Welcome to the seventeenth edition of 
Panther Press ,  
a biweekly electronic newsletter sent to families and friends of 
San Joaquin Memorial High School
A letter from Mr. Burke

As we are in the middle of our sixth week of online learning, I have to take this opportunity to commend our students for the job they have done adjusting to our new reality. The stories that have been shared with me from parents and teachers have been amazing. These stories confirm the can do spirit of our SJM community. I applaud the great work that both teachers and students are doing; keep up the great work!

A big part of who we are as a school is our commitment to community service. Even in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, our campus ministry and student activities teams are embarking on a service project. We are working with the Marjaree Mason House to provide summer bags containing items like sidewalk chalk, board games, comic books, etc. for some of the children affected by the pandemic. Great job Panthers!

I would like to offer a few reminders from some of my earlier communications. All service hours for SJM students are considered completed for the year, so no additional hours will be required. We have also waived the parent service hour requirement for the 2019/20 school year. 

For students who will be taking AP exams, I am attaching a link from College Board with some additional resources for the upcoming AP exams. If you click https://apcoronavirusupdates.collegeboard.org/students  it will take you to this latest publication which will provide you with some helpful hints. There is also a virtual college night that is being sponsored by our local community and if you click https://virtual.gotocollegefairs.com , it will take you to the website. This is a great opportunity to do a little college research while we are in our stay at home environment. 

Our SJM leadership team has been working remotely on any changes to academic policies in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. There will be some changes and they will all be announced early next week. All of the changes are designed to best serve our student body given the current environment; so please check your email next week.

I never expected to conclude my first year as your Head of School in the environment that we find ourselves, but there are always challenges in life. While day to day school life is completely different than it was just a few weeks ago, it has given our leadership team some uninterrupted time to do serious planning for the future of SJM. In the weeks ahead, SJM will be producing a plan for the path forward from Covid-19. Our plan will incorporate what we have learned from this unusual situation in conjunction with the goals from our Strategic Plan in order to chart the best future for SJM. Be well and be safe. 

Yours in Christ,
Michael C Burke
Head of School

Please give us your feedback by taking a brief survey regarding online learning! The survey is being conducted by the Superintendent's office.
Phillips selected 2019-2020 CIF Scholar Athlete

Congratulations are in order for SJM senior Tobin Phillips on being selected one of the 2019-2020 CIF Central Section Scholar Athlete Award winners!
Tobin has been a leader on the field as well as in the classroom, according to SJM Athletic Director Steve Ferdinandi. “His dedication, work ethic, and respectful demeanor are only a few of his many exemplary qualities. He was a captain of the football team, a leader on the track team, All-CMAC, and All-State.” 
His outstanding achievements and standard of excellence extend even further than the field of play. “Tobin is one of the top students at Memorial and the true definition of a ‘student-athlete,’” Ferdinandi said. “He has done all this while volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club, in addition to taking a multitude of honors and AP courses.” 
Chemistry Olympiad challenged students to strengthen their knowledge

In spite of obstacles created by the coronavirus, SJM students are rising to the challenge by competing in knowledge-based competitions such as the Chemistry Olympiad. Several students recently participated in the local competition sponsored by the American Chemistry Society Chapter.

“Chemistry Olympiad is an international competition and there are several levels,” explained Chemistry instructor Jackie Teixeira. “Our students participated in the local competition which was supposed to take place at Fresno State, but due to the coronavirus outbreak, the participants took an online test. Ten students from the local area, a maximum of two from each school, will be selected to go on to participate in the national exam.”

“I personally enjoyed participating in the competition,” said Ashley Belleza. “I’ve done similar competitions in the past, but this one was different. It was definitely more challenging, especially with the circumstances we are all currently under, but I enjoyed this new experience. It made me realize there is still so much to learn in Chemistry and I am eager to discover more about this subject in the future.”
International Students Stay Calm Through COVID-19

As many have already heard in the news, COVID-19 originated in China, the home of many of our International Students. Like most, the outbreak of the virus has disrupted the students' regular lifestyle. Since the closure of the school's campus, they have been sheltering in place in the dorms. "It's nice, we still get out to walk around campus and "P" makes it feel like home," says Junior, William Wu Lianghao. Resident Hall Supervisor, Penelope Villa-Fierro or as her students call her "P", says that the parents of the students are worried about their children but know they are in good hands. SJM's dorm staff makes sure the students stay on routines and get there school work done. Many of the students like William have even celebrated their birthdays during this time of sheltering in place. "I know the dishes they like from Spicy J's in Riverpark so I get them food from there as well as a cake for their birthdays," says Penelope.

William says that although he's uncertain about what the rest of the year will look like for him, he is looking forward to coming back to SJM for his senior year after he visits his home in China. He says he is looking forward to playing varsity basketball next year and getting to see his friends Jonathan and Andrew who are domestic students.
SJM Seniors Get An "At Home" Surprise

SJM has been surprising students by dropping off some school spirit on their front lawns! SJM is very proud and excited that we can still give seniors the recognition they deserve, even if it looks a little different from years past. Please be on the look out for more senior celebrations to come!
End-of-Year Service Project
SJM is partnering with the Marjaree Mason Center to assemble 100 Summer Activity Bags for the children being sheltered by the MMC during the summer months. Each bag will be filled with activities and a note of encouragement to show support and offer a sense of comfort to these kids as they're away from their home and going through a most difficult time. The project will run April 24-May 22. If you'd like more information or would like to get involved, please contact the Service Office at  sjmservice@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 .

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