May 14, 2018
#GGUSDPRIDE E-newsletter
The #GGUSDPride E-newsletter features many of the great things happening in GGUSD.   
Send your photos to to highlight your school or students in the e-newsletter.
America's Best High Schools
All seven of GGUSD's comprehensive high schools earned a spot on the U.S. News and World Report's elite rankings of America's Best High Schools in 2018. 

U.S. News and World Report analyzes the data of more than 20,000 public high schools across the country and awards gold, silver, or bronze medals to the top 5,948 public high schools based on performance on state assessments, graduation rates, and college readiness success. GGUSD high schools, including Bolsa Grande, Garden Grove, Los Amigos, La Quinta, Pacifica, Rancho Alamitos, and Santiago received top state and national ranks and silver medals, awarded to the top 2,211 high schools. For the first time, La Quinta High School ranked in the top 100 high schools in the state as No. 94 statewide and No. 554 nationally. 
Celebrating International Cultures
Monroe Elementary Language Academy's PTA hosted International Day last week to celebrate cultural traditions from across the globe. Students performed cultural dances, held a fashion show, enjoyed great food and fun games, and showcased their school work to families and community members.  #GGUSDPride
Award-Winning Educators

The Orange County Music and Arts Administrators recognized three GGUSD educators for making a difference in the lives of students through arts education during a special awards ceremony at Segerstrom Center for the Arts on May 9. Eric Simons, instrumental teacher at Irvine Intermediate School; Darci Gibson, K-6 music teacher at Paine Elementary School and Mark Twain Special Education Center; and Marcie Griffith, p rincipal of Murdy Elementary School, were recognized. GGUSD has always had a successful Visual and Performing Arts Program thanks to awesome educators/administrators like these three!
Eisenhower Honors Teacher of Year
Eisenhower Elementary School honored teacher Jennifer Zarkades, one of our Orange County Teacher of the Year nominees. Schools First Federal Credit Union representatives will recognize Jennifer along with other classified and certificated employees at Angel Stadium for School Employee Appreciation Night.
Engineering at Enders

These first grade students from Enders Elementary School put their engineering skills to work in this fun STEAM bridge-building project. Students researched how to build the strongest bridge based on sustainability and weight, constructed their bridges, tested the strength, and reported their findings.  #ChooseGGUSD
Russell Scholars See STEAM in Action

A group of Russell Elementary students participated in a unique mentorship program with Blizzard Entertainment and received the opportunity to tour the company's headquarters in Irvine last week. Students began the day by engaging in a fun STEAM project creating their own video game character, and enjoyed the tour of Blizzard learning about potential career opportunities. The partnership was made possible through the school's GRIP program. 
A Collaborative Culture
Last week, GGUSD PTA Council, Community Advisory Committee, Parent & Community Outreach, and the Office of Special Education partnered with the nonprofit group TASK to offer a workshop to parents about the special education assessment process. GGUSD fosters a collaborative culture and continues to increase opportunities for parents to attend workshops and get engaged in our schools.
Excited about Reading

Thomas Paine Elementary School is raising readers! These students are thrilled with the books they chose at the Book Fair during Open House on May 10. GGUSD schools offer a variety of free tutoring and enrichment opportunities to help students become strong readers.
Jordan Students Excel in Pentathlon

Jordan Intermediate School students advanced to Division 1 this year in the Orange County Academic Pentathlon competition. With two eighth grade teams in the competition, Jordan had several medalists and a first place in Social Science by Katie Garcia. The two teams placed fourth in super quiz and fourth and fifth overall.
Amazing Art Opportunities at Carrillo

Students are benefiting from some amazing enrichment opportunities at Leo Carrillo Elementary. Students from Mrs. Wong’s after school art class had more than 25 pieces selected to show at the Imagination Celebration at South Coast Plaza. Six have been selected to be shown at the Pageant of the Masters. Mrs. Kovac’s art program served our students with special needs who participated in OCDE’s VSA (Very Special Arts) program. Art work was displayed at the Main Place Mall as well as the Laguna Arts Festival
Evans Distinguished School Celebration

Evans Elementary School hosted a fun school-wide event to celebrate being named a California 2018 Distinguished School for academic excellence and meeting the needs of all students. Evans families enjoyed food and fun, including a photo station to commemorate the occasion.
Out of This World Teacher Appreciation
Alamitos Intermediate School hosted a week of fun festivities for Teacher Appreciation Week, kicking off early with "Salsa Wars," to celebrate Friday, May 4th. Teacher Appreciation week officially blasted off on Monday, May 7th for a week-long galactic odyssey filled with treats provided by school administrators, office staff, AVID parents, PTO, and National Junior Honor Society students. On Monday, teachers enjoyed Galactic Sundaes and Rocket Fuel Floats and on Tuesday, AVID parents provided Blast Off Breakfast Treats to start the day. There was an Alien Taco Bar on Wednesday, Space Junk Goodie Bags on Thursday, and a Space Roving Snack Cart on Friday. The festivities helped show Alamitos teachers they are truly "out of this world!"
Superintendent's Star Wars Spirit

Superintendent Gabriela Mafi and Board of Education Vice President Lan Nguyen visited Faylane Elementary School on May 4 - Star Wars Day. Dr. Mafi was quick to show her Star Wars spirit by getting into costume.
Open House at Mark Twain

 Families enjoyed visiting with teachers and a showcase of student work at the Mark Twain Special Educator Center Open House recently. All GGUSD schools host open house events in the spring to help promote strong partnerships with parents.