GGUSD Music and Arts Educators Receive County Recognition

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The 2021 Orange County Music and Arts Administrators recognized five Garden Grove Unified School District (GGUSD) educators for making a difference in the lives of students through arts education during a special virtual awards ceremony on May 12. 


GGUSD educators represented five of the 26 award recipients and include:

  • Karen Doles, Visual Arts Teacher at Rancho Alamitos High School
  • Matt Franklin, Teacher on Special Assignment, Visual Art
  • Emily Helmick, Vocal Music Teacher at Eisenhower and Violette elementary schools
  • David Martyn, Instrumental Music Teacher at Allen, Patton and Marshall elementary schools, received the Irene Schoepfle Award for distinguished career contributions for his leadership to GGUSD’s elementary instrumental music team.
  • Patricia Neff, Eisenhower Elementary School sixth grade teacher, received the Juliana McGrath Award, for integrating arts instruction across curriculum. Patricia was nominated due to her work in leading the Disney Musicals in Schools program at Eisenhower Elementary School.


“GGUSD is proud of these outstanding educators who are dedicated to enriching the lives of students through high quality music and art programs,” said Board of Education Trustee Dina Nguyen. “We know that participating in art and music in school provides numerous benefits to students’ academic and personal growth.”  


At GGUSD, Visual and Performing Arts programs are offered at all schools. Every transitional kindergarten through sixth grade student receives weekly music instruction and 7-12 enrollment in VAPA exceeds the state average.  Our students have opportunities to participate in classes in photography, art, and graphic design; music ensembles, theater and dance productions, and a variety of extra-curricular clubs in the Visual and Performing Arts.

The Orange County Music and Arts Educator Awards are presented annually to teachers and administrators who guide and direct arts programs at schools throughout the county including music, theater, visual arts, and dance.


GGUSD nominees also included Darlene Machacon, elementary vocal music teacher; Anabel Pauline, Los Amigos vocal music teacher; and Richie Sebastian, La Quinta high school instrumental music teacher.