Friday, March 27, 2015

What's New in GUHSD

I begin this issue by wishing you a safe and relaxing Spring Break as we embark on our annual week-long spring recess. As a reminder, Spring Break is from March 30 through April 3, 2015, with school resuming on Monday, April 6. During this time away, it is my hope that our students, staff and families will enjoy some well-deserved rest, relaxation, and quality time spent with loved ones.

Ethics in Business Conference 2015

Business leader Steve Devan facilitates a discussion with students
The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce and the Grossmont Union High School District presented the annual Ethics in Business Conference for 180 advanced CTE students on Tuesday, March 24, at Cuyamaca College in El Cajon. The annual event’s goal is to train the next generation to become principled leaders. The half-day conference challenged students to consider ideas and situations that are designed to help them think critically about ethics in business situations.

Sample ethical dilemmas the students explored included:

Does your set of rules change frequently based on what’s easiest for you to do at the time, or is it consistent and based on a strong set of rules that never varies?

If your manager was training you for a new position that included embezzling money or hiding company property, what would you do? What would you say? Who would you tell?

The award-winning Ethics in Business Program, which is presented by the Chamber’s Business Education Committee, was developed in 1992 to educate our high school seniors about situations and ethical dilemmas that occur in the workplace. This year’s keynote speaker was former US Navy Seal and film/commercial stuntman Jeff Bramstedt. Many San Diego East County Chamber members participated in the program by facilitating table discussions with groups of high school students.

I thank our many business partners who served as facilitators and the Ethics in Business subcommittee members who planned the event for our students. Special thanks are extended to the following event sponsors: San Diego Gas & Electric, Foothills Christian Church, California Metals/OneEarth Recycling, Team Kia of El Cajon, San Diego East County Chamber Foundation, Cox Communications, DSD Business Systems, Grossmont Schools Federal Credit Union, Cindie Wolf Photography, Grove Pastry Shop, Junior Achievement, Padre Dam Municipal Water District, Aflac (Becky Burgstiner, Agent), Grossmont Healthcare District and First Citizens Bank.

El Capitan Agriculture Wins State Awards

El Capitan Principal Laura Whitaker and students showcase their awards
The Southern Region FFA State Degree and Proficiency Awards Banquet was held on Saturday, March 21, 2015, at Sonora High School in La Habra. The event included a barbeque luncheon and ceremony.

Eighteen El Capitan High School students were bestowed the high honor of the Golden State FFA Degree Award for their outstanding accomplishments. An additional 20 Proficiency Award winners were recognized, including eight Region winners:

Dustin Suttles, Ag Mechanics, Design, and Fabrication
Ralph Eastham, Ag Mechanics, Design, and Fabrication
Blake Jackson, Agricultural Sales Entrepreneurship
Daniel McMullen, Agriscience Research Integrated Systems
Kennady Wagner, Diversified Agricultural Production
Brock Roland, Environmental Science & Natural Resources
Aaron McCranie, Outdoor Recreation
Tatiana Woliung, Poultry Production

El Capitan students also won awards for Star in Agriscience (Daniel McMullen) and Star Farmer (Kennady Wagner.)
Additional school awards included Gold Star Counselor (GIS, Frank Quinones) and Gold Star Administrator (Principal, Laura Whitaker).

Congratulations, El Capitan FFA students and staff. The Grossmont Union High School District and Southern Region FFA are very proud of your outstanding accomplishments.

Annual District Airbands Competition

Steele Canyon's "Candy Men" take the top prize 
Since the 1980s, ASBs around San Diego County have provided opportunities for students who possess the talent for knowing precisely how to mouth the words to songs of practically every genre, giving birth to the phenomenon of Airbands.

On Wednesday, March 18, Grossmont High School was home to the annual Grossmont District Airband Championships. The top two winners from eight participating GUHSD schools went on to compete for cash prizes in the District competition. Traditionally, District Airbands has been a battle between Helix and Grossmont, but lately Steele Canyon and newcomer Valhalla have found the winning combination of tight lip-synching, choreography, dance, originality, creativity, costume and set design, and the right montage of songs mixed into a clever story line.

Though Granite Hills, El Cajon Valley, Grossmont and El Capitan performed well this year, Mount Miguel captured fifth place with “M-Unit’s” performance reenacting the top vines from last year. Valhalla, made its first appearance in a number of years, taking third place with a game show themed group called “Synonic.” Second place went to Steele Canyon’s “Toxic Honey.” The first place prize went to Steele Canyon’s “Candy Men” team.

Congratulations to all. The packed house at this event each year shows that Airbands are alive and well in East County!

Superintendent Ralf Swenson