Friday, May 29, 2015

What's New in GUHSD

The Grossmont Union High School District Announces New School for the 2015-16 School Year

In an effort to expand educational options that meet the needs of our East County youth, the Grossmont Union High School District is launching the IDEA Center, a small high school of choice, open to students grades 9-12 next school year. The IDEA Center will focus on college and career readiness through a college preparatory curriculum linked to career and technical education pathways.

Characterized by small class sizes and an integrated curriculum infused with technology, students at The IDEA Center will each receive a Chromebook for student use at school and home. Students will choose an individualized learning plan that leads to career exploration, internship opportunities and demonstrations of their learning prior to graduation. The IDEA Center teachers are content experts who are highly skilled in Linked Learning collaboration and technology use in the classroom. Staff members will serve as mentors/advisors to each student working to support their academic needs and personal growth.

The school is located at 1600 N. Cuyamaca Street in El Cajon and will operate on a 4 X 4 quarter system with teachers teaching three classes and an advisory period each day. Teachers work in Linked Learning interdisciplinary teams, with whom they meet during common prep periods to collaborate. Teachers support and advise students in preparation for ongoing demonstrations of learning, internships, and projects.

For more information click Open Houses will be held at the school on June 3 and June 10 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at 1600 N. Cuyamaca Street in El Cajon.

We are pleased to provide you with yet another valuable option to help maximize your student’s academic and personal success.

GUHSD included in CA Career Pathways Trust Grant Awards

This week, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson awarded $244 million in grants to 40 programs that blend academic and career technical education, connect employers with schools, and train students for jobs in high-demand fields.

The San Diego County College and Career Readiness Consortium was awarded a California Career Pathways Trust Grant of $13.1 million. As one of over 15 districts participating in this grant, the Grossmont Union High School District expects to receive approximately $1.4 million over the two-year scope of the grant. This project aims to support career pathway programming county-wide through professional development for teachers and counselors, curriculum development and industry engagement, with facilitation from the United Way of San Diego County. The project features career pathways in the following industries: advanced manufacturing, clean energy, and information and communications technology.

 California Career Pathways Trust grant recipients are tasked with creating sustained career pathways programs that link businesses, K–12 schools, and community colleges to prepare students for the 21st century workplace.

Steele Canyon Twins Named 2015 Grossmont Healthcare District Healthcare Heroes

Veronika and Anjelika Cannon, 2015 Healthcare Hero Award Recipients
Two Steele Canyon High School twin sisters were recently honored by the Grossmont Healthcare District with 2015 Healthcare Hero awards. Seniors Veronika and Anjelika Cannon were recognized for their volunteer service at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa. Since the end of their ninth grade year in June 2012, the two sisters have volunteered about 1,500 hours.

Their volunteer service (700 hours for Anjelika and 800 hours for Veronika) has included spending time in different hospital areas, such as the Women’s Center, Rehabilitation Unit, pharmacy, Medical Intensive Care Unit, East Tower and the Thrift Korral. Since they are among the more experienced Junior Volunteers, both girls have become involved in training new junior volunteers. They were named Junior Volunteers of the Month, Anjelika in January 2014 and Veronika in March 2014.

In addition to volunteering at the hospital, the girls have participated at the American Heart Association’s San Diego Heart & Stroke Walk. They have also volunteered as aides in classes for students with disabilities at Fuerte Elementary School, Lexington Elementary School and Hillsdale Middle School. They spent several weeks last summer volunteering at Camp Harmon, a residential camp for children and adults with disabilities that’s operated by Easter Seals. They also have served the past two years at Noah Homes, assisting the residents with bingo games, dances and other activities. Anjelika also is mentoring a girl attending Bostonia Elementary School in El Cajon as part of the Big Sisters program.

My hat’s off to these two inspirational sisters for their diverse and valuable volunteer service to our community.

Monte Vista Receives Grant from the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries

Monte Vista High School has been selected to receive a $7,000 library grant from the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries. The foundation's mission is to help encourage a love of reading and learning for students. This foundation provides library grants to schools in order to expand, update, and diversify book and print collections.

“No matter what you want to be when you grow up – a doctor or a lawyer, a senator, an artist, or a teacher, reading will help you reach your goal…By providing more schools with better reading materials, the Laura Bush Foundation helps students understand more of the world around them and its limitless possibilities,” said Mrs. Laura Bush.

Since its inception in 2002, the foundation has awarded over $12.5 million to almost 2,500 schools across the country. In addition to the annual grants, the “Gulf Coast School Library Recovery Initiative” in 2006 provided more than $6.3 million to school libraries affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita so that they could rebuild book collections lost or destroyed in the storms.

Save the Date: Student-run Twelfth Night Production on June 4 & 5

Upstart Theatre Company is proud to present its inaugural production, William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, hosted by the Valhalla Theatre Arts Department. Upstart, founded in 2015, is comprised of and run entirely by students from schools throughout the Grossmont Union High School District, and is dedicated to keeping classical works of theatre alive on the modern educational stage.

This is the first time ever that a fully student-run play has been produced at Valhalla and the first time students from multiple schools have collaborated to perform a play. Directed by Christopher Torborg (Valhalla), and starring Ashley Brown (Monte Vista) as Viola and Joseph Chavez (Valhalla) as Orsino, this rollicking comedy takes us on a hysterical romp through 1930s Illyria, featuring mistaken identity and found love. Two nights only: June 4 and 5 at 7:00 p.m. in the Valhalla High School Theater, located at 1725 Hillsdale Road in El Cajon. Tickets $10 for adults, $8 for students, $5 for children five and under/senior/military; available here or by calling (619) 593-5454.

Superintendent Ralf Swenson

Friday, May 22, 2015

What's New in GUHSD

East County College and High School District Boards Discuss New Education Alliance in Joint Meeting

Members of the GUHSD & Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Boards
The new East County Education Alliance, a partnership between the East County high school and college districts, was the topic of discussion at the first joint meeting of the two districts’ Governing Boards on May 19.

At the meeting, members of the governing boards for the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District and Grossmont Union High School District heard reports on the progress the Alliance has made since its formation last Fall.

The Alliance was formed to increase collaboration between the two districts so that students are better informed about their college and career options after high school and have a smoother path to college. The partnership is also working to encourage more high school students to take college preparatory and for-credit classes so they are better prepared when they take the next step in their education. 

The Alliance wants to increase the number of students who graduate from high school prepared for college, along with increasing the numbers of students who graduate from college ready to enter the workforce. 

Since the Alliance’s initial meeting in October, representatives from the high school and college district have been meeting to develop strategies in specific areas including: 

•Aligning curriculum so that high school students learn what they need to know to succeed in their college classes
•Promoting readiness for college for high school students
•Developing communications with high school students and their parents to inform them about preparing for college and a career
•Engaging businesses and the community to help define and support Alliance goals

A fall summit is planned for Wednesday, September 30, 2015.

Mount Miguel JROTC Annual Memorial Day Ceremony 

Mount Miguel JROTC's Annual Memorial Day Ceremony
Mount Miguel High School JROTC held its annual Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 18, 2015. The program began with Battalion Executive Officer Cadet Major Karlyle Laraya providing a brief history and understanding of the significance of this important day.

The program included the playing of Reveille, followed by the National Anthem, performed by Cadet Marie Cris Cruz, as the flag was raised.

Originally, Memorial Day was called “Decoration Day,” because it was traditionally marked by parades, memorial speeches, ceremonies, and the decoration of gravesites with flowers and flags. In honor of this tradition, Cadet 2LT Devin Terlaje served as Honor Bearer, placing an American Flag, a helmet, and a pair of boots at the base of the flag pole. He then slowly saluted the flag as a symbol of respect and honor to those who have served and sacrificed their lives for America’s freedom.

The ceremony closed as the flag was lowered while To the Colors and Taps were played.

2014-15 Sportsmanship Awards Ceremony

GUHSD 2014-15 Sportsmanship Award Recipients
The 2014-15 Sportsmanship Awards Ceremony was held on Tuesday, May 19, at the La Mesa Community Center. At the annual event, 22 GUHSD student athletes took to the stage to accept their awards in the presence of family members, coaches and school officials. Two students from each high school in the District were honored, not just for excellence in sports, but in recognition of their sportsmanship and character.

After accepting their awards, the students and their family members received complimentary photos courtesy of Boyd Anderson Photography. Parents, siblings and other family members stood with the students after pictures with coaches and administrators were taken.

The Grossmont Athletic Conference is the only one in San Diego County to present sportsmanship awards of this kind. I believe the event is an important extension of what we aim for as an educational institution and is consistent with upholding the CIF 16 Principles of Pursuing Victory with Honor.

Congratulations to the following 2014-15 Sportsmanship Award Recipients:

El Cajon Valley High School - Matthew Shearin & Mary Grace Ronquillo

El Capitan High School - Bradley Cagle & Taylor Towne

Granite Hills - Joshua Kurtz & Tawnee Hopper

Grossmont - Ryan Daniel Barnes & Theresa Mapp

Helix Charter - Dominic J. Pletcher & Brandi Watkins

Monte Vista - Jonathan Christian Taripe & Lia Ortega

Mount Miguel - Charlie Jones III & Cierra Conwright

Santana - Ryan Bratlien & Kristi-Ana Lopez Martinez

Steele Canyon - Derek Charles Tyler & Sophia Alcaraz

Valhalla - Abigail Metsch & Tyler Myron Buzzell

West Hills - Raphael “Raphy” Carr & Marissa M. Miller

2nd Annual Celebration of Community Partners Event

GUHSD celebrated its WorkAbility & Transition Partnership Project, which mutually benefits students with special needs, employers and the local community
The Grossmont Union High School District celebrated community partners involved with its WorkAbility & Transition Partnership Project at the Elks Lodge in El Cajon on Thursday, May 21. The event highlighted employers who have partnered with the school district and agencies to support special needs students with employment and higher education. WorkAbility and the Transition Partnership Project are statewide collaborative programs of the California Department of Education, the State Department of Rehabilitation, and local education agencies.

These programs were created through interagency agreements in order to promote career exploration and teach vocational skills to students in Special Education.

Student Joey Terhaar shares his work experience
The event included employers sharing their success stories of students’ employment and a multimedia presentation showcasing students and employers in the work place.  A highlight was hearing from students Joseph Ross, Darren Santos, Cody Sherrill and Joey Terhaar, who shared their inspiring work experiences.

Business organizations that participated in the event included: Chapel of the Valley, Children’s Choice, Department of Rehabilitation, Elks Lodge/El Cajon, Friends of Cats, Heaven’s Windows, Jack in the Box, Marshalls, Mossy VW of El Cajon, Mount Miguel Covenant Village, Rancho Valhalla Nursery, Red Hawk Ranch, Rita’s Catering, Round Table Pizza, San Miguel Fire Department, Spring Valley Youth & Family Coalition, The Chapel at Grossmont, Cuyamaca Water Conservation Garden and Walgreens.

Together, we are building strong partnerships with community business leaders that result in high quality work-based education programs that are helping high school students with varied disabilities transition into successful employment or higher education.
In closing, I wish you and your families a safe and fun-filled Memorial Day. I also take this opportunity to thank all of the men and women who have fought and died to protect our freedom as well as those who are presently serving our country.

Superintendent Ralf Swenson

Friday, May 15, 2015

What's New in GUHSD

Governing Board Recognition of the CTE Ambassadors
CTE Student Ambassadors Program 

Seventeen Career Technical Education (CTE) Student Ambassadors from various high schools in the Grossmont Union High School District recently participated in a two-day trip to Sacramento to advocate for continued support and funding of CTE programs. 
The CTE Department’s Student Ambassador Program was created six years ago to provide students with the opportunity to share their passion and promote awareness for Career Technical Education.

A Santana student shares her drafting design with Senator Anderson
During the CTE Student Ambassadors' visit to Sacramento  they met with seven San Diego County legislators to showcase student work and stress the importance of continued funding for Career Technical Education.

Student Ambassadors presented to legislators on the profound influence that pathway classes have had in their own lives. They were proud of their schools, CTE programs and individual accomplishments. It was clear that our legislators enjoyed learning from the students and hearing their opinions, experiences and viewpoints. 

Senator Joel Anderson and Assembly Member Brian Jones, both representatives of our school district’s boundaries, invited Student Ambassadors to visit the Senator and Assembly floors. The trip also included a tour of the Capitol, Capitol Gardens, Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial and a walking tour of Old Sacramento.

Our Student Ambassadors continuously demonstrate outstanding leadership and communication skills, while providing service to their school, the district, and the community. They are passionate about the benefits of CTE classes and outstanding role models for their peers.

Regional Biliteracy Symposium Highlights Leaders in GUHSD

Honorees Saul Hernandez and Jason Martinez with Monte Vista Principal Randy Montesanto
On May 10, 2015, the 17th Annual Biliteracy Symposium of the San Diego County Office of Education honored school district leaders for their work in biliteracy. The symposium celebrates biliteracy as an educational asset and celebrates its achievements. Biliteracy programs provide students with access to a rigorous curriculum that result in proficiency in two languages.

Awards were presented to 36 biliteracy leaders in 20 school districts. The 2015 Leadership in Biliteracy Awards honorees in GUHSD were Saul Hernandez and Jason Martinez. 

SAUL HERNANDEZ - Guidance Information Specialist, Monte Vista High School

Mr. Hernandez has been a Guidance Information Specialist for more than 17 years. He has led the school’s Si Se Puede Club and been involved in AVID, ESL, and the Boys to Men Program. He is a passionate advocate for all parents, especially non-English speaking parents, influencing many who never attended high school to complete high school and attend college.

He coordinated the First Year Experience Program with Cuyamaca College, which is a comprehensive and intentional approach to beginning college. Its purpose is to ensure that students learn and persist through their first year. He helped more than 500 students, including many who are English learners and biliterate, get involved in the program in recent years. Thanks to his work, many students have enrolled in math and English tutorials and counseling services and have been successful through their freshman year of college.
JASON MARTINEZ - English Learner Counselor, District Office

Mr. Martinez has served as the District EL Counselor for five years and before that was the EL Counselor at West Hills High School for 10 years, assisting hundreds of newcomer students and their families with smooth transitions.  Jason was one of the first to advocate for awarding the Seal of Biliteracy to multilingual students and identifying those who meet the qualifications.

A passionate spokesperson for biliteracy, he is always looking for new ways to identify and support those students who speak more than one language.  He has developed a newcomer questionnaire so the needs of all incoming students can be met.  He always goes the extra mile to support counselors with our growing number of multilingual students and makes sure that educators are aware of all the options for our district’s many biliterate students.

CTE and Adult Education Community Advisory Meeting

CTE Director Gary Schwartzwald addressing advisory group
On April 23, over 150 community members and staff met for the CTE and Adult Education Community Advisory Meeting to hear updates regarding new developments in each program and provide input on programs for adults and high school students.   Adult Education and Career Technical Education are stronger than ever and moving forward with a variety of programs. Here are just a few of the current opportunities available through Adult and CTE: 

Career Technical Education Pathways at all district high schools
Career training at Health Occupations
High school diploma and basic skills classes at Foothills Adult Center
EL and citizenship classes at El Cajon Adult Center
Community interest classes at Steele Canyon Adult Center 
Career training and services at the East County Career Center

After the overview of CTE and Adult Education programs, teachers, students, parents, administrators, and industry advisors separated into smaller sessions to work on a variety of goals and new initiatives.  Input from all stakeholders is essential to make sure programs maximize their potential to serve East County effectively.  Thank you to all who came out to provide valuable input to shape these programs for the future.

San Diego County CAROCP Awards Ceremony 

CTE Students greet arriving guests at CAROCP Ceremony
On April 29, the San Diego County Office of Education hosted the California Association of Regional Occupational Centers and Programs (CAROCP) Awards. The evening started out with a “Taste of CTE” which included culinary programs from nine high schools presenting delicious hors d'oeuvres and spectacular desserts. Students of Eugenie King’s Culinary Program at Valhalla High School did a wonderful job and were a highlight of the Taste of CTE. Fabulous floral arrangements were provided for the program and awards ceremony by students from Chaparral High School, under the leadership of Brenda Davis-Landini.  

Monte Vista student Colin Donaghue is honored with teacher Mike Fleming
At the CAROCP Awards ceremony, emceed by San Diego Workforce Partnership Vice President Andy Hall, GUHSD CTE showed its strength. Receiving a Distinguished CTE Student Award was Ashley Lopez, a Civil Engineering and Architecture student with teacher Jason Kay at Santana. Colin Donaghue earned the Outstanding Achievement in Automotive Technology award. Colin is an Automotive Technology student with teacher Mike Fleming at Monte Vista. To conclude the evening, there were three scholarship awards provided by the Kelly McGinnis Memorial Foundation. Two Grossmont students were recipients; Kira Duffet from Grossmont and Karissa Gilmore from El Capitan. It was a terrific evening for our outstanding CTE students.

The honored students have a strong foundation of technical and 21st Century skills to be successful in life.

29th Annual GUHSD District Art Show Opens Tonight

I hope you will join us for the opening reception of the 29th Annual GUHSD Student Art Show at Westfield Shopping Center-Parkway Plaza, near JC Penney tonight. The opening reception begins at 5:30 p.m. with an awards ceremony. Student artwork will be on exhibit through Sunday afternoon.

Upcoming Events:

Please join us next weekend for music performances by our talented GUHSD high school musicians. The Orchestra Showcase will be at West Hills High School on May 22 at 6:00 p.m. All five of our high school orchestras will be performing. Tickets are $5 at the door for adults and high school students. Middle school and younger children are free.

The 2015 Honor Jazz Band and Jazz Showcase will be held on May 23, at 2:00 p.m. at Smith Recital Hall at San Diego State University (SDSU). Our high school jazz bands will perform individually, followed by a performance by the Honor Jazz Band, led by special guest conductor and Director of Jazz Studies at SDSU, Bill Yeager. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for high schoolers, and middle school and under are free.

Superintendent Ralf Swenson

Friday, May 8, 2015

What's New in GUHSD

2014-2015 Golden Apple Awards & Retirement Ceremony

Several Golden Apple recipients pictured with members of the GUHSD Governing Board and Superintendent Swenson
The 30th Annual Golden Apple Awards & Retirement Ceremony was held on Monday, May 4, in the Bob Guess Theater for the Performing Arts at West Hills High School in Santee. The Golden Apple Awards event recognizes outstanding teachers selected by the student body in each of the District’s high schools and other educational programs.

The Governing Board and the students of the Grossmont District, through their respective ASBs, host the evening in honor of those teachers who were selected as the 2014 – 2015 honorees at their schools.

The 2014-2015 Golden Apple Award recipients include:

Chaparral: Bill Deerfield

El Cajon Valley: Sarah Michelson

El Capitan: Hilary Nau

Granite Hills: Danny Root

Grossmont: Amber Garrett

Helix Charter: Aleen Jendian

Monte Vista: Deirdre Oakley

Mount Miguel: Stacey Johnson

Santana: Tim Barry

Steele Canyon: Luis Cely

Valhalla: Keith McKee

West Hills: Courtney Pate

Adult Education: Susan G. Taylor

Alternative Education (Phoenix Program): Robert Maines

Career/Technical Education: Jenn Hanzal

Special Education: Kyndel Ross
We also recognized four classified employees who were selected on the basis of their outstanding service throughout the year:

First Quarter: Kelcy Sutton, Special Education Aide

Second Quarter: Saul Hernandez, Guidance Information Specialist

Third Quarter: Robin Pistole, Budget Specialist

Fourth Quarter: Josephine “Jo” Willson, Administrative Secretary

Saul Hernandez, GUHSD Classified Employee of the Year
Saul Hernandez, was further honored as he was selected as Classified Employee of the Year for the Grossmont District.

In addition, we rounded out the evening by honoring district employees who have retired during the 2014 – 2015 school year. Click here to view the event program, including the list of retirees. We thank them for their service to our youth and wish them much happiness in this next stage of their lives.

One of the highlights of my job is having the opportunity to recognize these outstanding teachers, classified employees, and retirees who are working hard to ensure that the student experience in GUHSD is positive.

I thank the following community partners and organizations whose generous donations helped make this annual event possible: Boyd Anderson Photography; Fagen, Friedman & Fulfrost LLP; Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo; Stutz, Artiano, Shinoff & Holtz; and SixTen, Inc. I also recognize the following District services for their assistance with this event: GUHSD ASB organizations, CTE Floral Design Program, Food Services, Media Services, West Hills Strings & Guitar and West Hills High School.

El Cajon Valley, Monte Vista & Steele Canyon Highs Schools Receive Prestigious Gold Ribbon Designation

El Cajon Valley, Monte Vista, and Steele Canyon Highs Schools were named Gold Ribbon Schools this week by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. 

They were among 180 high schools honored under the award program, which is temporarily taking the place of the California Distinguished Schools Program.

"These schools are academically successful, vibrant, and innovative centers of learning and teaching," State Superintendent Tom Torlakson said. "They provide great examples of the things educators are doing right—embracing rigorous academic standards, providing excellence and creativity in teaching, and creating a positive school climate."

The California Gold Ribbon Schools Award was created to honor schools in place of the California Distinguished Schools Program, which is on hiatus while California creates new assessment and accountability systems.

Schools applied for the award based on a model program their school has adopted that includes standards-based activities, projects, strategies, and practices that can be replicated by other local educational agencies.

Champion of Champions Event Celebrates CTE Pathway Students

Mount Miguel Marketing Pathway student Melanie Herrera was one of many CTE Champions recognized. Pictured here with teachers Jeff Wood and James McFarland
The 33rd annual Career Technical Education Champion of Champions Event was held on Thursday, May 7, 2015, at the Ronald Reagan Community Center in El Cajon. Everyone was welcomed to “CTE Country” as Jim Perondi from South County SELPA provided musical entertainment. Flowers were furnished by the students from the Floral Design class at Chaparral under the expert guidance of Brenda Davis-Landini. Culinary delights were prepared by the Culinary Arts and CTE Restaurant Services classes at Granite Hills (Jill Enright, teacher), Valhalla/Chaparral High Schools (Eugenie King, teacher), Santana (Donna Small, teacher), and El Cajon Valley (Christine May, teacher).

The 35 CTE pathways are offered on all campuses and are established on one of the 15 different industry sectors recognized by the State as important to California’s economy and workforce. One student from each pathway at each school was honored as the Outstanding Pathway Student of the Year.

Click here to view the program.

Sandy Ryan presents Terry K. Ryan Future Teacher Scholarships to two students
The 2015 celebration also recognized two students from the Education Pathway, Mary Sako, Granite Hills High School, and Kira Duffett, Grossmont High School, who are aspiring teachers, and were awarded the Terry K. Ryan Scholarship presented by Ms. Sandy Ryan. Monte Vista High School Automotive Pathway student Colin Donaghue was recognized for Outstanding Achievement in Automotive Technology at the San Diego County Office of Education. Additionally, Santana High School student, Ashley Lopez, represented GUHSD CTE as the outstanding district CTE student at the San Diego County Office of Education Awards Ceremony in April.

Retiring teacher Mike Helkenn once again provided exceptional entertainment as the Master of Ceremonies. In addition to the great annual Champions event, the district CTE teachers, along with the entire CTE Administration and staff, deserve special recognition for the quality programs they provide for the students of East County every day. 

Superintendent Ralf Swenson

Friday, May 1, 2015

What's New in GUHSD

Mount Miguel Student Earns $100 Prize in Ethics Essay Contest

Superintendent Swenson and Allaura Ailey
GUHSD’s Career Technical Education program was front and center at the San Diego East County Chamber’s monthly breakfast meeting today. In addition to highlighting the award-winning CTE programs in our schools, we also recognized the winners of the Chamber’s Ethics in Business Conference essay contest, which was open to all students who participated in the conference.

Thanks to the generosity of the San Diego East County Chamber membership, four East County students were selected, including Mount Miguel student Allaura Ailey.

Allaura and her aunt, along with Principal Steve Coover, and teacher Bridget Desonia were present as she read her essay to the Chamber members.

Community Partner Steve Devan Honored

Steve Devan honored as Community Partner
Last week, Grossmont Schools Federal Credit Union CEO Steve Devan was prominently featured at the annual San Diego County School Board Association’s “Honoring our Own” Awards Dinner at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel on Friday, April 24.

I nominated Steve Devan and was proud to be beside him as he was honored as Community Partner of the Year. Please join me in congratulating Mr. Devan on this high honor. We deeply appreciate his commitment to our schools in the region.

The beautiful floral centerpieces for the event were created by the Chaparral High School ROP Floral Design class and Grossmont High School’s NJROTC Color Guard presented the colors at this annual event that highlights those who contribute so much to the field of education.

Santana Students Lead the Way

Second place finisher "Team Legitimate" advances to the state competition
Santana High School entered two teams in this year's Introduction to Engineering Design/Project Lead the Way (PLTW) San Diego Regional competition. This year's regional competition was held Saturday April 18, 2015, at Kearny High School. 

"Team Legitimate" members: Colton Gerry, Kevin Kelly, and Noah Kemp earned 2nd place, while their counterparts "Crimson Typhoon" consisting of Selina Wade, Ashley Lopez, and Ryan Bratlien, earned 3rd place in the 2015 Chevron Design Challenge. 

The teams were tasked to design a step ladder with a special feature that would assist the elderly for household use. Fifteen teams competed overall and the top three finishers move on to the state competition held on May 16, 2015, in Folsom.
Best wishes to our two Santana teams that are advancing and will compete against the other top teams in the state.

29th Annual GUHSD District Art Show Opens May 15

I hope you will join us for the opening reception of the 29th Annual GUHSD Student Art Show at Westfield Shopping Center-Parkway Plaza, near JC Penney. The opening reception will be held on Friday, May 15, at 5:30 p.m., with an awards ceremony. Student artwork will be on exhibit through Sunday afternoon.

The district student art exhibition has grown and developed into a wonderful exhibit over the past 28 years, with ten different categories, including: black & white drawing, color drawing, painting, photography, creative photography, digital arts, sculpture, functional ceramics, printmaking, and metalwork/jewelry, with beginning and advanced divisions in each category. This event is made possible with the generous support of the Associated Student Bodies of all district high schools.

Superintendent Ralf Swenson