One Great Oak High School senior has managed to be the vice president of National Honor Society, play varsity swim and water polo, and be a member of several clubs on campus – all while maintaining a 5.0 GPA the past two years. Surprisingly, those are only a few of his achievements.During a surprise ceremony early this week, he was recognized for his accomplishments.
Tristan Griggs, 17, was presented with the Outstanding Achievement Certificate from California’s 36th District State Senator Joel Anderson on Monday morning, Jan. 27.
Josaline Cuesta, a representative for Anderson, along with other school officials, presented the certificate to Griggs during class.
“It feels good to be recognized for all my hard work from the last four years,” Griggs said. “It really made my day.”
Apart from being the 1st place winner of the Science Olympiad in 2013 and an IB mentor, Griggs also helps the elderly with computer issues, is a tutor for peers, and mentor for middle school children at church. He is described as “humble”, “genuine”, and
The certificate of recognition was a surprise to both Griggs and his mother, Traci Griggs, who is an aid at the school.
Griggs later said his IB World Religion teacher, Kurt Herbst, whose classroom is where the presentation took place, told the class there was going to be a surprise, but Griggs didn’t know it was going to be in his honor.
Traci Griggs expressed how proud of her son she was, saying, “I don’t know where he came from,” with a laugh.
In regards to all of Griggs’ academic achievements, his mother said it’s in his nature to be a high achiever but she thinks it’s also the extra level of dedication he puts in.
“He knows what he wants to do and he’s going to get it,” she said.
Kimberly Palmer, who has known the family for years, was responsible for contacting Anderson’s office for Griggs to be considered for the certificate.
“He’s a one in a million kid,” Palmer said. “He has a drive way beyond his years that most people at his age wouldn’t even recognize.”
Herbst said he was really happy for Griggs to receive the award, who he said works really hard and goes beyond what a typical students does.
“He’s easily approachable. If he does well on a test he’s not going to look down on somebody who doesn’t do well on a test,” he said.
Griggs also helps other students in class who don’t understand something, said Herbst.
As for the future, Traci Griggs said her son has got it all together. He has even made a spreadsheet of how much all the colleges he wants to attend will cost. She also said he might go into bio engineering, that way he can help other people.
Recognizing student’s achievements is one of Senator Anderson’s most important community projects. Those in the community can contact Senator Anderson to nominate an individual for a certificate by visiting district36.cssrc.us.
Stephanie C. Ocano contributed to this story.