All six candidates have agreed to participate
By Miriam Raftery
October 22, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Want to learn more about candidates running for the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) board?
The public is invited to a GUHSD candidates forum on Monday, October 22 at 6:30 p.m. in La Mesa. The League of Women Voters will moderate the forum, which is sponsored by East County Magazine. Audience members will have the opportunity to submit questions in writing and hear candidates’ views in this important race.
BARBARA STEVENS STRIVES TO "DO THE RIGHT THING FOR PARENTS AND STUDENTS" IN THE GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT
By Janis Mork
October 12, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)- Challenger Barbara Stevens has been a writer/editor for over 35 years. She grew up in San Diego, attended Point Loma High School and San Diego State University.
She wants to focus “on the kids more so than adults, focus on student achievement, education, the students’ and districts’ needs.”Stevens was motivated to run because her daughter went through the district, graduating from Helix Charter in 2008 and recently graduating from California State University San Marcos.
Trustee defends stances on Alpine High and bond monies amid reported Grand Jury probe
By Janis Mork and Miriam Raftery
October 12, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)- Elected to the Grossmont Union High School District Board in 2008, Gary Woods, Ed.D., is a professor of psychology at Southern California Seminary who says he has been an advocate of modernizing high school campuses and bringing technology into classrooms, although he opposed bond measures that provided that funding and is staunchly against new taxes.
Other priorities include "risk students and graduation success, best practices in secondary education, business internships, character development and charter school reform."
October 16, 2012 (El Cajon)--The World Famous Harlem Globetrotters will be visiting Johnson Elementary School in El Cajon today to meet with students during two assemblies. They'll be teaching students about the "ABC*s of Bullying" - a Harlem Globetrotters pilot anti-bullying awareness program.
The ABC’s of Bullying Prevention program originated through partnership with the National Campaign to Stop Violence. Each year, the nonprofit organization hosts its Do the Write Thing Challenge. Last year, 60,000 middle-school students wrote essays on violence in their lives—and the most frequent experiences described by students traced back to bullying.
By Miriam Raftery
An ECM Special Report
October 13, 2012 (El Cajon)—The San Diego Grand Jury has launched an investigation into possible misuse of bond funds by the Grossmont Union High School District’s board majority, muliple sources have confirmed to East County Magazine.
“We’re in a Grand Jury investigation about Alpine,” GUHSD board trustee Priscilla Schreiber told ECM. Schreiber said she learned of the probe “by accident” while in the District’s office. Schreiber has been a vocal critic of the Board majority (Trustees Gary Woods, Jim Kelly, and Robert Shields) for blocking construction of a high school for Alpine while allowing diversion of school bond funds for costly new projects not mandated in two bond measures, Prop H and Prop U. Both measures were approved by voters and specifically called for a new high school in Alpine.
October 15, 2012 (El Cajon) – Make plans to build a better future today! In partnership with the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, the Grossmont Union High School District is hosting its ninth annual Got Plans? Career & College Fair for high school students and parents on Saturday, October 20, 2012, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Grossmont College.
By Ariele Johannson
October 12, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--In the Mountain Empire Unified School District school board race there are three seats up for election. Voters will also be asked whether to approve a bond measure for local schools.
The candidates currently sitting on the Board of Trustees at MEUSD are board President Tina Heimerdinger, Jeffrey G. Morrison, and Tina Ambrose. Ambrose unopposed. Heimerdinger is opposed by Tom Brady,attorney, in Trustee Area 6. Jeffrey G. Morrison is being challenged by Diane Yops, an educator and business owner, in Trustee Area 2.
By Janis Mork
October 7, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)—Zach Miller has first-hand knowledge of what a student needs to learn. Now 19 and a junior at SDSU, he is running for the Grossmont Union High School District Board to apply some critical thinking skills and assure that students' needs are met.
At age 5, he was admitted to American MENSA, an organization for those with genius-level IQs. He headed up Academic League teams and was captain of the Rubik’s Cube Competitive Team at Cajon Valley High School, where he graduated with honors. While still in high school, he took community college classes; finishing 10th grade he enrolled at San Diego State University’s mechanical engineering program.
His priority is to ensure that teachers and students have resources to teach and learn. He hopes to include more Advanced Placement and honors classes and increases in student enrollment, resources for AVID courses. He hopes to better the district, to look at what the schools need and use the money to help students learn instead of luxuries, such as building new swimming pools and performing arts centers.
JIM STIERINGER BELIEVES HE CAN CREATE HARMONY AMONG GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD MEMBERS
By Janis Mork
October 10, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)- Retired La Mesa city treasurer Jim Stieringer is running for the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) board with confidence that he can, first and most importantly, create greater collegiality among the board members by presenting a policy that all board members must abide by, if elected. In this policy, Stieringer expects that “all board members will agree to the standards of conduct amongst themselves, and their relationships with each other and the public.”
College awarded two of nine grants funded by state chancellor’s office
October 11, 2012 (El Cajon) – If Cuyamaca College grant writers were members of a college sports team, they would be basking in the glory of a triple-season winning streak. You’ve heard of the Dream Team? Meet Cuyamaca’s Green Team.
Since June 2009, the crew has had had every one of its 39 grant proposals funded for a total of $7.3 million to train hundreds of students for solid-paying, dependable jobs, including those in up-and-coming green industries. The grants have also funded pilot programs, which have since been expanded and modeled by other colleges.
By Thea Skinner
October 10, 2012 (San Diego's East County)--Proposition 38 would raise income taxes to fund K-12 education. he measure differs from Prop 30, the Governor’s education funding initiative also on the ballot, in several key ways.
Prop 38 increases taxes on low and middle income earners as well as those with higher incomes, while Prop 30' sincome tax raise targets only the wealthy. Prop 38 imposes restrictions on how education funds can be spent. Prop 38 is limited to K-12 funding, while Prop 30 also includes community colleges. Prop 38 raises taxes over a longer time period.
By Thea Skinner
Miriam Raftery also contributed to this story
October 10, 2012 (San Diego's East County)--Proposition 30 is the Schools and Safety Protection Act, also known as the temporary taxes to fund education. The measure aims to provide a stable source of funds for public education, which has seen budgets slashed severely in recent years. Local schools have seen teacher lay-offs and class sizes increase; colleges have severely cut back course offerings and some have even eliminated summer school.
Proposition 30 increases income taxes for seven years on Californian residents who earn over $250,000 a year or couples earning over $500,000 a year. It also increases sales taxes for residents of California by ¼ cent for four years. If passed, Prop 30 could raise $6 billion annually for community colleges and K-12 schools.
October 9, 2012 (San Diego) -- On the flight deck of the USS Midway Museum, a floating tribute to America’s past wars, the region’s community college leaders said dwindling budgets are affecting their ability to serve those returning from today’s conflicts and heading back to school.
Cindy Miles, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, speaks at Tuesday’s news conference focusing on the needs of student veterans. Behind her are from left, Constance Carroll, chancellor of the San Diego Community College District; Justin Dile, a veteran of the U.S. Army Reserves; Paul McNamara, a Palomar Community College District governing board member; Melinda Nish, superintendent/president of Southwestern College; and Francisco Rodriquez, superintendent/ president of MiraCosta College.
BILL WEAVER HOPES TO BE A VOICE FOR PARENTS' AND STUDENTS' NEEDS ON GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD
By Janis Mork
October 6, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)- Bill Weaver hopes to replace incumbent board member Dr. Gary Woods on the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) board. He is a parent of a son and a daughter in Alpine schools, soon to enter the district. His two kids are the main reason of why he is devoted to GUHSD. He has championed a high school for Alpine but believes in reaching out to all schools. He also pledges to listen to concerns of every parent, make kids the focus when reaching a decision, use tax money wisely, and be open-minded and considerate of students’ needs.
By Janis Mork
October 7, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)- Priscilla Schreiber seeks reelection to the Grossmont Union High School GUHSD) District Board this November. She is motivated to run again because “there are many things that still need to be done, and I’d like to be a part of it.” She was a concerned parent when she ran in 2000, and she’s been on the board ever since. Also a businesswoman, her priorities are maintaining financial integrity, rigorous academic standards, career technical education, and strong work ethic with character education.
October 8, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – The San Diego County Taxpayers Association, a watchdog organization that looks out for citizens’ tax dollars, has given its support to Proposition V, the $398 million bond measure being sought on the Nov. 6 ballot by the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.
Education News and Notes
By Anat Tour, math teacher and children’s author/illustrator
October 8, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--Often when we imagine the month of October, witches, goblins and pumpkins come to mind. Now imagine cabbages! The Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program offers a unique curriculum for 3rd grade students to get involved in the love of gardening and raise their environmental consciousness. Think these are small cabbages? Think again! The biggest cabbage grown weighed in at 65 pounds. Read more about these oversized, giant cabbages in this month.
October 5, 2012 (San Diego) -- Mid-October is Homecoming week for San Diego State University. This year’s homecoming theme is “Paint the Town Red”--something the Honorary Chair and Grand Marshall for the festivities – The Show – knows all about!
SDSU will host several events starting Sunday, Oct. 7 and leading up to the homecoming football game against the Colorado State Rams on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 at 3:45 p.m. at Qualcomm Stadium.
October 2, 2012 (East County, San Diego) -- As summer 2012 comes to an end for students, many projects are also ending as part of the Propositions H and U school bond program. Construction teams have been busy renovating campuses throughout Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) to provide ADA upgrades and construct new classrooms, special education suites and Career Technical Education (CTE) facilities.
SDSU is No. 8 nationally for least debt among graduates, in top 20 for ethnic diversity and top 100 overall
September 22, 2012 (San Diego) -- U.S. News & World Report’s annual “America’s Best Colleges 2013” ranks San Diego State University No. 8 in the nation for students graduating with the least amount of debt. Among universities in California, SDSU ranks No. 1 for students with the least debt. According to the magazine, 44 percent of SDSU students graduate with no debt at all and the average amount of a student’s debt is $16,400.
September 21, 2012 (El Cajon) -- The Grossmont College Adult Reentry Program will host “Listen Up,” a free presentation on improving listening skills, from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Sept. 26, at the Career Center on the El Cajon campus. Speaking will be Roxanne Tuscany, communications speech professor and director of the college’s speech and debate team.
September 21, 2012 (La Mesa)--The La Mesa Police Department in partnership with Helix Charter High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) club invites you to attend a special event on the school campus, 7323 University Avenue in the City of La Mesa on Monday, September 24.
By Cass Crain
September 21, 2012 (Jamul)--The water saving garden at Jamul Primary School was bursting with lush plants, colorful sunflowers, ripe tomatoes and peppers, tall corn, enormous pumpkins, and an excited community participating in celebration of the first harvest season at the new garden. Second and third grade students gave visitors tours of the garden and answered questions about its water saving features. Other activities for families included a garden mosaic group project, and seed planting. Refreshments were served, and a young student addressed the crowd about the importance of composting all the watermelon rinds and paper products, in order to reduce impact on landfills.
By Janis Mork
September 18, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)- Several local school districts have ballot propositions on the November ballot, including Cajon Valley, Mountain Empire, San Diego Unified, Dehesa, Ramona Unified, Grossmont- Cuyamaca Community College, Chula Vista, and South Bay. All need 55% to pass instead of the usual 2/3 majority vote, according to Prop 39 that was passed several years ago. Below are details on each proposition, along with comments from Superintendents in each district.
JAY STEIGER SEEKS TO PROVIDE "OUTSTANDING EDUCATION" FOR KIDS IN LA MESA-SPRING VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT
“If I’m on the board, I will have an open door policy and be able to work with all groups.”- Jay Steiger
By Janis Mork
September 17, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)- Challenger Jay Steiger is running against Incumbent President William ‘Bill’ Baber and Board member Emma Turner. He hopes to join the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District Board, which includes El Cajon, Santee, and La Mesa this November. View map of the district here: http://www.lmsvsd.k12.ca.us/cms/lib2/CA01001633/Centricity/Domain/184/MAP-Schools.pdf
September 17, 2012 (El Cajon) – Under darkening clouds of economic uncertainty, the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Board battened down the hatches Tuesday, September 11, passing a $150.4 million budget that prepares the district to weather the storm, should Proposition 30 – the governor’s tax measure – fall short in the November election.
September 11, 2012 (La Mesa) – Safe Routes to School is not just for kids anymore. Join your neighbors and help make the community safer. Volunteer for the City of La Mesa’s Walk-n-Roll Safe Routes to School intergenerational program.
September 10, 2012 (El Cajon) -- Cuyamaca and Grossmont colleges are holding public remembrances of the Sept.11, 2001 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people and triggered the global war on terror.
The Associated Students of Cuyamaca College is sponsoring an on-campus display of 2,977 flags, with volunteers from the college, student leaders from Steele Canyon and Monte Vista high schools, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), area police and fire departments and the U.S. Armed Forces setting up the display in the grand lawn starting at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10, the day before a community remembrance ceremony set for 12:30 p.m. at the college at 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway in Rancho San Diego.
EMMA TURNER PLEDGES SHE IS ‘COMPETENT, CARING, AND COMMITTED’ TO HELPING LA MESA SPRING VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT
"Right now, it’s all about finances. It should be our kids’ education." -- Emma Turner
By Janis Mork
Incumbent Emma Turner is up for re-election this November for her spot as a board member in the La Mesa Spring Valley District. The district includes La Mesa, Spring Valley, and El Cajon. View a map of the district.
September 6, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)-Two seats are open in the LMSV. Emma Turner hopes that she will get re-elected for the board to continue serving the needs of students. She also needs the seat in order to run for Vice President of the California School Board Association later this year. She’s ready to win, insisting she has “all my endorsements ready” for her spot as VP. Other candidates include incumbent William ‘Bill’ Baber, President of the board, and challenger Jay Steiger.
“I don’t think we have a taxing problem; I think we have a spending problem.”—Bill Baber
By Janis Mork
Incumbent La Mesa-Spring Valley School Board President William ‘Bill’ Baber is up for re-election this November, running against Emma Turner and Jay Steiger for two spots on the school board. The LMSV district includes El Cajon, Spring Valley, and La Mesa. View a map of the district.
September 5, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)-Since being in office since 2004 as president of the board, William Baber believes major achievement has been “the fiscal stability of the district with very prudent financial management.”