Friday, January 29, 2016

What's New in GUHSD

A Successful Business Partnership

Marcel Becker, General Manager of Trident Maritime Systems, discusses the need for skilled welders
San Diego is home to the largest and most capable shipbuilding and repair industry cluster on the West Coast. With such a strong demand for welders in San Diego and beyond, the Metal Masters Pathway at El Cajon Valley is enabling students to begin careers in the welding/metal fabrication industry while simultaneously preparing them for college-level metals programs.

Last week, the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce’s Business & Education Committee highlighted a vital business partnership between the welding program at El Cajon Valley High School and Trident Maritime Systems.

It featured a presentation from Marcel Becker, General Manager of Trident, who spoke about their mutually beneficial collaboration with the welding program at El Cajon Valley and how successful the curriculum was in preparing students for jobs in the shipbuilding and repair industry.

Annually, our students enrolled in Advanced Welding and Fabrication classes are tested and awarded with Welder Certifications from the American Welding Society. Certification by the American Welding Society is the international standard of welder certification and is the first step toward gaining employment in a welding career.

Marcel candidly began his remarks noting that he “didn’t go to Penn State,” he “went to the State Pen,” and through opportunity and job training, he has built a successful, rewarding and well-paying career. 

His interest is two-fold: helping meet the industry demand and giving back to his community by increasing the opportunities available to our East County students. 

El Cajon Valley Assistant Principal Nick Williams, spoke to the value of the partnership citing that welding students who graduate with the requisite skills are being offered entry-level welding jobs starting at $18 - $25 per hour.

I compliment Marcel Becker and the school site staff who are responsible for the success of this growing program.

11th Annual East County Young Men’s Leadership Conference

2016 Young Men's Leadership Conference Attendees
Mount Miguel High School hosted its 11th Annual East County Young Men’s Leadership Conference last Saturday, January 23. The theme was "Strive for Greatness: Invest in Your Success."

The conference brought together over 90 young men along with inspirational and successful professionals. Workshops and breakout sessions provided an innovative and engaging atmosphere for those in attendance. The goal was to motivate, support and encourage young men to effect positive change in their lives through self-empowerment and good decision-making.

Presenters included: Mr. Timothy Shaw, high school counselor and Lemon Grove School Board member; Dr. Mark Jeffers, English Department chair and founder of the Matador Early College program at Mount Miguel High School; members of the Student African American Brotherhood of San Diego State University; Dr. Jerome Payton, adjunct professor and Director of Curriculum and Training for Tactical Training Group Pacific; Damion Donaldson, College and Career Counselor at California State University San Bernardino; Anthony Haile, Jr., Certified Engineering Project Manager and community advocate; Jason Crawley, Youth Minister and Program Director at the Urban Youth Collaborative; Dustin Hollins, School Resource Officer; Johnathan Adlam, Green Energy Specialist, social justice advocate and youth sports coach; Lavar Watkins, Workforce Development Specialist; and Kristina Hereford-Watkins, educator, community activist and STEM specialist. The closing activity was a tie drive led by Michael D. Love, adjunct counselor at Southwestern College and San Diego City College. Every young man in attendance received a free necktie and instruction in how to tie it. Jerrod ‘Jay’ Arnold offered an inspiring musical performance after lunch.

Attendees receiving neckties with instruction on how to tie them
The keynote speaker was Sade Burrell, author, motivational speaker and community college counselor. Her remarks focused on the power of dedication, hard work and belief in self. Each young man in attendance received a copy of her book, "What Are You Reaching For?"

This conference is the result of collaboration of the Mount Miguel Brother 2 Brother (B2B) club and the Student African-American Brotherhood (SAAB) chapter of San Diego State University. SAAB/B2B is a national organization that encourages and supports young men to embrace the principles of accountability, proactive leadership, self-discipline and intellectual development.

GUHSD Honor Band & Orchestra to Perform on Saturday

The GUHSD Honor Band and Orchestra will perform on Saturday, January 30, at 7:00 p.m. at Helix Charter High School. The ticket booth opens at 6:00 p.m.  

The Honor Band and Orchestra are comprised of talented high school musicians who have auditioned from throughout the District. We are fortunate to have guest conductors working with these students. Dr. Travis Cross will be conducting the Honor Band. He serves as the Associate Professor of Music and Department Vice Chair at UCLA. Michael Gerdes will conduct the Honor Orchestra. Mr. Gerdes is the Director of Orchestras at San Diego State University. 

Please join us for an evening of wonderful music. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for high school students, and free for military, veterans, seniors and youth.

Save the Date: East County TechFest 2016 on 2/20

GUHSD is set to host the third annual East County TechFest on Saturday, February 20, from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m., at West Hills High School. Last year, more than 200 teachers gathered to learn about new strategies and tools. More information is available here.

Superintendent Ralf Swenson