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A history of the Grossmont High School Museum

Posted: September 22nd, 2017 | Columns, Featured, Foothiller Footsteps | No Comments

By Connie and Lynn Baer | Foothiller Footsteps

In October 2008, a dream finally came true — the Grossmont High School Museum had its grand opening.

For years, the community, alumni, and staff wanted to establish a Grossmont High School Museum to preserve Grossmont’s amazing history.

In 2007, upon their retirement from being high school English teachers, sisters Connie Baer (Class of 1965) and Lynn Baer (Class of 1969) spent 18 months creating the museum displays from the remarkable memorabilia, which had been cherished for so many years by teachers, staff, and alumni.

(l to r) Lynn Baer, Connie Baer and Paul Miller (Photo courtesy of GHS Museum)

The museum is currently located in its temporary location, downstairs in the Math Building, but there are plans to move to the 3300-square-foot Dance Room upon the completion of the new GHS Performing Arts complex.

Since its opening, thousands of students, staff, alumni, and community members have visited the museum’s exhibits which are organized by decades, from 1920s to the present. There are also special exhibits on our three astronauts, the 39-member Hall of Honor, a War Memorial, as well as exhibits on our Instrumental Music Program, the Nominating Convention, a Spirit Display, Perpetual Graduation Trophies, and more.

Second semester, ninth-grade English classes visit the museum as an orientation to Grossmont’s 97-year-old history. We are open each Wednesday at lunch for the students to drop in to see what’s new; we’re open to the public the first Wednesday of each month and by appointment on other Wednesdays.

Each year, reunion classes visit the museum to relive their Foothiller memories.  This summer, five different classes — 1982, 1977, 1972, 1971, and 1967 — visited the museum as part of their reunions, and enjoyed touring the campus.

Class of 1967 50th reunion (Photo courtesy of GHS Museum)

In 2007, as we were organizing memorabilia, Paul Miller (Class of 1966) stopped by to see what he could do to help. We suggested that he might like to become the GHS Alumni Director. From 1977-2009, Ruth Wolin, Class of 1952, had organized a multiclass Foothiller reunion, but in 2009, she “retired” and shared her alumni information with Miller.

Using that as a starting point, Miller organized an alumni website, with alumni addresses and emails and reunion information available to alumni. Since then, we have grown to having nearly 5,000 alumni emails and addresses; being able to communicate our alumni has been essential to our success.

Today, the GHS Museum and the GHS Alumni Association share one website at foothillers.com, where we recognize our 39 Hall of Honorees as well as share current and past programs, columns documenting Foothillers history, museum donors, photographs, and more.

On the alumni pages, there is information about reunions, class contacts, Foothillers in the news, as well as Foothillers we have lost by year. Alumni can also register to receive our emails about all things GHS.

“As each of us graduates and leaves this campus to start building our lives, our careers, and for some a family, we can always pause and remember our time at Grossmont. Our life lessons at Grossmont ultimately shaped our futures,” Miller shared. “From this view, Grossmont casts a long shadow. We are Foothillers, and when we bleed, we bleed Blue and Gold. It’s a part of who we are, and that will never change. So, if, or when, you do look back, know that there are thousands just like you. You may not remember them all, or recognize them after all these years, but it’s fun to re-connect, relive, and share the past. We are here. Come join us.”

You may contact Miller directly at FoothillerAlumni@gmail.com.

Little did we know, 10 years ago, that Connie, Lynn, and Paul would meet so many wonderful people and receive so much support in our efforts to preserve, display and celebrate GHS history. The love and pride that Foothillers share is truly amazing.  We hope to see you soon at the museum!

For more information or to make a donation, please visit our website at foothillerfoundation.com or visit the GHS Museum Wednesday, Oct. 4 from noon-3:30 p.m. or by appointment. Contact: 619-668-6140 or ghsmuseum@guhsd.net.

—Connie and Lynn Baer write on behalf of the Grossmont High School Museum.

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