Foothiller Footsteps – April 24, 2015

Posted: April 24th, 2015 | Columns, Featured, Foothiller Footsteps | No Comments

By Connie and Lynn Baer

Recently, we found a treasure in the 1920 Grossmont Union High School District board meeting minutes: a brochure listing the subjects and textbooks used in 1920 as well as a description of two of the six courses of study, commercial and pre-nursing. Among the subjects taught on campus were penmanship, commercial arithmetic, typewriting, shorthand as well as forge, manual training, agriculture, mediaeval (sic) and modern history, and Latin.

Obviously, Foothillers in 1920 faced different challenges, but one unchanged school-wide goal is for students to succeed in their classes. In 1920, students relied upon the guidance of the principal, teachers and parents. Today’s Foothillers have caring counselors, support personnel and technology to support their journey through high school.


The course planning expo at Grossmont High School gives students a chance to research classes before signing up. (Courtesy of the GHS Museum)

There are five Grossmont counselors, designated by grade level; they follow their students throughout their high school years with support from academic advisors and counseling secretaries: Laura Dawson (Class of 2018); Julianna Manuel (Class of 2017); Noel McMahon (Class of 2016); Rebecca Vargas-Wilson (Class of 2015); Deborah Samson Aguila (Special Education).

During the school year, the counselors visit classes to share academic information. For example, in February, ninth-grade counselor Laura Dawson visited ninth-grade tech classes to teach California’s “A-G” college admission requirements, graduation requirements and tips on how to be a successful student.

Each year when counselors visit classes, they add grade-level specific information regarding college planning (course requirements, testing, research, financial aid), credit recovery options and post-secondary options. This year’s course planning exposition was held in the evening to communicate the same information to parents attending with their students.

In the area of college planning, the counselors hold several evening events for students and their families focusing on test prep, college research (including college fairs) and financial aid information. Counselors also host admission representatives in our campus Career Center. Students can sign up to hear these representatives promote their schools and answer student questions.

The counselors meet individually with students who are struggling academically to set goals and help them be more successful. Also, the Counseling Department conducts Student Study Team (SST) meetings with parents, students and teachers in an effort to intervene when students are not succeeding. Students may be placed on campus credit recovery programs like Edgenuity and Apex, online courses that can be completed at an accelerated pace. As a last resort, students are referred to alternative programs such as Chaparral High School or Phoenix Independent Study.

For more information about these programs and others at Grossmont High School that support students and encourage them to achieve their academic potential, please contact counselor Noel McMahon at

Visit the GHS Museum to learn more about our 94 years of history. The museum’s regular public hours are noon to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6, and Wednesday, June 3, or by appointment.

—Connie and Lynn Baer write on behalf of the GHS Museum. Contact the museum at 619-668-6140 or Visit the website,, for more information.

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