Friday, February 13, 2015

What's New in GUHSD

February is Career Technical Education Month

R: Outgoing Chair Renae Arabo presents Teri Sprecco with the San Diego East County Chamber's Business and Education Person of the Year award
Students, faculty and community partners across the San Diego region will join others across the nation during the month of February to celebrate national Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month.  This year’s theme is Recognizing Classroom Innovators. CTE Month provides CTE programs across the country with an opportunity to demonstrate how CTE educates students to be college and career ready and prepares them for high-wage, high-demand career fields. These careers may require varying levels of education—including industry-recognized credentials, postsecondary certificates, and two- and four-year degrees.

The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce has been a long-time partner and advocate for Career Technical Education in the Grossmont Union High School District. Last week, our Assistant Director of CTE, Teri Sprecco, was honored as the Business and Education Person of the Year at their Annual Awards Celebration. This recognition honors Teri's leadership and her collaborative efforts with many teachers, students, support staff, school board members, and business partners in our East County region.

CTE in Action

Floral Design students showcase their work
Chaparral High School's CTE Floral Design classes have been especially busy this week preparing for Valentine’s Day, one of the most important floral holidays of the year. Students in the floral classes practiced their skills by preparing and designing a lovely variety of fresh floral arrangements. The students were pleased to offer these beautiful and affordable arrangements to Chaparral teachers, district staff and the El Cajon Police Department. Some of the beautiful designs included nostalgic Victorian style floral heart designs, cheerful red baskets, vase bouquets with dozens of red roses, rustic ivy heart topiaries and single roses and carnations. 

Floral Design is part of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Industry pathway offered at Chaparral and El Capitan High Schools. This pathway provides many hands-on opportunities for students to experience working with flowers and provides training for entry-level positions in a flower shop. Students can receive college credit and are also eligible for UC art credit.

2015 East County TechFest

Student Alexandra Bockert delivered the keynote address at TechFest
On Saturday, February 7, 2015, over 200 educators from districts across East County gathered at West Hills High School for 2015 East County TechFest. This event focused on the integration of technology in the classroom.

Alexandra Bockert, a junior at Grossmont Middle College High School, keynoted the event. In her dynamic presentation she shared her school experiences with technology and challenged the teachers in the theater to provide a wide array of technology-driven opportunities. She emphasized that students need to be prepared for a digital world and our schools are an essential part in that development. You can watch a recording of the keynote here.

The over 30 conference-style sessions included a wide variety of innovative instructional strategies, technology tools, and best practices were presented by teachers. Topics included Chromebooks, Google tools, gamification, online research, iPads, digital photography, flipping the classroom, and more.

TechFest was organized by members of the Cajon Valley Union School District, Grossmont Union High School District, Lakeside Union School District, and Santee School District.

Academic League: Battle of Santee

Santee Vice Mayor John Minto awarded the trophy to West Hills following a close match
In Academic League news, of special note this week was the Santana at West Hills Varsity match where the winner won the right to display the Santee City Council's Perpetual Trophy for a year. The match was moderated by El Cajon Valley High School's Steve Montgomery. 

After a nail-biting competition, Santana Coach, Brooke Crocker, relinquished the trophy to West Hills Coach Michelle Liddell. On hand to present the trophy on behalf of the Santee City Council was Vice Mayor John Minto. Also present to accept the trophy was Wolf Pack interim principal Robin Ballarin. Congratulations to these two Santee teams for their intellect and sportsmanship.

Robin Pistole Named Third Quarter Outstanding Classified Employee

Board recognition of Robin Pistole as Third Quarter Outstanding Classified Employee
At the Governing Board meeting on Thursday, February 12, Robin Pistole was recognized as the Third Quarter Outstanding Classified Employee of 2014-2015.  Robin serves the Grossmont District as a Budget Specialist in the Fiscal Services Department and she is known to consistently go above and beyond her regular duties. Robin is a highly respected team member and an outstanding contributor her department.

Classified employees provide critical support to our educational mission and programs. Congratulations, Robin Pistole, on being selected as the Third Quarter Outstanding Classified Employee of 2014-2015!

Superintendent Ralf Swenson