Julia Rouillard & Christian Roque
Website Editor & Chronicle Reporter
Raul Grijalva is retiring after working at Hollywood High School for 35 years. Grijalva is best known as the School for Advanced Studies counselor, but he’s also been a teacher, coach, and athletic director.
Grijalva started off as a P.E. and health teacher at Hollywood and for his first 10 years at Hollywood, he coached the varsity baseball and cross country teams. It was after this time that he would go on to take his long-running position as a counselor.
Many Hollywood High students and staff took the time to honor all of his contributions to the school in the wake of the news. Cynthia Ross, a former Hollywood High counselor, joined the counseling team 19 years ago in 2002, a counseling team that she would come to consider her family. She worked very closely with Grijalva in the C-Track and SAS offices during her tenure, becoming somewhat of an apprentice to him.
“During these years, he not only taught me the ropes of counseling, but guided me, nurtured me in my career, and nurtured the counseling team like only a father could,” Ross said. “Not only has he touched all of our lives, but he’s made such a positive impact on many students’ lives. If you had the opportunity to be served by him or work with him, consider yourself fortunate.”
She also went on to thank him for the countless memories she shared while eating, joking, and experiencing Sheik events with him. To top it off, she congratulated Grijalva on the news, calling his retirement “well-deserved.”
Alyssa Pinedo, the school’s college counselor, shared similar remarks about him, describing him as an incredibly hospitable mentor who was well-respected among students.
“Our SAS students speak so highly of him, they truly loved having him as their counselor,” Pinedo said. “I will miss him surprising me with my favorite chocolate and always bringing dog treats for my puppies.”
Dr. Jin Suh Jirn, SAS English teacher, considered working with him a “pleasure and privilege.” He also remarked that he had never worked with a counselor that was as reliable as he was.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with a number of counselors, but I’ve never seen one who was so loved and trusted by students,” said Jirn.
Another former counselor, HHS alumnus Tony Aldana, also congratulated Grijalva on his retirement.
“The game taught me so much and you taught me even more when we cross paths. Wishing you the best, my coach, my mentor, and my friend. I love you Coach Grijalva,” said Aldana, who played baseball on the team coached by Grijalva.
The big question on everybody’s minds is if the next SAS counselor will have the same high standards and likeableness as Grijalva had all the way up until his retirement.
“The next counselor is going to have to fill some big shoes after his departure. But I’m sure if the new counselor’s interests are focused on the students and their futures, then [they’ll do] a great job,” said Jasmine Martinez, SAS junior.
Students sent their best wishes to Grijalva on a Padlet. Those who would like to add their own can go to https://padlet.com/alyssapinedo/Bookmarks