JSerra’s Class of 2013 Leaves a Record Breaking Legacy

IMG_0321Celebrating its tenth anniversary, JSerra has had its share of accomplishments but it is the class of 2013 that has helped mark the school’s first decade as truly remarkable.

The graduates have had national record-breaking swim championships, the school’s first Trinity League Athlete of the Year, a valedictorian with a record high GPA of 4.88, never before seen at JSerra, a cross country team who has won League, CIF, and State championships three times in a row, a first in the state of California, among countless other accomplishments.

With graduates attending top Universities like Duke, USC, Berkeley, Notre Dame, and more, they have collectively received more than $12.5 million in scholarships, the highest of any graduating class at JSerra.

As President Richard Meyer quoted St. John Paul “In the design of providence there is no coincidence.” It is not by mere coincidence that this graduating class has had many successes during their four short years as Lions.

With plenty of cheers from classmates this class has demonstrated the connectedness that is cultivated by the faculty, staff, and parents within the JSerra community.

Salutatorian Vanessa Zuck, delivered her address during the Baccalaureate Mass held on Friday evening. With a smile on her face she remembered her freshman year and the big win against Santa Margarita’s football team, and rushing the field at Saddleback. Zuck also recalled wise words from a past teacher, that remain with her to this day. “Never accept what your told but to learn it for yourself.” As the class of 2013 discovers new adventures in college, Zuck reminds them of what Louis Zamperini said while visiting campus, “while it may be sad to say goodbye, what matters is that we met.”

(left to right): President Richard Meyer, Valedictorian Sachin Govil, and Vice Principal Eric Stroupe
(left to right): President Richard Meyer, Valedictorian Sachin Govil, and Vice Principal Eric Stroupe

Valedictorian Sachin Govil, reminisced about his time at JSerra during his speech said, “It’s astonishing how life comes at us instantaneously, it grabs us and takes us on our own journeys… and in the midst of it, we don’t always appreciate the time we have and the people that we share it with.”

Among those honored where Monica Patel the recipient of the JSerra Award, acknowledged for exemplifying JSerra’s mission and philosophy.  The highest honor a student can receive at JSerra. Jovy Mann receiving the Msgr. Martin Award, Owen Hosseinzadeh receiving the Gillian Sabet Award, Saseen Najjar receiving the Lion Award, Ryer Baldridge acknowledged with the Leadership Award, Madison Myers-Cook received the Campus Ministry Award, Andrew Lee for the Spirit Award, and Josephine Duran receiving the Christian Service Award for her 2,500 hours donated in community service.

To view the complete photo album from Graduation please click Class of 2013.

Be sure to tag your photos with the hashtag #Classof2013 to share on Instagram.

Pre-Law Magnet Students Experience Mock Trial at Chapman University

Mock Trial session held at the Chapman University Law School
Mock Trial session held at the Chapman University Law School

By Eric Stroupe, Vice Principal

JSerra’s Pre-Law Professional Magnet Program students traveled to Chapman Law School to participate in a mock trial.  Chapman Law School generously donated the use of their mock trial courtroom at the university.

Several legal professionals volunteered their time to show the students what a real jury trial looked like from beginning to end.  The volunteer participants included a retired superior court commissioner, a San Diego deputy district attorney, a San Diego alternate public defender, a superior court bailiff, an Anaheim police officer, and an Anaheim assistant city attorney.   Lastly, our very own senior Monika Patel played the role of the defendant who allegedly stole a plush toy from Disneyland.  Imagine, someone stealing from the Mouse.

JSerra law magnet students played the role of prospective jurors who heard the case.  The trial included jury selection, opening statements, direct and cross examination for both the prosecution and defense cases, jury deliberations and the final verdict.  Jury deliberations were quite spirited and could be heard through the jury deliberation room door.

This seminar is a prelude to the Spring semester mock trial competition the students will train for and participate in during April and May.  During the Spring competition, law magnet prosecution and defense teams will go head to head against each other during their own mock trial.  Instead of watching the key players conduct the trial, they will be playing the roles of the key players.  There will be four trials with the students being able to play multiple roles.  It promises to be challenging, interesting and great fun.

JSerra Catholic High School Announces New Pre-Law Professional Magnet Program

Patrick Ahle, Former Prosecutor and JSerra Pre-Law Professional Magnet Program Advisor

*A press release from  JSerra Catholic High School  

July 5, 2012—(San Juan Capistrano, CA)—JSerra Catholic High School announces the launch of the Pre-Law Professional Magnet Program (PLPMP), the third of its kind at JSerra.

The addition of the schools third Magnet Program comes after the success of the rigorous Business and Pre-Medical Magnet Programs.

JSerra’s law-specific courses will be taught by a Chapman Law School adjunct professor, Patrick Ahle, who has over 20 years of experience as a prosecutor and has also served as a volunteer judge pro tem.

“Students completing the key law courses offered by the Law Magnet Program will be better prepared prior to their arrival at their law school of choice,” said Patrick Ahle, former prosecutor and JSerra PLPMP advisor.

“The first year of law school is considered one of the most difficult graduate school years. Completing the pre-law program in high school will assist the students in their transition from undergraduate to graduate school. Being better prepared will give them a tremendous advantage over other incoming law school students,” said Ahle.

Students enrolled in the Law Magnet will be required to take courses in criminal law, contract law, trial advocacy, leadership, honors English, and constitutional law. Students will also participate in speech and debate.

Chapman Law School has also generously made available their Mock Court facilities to allow JSerra’s PLPMP students an authentic litigation experience. Additionally, Dr. John Eastman, the Henry Salvatori Professor of Law and Community Service and former Dean of Chapman Law School, will serve as a faculty advisor for the program.

“With the addition of the Pre-Law Magnet Program we hope to better prepare our students for a career in law. Under the direction of two successful attorneys both will bring an experienced hand to help guide the students in the program, bringing a real-world opportunity directly to the students,” said JSerra Vice Principal, Eric Stroupe.

An informational meeting is set to be held Thursday, July 12 at 6 p.m. in the JSerra Center Room.

About the Law Magnet Program

The mission of the Pre-Law Magnet Program is the development of analytical and critical thinking skills, along with an understanding of the ethical role lawyers play in society. The program will provide students with an instructional curriculum and practicum to allow each student to apply their knowledge in a hands-on platform. The program will incorporate the core values of JSerra including faith, integrity, pursuit of excellence, and a commitment to service.

About JSerra Catholic High School
Just nine years old, JSerra Catholic High School has grown into one of the region’s top university preparatory institutions. Its graduates include National Merit Scholarship winners, Ivy League university students, Division I collegiate athletes and young adults committed to being a positive force in their communities. Located in San Juan Capistrano, the school features $110-million facilities, including a state-of-the-art $40 million athletic complex. For more, visit www.jserra.org.

JSerra Graduates Look Back—and Forward

Photo by Vicki Finelt

By Penny Arevalo, Patch.com

Wearing leis made of everything from flowers to dollars bills to candy, the JSerra Catholic High School’s class of 2012 walked into the school’s pavilion for the last time as students and boldly walked out as graduates.

Not long ago their parents were staring down at them as newborns in swaddling blankets, thinking, “What do I do with that?” Principal Eric Stroupe said.

Now the seniors are off to the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Gonzaga University, Auburn, Illinois, Georgia Institute of Technology, Notre Dame and many others.

To read the complete article click Patch.

JSerra Graduates its Largest Class Yet

JSerra 2012 Valedictorian Tommy Allen with Vice Principal Eric Stroupe in recognition of his accomplishments.

“It’s a thrill to fulfill your childhood dreams but it’s more fulfilling to help others achieve theirs,” said Eric Stroupe, JSerra Vice Principal. “And that’s just what this graduating class has done.”

The class of 2012 is the largest graduating class in JSerra’s nine-year history with 257 graduates, and is the most family-like class. With over 35,000 hours of community service cumulatively, and Valedictorian Thomas Allen naming himself the “go-to student to explain concepts to students in new ways,” the class of 2012 has left a lasting mark on the JSerra Community.

For the first time in JSerra history there are seven graduates with distinction of the Business Magnet Program in its inaugural year.

Father Spitzer closing the commencement ceremony with a benediction.

Daniele Perazzo is a Berkeley bound future neurologist and Pre-Medical Professional Magnet Program honoree.

Sam Miller made his mark as JSerra’s first Stanford admit and 2012 Salutatorian.

Jacqueline Harkins received this year’s JSerra Award, the highest honor a student may receive from the school.

“Jacque impresses me her upbeat personality, and ability to navigate
 difficult situations. I often witness Jacque walking around school
 willing to engage anyone in a conversation, and she won’t adhere to clicks,” said Stroupe.

Closing the chapter on the class of 2012 was JSerra Rector Father Robert Spitzer, with words of encouragement and strength to the students.

To view the complete photo album click Class of 2012.

Eric Stroupe Congratulates JSerra AP Scholars

A note from Eric Stroupe, JSerra VP of Curriculum & Instruction

Congratulations JSerra as we celebrate another fantastic year of AP success. This year’s scores are our best results ever, with an overall pass rate of 75%. Last’s year figure was 69% by comparison. So, I’d like to congratulate you on outstanding work this last school year. As you all know, it is not just the AP teachers who share in this success. Those students were given strong foundations in their lower-lever courses, so we can all take pride in their accomplishments. While all of our AP teachers and students have data worth highlighting, I wanted to especially congratulate the following teachers for their students’ scores:

Samaniego- 100% pass rate in Physics C, 4.2 average

Marci Smith- 92% pass rate in Calculus, 4.4 average

Sickler- 93% pass rate in English Language, 4.0 average

Kennedy- 97% pass rate in European History

In terms of students, we had 36 AP Scholars, 14 AP Scholars with Honor, 14 AP Scholars with Distinction, and 3 National AP Scholars. That last group consists of Luke Decker (passed all 9 AP exams, with 8 scores of 4 or 5), Chloe Kempf (passed all 8 AP exams, with 8 5’s!), and Madeleine Shaver (passed all 8 exams with scores of 4 or 5).

Congratulations again and I look forward to another fantastic academic year.

Mr. Stroupe Given Canadian Interrogation

Pulled aside by Canadian Police just off of a flight from Maine at only 25 Eric Stroupe, JSerra’s Vice Principal of Curriculum and Instruction, literally gave a speech to get off the hook. Now see what he has been up to since his time under the bright lights of the Canadian Police and all the great things he has done to help shape the young minds of JSerra’s next generation.

Eric Stroupe out on the water while in high school.

How many years have you been teaching? Sixteen

How many years have you been teaching at JSerra? Eight

Whats your role at JSerra?

Vice Principal for Curriculum and Instruction

What is your favorite event during the school year?

Friday night football games!

Were you involved in any clubs in high school or college?

ASB President, band, basketball, Christians in Sport, CSF, NHS

What do you hope to accomplish before you retire?

Visit and camp at about dozen national parks with my family

What was your first job? “Courtesy clerk” (i.e., bag boy) at Vons

What was your favorite high school memory?

Running all of the ASB activities. Our ASB was quite a bit smaller than JSerra’s. The other three officers and I did a lot of the heavy lifting and put in a LOT of hours before and after school and on the weekends, but it was a blast! Our events were always well-attended and a lot of fun.

What was your childhood dream job? (astronaut, firefighter, etc) I wanted to be in Congress, probably as a Senator.

Were you voted anything in high school? (best eyes, best hair, etc) Most Likely to Succeed.

If you could live in any time period other than now, what would it be?

Post-WWII America


Who or what was your inspiration that drove you to become a teacher?

I love the process of learning and I love teaching. Wanting to continually learn more things led me to a career in education.

What was your favorite band growing up? Echo and the Bunnymen

Favorites:

Food: Sushi


TV Show: Law & Order


Animal: Dogs

Sports team: Raiders

Color: Blue

Author: Paul Johnson

Celebrity crush: Julia Roberts

Vacation spot: Outer Banks

Fun Fact & Random Acts:

When I was in grad school and about 25 years-old, I was given a full interrogation when entering Quebec, Canada from northern Maine. The Canadian border patrol questioned me (as well as a friend and my brother) for about 90 minutes asking me about my reasons for coming to Canada. We were placed in a room with a large, single light over a table, just as in the movies. At the time, I was on my way to speak at a convention in Quebec City, so my motives were legitimate.

But because I had been camping in Maine for about a week (without shaving or showering), I am sure the three of us looked rather sketchy. They kept asking me about my criminal record (which I didn’t have), whether or not I liked to fight, and what my intentions were with Canadian women. They finally released us once I was able to provide them a copy of my speech. Looking back it was quite funny, but at the time I was more than a little nervous!