Friday, April 17, 2015

What's New in GUHSD

GUHSD 2015-2016 Teachers of the Year with the Governing Board and Superintendent Swenson
2015 – 2016 Teacher of the Year Recognition Ceremony

At the Governing Board meeting on April 16, we recognized the Teacher of the Year nominees from each of our schools. This is a great honor, as each nominee was selected by their peers. 

School site nominees are interviewed by a panel comprised of previous Teachers of the Year and District personnel. The panel selects two representatives from this distinguished group to recommend to our Board of Trustees for consideration for the San Diego County Teacher of the Year competition. If selected to represent the County, the next step is the California Teacher of the Year Competition. 

These GUHSD teachers are representative of the quality of our educators. I am pleased to present to you the GUHSD 2015-2016 Teachers of the Year:

El Cajon Valley High School:
Franz Ruiz – Biology, AP Environmental Science

Granite Hills High School:
John Houston – Social Science, AP US History

Grossmont High School:
Tom Eklund – Physics, AP Physics

Monte Vista High School:
Marisa Alvarado – Biology, AP Environmental Science, Science 1C

Mount Miguel High School:
First Sergeant Brian Bennett – JROTC Army Instructor

Santana High School:
Donna A. Small – Culinary Arts, Foods and Nutrition

Valhalla High School:
Shoshana Adams – Humanities II

Alternative Education/Chaparral High School:
Brenda Davis-Landini – CTE Floral Design

And our two 2015 - 2016 GUHSD Teachers of the Year who advance to compete at the County level for San Diego County Teacher of the Year:

Matt Norris & Andie Cooke, GUHSD Teachers of the Year, who advance to the County Competition

Andrea (Andie) Cooke – Representing El Capitan High School

Andie is a Spanish and AP Spanish Teacher as well as the Chairperson of the World Language Department at El Capitan High School, where she has been teaching since 2005.  Andie reports that teaching the Spanish language and culture is her passion. She enjoys teaching the beginning classes and watching her students grow to comprehend the language and participate conversationally.

According to Principal Laura Whitaker, “Andie pours her heart and soul into her teaching and she genuinely cares about her students.”  A colleague shared, “She is dynamic and full of motivational energy that really inspires her students.”

Matthew Norris – Representing West Hills High School

Matt is a Social Science, AP World History Teacher and the Infinite Campus Trainer/Teacher Coach at West Hills High School, where he has been teaching since 2003. Matt was inspired to become a teacher after a six-week trip to Mexico, where he visited factories, mines, businesses, farms, and presidential palaces. There, he saw the power of education in changing lives.

Principal Robin Ballarin describes Matt as organized, diligent and extremely dependable. He cares deeply about his students and their learning. A colleague shared, “Matt is an extraordinary teacher, who consistently pushes himself to provide the best learning experience for his students on a day-to-day basis, year after year.”

Please join me in congratulating Andrea Cooke and Matthew Norris, as well as our other inspirational Teachers of the Year! We are very proud to have these fine teachers represent their school sites and our district as our 2015-2016 Teachers of the Year.


In closing, I share with you a number of board recognitions, many of which showcase the academic achievement and athletic prowess shown by our talented students:
Varsity Academic League Champions, Helix Charter High School

Junior Varsity Academic League Champions, Santana High School

Retiring Academic League Coordinator, Richard Beach

2015 Fall CIF-SDS Girls' Basketball Division IV Champions, El Capitan 

2015 Fall CIF-SDS Boys' Basketball Division III Champions, El Cajon Valley

Director of Information and Technology Services, Rick Roberts, Receives State Recognition