September 2022 - Back To School!

Grossmont High students and staff are excited to begin a more normal school year, hoping for the return of traditions and camaraderie challenged during the past two years.

Freshman Orientation

For 102 years, GHS has welcomed freshman to its campus.  Over the years, concerned staff have designed different ways to assist in the transition to high school and ways to build student spirit.  During the 1950-1970s, a unique freshman tradition was to white wash the G on Cowles Mt.   Last year’s drive-through freshman orientation was certainly the most unique. 

Read more …September 2022 - Back To School!

August 2022 -Second Semester Good News

During the past two years, the challenges faced by GHS students and staff made the cautious return to activities and sports even more joyful this spring. These were some of the Foothiller achievements second semester.

Footloose

In 1921, Grossmont’s first play, “All of a Sudden Peggy”, was performed.  101 years later, drama teacher Amity Ecker describes this year’s production:  “The Foothiller Players opened the first musical production, Footloose, on the Main Stage in our new Theatre! The show was a celebration of the opening of the new theatre and was a collaboration with the Dance and Theatre Departments at GHS.  Prior to opening night, there was a community ribbon cutting ceremony, where students were honored with certificates from California State senators and assemblymen and which was featured on KUSI. Over 50 students were involved in the show, and they played to sold out houses over 6 evenings of the production run.”

Staff Members of the Year

These staff members were selected for their professionalism, their dedication, and their caring.

Science Teacher Stephanie La Berge-Luhnow, chosen by the Grossmont HS teachers as their Teacher of the Year.  Recently, Stephanie was selected as GUHSD Teacher of the Year and will be featured in the fall SDCOE Teacher of the Year showcase. 

Drama Teacher Amity Ecker, selected by GHS students as its Golden Apple Teacher of the Year.

GHS Nurse Year Bambi Arredondo, chosen by the GHS staff as its Classified Employee of the year.

Athletics

Congratulations to our 2022 League and CIF Championship sports teams.

Girls Water Polo finished second in CIF Open Division Championship and won its 8th League Championship since its first championship in 1998.  Coach Danielle Cook shares, “This is a season I’ve always dreamed about as a coach. The work of everyone from the coaching staff, parents, to the amazing young women in the water really came through in the end. We battled every day to be better than the day before, and every member of the team played an important role to help achieve these goals.” 

Boys Basketball, 33rd League Championship since its first in 1924

Boys Soccer, 10th League Championship since its first in 1973

Boys Golf, 14th League Championship since its first in 1983

Boys Lacrosse, 13th League Championship since its first in 2005. According to Coach Nick Hernandez, “We had a great season this year with an incredibly talented group of young men. Our win against Torrey Pines HS was one of the biggest wins in our program’s history. Grossmont finished the regular season ranked #3 in San Diego County.”

Boys Tennis, 44th League Championship since its first in 1939.  Coach Wayne Eddington shares, “We were young and talented in singles and had a few veteran doubles teams.  That combo produced an excellent team and season!  15-1 overall  and 8-0 in league play. The top 2 singles players were Blake Lorenzo who was selected League MVP and Jun Dilmaghanian who advanced to the Final 16 in the CIF SD City Tournament.” 

Boys Volleyball, GHS’s 20th League Championship since its first in 1991, and its 2nd CIF Championship.  Coach Aaron French describes the season: “The Grossmont Boys Volleyball team worked hard day in and day out throughout the season.  Because of their passion for the game and their willingness to push themselves, they were able to battle adversity and win the CIF Division 3 Championship.”  

Throughout the semester, Foothiller students and staff were eager to return to a sense of normalcy; the students’ and the coaches’ accomplishments are impressive, reflecting the pride and achievement of Foothillers in and out of the classroom.

GHS Museum News Closed until Fall 2023

While we are closed, we will have an “office” in the Social Science lounge in the lower quad.  There, we will have access to our file cabinets, our yearbooks, the bound newspapers, and research items we use frequently; we will continue to write our monthly columns and our newsletters.

With prior arrangement, reunions are welcome to contact us to schedule a campus and district office tour.  Visit our website at foothillermuseum.com to learn more about GHS, past and present.  Contacts: 619-668-6140 and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Upcoming Reunions

Class of 1972:  Saturday, September 10, 2022  (6-10 pm) Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Classes of 1980, 1981, and 1982: July 29th main event and July 30 family picnic, GHS campus and district office tour.  Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Class of 1992:  Saturday, August 27th, 2022. To RSVP and purchase a ticket, alumni will need to visit: https://www.reunion-specialists.com/reunion2.php?reunion=939#.YocipeiZO3A 

Class of 2002: Saturday, August 13, 2022:  RSVP and purchase a ticket at https://www.evite.com/event/036EO4BAS33PYY63UEPMR7ATI6SC6I/rsvp

July 2022 - GHS Graduation

This year 471 seniors in the Class of 2022 became part of an amazing group: 39,000 Foothiller graduates.  For 101 years, Grossmont High School’s students and staff have taken great pride in the traditions surrounding graduation, many begun in its first decade.

Friday, June 3rd, graduation was held on campus in the Jack Mashin Stadium.   At the beginning of the ceremony, Principal Dan Barnes reflected on this historic moment.  “Tens of thousands of graduates have crossed our graduation stage before you, and many thousands will follow.  You are part of a remarkable tradition, one that probably includes many grandparents and parents here in the audience this morning.”

During the celebration, five retiring staff members were recognized for their decades of service to Grossmont: Lou Ann Kirby, Jordie Lehr, Jan Mafnas, John Neil, and Jeannine Calabrese. 

Since 1936, the graduating seniors have been led into the ceremony by students carrying the Daisy Chain, an 86-year tradition, created from the historic ivy still growing on campus and yellow daisies.  Guided by Daisy Chain advisors Matt Flisher and Kristen LoPrell, the teaching staff selected 50 outstanding juniors on the basis of their school activities, scholarship, and citizenship; being selected is the highest honor awarded juniors.

During the graduation ceremony, three outstanding seniors were recognized for their academic achievements: Sara Standlee with a 4.833 GPA plans to attend  UCSD in the fall; Raquel Berk has a 4.795 GPA and plans to attend SDSU; and Sarah Oung with a 4.795 GPA plans to attend UCLA School of Nursing.  The three valedictorians elected to deliver their speech together.

Raquel began, “Our opportunity to come up here today was not just a singular effort, but the accomplishments of our teachers, our friends, and our families…. To the Social Science department, thank you for showing us the mistakes of the past so we can build a brighter future. To the Literature and Arts Departments, thank you for giving us the ability to express ourselves on paper and to the world.  To the STEM departments, thank you for providing us the skills to keep up with the ever-changing technology of our future and expanding our minds to the world of possibilities.”

Sarah Oung recalled, “It feels like yesterday that there was the announcement that the world was shutting down into a pandemic. It feels like yesterday that we were logging onto zoom and longing for a brighter future. It feels like yesterday that we were choosing a dress for prom. And it will feel like yesterday in ten years when we look back at this day and at this graduating class.”

Sara Standlee ended their speech, “Lastly, we would like to give this message. Each and every one of you has the potential to change the world. When you step off this field today, you will no longer be high schoolers, but independent adults who will brave the chaos of life. There will be obstacles, there will be hardships, there will be difficulties. But, there is always a rainbow following a rainstorm.”

This year, as in years past, 3 perpetual graduation trophies were awarded to seniors. The most prestigious service award given is the Norman Freeman Award, first awarded in 1953 as a memorial to Norman Freeman, ASB President, Class of 1947. The trophy is engraved “For the Grossmont student who has most strengthened democracy through participation”.  This year’s 69th honoree is Ava Findahl, Senior Class President.

Since 1927, two identical silver loving cup trophies have acknowledged one outstanding young woman and one outstanding young man.  Each trophy is engraved with the names of the 95 previous recipients. Joining them this year are Molly Schell and Garrett Kinnard.

In 1925, outstanding seniors were first recognized with a Circle G, which was the highest award then given to graduating seniors.  In 2022, for the 97th year, 6 seniors were honored for their all-around excellence in academics, leadership, citizenship, and service: Laila Aleman, Christopher Falcon, Tayler Grant, Mariah McCaskill, David Ordaz, and Sara Standlee.  Each student received a gold pin, a G enclosed in a circle, a reminder of the legacy binding GHS graduating seniors.

Since 1965, the Principal’s Letters of Commendations have been awarded to students who have demonstrated leadership in a variety of areas. This year, Principal Dan Barnes recognized 18 students: Alazain Angotti, Noah Barnes, Raquel Berk, Samuel Chiu, Briauanna Cooney, Mason Dirkes, Adrianna Dubiel, Ariy’Ana Duke, Natalie Emery, Carissa Freeman, Jessie Kim, Joshua Kelly, Sara Lopez, Sasha Luhnow, Katie O’Laughlin, Sarah Oung, Jasenya Shanks, and Joseph Steinbock.

As Principal Dan Barnes shared with the graduates, “All of you are, and will continue to be, the finest ambassadors for Grossmont goodwill.  The diploma you are about to receive tells the world that you have met extremely high standards and are ready for the next stage in your life.”

Ending the ceremony, Senior Class President Ava Findahl told her classmates, “After the last 3 unprecedented years, one thing I am confident in is we all learned how to persevere. I have no doubt that each of us will create the lives that we desire, always remembering who we are…forever young and a Foothiller.”   Then with a turn of their tassels, the Class of 2022 left GHS with unforgettable memories and the knowledge that they were a unique part of history, the 101th class to graduate from Grossmont High school.

GHS Museum Closed until Fall 2023

While we are closed, we will have an “office” in the Social Science lounge in the lower quad.  There, we will have access to our file cabinets, yearbooks, bound newspapers, and other research items we use frequently; we will continue to write our monthly columns.

Reunions are welcome to contact us to schedule a campus and district office tour with prior arrangement.  Visit our website at foothillermuseum.com to learn more about GHS, past and present.  Contacts: 619-668-6140 and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Upcoming Reunions

Class of 1958:  Tuesday, July 5th, 12:00 GHS campus and district office tour and off campus lunch. Contact Mike Vitkauskas at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Class of 1972:  Saturday, September 10, 2022 Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Classes of 1980, 1981, and 1982: July 29th main event and July 30 family picnic, 2:00 GHS campus and district office tour.  Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Class of 1992:  Saturday, August 27th, 2022. To RSVP and purchase a ticket, visit: https://www.reunion-specialists.com/reunion2.php?reunion=939#.YocipeiZO3A

Class of 2002: Saturday, August 13th

https://www.evite.com/event/036EO4BAS33PYY63UEPMR7ATI6SC6I/

May 2022: War Memorial

The GHS Museum War Memorial display pays tribute to those who have died in wars as well as those who made a difference or who sacrificed in ways not to be forgotten.  Three of their personal stories offer a vivid glimpse of history.

Japanese Americans Sent to WWII Internment (Relocation) Camps

A collage that honors the 15 students removed from Grossmont in 1942 hangs on the wall above the memorial.  Their stories are testament to the human cost of Executive Order 9066.  In 2011, Grossmont High School received a letter from the niece of Grace Kaminaka Tsuida, who as a sophomore, was one of the 15 sent to an internment camp.  

Read more …May 2022: War Memorial

April 2022 - GHS Museum Art (Part 2)

For 101 years, Foothillers have created amazing art works while at Grossmont High School or have donated them to Grossmont High School in remembrance of their years at GHS. Four unique ones are on display in the GHS Museum.

1986 Japanese Bunka Embroidery

Masako Morishita Morinaka, Class of 1936, donated a lovely floral Japanese Bunka Embroidery to Grossmont on her class’s 50th Anniversary.  She brought the Bunka Embroidery to their reunion; it was later presented to the school. 

Read more …April 2022 - GHS Museum Art (Part 2)

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