By Jim Tortolano
There’s an old saying that advises: Bloom where you’re planted.
On Thursday over 100 educators and others who were planted as students in the Garden Grove Unified School District and later bloomed as employees of the district gathered as part of the “GGUSD Homegrown” celebration.
That’s just a part of the estimated 500 district personnel who are serving as teachers, food service workers, administrators and more in the county’s second-largest school system after having sat in local classrooms.
“They say you can take the person out of the place, but you can’t take the place out of the person,” said Garden Grove Mayor Steve Jones. “In Garden Grove, actually, you can’t do either. So much of our hometown pride comes from the homegrown talent of the GGUSD.”
The event was held in the Community Meeting Center, located across the street from Garden Grove High School. Attendees were welcomed by music provided by the Mariachi Los Vaqueros group from Rancho Alamitos High School.
Addressing the audience were Jones, Superintendent Gabriela Mafi and three members of the GGUSD Board of Education. Culinary creations were provided by culinary students from Bolsa Grande, Santiago and Rancho high schools and food was donated by Doug’s Catering, Jay’s Catering, On the Rocks Bar and Grill and Los Sanchez Mexican Food.
“Your love and loyalty to our district is so inspirational,” said Mafi. “More than anything else, it’s the deep-seated love and loyalty to the district that brings us together. I wish I was home-grown. I grew up in [Los Angeles Unified School District] in South Central and boy, do I wish I was here. It’s the best place to be.”