Awards and honors for Foothillers

Posted: July 28th, 2017 | Columns, Featured, Foothiller Footsteps | No Comments

By Connie and Lynn Baer | Foothillers Footsteps

The students and staff of Grossmont High School (GHS) are quite proud of some recent achievements by the Foothiller students, staff and community.

Gold Ribbon School Award

We are proud to announce that GHS received the Gold Ribbon School Award, which is the new California State Distinguished School Award; GHS received the award due to the excellence of its student support programs.

After the validation team’s visit, principal Dan Barnes shared the news with the staff and students with this message:

“Congratulations, GHS! Over spring break, it was announced that Grossmont High School was being recognized as one of the California Gold Ribbon Schools for 2017. Due to our success in the classroom and the work we have done in social emotional student support, we were given the opportunity to apply to the CDE schools’ recognition program. Way to go, GHS! Keep up the great work in our school-wide programs, GHS PRIDE, GRC, Mentors, G-crew, ASB, and for providing unlimited opportunities in and out of the classroom for students to reach their full potential.”

GHS counseling honors college-bound seniors

On April 28, the GHS counseling team held their second annual college signing day celebration. This day honors seniors who have met their A-G requirements. This year’s event took place at lunch in front of the Old Gym. The theme was “The Future’s So Bright, You Gotta Wear Shades.”

The Grossmont High School counseling staff sporting shades at the college signing day celebration. (l to r) Deborah Samson Aguila, Rebecca Vargas-Wilson, Amy Steveson, Laura Dawson, Julianna Manuel, Tom Fordham (Courtesy GHS Museum)

The students who completed the A-G college course requirements were given a pair of sunglasses. Each student then announced his college plans over the PA system and put a tag on our map with their name and college choice. The map is now displayed in the career center!

Foundation senior scholarships

One of the highlights of the year for the GHS Educational Foundation is awarding scholarships to seniors planning to attend college or training schools. The money is raised by the foundation through memberships and donations as well as annual interest from the GHS Endowment Fund. The winners were announced by president Tony Lawrence at the Senior Award Night in May.

$500 Foundation scholarships were given to five students in four categories:

Community Service: Dylan Holub and Jillian Dawson

Alumni: Kaeli Thompson

Athletic Challenge Overcome: Christopher Laethem

Academic Improvement: Kou Okura

In addition, this year, in memory of student Ryan Wilcox, the Grossmont High School community contributed to a GoFundMe scholarship account to honor two graduating seniors. (visit

The account was established on March 3, which would have been Ryan’s 19th birthday: The Ryan Wilcox Memorial Scholarship Fund is managed by the Grossmont High School Educational Foundation.

These scholarships are awarded to students who have overcome their own personal obstacles — financial, emotional, or physical — yet have still kept a positive outlook throughout their challenges. They also have a love for Grossmont High School community and have the Foothiller spirit that Ryan so treasured.

The Wilcox family poses with the recipients of the Ryan Wilcox Scholrship. (l to r) Katie Wilcox, Bailey Wilcox, Amy Wilcox, Dylan Holub, Jessica Brown, Mike Wilcox (Courtesy GHS Museum)

“We are so proud and honored that Ryan’s memory and sweet spirit live on at Grossmont through these very special scholarships,” said Ryan’s parents, Mike and Amy Wilcox. “Ryan loved his Grossmont family, and his positive attitude, perseverance, kindness, and compassion for others exemplified the true meaning of why ‘It’s great to be young and a Foothiller.’”
This year’s Ryan Wilcox “Ryan Strong” Memorial $1,000 Scholarships were awarded to Jessica Brown and Dylan Holub.

If you would like to contribute to future foundation scholarships, please visit the GHS Educational Foundation website at

To learn more about Foothillers past and present, visit the museum this summer: noon-3:30 p.m. Aug. 3 and Sept. 6, or by appointment.

Email; call 619-668-6140; or visit our website at for our Saturday summer hours or more information.

Upcoming Foothiller Reunions

  • Class of 1956’s 61st Reunion (combined with El Cajon Valley HS Class of 1956) on Sept. 22. Contact:
  • Class of 1967’s 50th Reunion on Aug. 26. Contact
  • Classes of 1971 and 1972 Reunion on Sept. 23. Contact
  • Class of 1977’s 40th Reunion on Sept. 23. Contact
  • Class of 1987’s 30th Reunion on Aug. 4. Contact

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