Guam Vocational Technical High School Philosophy

I was a part of a group that developed the Guam Vocational Technical High School (GVTHS) philosophy document. The committee consisted of administrators and teachers to develop the best vocational and technical educational opportunities for our students. George Washington High School, where I taught, worked closely with GVTHS. The year of the development was 1975. At the time I taught Computer Science and was head of the textbook selection committee for the Guam public schools.

Logo for George Washington High School (also home to the Warriors, each high school had two teams)


The four authors are Dave Applegate, Wayne Cook, Carl Marking, and Frank Russell. S. Leon Guerrero was the Principal for GVTHS.

Please remember that this was written in 1975 and the generic pronoun at that time for all students was he, him, and his. These terms are used in this document.

It appears that GVTHS has been succeeded by Career Tech High Academy Charter School.

Guam Academy Charter School (new version of GVTHS – built for typhoons)


The philosophy of Guam Vocational Technical High School is broad enough to cover the scope of students and staff potential and at the same time is specific enough to offer a sense of direction to those people that will be utilizing it as a guide.

In the broadest sense the philosophy encompasses and is formulated upon the concept of change and that we are in a world of change and that the only permanence in education and the world is change. GVTHS will provide a vocational-technical and academic program which is tied to the world of tomorrow. The tie between the security of the past, the reality of the present, and the challenges of tomorrow must be the combined cohesion of staff and student potential abilities, the physical plant and curriculum, and the communities’ present and projected needs.

To that end the more specific parameters of the GVTHS philosophy would be numerated as follows:

  1. Staff development through aggressive pursuit of Federal and local funds relating to in-service training.
  2. School and industry validation of curriculum through intensive utilization of area, school, and state advisory groups.
  3. Acquisition of vocationally qualified staff through industry and school established criteria.
  4. Acquisition of the best supplies, equipment, and facilities available under practical economic guidelines, through staff involvement.
  5. High emphasis on attitudinal development necessary to acquire, retain, and progress in the vocation.
  6. Emphasis in the development of trade language, manual, and academic skills necessary to progress in the career pursuit.
  7. High priority for area related work experience (i.e. independent work experience, etc.) as soon as is practical.
  8. Aggressive pursuit of a placement and follow-up program to guide the alteration of present class programs and institution of new programs.
  9. Active support of character building programs such as VICA and DECA by utilization of staff sponsorship.
  10. Development of a consumer education and safety and first aid program required of all students.
  11. An aggressive student screening program, using the latest testing material and methods, to assure high quality students place in their most appropriate areas.
  12. Create an awareness in each student of his inherent and alterable abilities and limitations.
  13. Develop and maintain a current broad enough academic program to allow student to pursue further education.

Metric System

At this time I was teaching a Physics basic measurements system class. After having the students name the various units of measurement for length of each system, I asked them to convert within that system from one unit to the next. After this exercise, all the students chose to use the Metric System. Most students did not know many yards were in a mile. Some knew how many feet were in a mile and converted. Following is the proposed letter from the Principal of GVTHS to promote the use of the metric system in all classes.

As Principal of Guam Vocational Technical High Schoo, I recognize the growing importance of our students fully understanding and being able to apply the concepts of the metric system. I am also aware of the impact of the metric system on all students. Therefore, I full endorse this proposal as it will better prepare our vocational students for the world of work, and the materials developed as a result of this project will be transferable to other schools and students.

S. Leon Guerrero, Principal Guam Vocation Technical High School

Meeting records for the above mentioned task force

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