By Connie and Lynn Baer
Grossmont High School celebrated 95 years of Foothiller memories at homecoming on Friday, Oct. 16.
The day began for the students with the KUSI Alarm Clock Pep Rally. Period 1, GHS students descended on the new gym to show their Hiller Spirit, challenging themselves to cheer loudly and proudly. Later in the day, during the homecoming assembly filled with skits, dances and songs. Principal Dan Barnes was a “good sport” and was still smiling after being unexpectedly doused with a bucket of ice water.
The Associated Student Body celebrated this year’s homecoming’s theme “Under the Sea-Pixar” by decorating the interior and exterior of the old gym, complete with an erupting volcano on its dance floor. The entire campus was a sea of blue and gold as students and staff proclaimed their allegiance. Many students wore a GHS T-shirt with the words, “Bleed Blue and Gold.”
At 3:30 p.m., Foothillers from the past came to the new gym to celebrate the newest members of Grossmont’s Hall of Honor. Teacher Merle Donahue’s granddaughter accepted her plaque and the extended family of Jim Nichols was there to honor him as he received his plaque. Not surprisingly, the audience gave these two remarkable teachers a standing ovation for their years of dedication.
Accepting on behalf of Woody Clarke was his brother Willie, who shared that their father had attended Grossmont in the 1920s. Jean Landis recalled the strong foundation she received at Grossmont that prepared her well for the challenges she faced. Brian Sipe thanked his best friend and his wife of 42 years, Jeri (also a GHS graduate), whom he met at Grossmont when he was assigned a French tutor — her.
Julia Stewart shared memories of her teachers, recalling the confidence she gained in public speaking in her English class with teacher Echoe Ahern. Later, recipient Bill Woolman said, “That is by far the nicest award I have ever received. There will never be anything to match it.” (Due to a family illness, Dr. Tim Miller was unable to attend.)
During the afternoon, hundreds of Foothillers visited the GHS Museum, several bringing memorabilia to donate to the museum collection. Math teacher Yvonne Vellone remarked how happy and excited everyone was to be on campus, sharing and reliving moments from the past, and being present to recognize eight remarkable people. “Grossmont was the place to be,” she said.
Also during homecoming weekend, the Class of 1965 celebrated their 50th reunion. One goal of their reunion was to raise the money needed to fund a bench commemorating the first graduating class. The text on the royal blue bench reflects the feelings of alumni who value those who have preceded them: “Honoring the Class of 1921.”
Museum’s hours: Nov. 4 and Dec. 2 from noon to 4 p.m., or by appointment.
–Connie and Lynn Baer write on belhalf of the GHS Museum. Call 619-668-6140; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit foothillermuseum.com for more information.