Opening The Box

Opening the Box is a podcast about ECV and the amazing people who are part of the ECV Family. We will be interviewing alumni, coaches, teachers, and all those who make ECV an amazing place.

Episode #11 – Principal Nick Williams

Nick Williams is the new Principal of El Cajon Valley High School. He is someone who has deep roots in the Grossmont Union High School District. His journey to the principalship of our school has truly been organic. Having served in many positions, he understands the intricacies of the many different positions that encompass a comprehensive high school such as ours. At one time, he was a teaching colleague to many of us when he was the welding teacher who revitalized the program into one of the best in the nation. Then he went into administration as a Vice Principal here at ECV. In many ways, Principal Nick Williams is homegrown. He brings a lot of interesting perspectives and ideas to the principalship at El Cajon Valley High School. Here is our new leader, Principal Nick Williams.


Episode #10 – Zoar Parada

Coach Zoar Parada brings a lifetime of soccer experience, a love for the game, and a passion for our players. She wants to bring ECV Girls Soccer back to prominence by passing on her knowledge, passion, and determination to help our girls see a brighter future through the sport she loves. She shares the same background and experiences with our students and has made it a mission to elevate lives through “the beautiful game.”



Episode #9 – Tony Lavenant

Coach Tony Lavenant, the head coach of our mighty Varsity Boys Soccer program, discusses the highs and lows of his coaching journey at ECV. He discusses topics ranging from winning championships at the league, CIF section, and State CIF levels, coaching influences, and the everyday challenges of coaching, and we have a special guest show up in the middle of the podcast, his daughter Athena. I think she was the star of the podcast. It’s a family thing in these parts. Enjoy.


Episode #8 – James Thomas

Coach James Thomas brings his energy and passion to the ECV Girls Basketball program. In his first year at the helm, he helped guide the girls basketball program to the CIF playoffs, and his love for the game really rubs off on others. His enthusiasm and dedication will bring big dividends in the future. 




Episode #7 – Raynell Mills

The one word that can be used to describe ECV’s Varsity Boys Basketball coach is soulful. A very soulful man who coaches with his heart. Affectionately called “Mr. San Diego” by people in the basketball community, Coach Raynell Mills brings a lot of basketball and life experiences to our ECV Family. His goals of building the program through the development of the whole person is the positivity that is needed in these days and time.



Episode #6 – Melinda Hernandez

An ECV alum (2013), Coach Melinda Hernandez has done a fantastic job revitalizing the Boys and Girls Volleyball programs. She puts in the time to not only make her players better, but she is always working to improve the skills of her players, and her skills as a coach. She is always providing opportunities for her players to grow and it is starting to show. This past season, our Varsity Girls Volleyball team made a run to the CIF Division V Girls Volleyball semifinals. The future for ECV Volleyball looks bright.


Episode #5 – Lidia Hormous

Lidia is an alumni of ECV (2014). While at ECV, Lidia was a standout student (Valedictorian) and athlete in the Tennis program. She is currently the head varsity coach of the ECV Girls and Boys Tennis programs. In her time as ECV tennis coach, she has won numerous Grossmont League championships and has had numerous individual champions. Her attention to detail and high expectations of her athletes, and herself, become apparent in this podcast. She has truly created a recipe for success for the ECV Family.


Episode #4 – Clifton Thomas

Clifton is an alumni of ECV (2006). He is currently a teacher in the ECV Special Education department, head coach of the ECV varsity Baseball program, and an assistant coach for the varsity football program. He brings high energy and passion to the athletics programs he coaches in, and is a breath of fresh air to the ECV Family.



Episode #3 – Breann Klepach

Breann Klepach is a teacher in the ECV Special Education department and head coach of the ECV Cheer program. As you listen, it will become apparent that she is a great example of how perceptions are not always the reality. Like many of us at ECV, Breann brings a lot of life experience and heart to the ECV Family.




Episode #2 – Nick Osborn

Nick Osborn is a Math teacher at ECV, the head coach of the ECV Football program, and all-around amazing human being. His drive to help his players develop into better human beings comes across in this podcast. We are very fortunate to have Nick Osborn as part of the ECV Family.




Episode #1 – Matthew Shearin

Matthew Shearin is a graduate of El Cajon Valley (2015). While at ECV, Matthew was a standout student (Valedictorian, 4.6 GPA) and athlete (2014-2015 Union Tribune Male Athlete of the Year). From ECV, Matthew went on to attend, play football for, and graduated from Dartmouth College (2019) with a 3.5 GPA. He is currently working as an Investment Banking Analyst for JP Morgan & Chase in New York City.