Bob Kujellis, Special Education Teacher and Counselor 1930 - 2021


Retired GHS teacher Patty Bender recalls that Bob was a strong advocate for special education students.  Bob began in the classroom and later became the counselor for all of the special education programs.  Our brother Brad Baer, also a special education teacher, admired Bob’s sincerity and dedication. 

Don Graessle, GHS Mathematics Teacher 1962-1991

We received the sad news from Don’s wife Janet that he passed on February 19, 2022.  Randall Skelton, Class of 1966, shared these memories with us:

“I had 2 classes with him, Algebra 1 and Advanced Senior Math. He was also my friend ever since graduating. I taught him how to ride a MC in summer of ’66 and we rode together many times.  I can vouch that he was a wonderful gentleman. He is survived by his wife, Janet, and multiple children and grandchildren.” 

Retired Teacher Jim Hatcher recalls, “I considered Don to be a top notch math teacher and a good friend.  Just a real solid guy.”

Debbie Neel, 9th and 10th Grade English Teacher

Six years ago, Debbie, who came to Grossmont after many years at Mt. Miguel HS, died quite suddenly in January from acute monocytic leukemia, AML monogenic subtype.  

Her fellow English teacher Laurie Jensen remembers, “Debbie loved her students and she had a really good sense of humor. She was always giving little one-liner type jokes to the class, so I’m told. She usually ate her lunch in her classroom so that it was available for students to come in and hang out and be able to talk to her if they needed to. She really liked coming to Grossmont because at Mount Miguel they didn’t teach a full novel, so she really appreciated that we taught novels.”

Debbie’s memorial service is on March 19th, 2022 at 10:00 am at Shadow Mountain Community Church, 2100 Greenfield Drive, El Cajon, CA  92019, Main Auditorium.

John L. “Larry” Hoefer, Physics and Chemistry Teacher 1966-1978

While his time at GHS was short, his impact was large as evident from two former student memories.  

Phil Kerig recalls, "Mr. Hoefer was my freshman Science teacher '69-70 and senior Physics teacher '72-73. The epitome of "tough but fair". Emphasis on the former.  I was class clown in every class but his!  His Physics lessons are with me still. We will miss him."  

Another alumnus Richard Hensel remembers, "I had him in '72-73 as 1/2 of a freshman chem/ physics intro course and also in '74-'75 physics class. Remember TTY punch tape computers?? Anyone remember the cream pie episode? He took it so well. We were very lucky with all the quality teachers at Grossmont High at the time. Thank you, John, for your dedication to your students. I cannot forget his white shirt, tie and pocket protector.”

Michael "Mike" Farrar, GHS English Teacher

Gilbert Michael Farrar, born July 1, 1932 in San Diego, CA, passed away on May 6, 2013 at his home in El Cajon, CA. Mike was the son of Gilbert Francis Farrar and Frances Margaret Farrar and brother of Gail Walker (R.D.). He is survived by his wife of 48 years Judith Elaine Farrar (Wise); children Cassandra Gegax, Andy Farrar (Brenda), Stephanie McDonald (Mark), and Ryan Farrar (Elizabeth); six grand- children; sisters-in-law Arlene Wise, Dee Tucker (Ray); brother-in-law Dennis Wise; and numerous nephews and nieces. Mike was a native San Diegan who graduated from San Diego State College in 1955. He taught for many years at Grossmont High School (1961-1977) and Granite Hills High School (1977-1996). A memorial service will be held on Monday, May 13th, at 4:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of El Cajon with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the First Presbyterian Church of El Cajon.