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 501©3 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 Foundation encourages parents, students, and alumni to “Take your memories…Leave your footprints.” Appropriately, footprints are the Foundation logo. Fourteen years later, the impact of the foundation is found throughout the campus.
Despite the limits COVID placed on the educational experience, various departments have benefitted from the mini-grants the past two years to fund special projects that enrich and facilitate student learning.
Foundation President Amy Conrad shares, “Last year, the Foundation established a scholarship for study abroad school trips to support students and staff. The scholarship for at-need students can be applied to a choir tour, a Spanish trip, or any departmental tour or trip. Last year’s recipient was a student who joined the choir on their trip to Europe.”
Other recent mini-grants have included t-shirts for the arts, media, and entertainment pathway students to design and print their logos; a bus for a San Diego Zoo field trip for Marissa Alvarado’s AP environmental science research projects; drones for Mr. Lee’s chemistry class; new materials for the baseball field and dugout, and more.
Through their growing San Diego Foundation Endowment Fund, the Foundation has been instrumental in funding student scholarships. However, in the past few years, the number of alumni and retirees who have donated to special scholarships has grown tremendously. Most of the scholarship recipients are selected through a spring application process which is overseen by the Foundation.
2022 GHS Foundation annual scholarship recipients
Shawn Ferguson Academic Improvement $1,000
Tasnim Saleh Academic Improvement $500
Joshua Kelly Performing Arts $1,000
Savannah Reynolds Alumni $1,000
Sara Lopez Athletic Challenge $1,000
Molly Schell Community service $1,000
Second Class of 1975 $1,000 Science Scholarship
2022 Howland McNelia
Class of 1975 alumnus Joy Stovall shares, “We started this scholarship because Coronavirus stopped our plans for celebrating our 45th class reunion, but we wanted to do something to commemorate it. After asking our classmates to a contribute to a class scholarship, we received an overwhelming response. We chose science for the scholarship due to being part of STEM, which is very important, and there wasn’t a current Foundation scholarship for it.”
Second Audrey Seidel Backstage Pass $500 Scholarship
2022 Tessa Snyder
In honor of Grossmont’s historic theatre arts program, a group of former Grossmont thespians partnered with the Tony Award–winning Old Globe Theatre to sponsor a Grossmont theatre arts student for an in-depth look behind the scenes of professional theatre. The program honors former Grossmont teacher Audrey Seidel Becker, to whom GHS’s Black Box is dedicated.
According to Amity Ecker, “This year’s recipient junior Tessa Snyder has worked in tech theatre at GHS for three years, including stage managing, master carpenter, lighting design, and helping to facilitate and lead the technical theatre program at GHS. Tessa was excited to learn more last summer at the Old Globe, particularly in the fields of lighting and set design.”
Second Jerry L. Lewis Art $1000 Scholarship
2022 Liliana Warder
Jerry L. Lewis taught art at Grossmont High School for 30 years, 28 of which he served as the art department chairperson. An artist himself, Jerry’s wish to support an outstanding art student is his way to promote the arts and reward a deserving senior who best exemplifies a commitment to continuing a path in the arts beyond their high school education.
According to Art and 3D Design Teacher Gwenne Pagarigan, “This year’s recipient Liliana Warder has been a committed student in 3D Design for four years. Every piece she creates has her style incorporated into it even as she experiments with different types of clay and scale of sculpture.”
In the past 14 years, the impact of the GHS Educational Foundation has grown tremendously; its non-profit status has been the impetus for donations impacting the entire Foothiller community. However, without the continued support of Grossmont’s parents, staff, retirees, and staff, none of this would have been possible. We thank them and welcome additional donations and ideas for more scholarships. For more information about becoming a part of this vibrant organization, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dan Barnes proudly states, “As principal of Grossmont High School, it is always exciting to see a community come together to support a school. Our GHS Educational Foundation and our alumni certainly have been that support for all of our students and staff. It is a privilege to work with this amazing group of people as we continue to build on years of traditions and success at Grossmont High School.”
GHS Museum closed until spring 2024
We welcome donations of memorabilia and financial donations to help us create the new, new museum. Visit our website at foothillermuseum.com to learn more about GHS, past and present and to read our newsletters. Contacts: (619) 668-6140 and email@example.com.
Class of 1962’s 60th Reunion: Flinn Springs Park in El Cajon on Saturday, Oct 8. Contact Cheryl at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Connie and Lynn Baer write on behalf of the Grossmont High School Museum.