Welcome to the thirteenth edition of  
Panther Press ,  
a biweekly electronic newsletter sent to families and friends of 
San Joaquin Memorial High School
Kyra Cruz creates new logo for St. Brigid Church

St. Brigid Church in Hanford is sporting a new logo specially created by SJM Senior Kyra Cruz. Cruz’s design, depicting St. Brigid holding a lamb and a cross, will be used on church signage, apparel, stationary, and more. 

“The logo contest was brought to my attention by my dad,” said Kyra “and with the encouragement of my family and friends, I decided to enter. My inspiration in creating the logo was St. Brigid Church itself - its colors, motifs, and decorations - as well as the community of Hanford.”

The new logo is green and depicts St. Brigid holding a lamb and a cross. “ Resting in St. Brigid’s arms, the lamb is symbolic of the strong presence of agriculture in Hanford. It is also associated with St. Brigid herself, making her easily recognizable,” explained Kyra.

The logo’s green color, the arches, and the curves of the designs pay homage to St. Brigid Catholic Church’s architecture and decor. “Arches are prominent in the church and have always captured my attention. St. Brigid has no features on her face, symbolizing that she could in fact, be anyone. We all have the potential to live and act as she did.”

Interested in art for almost all of her life, it has remained important to Kyra through the years. She is currently taking AP Studio Art: 2-D design at SJM. Congratulations Kyra on this outstanding artistic accomplishment!
On-site interviews underway for Strategic Planning Process

The Directed Strategic Planning Process for San Joaquin Memorial is well underway with constituent on-site interviews and focus group meetings held this week on Tuesday and Wednesday.  

Led by Catholic School Management’s Senior Executive Consultant Maria Ribera and Lead Consultant Greg Dhuyvetter, interviews were held with administration, faculty, staff, students, current and prospective parents, alumni, board members and planning committee members. Information gathered from the interviews and focus groups will serve as the foundation and roadmap for future steps in how SJM will carry out its mission and reach its vision.

“We are excited to be gathering this all important information from our SJM stakeholders and constituents,” said Head of School Michael Burke. “Strategic Planning is the process of developing and maintaining a strategic fit between SJM’s goals and capabilities and its changing marketing opportunities. As a result of this process, we will be able to develop a clear institutional mission, supporting goals and objectives, a sound strategy and appropriate implementation that will take our school to the next level of excellence.”

Catholic School Management consultants in partnership with the SJM Planning Committee members will prepare a report of their findings/recommendations. A preliminary review of the report for the Planning Committee, which includes Online Survey results and Focus Group interviews, will be completed in April 2020. Further timeline dates include Goal and Objective Review Session and Prioritization in May 2020; Finalization, Community Consultation, Publication, and Celebration in June 2020; and Action Plan Development in Summer 2020.

Students gain an appreciation for neuroscience at Brain Bee

It was a brain stimulating experience for Memorial students Oscar Gao and Matthew Garza when they attended the annual Brain Bee event at USC’s Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute (ZNI) on February 1.

Oscar and Matthew learned about the brain and its vital function in our lives. They gained an appreciation for neuroscience that might one day lead them to become neurologists or neuroscientists who treat and conquer diseases related to the brain. 

Like a Spelling Bee, the Brain Bee allowed students to compete with each other in their knowledge of neuroscience. The competition involved a written exam which included a practical component about neuroanatomy; and those students who advanced competed in a Jeopardy style Q and A. The winner of the Local Brain Bee then moved on to participate in the National Brain Bee. 
Coach Salles is inducted into the Hall of Fame

Congratulations are in order for San Joaquin Memorial baseball coach JD Salles who will be inducted into the Clovis West Baseball Hall of Fame later this month. Salles played for Clovis West and graduated in 2009. Ironically, Salles led his SJM team to a come from behind victory over Clovis West to kick off the 2020 season. “Being in the hall of fame is an honor, but when we step foot on that field for game day, they are the enemy and I love coaching my boys here at SJM,” says Salles. “This year we have a special team and they made me smile with that win against Clovis West on opening night.” 

After pitching and playing shortstop for Clovis West, Salles went on to play for Fresno State. After three seasons as a Diamond Dog, he played for Fresno Pacific while obtaining his Masters degree in Physical Education. Before leading the Panthers to two Valley championships and two CMAC championships in just four years, Salles was the head coach at Kingsburg high school. 

Salles' SJM team is looking to continue their championship run as they move up to Division I this season. They are led by a solid group of seniors who have played four years in Salles’ program and he says they exemplify the culture he has worked to create. 

While Salles is honored to be inducted into the Clovis West baseball Hall of Fame, he says SJM is the place he wants to be. “SJM is my family now and I am so happy to be here. I have great support from fellow admin, teachers, advancement, alumni and my coaching staff.” 
AP Seminar Information Night for students and parents

AP Seminar is the first of two courses that make up the AP Capstone™ program. AP Capstone™ is a College Board program that equips students with the independent research, collaborative teamwork, and communication skills that are deemed necessary by colleges and universities. It cultivates curious, independent, and collaborative scholars and prepares them to make logical, evidence-based decisions.  

AP Seminar is a year-long course that has students investigate real-world issues from multiple perspectives. Students learn to synthesize information from different sources, develop their own lines of reasoning in research-based written essays, and design and deliver oral and visual presentations, both individually and as part of a team.

AP Seminar is a very unique course, unlike any other course at Memorial. There is no defined curriculum and it is very student driven and centered; however, it is the most valuable and practical preparation for college level success. There are only eight high schools in the entire Central Valley (from Sacramento to Bakersfield) that offer this program.

To help you make an informed decision about enrolling in this AP course, SJM will hold an informational meeting for interested students and their parents. We strongly recommend you attend this meeting, as priority consideration will be given to applicants who were present.
Please plan to attend the AP Seminar Information Night on Tuesday, February 25 th  at 6:00 PM in the SJM Media Center.
Winter Sports Playoff Update

Winter sports are beginning playoffs! SJM wishes each of its teams the best of luck. Here is the scope of the playoffs so far.

Girls Basketball: 19-8
They received the #1 seed and first round bye in the DII Central Section bracket. They will play the winner of #8 Liberty vs. #9 Pioneer Valley. Their next game is Friday, February 21 at home. Tipoff is at 7:00 pm.

Girls Soccer: 14-3-2
They received the #3 seed and the first round bye in the DIII Central Section bracket. They defeated Nipomo 1-0 in the second round and now will host Yosemite in the semi-finals on Wednesday, February 19 at 6:00 pm.

Boys Basketball: 22-6
They were seated #3 in the Central Section Open Division. This is the first year that the Central Section has an open division. All four teams placed in the open division bracket, will go to the state playoffs. The Panthers will play #2 Clovis North on Saturday, February 22 at Clovis North. Tipoff is at 7:00 pm.

Boys Soccer: 10-10-3
They received the #4 seed and lost to East Bakersfield in the first round of the DII Central Section playoffs.
Upcoming Events
Friday Feb. 21, 2020
Soph. Class Mass @ 6:00 pm

Saturday Feb. 21, 2020
Crab Feed @ 7:00 pm

Tuesday Feb. 25, 2020
Capstone Parent Night @ 6:00 pm
Friday Feb. 28, 2020
Career Day

Saturday Feb. 29, 2020
NHHS Field Trip

Sunday Mar. 1, 2020
Senior Service Hour Deadline
St. Anthony's is hiring a Tennis Coach

  • The position begins the 1st week of March.
  • Practices are weekday afternoons.
  • This is a paid position.
  • If interested, please email bboyer@sasfresno.com

Join Us For the 75th Annual St. Patrick's Day Golf Tournament
For more info please contact Shirley Boujikian at (559) 475-5831 or sboujikian@sjmhs.org
Boosters Club

Boosters members take pride in raising money for our student-athletes through fun-filled, casual fundraisers - Holy Bowling in the fall; Crab Feed in February - concession sales and memberships.  For volunteer  opportunities and information, email sjmboostersclub@gmail.com.
Alumni Contact Update

Panther Alums, even though your time here at Memorial has passed, this is still your home! Please stay connected with us so that you can be part of our exciting engagement opportunities such as our sporting event tailgates, alumni mixers and so much more! To stay connected  please  fill out this form .

San Joaquin Memorial High School | sjmhs.org