May 2023 - Building School Spirit
From its earliest years, the GHS staff looked for ways to build rapport with its students and to foster school spirit. On January 15th, 1931, “Shindig”, the first Faculty Follies (that we know of), the staff performed bringing enjoyment to the students and the community. Over the decades, the staff has participated in events such as Donkey Basketball, (starting in the 1940s), Powder Puff Football, lunch time competitions, carnivals, fairs, assemblies, and pep rallies, to name a few.
Retiree Bruce Davidson recalls, “As a VP/Classroom teacher over the years, for one ASB fundraiser, I agreed to be taped to a wall in the Old Gym with duct tape, which was being sold at $.50 a strip. Then, the table on which I was standing was pulled out from under me. Luckily, the tape held.”
This year, the staff has again bonded with the students through two “competitions.”
March 8th Academic League vs Staff Competition
Academic League advisor and Math teacher Mrs. Kristin LoPrell organized the event. “These events are so important for staff to see students in a non-classroom environment and to have positive interactions with students as fellow community members, demonstrating positive adult experiences for our students.”
Team member Sophia Martinez shares, "The staff vs. student match was so much fun! For a while, I thought we had them, but our expert staff were able to show off their knowledge and gain an overwhelming victory in the end. We'll get them one of these years!"
Senior Stephen Abkin reflects, “I went into the match confident, knowing that we could do well as we had the experience from playing all season- long against robust teams. However, it is difficult to beat those who taught us all the knowledge we know and who have studied the topics asked in the matches for many years.”
Kate Heubach, Captain for this year's Grossmont Academic League, shares, “I got the amazing opportunity to compete head-to-head with my dad, Phlyn Heubach (math teacher and GHS alumnus, Class of 1984), who has come to all of my matches over the last two years; now I got to see him in action.
I am impressed by just how fast he can do the math that he teaches. It was so much fun watching him almost miss a question about what year I would graduate high school, but not so funny when I missed a question about his high-school graduation year. Overall, I was amazed to see just how much the teachers know. It makes a lot of sense that they are the ones teaching us, and not the other way around.”
Principal Dan Barnes celebrated the match, “It was an amazing competition. Way to represent GHS PRIDE. Staff with the win.”
February 17th Staff vs Seniors Basketball Pep Rally
Dan Barnes’ email to the staff summarized the game, “Foothillers, thank you to all who participated in the pep assembly today as part of the 2023 Staff Basketball team. It was a great event connecting students to our school.
Staff was able to "steal" a win from our Class of '23 GHS team. I say "steal" as there were some first-time-ever used basketball plays by the staff team, questionable calls, and passing by the staff referees. Additionally, there was a tackle on one of the plays by Mrs. Williams! Referee Galvez actually threw a flag and signed for offsides related to a football rule on another play.
We did have some sweet threes by Sean Jones and Justin Rutherford and a coast-to-coast LeBron-type layup by English teacher Daemein Patterson. That said, the student team gave it their all and had fun doing so, looking forward to the next game.”
Social science teacher and alumnus Justin Rutherford, Class of 2007, declares, “I had a blast playing as a staff member on the same court that I played on as a student on the GHS Varsity Basketball team. I hope these fun competitions between teachers and students continue for years to come. Plus, it’s always great to have bragging rights over my students!”
History teacher Sean Jones, a participate in both events, believes, “As the organizer of the Seniors vs Faculty Basketball game, the weeks leading up to the game, there was a lot of talk about it on the campus from students and staff members.
The gym was buzzing before the game even started. The noise level was insane as both sides were scoring points and “talking trash” to one another. By the end, students were laughing and cheering, the loudest I had heard it all year. Students congratulated teachers as we walked back to our rooms and juniors told us they can't wait to get on the court next year and face off against the teachers.”
This is what I hoped the outcome of this game was going to be. The students saw us differently; they saw something that connected them to the school and were excited to participate in a future school function, where their teachers show how much they truly love this school and care about their students.”
Senior Elijah Webb shares, “ I enjoyed the staff-student faculty basketball game. It was fun playing against some of my favorite teachers, having fun and talking a lot of “smack”. I think they should keep happening, but maybe add other games that can be played too.”
Academic League advisor and Math teacher Mrs. Kristin LoPrell, also a player in the game, believes, “It is so fun to foster camaraderie among our staff too. For the academic league match, I love showcasing teacher knowledge and expertise and students demonstrating their learning from classes here at GHS. These events are opportunities for teachers to make errors, mistakes, and model for students how to "miss a shot" or question graciously.”
Undoubtedly, the Grossmont staff is already thinking about more ways to connect with students, creating rapport and school spirit outside the classroom.
For information about Foothiller history and the GHS Museum, email Connie and Lynn at