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