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.

JSerra Students Build Homes in Peru

By Ryer Baldridge

The morning of April 6, JSerra’s Peru Club departed from Los Angeles International Airport to Peru on its seventh annual missions trip. Each year, a large group of JSerra students head down to Piura, Peru to lend a   helpful hand.

This year, our JSerra mission’s team set a record of houses built with a whopping 14 homes. The Peru Club was also able to provide dozens of suitcases full of donations including clothes, shoes, sunglasses, and supplies.

The student’s journey to a private school, partly funded by JSerra, to help teach English, play with the students, and donate school supplies.

“It is the best feeling seeing how happy we make these families. That is the best reward of them all,” said a JSerra student.

Join the students next year as they head down to Peru to continue helping those in need.

For more information or to join the JSerra Peru Club, click here.

CEO Lion Challenge Encourages Creativity in Freshmen

Parker Wells won JSerra's CEO Lion Challenge.
Photo by Eric Simonson
Imagine a website where people of all ages can participate in an online scavenger hunt for prizes – for free. How cool would that be? JSerra freshman Parker Wells certainly can imagine it. His internet company Find a Needle will utilize ad revenue and hunt sponsorships to turn a tidy profit while offering this fun social media website to internet users young and old.

This is the business plan Wells proposed that won him the CEO Lion Challenge award at this year’s Underclassmen Awards ceremony on Monday, June 7. His idea and presentation were so compelling – and so viable – that he had one guest panelist willing to help get the project going. His plan was chosen because it would have a quick time line and be profitable almost immediately due of low overhead.

The CEO Lion Challenge Award was new in 2010 and will be presented annually to a freshman. The award was created to recognize the winner of a competition that all freshmen participate as part of the Freshman Success curriculum. All freshmen students complete a project in which they create their own business with company logo, motto and a business plan that identifies their product or service, their target audience, and a budget. They also have to write a letter to a bank requesting a loan to fund their business plan. The finalists present their proposal to a review panel made up of teachers, administrators, and business owners from the community.

The other finalists were Ryan Fitzpatrick, Paul Wagner, and Ryer Baldridge.

Ryan Fitzpatrick presented the Decleat which is an attachment of cleats on to your choice of shoe. The panel of judges described Ryan as “the most passionate presenter of the day.” Although the product would be hard to sell and produce, Ryan’s passion and enthusiasm caused some of the judges to actually consider the product.

Paul Wagner submitted a company named Rent-A-Pet. His outstanding presentation, which included a portfolio on the business proposal and a PowerPoint presentation, impressed the judges.

Ryer Baldridge presented the X-Station, a video game product that would allow X-Box, Playstation, Wii, and other gaming console users to play online against each other. Through the X-Station, gamers would be able to play their friends or other opponents – utilizing different gaming platforms – via the internet.

Freshman Success teacher Steve Nieto says the project challenges our freshmen to “think outside, around, and in their creative box. As they open up their minds to what businesses should and need to be created, each student also becomes motivated by the challenge to compete and beat their freshmen peers.”

Our Freshmen Success course teaches study skills, test taking skills, technology skills, JSerra history, and the importance of ethics and morality at JSerra. Nieto adds “with the CEO Lion Challenge we now are adding to the curriculum creative thinking, healthy competition, and real world applications.”