Friday, November 14, 2014

What's New in GUHSD

Outgoing Trustee Richard "Dick" Hoy (center) is honored for his service by the Governing Board and Santana High School
The recent GUHSD school board election resulted in the re-election of incumbent board members Jim Kelly and Robert Shield, and ushered in the return of former board member Dr. Gary Woods, who previously served from 2008 - 2012. They will be sworn in for a new term at our next Governing Board Meeting on Thursday, December 11.

At last night's Governing Board meeting we also thanked outgoing Trustee Richard "Dick" Hoy for his service on the Board. Dick Hoy was elected to the Grossmont Union High School District Governing Board in 2006 and most recently served as Vice President. He has been an invaluable contributor to many complex decisions that took place during the past several years, and I know that his passion for providing a quality education for all students will continue far into the future.

As our Board of Trustees and staff thanked Dick for his past eight years of dedicated service to the District, he was presented with a clock, and a reception with refreshments in the lobby followed.

The highlight of the recognition included a special presentation by Santana ASB President Hayley Simpson and a group of her fellow classmates who informed their beloved Sultan football announcer that the press box would be rededicated in his honor. Dick Hoy has been a fixture at the school, where he taught for 31 years and continues to give back by announcing the football games from the “Santana Super Sultan Dome.” 

Board Recognition of West Hills' Teacher John Berray, San Diego County Teacher of the Year
2014-15 San Diego County Teacher of the Year John Berray is recognized by the Governing Board
As I reported to you earlier, West Hills' teacher John Berray was named a 2014-15 San Diego County Teacher of the Year in October. Last night, the Governing Board of the Grossmont Union High School District honored him for this high achievement.

John teaches Mathematics at West Hills, where he has been since 1995.  He also serves on the school’s Literacy Team and Technology Committee and has the distinction of being a Noyce Master Teacher Fellow through UCSD.

The San Diego County Teacher of the Year Awards program is the official stepping-stone to California and National Teacher of the Year events. John now advances to the California Teacher of the Year program, which will be announced later this year. Nominees for San Diego County Teacher of the Year were selected based on student achievement, teaching philosophy, familiarity with current issues in education and community involvement.

John will be involved with many exciting events over the course of the next year including throwing out the first pitch at a Padres Game. Congratulations, John Berray!

El Capitan Alumni Shine at National FFA Convention & Expo
Gabriella Dodson and Austin Rogers are finalists at the 87th Annual FFA National Convention
The El Capitan High School FFA program had two graduates compete as national finalists in their respective categories during the 87th National FFA Convention in Louisville, KY on October 29 - November 2.  Gabriella Dodson was one of only four chosen to compete for the National FFA Proficiency Award in Equine Science Placement, and Austin Rogers was also one of only four selected to compete for the National FFA Proficiency Award in Swine Production Entrepreneurship. 

The proficiency awards recognize outstanding student achievement of a new business, working for an existing company, or otherwise gaining hands-on career experience.  The Swine Production Entrepreneurship and Equine Science Placement awards are two of the 45 program proficiency areas FFA members can participate in.  These areas help develop valuable experience and leadership skills at the local, state, and national levels.  Rogers and Dodson became eligible for the national award after winning the California State FFA competition earlier this year. 

We are very proud of these two alumni members for all of their hard work in reaching this level of competition as well as the outstanding program at El Capitan High School.

El Cajon Valley CTE Students Showcase Employable Skills

Welding students practice using angle grinders, a common industry tool
On Monday, November 3, a team from the National Academy Foundation (NAF) Planning Council and the San Diego Linked Learning Consortium visited the Manufacturing and Product Development Pathway and the Culinary Arts Pathway at El Cajon Valley High School. They came to observe Career Technical Education (CTE) students learning employable skills and witness authentic, work-based learning activities.

The National Academy Foundation (NAF) is a leader in the movement to prepare young people for college and career success with a proven educational model that includes industry-focused curricula, work-based learning experiences, and business partners with expertise from five areas: Finance, Hospitality & Tourism, Information Technology, Engineering, and Health Sciences.

The students in the Metal Design, Fabrication and Welding class, taught by Nick Williams and Ashley Wolters, were finishing the dismantling of their school’s Haunted House from the previous week, as well as practicing their welds and new product designs. The students in Chef Christine May’s Restaurant Management class planned, prepared, and served a delicious lunch that included a house salad, roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, sautéed Brussel sprouts and an apple tart for dessert. Everything, including the ranch dressing, was made from scratch. 

Superintendent Ralf Swenson and Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, Theresa Kemper, joined the group for lunch as well as an open discussion on how the Linked Learning approach is building an academic and social support system for the students enrolled in the Metal Design, Fabrication and Welding pathway. The core teachers on the team include Jim McLaughlin (World History), James Mitchell (Technology) and Anthony Devine (English).

The visiting team was impressed with the CTE facilities, the teachers, and the quality of work-based learning occurring at El Cajon Valley High School.