Hall Of Honor

2015 Hall of Honor
2015 Hall of Honor

From the 1960's to the 1980's, 27 Grossmont alumni were selected as Honor Graduates. Beginning in 2010, and every 5 years subsequent, Grossmont High School's Hall of Honor will welcome notable alumni or faculty/staff/community members who have achieved in one of several areas: athletics, academics, arts, public service or who have been dedicated faculty, staff or community members. Currently, there ar 39 Hall of Honor Members.

Below are the photographs and the text from the Hall of Honor plaques presented to each honoree; these plaques are displayed in the Museum! These individuals have brought honor to Grossmont High School after their graduation or through their years of involvement with Grossmont.

2020 Hall of Honor

Please join us Saturday, October 17, 2020 for the Induction Ceremony.

With the addition of these 12 inductees, the Hall of Honor will acknowledge the achievements of 51 outstanding Foothillers.

4 GHS Educators

  1. Ethel Prosser, GHS Pioneer Educator 1920-1952
  2. Carl Quicksall, GHS Pioneer Educator 1920-1944
  3. Eva McCarthy Quicksall, GHS Pioneer Educator, 1922-1962
  4. Gloria Jones, Legendary History Teacher 1962-2000 and ASB Advisor 1967-2000

8 GHS Alumni

  1. Gene Chubb, Class of 1948, GHS Benefactor
  2. John Lawrence Colonghi, Class of 1965, Financial and Public Affairs Consultant to American Indian Tribes and Chief Fundraiser for the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI)
  3. Scott Lippman, M.D., Class of 1973: Director of Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health Professor of Medicine, Senior Associate Dean and Associate Vice Chancellor for Cancer Research and Care, Chugai Pharmaceutical Chair in Cancer
  4. James P. Zumwalt, Class of 1974, Member of the State Department from 1981; Ambassador to the Republic of Senegal and the Republic of Guinea Bissau from 2015-2017
  5. Lora Cicalo, Class of 1979: Journalist; Managing Editor of The San Diego Union Tribune
  6. Darcy Arreola, Class of 1986, NCAA Four Time Track and Cross Country Champion
  7. Paul Wright, Class of 1987, MLS Player and Legendary San Diego Soccers Indoor Soccer Player
  8. Kristin Rhodes, Class of 1993, 8-Time winner of the America’s Strongest Woman Title and a 3-Time Strongest Woman World Champion.

Community and GHS Staff Honorees

Jack Mashin - Beloved GHS Coach and P.E. Teacher 1923-1960

“The Fox of the Foothills”

mashinWhile Jack Mashin was a legendary coach, it was his philosophy of education and of life that endeared him to all who knew him.

In the 1925 El Recuerdo, Coach Mashin reveals his lifelong philosophy of coaching: “The greatest honors that athletes can bestow upon their institution are not in victories alone but in how modest they were in victory and how honorably and valiantly they fought in defeat.” During his years at Grossmont, his athletes won 7 league football championships, 34 league and tournament basketball championships, 3 league baseball championships, and 86 track and field event titles. Jack was admired by all and considered the Dean of Coaches in SD County. Not surprisingly, in 1966, Coach Mashin was inducted in the California Coaches Hall of Fame.

Yet Jack valued each student’s achievements: the 1954 El Recuerdo’s dedication to him acknowledges that “his greatest contribution to Grossmont is his natural ability to reach the average student, fostering in each one an awareness of self-confidence and strength.” He urged all students to be “second to none”.

Both Jack and his wife Virginia were passionate about the value of education. Upon their deaths, they left more than $2 million dollars to philanthropic causes, most to endow college scholarships.

Colonel Ed Fletcher - Grossmont High School Benefactor

fletcherColonel Ed Fletcher donated the land upon which Grossmont stands. Appropriately, the school’s 1922 cornerstone is inscribed with these words: “The school grounds are the gift of Col Ed Fletcher.’” Also, the granite to build the new building was a gift from his nearby granite quarry. The 1923 El Recuerdo dedication to him acknowledges his generosity: “…in sincere appreciation to one whose most generous gift helped to make possible our new and beautiful school building.”

In 1907 Ed Fletcher was appointed a Lieutenant Colonel in the California National Guard. Quickly proving himself a talented entrepreneur, Colonel Fletcher and his business partner William Gross developed the communities on Grossmont and Mount Helix. During his life, he was a driving force behind the road construction and water transportation in East County. In 1934, he was elected California State Senator and served until 1946. In memory of his amazing achievements, several geographic features in East County bear his name.

Merle Donahue - 1929-1962 GHS Choral Director

donahueAfter arriving at Grossmont in 1929, Merle Donahue quickly became an integral part of the school’s culture, establishing instrumental and vocal music groups and establishing traditions that continue today, such as the Red Robe Choir, the “jewel of the high school’s performing arts department.”

Merle and her colleagues Dorothy Smith and Eva McCarthy Quicksall were instrumental in the creation and evolution of the beloved Christmas Pageant, Grossmont’s gift to the community from 1926 until 1989. Merle’s dedication to the Christmas Pageant began in 1930 when she became Choral Conductor, a role she continued until 1962. The 1962 El Recuerdo acknowledges, “The one hundred and twenty members of the Red Robe Choir, in the Christmas Pageant, all responding to her artistry, make of musical experience a discovery and wonder for everyone.”

The 1957 El Recuerdo dedication to Merle captures her impact on Grossmont by praising her devotion and inspiration: under her “sensitive and precise direction and under the rhythmic pulse of her fingertips, Grossmonters have cherished the fame of their musical triumphs and rewards.”

At the end of Merle Donahue’s career at Grossmont, her knowledge and creativeness had created a vocal department renowned for its high quality of performance. Her impact on her students is exemplified by the lifelong friendships that many had with her after her retirement.

Jim Nichols - 1959-1988 GHS Instrumental Music Director

nicholsDuring his tenure at Grossmont High School, Jim Nichols established an incredible legacy of excellence. The California State Legislature twice commended Jim for his superior bands, a result of Jim’s enthusiasm and dedication to instrumental music.

In 1967, Grossmont High’s Blue and Gold Marching Band won first place out of 281 bands from 40 states in a National Holiday Contest sponsored by Disney. The National Champion band, with a total of 208 students in the band, drill team, and flag corps, performed in 1968 in two shows at the Miami Orange Bowl: the Fireworks Pageant and the NFL Playoff game at the Orange Bowl. At the All-Western Band Review at Long Beach, the largest competitive parade in the West, the band won the Mayor’s Trophy in 1961.

During these years, the bands won 27 Parade and Field Show Sweepstakes, marched in the 1961 Rose Parade, the Hollywood Christmas Parade, 28 Mother Goose Parades. The bands were 11 times Corona, Chaffey, and Vista Tournament of Bands Sweepstakes winners. From 1968-1991, the GHS bands also appeared in 25 SD Charger halftime shows as well as 2 Pro-Bowls. The orchestra, concert and jazz bands received consistent superior ratings at yearly festivals.

In 1998, Jim Nichols was honored by the So. Cal. Band & Orch. Assn. with the Lifetime Gold Award and was the San Diego Youth Symphony’s, as well as San Diego County's, Music Educator of the Year for his lifetime commitment to instrumental music.

1970's Hall of Honor

Michele Marsh - Class of 1972

madiganMichele Marsh graduated from Northwestern University in 1976 and immediately became a reporter/anchor for WABI-TV in Bangor, Maine. A job at KSAT-TV in San Antonio, Texas, followed.

In 1979, her meteoric rise carried her to New York City, where Michele made broadcasting history by becoming the youngest woman to co-anchor an 11 o'clock newscast at a network flagship station. She was 25 at the time. Michele’s long career in New York spanned nearly a quarter of a century.

Michele was awarded 5 Emmys, both for reporting and anchoring the news. She worked 17 years at WCBS-TV and 7 years at WNBC-TV. Her many reporting assignments included the world travels of Pope John Paul II and the visits of Princess Diana to the U.S. Michele's television work also included a weekly adoption series that helped place dozens of physically and emotionally challenged kids in good homes.

Julia Stewart - Class of 1973

stewartAs a teenage food server at IHOP, Julia Stewart could not have foreseen the lifelong passion her first part time job would create.

In 2002, Ms. Stewart became the first female CEO of IHOP in its 54-year history and re-energized the company. During her tenure the company more than doubled their sales through a consumer and franchise-focused strategy. Prior to this, Ms. Stewart served as President of Applebee’s and held key executive positions with Taco Bell, Burger King, Carl’s Jr., and Black Angus/Cattle Company. Obviously, Ms. Stewart’s success-oriented management style has been inspirational.

A 45-year veteran of the restaurant industry, Ms. Stewart currently serves as the Chairman and CEO of DineEquity, Inc., the world’s largest full-service restaurant company. In 2007, she was instrumental in the creation of DineEquity through the merger of Applebee’s and IHOP Restaurants. Today, DineEquity has over 3,600 locations and 200,000 team members including its franchise and restaurant employees.

Julia Stewart has used her CEO position to inspire other women to pursue leadership roles. She is a founding member of the Women’s Foodservice Forum, an organization dedicated to the development and advancement of women in business.

Dr. Ellen Ochoa - Class of 1975

ochoaAfter graduating from Grossmont High School, Ellen Ochoa received her bachelor of science degree in physics from San Diego State University in 1980, going on to earn her master of science degree and doctorate in electrical engineering from Stanford.

A leader in optical research and development, Dr. Ochoa became an astronaut in 1991. Dr. Ochoa has logged over 40 days in space, on missions STS-56 (1993), STS-66 (1994), STS-96 (1999), and STS-110 (2002).

Since December 31, 2012, Dr. Ochoa has served as Director, Johnson Space Center, while her educational and professional leadership continues to be an inspiration for all Grossmont students.

Frederick W. “Rick” Sturckow - Class of 1978

sturckowGrossmont has been honored to be the high school of several combat pilots—none is more revered than Marine test, Top Gun, and Desert Storm veteran, Rick Sturckow.

After completing thousands of flight hours in dozens of aircraft and receiving numerous service medals, Sturckow was selected by NASA in 1994. Sturckow has logged over 50 days in space on missions STS-88 (1998), STS-105 (2001), STS-117 (2007), and STS-128 (2009).

Colonel Sturckow retired from the United States Marine Corps while on board the International Space Station in September, 2009, after 25 years of active duty service.

1960's Hall of Honor

Michael Madigan - Class of 1961

madiganMichael Madigan returned to the public sector in 1999 after spending 21 years with Pardee Construction Company, retiring as the Senior Vice President in charge of Pardee Development Coordination for planned communities including Sabre Springs, Mira Mesa, and Ocean View Hills. In 1999, he was asked by San Diego Mayor Susan Golding to lead the massive 26-block redevelopment project in the East Village of San Diego City, which included the new home for the San Diego Padres, PETCO Park, and the revitalization of the surrounding residential and commercial area.

Prior to this, for five years, Mike served as Chief of Policy to Mayor Pete Wilson, with direct responsibility to the Mayor for the City’s Growth Management Plan and the redevelopment of downtown San Diego. He also served as the first Staff Director of the Metropolitan Transit Development Board, builder of San Diego’s light rail system. In addition, for 20 years Mike served as Director of the San Diego County Water Authority, having been appointed to the Board by 5 successive mayors of San Diego and also served for 10 years as a Director of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Mike has demonstrated a commitment and dedication to the San Diego community through his leadership of many non-profit organizations including the Rady Children’s Hospital, the San Diego Library Commission, and the Vietnam Veterans of San Diego Vision Committee, overseeing expansion of a facility to provide treatment to homeless veterans suffering from PTSD, alcohol and/or drug addictions.

Steve Starr - Class of 1962/Honor Graduate, 1983

Steve StarrAssociated Press Photographer Steve Starr received a Pulitizer Prize for Spot News Photography for his photograph of Afro-American Society (AAS) protesters leaving Willard Straight Hall at Cornell University in 1969. They were protesting Cornell's perceived racism and occupied Straight Hall on Parents Day weekend, fighting with other students. After two days, following negotiations with Cornell officials, the AAS students emerged from Straight Hall carrying rifles and wearing bandoleers of ammunition. Their image appeared in newspapers across the country and on the cover of Newsweek magazine under the headline, "Universities under the Gun."

After attending Antioch College in Ohio and Bethel College in Minnesota, Steve attended San Jose State, graduating in 1967 with a degree in journalism. In 1983, he was honored at Grossmont’s graduation, where his speech explored the topic of the unpredictability and inevitability of the future.

Steve had a 40-year career as a San Jose Mercury staff photographer and Associated Press staff photographer and contributor to Newsweek. Throughout his career he strove to faithfully report the news of our time in photographs.

Bill Woolman - Class of 1962

woolmanSoon after the 2008 opening of the GHS Museum, Bill Woolman visited the Museum. From that moment, Bill has worked to improve Grossmont High School. When his class celebrated their 50th Anniversary in 2012, he encouraged them to donate their reunion proceeds to the Museum to purchase a laptop. Then, Bill personally purchased a printer, paper, and toner as well, the kind of generosity that typifies him.

Bill’s donations are numerous. He became one of the first Foothiller Founders, purchasing two tiles to support our GHS Endowment Fund. His yearly donations have allowed us to have the GHS Alumni website, which has become an invaluable resource for us to communicate with alumni. Some of Bill’s other donations have enabled us to restore the transplanted historic ivy and the 1960 roses, to fund a bronze plaque dedicating the Discus Field to Marlin Baer, to create the Spirit Displays in the New Gym, and to restore the Big G on the Hill. In 2012, Bill donated the funds to create a monument in front of the Humanities Building celebrating Grossmont, proclaiming “Foothillers Forever”, with plans for another monument at the front of the campus.

Bill Woolman has endeared himself to students, staff, community, and alumni by his desire to “make a difference” at Grossmont High School. He has enriched the culture of the school in countless ways and has become a dear friend to all Foothillers.

Brian Sipe - Class of 1967

sipeBrian Sipe was the youngest player on the 1961 Little League World Series Championship team from El Cajon. However, at Grossmont and at San Diego State, his talents turned to being a football quarterback. At San Diego State, coached by legendary Don Coryell, Brian set numerous passing records. The 1969 team went undefeated at 11-0 and won the Pasadena Bowl. From 1969-1971, he established himself as one of the greatest SDSU quarterbacks ever.

For twelve years, from 1972 to 1983, Brian played for the Cleveland Browns. In 1980, he led the National Football League in passing and was selected the league’s Most Valuable Player after leading the Browns team, nicknamed the “Kardiac Kids”, to a Central Division title. The team’s “come from behind” ability at the last minute became legendary.

At one time, Brian held nearly every Cleveland Browns’ passing record, including most career passing yardage (23,713), most passing yards in a season (4,132 in 1980), and most career passing touchdowns in one season (30). After playing in the U.S. Football League for two years in 1984-85, a shoulder injury ended his football career, but not his love of the game.

While working in real estate design and development, Brian Sipe became head football coach at Santa Fe Christian Schools from 2001 to 2008. Following that, Brian coached quarterbacks at San Diego State University from 2009 to 2014 before returning to custom home design. His advice to those who ask: "Live your life with a purpose and know who it comes from."

George “Woody” Clarke - Class of 1969

clarkeThe 1969 El Recuerdo foreshadowed Woody Clarke’s future achievements with Woody’s choice of an inspirational quote: “New opinions are always suspected and usually opposed without any other reason but because they are not already common.” With that thought as a guiding principle, Woody Clarke became a distinguished lawyer, prosecutor, and judge.

From 1982 until 2003, Woody Clarke served as a prosecutor in the San Diego County District Attorney’s office. As a prosecutor “Mr. Clarke helped pioneer the introduction of DNA test results in court”, praised former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno in 2007, who in 1998 had appointed Mr. Clarke to serve on her National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence. In 1995, Woody became the prosecution’s DNA expert in the O.J. Simpson trial, a role that brought him national attention.

Later, Mr. Clarke designed and operated, at the request of then San Diego County District Attorney Paul Pfingst, the nation’s first prosecutorial DNA testing program for prison inmates who had maintained their innocence and were convicted before local DNA tests became available in 1993. In 2003 the California District Attorneys Association named Woody Clarke the Outstanding Prosecutor of the Year.

Woody served as a San Diego Superior Court judge from 2003 until his untimely passing in 2012. Posthumously in 2013, the San Diego County Bar Association honored Judge Clarke as an “Outstanding Jurist”. Those who knew Woody Clarke praised his kindness, his caring spirit, and his humility.

Connie Baer - Class of 1965

c baerAfter graduating, Connie Baer returned to join her father in teaching at Grossmont in the 1970’s, quickly developing a strong reputation for skill, professionalism, and dedication.

Connie taught English at Grossmont for most of her over thirty years in the historic “Old Main” building, providing a leadership that has left an indelible mark on thousands of students and teachers.

Connie continues to be a positive force on Grossmont’s Campus, developing and directing the school’s museum with her sister and fellow GHS graduate Lynn Baer.

1950's Hall of Honor

Gordon Austin - Class of 1951

austinIn the 1970’s during a time when downtown La Mesa was feeling the impact of competition from the large shopping malls such as Grossmont Center, Gordon Austin thought of ways to bring people back to La Mesa.

In 1976, Gordon became executive director of the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce, a position he held for 24 years. In this leadership position, Gordon was responsible for the creation of two annual events in La Mesa: Oktoberfest and the Christmas Village. Using public works grants, La Mesa’s merchants and community leaders organized the restoration of its historic downtown village area, attracting small merchants and businesses to create a quaint downtown village.

Gordon Austin was also publisher of the La Mesa News, a 16-page “voice” for area merchants and residents. He was responsible for the creation of Econ-Ed, a class that the Grossmont UHS District adopted and a concept that has been accepted nationally. At one time, he was co-owner and manager of the Village Restaurant on La Mesa Blvd.

William, “Bill”, A. Anders - Grossmont High Student, 1947-50, Honorary Graduate of the Class of 1951

andersPhotographing one of the most spectacular moments of the 20th century, Earthrise, on 1968’s Apollo 8 mission, Bill Anders was one of the first humans to visit the moon.

After his historic Moon flight, Anders would continue to serve his country, becoming the first Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and serving as United States Ambassador to Norway. Bill retired as a Major General in the Air Force and as CEO and Chairman of General Dynamics.

Anders enjoyed his time at Grossmont, particularly his participation on the tennis team. Although Anders left before he could graduate from Grossmont, he is one of the most respected members of the school’s Hall of Honor.

L. Don Shields - Class of 1954

shieldsIn 1971, L. Don Shields was appointed Cal State Fullerton’s second President at the age of 34, becoming the youngest university college chief executive in the country. He served as President at Fullerton for ten years before becoming President of Southern Methodist University, a position he held until 1986.

After receiving his PH.D. in Chemistry from the University of Los Angeles, in 1963 Don joined CSF as a Professor of Chemistry, and he quickly established himself as an extraordinary teacher and scholar, later receiving the California State Legislature Distinguished Teaching Award. From 1963-1967, he was Vice-President for Administration.

In 1974, President Gerald Ford appointed Don to a 6-year term on the National Science Board, which oversees the National Science Foundation. From 1989-1995, Don was executive director of the California Council on Science and Technology, just one of the many groups Don Shields served on as an advocate for the advancement of science.

Timothy Miller - Class of 1956

millerTimothy Miller has spent four decades training surgeons at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, where he was Chief of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Miller has published over one hundred scholarly articles and more than forty textbook chapters, as well as a novel Practice to Deceive, a Literary Guild selection.

Dr. Miller served in Vietnam from 1965-1966, where he was exposed to the wounds and burns sustained from IED’s as well as the experience of war. There, he was awarded the Bronze Star and the Vietnam Special Forces Parachute Wings.

Returning from Vietnam, he was trained as a General and a Thoracic surgeon, then as a Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon, gaining a national reputation at UCLA Medical Center. From 1973 to 2006, he served as the Chief of Plastic Surgery at the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration Medical Center and in 2002 was appointed the Chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at UCLA. He has served as the Co-editor of the Journal of Plastic Surgery and a Director of the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

In 2007, Dr. Miller was the co-founder and first Surgical Director of Operation Mend-a unique program whose purpose is to address the comprehensive needs of returning soldiers who have suffered severely disfiguring facial wounds in Iraq and Afghanistan. Dr. Miller has performed more than 230 reconstructive surgical procedures through Operations Mend, whose motto is “It is the divine right of man to appear human” ---a 1550 quote, etched in a chapel near the University of Bologna.

As a professor emeritus, Dr. Miller continues to perform surgeries for Operation Mend patients. Dr. Miller summarized these efforts by quoting Staff Sergeant Octavio Sanchez, USMC, who said, “Thank you for what you did; you took everyone’s stares off me.”

James Choi Spackman - Class of 1958

spackmanIn 1950, a flip of a coin began a journey that would lead Seokjin Choi from Korea to Grossmont High School and to a new life as James Choi Spackman, the adopted son of U.S. Marine Sergeant Clarence Spackman. After arriving at Grossmont at the age of 15 and being placed in tenth grade, James quickly distinguished himself as a diligent student with the encouragement of English teacher George Gross and others. As a senior, James was elected ASB President, and upon graduation, received a scholarship to Harvard College and then entered Columbia University for graduate work.

After serving in the U.S. Air Force for 4 years and then later in the Korean army for 2 years, James began a 25-year relationship with banking in Korea. In 1987 he joined Prudential Financial, and by 1993 was the first President of Prudential Life Insurance Company of Korea. From 2000-2002, James served as president of International Insurance Group’s Asia Region and from 2002-2005 as both president and CEO.

James’ life exemplifies what a person can achieve through intelligence, perseverance, hard work, and the lucky flip of a coin.

1940's Hall of Honor

Dr. Robert H. Kokernot - Class of 1940

kokernotDr. Kokernot was an assistant director, Center for Zoonosis Research at the University of Illinois. He received three doctorates, one in veterinary medicine from Texas A&M, one in medicine from Baylor University College of Medicine, and one in epidemiology from John's Hopkins University.

He served as a staff member for the Rockefeller Foundation and was assigned to South Africa and to Colombia. Dr. Kokernot worked in South Africa for six years and was on the medical faculty of the Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia, from 1961-1963. Upon his return to the United States in 1963, Dr. Kokernot worked on research at the University of Illinois.

Dr. Dan Lewis - Class of 1942

lewisAfter graduating from GHS, Dan attended San Diego State University, until he was called to military service. After the war, he graduated from San Diego State with distinction and honor, attended Claremont Graduate School where he earned his Masters Degree, and began teaching at Grossmont in 1950, moving to Helix when it opened. In 1958-1959, he worked with the orchestras at El Cajon, Helix, and Grossmont, adding Granite Hills in 1960-61, later leaving to teach at Grossmont Junior College.

In 1963, when he accepted a position to teach at California State College in Fullerton, former superintendent Lew Smith commented that “the high quality of musicianship combined with dedication to the students in his program and his sterling personal qualities forecast a bright future for him…).

Trained as a violinist, Dan helped to organize the San Diego Symphony after WW II and was their concertmaster for many years; in 1953 Robert Shaw appointed him assistant conductor of the San Diego Symphony, where he remained until 1959. He also played with the Starlight Opera Orchestra for many years. In 1959, he won the Fulbright Scholarship to study music in Munich, Germany. From 1959-1960, he studied at the University for Music in Munich.

From 1976-1995, Dr. Lewis headed the orchestra at the USC Thornton School of Music, becoming its first faculty member to receive the title of University Professor. During his career, Dr. Lewis worked with numerous orchestras, including the Pasadena Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Glendale Symphonies.

Clark Allen - Class of 1942

allenClark was a Renaissance man. During his amazingly artistic life, he was a musician, a musicologist, artist, sculptor, model-maker, nautical historian, actor, linguist, and world traveler.

He and his wife, dancer Margarita Cordova, after traveling through Spain and France for more than a year, created an act featuring the dances and songs they collected. In 1961, they founded El Cid, the renowned flamenco club in Los Angeles, where they entertained for more than 18 years. Also, Clark was also a talented artist; his paintings were collected by many including Vincent Price. In the 1960’s Clark toured with Carl Sandburg and Bette Davis in “The World of Carl Sandburg”, and appeared with Marlon Brando in “One Eyed Jacks”, and in several TV episodes of “The Twilight Zone” and “Peter Gunn”.

Clark Allen’s 1942 drawing of the original GHS granite Castle has become a symbol of Grosssmont High’s early history, appearing on our commemorative bronze plaques.

Franklin “Bud” Held - Class of 1946

heldEven in his early years at Grossmont High School, Bud Held excelled in sports, competing in track and field, baseball, and tennis. In college, he became a superb javelin thrower, earning NCAA titles in 1948, 1949, and 1950. Held was the first American to hold the world javelin record in 1953 and bested his own record in 1955. Bud held 6 AAU national titles and 6 American records in the javelin and competed in the 1952 Olympics.

After careers as a minister and later a businessman, Held continued to excel athletically. In 2008, he competed in the USA Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championship, where he became the world record holder in the pole vault for ages 80-84.

Bill Davis - Class of 1948/Honor Graduate, 1987

davisBill Davis loved Grossmont High School. It was a love first instilled in him in 1944-48 during his four years as a student and athlete at Grossmont High School, then in 1966-1970 by his four years as a Assistant Principal, and finalized by more than ten years as a Principal from 1976-1988.

Upon his departure as GHS Principal, Bill said despite the changing problems the school faces, “the things Grossmont stands for are built on a foundation and record of excellence.” After leaving Grossmont, Bill became a GUHS District Director working to develop programs to identify and encourage high-risk students to graduate.

But his love of all things Grossmont didn’t end with his retirement. Bill became Grossmont’s oral historian, reminding us of the wonders of our past. In this role, Bill continued to be an advocate for the values and traditions that have distinguished Grossmont High School.

Outside of education, Bill continued to serve others. In 1988 after 37 years in the military, Bill retired as a Colonel: he had served 4 years in the Naval Reserve, 2 years of Active Duty in the Air Force, and 31 years as a member of the Air Reserves. In addition, Bill was active in East County community service organizations: he was a member and Past Distinguished President of the La Mesa Kiwanis, as well as being a member of the Elks Lodge of El Cajon, the El Cajon Masonic Lodge #575, the SDSU Aztec Club, and a Life Loyal Sigma Chi member.

Fredric Martin Donohue - Class of 1949

donohueMartin Donohue received his commission in 1954 through the Air Force ROTC program at San Diego State College and began active duty August 1954. Marty was awarded his pilot wings in 1959 and completed Helicopter Pilot Training the same year. In 1967-68, he served his first tour of duty in Vietnam with the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron.

Two years later in November 1970, five Air Force Crosses were awarded in the attempted rescue of American Prisoners of War from Son Tay prison in North Vietnam. Major Donohue "Apple 3" was one of the three HH-53 pilots awarded the Air Force Cross. His Air Force Cross Citation was awarded for “extraordinary heroism …when Major Donohue courageously flew the first aircraft directly over the compound at an altitude of forty feet….He fired upon the greatest threats to the ground rescue party,…neutralizing guard towers….Major Donohue, without regard to his personal safety, immeasurably contributed to the complete confusion and disorganization of enemy forces….Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy….”

Colonel Donohue then served at the Pentagon and MacDill Air Force before retiring from the U.S. Air Force on August 31, 1984.

Ben Cloud - Class of 1949

cloudDuring the Vietnam conflict in the spring of 1964, in a two week period, Ben Cloud flew 12 missions over North Vietnam to gather reconnaissance information of North Vietnam's military activity and received hostile fire every time. Before the Vietnam War, Ben flew with the Blue Angels. When the war began, the Blue Angels were dismantled, and in 1964, when he was sent to Vietnam, he flew the first combat mission in the Vietnam War.

Later in his career, Ben worked in the White House as an aide in the Office of Protocol, planning diplomatic events to three Presidents: Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson. Ben became one of the first African Americans to command a squadron and in 1972 served as the Executive Officer of the carrier Kitty Hawk, which launched some of the final strikes of the Vietnam War. In 1972, Commander Cloud was instrumental in defusing the worst race riot in modern navy history.

Also, during his career, Ben was Commander of the Fighter Squadron at Miramar Air Force Station. He served as Captain of the Navy for 32 years from 1952-1984. He retired after an amazing career distinguished by his commitment to the service of his country and by his personal courage.

1930's Hall Of Honor

Ellamarie Packard Woolley Class of 1932

wolleyEllamarie Packard Woolley was an artist and teacher, known for her enameled copper art.

In the 1930’s, Ellamarie and her fellow student artists at San Diego State University created Diego Rivera-style murals in Hardy Memorial Tower. By 1959, their art had disappeared, to be rediscovered in 2006 when they were unearthed behind cheap ceiling tiles installed over them during a remodel of the building. The murals are now on display in the Library at San Diego State.

After graduating from SDSU, Ellamarie began teaching Art at Francis Parker School, where she met her future husband, Jackson Woolley. Together they began producing functional objects such as plates, ashtrays, and boxes. Like the work of the Cubist painters who inspired them, the Woolleys’ compositions included overlapping images of faces and figures, seen from varying points of view, suggesting multiple perspectives. During the 1950’s, they began creating large-scale wall panels and murals in theaters and other public spaces throughout California. Through their work, the couple significantly advanced enameling.

Richard S. O’Brien Class of 1935

obrienRichard S. O’Brien worked for many years as an Engineer for the CBS Broadcast Company in New York City and retired as the Director of Engineering. Over the course of his career, Richard was the author of many articles on broadcast engineering.

In 1993, Richard received an Emmy from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his contributions to Broadcasting. He received the Charles F. Jenkins Lifetime Achievement Award for technical literature establishing basics of staging and lighting for both black and white and color production.

Dr. Douglas Inman Class of 1936

inmanAs a student at Grossmont High School, Dr. Inman recalls the “outstanding faculty that taught interactive subjects so that it was easy to understand how they related to each other.” This discovery led him to decide to become a physical scientist who has spent his career as a research oceanographer doing Coastal Science along the world’s oceans.

Since 1953, Dr. Inman has been a Professor of Marine Geology in Oceanography in the University of California system, most recently at UCSD and the Center for Coastal Studies at Scripps, where he is the Project Director. Dr. Inman is a Professor Emeritus of Oceanography at Scripps Institute of Oceanography and the Founding Director of the Center for Coastal Studies at Scripps Institute of Oceanography, UCSD and has a website on coastal processes.

Dr. Inman holds degrees in Physics, Geology, Electronics, and a Ph.D. in Oceanography. In 1961, Dr. Inman was appointed a Guggenheim Fellow and is the author of over two hundred scientific publications and the winner of numerous awards and honors, which acknowledge his amazing contributions to the study of the world’s seas, which began years earlier as a student at Grossmont.

Jean Landis Class of 1936

landisAfter high school, Jean attended San Diego State Teachers College, later SDSU, graduating in 1940 with a degree in Physical Education. The next year, she returned to Grossmont to teach physical education.

In 1940, Jean’s passion to fly planes led her to join the Civilian Pilot Training program. When WWII began, Jean was chosen for the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), a paramilitary organization, where women pilots flew military aircraft on non-combat missions within the United States. Stationed in Long Beach, Jean’s primary assignment was to fly P-51 Mustangs from the factory in Inglewood, CA, to Newark, New Jersey, where they were shipped to the European fighting front. In bad weather, this arduous 3,000 mile flight could take two weeks.

Long ignored for their vital role in the war, in 2009, the women finally received the recognition they deserved: the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest Congressional honor for civilians. Jean’s story and the story of her fellow pilots in the war effort was documented in the Emmy award winning film, “She Wore Silver Wings”, dedicated to Jean and the heroic women who served in the WASP.

After the war, Jean continued to teach physical education at the college level, finishing her career at San Diego State from 1968-1979 and receiving SDSU’s prestigious Monty Award in 2015.

George Bailey Class of 1937

baileyGeorge Bailey has lived a life dedicated to public service. After graduation from GHS, he attended San Diego State Teachers’ College, now San Diego State University, where he earned a degree in economics.

A veteran of WW II, George served in the U.S. Army and the Navy for two years. He spent many years working at Convair and Rohr. For the city of La Mesa, George served on the Planning Commission, and for almost 2 decades, he was a member of the City Council.

From 1981 to 1984, George was Mayor of La Mesa, and in 1985 he was elected to be on the County Board of Supervisors, serving 2 terms. The George Bailey Detention Center, located in Otay Mesa, is named in his honor because he was a strong supporter of a proposed sales tax increase to pay for jails and courts, which was narrowly approved by the voters.

Bailey and his trademark buzz cut hairstyle, which he still wears today, have left an indelible imprint on San Diego County.

Frances Ellen Coughlin Class of 1938

coughlinMiss Coughlin was a foreign service officer in the U.S. Information Agency in Washington, D.C. During World War II, she served in the Women’s Air Force and later was an instructor for Brazilian air cadets in Sao Paulo.

Miss Coughlin completed her doctoral studies in history and was employed by the Pan-American Union before joining the U.S. Information Service as a cultural affairs assistant in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

With her fluency in Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese, she later became the assistant to the cultural attaché of the American embassy in Rome.

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