Grossmont Union High School District
By Bill Weaver
May 24, 2013 (Alpine--originally written May 14, 2013) -- I am disappointed to report that new information has recently surfaced that indicates that Propositions H and U Bond funds have been grossly misused by the GUHSD, and that this misuse has been the subject of a cover-up by the GUHSD Trustees and Administrative staff. A "smoking gun" has been discovered that points toward unethical and non-transparent behavior by District staff, presumably under the direction of the Trustees.
You will see from the content in the attachment that District bond construction funds have been mismanaged at best, and GUHSD fiscal policies and decision-making are a train wreck. The attachment shows that the District's ongoing bond management practices and accounting procedures have cheated taxpayers and burdened the district with unsustainable district "OPEX" Operating Expenses.
By Miriam Raftery
May 21, 2013 (Alpine) – The San Diego County Grand Jury has issue a report t blasting the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) for repeatedly axing plans to build a 12th high school in Alpine despite voters twice approving bond measures to construct the new high school. The report is descriptively titled Grossmont Union High School District—Fool Us Once, Fool Us Twice?
The Grand Jury found that “residents of the GUHSD and the greater Alpine area deserve clarity from the School Board regarding the proposed 12th high school."
Eileen Bagg-Rizzo and Randy Cambou to Represent GUHSD in Prestigious San Diego County Teacher of the Year Competition
May 21, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)—At its Governing Board Meeting on Wednesday, April 10, 2013, the Grossmont Union High School District honored Teacher of the Year nominees from its school sites. These nominees are selected by their peers. A panel comprised of previous Teachers of the Year and District personnel selected two representatives from this distinguished group of nominees to be considered for the San Diego County Teacher of the Year competition. If selected to represent the County, the next step is the California State Teacher of the Year competition.
GUHSD 2013-14 Teacher of the Year Nominees:
GUHSD CITIZENS'' BOND OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE ISSUES ANNUAL REPORT: AS FUNDS RUN OUT, SOME PROJECTS PUT ON HOLD
March 19, 2013 (El Cajon)--On Thursday, March 7, the Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC) presented their annual report to the GUHSD Governing Board. The CBOC is a group of 11 community volunteers who oversee the expenditure of Prop H and Prop U bond funds.
A cover letter from Chair Nancy Herbst raises concerns over finances in the wake of a recession and reduced state funds. Current funds will be exhausted by mid-2015, she warns, adding, "Further projects are planned, but will not be scheduled until future funding is more certain." A revised project schedule is included in the report. Prominent among projects placed on hold is the long-awaited 12th high school in Alpine.
Critics call action "meaningless"
February 12, 2013 (El Cajon )—Newly elected Grossmont Union High School District Board Trustee Jim Stieringer plans to introduce a resolution on the 12th high school for Alpine at the board meeting at 924 East Main Street, El Cajon. The public portion of the meeting will begin at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, February 13.
The motion directs the GUHSD to developed modified building plans and submit to the Division of the State Architect (DSA) –but only after it is determined that the Alpine School District Unification plan is either abandoned or fails to achieve voter approval. In addition, the site and building plans must be modified to stay within the remaining budget.
By Miriam Raftery
January 15, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Visitors to websites for several high schools in the Grossmont Union High School District on Saturday morning found material posted by a hacker.
“One of the District's web servers was compromised,” district spokesperson Catherine Martin told East County Magazine. Several school home pages were “replaced with photos of Osama Bin Laden and some commentary,” she added.
GUHSD Board Member Jim Kelly led the last 8 years by controlling the Board’s majority; now with a new member, Jim Stieringer, elected, let's review progress of a 12th high school
By Bill Weaver
December 2, 2012 (San Diego's East County)--There is an endless trail of disingenuous acts on behalf the majority on the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) Governing Board; this editorial touches on a few. Let’s reflect on years past. Prop H passed in 2004, authorizing $274 million; the Superintendent and the Board put a 12th new high school in the main summarizing Ballot statement headlining the bond explanation. There was a GUHSD Long Range Facilities Master Plan (LRFMP) dated 2003 that stipulated a 12th high school for "Safety and Overcrowding" reasons.
Update Nov. 8: With 100% of precincts counted and a portion of the late absentee ballots, Schreiber and Stieringer have retained solid leads.
By Miriam Raftery
November 7, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – In one of the most bitterly contested races in East County, incumbent Priscillla Schreiber won reelection handily with 95% of votes counted with 28.17% of the vote in the Grossmont Union High School District. A Republican, Schreiber has been an outspoken champion for building a new high school in Alpine--and a vocal critic of the board majority on a range of issues.
That majority may shift, with challenger Jim Stieringer in second place at 19.04%--ahead of incumbent Gary Woods, who has 18.66%. Woods has taken heat for his opposition to the Alpine High School at a time when a Grand Jury investigation is probing possible misallocation of bond monies approved by voters for projects including the high school in Alpine.
A Rebuttal to Jim Kelly's guest editorial in ECM
By Bill Weaver, candidate, Grossmont Union High School Board
November 2, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--Jim Kelly is a blue ribbon fibber. Jim Kelly says, "It is time to answer these misleading, politically-motivated attacks."
I'll say it is--there is only one politically motivated attack agent. It is Jim Kelly who for years has been officially the recruiter for the out of touch extremist right local party that is in charge of ruining the conservative name with its radical right agenda. There is zero validity to Jim Kelly's rebuttal.
By Miriam Raftery
View full forum videos by Paul Kruze:
October 25, 2012 (La Mesa)—Six candidates vying for two seats on the Grossmont Union High School District Board addressed topics ranging from budgets to bond money expenditures (reportedly the topic of a Grand Jury investigation) and from technology to integrity. The forum October 22 was sponsored by East County Magazine and moderated by Donna Barlett-May the League of Women Voters.
The fireworks started in opening remarks, when education advocate Bill Weaver assailed incumbent Gary Woods for a problem with “what I see as honesty,” alluding to use of bond monies that has reportedly drawn the scrutiny of San Diego's Grand Jury.
6 candidates in Grossmont Union High School District also tackle furloughs, Brown tax measure.
By Kristina Houck , Santee Patch
October 23, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--Assailing what he called the school board’s lack of transparency, Grossmont Union High School District candidate Bill Weaver told a forum Monday night that he was running because he doesn’t trust the current board members.
BARBARA STEVENS STRIVES TO "DO THE RIGHT THING FOR PARENTS AND STUDENTS" IN THE GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT
By Janis Mork
October 12, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)- Challenger Barbara Stevens has been a writer/editor for over 35 years. She grew up in San Diego, attended Point Loma High School and San Diego State University.
She wants to focus “on the kids more so than adults, focus on student achievement, education, the students’ and districts’ needs.”Stevens was motivated to run because her daughter went through the district, graduating from Helix Charter in 2008 and recently graduating from California State University San Marcos.
By Miriam Raftery
An ECM Special Report
October 13, 2012 (El Cajon)—The San Diego Grand Jury has launched an investigation into possible misuse of bond funds by the Grossmont Union High School District’s board majority, muliple sources have confirmed to East County Magazine.
“We’re in a Grand Jury investigation about Alpine,” GUHSD board trustee Priscilla Schreiber told ECM. Schreiber said she learned of the probe “by accident” while in the District’s office. Schreiber has been a vocal critic of the Board majority (Trustees Gary Woods, Jim Kelly, and Robert Shields) for blocking construction of a high school for Alpine while allowing diversion of school bond funds for costly new projects not mandated in two bond measures, Prop H and Prop U. Both measures were approved by voters and specifically called for a new high school in Alpine.
October 15, 2012 (El Cajon) – Make plans to build a better future today! In partnership with the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, the Grossmont Union High School District is hosting its ninth annual Got Plans? Career & College Fair for high school students and parents on Saturday, October 20, 2012, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Grossmont College.
By Janis Mork
October 7, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)—Zach Miller has first-hand knowledge of what a student needs to learn. Now 19 and a junior at SDSU, he is running for the Grossmont Union High School District Board to apply some critical thinking skills and assure that students' needs are met.
At age 5, he was admitted to American MENSA, an organization for those with genius-level IQs. He headed up Academic League teams and was captain of the Rubik’s Cube Competitive Team at Cajon Valley High School, where he graduated with honors. While still in high school, he took community college classes; finishing 10th grade he enrolled at San Diego State University’s mechanical engineering program.
His priority is to ensure that teachers and students have resources to teach and learn. He hopes to include more Advanced Placement and honors classes and increases in student enrollment, resources for AVID courses. He hopes to better the district, to look at what the schools need and use the money to help students learn instead of luxuries, such as building new swimming pools and performing arts centers.
JIM STIERINGER BELIEVES HE CAN CREATE HARMONY AMONG GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD MEMBERS
By Janis Mork
October 10, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)- Retired La Mesa city treasurer Jim Stieringer is running for the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) board with confidence that he can, first and most importantly, create greater collegiality among the board members by presenting a policy that all board members must abide by, if elected. In this policy, Stieringer expects that “all board members will agree to the standards of conduct amongst themselves, and their relationships with each other and the public.”
BILL WEAVER HOPES TO BE A VOICE FOR PARENTS' AND STUDENTS' NEEDS ON GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD
By Janis Mork
October 6, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)- Bill Weaver hopes to replace incumbent board member Dr. Gary Woods on the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) board. He is a parent of a son and a daughter in Alpine schools, soon to enter the district. His two kids are the main reason of why he is devoted to GUHSD. He has championed a high school for Alpine but believes in reaching out to all schools. He also pledges to listen to concerns of every parent, make kids the focus when reaching a decision, use tax money wisely, and be open-minded and considerate of students’ needs.
By Janis Mork
October 7, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)- Priscilla Schreiber seeks reelection to the Grossmont Union High School GUHSD) District Board this November. She is motivated to run again because “there are many things that still need to be done, and I’d like to be a part of it.” She was a concerned parent when she ran in 2000, and she’s been on the board ever since. Also a businesswoman, her priorities are maintaining financial integrity, rigorous academic standards, career technical education, and strong work ethic with character education.
October 2, 2012 (East County, San Diego) -- As summer 2012 comes to an end for students, many projects are also ending as part of the Propositions H and U school bond program. Construction teams have been busy renovating campuses throughout Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) to provide ADA upgrades and construct new classrooms, special education suites and Career Technical Education (CTE) facilities.
By Sal Casamassima, Chair of the Alpine High School Citizens Committee
September 3, 2012 (Alpine)--Divorce is a traumatic and difficult subject that many folks have to deal with in their lives. However, it is often the only path that can be taken when one spouse becomes abusive and deceitful to the other.
There is no better metaphor than divorce to describe what must be done by the Alpine Union School District (AUSD) to escape the abusive and deceitful relationship it has with the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD).
August 27, 2012 (El Cajon) -- Grossmont Union High School District and Grossmont High School celebrated the topping out of the new humanities building on Tuesday, Aug. 21. The ceremony marked the completion of the steel framing as the construction team set the final beam into place. The humanities building is scheduled for completion in spring of 2013.
August 15, 2012 (Alpine) -- In a collaborative effort to increase high school sports media coverage in the East County of San Diego, the Grossmont Union High School District, in cooperation with the San Diego Section of the CIF, has awarded the live sports broadcast rights to media entity MY 1079 FM. The station will provide live broadcasts of a "Game-of-the-Week" for the Grossmont District schools. The current agreement is for the 2012-2013 scholastic year. Sports will include football, basketball, baseball, and more.
March 11, 2012 (El Cajon) – The Grossmont Union High School District will be dedicating three new pools throughout the district this spring thanks in part to funding provided by Proposition U.
The Granite Hills High School Aquatics Facility will be the first to be dedicated on March 27 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. with the official ribbon cutting at 4:30 p.m. The special guest will be Supervisor Dianne Jacob.
By Serena Scaglione
February 23, 2012 (El Cajon)--More than 150 parents, students and members of East County communities attended last week’s special board meeting at West Hills High School to stand for or against the Board’s decision last November to change the district’s boundaries.
Despite numerous pleas to the Board to rescind the boundary changes, the Board voted four to one to keep the new boundaries in place, with trustee Priscilla Schreiber casting the only "no" vote.
ONE-THIRD OF CA STUDENTS ATTEND SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN FINANCIAL JEOPARDY: 6 LOCAL DISTRICTS AT RISK--3 IN EAST COUNTY
Grossmont, Borrego and Ramona districts may fail to meet financial obligations
February 23, 2012 (Sacramento)—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson warned today that the latest review of school district budgets shows that one-third of public school students in California attend a district in financial jeopardy. That includes seven districts in San Diego County—three of them in East County.
SCHOOL BOUNDARIES, HELIX COMMUNITY GARDEN, & COLLECTIVE BARGAINING PROPOSAL FOR EMPLOYEES ON AGENDA FOR GUHSD FEB. 9
February 3, 2012 (El Cajon) – There’s a lot for the public to learn at the Grossmont Union High School District board of trustees meeting set for February 9, 2012 at 6 p.m.
Superintendent Ralf Swenson will provide an update on hotly contested district boundaries and an update on whether the district is in compliance with the California Voting Rights Act. Trustees will again weigh whether to approve a community garden for Helix Charter High School or create a new “Chef” position in Food Services. They will also hold a public hearing on the Board’s proposed collective bargaining contract for California School Employees Association union members.
January 27, 2012 (El Cajon) – In response to numerous complaints from parents and residents who were not informed before the Grossmont Union High School District voted to change school boundaries, the District today announced that it will host two public information forums and accept public comments.
The meetings will be held in the Cajon Valley and La Mesa/Spring Valley districts on February 7 and 8.
Take our poll: Should the GUHSD have notified all residents by mail before changing school district boundaries?
By Miriam Raftery
January 21, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – At a Grossmont Union High School District board of trustees meeting on October 13, trustee Priscilla Schreiber asked Superintendent Ralf Swenson how workshops on proposed district boundary changes would be publicized. Swenson replied, “We are sending out mailers, putting things on websites, and we are working with our feeder districts to get the word out through their schools…”
But no mailers were ever sent to district residents. Nor did feeder schools (middle and elementary) notify parents of future high school students. Yet the district approved boundary changes November 10 that will affect thousands of students. Now a clamor has arisen among parents who had no idea such changes were in the works—and want the action reversed.
Modernized Career Technical Education building provides state-of-the-art workspaces to students
January 26, 2012 (El Cajon)--Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) and El Cajon Valley High School officials dedicated a newly renovated metal works facility and special education suites with an honorary chain-cutting ceremony yesterday.
By Charlotte Reed