Friday, February 27, 2015

What's New in GUHSD

Motivational Author Stedman Graham Presents Leadership Workshop for El Cajon Valley Students and Staff

Stedman Graham inspires students to transform their lives by pursuing their passions
Bestselling author, educator and motivational speaker Stedman Graham hosted a leadership workshop for El Cajon Valley students and staff on Thursday, February 12, at El Cajon Valley High School as part of Graham’s Live Sonima Tour. Graham spoke with students and then hosted a special afternoon workshop for staff.

Graham focused on key identity and leadership traits for young people and emphasized the many tools that tomorrow’s leaders will need to help them navigate challenges and opportunities. Included in the day’s activities was a musical performance from songwriter Caroline Jones.  

This was a great opportunity for our students and staff to hear Mr. Graham deliver his unique and highly effective messages regarding leadership and how educators can work to develop bright young minds into future leaders.

Mount Miguel’s Hospitality and Tourism Management Program

Mount Miguel Hospitality & Tourism Management students
On Thursday, February 19, Superintendent Swenson and his wife, Chris, attended the 10th Anniversary Celebration Mixer for the Multi-Cultural Convention Services Network (MCCSN). The MCCSN supports minority-owned businesses within San Diego's hospitality and tourism community. MCCSN owner, Clara Carter, has been an active Hospitality & Tourism Management (HTM) advisory board member for over eight years.

The event was held on the patio of the Coronado Island Marriott Resort and Spa on a beautiful February evening.  HTM students representing the junior class volunteered to assist at the event. Additionally, the students were given a project by Ms. Carter so that they could actively engage with attendees. The students designed a “virtual vendor exhibit” for the event sponsors. 

Students greeted attendees as they arrived and provided them with a “vendor tour” using their iPads. Vendors also donated gift items to support the HTM Academy Program. These items were auctioned off and the funds were donated to help HTM student club activities and travel.

Helix Charter Tops Academic League

The Varsity playoff match took place in Grossmont's Library
On Wednesday afternoon, the Varsity Academic League teams from Helix Charter and West Hills High Schools went head to head to determine the first-place Varsity team. Moderated by Ruth Weiss, the match was intense, and our students were impressive.

The Helix Highlanders, coached by Kirsten Schmidt and Tina Colera, overcame efforts of the West Hills’ Wolf Pack, coached by Michelle Liddell and Cory Bickerstaff. The final score was Helix 101 - West Hills 81. Congratulations to both teams!  

With this win, Helix will now host the District’s All-Star match on Wednesday, March 4, at 3:30 p.m. in Room 1600.

CTE Spotlight: The Education Pathway

Education Pathway students at San Diego Safari Park
Students in Mount Miguel High School’s Education Pathway recently went for a walk on the wild side to learn about teaching Common Core standards. The CTE Education Pathway is a two-year program for students who are interested in teaching and other careers in the education field. Both the beginning and advanced Teaching and Learning classes traveled to the San Diego Safari Park to research curriculum topics and to learn more about career options in education outside of a school setting.

Students in both classes are currently placed in internships at local schools and are working with a specific grade level. Before traveling to the Safari Park, the students researched the Common Core standards for their specific internship placement. While at the park, students selected and researched a curriculum topic involving animal life, ranging from specific animals to endangered species, conservation, etc.  After the field trip, students referenced their grade-level standards and research from the Safari Park in order to create an assignment for the students in their internship classrooms.

In addition to providing an outstanding work-based learning experience, the trip was also a great team building time for beginning and advanced students to work together and build community. Education Pathway classes are offered at Mount Miguel, Granite Hills, and Grossmont High Schools.

Save the Date: March 3 Presentation on Impact of Alpine Lawsuit

Next week I will be addressing a joint meeting of the District Advisory Committee and the District English Language Advisory Committee on the topic of the Alpine lawsuit and its impact on planned upgrades at many GUHSD schools.

I invite parents to attend this meeting which will be held on Tuesday, March 3, at 6:00 p.m. at the District Office, located at 1100 Murray Drive in El Cajon.

Superintendent Ralf Swenson