Friday, November 20, 2015

What's New in GUHSD

27th Annual Thanksgiving Feast at Chaparral

Students enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal at Chaparral
Chaparral High School hosted the 27th Annual Thanksgiving Feast on Wednesday, November 18. Students and staff were treated to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

The annual tradition is a fitting close to the week before break. Sponsored by Chaparral’s ASB, the event has its origins in the staff wanting to ensure that students at the continuation school received a Thanksgiving dinner and that this time-honored tradition enjoyed by so many is not taken for granted.

El Capitan Shines at National FFA Convention & Expo

El Capitan FFA student Tatiana Woliung with her project
The El Capitan High School FFA program competed at the 88th National FFA Convention in Louisville, Kentucky on October 28-31. The National FFA Convention & Expo is the organization’s premier gathering during which all FFA competitive events, programs and awards are recognized on a national stage. The event brings FFA members together to learn, be inspired and celebrate their accomplishments in the organization.

Top honors recognizing outstanding student achievement went to:

Tyler Mellott and Danny McMullen
3rd place
Gold Award
Food Products and Processing Advanced Team

Tatiana Woliung
9th place
Silver Award
Animal Systems Advanced Individual

Ralph Eastham
12th place
Silver Award
Food Products and Processing Individual

We are very proud of our students for their hard work in reaching this level of competition as well as the outstanding program at El Capitan High School.

Health Pathways Students Attend Men in Nursing Conference

A Health Pathway senior observes valves in a cow heart 
On Friday, November 6th, GUHSD Health Pathway students attended the Men in Nursing conference, hosted at Grossmont College. Students interacted with industry professionals, explored nursing as a career, met with local nursing programs, dissected a cow heart, toured the simulation nursing lab, and practiced the skill of manually taking a blood pressure. The hands-on experience, coupled with the mentorship of actual health care practitioners has helped prepare these future nurses to succeed in their future programs of study!

Special Education Hosts Dutch Educators

Dutch Educators meet with Superintendent Swenson
Last month, the Special Education Career Center and the El Cajon Valley High School Mod/Severe Special Education Department hosted eleven Special Education teachers from the Netherlands. The opportunity grew out of a partnership with the SDSU Interwork Institute and Director Dr. Caren Sax. This was the third year that the two departments collaborated in hosting the Dutch educators. The visit included the sharing of programs, curriculum, and strategies and services to assist the teachers in developing inclusive education and experiences for students with special needs. The group was treated to a visit by Superintendent Swenson, who shared his family's experience of when he hosted a Dutch Foreign Exchange Student. 

In 1973, the United States passed the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), the first groundbreaking legislation regarding education for students with disabilities. This Act ensured all students, regardless of the disability, a free and appropriate education. The Netherlands enacted their first legislative act, the Act of Inclusive Education, thereby strengthening the expectation that individuals with disabilities be educated and employed alongside their non-disabled peers. The goal of the Dutch Educator tour is to assist, educate, collaborate and support our fellow teachers around the world to provide what is every student’s right regardless of (dis)ability. 


The Grossmont Athletic Conference is experiencing quite a bit of success in the CIF-SDS Fall sport playoffs. 

Tonight we have six quarterfinal football games scheduled. Helix Charter, Grossmont, Valhalla, and Granite Hills will all be at home, while Steele Canyon travels to Grossmont, and Santana plays at University City. All games begin at 7:00 p.m.

The Volleyball Division 4 Championship will be decided tonight with El Capitan taking on Calexico at 7:00 p.m. at Canyon Crest High School.

On Saturday the Cross Country Championships will be held at Morley Field in Balboa Park. Ten races are run, with the first at 8:30 a.m. and the last race going off at 1:25 p.m. All eleven of our schools will be represented. 

Two more Volleyball Championships are scheduled for Saturday at Cathedral Catholic High School. In the Division 3 Final, Steele Canyon vs. Mission Bay will begin at 11:00 a.m., with Valhalla trying to defeat Olympian at 1:15 p.m. to claim the Division 2 crown. 

Also on Saturday, Valhalla's water polo match will be held at La Jolla High School at 4:45 p.m. to determine the Division 1 title.

Local news media will highlight our Football semifinals to be played over Thanksgiving weekend. We should also have teams playing in the State Volleyball playoffs and runners competing in the State Cross Country meet on Saturday, November 28. 


I end this issue by wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday. It is my hope that each of you has an opportunity to spend time with your loved ones next week and that your holiday is safe and enjoyable.

Superintendent Ralf Swenson