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