Message from the Superintendent

June 4, 2021

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In this Message

  • Celebrating our Retirees
  • In Our Schools: Class of 2021 High School Academic Achievement Recognitions
  • Student Board Members
  • Employee of the Month: Jennifer Cardenas
  • EDGE Community Partnership Award: CARE Ambulance
  • Measure S Update
  • Instructional Materials Review
  • Emergency Broadband Benefit Program
  • Celebrating the Class of 2021
  • Job Opportunities

Upcoming Events

  • June 9: Middle & High School Minimum Day
  • June 9 & 10: High School Graduation Ceremonies
  • June 10: Last Day of Instruction/Minimum Day

Dear OUSD Community,

June is a month marked with many significant events at Orange Unified School District. This past week, we had the honor of celebrating our nearly 200 retirees at a wonderful ceremony at Fred Kelly Stadium. The event was live-streamed on the OUSD YouTube channel and is available below. While we will miss our retiring friends and colleagues, we wish them all the best as they transition to a new chapter in their lives. We congratulate our retirees and thank them for their years of dedication and service to the students of Orange Unified.

Thank You to the 2021 Orange Unified Retirees
2021 Orange Unified School District Retiree Celebration

At last night’s Board of Education Meeting, we also recognized students, staff, and the community for their excellence. Our high school seniors were recognized for outstanding scholastic achievement at their respective high schools. This year’s graduates from the District’s four comprehensive high schools are among the most competitive and talented group of students in our District and have set the bar high in both the classroom and the community.

Canyon High School

  • Matthew Cheng is graduating from Canyon High School with a 5.04 GPA and will be attending University of California, Los Angeles majoring in History. He is unsure of his future plans but Pre-Med, History and English are areas of interest. Matthew represented Canyon with excellence in the classroom, in the community and on athletic and academic competition teams. Matthew's dedication to being a well-rounded student athlete makes him the type of role model we want our younger students to look up to.
  • Masin Kearney is graduating from Canyon High School with a 5.0 GPA and will attend Oxford College of Emory University to major in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology and minor in Spanish. She plans to one day become a physician. Whether in the classroom, on the athletic fields or in the community, Masin exemplifies the Canyon commitment to excellence. Her dedication to being a well-rounded student athlete is what makes her exactly the type of young adult we want representing Canyon High School.
  • Connor Quinn is graduating from Canyon High School with a 5.0 GPA and will be attending Chapman University where he’s been awarded several scholarships including the prestigious Presidential Scholarship. He will enter Chapman University as a student in the Pre-Pharmacy Early Assurance Program - an accelerated program where he can earn his Doctor of Pharmacy in five years. Connor’s commitment in and out of the classroom is evident by his many accomplishments during his years at Canyon High School. Connor is a perfect example of what a student athlete should be during high school and we are proud to have him represent Canyon High School.

El Modena High School

  • Kady Hong is graduating from El Modena High School with a 4.86 GPA. She will be attending University of California, Los Angeles majoring in Immunology Molecular Genetics. Upon completing her undergraduate degree her ultimate goal is to attend medical school to become a neurologist or anesthesiologist. Kady’s life goal is to work in a hospital as a neurologist or anesthesiologist while participating in research projects.
  • Maxwell Bui is graduating from El Modena High School with a 4.83 GPA and will be attending, University of California, Irvine majoring in Biological Sciences. Upon completing his undergraduate degree his ultimate goal is to attend medical school to become an orthopedic surgeon. Maxwell Bui represents all the positive values we are attempting to pass onto our youth: hardworking, humble, respectful, involved and altruistic. Maxwell Bui is a standout student who has made numerous contributions at El Modena High School and will continue to do so at the university level.
  • Dagny Parayao is graduating from El Modena High School with a 4.83 GPA and will be attending University of California, Los Angeles where she will study Computer Science, as well as study abroad. Upon completing her undergraduate degree Dagny’s ultimate goal is to work in the technological industry as a software developer/engineer. According to Ms. Echavarria, Dagny’s counselor, “Dagny is intellectually gifted, but she is also one of the most disciplined and focused students I have encountered in my career. Put those two things together and well, that's why she's standing here today. I am so, so proud of Dagny and all her accomplishments. I have no doubt she will be successful in college and beyond.”

Orange High School

  • Emily Gallardo is graduating from Orange High School with a 4.82 GPA and will be attending the University of California, Berkeley where she plans to double major in legal studies and psychology. Emily’s plans for the future is to attend law school to become a prosecutor or civil rights attorney. Emily’s life goals are to bring positive change to the world and to make her parents proud.
  • Kelly Bui is graduating from Orange High School with a 4.77 GPA and will be attending University of California, Los Angeles, majoring in Biochemistry. After graduation, she intends on attending medical school and becoming a surgeon. In addition to her challenging course work at Orange High School, Kelly was also dual enrolled in classes at Santiago Canyon College. Her life goals include traveling the world, continuing to learn new skills, adopting a dog and becoming wealthy in order to contribute to charities and research efforts.

Villa Park High School

  • Kelly Pham is graduating from Villa Park HS with a 5.09 GPA and will be attending the University of California, Irvine majoring in chemistry. She intends to participate in internships and research projects that will provide her with greater insight in to the vast possibilities that STEM has to offer. After earning her undergraduate degree, she plans to pursue higher education in Chemistry with a PhD or PharmD degree. She would like to be a part of the chemistry field, doing industrial research or working in the pharmaceutical field.
  • Daniel Fong is graduating from Villa Park HS with a 5.03 GPA and will be attending the University of California, Los Angeles majoring in Mathematics, Financial Actuarial. During college he hopes to obtain an internship at an actuarial firm which will provide experience and hopefully a job opportunity. After earning his undergraduate degree, he plans to follow the path required to become an actuary.

In addition, the Board thanked our 2020-2021 Student Board Members for their service and introduced the incoming 2021-2022 members. Student Board Members are elected each year from each of the District’s five high schools. These representatives participate in Board Meetings and provide wonderful insight and highlights of their individual school’s activities and events on a rotating basis.

Rushil Shah, Canyon High School
Rushil will be attending the University of California, Riverside. He plans to major in Computer Science and Business Applications.

Claudio Castillo, El Modena High School
Claudio will be a senior next year serving his campus as ASB treasurer. He is excited to work on his college applications in the fall. Claudio hopes to major in English, Political Science or Economics while attending a four-year university. His dream schools are University of California, Berkeley or University of California, Los Angeles.

Jack Bowman, Orange High School
Jack will be attending Orange Coast College to pursue his Associate of Arts Degree. Following that he plans on attending University of California, Santa Cruz and majoring in history.

Colette Chandler, Villa Park High School
Colette will be attending Oklahoma State University in the fall where she has received an academic scholarship. She also plans on receiving her master’s degree from Oklahoma State University majoring in Applied Exercise Science. She would like to become an Athletic Trainer or attend medical school.

Evelin Miron, Richland High School
Evelin will be attending Santiago Canyon College working towards an Associate Degree in Science. While attending school, Evelin will also be completing a nursing assistant certificate. Evelin is looking forward to a career in the medical field.

The OUSD Student Board Members for the 2021-2022 school year are:

  • Hydar Shmara, Canyon High School
  • Eliana Lipson, El Modena High School
  • Melissa Medina, Orange high School
  • Evelyn Mendoza, Villa Park High School

Richland will announce their new representative in September.

Jennifer Cardenas, Teacher on Special Assignment, was also recognized for her exceptional contributions to support students at Fairhaven Elementary.

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As part of our Orange Unified EDGE awards program to honor the valuable partnerships that exist between community organizations and the district, CARE Ambulance was recognized for providing a critical partnership this school year that helped ensure the safety and wellness of our staff and students through the design and facilitation of COVID-19 vaccine clinics. We are grateful for their dedication and contributions that exemplify our District Core Values of Integrity, Equity, Respect and Excellence.

Finally, keep your eyes open when you’re driving around town! This year, we have worked with our local cities to highlight some of our graduating seniors on banners placed along major streets in Orange and Anaheim Hills. It is our sincere hope that these banners not only encourage our community to celebrate the Class of 2021, but also serve to inspire our youngest scholars to strive for personal and academic success.

Warmest Regards,

Gunn Marie Hansen, Ph.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Orange Unified School District

Measure S Update

It's an exciting time in Orange Unified as we watch our Measure S Phase 1 projects come to fruition, and we are so thankful to our taxpayers for approving the bond that is making these incredible facilities come to life for our students and community. Check out the latest progress at Villa Park, El Modena, and Canyon High School with Board of Education Trustee Ana Page.

OUSD Measure S Update - June 3, 2021

Instructional Materials Review

We are excited to share with you that we have been going through the process of instructional materials reviews of the following programs:

  • Transitional Kindergarten Curriculum – Savvas Three Cheers
  • Elementary Social Studies – TCI Social Studies Alive! (K-5) and TCI History Alive! (6)
  • High School Biology – Savvas California Miller & Levine Experience Biology: The Living Earth
  • High School Chemistry – Savvas California Experience Chemistry
  • Middle School Health – Positive Prevention Plus 2018
  • High School Health – APEX Extended Health

The review process for these adoptions is a critical component. We invite all parents/guardians to review the recommended programs at the Office of Curriculum & Instruction (1401 N. Handy St. Orange, Ca, 92867 - Building D) from June 7 – July 22, 2021. An appointment must be made first by calling (714) 628-5452.

We are looking forward to receiving additional input on these programs. We value your partnership and participation in this process.

Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

If you are in need of a reliable home internet connection but can't afford it, the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program may be able to help! EBB is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program that provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband bills for qualifying low-income households. To receive the connected device discount, consumers need to enroll in the EBB Program with a participating provider that offers connected devices (not all service providers offer device discounts). The service provider will provide the discount to the consumer.

More information is online at

Additional resources to support families are available on our website at

Celebrating the Class of 2021

High school graduation ceremonies will take place on June 9 and 10 at Fred Kelly Stadium. Each graduating student will receive FOUR tickets indicating the assigned seating area for their family. In addition, the event will be live-streamed for public viewing on the OUSD YouTube channel at

Following current public health guidance, all attendees must wear masks as per CDPH Face Coverings Guidance and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from other attendees at all times, other than with household members such as when they are in their own vehicles. Attendance must be limited to school staff, graduates, household members, and family members. Attendees must abide by travel limitations as indicated within the current CDPH Travel Advisory. Persons who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) should be discouraged from attending. Individuals who are sick or in isolation or quarantine must remain at home.

Seniors, send us a picture of your decorated graduation cap to showcase on our social media and website! The deadline to submit photos is June 10. Please email your photos to

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Job Opportunities

Orange Unified School District is gearing up for its Spring recruiting and hiring initiative. Are you interested in a profession that makes a positive impact in the community? If so, please visit our website at to view a vast array of employment opportunities that span from entry-level to upper management, classified, and certificated. Join the Orange Unified family and Inspire our learners of today to be purposeful leaders of tomorrow.

Connect with Us

We invite you to take a moment to follow Orange Unified on social media to receive the District’s latest news and announcements. Social media may also be a critical line of communication during emergencies and will be an excellent place for you to get up to date information: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube