Education

GROUND BROKEN FOR SECOND PHASE OF GROSSMONT COLLEGE SCIENCE, MATH AND CAREER COMPLEX

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

May 13, 2021 (El Cajon) - With the turning of shovels at a groundbreaking ceremony this morning, construction has officially begun at Grossmont College on the second phase of a science, math and career technology complex, which will also house a new Veterans Resource Center.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: COVID-19 TAKES ITS TOLL ON TEENS

By Branson Bajoua
 
May 13, 2021 (Rancho San Diego) -- Jogging down a stretch of sidewalk, edged with vibrant sprouts of grass as a breath of air gently passes by. Soaking in the summer sun floating just above the horizon before settling a match of volleyball. Or perhaps you’re eyeing an empty row of seats in a packed theater, popcorn in one hand with a slushy resting in the other, as you signal to your friends. Admittedly, we have all imagined ourselves in any one of these scenarios. Being in quarantine for over a year, who could blame us?

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THREE STUDENTS IN EL CAJON WIN SCHOLARSHIPS FROM NORTH ISLAND CREDIT UNION

East County News Service

Photo:  scholarship winner Grace Freeman, Grossmont High School 

May 13, 2021 (El Cajon) -- North Island Credit Union has awarded 10 scholarships of $1,000 each to college-bound students in San Diego and Riverside Counties in its annual College Scholarship Program. The winners include three students in El Cajon:  Grace Freeman and Mirfit Mohammad at Grossmont College, as well as Sergio Garcia at Granite Hills High School.


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VALLEY CENTER TEACHER ARRESTED FOR ALLEGED SEX CRIMES WITH MINORS

By Miriam Raftery
 
Image via Valley Center Elementary School website
 
May 6, 2021 (Valley Center) – Kyle Puette, 37, a third and fifth grade teacher at Valley Center Elementary School, has been arrested on charges of sending harmful matter to seduce minors and communicating with minors to commit a sexual offense.
 
The alleged criminal offenses offered in Bakersfield, where Puette was formerly employed as a fifth grade teacher at Louse Sandrini Elementary School from 2013 to 2017. Two juvenile teenage victims have been identified thus far, according to the San Diego Sheriff’s Department. 

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GRANT TRIPLES COVID-19 ESSAY AWARDS, 1ST PLACE NOW $1,000

Source: East County Leadership Council

May 6, 2021 (El Cajon) - East County Leadership Council’s grant has allowed it to triple the prize money for its COVID-19 essay contest. ECLC has also extended the deadline for entries to May 29 to allow broader participation.

The goal of the essay contest is to better understand how COVID-19 has affected young people academically, in their college plans, and in their career choices. This contest is open to east county high school juniors, seniors, and college freshman. 

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MATILDA, JR. MUSICAL THEATRE SUMMER CAMP: REGISTER BY MAY 1

East County News Service

April 27, 2021 (La Mesa) - Visionary School for the Performing Arts presents Matilda, Jr summer camp at the Visionary Studio (8674 La Mesa Blvd, La Mesa, CA 91942) directed by Spencer John Powell and Lendia Wylie.


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GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE DISTRICT AWARDS $205,400 IN SCHOLARSHIPS TO EAST COUNTY STUDENTS

Growing demand in the healthcare field is met with local investment in training and education of frontline workers
 
April 22, 2021 (La Mesa) – As the demand for frontline workers surges, the Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) continues to invest in the future of East County health care students through its annual scholarships.
 
The health care and social assistance sector is estimated to have the most accelerated growth through 2026, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, with a 3.1 percent growth per year. Several areas are experiencing hiring surges, including nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, dentistry, and physician assistance.
 
Since 1999, the district has awarded scholarship grants to East County high school and college students, worth more than $1 million in higher education tuition. This year, a total of $205,400 was awarded to 59 students working or living in East County: 44 high school students and 15 pursuing higher education.

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THREE FINALISTS SELECTED FOR GROSSMONT COLLEGE PRESIDENCY

Source: Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District
 
Photos: Grossmont Community College finalists for president, alphabetically (L-R): Dr. Marsha Gable, Dr. Mary Gutierrez, Denise Whisenhunt, J.D.
 
April 18, 2021 (El Cajon) – Three educators with extensive experience working at community colleges have been chosen as finalists to be the next Grossmont College president.

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25TH ANNUAL GROSSMONT COLLEGE LITERARY ARTS FESTIVAL APRIL 26-29

Source: Grossmont College

April 18, 2021 (El Cajon) -- The Grossmont College Literary Arts Festival has special reasons to celebrate its April 26-29 run: its 25th anniversary and its return after a one-year COVID hiatus.


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COMMUNITY COLLEGES SEEK RETURN OF STUDENTS POST-COVID: NEW ENROLLMENT DOWN 20% AMONG LATINO STUDENTS

By Suzanne Potter, California News Service

April 11, 2021 (Sacramento) -- Community colleges nationwide are bracing for another drop in enrollment this year, especially among students of color.

Data from the National College Attainment Network shows only about 55% of high school seniors have applied for federal financial aid.  And the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reports in 2020 first-time enrollment was down 13% overall and almost 20% among Latino students.

Paul Fiest, Vice Chancellor for Communications and Marketing at California Community Colleges, said the pandemic has severely disrupted potential students' lives.


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SDSU ANNOUNCES IN-PERSON COMMENCEMENT AND FALL 2021 INSTRUCTION

By Angela Kurysh

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia user Geographer

April 11, 2021 (San Diego) – Things are looking brighter for the San Diego State community now that the county has shifted to the Orange Tier. As of last week, the SDSU Commencement Committee confirmed via email that the Spring 2021 commencement ceremony will be conducted in-person for those that choose to register. The graduation ceremonies will be held on May 25-27 at Petco Park Stadium in downtown. For those that choose not to attend, SDSU will also provide a virtual ceremony. Both options will be available to the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021.


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CASH PRIZES FOR COVID-19 ESSAY CONTEST

Source: East County Leadership Council
 
April 8, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- The East County Leadership Council (ECLC) is sponsoring an essay contest to better understand how COVID-19 has affected young people including academically, in their college plans, and career choices. This contest is open to high school juniors and seniors, and college freshman. Awards are as follows:
 
Cash Prizes:
$250 1st Place
$100 2nd Place
Three 3rd Place prizes of $50 each

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TRIBE'S CONNECTION WITH GROSSMONT COLLEGE BENEFITS STUDENTS

Source:  Grossmont College

March 23, 2021 (El Cajon) - Grossmont College students who are awarded a scholarship from an East County tribe get much more than the $500 to help them pay for books and supplies. They also get a connection with the tribe’s casino that can help them land a job.


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SAN DIEGO STILL DOESN'T HAVE EQUITABLE INTERNET ACCESS ONE YEAR INTO PANDEMIC

Community activists have long underscored the impacts of the gaps of access to high speed, reliable internet to non-White and poorer communities and they’ve critiqued public leaders for not taking quicker action to bridge the divide.

By Kayla Jimenez, Voice of San Diego

This post has been updated.

Image via Pixabay

March 23, 2021 (San Diego) - A year after the pandemic made having a reliable internet connection a requisite for countless families, professionals, school children and others, the number of people without it has not changed and cities across the San Diego region have either no plan to address it or no money to fund their plans.


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SUPERVISORS VOTE TO ASK STATE TO KEEP SAN PASQUAL ACADEMY FOR FOSTER YOUTHS OPEN

By Briana Gomez

Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

 

Photo, left: Rev Shane Harris held a press conference last week at the San Pasqual Academy

 

March 16, 2021 (Escondido) – In a win for foster youths, San Diego County Supervisors today voted unanimously to approve a motion asking state officials to grant a reprieve to the San Pasqual Academy, a boarding school for foster youths slated to close later this year.

 

The school has been a safe haven for foster youths, who found a home at the academy when they were unable to be placed with families as they aged out of the system.

 

Rev. Shane Harris, president of the People's Association of Justice Advocates, has led efforts to keep the school open. After today's vote, he stated, “I thank the Board of Supervisors for their unanimous support of this motion. Today we have taken a step toward reimagining what foster care can look like in San Diego County and beyond, starting with the nation's first residential educational campus for foster youth, San Pasqual Academy. The fight for a carve out to keep San Pasqual in existence in our nation begins now. Let's reimagine foster care together." 

 

Harris is an alumni of San Pasqual Academy, which he credits with helping him develop leadership skills after years in foster care.

 


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ANTISEMITIC GRAFFITI RILES SDSU

By Donald H. Harrison, San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Graffiti drawn on a residence hall at San Diego State University, March 2021

March 14, 2021 (San Diego) - Earlier this week, an unidentified resident advisor at South Campus Plaza North, a large dormitory serving hundreds of students at San Diego State University, found scrawled on the exterior of the building three swastikas and coded messages often associated with white supremacist philosophy.  She immediately got some poster board to cover the offensive messaging, and drew hearts upon the poster board along with the message “Spread Love.”  After campus police were called to the scene and photographs taken of the offending material as part of an ongoing investigation, the antisemitic message was eliminated.


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VICTIMS’ FAMILIES AND FRIENDS RECALL SANTANA HIGH SHOOTING AT 20TH ANNIVERSARY CANDLELIGHT VIGIL

By Henri Migala and Rebecca Jefferis Williamson
 
Photos by Henri Migala
 
March 9, 2021 (Santee) – A solemn community vigil, attended by about 100 community members including current and former students, was held on the campus of Santana High School in Santee on March 5th to mark the 20th anniversary of a tragic day.
 
Twenty years ago, on March 5, 2001, 15-year-old Charles Andrew “Andy” Williams Jr., killed two students and wounded 13 others with his father’s Arminius HW-7 22-caliber revolver, on the campus of Santana High School.

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NEW REPORTS OUTLINE NEED FOR RACIAL JUSTICE IN CA HIGHER EDUCATION

By Suzanne Potter, Public News Service,CA

Photo by Quince Creative/Pixabay

March 5, 2021 (San Diego) --  Two new reports highlight disparities in California colleges that put African-American students at a disadvantage.

The study "Follow the Money" says California systematically underinvests in Black degree attainment, spending almost twice as much per student in the Cal State University or University of California systems than it does in community colleges - where 80% of Black students are enrolled.

Edward Bush is cofounder and vice president of the group "A2MEND," which stands for "African American Male Education Network and Development." He said the disparities are not accidental.


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SAN DIEGO COUNTY TO START VACCINATING TEACHERS, OTHER ESSENTIAL WORKERS ON SATURDAY

Photo:  The Sharp vaccination super station at Grossmont Center in La Mesa. Photo by Chris Stone

February 25, 2021 (San Diego) - San Diego County health officials announced Wednesday that vaccinations of teachers and other essential workers will begin Saturday because most seniors have received a dose and appointments are opening up.


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GROSSMONT, CUYAMACA COLLEGES HAIL WINNING EMPLOYEES

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

February 22, 2021 (El Cajon) - Four employees at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges have been awarded top honors for their commitment to the East County campuses.


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DEMOCRATIC LAWMAKERS REBUFF GOV. NEWSOM ON PLAN FOR EARLY CALIFORNIA SCHOOL REOPENING

By Ricardo Cano, CalMatters

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters.

Photo:  Gavin Newsom briefs the press in late December on his plan for reopening schools. Image from livestream

February 21, 2021 (Sacramento) - Disagreements between California’s Democratic-controlled Legislature and its Democratic governor over a plan to reopen schools came to a head this week as lawmakers introduced a bill they say would safely bring students back to campus this spring.


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GOVERNOR CALLS FOR 10% OF VACCINES TO BE EARMARKED FOR TEACHERS TO OPEN SCHOOLS

By Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Gov. Gavin Newsom watches as a teacher is vaccinated in Oakland. Courtesy of the Governor’s office

February 20, 2021 (San Diego) - Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday that California health officials plan to set aside 10% of new first doses of COVID-19 vaccine for teachers starting March 1 to help schools reopen.


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SAN DIEGO COUNTY 2-3 WEEKS AWAY FROM VACCINATING TEACHERS, OTHER ESSENTIAL WORKERS

By Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Supervisor Nathan Fletcher briefs the media on the coronavirus pandemic. Image from live stream

February 11, 2021 (San Diego) - San Diego County health officials said Thursday that vaccinations of teachers, law enforcement and other essential workers will likely begin within two to three weeks.


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COUNTY REPORTS FIRST DEATH OF A CHILD FROM COVID-19

By Miriam Raftery

February 9, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego County health officials last week reported the death of a 10-year-old child from COVID-19, the first minor to succumb to the virus locally. 


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LMSV LAUNCHES SCHOOL BOND OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE, SEEKS MEMBERS

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo: Creative Commons by SA-NC via Bing

 

February 3, 2021 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa-Spring Valley School District is establishing a Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee, as required by state law. The application form is available here and must be submitted by Feb. 19.


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EAST COUNTY SCHOOL COUNSELORS HONORED FOR THEIR WORK

Source: San Diego County Office of Education

Photo:  Bonnie Hayman receiving her winner's check

February 2, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- During National School Counseling Week, the San Diego County Office of Education will celebrate three counselors who were recently surprised at their school sites for being chosen as the San Diego County Counselor of the Year for their grade levels. Two of the three winners work at East County schools.

The School Counselors of the Year are: 

 

  • Ann Pierce (below right), of Campo Elementary in Mountain Empire Unified School District, won the elementary award. 
  • Bonnie Hayman, of La Mesa Arts Academy in La Mesa-Spring Valley School District, won the middle school award.  
  • Cherryl Baker, of Mission Hills High School in San Marcos Unified School District, won the high school award.  


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KIDS STUDYING ONLINE? BEWARE OF TRAFFICKERS, DA WARNS

East County News Service

Photo: Creative Commons via Bing

January 28, 2021 (San Diego) – District Attorney Summer Stephan warns that students spending more time online due to distance learning and COVID-19 are a captive audience for would-be human traffickers making contact on social media.  So it’s important to educate children to prevent them from falling victim to predators. 

These red flags are common with some adolescents that should be taken seriously:


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MARKETLINK: AFTER 17 YEARS, GROSSMONT UNION SPOKESPERSON CATHERINE MARTIN IS OHIO-BOUND

By Rick Griffin,Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

January 12, 2021 (El Cajon) - In her 17 years as spokesperson for the 12-school, 20,000-student Grossmont Union High School District the eighth largest high school district in California, Catherine Martin experienced her share of crisis communication situations.


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WEEKLY FREE MEAL PICKUPS FOR ALL CHILDREN AGES 2-18

By Miriam Raftery

January 9, 2021 (La Mesa) – Starting January 11, The La Mesa-Spring Valley School District will have curbside meal pickups on Mondays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 17 of its school campuses. (See list below).  The packs are available to all children ages 2-18, whether or not they are students in the district.

For more information, call (619) 668-5764 or visit www.LMSVSchools.org.  Below are the schools offering curbside meal pickups each Monday, excluding holidays:


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REPURPOSING YOUR LIFE AFTER UNEMPLOYMENT WITH TRUCK DRIVING TRAINING

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

(Photos courtesy of Advanced Training Systems) 

Dec. 18, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) Women faced with sudden job loss from the pandemic may consider going to truck driving school to repurpose their life and source of income.

ECM interviewed CEO John Kearney of Advanced Training Systems via email for his insights and tips on pursing a career in truck driving.

ECM: What are the costs and/or scholarships for the training?

Kearney: Costs vary depending on school, public or private.  Costs are the same for men and women. Women should contact the Women in Trucking Association to learn what the possibilities are and how women in trucking is really a growing field.  Some high schools have a driver training program, and the cost is very low because students take the driver training program as part of their regular school program.  Many trucking schools that have training programs will train the student without cost unless they quit soon after the training.  Costs for many of the programs can run from $4,000 to just under $7,000.  I suggest that individuals interested in driving contact local schools, trucking companies and the workforce agencies in their area to determine the local possibilities.  Workforce will often help with the cost of the training.  


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