By Connie and Lynn Baer
In 2008, a dynamic group of parents, staff, alumni, and community members committed themselves to improving Grossmont High School through the GHS Educational Foundation, a nonprofit 501c3 entity.
The purpose of the foundation is to enhance the overall educational experience of the students by raising funds to support the needs of the school. The GHS Educational Foundation encourages parents, students, and alumni to “Take your memories…Leave your footprints.” Appropriately, footprints are the foundation’s logo.
During the 2014–2015 school year, the foundation funded Girls Rock, a female empowerment seminar for young female students in the school district; a new curtain and short throw projector for the drama department; much-needed training equipment for the track team; modernization of campus signs; as well as partial funding for a new balance beam for the girls gymnastic team.
Yearly, the foundation funds teacher appreciation luncheons and coffees as well as monthly departmental star students with movie tickets — this year rewarding 160 students.
In 2010, the foundation challenged itself to create a $100,000 endowment fund. Since then, donors have commemorated their years at Grossmont High School, their families, their graduating classes, school programs, and staff members through the purchase of a gray tile located on campus. This historic campaign currently has 270 donors: Foothiller Founders whose 8-by-8-inch tiles are located on the 1937 Old Gym steps, and Foothiller Friends whose 4-by-4-inch tiles are located in the Humanities Building walkway.
The $70,000 (as of June 2015) is invested with the San Diego Foundation. The yearly interest from the fund is used to improve the classroom experience for students. This year’s interest funded four teacher mini grants totaling over $4,000: Jeff Lee’s augmented reality sandbox to duplicate the Earth’s dynamic crust for chemistry students; a bus for Mike Lopez’s and Mike Holcomb’s AP students’ field trip to the zoo; Ross Bartell’s cross-country and distance runners’ training equipment; and Jeremy Cooke’s purchase of Yamaha classical guitars for the guitar students.
An annual GHS Educational Foundation-sponsored fundraising event is the spring Rock and Roll Dance, held in conjunction with campus athletic teams. Also, for several years, the foundation has produced a twice-a-year newsletter which shares current Foothiller campus news and GHS Educational Foundation news mingled with articles reminding readers of Grossmont’s historic 95-year-old past.
Another annual event is the awarding of senior scholarships of $500 at Senior Awards Night. The six recipients of this year’s scholarships are:
- Community Service: Jazmin Morales
- Alumni: Jacob Niskey
- Athletic Challenge Overcome: Daniel Valoria and Ashlynn Jimmerson
- Academic Improvement: Nadeen Allah Werdi.
“We need your help to do more,” urged GHS Educational Foundation president Tony Lawrence. “We want to give more scholarships, more teacher grants, more everything. Get involved. Donate money or time so we can continue providing an exceptional Foothiller experience for our kids. It is great for the kids and rewarding to know you helped this generation of Foothillers.”
If you have questions about the GHS Educational Foundation or would like to become an active part of it, please email email@example.com and visit their website at foothillerfoundation.com. To order a tile for your family, student, alumni or favorite teacher, or to make a donation of any amount, go online at grossmont.donationtiles.com
To learn more, visit the GHS Museum noon – 4 p.m. on Aug. 3 or phone 619-668-6140 for an appointment.
—Connie and Lynn Baer write on behalf of the Grossmont High School Museum.