Life of a Brave: Seniors’ Ryan Gutierrez and Tyler Baligad named Valedictorian and Salutatorian for the Class of 2023
by Christian Angel, Managing Editor & Brett Baligad, Senior Editor
Montebello natives Tyler Baligad and Ryan Gutierrez, who have been involved in the St. John Bosco High School community since their freshman years, will be speaking at the 68th Commencement Ceremony for the Class of 2023.
On April 28, 2023, Principal Dr. Kris Anderson announced in front of the Brave community that Co-Executive Board President, Ryan Gutierrez was selected as Valedictorian to speak during the graduation ceremony due to all the hard work in having the highest academic achievements and GPA within the Class of 2023.
Ryan was born and raised in Montebello, California in a family of four with parents who are both educators. Since a young age, Ryan has attended private Catholic schools and is an alumnus of St. Benedict School in Montebello.
Ever since Ryan stepped foot onto the Bosco campus in the Fall of 2019, he has left an impacting legacy on the future legacy of the Brave community.
“I came into Bosco having a competitive mindset and a desire to achieve my academic goals. I think that the work that I have put in over the past four years is a great representation of how badly I wanted to become valedictorian,” said Ryan.
During his time at Bosco, Ryan has served on multiple honors societies including Onori Society, Spanish Honors Society and Math Honors Society. He has also had the privilege of serving on the ASB Executive Board, Student Ambassador Program and Campus Ministry, while also participating in Academic Decathlon and graduating in the Biomedical Pathway.
Over his four years, one of his biggest accomplishments would be getting an ALS research internship at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. With the guidance and support from the Biomedical Pathway, he was selected as just one out of ten California high school students to participate in the prestigious stem cell research internship. Through this experience, it inspired him to plan to continue his private educational journey and major in Neuroscience and Behavior with a minor in Science and Patient Advocacy at the University of Notre Dame.
“It made me realize the beauties of neuroscience and the nervous system. This field called me, and I felt I could study it for the next four years,” said Ryan.
Ryan credits all his achievements to the rigorous and organizational skills he has developed the last four years in order to reach his dreams of becoming a neurosurgeon.
“To be honest, it wasn’t easy keeping up with the work that I had for my courses. But when I established my own study habits and work schedules, planning and prioritizing were key elements in getting assignments submitted on time and studying for upcoming exams,” said Ryan.
As Ryan embarks on the next four years of his college experience, he plans to take a gap year following his undergraduate studies to gain some more research experience and strengthen his medical school application. He then plans on attending medical school, completing his residency and, hopefully, settling back in Los Angeles as a neurosurgeon.
On May 5, 2023, Co-Executive Board President Tyler Baligad was selected as the Salutatorian for the Class of 2023. Tyler would be recognized for this prestigious award due to his high academic achievement over the years and his overall representation to the Bosco experience.
Tyler Baligad is also a Montebello native who lives in a family of four including his twin brother and fellow graduate, Brett. Tyler has always been surrounded by faith all his life as he attended Alhambra Catholic School, St. Thomas More leading up to his freshman year.
As a Brave, Tyler shared membership in the Onori Society and Math Honors Society with Ryan. Along with this, Tyler has given his time to the ASB Executive Board, Campus Ministry, Academic Decathlon, the Student Ambassador Program and the Engineering Pathway. Tyler is also an Eagle Scout, earning his Eagle Rank in July 2022.
Most notably, Tyler co-founded the Brothers of Bosco with his twin brother, Brett. The nonprofit was founded in 2022 as it successfully raised over $2,000 worth of goods during his senior school year. Tyler led three campaigns that sent school supplies and other essential items to Parroquia María Auxiliadora, a Mexican church in Ensenada, Mexico.
“Knowing how strong our Bosco community is, my brother and I knew doing successful work like this was achievable,” said Tyler. “I am very proud of all the work we have done and this could not have been done without our donors.”
When Tyler is not in class or doing community work, he can be found in Bosco’s pool. The three year Varsity Scholar Athlete played a key role for the varsity water polo and swim teams over the past few seasons. Most recently, Tyler was a CIF Finalist for the 50m Freestyle.
“Reaching CIF Finals is something that I wanted to achieve throughout my entire high school career. Reaching this point is something that I have built up to since freshman year,” said Tyler. “Considering the tough competition in the Trinity League, I am happy to say I went toe to toe with some of the best swimmers in the country.”
Through his success in the Engineering Pathway, Tyler has continued to foster his passion for math and science at Bosco. With notable acceptances to UCLA, Tulane University and University of Michigan, Tyler will major in Mechanical Engineering in the Fall.
“I always pushed myself to be the best I can be,” said Tyler. “That is my biggest advice to underclassmen: never be satisfied. Always strive for more.”
Ryan and Tyler proudly sit at the top of their class as true representatives to the Bosco experience. Following the Oratory Model of home, school, church and playground, the Notre Dame and UCLA commits, respectively will proudly lead the way for the class of ‘23.