Dispatch presents Class of 2019 Senior Spotlights

Each year, the Gilroy Dispatch profiles a few outstanding soon-to-be Gilroy Unified School District graduates. Selected from recommendations of staff at Christopher and Gilroy High Schools, these seniors represent some of the best Gilroy has to offer.

Their comments here are in response to a common set of questions.

These students have navigated the labyrinth of high school, and inspire others by their optimistic outlook, refreshing attitudes and heartfelt honesty.

In addition to celebrating them, their families and their mentors, it is time to celebrate all of the graduating seniors in the class of 2019 for their accomplishments and wish them the best of luck and a fulfilling future.

Class of 2019

Senior Spotlights


Gina Barbaglia

COLLEGE: UC Santa Barbara


Gina Barbaglia

MAJOR: Biology

GOAL: I hope to become a dermatologist after graduate school.

MEMORIES: Being able to attend the Garlic Festival each year. It brings the community together and is a great way to spend quality time with friends while enjoying delicious food.

My most memorable moment of high school has been beating Christopher in field hockey every year!

Michelle Quach

COLLEGE: University of San Francisco

OTHER ACCEPTANCES: UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, San Jose State University, Monterey Bay State University, San Francisco State University

Michelle Quach

MAJOR: Computer science/mathematics

GOAL: Computer scientist

MEMORIES: The best thing about Gilroy is its diversity. Meeting all of my great friends and teachers.

Christopher Arellano Reyes

COLLEGE: Santa Clara University

OTHER ACCEPTANCES: Chapman University, University of San Diego, University of California Santa Barbra,  University of California Davis, Waitlisted Stanford University

Christopher Arellano Reyes

MAJOR: Biology pre-med

GOAL: Attend medical school and become a neurosurgeon.

MEMORIES: Gilroy provides that small community feeling. It allows me to know and connect very well with most of my community friends and adults. Gilroy as well is a very supportive community in any type of situation,  coming together in very tough and heartbreaking times and in celebratory times. The community of Gilroy is also very diverse and is a great community to learn about many different cultures.

My most memorable moment of high school, education wise, was doing my independent project in biotechnology II. It involved putting certain plants in the opposite environment to see the effects of it and how it relates to climate change in the real world. Classmate-wise it was creating a satire video project for AP English language and composition. It was very memorable because I worked on it with some of my best friends from high school, and was very hilarious when filming it.

Diego Hsu

COLLEGE: University of Southern California


Diego Hsu

MAJOR: Economics

GOAL: Attorney

MEMORIES: Meeting lifelong friends through Little League and winning the state championship together. Junior year, watching the football team win CCS.

Mason Gumin

COLLEGE: Purdue University

OTHER ACCEPTANCES: Santa Clara University

MAJOR: Engineering

Mason Gumin

GOAL: Have a successful career in engineering and travel the world.

MEMORIES: All the great friendships I’ve made here in my four years of high school basketball.



Nietnimol Khay

COLLEGE: Stanford University

OTHER ACCEPTANCES: University of Southern California, Santa Clara University, UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, UC San Diego, UC Irvine

Nietnimol Khay

MAJOR: Human biology

GOAL: Physician

MEMORIES: Having lived in Gilroy my entire life, I’ve come to love the incredibly diverse and vibrant community that can be found here. There are so many avenues of support to be found through the people who make Gilroy the wonderful place it is, and I will always be grateful for everything this town has contributed to my development as an individual.

I would have to say that my most memorable moments from high school have been made with my friends in Christopher High School ASB. Seeing the impact that we have on the student body by planning various events throughout the year has been extremely rewarding, but beyond that, our student government class is truly like a big family. Being part of that family and working with such motivated young leaders has given me priceless memories that I’ll cherish for years to come.

Sarah Starks

COLLEGE: University of California, Davis

OTHER ACCEPTANCES: I only applied to Davis.

Sarah Starks

MAJOR: Evolution, ecology and biodiversity

GOAL: Restoration and conservation biologist; start a non-profit organization to travel, educate people about their local environment, plant trees in their communities, and let them know what they can do to help make our world a healthier place.

MEMORIES: Gilroy has been a place I’ve called home my whole life. It’s such a beautiful, tight-knit community. Throughout my life here, I’ve gotten to know so many peers so closely, from elementary to middle school through high school. Living here, you can’t even go to the grocery store without seeing someone you’ve known for years leading to a long catching-up conversation.

My most memorable moments of high school will be the CHS Homecoming weeks. Every weekday, we would work on our outrageous floats awaiting the parade. Then we’d have the Homecoming game that Friday where royalty would be announced, and then the next day, the Homecoming dance. It’s always such an exciting week full of so much spirit. I will miss dressing up crazy for our spirit weeks; it always made the days at school so exciting.

Alejandro Velasco

COLLEGE: University of Oregon


Alejandro Velasco

MAJOR: Architecture

GOAL: Once I have completed my dream of graduating with a degree in architecture, I hope to positively impact my community by designing and building affordable housing for low-income families and underserved individuals.

MEMORIES: Going to Gilroy Gardens opening day. As a kid, I loved spending time with my family and going on all the rides the amusement park had to  offer.

The most memorable moment in high school for me was going on the CAL-SOAP college tour trip with my friends. This trip allowed me to explore universities down south such as UCLA, USC, Cal Poly and others.

Nicholas Eaton

COLLEGE: UC Berkeley

OTHER ACCEPTANCES: Redlands University, UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, UC San Diego, UC Santa Cruz

Nicholas Eaton

MAJOR: Double Major: Music studies and history

GOAL: Professional musician and teacher

MEMORIES: Being able to meet my three best friends. Winning the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award.

John Perales Jr.

COLLEGE: Northwestern University

OTHER ACCEPTANCES: University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, University of Southern California, Johns Hopkins University

MAJOR: Political science with a minor in music. I plan on attending law school after completing my undergraduate degree.

John Perales Jr.

GOAL: To become a private defense attorney and eventually do pro bono work for disadvantaged people who cannot afford a quality defense.

MEMORIES: Definitely the smell of garlic constantly being in the air. At this point it’s become a very comforting scent and a sign of home. Even though it can get obnoxious at times, I know I will miss it when I leave for Illinois.

My most memorable moment in high school is without a doubt when I first performed as drum major for the Midnight Pride Marching Band. It was nerve-wracking being up on the podium in front of so many other peers. Conducting the band is such an important responsibility that I knew I couldn’t be making any mistakes up there. The leadership involved with being drum major has taught me so much, and I wouldn’t trade my experience in the band for anything.