Friday, June 10, 2016

What's New in GUHSD

2015-16 Gold Star Parent Volunteers Recognized

GUHSD Gold Star Parent Volunteers for the 2015-16 School Year
At the Governing Board meeting last night we honored Gold Star Parent Volunteers. The Gold Star Parent Volunteers program was developed in 2011 to recognize a parent from each school site who goes above and beyond to assist our schools in a variety of different ways.

It was wonderful to hear the stories of service to our schools as each principal introduced their Gold Star Volunteer. We thank you for your efforts on behalf of our students.

2015-16 GUHSD Gold Star Parent Volunteers:

Chaparral High School – Tangerine Risberg

El Cajon Valley High School – Abraham Muheize

El Capitan High School – Yvonne George

Granite Hills High School – Corrie Shein

Grossmont High School – Wella Campbell

IDEA Center – Charity Lacey

Monte Vista High School – Nanette Rojas

Mount Miguel High School – Deborah Childers

Santana High School – Kim Whitacre

Valhalla High School – Heide Doss

West Hills High School – Melissa Smith

Santana Students Ace Mentorship Program 

Santana High School's ACE Team
Santana's Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (ACE) mentorship is a year-long after school program where any student interested in pursuing a career in the STEM field can participate. Students who participate develop a mock design that would benefit the community.  Mentors from industry visit with the students once every two weeks to help guide the students with their design, ensuring that the students take everything into account when managing a public works project.  At the end of each year, schools from around San Diego present their designs to architects, engineers, and contractors from industry.  

This year's ACE banquet was held at San Diego State University on Saturday, May 21. The Santana ACE team's design for this year was a Green Shores Energy Research Center, which would be built next to the lagoon in Carlsbad.  

This research center would be available to the public, businesses, schools, colleges, and universities to conduct research on sustainable energies. The overall design must include detailed site, floor, and landscape plans, architectural concepts, environmental impact, schedule, and cost. Tristan Glunt, Alejo Favero, Pierce Howell, Andrew Pelowitz, Zack Strange, Cole Stromberg, Brandan Taing, Sophia Stepp, Diego Gomez, and Daniel Wilcox all participated in the presentation. 

Following the presentations, members from industry award scholarships to individuals based on academics, professionalism, and commitment throughout the year.  This year Santana students were awarded $12,500 in scholarships, the most of any of the other schools that presented this year.

GUHSD Students Receive COX Cares Scholarships

2016 COX Scholars Kayla Peters, Jessica Board & Kira Bunker
On Wednesday, June 8, I attended the Cox Scholars Awards Luncheon. The Cox Scholars Program rewards academic excellence and personal perseverance by granting scholarships to graduating high school seniors. Scholarship recipients were chosen from hundreds of applicants based on their personal commitment to scholastic achievement and community involvement.  

The following Cox Scholars from the Grossmont Union High School District will receive scholarships to attend a California college or university of their choice:  

Hannah Romano – Steele Canyon Charter High School
Dakota Betz – West Hills High School
Kira Bunker – Mount Miguel High School
Jessica Board – El Capitan High School
Kayla Peters – Grossmont Middle College High School

First Annual GUHSD Health Career Pathways Awards and Student Expo

Health Pathway students from Granite Hills. Credit: Kendall Lowry
On Wednesday, June 1, health career pathway students from across the district were recognized and celebrated at the First Annual GUHSD Health Career Pathways Awards and Student Expo. Preceding the awards ceremony, which took place in Grossmont College’s prestigious Griffin Gate, student leaders showcased their unique programs for administrators, teachers, families and the Grossmont Healthcare District at the Student Expo. 

Following inspirational speeches from successful health career pathway alumni, GUHSD health career pathway seniors were recognized for successfully completing their programs of study by both our pathways' program and by Senator Joel Anderson's office. 94% of our health career pathway Seniors reported they will be attending college or university in the fall, and the majority have committed to pre-med, pre-health or science programs in colleges and universities across the country ranging from North Carolina, Tennessee, Iowa, Utah, and Arizona to dozens of schools here in California.

GUHSD’s Health Career Pathways have grown from a three-school, 200-student program in 2005, to a six-school, 2,000+ student program eleven years later. Now, nearly one in ten GUHSD students are enrolled in a health career pathway, affording these students the opportunity to connect their science curriculum to real-world learning experiences through participation in a plethora of work-based learning opportunities ranging from guest speakers to intensive hospital internship programs. These students will be prepared to make up our healthcare workforce in the future thanks to the generous support of the Grossmont Healthcare District and industry partners.

Santana Holds Academy Awards Recognition Event 

Academy Awards Night at Santana
On Thursday, June 9, Santana teacher Charles Zepf’s Arts, Media and Entertainment (AME) pathway students filmed their Academy Awards Program. Award categories mirrored those in the film and entertainment industry today, such as Best Script Writer and Best Sound Editing. 

Awards were also presented for Santana’s news broadcasting program, including Best Male and Female News Anchor and Best News Team. Each category included the memorable lines "May I have the envelope please..." and "The winner is..." This program recognized student achievement in a fun and entertaining format.

Mount Miguel Academy of Medical and Health Sciences Graduates

Mount Miguel Academy of Medical & Health Sciences Graduates. Credit: Gonzolo Leon
The Mount Miguel High School Academy of Medical and Health Sciences will graduate 15 students this year. These students completed extensive community service, and participated in a job shadow, hospital internship or hospital volunteer program. These dedicated health career pathway students were recognized for their achievements at a ceremony on Tuesday, June 7. 

\All of these students will be enrolled in science, nursing and pre-med programs next fall at: Grossmont College, Southwestern College, CSU San Marcos, USD, UCSD and UCLA. Best of luck to each of them as they journey toward their careers in health and medicine.

Monte Vista Students Reel in New Skills

Monte Vista student beams after reeling in a fish
Monte Vista Automotive Pathway students attended their third and final fishing trip for the year. It was a beautiful day with calm seas and no breeze with the morning fog burning off during the boat ride back to shore. A total of five students caught 12 bass and five mackerel. They had a fantastic time and realized that their teacher Mr. Fleming knows much more than just auto shop. This is the fourth year of fishing trips for the automotive pathway, and Mr. Fleming is unbeaten in catching the first fish of the trip. Each student took home about 1 1/2 lbs. of fish for dinner!

Summer Classes for Graduates 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 to apply and register.


In closing, the end of another school year is fast approaching as final exams are underway and commencement exercises conclude next week. I extend congratulations to the Class of 2016 and their families. We trust our students leave us prepared for a great future and with many fond memories of their educational experience.

Following is a number of student recognitions, primarily from last night's Governing Board meeting, showcasing academic achievements and athletic accomplishments of our talented students:

Recognition of El Cajon Valley Gates Millennium Scholars Jeffrey Rodriguez & Gustavo de Santiago

Recognition of Granite Hills Boy Baseball Team - CIF-SDS Div. I Champions

Recognition of Grossmont Girls Softball Team - CIF-SDS Div. III Champions

Recognition of West Hills Girls Gymnastics Team - CIF-SDS Champions

Recognition of outgoing Student Board Representative Jayden Anderson

Recognition of Golden Artistry Jewelry Designs Competition winners with Terry Whyte

Recognition of CTE Student Ambassadors

Grossmont NJROTC marches in the La Mesa Flag Day parade

Adult School students earn high school equivalency certificates at the East County Transitional Living Center

Superintendent's Art Award winner Samantha Ryan (West Hills)