Friday, April 29, 2016

What's New in GUHSD

Monte Vista High Prepares 40,000 Packaged Meals to Alleviate Global Hunger

Monte Vista Students Packaging Meals for Stop Hunger Now
On Monday, April 25, Monte Vista High School’s gymnasium was transformed into a bustling, music-filled venue as more than 200 students and staff members worked with “Stop Hunger Now” to package 40,000 meals for needy children in developing countries. The community service event was hosted by the school and nearby Foothills United Methodist Church.

At 6:30 a.m., a semi-truck delivered raw ingredients and supplies to the school. Working in teams on an assembly line, volunteers combined rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and a packet containing 23 essential vitamins and minerals into small meal packages. Each meal package only costs 29 cents to make and has a shelf-life of two years. After an intense two hours, all 40,000 meal packages were assembled, boxed and ready for shipment. Meals will be distributed to feeding programs that promote education, improve health, nutrition and aid in crisis relief.

Monte Vista High School has a tradition of giving and community service.  Events like this are incredible learning opportunities for our students. It opened their eyes to issues affecting other students in the world and shows them their small actions have a large impact. For more information on “Stop Hunger Now” go to

El Cajon Valley Welding Students Earn Certifications

 Student Norman Naeem Receives his Certification from AWS District Director Sam Lindsay
On Wednesday, April 13, 38 Advanced Welding and Fabrication students from El Cajon Valley High School’s CTE welding program were presented with 64 Welder Certifications from the American Welding Society. The American Welding Society (AWS) is the international standard bearer for welding governance, inspection and training. Students who have earned AWS certification are now qualified to work in a multitude of industries around the world in high demand/high paying welding fields.  

Students were presented with their certifications from Jeff Davis, Chairman of the San Diego section of AWS as well as Sam Lindsay, District Director for the Southwest and Hawaii. A representative from State Senator Joel Anderson’s office presented each student with a certificate recognizing their accomplishment.

Welding teacher, Ashley Wolters, spoke about the program's partnerships with local industries including shipbuilding, fabrication and construction. The welding program continues its pattern of developing strong industry partnerships with local businesses such as Trident Marine, GKN Aerospace, Weldmac, QCMI, NASSCO and BAE. Welding students who graduate with the requisite skills and certifications are being offered entry-level welding careers starting at $18-$30 per hour.

Following the presentation, families were served refreshments. I compliment these students for their dedication in achieving competent welding results and teachers Ashley Wolters and Ryan Sawyer for the success of this growing program.

Grossmont NJROTC Marksmanship Team Becomes a National Contender 

Members of the Grossmont High NJROTC Marksmanship Team
Grossmont High School’s NJROTC Marksmanship Team fired in 14 rifle matches this school year, the most ambitious season in the team’s history. The team achieved several milestones including the first 1000+ 3 X 10 match, the first 2000+ 3 X 20 match, the highest finish ever in the Area 11 Championship, the first ever trip to the Western Regional Championships in Utah, and the first ever Individual Match Champions. Both Anah Rosas and Khaing Than were individual match champions this season. Cadet Rosas won the Area 11 Qualifier in Phoenix Arizona, and Cadet Than won the Hollywood Match at Reseda High School.

The team has grown from five members in 2015, to 22 members this season. The final match of the season will be the Junior Olympic Qualifier at Orange Glen High School in Escondido. If they win that match, they will travel to Camp Perry, Ohio, for the national matches. 

Helix Water District’s 14th Annual High School Photo Contest

First Place Color Winner Maytham Ali with Teacher Matt Rabasco (El Cajon Valley)
Helix Water District awarded cash and prizes to winners of its annual high school photo contest. Eleven students’ work was honored with first, second and third places in color and black & white categories, as well as Best-in-Show.


Best-in-Show: Tanner Bingham, El Capitan
First Place Color: Maytham Ali, El Cajon Valley
First Place B&W: Josey Oliver, El Capitan
Second Place Color: Jessie Luetticke, El Capitan
Second Place B&W: Frans Shamasha, El Cajon Valley
Third Place Color: Andrew Kana, El Cajon Valley
Third Place B&W: Somaya Noori, El Cajon Valley
Honorable Mention Color: Jill Johnson, Grossmont
Honorable Mention Color: Jonas Carrillo, El Cajon Valley
Honorable Mention B&W: Jennifer Rodulfo, El Cajon Valley
Honorable Mention B&W: Saver Mikha, El Cajon Valley

Students received $250 for best in show, $200 for first place, $100 for second place, and $50 for third place. All winners received a certificate, ribbon and flash drive.

Celebrating its 14th year, the competition was created to bring awareness to water issues in East County.

All high schools within the Helix service area are eligible to participate. This year, 88 photos were submitted from four high schools: El Cajon Valley, El Capitan, Grossmont and Santana.

The winning photographs as well as several additional entries are on at the water district’s administration building lobby at 7811 University Ave., in La Mesa. You may view the slide show by clicking here.  

GUHSD-CTE Hosts Conference Tour

Touring Teacher Kathy Worley's Manufacturing and Design Class (West Hills)
On Wednesday, April 20, West Hills, Grossmont and Santana provided CTE-focused tours to visiting teachers from the Association of Career Technical Education (ACTE) Region 5 Conference. Thirty-eight teachers represented programs from California, Oregon, Arizona, Idaho and South Dakota.

The first stop was a visit to Grossmont High School with a tour of Jordan Lehr's transportation/auto shop facility, Carolyn Jungman's digital arts class and Chris Ray's sports medicine program.

The next stop was to West Hills High School. Kathy Worley featured her junior manufacturing and design class, followed by Susan Cooper's photography class.

The final stop, at Santana High School, highlighted Jackie Beckham's manufacturing students and facilities, as well as Jason Kay's engineering program.  Donna Small’s culinary students provided a wonderful lunch featuring chicken enchiladas and stuffed chilies.

Many of the visiting teachers were in the early stages of pathway planning and Linked Learning development and stated that our teachers and programs provided great models and valuable insight. Overall, the ACTE teachers were impressed with the variety and depth of the programs GUHSD-CTE has to offer.

Superintendent Ralf Swenson