Friday, March 18, 2016

What's New in GUHSD

I begin this issue by wishing you a safe and relaxing Spring Break as we commence our annual week-long spring recess. As a reminder, Spring Break is from March 21 through March 25, 2016, with school resuming on Monday, March 28. 

During this time away, it is my hope that our students, staff and families will enjoy some well-deserved rest, relaxation, and quality time spent with loved ones.

Ethics in Business Conference 2016

El Cajon Police Officer Louie Michael facilitates a discussion with students about the importance of ethics and character
The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce and the Grossmont Union High School District presented the annual Ethics in Business Conference for 160 advanced CTE students from seven district schools on Tuesday, March 15, at Cuyamaca College. The annual event’s goal is to train the next generation to become principled leaders. The half-day conference challenged students to consider ideas and situations that are designed to help them think critically about ethics in business situations.

The award-winning Ethics in Business Program, which is presented by the Chamber’s Business Education Committee, was developed in 1992 to educate our high school seniors about situations and ethical dilemmas that occur in the workplace. Back by popular demand was keynote speaker Jeff Bramstedt, former US Navy Seal and film/commercial stuntman. He discussed the value and importance of ethics and how individuals can make a difference. Many San Diego East County Chamber members participated in the program by facilitating table discussions with groups of high school students.

I thank our many business partners who served as facilitators and the Ethics in Business subcommittee members who planned the event for our students: Cindie Wolf, Steve Devan, Teri Sprecco, Jeff Wood, Eric Lund, Rosemary Reed, Linda Hoffman and Debbie George.

Special thanks are extended to the following event sponsors: Foothills Christian Church, San Diego Gas & Electric, Sharp Grossmont Hospital, Grossmont Cuyamaca Community College District, Subaru/Mazda of El Cajon, COX Communications, DSD Business Systems, Leidos, East County Schools Federal Credit Union, Junior Achievement, First Citizens Bank, New Cars, Inc., Aflac (Becky Burgstiner, Agent), El Cajon Rotary Club (Erik Lundy) and GUHSD’s CTE Department.

Granite Hills Celebrates Academic Success 

Granite Hills honors the Top Ten scholars of the senior class
Granite Hills High School held its annual Academic Hall of Fame gathering on Friday, March 11. The Academic Hall of Fame was established to recognize current students for high academic achievement and honor Granite Hills’ alumni who have gone on to make significant contributions in their chosen field.  

Since its inception in 2004, Granite Hills has inducted 19 alumni into their Academic Hall of Fame. The august group includes individuals who have furthered their education at UCSD, SDSU, the Naval War College, Vanderbilt, Stanford, Harvard, and Brown and secured careers as lawyers, corporate leaders, mechanical engineers, physicians, surgeons, and this year, Granite’s first rocket scientist.

The 2016 inductees are Dr. Jenna Sopfe (Class of 2005) Pediatric Hematology/Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplant Physician in Denver, CO, and Dr. William Nollett (Class of 2004), Assistant Professor, Department of Physics and Engineering, Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO. 

Dr. Nollett was present for the ceremony. He shared fond memories from his time at Granite Hills, spoke to his advanced education and proffered advice to the current crop of budding young scholars.

After paying tribute to these two accomplished individuals, a Top Ten Celebration recognized the top performers in each class. 

Monte Vista Cosmetology Pathway students visit Paul Mitchell The School San Diego

Monte Vista Cosmetology Pathway students learn from the professionals at Paul Mitchell
On March 8, Monte Vista High School Cosmetology Pathway students and teachers Angie Trujillo and Michelle Munoz attended Paul Mitchell The School San Diego’s international open house event. Students toured the campus and visited booths where they met with staff, teachers, students and salon owners who are prospective future employers.

The professional booths had many examples of work-based experience of working with the community and using the soft skills needed to work in the Cosmetology field.  The information conveyed by the professional development team included working with salons, spas, and hotels that offer the salon experience and how to become a community leader in the process. Students benefited by receiving information that will assist them in making choices in their future education. 

GUHSD School Board Elections Hearings

The Governing Board of the Grossmont Union High School District is taking steps toward changing the trustee election process from an at large system to the establishment of trustee areas. This responds to the changing demographics of East County and reduces our legal exposure. 

The San Diego County Committee on School District Organization continues to hold Public Hearings on this topic throughout our District. Future hearings will be held at 6:00 p.m. on March 28 (East County Regional Education Center - GUHSD Board Room); April 4 (Joan MacQueen Middle School); April 5 (Jamul Intermediate School Library) & April 11 (Lakeside Union School District - Administration Center). 

The hearing notice and additional information regarding this process is available on the GUHSD website at:

Superintendent Ralf Swenson