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