Weekly roundup: City Council recognizes two Garden Grove Unified students, Laguna Beach High senior to sing national anthem, and more

GGUSD Phillip Nguyen and James Nguyen
Students Phillip Nguyen and James Nguyen were honored by the Garden Grove City Council during a meeting on Feb. 14. (Photo courtesy of Garden Grove Unified)

The Garden Grove City Council brought attention to two scholars from Garden Grove Unified and their achievements during a meeting this week.

Bolsa Grande High School junior Phillip Nguyen was selected by the U.S. Department of State to participate in the National Security Language Initiative for Youth program, which provides critical language study overseas and equips students with the linguistic skills and cultural knowledge to become leaders in a globalized world.

Phillip competed with thousands of applicants from high schools across the country and was one of more than 100 students to earn a scholarship. He aspires to become a U.S. diplomat in the Foreign Service.

The council also recognized La Quinta High School senior James Nguyen, who was accepted into the prestigious Rise Global Winners program after developing a prototype for an early cancer-detecting toothbrush.

James said he felt called to conduct this research after his grandmother died from cancer a short time after he emigrated to the U.S. from Vietnam, where she lived.

“We are so proud of both of you,” said Council member Cindy Tran. “We are impressed by all of your accomplishments. Good luck and best wishes from all of us.”

Here are the other stories we’ve been following this week:

Woodbridge High School Academic Decathlon team
Woodbridge High School’s Academic Decathlon Team
  • Students as young as transitional kindergarteners will soon be learning and speaking Mandarin in the Anaheim Elementary School District, which is expanding its dual language immersion program for the 2023-24 academic year.
  • Students in Laguna Beach had the opportunity to listen to and learn from the artistic director of the Laguna Beach Music Festival and a professional violinist this week. The duo played famous pieces and fielded questions from the inquisitive students.
  • The Orange County Board of Education is expected to vote on whether to approve a charter school’s request to expand and to establish a new campus in Cypress within the Los Alamitos Unified School District.
Estancia High School theater project rendering
  • The final design renderings of the new 20,000-square-foot performing arts complex at Estancia High School were unveiled to Newport-Mesa Unified officials. The new building will feature a 250-seat theater, green room, lobby and other rooms.
  • Orange Unified School District interim Superintendent Edward Velasquez announced his departure after being appointed six weeks ago. As the OC Register reported, the executive cabinet will lead the district while the school board begins the process of hiring a permanent superintendent.

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