Friday, February 3, 2017

What's New in GUHSD

GUHSD Hosts Goals & Objectives Workshop

Students participating in the Goals & Objectives workshop
The Grossmont Union High School District Board of Trustees held a Goals & Objectives workshop on Saturday, January 28, at Foothills Adult Education Center to receive input from all stakeholder groups on the district’s goals and objectives. The goals and objectives which were last revised in 2013, are a critical foundation for the district and are used to prioritize action steps designed to focus our efforts on the educational success for every student.

In addition to the Governing Board, stakeholder groups who attended the workshop included parents, students, business community members, teachers, classified staff, and administrators. All feedback from these groups has been recorded and will be used to review and revise existing goals.

Thank you to everyone who attended the workshop and provided their insight and guidance regarding the district’s priorities.  It is our intent to ensure that the fundamental beliefs that guide our district are timely, meaningful, and responsive to the needs of our students and community.

Santana Engineering Students Attend Project Lead the Way Conference

Santana students demonstrate Google Cardboard Virtual Reality
On January 24 and 25, Santana high school's engineering teacher Jason Kay and three of his engineering students Victoria Hilke, Nathan Garrett, and Cole Stromberg, attended the 6th annual California Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Conference in Riverside.  Having won the California state championship engineering design challenge three times in the last seven years, Santana and its team were invited to host a breakout session at the conference. The breakout session was standing room only. Mr. Kay began the presentation with best practices in preparing students for the competition. Victoria, Nathan, and Cole finished the presentation providing information about the competition from a student's perspective. The session received positive feedback and the audience was extremely impressed with the professionalism and student engagement of the presentation.

The students then attended a Google Cardboard Virtual Reality session where they were able to create their own virtual reality device out of cardboard and magnets. The students also attended a session put on by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).  The most exciting part of the conference was hearing from guest speaker Andy Weir.  Andy Weir is the author of the book "The Martian" that became a blockbuster movie hit starring Matt Damon. Victoria, Nathan, and Cole were inspired by Andy Weir's story and are looking forward to their future opportunities.

Grossmont High School's NJROTC Marksmanship Team Competes in Area 11 Championship

Competing Grossmont High NJROTC Marksmanship Team members
Grossmont High School’s NJROTC Marksmanship Team recently competed in the Area 11 Championship Match at Westview High School in Poway. The team consisted of Cadets Andrew Nguyen, Cynthia Cortez, Kailani Hill and Calista Zaenger.

Over 60 Marksmanship Teams compete for a spot in the Area 11 Championship each year. This year, 13 schools achieved the qualifying score or 1900 and earned a spot in the match. This is the third consecutive year that Grossmont’s Cadets have qualified for the Championship Match. The team did well, finishing eighth, with three out of the four cadets firing personal bests.

Grossmont’s top marksman Cadet Andrew Nguyen, earned the third place medal in the kneeling position, placing him in the top one percent. Over 300 cadets compete annually during the Area 11 Season. This season has seen several excellent performances by Grossmont marksmen, including Cadet Cynthia Cortez’s outstanding season-long performance. Cadet Cortez is the first second-year shooter to break 500 points in a 3X20 match. She scored over 500 three times this season and has a very bright future in NJROTC competitive shooting.

Three big matches still remain this season: the Junior Olympic Qualifier, the NRA sectionals, and the CMP Western Regional Championships.

Grossmont High Collaborates with Cajon Valley School District for Logo Contest

An interesting collaboration has been underway between Grossmont High School and the Cajon Valley Union School District in preparation for their upcoming TEDxKids@ElCajon event on June 3, 2017. The Cajon Valley TEDxKids@ElCajon Branding/Marketing Committee reached out to partner with Carolyn Jungman's digital art class at Grossmont High School to design a logo for their event this year and resulted in a friendly competition amongst student designers.

In November, the TEDxKids@ElCajon Branding/Marketing Committee visited Carolyn Jungman's class to describe the logo requirements and to respond to questions from student designers. Following this meetings the design process got underway. 

In December, committee members returned to hear student presentations, and later selected four logo finalists. These final logos were presented at the full TEDx Committee meeting. In mid-December, students and all Cajon Valley district employees were invited to vote and the winning logo was announced on December 16.

Cajon Valley was grateful for our students' efforts to make these logos happen. Over 1,000 votes were cast. The top two submissions were very close, with the winning logo at the top of this story.

More information on the TEDx Event is available here.

2017 District Cheer Showcase

GUHSD District Cheer Showcase participants
GUHSD’s District Cheer Showcase was held on Saturday, January 21, at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Varsity and JV Cheer squads from El Capitan, Granite Hills, Monte Vista, Santana, Valhalla, West Hills, and Steele Canyon along with the Mt. Miguel Dance team exhibited their amazing skills before a crowd exceeding 1,000 spectators. Their 2 1/2 minute routines involved cheer, dance, stunts, jumps, and tumbling. These outstanding athletes will perform their polished routines at a variety of competitions throughout the Spring.

The District Cheer Showcase offers a unique opportunity for the teams to come together to compete and showcase their skills in the same venue. It encourages school spirit, promotes school morale and crowd sportsmanship, supports interscholastic athletics and demonstrates high standards of leadership.

Granite Hills Basketball Scores Points On and Off the Court

Granite Hills student David Guevara with the basketball coaching staff
David Guevara is a Senior at Granite Hills in the Moderate-Severe Special Education Program. He is one of the most positive students on campus, always smiling and loves basketball.

This year, David told several staff members, including Principal Mike Fowler, that he was going to try out for the basketball team. Though he didn’t make the team, his enthusiasm touched several players who asked Coach Anderson if they could make a place for him. Coach Anderson agreed and David has been working as the team manager all season. He loves every minute of it. When they win, David celebrates wildly. When they lose, he feels it deeply.

Last Friday night, when Granite Hills was playing Santana, Coach Anderson looked for an opportunity to put David into a game. Confident in their lead, he pulled the team's starters and gave the bench players some play time. Santana had done the same.

As the clock wound down, the Granite Hills student section began chanting "We want David... We want David." With two minutes left, Coach Anderson put David in the game. David's teammates fed him the ball several times and Santana's defense backed off a bit. David launched a few unsuccessful 3-point shots.

In the final seconds, David took a pass and made a beautiful 3-point shot. The gym exploded, as you'll see in the video posted here. The students rushed the floor. What you don't see in the video is the students carrying David out of the gym on their shoulders afterward. This was a very proud moment for all in attendance who witnessed the great caring and concern for the life of another.

GUHSD Honor Band and Orchestra to Perform Tomorrow

The GUHSD Honor Band and Orchestra will perform on Saturday, February 4, at 7:00 p.m. in the Cuyamaca College Theater. The Honor Band and Orchestra are comprised of talented high school musicians who have auditioned from throughout the District.

The ticket booth opens at 6:15 p.m.; the admission charge for adults is $8. We hope to see you there!

Grossmont Alums to Play in Super Bowl!

As we head into Super Bowl weekend, keep an eye out for the New England Patriots’ Joe Cardona, Long Snapper #49, and Atlanta Falcons’ Levine Toilolo, Tight End #80. Cardona is a Granite Hills alumnus and Toilolo is a Helix Charter graduate. We’re proud to have these men join the lengthy list of pro athletes coming from our District schools.

Dr. Tim Glover