Friday, June 12, 2015

Superintendent's Summer Send-off

The end of another school year nears as final exams are underway and commencement exercises conclude next week. I am continually impressed by the dedication and quality of our staff as evidenced by the impact we’re having on the lives of our students.

I extend congratulations to the Class of 2015 and their families. As graduation occurs next week, we reflect upon our many accomplishments as we wish our nearly 5,000 graduates continued success. We trust they leave us prepared for a great future and with many fond memories of their educational experience.

I thank each employee for their hard work and continued commitment to our students’ success. I also want to acknowledge the administrators, certificated staff and classified employees who are retiring. Thank you for your years of service and commitment to public education.

Please note, the first day of school for students in the fall is Tuesday, September 1. The Superintendent’s Newsline will return at that time.

2014-15 Gold Star Parent Volunteers Recognized by Board

GUHSD Gold Star Parent Volunteers for the 2014-2015 School Year
At the Governing Board meeting last night we honored Gold Star Parent Volunteers. The Gold Star Parent Volunteers program was developed in 2011 to recognize a parent from each school site who goes above and beyond to assist our schools in a variety of different ways.

It was wonderful to hear the stories of service to our schools as each principal introduced their Gold Star Volunteer. We thank you for your efforts on behalf of our students.

2014-15 GUHSD Gold Star Parent Volunteers:

Chaparral High School – Christy Hazlewood

El Cajon Valley High School – Randy Robinson

El Capitan High School – Mary Jorgensen

Granite Hills High School – Sue Sutton

Grossmont High School – Tony Lawrence

Monte Vista High School – Lori Gunter

Mount Miguel High School – Deborah Childers

Santana High School – Darlene Bautista-Homer

Valhalla High School – Maria Gidden

West Hills High School – Yvonne Edwards

Summer Classes for Graduates at Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges

If you’d like to get a taste of what it’s like to attend college, check out the course offerings this summer at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges. Classes are being offered beginning June 15, June 22, and throughout the summer. It’s a great way to earn some college credits, no matter what school you’ll be attending in the fall.

You’ll find classes that will help you be a better college student, including “College and Career Success,” “Study Skills and Time Management” or “College Reading.” You’ll also find a range of courses, from the history of rock music to classes in English, math, art and history. 
Classes are just $46 per credit unit for California residents, plus an $11 health fee and a $1 student government fee. A parking permit costs $18, good for both colleges. Financial aid is also available through the colleges’ financial aid offices.

For a complete list of classes and more information, click here.


I close by wishing you a wonderful summer. I hope that you will take time to rest, enjoy the company of your family and friends, and reflect upon the wonderful work that you performed this year. Following is a sampling of recent photo highlights that showcase student and staff accomplishments, including several recognitions from last night’s Governing Board Meeting:

Recognition of Valhalla Principal Mary Beth Kastan - San Diego County Art Education Association's Artissimo High School Administrator of the Year

Recognition of Chaparral Assistant Principal Jenee Littrell - recipient of the Department of Justice's Missing Children's Citizen Award

Board recognition of outgoing Student Board Representative Alexis Delmar and Alternate Davanna Ross

Recognition of El Cajon Police Department's Cadet Officer of the Year, Valhalla student Melad Tilko

GUHSD Principals honor retiring Mount Miguel Principal Steve Coover

Recognition of 2015 CIF-SDS Boys Volleyball Division II Champions - Valhalla

Recognition of 2015 CIF-SDS Boys Volleyball Division III Champions - Helix Charter

Recognition of 2014-15 State CIF Spirit of Sport Award recipient, El Cajon Valley student Brian Yeager

Mount Miguel High School's Show Choir earned first place at the Music in the Parks competition

El Cajon Valley Club Inspire students deliver new books to Johnson Elementary

Valhalla ASB receives $1K from CalTrans for placing second in Statewide Safe Driver Challenge

Superintendent's Art Award winner Kendra Constant (Granite Hills) with Superintendent Swenson and Principal Fowler

Steele Canyon student Colin Forman is Grand Prize Winner of the Golden Artistry Jewelry Design Competition. Credit Karen Pearlman

El Cajon Valley student Nagham Adeeb awarded prestigious $15K scholarship from COX

Superintendent Swenson with GUHSD's 2015 COX Cares Scholars

Superintendent's Art Award winner Matham Ali (El Cajon Valley) with Principal Richison and teacher Matt Rabasco

Adult School Students receive high school equivalency certificates at the East County Transitional Living Center

Santana's engineering teams competed in the State Engineering Design Competition, with teacher Jason Kay 

Chaparral Golden Bee Award recipients with Principal Napoleon. Credit: Boyd Anderson

Superintendent Swenson, Director of Child Nutrition Vince Scimone and Deputy Superintendent Scott Patterson man the grill at the Classified Employees Picnic

Friday, June 5, 2015

2015 Graduation Information

Helix Charter High School's Class of 2015 Celebrates on June 4

This month, approximately 4,975 students from throughout the Grossmont Union High School District will be donning caps and gowns for commencement exercises. The breakdown includes:

2015 Graduates
El Cajon Valley
El Capitan
Granite Hills
Helix Charter
Monte Vista
Mount Miguel
Steele Canyon
West Hills
Grossmont Middle College High
Alternative & Special Education
Adult School

Following is a schedule of graduation dates, times, locations, listing of valedictorians and salutatorians by school, and a list of the valedictorians including parent names and communities.    

Graduation Schedule:

SCHOOL:                                                    Date:                                       Time:          
El Cajon Valley High School                        Wednesday, June 17, 2015     6:00 p.m.   El Cajon Valley Stadium

El Capitan High School                                Wednesday, June 17, 2015     6:00 p.m.   El Capitan Stadium

Granite Hills High School                             Thursday, June 18, 2015         8:00 a.m.   Granite Hills Stadium

Grossmont High School                              Thursday, June 18, 2015         10:00 a.m.   Grossmont Stadium

Helix Charter High School                           Thursday, June 4, 2015            6:00 p.m.   Benton Hart Stadium

Monte Vista High School                             Thursday, June 18, 2015           6:00 p.m.   Monte Vista Stadium

Mount Miguel High School                          Thursday, June 18, 2015           6:00 p.m.   Mount Miguel Stadium

Santana High School                                   Wednesday, June 17, 2015      6:00 p.m.   Santana Stadium

Steele Canyon High School                        Wednesday, June 10, 2015       6:00 p.m.   Steele Canyon Stadium

Valhalla High School                                    Wednesday, June 17, 2015      5:30 p.m.   Valhalla East Lawn

West Hills High School                                Thursday, June 18, 2015           8:30 a.m.   West Hills Stadium

Alternative Education                                   Friday, June 12, 2015                6:00 p.m.   Chaparral Outdoor Quad

Grossmont Middle College High School      Monday, June 8, 2015               5:30 p.m.   Grossmont College Quad

Adult Education                                            Tuesday, June 16, 2015            6:00 p.m.   Foothills Adult School

REACH                                                        Wednesday, June 17, 2015     10:00 a.m.   REACH Facility

ELITE Academy                                          Wednesday, June 17, 2015       1:30 p.m.   ELITE Facility

MERIT Academy                                         Wednesday, June 17, 2015       1:30 p.m.   MERIT Facility


The Grossmont Union High School District has announced the names of the valedictorians for the senior class of 2015. Twenty-seven students have attained this high honor. The student names, parent names, communities, and schools are as follows:


El Cajon Valley High School

Nagham Adeeb
Chrestina Mansoor
Matthew Shearin

Mr. Nada Odesh & Ms. Kadar Rzoki
Mr. Ferial Karykus & Ms. Waad Yalda
Ms. Wyanett Powell

El Cajon
El Cajon

El Capitan High School

Emily Rivera
Rebecca Frisbie
Brienna Pies

Mr. & Mrs. Fernando (Irma) Rivera
Mr. & Mrs. Paul (Angela) Frisbie
Mr. & Mrs. Rick (Christie) Pies


Granite Hills High School

Joshua Kurtz
Jordan Jones

Mr. & Mrs. Jim (Julane) Kurtz
Mr. & Mrs. Michael (Linda) Jones

El Cajon

Grossmont High School

Sonia Scott
Donald Sheahan

Mr. & Mrs. Eric (Monica Sun-) Scott
Mr. & Mrs. Donald (Tess) Sheahan

El Cajon
El Cajon

Helix Charter High School

Kayla Cartaciano
Adrian Lam
Spencer McCall
Naomi Orosz

Mr. & Mrs. Michael (Bennett) Cartaciano
Mr. & Mrs. Henry (Fiona) Lam
Mr. & Mrs. Michael (Madhavi) McCall
Mr. Jerome Orosz & Ms. Yuehchien Lee

San Diego
La Mesa
La Mesa
Lemon Grove

Monte Vista High School

Alissa Gunter
Angela Chen

Mr. & Mrs. Arthur (Lori) Gunter
Mr. David Tran & Ms. Rong Wu

Spring Valley
Spring Valley

Mount Miguel High School

Rita Tran

Mr. Phuc Tran & Ms. Huong Le

San Diego

Santana High School

Jett Pettus

Mr. & Mrs. William (Jennifer) Pettus


Steele Canyon High School

Brejjette Aljabi

Mr. & Mrs. Nick (Lamya) Aljabi

La Mesa

Valhalla High School

Amanda Ly
Drew Andersen
Elizabeth Horn

Mr. Treu Ly & Ms. Nga Vuong
Mr. & Mrs. Brian (Lori) Andersen
Mr. & Mrs. Christopher (Ann) Horn

El Cajon
El Cajon
El Cajon

West Hills High School

Megan Bursch
Anne Dettinger
Jacob Samson
Wendy Sigler

Ms. Jackie Reney
Mr. Michael Dettinger & Ms. Robin Rierdan
Mr. & Mrs. Danilo (Hanna) Samson
Mr. & Mrs. Robert (Huong Amy) Sigler

El Cajon
Grossmont Middle College

Devon Decker

 Mr. & Mrs. Ben (Cynthia) Decker



El Cajon Valley High School
339 Graduates (including 5 January grads)

Valedictorians:  Nagham Adeeb, 4.6
Chrestina Mansoor, 4.6
Matthew Shearin, 4.6

Salutatorian:       none

El Capitan High School
333 Graduates (including 1 January grad)
Valedictorians:  Emily Rivera, 4.857
Rebecca Frisbie, 4.786
Brienna Pies, 4.773

Salutatorian:       Dalton Jennings, 4.714

Granite Hills High School
616 Graduates (including 4 January grads)

Valedictorians:  Joshua Kurtz, 4.841
Jordan Jones, 4.826

Salutatorians:    Shayan Afshar, 4.808
Safa Raffo, 4.788
Johannah Meyer, 4.75

Grossmont High School
525 Graduates (including 1 January grad)

Valedictorians:  Sonia Scott, 4.854
Donald Sheahan, 4.813

Salutatorian:       Benjamin Kesner, 4.787

Helix Charter High School
499 Graduates (including 6 January grads)

Valedictorians:  Adrian Lam, 4.79
Naomi Orosz, 4.78
Kayla Cartaciano, 4.7
Spencer McCall, 4.69
Salutatorian:       none

Monte Vista High School
365 Graduates (including 6 January grads)

Valedictorians:  Alissa Gunter, 4.795
Angela Chen, 4.732

Salutatorian:      Jerrimay Algoso, 4.644

Mount Miguel High School
315 Graduates

Valedictorian:     Rita Tran, 4.738

Salutatorian:       Hope Magracia, 4.60

Santana High School
316 Graduates

Valedictorian:     Jett Pettus, 4.744
Salutatorians:    Adrian Dinescu, 4.692
Marissa McKasson, 4.692
Selina Wade, 4.692

Steele Canyon High School
495 Graduates (including 5 January grads)

Valedictorian:     Brejjette Aljabi, 4.696
Salutatorians:    Katie Raya, 4.694
Arya Jahan, 4.689
Sophia Alcaraz, 4.667
Cedar Hobbs, 4.640

Valhalla High School
473 Graduates

Valedictorians:  Amanda Ly, 4.85
Drew Andersen, 4.818
Elizabeth Horn, 4.818
Salutatorian:      Catherine Camara, 4.791

West Hills High School
475 Graduates (including 1 January grad)

Valedictorians:  Megan Bursch, 4.756
Anne Dettinger, 4.844
Jacob Samson, 4.761
Wendy Sigler, 4.717
Salutatorian:      Philip Pentsakov, 4.717

Grossmont Middle College High School
35 Graduates

Valedictorian:     Devon Decker, 4.721
Salutatorian:       Ryan Zentmyer, 4.706

Alternative Education & Special Education
104 Graduates

Grossmont Adult School
85 Graduates