Heroes w/out capes for schools

ASSISTANCE LEAGUE of Garden Grove leaders were honored at Tuesday’s meeting of the Garden Grove Unified School District (Orange County Tribune photos by Lauren DeMaria).

By Lauren DeMaria

The Garden Grove Unified School District Board of Education expressed gratitude for two groups of “Community Heroes” at Tuesday night’s meeting for their contributions to the community.

The first community “hero” that was honored is a non-profit organization, the Garden Grove Assistance League, which has been recognized for its substantial impact on the community, particularly during difficult times.

“When one of our families lost all of their belongings in a house fire, the Assistance League graciously sprang into action, providing all family members with clothing, shoes, and emergency supplies,” said Public Information Officer Abby Broyles during the staff presentation. “This is only one powerful example of how in the midst of tragedy, the Assistance League provided a beacon of kindness and hope.”

SCHOOL RESOURCE officers from the GGPD were also honored at Tuesday’s meeting of the GGUSD board.

Additionally, the Garden Grove Police Department School Resource team including Sergeant Jon Wainwright; Corporal Adam Zmija; Officer Derek Link; Officer Patrick Julienne; Officer Rene Barraza; and Officer Julio Cortez; were acknowledged for their significant services.

“The work of this team to ensure the safety of our staff and students is immeasurable,” said Broyles. “Already this year, they have returned stolen tricycles to kindergarten students, tracked down stolen athletic gear, prevented dangerous individuals from entering our campuses, aided in medical emergencies, managed safety threats, and much more,” she added.

“I want to congratulate our community heroes, our Assistance League, and our district police officers, for their partnership,” said board member, Teri Rocco. “We need our community partners in order to serve our families and students.”

Bus drivers, teachers, and parents also voiced their concerns during the meeting regarding salary increases, hiring more staff to provide social and emotional support for students due to the pandemic, and the mask mandate.

“I’m very grateful that you all have come out to speak to us here at the board meeting and I do want to make sure you are all being listened to and all the things you say we will take into consideration in our conversation among our leadership staff,” said Board President Lan Quoc Nguyen.

The GGUSD is a K-12 district serving most of Garden Grove and parts of Anaheim, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Santa Ana, Stanton and Westminster.


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