande’s drum line, yearbook club, and orchestra. Co-valedictorian Kaycee Pham will attend the University of California, Berkley in the fall to major in electrical engineering and computer science.
Of the Class of 2017 graduates, 1,037 have been accepted to a University of California or California State University school. GGUSD students consistently beat the county and state average on completion of rigorous a-g college entrance exams.
“Garden Grove Unified School District has a longstanding reputation for offering students strong academic courses paired with a robust visual and performing arts program,” said Lan Nguyen, Board of Education President. “We hear over and over from students that they feel prepared to accomplish ambitious goals and make a difference in the world around them.”
La Quinta High School valedictorian Caroline Nguyen will attend the University of California, Irvine in the fall as a biological sciences major and is proud of receiving the Regent’s Scholarship at three other UC schools.
Los Amigos valedictorian Kim Hoang Nguyen completed ten Advanced Placement classes, earned and AP Scholar with Distinction award, and was accepted to six UC schools. She decided on UCLA and will major in Biochemistry with plans to become a radiologist or anesthesiologist.
More than 1,600 seniors took more than 4,000 AP courses this year. 49% of seniors completed one or more AP courses. The Class of 2017 also has 436 students who earned the Seal of Biliteracy and have become fluent in two or more languages, an important skill needed for good-paying careers in the 21st century.
Pacifica High School’s valedictorian Margaret Gallagher will attend Loyola Marymount University, major in English, and start the journey to become a university professor. Not only did she maintain a 4.0 grade point average while playing on the varsity basketball team, Gallagher was an AP National Scholar Award winner and enjoyed participating in Pacifica’s AP Chemistry Demolition Show.
Rancho Alamitos High School valedictorian Cynthia Vu is a Questbridge Scholar, an AP Scholar with Honor and Distinction, and plans to attend Princeton University. She enjoyed serving as President of Rancho’s Red Cross Club and earning CPR certification to help those in need.
Santiago High School valedictorian Sarah Phung is also an AP Scholar with Distinction, and will attend University of California, Berkley as a Biochemistry major in the fall with plans to become a neuro or cardio surgeon. Santiago High School’s salutatorian Edith Jimenez received several prestigious scholarships, and has earned straight A’s since the seventh grade. She was a member of the school’s AVID program and received the AVID Scholarship. She plans to attend UCLA to study Computer Engineering.
All of GGUSD’s intermediate and high schools offered AVID and two of our schools were named AVID National Demonstration Schools.