By CONNIE BAER and LYNN BAER
This month, we’d like to acknowledge those who make a difference at Grossmont High School. GHS is definitely a campus where the old meets the new, enriching current Foothillers in countless ways.
Alumnus Gene Chubb, Class of 1948 and frequent donor to Grossmont High School, epitomizes this impact. His company, RCP Block & Brick, has donated blocks for the construction of the new 2020 Event Center. For nearly four decades, Gene has generously donated materials, labor, and money to Grossmont, creating concrete landmarks of Foothiller pride throughout the campus.
Thank you to Jim Spackman
In January 2019, the Grossmont High School Educational Foundation received a $100,000 donation to its endowment fund from GHS Hall of Honoree Jim Spackman, Class of 1958.
With his donation, Jim shared, “In the spring of 1956, GHS admitted a 16-year-old Korean War orphan, who was almost illiterate. In two and a half years, Grossmont educated him sufficiently to graduate in June 1958 (as valedictorian and ASB president) and go on to college (Harvard).
“A countless number of people helped me along the way: Dr. John T. Warburton, principal; Mr. Walter R. Barnett, vice principal; Mrs. Eva Quicksall, counselor; Dr. George C. Gross, senior English teacher; Mr. John A. Burdick, ASB adviser; Mr. Ed Kintzele, tennis coach; and Mrs. ‘Mom’ Sherman, and even the students were kind and helpful to me. That is why I am deeply grateful and indebted to Grossmont.”
With his donation, Jim increased the size of our endowment fund from $107,000 to $207,000, thus doubling the amount of yearly interest we will receive to support Foothiller students and staff. Thank you, Jim!
At this year’s senior award night, several students benefited from the generosity of Jim and other alumni, retirees, and community members through scholarships.
GHS Educational Foundation
Because of generous Grossmont alumni such as Gene and Jim, retirees, teachers, and community members who have contributed to the GHS endowment fund since its inception in 2012, this school year the GHS Educational Foundation awarded five $1,000 scholarships, thousands of dollars in teacher mini-grants, and has given yearlong financial support of programs and students on campus.
This year’s scholarship recipients are:
Athletic Challenge: Zachary Zolina and Gabi Egan
Alumni: Bailey Wilcox and James Bond
Community Service: Kana Okura
The Grossmont community thanks outgoing GHS Educational Foundation President Tony Lawrence for the hundreds of hours of service he has given to the Foothiller community for the past five years. However, Tony is not really retiring as he will continue to volunteer as “the voice of the Foothillers” at home football games.
Ryan Wilcox Memorial Scholarships
This is the third year of the Ryan Wilcox Memorial Scholarships, funds which are managed by the Grossmont High School Educational Foundation.
Two $1,000 scholarships are given annually to students who have overcome their own personal obstacles — financially, emotionally, or physically — yet have still kept a positive outlook while facing these challenges. The students must also have a love for Grossmont High School community and have the Foothiller spirit that Ryan so treasured.
Ryan’s parents, Mike and Amy Wilcox, share, “We are so proud and honored that Ryan’s memory and sweet spirit live on at Grossmont through these very special scholarships. 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.’”
The two 2019 “Ryan Strong” Memorial $1,000 Scholarship recipients are Tiam Babadiyaghoubi and Jaymee Gonnello.
New faculty scholarships
Jerry Lewis Scholarship: This year, the Art Department awarded the first $1,000 Jerry L. Lewis Scholarship to a graduating senior. Jerry taught art at Grossmont High School for 30 years, from 1962-1992, 28 of which he served as the Art Department chairperson, retiring in 1992. He also coached the Foothiller baseball and golf teams. Jerry created this scholarship to promote the arts and to reward a senior who best exemplifies a commitment to continuing a path in the arts beyond his high school education. Thank you, Jerry, for endowing this yearly scholarship; this year’s recipient is Travis McCrae.
Gloria Jones Memorial Scholarships: Thanks to donations by alumni, retirees, and current staff at Grossmont and throughout the GUHS District, two students received $800 scholarships in memory of longtime history teacher and ASB advisor Gloria Jones. The scholarships were awarded to the Foothillers who best represent Gloria’s unique leadership qualities. Strong, determined, and compassionate, Miss Jones had the ability to get the best from her students, in both student government and the classroom. Her impact on Foothiller traditions and values are reflected today throughout the campus.
The two inaugural scholarships in her memory were awarded to Rachel Gallegos and Kennedy Dirkes. To contribute to future Gloria Jones Memorial Scholarships, please write a check payable to GHS ASB-Gloria Jones Scholarship, and mail to Jeremy Hersch, P.O. Box 1043, La Mesa, CA 91944.
Principal Dan Barnes believes, “Grossmont High School resides in an amazing community that truly supports our students and staff. The Grossmont High School Educational Foundation and the GHS Museum and alumni have done an outstanding job linking our alumni, our retired staff, our history of excellence, fundraising, and support of events back to our school and, most importantly, back to our students. Tony Lawrence and the board truly care about kids and making sure they know that Grossmont High School cares about their success. I look forward to our next steps with our new board president Amy Conrad, who has the same passion Tony does as a parent and who will be a great leader from our business and school community to take on this new role.”
99th Anniversary and Homecoming: Friday, Sept. 20. GHS Museum open from 4-7 p.m.; campus tour at 5:30 p.m.
Class of 1956 Reunion: Grossmont-El Cajon Class of ‘56, Friday, Sept. 20, at the Admiral Baker Club, San Diego. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Class of 1974 45th Reunion: Thursday, Sept. 19, at 6 p.m., alongside the pond at Anthony’s Fish Grotto in La Mesa. Visit bit.ly/2JjkdAO. GHS Museum open 4-6 p.m. before the reunion; campus tour at 5 p.m.
— Connie and Lynn Baer write on behalf of the Grossmont High School Museum. To discover more about Grossmont, visit foothillermuseum.com or visit the GHS Museum Wednesday, Aug. 7, noon-3:30 p.m. or by appointment. Call 619-668-6140 or email email@example.com.