Friday, April 7, 2017

What's New in GUHSD

I begin this issue by informing you that the Grossmont Union High School District has initiated water testing for lead across the District. In February, 2017, we formally requested testing from the four agencies that serve the District: Helix Water District, Otay Water District, Lakeside Water District and Padre Dam Municipal Water District.

Following the strict sampling instructions set forth by the State Water Resources Control Board, testing has already been completed or is scheduled at all of GUHSD’s comprehensive high school campuses.

GUHSD is committed to the safety and health of our students and staff. We will keep you apprised of all developments and sample results when they become available within the next several weeks. If results indicate the presence of lead above allowable levels, which is not expected, the water agencies and District staff will determine the source of the contamination and take appropriate action.

As we prepare to embark on our two week spring recess, I wish you a safe and relaxing Spring Break. During this time away, it is my hope that our students, staff and families will enjoy some well-deserved rest, relaxation, and quality time spent with loved ones.

As a reminder, Spring Break is from April 10 through April 21, 2017, with school resuming on Monday, April 24.

2017 – 2018 Teacher of the Year Recognition Ceremony

Governing Board Recognition of GUHSD 2017-18 Teachers of the Year
At the Governing Board meeting on April 6, we recognized the Teacher of the Year nominees from each of our schools. This is a great honor, as each nominee was selected by their peers.

School site nominees are interviewed by a panel comprised of previous Teachers of the Year and District personnel. The panel selects two representatives from this distinguished group to recommend to our Board of Trustees for consideration for the San Diego County Teacher of the Year competition. If selected to represent the County, the next step is the California Teacher of the Year Competition.

These GUHSD teachers are representative of the quality of our educators. I am pleased to present to you the GUHSD 2017-2018 Teachers of the Year:

El Cajon Valley High School ~ Elizabeth Wright
El Capitan High School ~ Michelle Barnett
Granite Hills High School ~ Julie Schorr
Monte Vista High School ~ Kathy Hunter-Clark
Mount Miguel High School ~ Beverly Jones
Santana High School ~ Jason Kay
Valhalla High School ~ Toni Myers
Alternative Education/Chaparral High School ~ Sarina Brooks
IDEA Center High School ~ Karly Johnstone

And our two 2017 - 2018 GUHSD Teachers of the Year who advance to compete at the County level for San Diego County Teacher of the Year:
Damein Patterson & Kathryn Worley, GUHSD Teachers of the Year, who Advance to the County Competition

Kathy Worley – Representing West Hills High School

Ms. Worley is an Industrial Technology and Manufacturing Teacher, who began teaching at West Hills in 2010. Kathy joined the District in 1988 and has been an inspiration to many people over her long and distinguished career. In addition to teaching, she coached and led a highly successful athletics program.

Principal Robin Ballarin remarked, “with warmth, kindness, a “get to work” attitude and humor, Kathy leads students to multiple levels of success, she cares deeply about their learning.” A quote from one of her students, “she is a role model for all of us; she goes above and beyond to help us succeed.”

Daemein Patterson – Representing Grossmont High School

Mr. Patterson is an English Teacher who began teaching at Grossmont in 2005. He is involved with the English Learner program and took on the role of teaching transitional English, which serves the long-term English Learners at Grossmont High School. Mr. Patterson’s creativity and experience helped ensure the effective teaching at these pivotal learning levels for students. He is dedicated, energetic and passionate about teaching and connecting with his students.

Daemein was a Golden Apple Award Winner in 2010. One of his colleagues said, “Daemein is a passionate teacher who seeks out innovation to encourage students to be their best, not only in his courses, but also as citizens of the world.”

Please join me in congratulating Kathy Worley and Daemein Patterson who will now compete for 2018 County Teacher of the Year and be honored at A Salute to Teachers next fall. They will also be honored as the GUHSD Teachers of the Year at the San Diego Padres’ Teacher Appreciation Night on May 19. Please congratulate our other inspirational Teachers of the Year also. We are very proud to have these fine teachers represent their school sites and our District as our 2017-2018 Teachers of the Year.

CTE Student Ambassadors Program

GUHSD CTE Student Ambassadors with Senator Nielsen
The CTE Student Ambassadors participated in a two-day trip to Sacramento to learn more about the legislative process at the State level as part of their leadership development. Students came prepared to share with state legislators about the Grossmont Union High School District schools, CTE pathways, and their experiences as students.

They were able to observe and connect with the issues that our State legislators oversee through committee hearings as well as through individual visits with State legislators. The CTE Student Ambassadors represented GUHSD well and were welcomed by everyone they met throughout the Capitol. They were accompanied by Frank Luera, Work-based Learning Specialist, and Brenda Davis-Landini, CTE teacher and Student Ambassador Advisor.

The students spoke with Assemblymember Shirley Weber before a committee hearing, and met with Senator Joel Anderson's staff, who took them into the Governor's office. They also visited both the Senate and Assembly floor with Senator Jim Nielsen and Assemblyman Randy Voepel, respectively. 

Our Student Ambassadors continuously demonstrate outstanding leadership and communication skills, while providing service to their school, the district, and the community. They are passionate about the benefits of CTE classes and are outstanding role models for their peers.

4th Quarter Outstanding Classified Employee

Governing Board Recognition of Marlyn Slusher (with family)
At the Governing Board meeting on Thursday, April 6, 2017, Marlyn Slusher was recognized as the Outstanding Classified Employee of the Fourth Quarter for 2016-2017. Marlyn serves the Grossmont District as a Senior Secretary in the College and Career Readiness Department. She is recognized for being highly dedicated, enthusiastic and passionate about her work. Her supervisors refer to her as detail-oriented and thorough. Marlyn is also known for her calm, kind, and empathetic demeanor.

Classified employees provide critical support to the District’s overall mission. Congratulations, Marlyn Slusher, on being selected as the Fourth Quarter Outstanding Classified Employee for 2016-2017!

Community Advisory Committee Recognition Awards

The East County Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) provides annual Community Advisory Committee (CAC) Awards to recognize individuals whose service goes above and beyond their normal responsibilities with our students in Special Education. GUHSD had two awardees who were honored at a dinner on March 27:

Maripat Nevins is a teacher for the Special Education Career Center and serves as the Transition Partnership Project (TPP) Coordinator. She initiated a Job Club for transition students to work on resumes and other job-related skills. She also mentors other transition teachers and was integral in expanding the students served by the Special Education Career Connection Department. She continues to raise the bar for our students and encourages others to do so as well.

Liz Zjad with the New Children's Museum was honored for her work with MERIT Academy to provide students at Merit with a truly phenomenal prom.  With her help and support, we were able to get donations for our students in catering, photo booths, caricature artists, moving pictures, and a fantastic DJ at the New Children's Museum venue in downtown San Diego.  Liz and her team worked tirelessly to give our students a night to remember.

Girls Empowerment Conference

The 2017 Confidence Conference was an overwhelming success with hundreds of attendees from the Grossmont Union High School District with dozens of volunteers, keynote speakers and special guests. 

The day was an example of teamwork, collaboration and hard work. To make things even more exciting, the event was held at one of San Diego's finest venues, the Hyatt.

Special thanks is extended to Sylvia Sposato, the chairperson for this extraordinary event that touched so many young women's lives.

2017 MTS & Coca-Cola Laptop Scholarship Contest Underway

Applications are now being accepted for the 2017 Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) & Coca-Cola Laptop Scholarship. Completed applications and submissions are being accepted through Friday, April 14.

High school students (Grades 9–12) in San Diego County will have an opportunity to earn brand new laptop computers as part of the annual Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) and Coca-Cola Laptop Scholarship Contest.

The laptop scholarship contest is a partnership between MTS, Coca-Cola Refreshments of San Diego, and the San Diego County Office of Education. Dell-Inspiron 2-in-1 13.3-inch touch-screen laptop computers will be awarded to the top 40 student essay writers from San Diego County. To be eligible to win, students must submit an application form and an advertising campaign summary aimed at attracting new MTS Trolley and bus riders.

More information is available here.

IDEA Center High School Open House on May 3

On Wednesday, May 3, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., IDEA Center High School is holding an open house to showcase student work, classes and provide campus tours. Click here for details. IDEA Center High School is located at 1600 North Cuyamaca Street in El Cajon.

In closing, I leave you with several board meeting recognitions that highlight the accomplishments of our talented students, staff, volunteers and community partners:

Recognition of El Cajon Valley Boys Soccer Team - 2017 CIF-SDS Boys Soccer Champions - Division V and 2017 Southern California Regional Boys Soccer Champions - Division V

Recognition of Helix Charter Boys Basketball Team - 2017 CIF-SDS Boys Basketball Champions - Division II and 2017 Southern California Regional Boys Basketball Champions - Division IV 

Recognition of Teacher Carolyn Jungman (Grossmont High) and Cajon Valley School District, Recipients of the East County Schools Federal Credit Union Excellence in Innovation and Collaboration Award

Recognition of Outgoing Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee Member Nancy Herbst

Dr. Tim Glover