East County educators among those testifying
By Jordan Schaffner
December 11, 2013 (San Diego)--Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (photo, left, with staff) held a public hearing on access to San Diego higher education on November 21st in San Diego. Highlights from the hearing included statements from educators at both private and public institutions, identifying needs to be met for local students.
Among the issues discussed including diversity, overcrowding, and a need for a new higher education campus in our region.
December 10, 2013 (Boulevard) – Clover Flat Elementary School in Boulevard, CA was awarded $5,000 from the Barona Education Grant Program this morning. Representatives from the Barona Band of Mission Indians and Assemblyman Brian Jones will be presented the grant to Clover Flat School, which is comprised of students from the Boulevard and Jacumba communities. The grant was written by Alpine resident, Donna Burton. Mrs. Burton is a second grade teacher and assistant principal at Clover Flat Elementary School in the Mountain Empire Unified School District.
December 10, 2013 (Rancho San Diego)--It was his conquest over cancer the first time around and a changed perspective that led longtime mechanic Jake Konen to a new career teaching at Cuyamaca College.
Four years after he beat non-Hodgkins lymphoma, cancer has returned to wage another war, this time in the form of acute leukemia. And Konen (left, with family, before his illness) is determined to once again prevail.
Free workshops offered Dec. 14, Jan. 11 and Feb. 12
December 10, 2013 (San Diego) – Dr. Dee L. Fabry, Ph.D., author of On Teaching Well: Using Classroom Instructional Strategies to Increase Your Teaching Effectiveness will offer three workshops to provide teachres and educators with practical, comprehensive knowledge on how to transform the classroom into a thriving, engaged and energetic learning environment. Workshops are offered on December 14, 2013, January 11 or February 8, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Participants can receive a certificate and two hours of professional development credit at the free seminar, which will be held at National University Spectrum Academic Center’s theater, 9388 Lightwave Avenue, San Diego 92123. To register, click here. For full details and flyer, click here.
SAN DIEGO UNIFIED, COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION, AND SOLAR CONTRACTOR TEAM UP TO TRAIN "SOLAR CHAMPIONS"
December 4, 2013 (San Diego) – -Nearly 30 San Diego Unified School District teachers are becoming "Solar Champions." Earlier this week, the school district hosted a workshop for those teachers to help them incorporate the solar energy/technology they now have at their schools into their curriculum.
Main Street Power is a solar contractor that recently completed the installation of roof-top solar systems at 29 of the district's schools. As part of its contract with the district, Main Street Power is providing the teachers with training and classroom solar car kits, as well as materials on solar energy/technology that are aligned with the districts' science curriculum. The company is also giving each school a computer that will serve as an "energy portal."
By Janis Mork
November 30, 2013 (Alpine)- At the Alpine Union School District Board meeting on November 21st, many teachers and the community expressed their frustrations at the school board over fiscal issues, many asking why the Superintendent gets a raise when the district is facing a financial crisis and teachers are being asked to take more furloughs and cuts.
Everyone who spoke voiced anger at the school Board or criticized the Superintendent. In all, there were 22 speakers. Superintendent Tom Pellegrino responded, “I believe I’m the only person who makes less money,” noting that cuts have negated his raise, as he explained in detail in a later interview with ECM.” I do not have an overall raise.”
November 27, 2013 (San Diego) – Elizabeth Perez-Halperin, an assistant instructor in the online Professional Certificate in Green Energy Management program through San Diego State University’s College of Extended Studies, was recently honored at a White House Champion of Change event as a Veteran Advancing Clean Energy and Climate Security.
November 23, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – The Grossmont Union High School District is seeking applications to fill a vacancy within the eleven-member Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC). The CBOC oversees the implementation of Proposition H, the $274 million general obligation bond measure passed in March 2004, and Proposition U, the $417 million general obligation bond measure passed in November 2008, to bring facility improvements and renovations to the district’s schools. The appointee will serve a two-year term beginning January 2014, in the capacity of “Community Member-at-Large” and will be eligible for up to three consecutive two-year terms total.
ASSEMBLY SELECT COMMITTEE ON HIGHER EDUCATION IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY SET TO HOLD ITS FIRST HEARING NOV. 21 DOWNTOWN
November 17, 2013 (San Diego) -- Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber (D-San Diego) will convene the first hearing of the Assembly Select Committee on Higher Education in San Diego County on Thursday, November 21 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. The hearing will be held at the State Building, 1350 Front Street, Room B-109 in San Diego.
This informational hearing will examine the state of education within the San Diego region. Specifically, the hearing will focus on assessing student access, and exploring what educational opportunities exist within the region. One issue the Committee will explore is why residents have so few public higher education options although the County is the third most populated in the state.
November 14, 2013 (El Cajon)--The only employee on the Grossmont campus who can remember military service during World War II is Bob Yochum, a graphic artist, who at age 86 still works two days a week.
November 7, 2013 (San Diego) – Members of the Delta Upsilon fraternity at San Diego State University want to combat the stereotype of fraternity men. The “Building a Better Man” program launched over a year ago, aimed at developing leadership, character development and professional training, along with mentoring and networking opportunities.
October 31, 2013 (Dehesa) -- The Dehesa Valley Community Council, Inc., on behalf of the residents of Dehesa, has completed construction of a County approved School Bus Stop at Dehesa Road and Dehesa Ranch Road.
Dedication of the bus stop will take place at the site, on Friday, November 1, 2013 at 3:30 pm.
Superintendent-Principal Janet Wilson, as well as School Board Member Derek Voth, will join the students and “ride the bus” on that day. Jacki Finch, school bus driver and advisor for the project, will deliver them safely to the destination.
Dehesa residents are invited to join your neighbors for this celebration of community commitment, caring and success.
October 22, 2013 (Sacramento) – School bus safety is a two-way street, a responsibility shared by professional school bus drivers and the rest of the motoring public. To help bring awareness to the safe transportation of students throughout the state, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is proud to observe National School Bus Safety Week, October 21–25, 2013.
Nearly one million California students ride on school buses every day and more than 25,000 certified drivers are dedicated to providing safe transportation for children in the state. These drivers go through 40 hours of intense training by the Department of Education, in addition to a rigorous certification process by the CHP, physical examinations, and drug tests. Drivers must also possess a valid first aid and medical card and obtain a background clearance from the California Department of Justice. Additionally, the CHP inspects and certifies every bus annually.
October 20, 2013 (El Cajon) -- Zack Gianino, who was installed Tuesday evening, Oct. 15, as a student trustee on the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Board, describes himself as a man who is “strongly against apathy.”
“I do as much as I can to combat it,” said Gianino, 20, who also serves as vice president of the Associated Students of Grossmont College.
October 17, 2013 (El Cajon) -- A Box Full of Rocks: The El Cajon Years of Lester Bangs is a new documentary film about legendary music journalist and former San Diegan Lester Bangs. Grossmont College's Creative Writing Program will sponsor a special screening of the film at its annual Lester Bangs Memorial Reading, on Tuesday October 22, 2013 in Room 220 (Building 26). This event will be free and open to the public.
Measure targets school districts engaged in risky borrowing, including Poway Unified and Santee School District
By Cary Hyatt and Miriam Raftery
October 1, 2013 (Sacramento) – Assembly Bill 182 has been passed by the Legislature and is now on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk. Several local legislators coauthored the bill including Democrats Ben Hueso and Marty Block as well as Republicans Rocky Chavez and Mark Wyland.
The measure would create restrictions in California on capital appreciation bonds (CABs) used by school and college districts. CABs defer payments far into the future and can cost 10 to 20 times more than the original amount borrowed.
September 30, 2013 (El Cajon) – Marsha Edwards, a 22-year veteran in her field, has started her new post as vice chancellor for human resources for the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.
Edwards, who was born in Oregon and spent much of her life there, said she was intrigued by the job posting for the top human resources job at the East County college district.
“When I looked into the position, it seemed like a good fit with my background and experience and would allow me the opportunity to work with two great colleges in a great climate – decision made!” she said.
September 11, 2013 (El Cajon) – With a vow to never forget the sacrifices made and the lives lost in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Cuyamaca College today held a ceremony and display of 2,977 small flags on the campus’ Grand Lawn, each representing a victim of the fateful day when two planes hit the Twin Towers in New York City and two other commandeered planes crashed into the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
On a postcard-perfect summer morning with the San Miguel Fire Station’s massive 70-foot flag as a backdrop, the campus community and the public gathered to commemorate an event that even after a dozen years had spectators wiping away tears and speakers’ voices choking with emotion.
A few miles away, a similar ceremony took place at Grossmont College, where the morning began with the recitation of victims’ names interspersed with moments of silence corresponding with each horrifying incident that would forever leave an indelible mark on that historic day.
District Records an Overall Gain of 14 Points
On August 29, 2013, the California Department of Education (CDE) released the 2013 Growth API for schools and districts in California. For high schools, the API measures how well students are performing on both the California Standards Tests (CSTs) as well as the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE).
The Grossmont District’s API increased by 14 points to 769, marking the tenth consecutive year of growth.
In addition to significant growth at the District level, two of GUHSD’s high schools demonstrated dramatic improvements. El Cajon Valley High School increased its API by 73 points and Monte Vista posted a gain of 29 points. Below are additional highlights.
September 4, 2013 (Sacramento) – A measure that would require all school modernization projects seeking state funding to include classroom doors that lock from the inside was held today in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
State Senator Marty Block of San Diego (SD-39) who authored the legislation – SB 316 – said he was dismayed. “I’m deeply disappointed that SB 316 did not make it through the Assembly committee,” said State Senator Marty Block (SD-39). “It is a blow to school safety and common sense. We are beyond the point where inside door locks would be a nice thing to have, they are imperative if we want to protect children and teachers in the classroom.”
August 29, 2013 (San Diego) – Leave it to an anthropologist to have a closet full of skeletons — literally. Arion Mayes does, and she can tell you the story behind each and every one of them.
“I work with human remains ranging from six months to 18,000 years old,” said the San Diego State University professor of anthropology.
August 29, 2013 (El Cajon) – Dr. Chris Hill, geology professor and former president of the Academic Senate who filled in last college year as acting Vice President for Academic Affairs, was honored as Grossmont College's Distinguished Faculty Member of the year at an academic convocation held on the campus Monday, August 12.
In announcing the award, Sue Gonda, current president of the Academic Senate, said that Hill had created a course studying natural disasters, and had re-instituted courses on California geology and California natural parks. Additionally, Gonda noted, Hill had written numerous articles, papers and abstracts in the field of geology, including those studying landslide movements in California and geologic processes in the Sierra Nevada.
GROSSMONT-CUYAMACA COLLEGE PRESIDENTS TO PERFORM STAGED READINGS OF EDGAR ALLEN POE WORKS ON SEPTEMBER 6-7
August 29, 2013 (El Cajon) – The presidents of sister colleges in the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District will be among the performers in a pair of staged readings of the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe at 7:30 p.m. Friday, September 6, and Saturday, September 7, in Room 220 of Building 26 on the Grossmont College campus.
Presidents Mark Zacovic of Cuyamaca College and Sunita V. Cooke of Grossmont College will read some Poe poems that have held them in their thrall since their childhoods.
August 28, 2013 (San Diego) – San Diego State University is back to school, welcoming nearly 8,000 new students to campus. For an easier and less stressful commute starting the first day of the fall semester, August 26, SDSU offers the following parking and traffic tips.
San Diego State University Parking Services will implement the SDSU Traffic Management Plan for fall 2013 with staffing from multiple agencies to assist faculty, staff, students and the College Area community with traffic flow, directions and parking.
For an easier and less stressful commute on the first day of the fall semester, SDSU offers the following parking and traffic tips.
By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson
August 26, 2013 (El Cajon) – “The smell of burning bodies was 24 hours a day. Some put their hands on the electric wires and died…killed themselves,” said Rose Schindler, Holocaust survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II.
Rose and her husband Max were at Grossmont College to give a talk on their shared experiences during the Holocaust to students of the Summer Institute Program (S.I.P.) on July 22. Their goal is to make sure that the world never forgets the horror of the Holocaust, in hopes that such a tragedy will never happen again.
By Janis Mork
August 26, 2013 (El Cajon) - On August 12, Brian Castner, author of The Long Walk, delivered a speech to faculty and staff at Grossmont College on how to reach out to military veterans.
His book, The Long Walk, tells the story of Castner’s outward struggle of serving in combat and inward struggle to find himself again after he had been home for a couple years.
By Janis Mork
August 17, 2013 (El Cajon)- Born missing three limbs due to a rare birth defect, Alex Montoya has triumphed over adversity. Now manager of Latino affairs for the San Diego Padres, he met representatives from Cuyamaca College after speaking at the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park and was invited to deliver the commencement speech.
Montoya moved here from Columbia when he was 4 years old. “It was absolutely a new world. It was at times scary and at times daunting, but really it was refreshing and exhilarating,” he told ECM. “I realized that there were boundless opportunities.”
He learned English by watching baseball. Montoya is most passionate about baseball because “it’s a very fair and very beautiful sport..I quickly saw that it was America’s past time… [It] was something that really stayed with me my entire life.”
By Allison Henderson, apluscollegeconsultants.com
August 15, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- The 2013-2014 school year hasn't started yet so why not get a jump on the college application process? CA4, the new Common Application, now accepted by over 500 colleges and universities, opened up on August 1st. Yes, it crashed within a few hours of opening up. And, yes, there is criticism about the “improved” application because they eliminated the popular "topic of your choice" and increased the permissible word count. CA4 offers five prompts rather than six, but now allows for 650 words instead of 500 on the essay. In fact, it automatically counts the essay, and won't allow essays that are too short (less than 250 words) or too long (more than 650 words). According to the Common App Facebook page, the system is still slightly buggy but the new essay prompts were released in advance of the official launch of CA4, so there are no excuses, seniors! 140,000 students have already created their applicant accounts. Dust off those keyboards and start clicking away.
August 15, 2013 (El Cajon)—The Grossmont College Library will put on its reserve bookshelf this Fall Semester a special collection of 25 books and three films on “Muslim Journeys,” made available through a grant provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.