By Connie and Lynn Baer | Foothiller Footsteps
The Grossmont High School Educational Foundation (GHSEF) is the only support group on campus that raises money and provides volunteer support for programs, supplies, and other needs that benefit all Grossmont students and staff. The foundation’s motto is “Take Your Memories, Leave Your Footprints,” with footprints being its logo. The money is raised by the foundation through memberships and donations as well as annual interest from the GHS Endowment Fund.
In the past two years, the foundation’s impact has been felt throughout the campus. Through teacher mini-grants, the Art Department received a PixelStick for night photography and a gallery to display student work. The Athletic Department received strength training equipment for track and cross country athletes as well as a gymnastics balance beam. Guitar students received a student recorder as well as nine classical guitars and electric cords. Career Pathway students received promotional T-shirts they wear with pride every Wednesday. The Science Department received a hydrogen cylinder for chemistry and physics classes, and chemistry students now have an augmented reality sandbox. The Drama Department received a short throw projector for scenery and special effects.
In addition, the foundation supported student travel to local competitions in San Diego as well as student travel to national competitions in Washington, D.C. and Florida. With the foundation’s help, Foothillers also attended a play at the Old Globe Theater, received monthly departmental Star Student awards, and test fee support.
The foundation funded campus improvements including replacing a damaged automotive technology sign on the auto yard as well as restoring the Class of 1989 Grossmont High School sign at the entrance to the school.
Finally, one of the highlights of the year for the foundation is awarding scholarships to seniors planning to attend college or training schools, this year giving a total of $6,000 in scholarships. The winners were announced by president Tony Lawrence at the Senior Award Night.
This year, $500 foundation scholarships were given to eight students in six categories:
- Alumni: Chase Karlo
- Athletic Challenge Overcome: Andrew Valoria and Kamryn Correll
- Academic Achievement: Taha Yacoby
- Art-Music: Jennifer Burch
- Community Service: Kamryn Correll and Kelli Scott
- Ron Murphy Memorial Scholarship: Zach Jones
Also, this is the second year of the Ryan Wilcox Memorial Scholarships, whose funds are managed by the GHSEF.
Two $1,000 scholarships are given 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.
“We are so proud and honored that Ryan’s memory and sweet spirit live on at Grossmont through these very special scholarships,” Ryan’s parents, Mike and Amy Wilcox, shared. “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.’”
To donate to the Ryan Wilcox Memorial Scholarship Fund, visit this year’s GoFundMe scholarship account at bit.ly/2mvLm5t.
The two 2018 “Ryan Strong” Memorial $1,000 scholarship recipients are Andrew Valoria and Haley Cosman.
“Our Grossmont Educational Foundation members, made up of parents, staff, alumni, and museum directors, constantly support Grossmont High School through their generous giving of time and money,” GHS Principal Dan Barnes said. “It is great to see how they care about present, past, and future Foothillers on a regular basis and continue to help build a quality school for all our students to attend.”
If you would like to support the GHSEF, please visit its website at foothillerfoundation.com or mail a check payable to the GHS Educational Foundation at P.O. Box 1043, La Mesa, CA 91944.
To learn more, visit the GHS Museum this summer: noon-3:30 p.m. on Aug. 1 and Sept. 5 or by appointment. Email firstname.lastname@example.org; call 619-668-6140; or visit foothillermuseum.com for our Saturday summer hours.
Upcoming Foothiller reunions*
Class of 1973: July 28
Contact Randy James at email@example.com.
Class of 1988: Aug. 3
Contact Vanessa Pizzuto at VPizzuto@hplawsd.com
Class of 2008: To be determined
To receive updates, contact Bryce Mayer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*More information available on the reunion page at foothillermuseum.com.
— Connie and Lynn Baer write on behalf of the Grossmont High School Museum.Tags: Andrew Valoria, Chase Karlo, Foothiller Footsteps, Grossmont High School, Grossmont High School Education Foundation awards scholarships, Jennifer Burch, Kamryn Correll, Kelli Scott, La Mesa, La Mesa Courier, Ryan Wilcox Memorial Scholarship, Taha Yacoby, Zach Kones