Thursday, March 19, 2015

What's New in GUHSD

Annual Academic League Spaghetti Dinner

The Academic League Awards Dinner is a fitting close to the season
Valhalla High School hosted the 2015 Annual Academic League Awards Dinner on Wednesday, March 11. The evening included an awards banquet and meal for nearly 300 players and their parents.

The dinner event was held to honor and thank the students, parents, organizers and moderators, as well as the coaches of the Academic League program.

High honors went to Helix Charter’s Varsity team for their League Championship. On the JV front, Santana High School was honored for their championship, 10-0 season.

The team designated as Most Improved this year went to Mount Miguel High School and coach Beverly Jones. The Rookie Coach of the Year award went to Cory Biggerstaff at West Hills High School. Coaching Longevity awards went to Brooke Crocker at Santana and Tina Colera of Helix Charter, for a record-busting 13 years of service. In further news, longtime coordinator Richard Beach is retiring after 23 years of service to the Academic League program.  

Special thanks are extended to Valhalla Principal Mary Beth Kastan for hosting the event, which was enjoyed by so many students and their families that evening.

Campus Clean-Up at El Cajon Adult Center

El Cajon Adult Center Clean-up Volunteers
On Saturday morning, February 20, over sixty-five students, family members, and staff joined together to clean the El Cajon Adult Center campus, including the parking lot, gardens, classrooms, and office.  It was a very productive morning with sweeping, scrubbing, raking, pulling weeds, picking up trash, removing gum from under the desks, and cleaning windows and carpets!

Students from the GED/High School Diploma Program teamed up with students from the ESL Program to complete everything on the “To Do” list in two hours. They shared a sense of pride in their combined efforts to make the school and community a better place.

Board Recognition of Jo Willson as Fourth Quarter Outstanding Classified Employee

Board recognition of Jo Willson as Fourth Quarter Outstanding Classified Employee
At the Governing Board meeting on Tuesday, March 10, Josephine "Jo" Willson was recognized as the Fourth Quarter Outstanding Classified Employee of 2014-2015.  Jo serves as Principal's Secretary at Valhalla High School, and she is known for her professionalism, attention to detail and ability to put others at ease. She is a highly respected member of the Valhalla administrative team and an outstanding contributor at her school site.

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

Grossmont ASB Holds Annual Convention

Grossmont's Annual Convention was marked by enthusiasm and colorful costumes
Grossmont High School’s ASB held its annual convention on Friday, March 13. The “Old Gym” was packed with candidates’ elaborate booths. This year’s theme was Cartoon Network vs. Nickelodeon.

A few weeks prior to convention, a schoolwide primary election was held to narrow each position to two candidates.

More than 300 delegates were present in the Old Gym to vote on the final candidates for ten ASB positions. Students had the opportunity to participate in delegation group competitions, cheers and other activities. They also listened to the candidates answer questions and debate prompts, viewed candidates’ campaign videos and watched the commissioners perform activities.

Afterward, each delegation group voted on the commissions, and the votes were counted. At the end of the day, the winners for all ten positions were announced. Delegates also participated in a fashion show of costumes and instructional dance videos were played for entertainment. Overall, it was an engaging and exciting day that taught students about democracy through participation in the political process.

GUHSD Staff Hone Skills at Educating for Careers Conference

Members of the Santana Environmental Design Pathway presented to a standing room only crowd
GUHSD was well represented at the annual statewide Educating for Careers Conference in Sacramento earlier this month. Over 30 GUHSD teachers and administrators were on hand to learn about promoting Career Technical Education, college and career readiness, and Linked Learning.

Participation was funded through a combination of Carl Perkins grant monies and private funding. Its goal was to provide high-quality professional development with breakout session themes that included: Assessment & Accountability, California Partnership Academies Model, Career Pathways/Industry Sectors, Curriculum & Instructional Strategies, Employer & Community Partnerships, Mentor & Internship Programs, Secondary-Postsecondary Connections, and Work-Based Learning.

CTE, Special Education, and academic teachers participated in a variety of workshops and then came together as a GUHSD team to share insights and discuss next steps for promoting college and career readiness for all students. Teams were energized to bring back specific ideas and innovations as CTE pathways continue to gain momentum districtwide.

One of the most popular workshops of the conference this year was presented by GUHSD’s own CTE Environmental Design Pathway team from Santana High School.  Eileen Bagg-Rizzo, Teresa Stanley, Emily Snipes, Howard Rose, Paul Rupp, Clayton Madrid, Lucas Riley and Doug Coffin presented their Linked Learning, cross-curricular projects to a standing room only crowd. They demonstrated the power of engaging students in project-based learning in a meaningful, real world context.

Superintendent Ralf Swenson