By CONNIE and LYNN BAER
Grossmont High School’s 101st Anniversary celebration was an opportunity for the Foothillers to come together, remember and share their pride in Foothiller. 101 years ago, the founding board members, principal, teachers, staff and its community could not have imagined today’s Grossmont, a school that cherishes its past and embraces its future. .
This identity is found throughout the campus with the preservation of historic buildings, to which are added modern buildings whose appearance recalls the origins of the school, as well as the many bronze plaques and benches celebrating its past offered by the elders. and retirees. More than once, visitors to the museum have told us that Grossmont looks more like a college campus than a high school.
Friday’s events began with the grand opening of the new GHS Museum. Theresa Kemper, former director of GHS and current district superintendent, reminded the public that 14 years ago Connie came to her to ask if she and Lynn could set up a museum on campus when they retired in 2007, then recalling that the original museum was in a “broom closet.” Needless to say, our current location is not a broom closet.
What is amazing is how captivated visitors to the GHS Museum are as soon as they step into our new space. As retired teacher Rob Ridgway told us, “Wow! What space you have created. I enjoyed watching people more than the screens (which are spectacular). Every person, couple or group I saw was totally mesmerized… me included.
Following the museum’s grand opening, the football game began with a ceremonial draw by two of the 2020 winners, professional football player Paul Wright and four-time NCAA champion Darcy Arreola Lange.
Prior to the Royal Blue Regiment’s half-time performance, the Hall of Honorees in attendance was presented from the Science Porch seating area overlooking the pitch. The Zumwalt family, including three graduates from the 1970s as well as Sue Sharpe, class of 1954 and a retired physical education teacher, loved to boost the team by singing the GHS 1970s fight song.
The celebration continued on Saturday with local history displays from the La Mesa Historical Society outside the theater, as well as a performance by the Royal Blue Regiment Marching Band. Following the Hall of Honor ceremony, theater square performances by dance students and the NJROTC entertained the guests.
At the start of the ceremony, Director Dan Barnes said, “For a century our graduates have not only left an indelible mark on East San Diego County, but also on the county, state and nation. . This year’s winners certainly confirm this.
Dan continued with the introduction of three former principals in attendance: Bill Ashman, Brad Lichtman and Theresa Kemper, followed by the celebration of a remarkable group of eight alumni and four former teachers. In their comments after accepting their plaques, several acknowledged the impact Grossmont High School had on their lives and thanked the influencers who impacted their lives, many of whom were present.
Anita Hensley, the great-niece of two of the four educational pioneers, accepted the plaques for Eva McCarthy Quicksall, Carl Quicksall and family friend Ethel Prosser. Carl and Ethel started at GHS in 1920 and Eva 1921. Their impact on Grossmont was profound.
After the ceremony, Anita shared with us: “A big thank you to both of you for a wonderful weekend! To be presented with three plaques was an incredible pleasure. So proud of my great aunt and uncle. The museum is magnificent.
Visit the museum to see plaques honoring these 12 remarkable people as well as memorabilia documenting 101 years of Foothiller and East County history.
The GHS Museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, November 6 and Wednesday, November 17. You can visit other Wednesdays, by appointment only. For more information, visit our website at foothillermuseum.com or contact us at [email protected] or 619-668-6140. Masks are mandatory inside the campus when students are present and always inside for the unvaccinated.
– Connie and Lynn Baer are writing on behalf of the Grossmont High School History Museum.