Friday, May 27, 2016

What's New in GUHSD

East County High School and College District Boards Discuss Education Alliance Priorities

Members of the GUHSD & GCCCD Governing Boards
In their second joint meeting on May 17, the Governing Boards of East County’s college and high school districts set new priorities to expand and develop the East County Education Alliance, the two-year-old partnership to better prepare high school students for college and a career.

The Alliance was founded in 2014 by the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District and the Grossmont Union High School District to smooth the transition between high school and college. The Alliance has begun promoting the Higher Edge scholarship, which will offer a free year of classes at Grossmont or Cuyamaca College to qualifying high school graduates, beginning with the class 2019.

The joint meeting was held to review the progress made and to set priorities for the Alliance. Board members also approved priorities for the Alliance, which include expansion of the Alliance partnership, better alignment of high school and college curriculum, improved career pathways for students, and engaging the East County community in supporting the work of the Alliance.

Representatives from the Alliance are visiting all GUHSD schools to tell current ninth-graders about the Higher Edge scholarship promise and let them know the steps they will need to take to be eligible for a Higher Edge scholarship.

To receive a scholarship, students must maintain a cumulative minimum 2.0 GPA and begin college within a year after they graduate from high school. Students must fill out a financial aid form and participate in an orientation and educational assessment. To help prepare them for college, students will need to participate in events to learn about college and take a college success course. For more information about the scholarship, go to

A key goal of the scholarship is to get students and parents excited about the prospect of college, so this year’s freshmen, who will be the first to benefit, all received congratulatory letters informing them they are eligible for the Higher Edge scholarship promise. 

Three high school freshmen spoke to board members about how the Higher Edge scholarship promise and the work of the Alliance will make their futures brighter. For more information about the Alliance, go to

Mount Miguel JROTC Memorial Day Ceremony

Mount Miguel JROTC's annual Memorial Day Ceremony
Mount Miguel High School JROTC held its annual Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 13, 2016. The program began with Battalion Executive Officer Cadet Major Dearmin Kassab providing a brief history and understanding of the significance of this important day.

The program included the playing of Reveille, followed by the National Anthem, as the flag was raised.

Originally, Memorial Day was called “Decoration Day,” because it was traditionally marked by parades, memorial speeches, ceremonies, and the decoration of gravesites with flowers and flags. In honor of this tradition, Cadet 2nd Lieutenant Johnlester Simon served as Honor Bearer, placing an American Flag, a helmet, and a pair of boots at the base of the flag pole. He then slowly saluted the flag as a symbol of respect and honor to those who have served and sacrificed their lives for America’s freedom.

The ceremony closed as the flag was lowered while To the Colors and Taps were played.

Santana Students 2016 State Champions for Engineering Design Challenge

2016 State Champions Victoria Hilke, Cole Stromberg & Nathan Garrett with teacher Jason Kay
On Saturday April 16, 2016 over 90 Project Lead the Way (PLTW) high school engineering teams from five regions throughout the state competed in the annual PLTW engineering design challenge. 

The top three teams from each region then go on to compete for the state championship in Sacramento.  Santana's engineering team earned a top three finish in the Southern Regional competition back in April and was awarded a spot to compete in the state championship on May 14, 2016. 

The top 15 teams in the state met at 8:00 a.m. Saturday morning and each team of students was given an undisclosed design brief. The teams were tasked to develop a "Smart Toy" that ran off an iPAD that would serve a specific educational purpose for various child age groups.  The teams had only had 6.5 hours to come up with a design, create technical drawings for their design, and make a presentation in front of various engineers from around the state of California.

Students Victoria Hilke, Cole Stromberg, and Nathan Garrett finished in first place, claiming the PLTW Engineering Design Challenge state championship for 2016. Victoria Hilke created the amazing drawings; Cole Stromberg crafted flawless CAD parts using his amazing technical skills; and Nathan Garrett led the group with his innovative ideas.  It was a true team effort where all three students delivered an impressive five-minute presentation to the judges. For their efforts, each student was awarded the grand prize of a brand new laptop computer.

Mr. Kay's engineering program at Santana High School has been dominating this event.  His teams have made it to the state finals five of the past seven years and this is the third state championship over that span.  

Monte Vista Auto Competes in Cuyamaca College’s Auto Skills Day

Monte Vista auto teacher Mike Fleming and students with their new tools
On May 7, fourteen students from Monte Vista High School and teacher Mike Fleming had a very successful experience at Cuyamaca College's Auto Skills Day event. Now in its 37th year, the annual event showcases Cuyamaca College’s automotive technology program with high school and college students turning wrenches in head-to-head competition.

Our students competed in skills covering eight areas of the automobile: engine repair; engine performance, drivetrain, suspension, steering, brakes, heating/air conditioning; and electrical.

In the basic competition, students Angel Segura and Ismael Hernandez took first place with each earning about $400 in tools. Student Erik Palomares took third in the advanced competition and was awarded with approximately $300 dollars in tools. 

Congratulations to our students with thanks to Cuyamaca College for their partnership in helping our students grow in their passion.

Student Expo Leadership Training

GUHSD students participate in leadership training
Students leaders from all six GUHSD Health Career Pathways gathered at El Cajon Valley High School on May 17 to prepare for the upcoming inaugural GUHSD Health Career Pathways Awards and Student Expo at Grossmont College's Griffin Gate on June 1. This is the first event of its kind, bringing together leaders from all of our health career pathways across the district. 

These leaders learned about other Health Career Pathways in the district, interacted with leaders from other schools, practiced their presentation skills, refined their leadership and had fun! Every student did an impressive job representing their site's health pathway. Special thanks is extended to site coordinators Lyn Smith and Corrie Biggerstaff,  and the East County Career Center’s Sylvia Sposato for helping to facilitate the training.

GUHSD's 2016-17 Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP)

GUHSD's 2016-17 Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) and Executive Summary drafts are available for input on our district website. Please see link below to view the LCAP, the LCAP Executive Summary and stakeholder survey. Your feedback is requested by June 3.

The Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) is an important component of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). Under the LCFF funding system, revenue limits and most of the state's 50 categorical programs have been eliminated. 

Under the LCFF, all local educational agencies (LEAs), or school districts, are required to prepare an LCAP, which describes how they intend to meet annual goals for all pupils, with specific activities to address state and local priorities. 

More information on LCFF and LCAP is available here.

Orchestra Showcase Tonight

Tonight, West Hills High School will host the GUHSD Orchestra Showcase at 6:30 p.m. Please join us for a wonderful evening of music performed by several high school orchestras in the district. Our music directors have a wonderful program planned. This event is presented by the Parent Music Advocacy Group (PMAG). Admission is $5.00 for adults and high school students. Admission for middle school students, seniors, and military, is free.

Superintendent Ralf Swenson

Friday, May 20, 2016

What's New in GUHSD

2015-16 Sportsmanship Awards Ceremony

2015-16 Sportsmanship Award Recipients. Photo courtesy of Boyd Anderson
The 2015-16 Sportsmanship Awards Ceremony was held on Tuesday, May 17, at the La Mesa Community Center. At the annual event, 22 GUHSD student athletes took to the stage to accept their awards in the presence of family members, coaches and school officials. Two students from each high school in the District were honored, not just for excellence in sports, but in recognition of their sportsmanship and character.

After accepting their awards, the students and their family members received complimentary photos courtesy of Boyd Anderson Photography. Parents, siblings and other family members stood with the students after pictures with coaches and administrators were taken.

The Grossmont Athletic Conference is the only one in San Diego County to present sportsmanship awards of this kind. I believe the event is an important extension of what we aim for as an educational institution and is consistent with upholding the CIF 16 Principles of Pursuing Victory with Honor.

Congratulations to the following 2015-16 Sportsmanship Award Recipients:

El Cajon Valley High School - Titishia Shari Clemons, Muhamad Tahir

El Capitan High School - Heather Vettel, Devin Dulay

Granite Hills - Bailey Dehaven, Kellen Gaeir

Grossmont - Courtney Clifford, Tommy Rutherford 

Helix Charter - Dominique Banks, Trence Wilson-Gillem

Monte Vista - Ursula Victorino-Gomez, Tyler Lopez

Mount Miguel - DeAnna Hernandez, Brandol Camacho Frasco

Santana – Sarah Durham, Trent Baugh

Steele Canyon - Katelin Wilson, Anthony Howard

Valhalla - Stephanie Fox, Ryan Burke

West Hills – Alaina Melanson, Spencer Moy

Valhalla Shines at National History Day Competition

Valhalla Students at National History Day Competition
On Saturday, May 7, Valhalla High School placed runner-up in the Senior Group Performance category of the state finals during the annual National History Day (NHD) competition held in Sacramento.

Representing San Diego County, Brooke Davalos, Dylan Buxbaum, Sehar Amini, and Diego Cordova presented a historical performance based on the Lewis & Clark expedition to the newly purchased western United States in 1804 - 1806. They competed against 18 high school teams who advanced from county-level competitions throughout the state. 

We congratulate these four 9th grade students for their significant achievement in what is their first year as an organized club at Valhalla High School. Students who are interested in joining the NHD Club this coming fall should contact Justin Hernandez, their teacher/advisor, at or visit

Mount Miguel Show Choir Outperforms Competition

Mount Miguel Show Choir
The Mount Miguel Honor Show Choir, under the direction of Mrs. Heather Tweed Hargett, competed at the Music in the Parks Choir festival at Knott's Berry Farm on Saturday, May 7. They perform throughout the year in the San Diego area and finish with the May competition. They performed four songs for the adjudicators including: A Sky Full of Stars; All of Me, soloist: Richard Andrade; Shake You Groove Thing; and Dance with Me Tonight, soloist: Andrew Alvarez. 

The students earned first place with Superior rankings. Over the 500+ students who participated, they also won for Best Vocalist - Richard Andrade, Best Accompaniment - Robert Hada, and Best Overall Choir. A very successful outcome! 

Third Annual Celebration of Community Partners Event

Celebrating Community Partners Program
The Grossmont Union High School District celebrated community partners involved with its WorkAbility & Transition Partnership Project at the Elks Lodge in El Cajon on Thursday, May 19. The event highlighted employers who have partnered with the school district and agencies to support special needs students with employment and higher education. WorkAbility and the Transition Partnership Project are statewide collaborative programs of the California Department of Education, the State Department of Rehabilitation, and local education agencies.

These programs were created through interagency agreements in order to promote career exploration and teach vocational skills to students in Special Education.

GUHSD's 2016-17 Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP)

GUHSD's 2016-17 Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) and Executive Summary drafts are available for stakeholder input on the District's website.  Please see link below to view the LCAP, the LCAP Executive Summary and stakeholder survey, and provide feedback by June 3.

The Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) is an important component of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). Under the LCFF funding system, revenue limits and most of the state's 50 categorical programs have been eliminated. 

Now, the LCFF creates funding targets based on student characteristics (i.e. unduplicated count of pupils who (1) are English learners, (2) meet income or categorical eligibility requirements for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program, or (3) are foster and/or homeless youth; “unduplicated count” means that each pupil is counted only once even if the pupil meets more than one of these criteria) and provides greater flexibility to use these funds to improve student outcomes.  

Under the LCFF all local educational agencies (LEAs), or school districts, are required to prepare an LCAP, which describes how they intend to meet annual goals for all pupils with specific activities to address state and local priorities. 

More information on LCFF and LCAP is available here.

Upcoming Orchestra Showcase on 5/27

On Friday, May 27, 2016, West Hills High School will host the GUHSD Orchestra Showcase at 6:30 p.m. Please join us for a wonderful evening of music performed by several high school orchestras in the district. Our music directors have a wonderful program planned. This event is presented by the Parent Music Advocacy Group (PMAG). Admission is $5 for adults and high school students. Middle school student admission is, as are seniors and military.

District Art Show Opens Tonight!

Please plan to join us for the opening reception of the 30th Annual GUHSD Student Art Show at Westfield Shopping Center-Parkway Plaza tonight. The opening reception begins at 5:30 p.m. with an awards ceremony. Student artwork will be on exhibit through Sunday afternoon.

In closing, I share with you a number of recent board recognitions, which showcase the academic achievement and athletic prowess shown by our talented students:

2015-16 Academic League Varsity Champions - Santana

2015-16 Academic League Junior Varsity Champions - Santana

Winter All-Academic Girls Soccer Team Captain, Savanna Nager - Steele Canyon

Winter All-Academic Boys Basketball Team Captain, Tommy Rutherford - Grossmont

Winter All-Academic Wrestling Team Captain, Trence Gillem - Helix Charter

Friday, May 13, 2016

What's New in GUHSD

GUHSD Hires Next Superintendent

Superintendent Swenson with incoming Superintendent Dr. Tim Glover
I’m pleased to announce on behalf of the Governing Board, that Dr. Tim Glover has been hired as the next superintendent of the Grossmont Union High School District. Dr. Glover received a 4-year contract and will joining the District full time on July 1.

Dr. Glover is a 25-year resident of East County whose son is a recent graduate of West Hills High School. He has deep roots in our East County community, and is committed to building positive relationships with teacher leaders and staff across the District. 

Dr. Glover has nearly 30 years of experience as an educational leader, currently serving as the Assistant Superintendent of the Student Services and Programs Division at the San Diego County Office of Education. A product of Castle Park High School, he returned to the Sweetwater District to serve as Interim Superintendent in July 2014.

Dr. Glover also served for three years as senior director of the East County SELPA, coordinating special education services for the 10 East County School Districts and the Barona Indian Charter School. He was honored by the San Diego Chapter of the Association of California School Administrators as the Special Education Administrator of the Year.

He has extensive experience in South County, having spent years in the classroom and working as an administrator in the Chula Vista Elementary School and Sweetwater Union High School districts. Dr. Glover was principal of Salt Creek, Greg Rogers and Olympic View elementary schools, and assistant principal of Hilltop Middle and High schools in the Sweetwater District.

At Sweetwater he also served as program manager (1998-2000), assistant director (2000-2002) and Director (2004-2006) of Special Support Services (2000-2002), as well as his time at Castle Park High School (1991-1993). His general education and special education teaching assignments included Southwest Junior High School, Mar Vista Middle School, Hilltop High School and Chula Vista High School.

Dr. Glover attended UCLA for his undergraduate studies, earned a MS in Educational Administration from National University and a doctorate of education in organizational management from the University of La Verne. He also holds several professional credentials (Professional Clear Administrative Services Credential, Specialist Credential – Special Education, and Single Subject Teaching Credential – Social Sciences).

State Board of Education Unanimously Approves Waiver of Election Requirement

Superintendent Swenson and Dr. Glover with the GUHSD contingent in Sacramento
On Thursday, May 12, the California State Board of Education unanimously approved GUHSD’s Waiver of Election Requirement without any objections. 

Legal Counsel Christopher Skinnell, incoming Superintendent Dr. Glover, Mount Miguel Principal Dr. Hedrick, Mount Miguel student Josephine Schneider, and incoming GEA President James Messina and Treasurer Jay Tweet joined me in Sacramento to speak on behalf of the GUHSD Waiver of Election requirement. The State Board of Education seemed very impressed with the support.

Effective November 2016 and beyond, members of the GUHSD Governing Board will now be elected in by-trustee area elections. More details will follow in the coming weeks.

Thank you for your support and encouragement throughout this process.  

Grossmont's Mark Jackman Earns $500 Award for Ethics in Business Essay 

Mark Jackman concluded reading his winning essay to applause as teachers Nicole Thren, Nicole Williams and Superintendent Swenson stood in support of him.
GUHSD’s Career Technical Education program was front and center as GUHSD hosted the San Diego East County Chamber’s monthly breakfast meeting on Friday, May 6. In addition to highlighting the award-winning CTE programs in our schools, we also recognized the winners of the Chamber’s Ethics in Business Conference essay contest, which was open to all students who participated in the conference.

Thanks to the generosity of the San Diego East County Chamber membership, four East County students were selected, including the $500 first place recipient, Mark Jackman, from Grossmont High School. Mark also received a limousine ride to and from the event, where he read his essay aloud to nearly 300 members of the business community. Mark's class also received $500 for classroom needs. He was accompanied by Grossmont teachers Nicole Thren and Nicole Williams.

Second and third place honor went to students from Foothills Christian. Santana’s Alex Campbell received $100 for his fourth place finish.

Two El Cajon Valley Students Named Gates Millennium Scholars 

Principal Kim Patterson, Gustavo de Santiago, Jeffrey Rodriguez, and teacher Sarah Michelson 
Gustavo de Santiago and Jeffrey Rodriguez, two students from El Cajon Valley High School, have been named in the final class of Gates Millennium Scholars. They were recommended for the scholarship by teacher Sarah Michelson.

The Gates Millennium Scholars Program is administered by the United Negro College Fund. The partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation established the program in 1999 as a $1.6 billion-funded grant to encourage minority scholars.

The 1,000 chosen students, will be awarded a scholarship that can be used to pursue a degree in any undergraduate major and selected graduate programs at accredited colleges or universities. The amounts vary according to need.

The class of 2016, from a pool of 53,000 applicants, will be the final group of Gates Millennium Scholars, as the program meets its goal of selecting 20,000 students from low-income backgrounds. 

Congratulations to Gustavo de Santiago and Jeffrey Rodriguez!

GUHSD Students Attend Flying Samaritans High School Conference at UCSD

GUHSD students from West Hills, El Cajon Valley, Santana and Mount Miguel High Schools attended the first annual Built to Achieve More High School Student Conference at UCSD’s School of Medicine on Saturday, April 9. The event was hosted by UCSD's chapter of Flying Samaritans, a student run organization that volunteers to provide health services to those in need. The event was spearheaded by UCSD senior and Public Health major, Melissa Meneses, who is a Health Pathway Alumni from Mount Miguel's Academy of Medical & Health Sciences.

The high school students were treated to a lecture about public health and health equity by UCSD Professor, Dr. Leslie Lewis, followed by a series of intense break-out sessions. During these break-out sessions, where students were teamed with college mentors, students learned about cardiovascular health from nursing students and were able to apply their knowledge to both cow and chicken hearts, practiced taking vital signs and patient care in a simulated health clinic, and learned what it takes to succeed as a pre-med or pre-health student at the university level. Themes about the value of compassion and communication in healthcare ran through all the presentations. The day wrapped up with a tour of UCSD's beautiful campus. 

GUHSD Students Attend Health & Biotech Career Expo at Grossmont College 

GUHSD students from Santana and Mount Miguel’s Health Career Pathways took part in the first annual Health and Biotech Career Expo at Grossmont College on Friday, April 22. The event provided a unique opportunity for students to learn more about medical and biotechnology topics through interactive workshops, meet and connect with pathway students from different schools, and learn about university career pathway programs in San Diego County.  

In addition to massive career and college exposure, students left with marketable skills such as micro-pipetting, loading and running a gel electrophoresis, soft skills and bystander CPR. Many partners from education and industry came together to make this event a reality including Grossmont College, Health Workforce Initiative, Southern California Biotechnology Center, GUHSD Health Career Pathways, Grossmont's Health Occupations Center, UCSD's Flying Samaritans, San Diego State University's Nursing Program, San Diego Project Heart Beat, San Diego City Fire, Southwestern College and many more.

Get a Jumpstart on College this Summer at Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges

Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges are offering more than 400 classes this summer, the biggest summer ever at the two East County colleges. If you’re graduating from high school this spring, taking a class at Grossmont or Cuyamaca College is a great way to get a taste of college and earn some extra credits.

Classes begin June 13, and four-, six- and eight-week classes are available, in addition to online courses. For students wanting to learn how to be successful in college, both campuses are offering College and Career Success (COUN-120) in class and online, teaching study skills such as note-taking, listening to lectures, managing time, studying for tests and improving memory. Also covered are topics such as stress management and discovering motivations and personal strengths.

Go to for links to summer class schedules for both colleges and how to apply and register.

If you want to get a head start on college, Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges are here for you!

Upcoming Events …

IDEA Center High School Open House on May 18

On Wednesday, May 18, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., IDEA Center High School is holding an open house to showcase pathway classes and provide campus tours. Click here for details. IDEA Center High School is located at 1600 North Cuyamaca Street in El Cajon.

District Art Show Opens May 20

Please plan to join us for the opening reception of the 30th Annual GUHSD Student Art Show at Westfield Shopping Center-Parkway Plaza. The opening reception will be held on Friday, May 20, at 5:30 p.m. with an awards ceremony. Student artwork will be on exhibit through Sunday afternoon.

Superintendent Ralf Swenson

Friday, May 6, 2016

What's New in GUHSD

Judge Rules in Favor of GUHSD on Alpine Lawsuit

After a thorough review of the evidence, Superior Court Judge Joel Pressman’s finding is that the Grossmont District wins on all counts, and the $42 million preliminary injunction will be dissolved.

This is a win for the students, teachers and the taxpayers of East County, as our Governing Board can now resume their efforts to see that taxpayers’ dollars are put back to work for the benefits of our schools and the students that we serve.

All students at all schools in our district should have classrooms and facilities that meet the current educational needs of those students and that ensure their safety. That is what we have always focused on with both Proposition H and Proposition U – and that is what we will continue to do now that this lawsuit has been dismissed.

There is much work to be done, and our students have waited long enough. 

2015-2016 Golden Apple Awards & Retirement Ceremony

Members of the GUHSD Governing Board with a few Golden Apple Recipients
The 31st Annual Golden Apple Awards & Retirement Ceremony was held on Monday, May 2, in the Bob Guess Theater for the Performing Arts at West Hills High School in Santee. The Golden Apple Awards event recognizes outstanding teachers selected by the student body in each of the District’s high schools and other educational programs.

The Governing Board and the students of the Grossmont District, through their respective ASBs, host the evening in honor of those teachers who were selected as the 2015 – 2016 honorees at their schools.

The 2015-2016 Golden Apple Award recipients include:

Chaparral: McKenzie Zauderer
El Cajon Valley: Melissa Drake 
El Capitan: Jay Tweet
Granite Hills: Alexandra Grant
Grossmont: Tom Eklund
Helix Charter: Brett McKinney
IDEA Center: Lucas Olivares
Monte Vista: Marisa Alvarado
Mount Miguel: Luis Montes
Santana: Michele Farres
Steele Canyon: Jessica Bianco
Valhalla: Shoshana Adams
West Hills: Todd Peterson
Adult Education: Calvette Hart (HOC)
Career/Technical Education: Jason Kay
Special Education: Cathy Coffin (West Hills)
George Yousif Named Classified Employee of the Year
We also recognized four classified employees who were selected on the basis of their outstanding service throughout the year:

First Quarter: Jason “Willie” Van, Special Education Aide

Second Quarter: George Yousif, Bilingual Arabic Liaison

Third Quarter: Laurie Tong, Office Assistant

Fourth Quarter: Dave Langston, Swimming Pool Maintenance Technician

George Yousif was further honored as he was selected as Classified Employee of the Year for the Grossmont District.

In addition, we rounded out the evening by honoring district employees who have retired during the 2015 – 2016 school year. Click here to view the event program, including the list of retirees. We thank them for their service to our youth and wish them much happiness in this next stage of their lives.

One of the highlights of my job is having the opportunity to recognize these outstanding teachers, classified employees, and retirees who are working hard to ensure that the student experience in GUHSD is positive.

I thank the following community partners and organizations whose generous donations helped make this annual event possible: Boyd Anderson Photography; Fagen, Friedman & Fulfrost LLP; Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo; and Artiano Shinoff. I also recognize the following District services for their assistance with this event: GUHSD ASB organizations, CTE Floral Design Program, Food Services, Media Services, West Hills Strings & Guitar and West Hills High School.

Champion of Champions Event Celebrates CTE Pathway Students

Monte Vista Auto Teacher Mike Fleming with Champion student Erik Palomares
The 34th Annual Career Technical Education Champion of Champions Event was held on Friday, April 29, at Cuyamaca College. The event began with a student showcase that included construction items from IDEA Center, Todd Myers, teacher; Information and Communications Technology from Monte Vista, Todd Teetzel, teacher; Agriculture from El Capitan, Don Dyer, teacher; Arts, Media, and Entertainment was represented by Valhalla, Mike Skocko, teacher and Granite Hills, Karl Danielson, teacher; Sports Medicine from Granite Hills, Esteban Monge, teacher; Education from Grossmont, Lou Ann Kirby, teacher; and Manufacturing from El Cajon Valley, Ashley Wolters/Ryan Sawyer, teachers. 

Flowers were furnished by the students from the Floral Design class at IDEA Center under the expert guidance of Brenda Davis-Landini. Culinary delights were prepared by the Culinary Arts classes at IDEA Center, Laureen Botticelli, teacher; Santana, Donna Small, teacher; and Valhalla High School, Melisa Korn Heller, teacher.

The 2016 celebration recognized three students from the Education Pathway, Jessika Gonzalez, Granite Hills High School; Marylou Glover, Grossmont High School; and Miriam Soto, Grossmont High School, who are aspiring teachers and were awarded the Terry K. Ryan Scholarship presented by Ms. Sandy Ryan.

37 CTE pathway students, one student from every pathway at each school, were honored as the Outstanding Pathway Student of the Year. Business partners Eric Lund, General Manager, SD Regional East County Chamber of Commerce and Luis Barrios, General Manager, Hilton Hotel-Harbor Island were honored for their continued commitment and dedication to the CTE program. Jason Kay, CTE Engineering teacher at Santana, was acknowledged as the CTE Golden Apple Teacher for 2016. Three retirees were honored for their exemplary service: Teresa Wilkinson, El Cajon Valley; Ralf Swenson, Superintendent; and Barbara James, CTE.

Click here to view the event program.

Grossmont Students Attack Hacking Competition

Grossmont High School's G Team Six
Grossmont High School placed 6th out of 125 teams in a hacking competition last Saturday at the UCSD San Diego Supercomputer Center. During the seven-hour competition there were three windows virtual machines, two linux virtual machines, and a computer forensics challenge in which the students participated. 

Teacher Patrick Giovengo’s “G Team Six” was led by Trentin Wilkins, Nathan Jones, Bradley Justice, Matthew Linquist, Charles Sanders, and Gabriel LeBon. 

They won a cash prize of $700 for the school and a week long summer cyber boot camp sponsored by General Atomics. 

The competition was exceptionally good. The students are all interested in participating in more competitions and are in the process of enrolling in the national Cyber Patriot competition. Curtis Sharon, a computer science instructor from Cuyamaca College has offered to assist by mentoring them and providing facilities. 

Congratulations to these students and Grossmont Site Tech Jeff Blount who was an outstanding mentor who secured machines and assisted students with detecting security vulnerabilities.

Save the Date: District Art Show Opens May 20

I hope you will join us for the opening reception of the 30th Annual GUHSD Student Art Show at Westfield Shopping Center-Parkway Plaza. The opening reception will be held on Friday, May 20, at 5:30 p.m., with an awards ceremony. Student artwork will be on exhibit through Sunday afternoon.

Superintendent Ralf Swenson