JSerra Celebrates Our Hero’s in the Laguna Niguel Parade

Julie Swail-Ertel riding along with her three year-old twins as they make their way through the parade.
Julie Swail-Ertel riding along with her three year-old twins as they make their way through the parade.

The annual Laguna Niguel Holiday Parade took place over the weekend and was themed for ‘Honoring Our Heroes’, and there were plenty who attended the event, as well as many who participated.

JSerra was a proud sponsor of the annual parade and had Julie Swail-Ertel, JSerra Aquatics Director and two-time Olympian participate in the parade.

“Being involved in the Laguna Niguel Parade was great to see the community out supporting the city and our hero’s,” said Swail-Ertel. “It’s a great way to kick off the Christmas season.”

Also in attendance were the JSerra Tennis and Swim CIF Champions, along with the three-time Trinity League, CIF, and State Championship Cross Country team.

The day was filled with excitement as the pep squad accompanied JSerra athletes as they walked through the largest parade in Southern California adorned by medals and banners displaying all the hard work each team has put into their sport.

JSerra was proud to be a part of the annual parade and sends a special thank you to The City of Laguna Niguel.

To view the complete album from the parade click Laguna Niguel. 

To read more on the parade from the Patch click here. 

Watch the re-broadcast locally on Channel 3 at COX. 

NBC Hosts JSerra Aquatics Director at Olympic Games

Julie Swail-Ertel, JSerra aquatics director and girls water polo head coach, is stationed at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Ertel, a two-time Olympian will be commentating on the women’s water polo and triathlete events for NBC throughout the two-week long games in London.

” I am excited to be a part of the Olympic games in a different way than as an athlete. I had the pleasure of playing in the games twice before and this will be my second time commentating for NBC. I enjoy being a part of the games there is so much excitement,” said Swail-Ertel.

Ertel will be commentating Wednesday, August 1 on NBC, for the women’s water polo matches.

For the complete schedule and to watch live click Olympic Games. 

CIF Championship Swimmers Vie for a Spot on the 2012 Olympic Team

pictured: Kaitlyn Albertoli

Three JSerra Catholic aquatics athletes vie for a spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic swim team, at the Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska, this month.

“Any school would be blessed to have just one athlete qualify for an opportunity to compete in the Olympic Trials, but to have three is overwhelmingly exciting,” said Mary McLaughlin, JSerra head swim coach.

Among the swimmers attending the Olympic Trials are JSerra alumnus Casey Mims (Cal Berkeley), Katie McLaughlin and Kaitlyn Albertoli, both freshman at JSerra and 2012 CIF Champions. All three swimmers have been named Scholar Athletes at JSerra.

“There are a lot of kids that swim in the country but only .03 percent make the trials. Having three JSerra swimmers part of a very small majority is truly amazing,” said Coach McLaughlin.

“I am very excited to have even qualified. I’ve trained so hard to make it and I always strive to have a healthy disregard for the impossible,” said Albertoli, a JSerra Online student.

Katie McLaughlin, a standout freshman at JSerra, was named the 2012 OC Varsity Fan Female Athlete of the Year.

“I am excited to compete in the Olympic trials, and I want to go and have a great experience,” said Katie McLaughlin.

Recently appointed Interim President Rob Dolan said “Mary runs a great 
program and this is a tremendous accomplishment for her girls Kaitlyn,
Katie and Casey all of whom are incredibly humble and grateful.  I’m
proud and I know the JSerra community is proud of the hard work and
dedication that produced these achievements.”

Also attending the 2012 Olympic games is JSerra Aquatics Director and two-time Olympian Julie Swail-Ertel. Swail-Ertel will be commentating on the water polo and triathlon events for NBC this July.

“JSerra is so proud, and we are all rooting for the girls going to the Olympic trials,” said Swail-Ertel, who has attended the Olympics twice as an athlete and twice as an NBC commentator.


JSerra CEO: ‘This Will Be Our Best Year Yet’

The following column was published in the current edition of the Capistrano Dispatch.


By Frank Talarico

Last year was big for JSerra Catholic High School.

Frank Talarico
Frank Talarico

We won our first Trinity League sports championships, graduated our largest senior class (including our first National Merit Scholarship winner) and contributed to the community in hundreds of notable ways.

All our accomplishments last year beg the question: Can we top them this year?

Yes, we can.

I predict JSerra’s seventh year will be its best yet.

More than 200 seniors wearing freshly pressed uniforms walked through the halls of our $110-million campus on Sept. 1 – the first day of school. This is our biggest – and most talented – senior class yet.

Our student retention rate is also breaking JSerra records. It’s at 85% and climbing.

Here’s another telling statistic: During the worst recession since the Great Depression, we have maintained enrollment and may even grow enrollment for the year.

What do the numbers tell us?

They illustrate the tremendous value of a JSerra education. Families continue to invest in a JSerra education knowing it will prepare their children for a successful college career and to be contributing members of our society.

The value is especially evident now – as, sadly, neighboring public schools cut teachers, increase class sizes and eliminate important science, arts and extra-curricular programs because of harsh budgeting responsibilities.

At JSerra, we will continue to provide students the same high caliber educational excellence we always have. We are blessed with world-class instructors like Dr. Jan Kilduff, a former NASA consultant, who teaches Chemistry.

The good news extends beyond our classrooms and onto our renowned athletic fields.

Our boys’ soccer, boys’ lacrosse and baseball teams are gearing up to defend their titles. Our soccer team already showed its promise for the coming year, winning the Capo Valley summer league. The Orange County Register said goal-scoring juniors Juan Gutierrez and Dylan Seedman “have quite possibly developed into the most dangerous duo” in Orange County soccer.

Other sports programs are poised to join them in competing for titles.

One of our most exciting new additions over the summer was our hiring of Julie Swail-Ertel. A rare two-sport U.S. Olympian, Swail-Ertel directs our aquatics program and will coach girls’ water polo. Swail-Ertel led the U.S. water polo team to a silver medal in Sydney in 2000 – and competed in the triathlon in Beijing last year. Now, she’ll share her world-class knowledge and experience with all of our students.

And, of course, there’s the great family and community tradition of high school football. We invite the community to join us in enjoying a football game or rooting for other Lions sports teams.

To view our athletic teams’ schedules, I encourage you to visit our significantly enhanced website at http://www.jserra.org. It’s also a great place to find the latest campus news. Visit frequently because we’ll be updating the site regularly.

What else is new?

JSerra is launching its international student program, and will welcome students from as far away as South Korea to our community. The program introduces students from other countries and cultures to JSerra students while giving foreign students valuable experience in the U.S.

We’re looking for host families. Each family receives a stipend for housing the students for 11 months. If you’re interested, call us at 949-493-9307 ext. 1015.

And, finally, our new community relations committee began its important work of brainstorming new ways to raise the bar on our community contributions. I’m happy to inform you that we have several well-known community leaders working with us to help JSerra be an even better neighbor. I plan to report back when the ideas turn to implementation.

As you can see, the 2009-2010 school year is already shaping up to be a memorable one.

I hope to see you on campus soon – and can’t wait to share news of our progress.