How Tustin High Distinguishes an Honorable Learning Community

Gold Ribbon Logo Official Round

By: Karley Bailey, Destiny Gomez, Nayeli Medina

Tustin High School Alma Mater

Our strong bond can ne’er be broken, Form’d in Tustin High, Far surpassing wealth unspoken, Seal’d by friendship’s tie. High school life is best at passing, Gliding swiftly by, Then let us pledge in work and deed, Our love for Tustin High. Alma Mater, Alma Mater – Deep graven on each heart, Shall be found unwav’ring true. When we from school shall part.

Tustin High, a California Distinguished School has just won an exceedingly prestigious award, The California Gold Ribbon Award. The Gold Ribbon Award recognizes California schools that have succeeded in implementing the academic content and performance standards adopted by the State Board of Education. State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Chief Tom Torlakson stated that “these schools are academically successful, vibrant, and innovative centers of learning and teaching”.  Thank you, Superintendent Torlakson for appreciating our strengths. This is a phenomenal accomplishment for us Tillers, because we haven’t won an award since 1996! Congratulations Tillers! We serve as an excellent example of a positive school environment, and creative teaching. With this achievement, Tustin Tillers can now walk with a little more pride in their step.

To get a better perspective of how this award has affected the school as a community, we interviewed our very own principal, Mrs Matos. She contributes new concepts and principles to Tustin High’s staff, showing she is a main factor of our school’s gradual–and worth it–transformation.

Mrs. Matos explained that the improvements happened with  the school’s submission of unit planners, planners that allow teachers to “identify what they are going to teach to you, when and how” which also permits teachers to collaborate on the same subject if necessary.

When asked if she see’s herself as  a factor of Tustin High’s newly found accomplishment, Mrs. Matos respectfully began honoring the new administrative team for their excitement and cooperation which lead the school to become more systematic. They were not afraid to take a risk when it came to inputting laptops into classes and lessons, which happened to become a great success. This allowed  teachers to expand their teaching capabilities and experiment with something more fitting to modern society.

Mrs. Matos also added humbly, “I think that when you walk through the classrooms the learning environment has changed.” By her confident tone, and the grand smile plastered across her face, we could discern the exciting amount of pride she takes in our school. The change in philosophy included introducing a unique learning structure, which allows students to educate themselves from different perspectives, rather than just to take notes from a teacher’s lecture.

Mrs. Matos believes this award isn’t just “one school being highlighted,” it recognizes our city as a whole. This recognition truly defines TUSD as one, and conveys that Tustin has comprehensive schools. The award shows the unity of the TUSD, and how each school has their own unique programs to enhance the learning methods of children. “It speaks volumes to what all three high schools are doing, as well as Tustin Unified.”

We concluded the interview with the question, “What does the Golden Ribbon Award mean to you?” Mrs. Matos proudly stated, “it represents all of the hard work of the staff, to provide 21st century learning for you.”

We thanked her for her cooperation and for proving that the administration,staff, and students can achieve greatness by taking risks and maintaining the Tiller pride.



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