Valentine’s Candy Gram Sale to Benefit Lions for Africa

Lions for Africa is hosting a Valentine’s Day Grams sale from February 6 to February 13 at both lunches. Make sure to stop by and send them to all your friends and your secret admirer. Each Valentine gram is $1 and all proceeds will go to Tias arms to help those in need in Africa.

JSerra Parents Association Social & General Board Meeting Feb. 2

JSerra Parent Association (JSPA) invites you to our second evening Social & General Board meeting. Our topic is:


Dave Lawn, Athletic Director and Donna Vandenberg, Vice Principal for Student Services will speak about the countless ways to get involved and answer any questions you may have.

The JSPA committee will speak about their role in your family’s experience at JSerra, what they do.
JSPA is the perfect opportunity to get to know people, share ideas and see if there is something that you want to get involved with.

Light appetizers and wine will be served.

*Adults only please, no children.

Feel free to pass this along and bring a fellow JSerra parent with you.

Thursday, February 2, 2012 
at 6:30-8pm General Board Meeting starts at 6:30, social immediately after in the JSerra Center Room.

To RSVP contact JSPA President Mabel Garcia at

Founder’s daughter: ‘Important I become my own person’

Her father is a successful classic car business owner, a movie producer and one of JSerra Catholic High School’s founders.

Although Jenna Spizzirri, 22, plans to carve her own path in business, she shares at least one trait with her father, Marc– the ability to juggle multiple challenges simultaneously.

Marc and Jenna Spizzirri

Named this month to the Notre Dame University’s Dean’s List, the younger Spizzirri is juggling a double major in graphic design and psychology while preparing for a career as an event planner.

“My father always stressed that my brother and I do our own thing,” Jenna Spizzirri says. “I admire his many accomplishments, but I think it is important that I become my own person.”

Marc Spizzirri says he couldn’t be more impressed.

“She’s very motivated, and is always looking for the next obstacle to knock down,” he says. “I’m very proud of her.”

JSerra Blog asked her to discuss her college experience.

Which is more fun, a JSerra football game or a Notre Dame football

Sorry, JSerra, but I have to say a Notre Dame football game. Not many things can compare to the energy found on the Notre Dame campus during a home football game weekend, not to mention the excitement of cheering on the Irish from inside that famous football stadium.

Jenna Spizzirri

What is the most surprising difference between life at Notre Dame and
life in San Juan Capistrano? 

Definitely the weather. It is hard to leave paradise to face the brutal weather of the Midwest.  My friends at Notre Dame like to make fun of me by calling me SoCal since I am always bundled up and still am freezing! As my dad would say, it builds character.

Who is your hero? 

This may come as a bit of a shock to him, but I would have to say my older brother, Joe (a JSerra valedictorian and Notre Dame graduate). I have a tremendous amount of respect for his outstanding character and his ability to always stay true to himself.  Not to mention, he has a heart of gold. He has always been there for me whenever I need him and is constantly encouraging me.  He is also one of the hardest workers I know.  He does whatever it takes to accomplish his goals, both academically and athletically. His great example has pushed me to be the best person, student, and athlete that I can be.

Most challenging class thus far at Notre Dame?

One that particularly stands out was a philosophy course I took my freshman year. The logic was difficult for me to follow at first since I was not used to philosophical thinking. This presented a challenge for writing the many papers required for the class.

Most challenging class at JSerra? 

Dr. Jan Kilduff’s AP Chemistry class.  I am not the best science student and, needless to say, that class really kicked my butt.  I spent a great deal of time on homework assignments and studying for tests for that class.  However, Dr. Kilduff still remains one of my favorite teachers from my time at JSerra. I would recommend his classes to any current students.

What advice would you give to graduating seniors hoping to gain
admission to Notre Dame? 

My biggest piece of advice would be to get involved in clubs and/or organizations that interest you and not to worry about stacking your resume.  Notre Dame is most interested in looking for well-rounded individuals so it is important to show how you spend your time outside of the classroom.  Of course, your work in the classroom is of extreme importance as well.

What do you do when you’re not studying? 

Like most college students I enjoy spending time with my friends.  I also like to attend Notre Dame athletic events, and I play a lot of interhall sports.  Notre Dame is filled with varsity high school athletes so the competition is pretty high, which makes the sports leagues a lot of fun.  Interhall sports are the same as intramural.  Notre Dame places you in a dorm at the beginning of your freshman year and you stay in that same hall during all four years.  All of these dorms compete against each other in every sport and activity you can imagine, from football to soccer to broomball.

Please share your biggest accomplishments in the past five years.

For me, the greatest achievement has been my growth as a person.  Leaving home and being in a different state has enabled me to discover who I am.  I also like to think that my biggest accomplishments in life are ahead of me.

How well did JSerra prepare you for the rigors of college in South Bend? 

I think that JSerra prepared me well for the extremely competitive academic climate of Notre Dame.  However, college is more than just academics. JSerra also prepared me for moving away from home and provided me with the spiritual and moral foundation to handle life’s challenges.

JSerra Seniors Already Accepted at Exceptional Colleges and Universities

Stanford, Georgetown, Notre Dame, and Northwestern are just a few of the top colleges and universities at which current JSerra seniors have already been accepted. The list is based off the information students have input into Naviance. If your acceptance is not listed, please update Naviance in a timely manner to ensure inclusion in future publications. To view the complete list of acceptances as of January 20, click here.

Shedules 1 & 2 Revised for 2nd Semester

Dear Parents,

As a result of administrative analysis of the time students need to eat their lunch, we have made revisions to our schedules 1 and 2. Typically, schedule 1 occurs on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays; schedule 2 occurs on most Thursdays. We shortened lunch for both schedules, which will result in students being dismissed earlier. The ancillary benefit to this change is that it helps minimize lost class time due to early dismissals for athletic events. Here are the revised schedules:

Schedule 1
1 8:00-8:45
2 8:50-9:35
B 9:35-9:50
3/Ann 9:55-10:45
4 10:50-11:35
Lunch A 11:35-12:05
5A 12:10-12:55
5B 11:40-12:25
Lunch B 12:25-12:55
6 1:00-1:45
7 1:50-2:35

Schedule 2
2 8:00-9:20
B 9:20-9:35
3/Ann 9:40-11:05
Lunch A 11:05-11:35
5A 11:40-1:00
5B 11:10-12:30
Lunch B 12:30-1:00
7 1:05-2:25

These changes will go in effect beginning with the first day of the second semester, January 24.


Eric Stroupe
Vice Principal for Curriculum and Instruction

First Child to College Chat – A Parent’s Perspective

JSerra Counseling will be hosting a First Child to College Chat Tuesday, January 31 in the library 8:15am-9:15am

This chat is to share experiences from a parent’s
 perspective about lessons learned sending our first child to college.

This will be a very informative and interactive session of what went 
right as well as what went wrong and what they would have done
 differently or will do differently with their next child going to 
college.  This is open to all parents, especially junior parents.

to include: Standardized testing (Test Prep), extracurricular activities, class mix (Regular, Honors, AP Classes), applications process 
(Time Line), college essays, college search/tours, financial aid/grants/scholarships, JSerra guidance counseling, and outside counseling services.”