Board of Education Members
The five Board of Education members are elected by trustee area by voters of the district to serve four-year terms. In addition, a selection process involving high school students determines a non-voting student representative who sits on the Board.
Among its many duties, the Board adopts the annual budget and approves all expenditures, establishes district policy, authorizes employment of personnel, approves curriculum textbooks and courses of study, and makes decisions on all contracts.
The Superintendent is the chief executive officer of the district and serves as Secretary to the Board of Education.
The Board of Education collaborates with the California School Boards Association bi-annually to discuss and update the Board Governance Handbook, which serves as a practical guide for senior executives and board members to implement sound governance policies. The most current Governance Handbook may be found here.
Regular meetings of the Board of Education are held on the first and third Tuesdays of each month in the boardroom of the district's Education Center, 10331 Stanford Avenue, beginning at 7 p.m. Special meetings may be called when necessary; the agenda, location, and time will be announced in advance.
Persons with a disability who require a disability-related accommodation or modification, including auxiliary aids and services in order to participate in a Board meeting, shall contact the Superintendent’s Office by noon on the Friday before the scheduled regular meeting. Requests shall be made by calling (714) 663-6111 or by fax to (714) 663-6100.
Teri has dedicated her career to GGUSD, serving 14 years as an instructional aide and school community liaison and 19 years as a first grade bilingual teacher at Russell Elementary School. While at Russell, she also served as a district bilingual mentor teacher and a parent educator. She retired from GGUSD after 9 years at the District Office as the Supervisor of Parent and Community Outreach. A long-term resident of Garden Grove and a GGUSD graduate of Pacifica High School, Teri received her Master of Science and Administrative Credential at Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology and her B.A. at California State University Long Beach. Elected in 2016, her present term expires November 2024.
Lan Quoc Nguyen, Esq.
Lan Nguyen, a practicing attorney, is Trustee of the Garden Grove Unified School District Board of Education. Lan also serves as the district’s 2022-2024 delegate to the California School Boards Association. Lan earned a bachelor’s degree from University of California, Riverside and a law degree from UC Hastings College of Law. He is also a former Garden Grove Planning Commissioner and graduate of Bolsa Grande High School. Lan was elected to the Board of Education in 2002 and his present term expires November 2026.
Walter Muneton, LCSW
Walter Muneton was named President of the Garden Grove Unified School District in December 2022. He is a graduate of Clinton Elementary, Doig Intermediate and Santiago High School. He brings energy, passion and a social-emotional perspective to the Garden Grove Unified School District School Board of Education. Mr. Muneton earned his Bachelor of Arts in Human Services from California State University, Dominguez Hills and his Master of Social Work from California State University, Long Beach. In an effort to expand his expertise in K-12 education, he earned his Pupil Personnel Services (School Social Work) and Child Welfare & Attendance Credential from San Jose State University.
Mr. Muneton's professional experience has revolved around serving his community as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the public sector for children and families. He also served one term as a Neighborhood Improvement Commissioner for the City of Garden Grove. Most importantly, Mr. Muneton is a proud husband and father of two children. Elected in 2016, Walter's present term expires November 2024.
Bob Harden is a computer consultant; graduate of California State University, Long Beach; and former member of the City of Garden Grove General Plan Advisory Committee. Bob was elected to the Board of Education in 1994 and his present term expires November 2026.
Dina L. Nguyen, Esq.
Dina Nguyen was elected in 2016 as Trustee to Garden Grove Unified School District Trustee Area 5. It has been an honor to serve in this position. As a proud parent of four children, she can relate to the joys and stresses of parenthood, and desires that every child has a safe and supportive learning environment. She believes that students, parents, teachers and school administrators are all integral parts of students’ learning success.
Dina is Orange County homegrown. She is a proud graduate of Los Amigos High School in Fountain Valley. With encouragement from her hardworking and dedicated immigrant parents, Dina attended Coastline Community College and Cal State University Long Beach for undergraduate studies. In her early twenties, she joined the Orange County Superior Court family as a court clerk and eventually advanced to court services management. The interactions she had with judges, attorneys, staff and the public persuaded her to pursue the study of law at Pacific Coast University School of Law while working full time at the court. After 18 years as a public servant at the court, Dina was admitted to the bar and began her career as an associate lawyer with the Law Firm of Nantha and Associates. Twenty years later, she has her own law practice in the City of Westminster assisting victims, veterans, and families to resolve life challenges.
In 2006 Dina was elected to the Garden Grove City Council where she served for 8 years. During that time, the city completed major economic development projects. In 2014, she was elected as director of the Orange County Water District, the agency responsible for protecting Orange County’s water basin and the world’s most advanced groundwater replenishing system. She’s thankful that her husband and children are supportive of her public service. Elected in 2016, Dina's present term expires November 2024.
Gabriela Mafi, Ed.D.
Dr. Gabriela Mafi is in her 11th year as Superintendent of Garden Grove Unified School District, a high-performing, diverse, urban California district serving 39,000 students. Dr. Mafi has served the district for 22 years as Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education, Director of 7-12 Instruction and Principal. She also spent over a decade as adjunct faculty at the University of Southern California, where she earned her doctorate in 2002, and worked as Executive Director of the Ed.D. Program in 2005-2006. Prior to joining GGUSD, Dr. Mafi held positions as an assistant principal, district coordinator, and curriculum writer, as well as a teacher at various levels.
Dr. Mafi is proud of "The Garden Grove Way", the district’s strategic plan which she spearheaded in 2013-2014 through a collaborative process involving parents, staff, and students. The Strategic Plan includes three primary goals: academic skills, personal skills, and lifelong success. The roadmap has paved the way for real results, including improved scores across all grade levels on the state’s SBAC test; high survey rankings from students about their school's climate and culture, and a higher pass rate on Advanced Placement exams than the state, national and world average. “The Garden Grove Way” also refers to the warm and approachable manner in which district and school staffs interact with all stakeholders. Dr. Mafi takes pride in Garden Grove’s family feel and takes time to meet and talk to staff, parents, and students.
The fifth of six children whose mother, Ada, immigrated from Mexico in her 20s, Gabriela grew up in a high-poverty area of South Los Angeles. As a Latina, first-generation college student, Dr. Mafi is passionate about ensuring that all students are equipped with the academic and personal skills needed for lifelong success. She has worked tirelessly to ensure district coherence and improve student learning outcomes, resulting in a doubling of the district's a-g rate, and equipping all students with scholarly habits and challenging and supportive instruction. She launched the district’s Latinos Unidos student club in 2012 to address inequitable outcomes and enhance student self-efficacy. She and her husband, Eugene, are proud parents of three children, two adults and a 2nd grader who has Trisomy 18/Edwards Syndrome, resulting in profound disabilities. Calling on her skills as a parent and educator, Dr. Mafi personally mentors students from GGUSD’s highest-poverty communities, working with her mentees and their families regularly from sixth grade and into their university life. Based on her mentoring program, Dr. Mafi established the district’s award-winning College and Career Mentoring Program, in which hundreds of GGUSD alumni university students return to their elementary schools to provide extended-day lessons to sixth graders on how to be successful in secondary school.
Emily Nguyen has served in a variety of leadership roles at La Quinta High School. She is currently president of the ASB and vice president of La Quinta Together. She is also a member of CSF and the UNICEF Club. Emily is passionate about inclusivity and has a heart for students with special needs. She has played an integral role in the La Quinta Unified P.E. Program and wants to strive toward greater inclusion in all aspects of education.