GGUSD Students Graduate with Academic Accolades and Skills for Lifelong Success

Santiago grads

More than 3,300 high school seniors from Garden Grove Unified School District (GGUSD) graduated from the district’s eight high schools during commencement ceremonies held June 13 and June 14. The Class of 2019 has an impressive list of academic accolades and exciting plans for college, career, and lifelong success.

Among the Class of 2019, 1,050 students report that they have chosen to attend a UC or CSU school.  GGUSD students consistently beat the county and stage average on completion of rigorous a-g college entrance exams. 

Students in the Class of 2019 finished high school with more than 7,800 Advanced Placement courses completed and 57% of GGUSD seniors completed one or more AP course, many with college credits already under their belts.

“Every year, we are impressed with the caliber of our graduates and we are proud of all they have accomplished during their educational careers in GGUSD,” said Board of Education President Lan Nguyen.  “The future looks bright with GGUSD graduates ready to tackle exciting career goals and rising up as the next generation of community leaders.”

During the commencement ceremonies, GGUSD students and families heard from valedictorians who reflected on their high school experience and looked ahead to exciting futures.  Bolsa Grande High School valedictorian Jamie Vu is a National Merit Commended Scholar, trilingual in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese, and will attend UCLA in the fall to major in Psychobiology. 

Garden Grove High School co-valedictorian Nghiem Pham earned a full ride to MIT where he will major in linguistics with the career goal of becoming a college professor and researcher. Garden Grove High School co-valedictorian Anabella Pham excelled in the Orange County Mock Trial program, and will attend UCLA in the fall to major in political science with plans for a life of public service as an elected official or judge.

The Class of 2019 boasts an impressive 35 National Merit Scholars and 1,225 seniors earned the Golden State Seal Merit Diploma demonstrating mastery in at least six subject areas. 

For the second year in a row, all seven comprehensive high schools were named to U.S. News and World Report’s elite rankings as America’s Best High Schools. 

GGUSD is committed to equipping students with the academic and personal skills for lifelong success, teaching students about motivation, grit and perseverance. Hare High School valedictorian Angel Pivaral demonstrated perseverance coming to the United States from Guatemala his sophomore year knowing very little English, but mastering his goal of graduating on time with a 4.0.  He plans to attend Cypress College with a goal of transferring to a four-year university to major in Biology and become a surgeon.

Several of GGUSD’s valedictorians aspire to pursue careers in the medical field including La Quinta High School’s Hillary Nguyen who will attend Yale in the fall to major in neuroscience and was selected as one of 300 students nationwide to receive a four-year full-ride Gates Scholarship.  Katherine Ngo from La Quinta High School will attend UCLA to major in microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics; Los Amigos High School valedictorian Tiffany Tran will attend UCI to major in biological sciences with a goal of becoming an emergency room doctor; and Rancho Alamitos valedictorian Jennifer Nguyen who will attend University of California, San Diego to major in bioengineering/biotechnology with plans to go into genetic research.

Pacifica High School valedictorian Andrew Huynh will attend UCLA to major in Aerospace Engineering with the goal of becoming a spacecraft engineer and Santiago High School valedictorian Quyen Nguyen major in computer science at University of California, San Diego with plans to develop a start-up software company.