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.

Michael Nowicki Named Scholar Athlete by OC Varsity

 By JASON EICHELBERGER, OC Varsity

A key member for the Lions golf team, Michael Nowicki has also been a standout in his academics and around the school community. Nowicki is currently taking Intro to Philosophy, AP English/Language Composition, AP American Government/Politics, Intro to Film, Physics, Calculus, and Fundamentals and Principals of Radiographic Imaging.

Nowicki is a member of the school’s Habitat for Humanity Club, and is member of the National Honors Society and the California Scholastic Federation, with a 4.40 GPA.

Nowicki is also affiliated with the school’s Pre-Medical Professional Magnet Program, and will attend University of California Los Angeles next fall.

JSerra Choir Takes The Pride to a New Level

With a record of eleven families coming out to last Thursdays Pride reception held at Mayor Lindholm’s residence JSerra staff and students were able to share their experience and pride in JSerra.

JSerra’s Choir was also in attendance to start the night off on the right note. Singing a beautiful array of Christmas carols, everyone was in good spirits.

Each Pride reception welcomes families from around the community, sharing important information about JSerra, with a presentation from Admissions Director, Andy Sulick, and shared experiences from JSerra seniors, as well as Pre-Medical Professional Magnet Program teacher, Betty Capelletti.

With each reception comes great bonds and community formation, encouraging everyone to get involved we invite you and the community to The Pride.

For more information on the next Pride event please contact Amanda Samaan at asamaan@jserra.org

For the full performance of JSerra’s Choir click here.

AP Scholars, Magnet Programs, JSerra an Academic Powerhouse

Below is CEO and President Frank Talarico’s monthly Capistrano Dispatch column. It runs in the current edition.

JSerra may be the new kid on the block among parochial high schools in Orange County, but we’ve already taken grown-up steps to set the bar academically.

New and innovative academic programs illustrate our commitment to offering the best college preparatory experience possible.

We recently introduced a groundbreaking pre-medical professional magnet program for students who want to get a jump-start on medical studies.

A collaboration between JSerra and Mission Hospital, the program already has generated significant attention. Princeton University told us this month it will give special consideration to JSerra graduates who have a pre-med citation on their diplomas.

But we’re not stopping at medicine. We are also launching a pre-business professional magnet program in collaboration with the Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine. About 60 students will participate in the intensive college-prep curriculum, which will expose students to UCI lecturers and allow them to join UCI’s prestigious clubs and associations.

As with the pre-med program, students enrolled in the pre-business program will receive a special citation on their diplomas when they graduate. We also are planning magnet programs in law and engineering. Stay tuned.

At a school with a record 52 “AP Scholars” this year alone – the most in our eight-year history – we must continue to innovate to stimulate our increasingly talented pool of young scholars.

Although JSerra prides itself in being strong in all areas academically, we are earning a special reputation for our strength in science and math. Part of the reason is our faculty, which includes former NASA consultant Mr. Jan Kilduff. Our popular science department chair, known for his wry sense of humor and uncanny ability to make complex courses such as chemistry, physics and pre-calculus accessible, shares my observation about the evolution of our students.

“It seems that every year, each new crop of students at JSerra is getting stronger academically, and I am continually expanding the content of my classes to meet the students thirst for knowledge,” Kilduff says.

It’s not just academics. There’s a lot to cheer about in athletics. Recently, four JSerra baseball players signed letters to play ball at major universities, and two female athletes signed up in other sports. Clay Williamson will play baseball at Cal State Fullerton, Austin Hedges at UCLA, Tyler Krause at UCI and Trent Boras at USC. Swimmer Casey Mims signed on at UC Berkeley, and Katherine Delaney, a member of the Trinity League champion girls’ cross-country team (a JSerra first), plans to run at Berkeley.

Meanwhile, members of the JSerra Chamber Choir prepare for a trip to Rome in April. Our choir has been granted the esteemed honor of singing for Pope Benedict XVI, and has been busy learning new music for this once-in-a-lifetime performance. The 10-day trip will include an audience with the pontiff as well as a religious pilgrimage.

For more information about the exciting things happening at JSerra, visit us at www.jserra.org.