Friday, May 19, 2017



Throughout the month of June, approximately 4,797 students will earn a high school diploma from GUHSD's nine comprehensive high schools, two charter high schools and three alternative high schools. This breakdown includes:

2017 Graduates
El Cajon Valley
El Capitan
Granite Hills
Helix Charter
Monte Vista
Mount Miguel
Steele Canyon
West Hills
Grossmont Middle College High
IDEA Center High School
 Alternative & Special Education
Adult School

Following is a schedule of graduation dates, times, listing of valedictorians and salutatorians by school, and a list of the valedictorians including parent names and communities.


School                                                        Date                                         Time          

El Cajon Valley High School                       Wednesday, June 7                  6:00 p.m. 

El Capitan High School                               Wednesday, June 7                  6:00 p.m.

Granite Hills High School                            Thursday, June 8                      8:00 a.m. 

Grossmont High School                              Thursday, June 8                     10:00 a.m. 

Helix Charter High School                          Thursday, June 1                      6:00 p.m.   

Monte Vista High School                             Thursday, June 8                      6:00 p.m.   

Mount Miguel High School                          Thursday, June 8                       6:00 p.m.    

Santana High School                                   Wednesday, June 7                  6:00 p.m.   

Steele Canyon High School                        Thursday, June 8                       6:00 p.m.    

Valhalla High School                                    Thursday, June 8                      9:30 a.m. 

West Hills High School                                Thursday, June 8                      8:30 a.m.   

IDEA Center High School                           Thursday, June 8                       9:00 a.m.   

Grossmont Middle College                           Monday, June 5                        5:30 p.m.   

Adult Education                                            Wednesday, May 31                 6:00 p.m.    

REACH                                                        Wednesday, June 7                10:00 a.m.   

ELITE Academy                                           Wednesday, June 7                  1:00 p.m.    

MERIT Academy                                          Tuesday, June 6                      11:00 a.m.   


The Grossmont Union High School District announces the names for the 21 valedictorians for the senior class of 2017. Student names, parent names, communities and schools are as follows:


El Cajon Valley High School

Omar A. Garcia

Omar Garcia & Alejandra Lozano

El Cajon 

El Capitan High School

Haley Gritz

Mr. & Mrs. Eric Gritz


Granite Hills High School

Roman Fedoriouk

Mr. & Mrs. Victor Fedoriouk

El Cajon

Grossmont High School

Jillian Dawson
Megan Williams

Mr. & Mrs. William Dawson
Mr. & Mrs. Gregory Williams

El Cajon
La Mesa

Helix Charter High School

Emily Lam
Jorge Kcomt Del Rio
Michelle Fong
Hina Popal
Jeremy Phan Nguyen
Winston Lau

Mr. & Mrs. Henry Lam
Mr. & Mrs. Santiago Kcomt  
Hong Fong & Nguyet Chau
Rahila Salehi
Binh Phan & Mai Nguyen
Mr.& Mrs. Mark Lau                                                

La Mesa
La Mesa
La Mesa
Lemon Grove
Lemon Grove
San Diego

Monte Vista High School

Brad Iglesia

Mr. & Mrs. Igmedio Iglesia

Spring Valley

Mount Miguel High School

Onrei Josh Ladao

Mr. & Mrs. Ronnie Ladao

San Diego

Santana High School

Sydney Benjamin
Nathan Garrett

Greg Benjamin & Debra Simpson
Mr. & Mrs. Jim Garrett


Steele Canyon High School

Angel Mora

Mr. & Mrs. Ivan Nevarez


Valhalla High School

Marioes Matthe

Mr. & Mrs. Ghassam Matthe

El Cajon

West Hills High School

Amanda Hinh
Jacobo Fuentes
Tatiana Garcia

Mr. & Mrs. Thuan Hinh
Noe Fuentes & Maria Vega
Mr. & Mrs. Cesar Garcia

El Cajon

Grossmont Middle College

Leilani Trautman

Mr. & Mrs. Craig Trautman

    El Cajon


El Cajon Valley High School
306 Graduates (including 12 December grads)

Valedictorian:  Omar A. Garcia – 4.581

Salutatorian:  Balfred Carrillo – 4.565

El Capitan High School
309 Graduates
Valedictorian:  Haley Gritz – 4.87

Salutatorians:  Shane Cole – 4.825
                          Nicole Williams – 4.761
                          Kevin Nguyen – 4.75
                          Marie Cook – 4.738

Granite Hills High School
597 Graduates (including 1 December grad)

Valedictorian:  Roman Fedoriouk – 4.833

Salutatorian:  Nicole Miller – 4.813

Grossmont High School
459 Graduates

Valedictorian:  Jillian Dawson – 4.791
                         Megan Williams – 4.786

Salutatorians:  Caleb Cheek – 4.767
                          Pamela Torresdey – 4.698

Helix Charter High School
556 Graduates (including 1 December grad)

Valedictorians:  Emily Lam – 4.82
                           Jorge Kcomt Del Rio – 4.82
                           Michelle Fong – 4.77
                           Hina Popal – 4.76
                          Jeremy Phan Nguyen – 4.73
                          Winston Lau – 4.72
Salutatorian:  none

Monte Vista High School
382 Graduates

Valedictorian:  Brad Iglesia – 4.854

Salutatorians:  Danielle Kelsey – 4.707
                          Katherine Clark – 4.643
                          Jamie Boyd – 4.605

Mount Miguel High School
260 Graduates

Valedictorian:  Onrei Josh Ladao – 4.689

Salutatorian:  Ellen T. Thompson – 4.574

Santana High School
347 Graduates

Valedictorians:  Sydney Benjamin – 4.773
                           Nathan Garrett – 4.773
Salutatorian:  Bryce Chung – 4.714

Steele Canyon High School
500 Graduates (including 23 early grads)

Valedictorian:  Angel Mora – 4.776
Salutatorians:  Jack Schaefer – 4.739
                         Jason Chapman – 4.733
                         Dominic Garza – 4.729
                         Ami Patel – 4.720

Valhalla High School
465 Graduates (including 2 December grads)

Valedictorian:  Marioes Matthe – 4.75
Salutatorians:  Faisal Al Shamaa – 4.696
                         Annie Lieu – 4.659
                         Kara Whitaker – 4.646
                         Jennifer Fox – 4.636

West Hills High School
478 Graduates

Valedictorians:  Amanda Hinh – 4.833
                          Jacobo Fuentes – 4.82
                    Tatiana Garcia – 4.804                                                        
Salutatorians:   Garret Moore – 4.75
Miranda Summers – 4.708

Grossmont Middle College High School
37 Graduates

Valedictorian:  Leilani Trautman – 4.688
Salutatorian:  Camille Eaton – 4.612

Alternative Education & Special Education
28 Graduates

Grossmont Foothills Adult School
23 Graduates

IDEA Center High School
50 Graduates

Friday, May 12, 2017

What's New in GUHSD

2016-17 Gold Star Parent Volunteers Recognized

Governing Board Recognition of Gold Star Parent Volunteers
At the Governing Board meeting on Tuesday 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.

2016-17 GUHSD Gold Star Parent Volunteers:

Chaparral High School – Rob Nolan
El Cajon Valley High School – Daryl Priest
El Capitan High School – Tami Gritz
Granite Hills High School – Marsi Walker
Grossmont High School – Carolyn Laethem
IDEA Center – Michelle Menne
Monte Vista High School – Iris Gonzales
Mount Miguel High School – Crystal Conwright
Santana High School – Darlene Homer
Valhalla High School – Shannon Vint
West Hills High School – Alicia Haddix

Helix Water District’s 15th Annual High School Photo Contest

Best-in-Show, Red Reflection, by Zahra Nazeri, El Cajon Valley
Helix Water District awarded cash and prizes to winners of its annual high school photo contest. Celebrating its 15th year, the competition was created to bring awareness to water issues in East County. All high schools within the Helix service area were eligible to participate. Students’ work was honored with first, second and third places in color and black & white categories, as well as Best-in-Show.

Student Winners:

Zahra Nazeri (El Cajon Valley)

First Place
Anthony Moreno, Color (El Cajon Valley)
Mohammed Jiyad, Black & White (El Cajon Valley)

Second Place
Michelle Bristol, Color (El Capitan)
Austin Finch, Black & White (El Capitan)

Third Place
Gonzalo Leon Garcia, Color (Mount Miguel)
Destiny Kassab, Black & White (Mount Miguel)

Honorable Mention - Color:
Stephanie Szumilas (Mount Miguel)
Gonzalo Leon Garcia (Mount Miguel)
Kawther Fadhil (El Cajon Valley)
Eduardo Silva (El Cajon Valley)
Chrestina Polus (El Cajon Valley)
Erik Jared Martinez (El Capitan)

Honorable Mention - Black & White:
Angel Ramirez (El Cajon Valley)

Students received $250 for best in show, $200 for first place, $100 for second place, $50 for third place, and $25 for honorable mention. All winners received a certificate, ribbon and a flash drive.

This summer, winning entries and several others will be on display in a rotating exhibit in the water district’s administration building lobby at 7811 University Avenue in La Mesa.

Meantime, the photo gallery is available here.

Project Cornerstone Partners with El Capitan Building and Construction Pathway

El Capitan Students Receive an Up-Close Lesson on Heavy Equipment Machinery
In order to educate the younger generation about jobs available to them, Project Cornerstone created a hands-on CTE program. Project Cornerstone is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate students about the importance of the construction aggregates industry through the use of STEM activities. 

Project Cornerstone kicked off its CTE program by partnering with the Building and Construction CTE class at El Capitan High School. The program is an incredible opportunity for students to learn about the various jobs within the construction aggregates industry. It introduced students to how materials are made, what equipment is used at a facility, as well as safety, engineering, and interview preparation. This was accomplished through several field trips and in-class activities.

In addition, the companies partnering with Project Cornerstone will offer summer internships to eligible students. We are excited to build on the success of this program and offer it to other CTE classes. We are grateful for the various partners who have made this program possible including the Lakeside Chamber of Commerce and the annual sponsors of Project Cornerstone.

Monte Vista Auto Pathway Students Compete in 50th SkillsUSA State Championship

Monte Vista Auto Pathway Students Compete in SkillsUSA State Championship
Monte Vista High School Automotive Pathway students competed in the 50th SkillsUSA State Championships April 20-23 at the Town and Country Hotel in Mission Valley.​

The students competed against the best of the best throughout the state in automotive technology. Eight students were in the "Basic" division, of which one team won third place.  In the "Advanced" division, Monte Vista had one student place in the "Top 10" of 20 state finalists.

Congratulations to all on their automotive awards!

Grossmont Students Attack Hacking Competitions

Grossmont High School Student Hacking Team
It's been quite a banner year for the student hackers and Grossmont High School. In October, the girls won the grand prize at the Cal State San Marcos Hackathon. In November, their app challenge team won for Congresswoman Davis' district and secured a trip to Washington, DC, to present at the congressional House of Code. In March, the school's primary hacking team finished the CyberPatriot competition in 3rd place for the Western Region Silver Division.

On March 25, the all-star hacking team of eight students took third place at the SoCal Cyber Cup finals at the UCSD Super Computer Center. They received a $2,000 check for their efforts. The primary sponsor for the Cyber Cup was Booz Allen Hamilton and representatives were present for the awards ceremony. They are looking to partner with Grossmont High and the University of San Diego Computer Science department to offer some courses on Grossmont's campus to further the pursuit of cyber security.

On Saturday, April 22, a new team of girls competed in the Spring edition of the Cal State San Marcos Hackathon. This group consisted primarily of girls who have never competed in any event like this but are intrigued by the idea and positive experiences of the students that have participated in similar events.

Congratulations to all!

East County Career Center Teams up with Viejas for Job Fair

East County Career Center & Viejas  Host Job Fair
The East County Career Center (ECCC), along with Viejas Casino, combined forces for a very successful Job Fair last Saturday, May 6, at ECCC. The event ran from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm and brought in 91 adults from our community who were searching for a job. Viejas was able to hire 12 people on the spot and set up additional interviews for another 22 people.

The Career Center provides job placement services to adults living in the East County free of charge. Additional information can be found here.

Save the Date: Grossmont College Parent Orientation on 5/24

Did you know that Grossmont College:

·Is just $46 per unit?
·Offers more than 150 certificate and degree programs?
·Has training programs for careers in law enforcement, health care & more?
·Provides a pathway to transfer to a four-year university?

Learn this and more at the Grossmont College parent orientation from 5:45-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 24, at Griffin Gate, Building 60. Parents will learn more about the onboarding process, associate degree and certificate programs, counseling services, financial aid, university transfer options, and special student support programs.

A complimentary dinner will be provided for those who RSVP by May 15 to Karolia Macias at 619-668-1732 or

Grossmont College is located at 8800 Grossmont College Drive in El Cajon. A free parking permit can be obtained from any parking lot permit machine using code 886.

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. As we head toward the end of another school year, students face celebrations, final exams and the time-honored ritual of leaving family and longtime friends.

For many, there are also a host of other pressures and any of these challenges can send students on an emotional roller coaster. As such, we want to connect you with these community partners whose resources address suicide prevention and depression:

It’s Up to Us program –

San Diego Access and Crisis Line – (888) 724-7240

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – (800) 273-8255 or text TALK to 741-741

. . . 

In closing, following are a number of recognitions, primarily from this week’s Governing Board meeting, showcasing student and staff achievements, and athletic accomplishments:

Recognition of  Kaeli Thompson by the City of El Cajon Teen Coalition

Recognition of  Daevionne Beasley by the City of El Cajon Teen Coalition

Recognition of  Leilani Trautman, National Merit Scholar Winner

Recognition of Shelby Wray, Winter All-Academic Girls Soccer Team Captain for San Diego County & All-CIF SDS

Recognition of CTE Student Ambassadors for the 2016-17 School Year

Monte Vista Teacher Robert Gorney Receiving the Excellence in Teaching Literacy Award from the Greater San Diego Reading Association
Assistant Superintendent Theresa Kemper Receiving the PTA Outstanding Administrator Award from Cathy Roth

Dr. Tim Glover