Updated at 7:50 p.m. July 31, 2012
Seeking a long-sought high school for their community, the Alpine couple of Joe and Leslie Perricone have launched a petition drive to start an Alpine Unified School District.
According to East County Magazine, the Perricones want to transform the Alpine Union School District with its six elementary and middle schools into one that includes a high school, since students from that community and nearby Harbison Canyon now attend schools miles away in the
“A successful effort is expected to bring millions of new money into Alpine,” said a “reader’s editorial” in East County Magazine on Monday. “This will be money that is lost by the Grossmont Union High School District. The GUHSD will also lose many of its best academically inclined students, many stellar academicians who are students from the greater Alpine region.”
The drive seeks the signatures of at least 2,500 registered voters in Alpine and Harbison Canyon, the editorial said.
Tuesday afternoon, Superintendent Ralf Swenson said his Grossmont district had been contacted by someone involved with the petition drive, “and I will be meeting with that person next week to learn more about their intentions.”
Swenson added: “This is not the first time the topic of unification has come up in Alpine, and we are reviewing past records of the process, agreements between our districts, and the details of how this process proceeds at the local, county, and state levels.”
He said he’s received no official communication from the Alpine school district on this issue.
Joe Perricone, who attended Monte Vista High School, is listed as secretary of the Alpine Education Foundation. His children attend Granite Hills High School in El Cajon and Joan MacQueen Middle School closer to home. His wife, Leslie, has worked for the Alpine school district as a school secretary and office manager, according to her LinkedIn profile.
An Alpine high school—the 12th in the district—had been promised under a bond approved by Grossmont district voters but has not come to fruition.
“The final blow that is expected to kill the HS12 is planned at one upcoming 2012 GUHSD Board meeting,” said East County Magazine. “Politics will plays its hand when they actually kill the Prop. H and Prop. U ($697 million total), dual initiative headlined HS12 project.”
The article also slams Grossmont school board member Gary Woods, who “will have the determining vote” and urges voters to defeat him in the November election.
“The governing board majority threesome, which includes Gary Woods, is making many fiscally bad policy decisions, and is hurting our GUHSD’s financial wellness,” said the editorial.
The editorial with a byline of Bill Weaver added: “Negotiating the divorce of Alpine from the GUHSD would entitle the community of Alpine to approximately $80 [million] to $110 million dollars. That is Alpine's reported share of Grossmont’s assets. … Alpine is not greedy in desiring a new high school. Alpine only wants its already twice bonded, and voter approved high school.”