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 Catholic High School Hosts Japanese POW Louis Zamperini to Speak About His Book Unbroken

A Press Release from JSerra Catholic

August 2, 2012 (San Juan Capistrano, CA)—JSerra Catholic hosts1936 Olympian, and former World War ll prisoner of war Louis Zamperini for a rare appearance.

Zamperini once a world record holder of the high school 5000-meter for the fastest time, and a graduate of the University of Southern California, joined the United States Air Corps as a bombardier in the South Pacific.

“When you reach the end of your rope and there’s nowhere else to turn,” said Zamperini, “…you’re gonna turn and look up. So that’s all we did on the raft was pray morning, noon and night, [after our plane went down].”

Zamperini’s encouraging journey, has been documented in Pulitzer Prize winning author, Laura Hillenbrand’s latest book, UNBROKEN:  Louis Zamperini’s Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption.

“Every summer as a school students, faculty, and staff read a book together, this year we read Unbroken, the journey of Mr. Zamperini and for the first time ever we have the honor of hosting him on the JSerra campus,” said Donna Vandenberg, JSerra VP of Student Services.

At 95-years of age, Zamperini is still spry and full of life.  He lectures audiences across the globe, on how to deal with stress, the meaning of Olympism, and the freedom he found through a personal relationship with God.

Friday, September 7, 2012 at 11 a.m. Zamperini will share his life’s journey and recent book Unbroken with the JSerra community. This rare speaking engagement is open to the general public and will be held in the JSerra Pavilion.

 


 

Trojan Legacy Continues With JSerra Alumnus

Carden after winning the 2011-2012 NCAA Water Polo Championships against UCLA.

Recent JSerra graduate, Macrae Carden lives the legacy of excellence as the Trojans take home the 2011-2012 NCAA Water Polo Championship.

JSerra Blog sat down with the high school All-American water polo player to talk more about the legendary four-time NCAA Championship win against local rival UCLA.

How did you get into Water Polo, and what is it about the game that you enjoy so much? 

My father played for Long Beach State and he directed me to the game, when I was 11. 
Water Polo is the toughest sport in the world, and I love the strategy it takes to be a competitive player.

How does playing at the collegiate level differ from the high school level?  The game is so much more faster and physical.

What was it like to win an NCAA championship your first year playing at the collegiate level? 

After we won the junior Olympics 21 and under national championship, I hurt my shoulder bad.  It took 6 weeks to re-hab to start shooting the ball again.  I was able to red-shirt this year and get another year in my eligibility.   We have a very strong team in 2012 and will be back playing for another championship.

How do you balance water polo and school? 

You need to learn how to schedule every minute of the day.  Organization is the key to the balance between Water Polo and school.

What is one piece of advice you would give to the students at JSerra?

The sooner you start being responsible for every decision you have to make in your life, the sooner you can start growing toward your goals.

For more news from the Trojan’s Water Polo program click here.

 

JSerra Catholic High School Hires Assistant Football Coach Richard Beatie from Rival High School

JSerra Athletics Offensive Line Football Coach, Richard Beatie

*A press release from JSerra Athletics

(San Juan Capistrano, CA)—JSerra Catholic has hired an offensive line football coach from Mission Viejo High School.

“Having Richard as our offensive line coach will greatly impact our team as a whole. His experience and knowledge is coming to us at a great time,” said Jim Hartigan JSerra head football coach.

A graduate of University of Southern California with a B.A. in sociology and a Masters in education from National University, Beatie brings a wealth of knowledge to the football program. Having played for the Trojans football team as a defensive lineman, with over eight years of coaching experience, Beatie is a valuable addition to the coaching staff.

“I am very excited about joining the JSerra family as an educator and coach, and look forward to helping build the football program into an elite status,” said Beatie. “I have been very impressed by Coach Hartigan, the school and the athletic facilities, and I am anxious to get to work.”

The news comes after the most successful freshman football season in JSerra history, completing their season 9-1 in the Trinity League.

About JSerra Catholic High School

Just nine years old, JSerra Catholic High School is quickly becoming one of the region’s top university preparatory institutions. Its graduates include National Merit Scholarship winners, Ivy League university students and Division I collegiate athletes. 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.

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USC Thorton School of Music Invites JSerra Choir to Campus

This non-competitive choral singing workshop opportunity caters to high school singers and their directors.

The all-day workshop features the High School Festival Chorus, conducted by Jo-Michael Scheibe, leadership clinics, campus tours, and performances by the USC Choral Ensembles.

For more information please contact JSerra Choral Director Brian Dehn at bdehn@jserra.org

*This is by USC invitation only 

Katie McLaughlin Takes a Dive Towards Olympic Trials

McLaughlin making waves poolside at JSerra

Freshman swimmer Katie McLaughlin (14) didn’t waste any time testing the waters at JSerra, making a splash with her Olympic trials qualification for the summer 2012 Olympic games in London. Taking a quick breather McLaughlin sat down with JSerra Blog to talk about her goals in and out of the pool, along with the pressures of coach and mom Mary’s Olympic success.

What made you choose JSerra?

I really like the fact that it’s a smaller school and the community here. I also shadowed and it felt right, I’m looking forward to going to JSerra, especially swim.

How did you qualify for the Olympic trials?

I had a qualifying meet at Stanford and made it by half a second, which is considered a pretty big deal in swim.

Do you feel any pressure because of all the success your mom has had making it the Olympics in swimming?

(Laughing) Everyone always asks me that, but I don’t feel any pressure. My mom has always been super supportive, if anything I think I put more pressure on myself.

What motivates or inspires you to keep improving in swim?

One of my friends, Jesse (12), was diagnosed with a brain tumor and can no longer swim. She has such a great and positive attitude and although she can’t swim she helps others with tumors, and never asks for anything in return. She has this motto that she lives by that I have adopted as my own, “Never Ever Give Up.”

Favorites

TV show: Pretty Little Liars

Food: Bagels

Animal: Lion

Disney character: Tigger

Childhood toy: Polly Pocket

Donna V Hearts Barbie

Vice Principal of Student Services Donna Vandanberg runs around campus with Barbie in her back pocket. JSerra Blog sat down with Mrs. V to find out the real inside scope on this Harley Girl and all that pink.

High school:

I attended Bensalem High School in Bensalem, PA (outside Philadelphia) my freshman and sophomore years. We moved to Columbus, OH my junior year of high school where I graduated from Upper Arlington High School.

College:

University of Southern California – B.S. in Business Administration (Marketing)

Post graduate degree:

M.A. in Educational Leadership and Human Development from George Washington University in Washington, DC

How many years have you been teaching?

I taught middle school English for 10 years.  Prior to teaching, I spent 18 years working for Honda in the research and development of motorcycles and related products.

How many years have you been teaching at JSerra?

This is my first year at JSerra 

What’s your role at JSerra?

Vice-Principal of Student Services (Counseling Dept./Activities)

What is your favorite event during the school year?

This year, the senior events/activities were my favorites

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

Yikes…I was a cheerleader in high school.  I was also involved in NHS, French Club and Newspaper.  I worked while in college.

What do you hope to accomplish before you retire?

Geez…I need to think about this one!

What was your first job?

My very first job was working for my dad’s company in the mailroom.  My first “real” job was working at Friendly’s Ice Cream as a waitress.

What was your favorite high school memory?

Cheering at football and basketball games, spending time with my friends and going to motorcycle races on the weekend are some of my favorite memories.

What was your childhood dream job? (astronaut, firefighter, etc)

I want to own my own dance studio and teach dance, (ballet, tap, jazz, etc.).  I studied dance for 10 years.

Who is your favorite author?

I love to read and don’t know that I have a favorite author.  I read all kinds of books from a variety of authors.  My favorite thing to do as a teacher is finding books my students will enjoy!

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

Medieval times…handsome knights and cool gowns…

Who is your celebrity crush?

Don’t have one…

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

Teaching was a second career, initially driven by the need to have a schedule similar to my kids.  One of my son’s football coaches told me he thought I’d be a great teacher so I tried subbing for a while to see if I liked it.  Now, I can’t imagine not teaching or being involved in education.

 What was your favorite band growing up?

I listened to everything.  The one song that most reminds me of high school is Knights in White Satin by the Moody Blues.

Favorites: 

Food:  Pizza – I could eat it every day!

TV Show:  True Blood – I love vampires!

Animal: Don’t have one

Sports team:  Philadelphia Eagles

Color:  “Barbie” Pink

Vacation spot:  Maui

 Fun Facts & Random Acts: 

I was the first female to reach a management level in Honda’s Research and Development Division.  Other women managers worked in non-technical positions such as human resources or finance.  I traveled extensively all over the country (and Japan) for Honda working on the research, design and development of street motorcycles, off-road motorcycles, and four-wheelers. I’ve had the great fortune to ride these vehicles all over the country.  Both my boys also ride. I was also featured in an episode of “The Eddie Files” on PBS while I worked at Honda.

I am also an avid Barbie collector and have hundreds at home! (I know, scary!) I also published an article in Barbie Bazaar Magazine.