By CONNIE and LYNN BAER
In March 2020, the lives of Grossmont’s 100th graduating class, the Class of 2021, were dramatically changed. In the past 14 months, Foothillers have faced the challenge of distance learning as well as the challenge of transitioning from a semester to a quarter system and adjusting to the varying in-person and distance-learning schedules. At the end of 2020, students could choose to return to class one day a week; in 2021, two days; and now four days a week. At the same time, some students have continued to learn from home while the teachers teach simultaneously to those at home and those in class.
These challenges have especially tested this year’s senior class as they face a year without the traditional senior experiences. We recently asked them to share their thoughts with us.
During the past 14 months, what has been the most difficult thing about the COVID shut down for you?
Kaevyn Bouma: “The most difficult thing has been learning to become flexible and learning how to adapt to whatever life throws my way.”
Christopher Martinez: “Arriving early to school every morning used to be my favorite part of the day as I would be able to go into the library and get some work done in a peaceful environment without distractions. Because of the pandemic, many libraries, including our own, were temporarily closed which made many of us have to learn how to work from home with all of our distractions.”
Noor Shamasyousef: “Remaining calm, ever since the COVID shut down, my anxiety has been worse because of constantly worrying about the present and the future.”
Anaya Harris: “The most difficult thing about the COVID shut down for me is not being able to do normal things as in visiting friends and enjoying my last year of high school.”
Camila Sanchez: “I am not the best with change, so when it came to adapting to a completely different way of living I struggled a bit.”
During the past 14 months, what have you learned about yourself and/or others?
Chrestina Khoso: “What I learned about myself is that I don’t quit easily.”
Ariana Hamid: “I have learned that I needed to learn more about caring for others. I have learned that not even a deadly virus could stop some people from being selfish. On a positive note, I have learned that I am stronger than I thought.”
Samar Amiri: “To not take anything for granted. I appreciate every little thing.”
Harrison Cox: “The past 14 months have taught me a lot, but the most important being the self-discovery of my own worth and others. This time allowed many people, including me, to reckon with themselves finding out things they wouldn’t have if it weren’t for the lockdown.”
Nazanin Fnu: “I discovered the many things I like to do as a hobby such as cooking, crocheting. I grew and learned many things such as that my family is very important to me and that I want to be a better person.”
What makes Grossmont special or unique?
Alyssa Bolden: “Something that makes Grossmont special is the teachers. They went out of their way to check upon us or even remembering our birthdays even though we are not in the class anymore.”
Olivia Vasquez: “Grossmont always finds a way to bring school spirit and make everyone feel like they are a part of something.”
Grace Freeman: “The atmosphere. Everyone is so welcoming. The school spirit is amazing.”
Murtadha Alrubaiee: “The teachers truly care about their students’ education, even during a pandemic. Teachers were trying hard to prepare us for the AP test and they made different programs and student sessions in order to help all of their students.”
Yousif Ablahad: “The staff, the dedicated teachers, the hard-working janitors and food workers and the very diverse students.”
Eugenie Budnik: “There really is a home for everyone at Grossmont. My special home at Grossmont is the vocal music department with Ms. Morrison.”
Ty Case: “What makes Grossmont so special and unique is how the school pride and spirit carries through each student’s life. The alumni of our school are always proud to be a part of it.”
Principal Dan Barnes applauded the class’s resilience in a statement:
“The Grossmont High School Class of 2021 has continued to excel in this very difficult time for high school seniors. Yet they have endured, representing Grossmont High School and our 100 years and being a part of what makes us a great school.
“This class could have been buried in their circumstances. In the past 14 months, their chances to be stars on the stage, or captains of a team, or leaders of school clubs were potentially lost for the remainder of their high school careers. I was thrilled when we started working as a school and district to provide opportunities for our students: allowing them the opportunity to attend classes, participate in athletics, be involved in portions of performing arts, and even allow an outdoor prom and graduation.
“Through this all, it is obvious that this group — these individuals — are able to move through or over any obstacle put in front of them now and in their future. Thank you, Class of 2021, for your examples of endurance, strength, and empathy for one another. I wish each one of you the best of success in your future endeavors.”
100th Plus 1 Anniversary Celebration
Friday, Oct. 15, 2021: Grand Opening of New GHS Museum and Football Game vs Granite Hills
Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021: 2020 Hall of Honor Ceremony and Campus Wide Celebration. More details to follow
Friday, Aug. 20, 2021: Varsity Football Game vs Sweetwater HS, GHS’s first football opponent in 1920 and its early rival.
In honor of our historic 100 Years of Excellence Celebration, the GHS Educational Foundation is sponsoring a scholarship fundraising program. $100 for 100 Years donors will have their names, their families’ or their businesses’ names engraved on 2-by-4-inch gray tiles, which will be displayed on the front wall of the 1937 Old Gym. To have your tile installed before our 100th Anniversary Celebration in the upcoming school year, place your order by June 1, 2021.
For more information and to order, visit www.donationbricks.com/ghs100yearscholarships.
The GHS Museum has reopened. We are open June 5 and June 18 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Check our website for summer visitation details at www.foothillermuseum.com: email@example.com and 619-668-6140. Masks are required.
— Connie and Lynn Baer write on behalf of the Grossmont High School Musuem.