Friday, June 17, 2016

Superintendent's Farewell Message

As I began my time as superintendent of the Grossmont District in 2010, I published an introduction to the school community that described GUHSD as ". . . one of the most widely respected and historically rich districts in California." That statement is still true. During my six years as superintendent I have been witness to the rich learning experiences of our students, the dedication and tireless commitment of our teachers, and the broad base of support offered by our East County community.  

Together we have faced a number of challenges, not the least of which were the economic recession and a pattern of declining enrollment. We made a series of difficult decisions to respond to those challenges, and through it all, our schools continue to improve their academic performances and sustain their place as true sources of pride to the communities they serve. A thorough review of the ongoing successes and numerous recognitions received by our schools confirms that the Grossmont Union High School District is among the finest in California.

Our Governing Board has stayed committed to providing the very best for our students and staff. They asked me to work with our teachers and staff members to increase rigor, expand educational options, and provide opportunities for our students to achieve even higher levels of success – and we have been successful in doing so. Our Board has also been steadfast in its commitment to keeping our campuses safe and maintaining a clean and orderly learning environment. Their support of the incredible facility improvements made possible through our Proposition H/U school bond program has touched every campus. 

I will retire on July 1, marking the end of my 39-year career in public education. I began as a social studies teacher and football coach in a small school in North Dakota, came to California in 1989 to become a vice principal and then a principal, spent three years as a superintendent in Northern California, and these past six years as the proud superintendent of this great school district.  

I extend my sincere gratitude to all of you. I have truly enjoyed my time with Grossmont and am confident that even greater accomplishments lie ahead for our schools. Please click here to review a document entitled Looking Forward. It provides a summary of where we are at this point in time and outlines some of our ongoing initiatives that will help to shape an even brighter future. 

As a reminder, classes resume on August 15.

Ralf Swenson