Pacifica High School administrators, civics teachers, and students were thrilled to provide a Mariner’s welcome to Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye last week for a special ceremony to celebrate the school earning the prestigious Civic Learning Award of Excellence.
Before the ceremony began, Pacifica students hosted a Civics Showcase to highlight their work in areas like political action, non-profit community service, poll working, and close reading which allows students to separate facts from fake news. Students were excited to describe their experiences volunteering with political campaigns and developing a school-wide recycling campaign and enjoyed interacting with local elected officials, county education leaders, GGUSD Board of Education members, and community members.
“Congratulations to Pacifica High School on earning the state’s top honor for civic education,” said Board of Education President Lan Nguyen. “Our students are the next generation of community leaders and it is wonderful to see their enthusiasm for getting involved and making a difference.”
During the ceremony, local leaders congratulated Pacifica High School on this exceptional accomplishment. Congratulatory remarks were provided by Garden Grove Unified School Board President Lan Nguyen, Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) Director of Humanities Dennis Cole, OCDE Board Member Rebecca Gomez, Garden Grove City Councilman Kris Beard, and former mayor of Garden Grove Bao Nguyen.
Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye presented Pacifica Principal Robin Patterson along with civics teachers Adam Wemmer, Drew Devoy, and Leslie Ross with the Award of Excellence plaque and praised the students and teachers for embracing civic engagement. Pacifica High School senior Megan McCall, who won the American Soapbox Challenge earlier this year, gave inspiring remarks about the importance of civic education and the difference it has made in her life.