Patrick Henry High School News

PHHS wins first place

Congratulations to Patrick Henry High School (PHHS), who was named the first-place winner in the high school category of the 2017-18 EDCO Recycling Challenge. PHHS waste reduction and increased recycling resulted in a 28.56 percent waste diversion rate, garnering Henry the top district honor and a $1,250 prize award.

The goal of the Recycling Challenge is to reduce waste and increase recycling in our schools to facilitate compliance with state law requiring school districts to divert 75 percent of our waste from landfill disposal by 2020. Winners were determined based on overall waste diversion, bin fullness and weight surveys, and level of recycling education and outreach programs implemented on campus through March 31, 2018. Result were also based per capita student enrollment.

On April 24, Principal Listy Gillingham, plant operations supervisor Cathy Murphy, and teacher Lara Dickens attended the board meeting to accept the award. JROTC Community Service Club student leader Kalani Piotrowski formally was invited to accept the award on behalf of the students of PHHS. She encourages cadets to help on and off campus with litter removal and recycling events. They collect commingled recycling bins from classrooms and take them to the recycling dumpsters. They also do campus litter patrols every Thursday after school.


Students earn first place in an Engineering Design Challenge!

Patrick Henry students Kasey Bitter, Olivia Van Houten and Alonzo Robles took home first place at the 2018 Regional Chevron Engineering Design Challenge. The students competed against 15 teams from all across San Diego County in an all-day event earlier this month.

(l to r) Kasey Bitter, Olivia Van Houten and Alonzo Robles took home first prize at the 2018 Regional Chevron Engineering Design Challenge and will be advancing to the finals in May. (Photos courtesy PHHS)

The competition assesses student skills across multiple skill areas. Students are given a design brief and, over the course of the day, build and submit sketches and software models of their solution. At the end of the day, teams present a product proposal to a team of industry judges and are scored on their originality, professionalism and persuasiveness.

Patrick Henry’s team of ninth-grade students beat out the competition (most of whose teams were comprised of much older students) and will be advancing to the state finals in May.


PHHS Student of the Month

Student of the Month Jesse Stewart

Jesse Stewart was named PHHS Student of the Month for April. Stewart was honored at the Allied Gardens Kiwanis breakfast and received much praise from her principal, Listy Gillingham, who was on hand to give this special award.

“Jesse is a mature, dependable, and dedicated Link Crew Leader (for the last two years),” stated Michael Pinto in his nomination of Stewart. “Traditionally, we see the excitement for Link Crew dwindle once students move on to their senior year. Not Jesse. She always volunteers to go above and beyond her required hours for tutoring, special events, Patriot Day, and Henry Hoopla planning. She always greets teachers and students with her warm smile and personality to match. Her dedication and creative ideas helped make Henry Hoopla Period a huge success and her continued innovations made it evolve throughout the year to make it more organized and effective. She is a model student and a model Link Crew Leader and a pleasure to work with in all aspects.”

Lara Dickens in her recommendation for scholarship noted Stewart for her volunteerism with the Environmental Club.

“Jesse has volunteered as a member of the Environmental Club since her sophomore year and is currently a dedicated volunteer in the Aquaponics Club,” she stated. “She is passionate about service-learning and looks at volunteering as an opportunity to gain experience and network with other students.

“She is willing to work hard and sweat. She has done everything from campus litter patrols, to moving our school thrift store across campus, to assisting the Rolando Street Fair with their zero-waste goals. The Rolando Street Fair asked our club to assist fair patrons with disposing of their waste. We helped make sure recycling stayed free of trash and vice versa. Most students opted to correct mistakes without the fair-goers knowledge.

“Ms. Stewart found this a teachable moment. She was polite and helpful and concerned by the number of people unaware of the proper way of disposing of their trash. She took photos and gave a presentation in class about waste disposal habits and practices.

“I know that I can count on Ms. Stewart to get things done. When we retrofitted the aquaponics system with a larger tank, she jumped at the opportunity to redraw and measure the system. Her notes are extremely detailed and will help next year’s club members tremendously.”

Congratulations, Jesse!


Track team excels

Congratulations to Patrick Henry Track and Field. The boys team won the Eastern League title for the third year in a row and kept their undefeated streak going at three years!

The girls team captured their first Eastern League title since 1983 with a three-way tie reporting one loss for the season.

Congratulations to senior Jacob Austin for breaking the school record in the shot put event (throwing 48 ft. 1 in.) and who was undefeated in both the shot put and discus for the season.


PHHS Aquaponics Club news

The PHHS Aquaponics Club was invited to return to the TEDx Kids @ El Cajon event on Saturday, April 21 for the third year in a row. Their goal is to raise awareness of the benefits of aquaponics and other sustainable agricultural practices.

(l to r) Sydney Cummings, Clara Lane, Beni Burkett, Felix Rosell, Shawn Lee, Grace Tarantino, Kaiwen Tsou. (Not pictured: Ryan Quasarano, Hunter Gavin, Jesse Stewart, and Luc Galif) (Courtesy PHHS)

The event itself showcased students and programs that support STEM activities. Students in the club worked on a 10-gallon model of the 300-gallon system they manage at school and gave presentations to event-goers non-stop from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Schools and programs looking for support with starting an aquaponics system at their school should contact Ecolife Conservation.

— Elizabeth Gillingham is principal of Patrick Henry High School.

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