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GHS Museum and Alumni Newsletter

Well, 2020 is nearly at its end ; most of us say, “Yippee!”

New GHS Museum Update

castle doorsWe continue to settle into our new location, thanks to our wonderful volunteers, our “Worker Bees”, who have helped us move. Recently, we moved all the trophies, which are now displayed above the large showcases, as well as many things we’ve had in storage for years. We continue to arrange the displays and even ordered 3 more small showcases. Most of the items we had stored are being integrated into the previous displays. This month we’ll have the last of the shelving installed, and we’ll move the display yearbooks. Then, the old museum will be empty. We began the move in early August; 5 months later we are almost moved in.

Now, on display are the iconic original 1922 Castle doors, which we have stored since 2012 along with other artifacts of the original school. Thanks to GUHSD carpenter Tony Patton, they are on the wall of the museum between the “Before GHS” and the “1920s” photographs.

Tony, Lynn, and Bill Woolman and the Doors

door restoreTony, Lynn, and Bill Woolman and the DoorsNow, we are beginning to decide how to arrange our amazing framed photographs. Believe it or not, we have been “scratching our heads” abouthow we can display all of them on the walls.

work team

August 2020 Worker Bees, left to right: Bill Woolman, Class of 1962; Paul Miller, Alumni Director, Class of 1966; Jerry Botts, Museum Volunteer, Class of 1970, and his granddaughter Serena Thornton, our nephew Matt Vellone, Lynn and Connie; niece and nephew Kijan and Kyle Baer

We have uncovered treasures that have been in storage for several years. Thanks to Physics Teacher Tom Eklund, we have early science equipment. Our niece Kijan arranged them in a display. She found these two from the 1920s. Tom is one of many teachers and administrators who have saved treasures for us to discover. Kijan’s next project is to create a display from items from the Girls PE office before they moved in 2010 to their new building. What will she discover?

pendant light1923 Industrial Cylinder Pendant Light and 1928 L.E. Knott Science Apparatus

Calling All Alumni and Retirees from Sean Jones, 2021 Yearbook Advisor

This year’s El Recuerdo will focus on our 100 years of Foothiller history, decade by decade. The yearbook staff will be interviewing us and visiting the museum. What they need is your voice. Please take the time to complete the online survey. There is a link to provide photos as well.

Also, Sean asks. ”How many generations of foothillers are in your family? We would especially like to gather generational photos of Foothiller families. This means we are looking for photos of former and current Grossmont students or staff.” Help us make this yearbook the best ever!

If you’d like to complete the survey, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. we’ll forward you the link.

100th Anniversary Update

We continue to wait until it’s safe to select a date for the celebration. It’s looking more likely that it might be in the fall of 2021. Until then, it’s never too early to show your Foothiller pride by purchasing GHS 100th Anniversary Memorabilia. Please see the attached flyer for details of what’s available now.

Foothillers We Have Lost

Passing of Ed Hollingsworth
GHS Drama Teacher

During his years at GHS, his drama students performed an amazing range of musicals, dramas, and comedies in the Old Gym and in the Little Theater, from “Guys and Dolls” and “Bye, Bye, Birdie” to “Go Ask Alice”, “The Children’s Hour”, “The Diary of Anne Frank”, “The Crucible” to “The Odd Couple” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” among many. His love of theatre was obvious in each of his students’ performances. Ed himself was a committed and talented performer appearing in theatres across San Diego.

Passing of Hal Doerr
1969-1995 Work Experience Teacher
GHS Class of 1948

Hal was a kind and caring man, who touched the lives of many fellow teachers and staff and students. Hal’s love for Grossmont was always evident. For years, he was a supportive friend to iconic Grossmont teachers such as Dorothy Smith. He was always happy to share Foothiller memories with us. For the past several years, Hal faced health challenges with courage.

Audrey Seidel Becker Bronze Plaque Dedication

Saturday, October 18, the Audrey Seidel plaque was dedicated in the new Black Box. True to form for a drama classroom, there was “drama” at the dedication when the electricity wouldn’t work. Needless to say, resourceful Foothillers used their cell phone flashlights to light the ceremony with Audrey participating via Facetime. Thank you to Ken Wilson, Class of 1972, for his five year-long effort to create this moment.

becker plaquebecker plaque

Royal Blue Benches Everywhere

Most recently, there has been an outpouring of donations to commemorate Performing Arts Teachers in the new theater plaza: alumni are fundraising for benches for these 5 teachers: drama teacher Ed Hollingsworth, instrumental music director Jim Nichols, and vocal music directors Merle Donahue, Don Hubler, and Bob Boucher.

In addition, alumni are fundraising for a bench to honor History Teacher and ASB Advisor Gloria Jones. Fittingly, her bench will face the ASB room.

Or consider donating a personalized royal blue 6 foot bench on campus to celebrate you, your family, or your class ($1650). There are many locations available including near the entrance to the new theater. The McWay family bench was the firstbench in the theater plaza; coming soon are the Class of 1968 bench, two benches near the museum honoring the Baer/Vellone family, donated by Bill Woolman, Class of 1962,and the Hawkesworth family bench.

blue benchesblue benches

To make a donation for a bench:

Visit our website at: and use the gold Donate button. Then email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the purpose of your donation. Or write a check payable to: GHS Educational Foundation, and mail to: Connie and Lynn Baer, 5990 Avenorra Dr., La Mesa, CA 91942. In the check memo, write the purpose of your donation.

Final Thoughts

None of us could have imagined how drastically our lives would change this year; however, we have been impressed by people’s resilience. Our disabled sister Diane recently reminded us of the simple pleasures of life we have regained this year. During her Zoom Senior Social Hour, she was asked for her “Christmas Wish”. She replied, “A Christmas Card in the mail. ”If you’d like to join us on our new GHS Museum and Alumni Facebook page, visit

Our thanks to Jerry Botts, Class of 1970, for being our “go-to” Facebook volunteer. Jerry has been posting updates on the new GHS Museum as well as our “Foothiller Footsteps” columns and more. Thank you, Jerry!

We all wish you a “Happy New Year”! Take care of yourselves!

Connie, Lynn, Paul, who is settling into life in North Carolina, and Jerry.