Welcome to the seventeenth edition of 
Panther Press ,  
a biweekly electronic newsletter sent to families and friends of 
San Joaquin Memorial High School
Smith Selected Junior League of Fresno Senior Athlete

Congratulations to Margaret Smith who was selected as this year’s Junior League of Fresno Senior Girl Athlete from San Joaquin Memorial. She is one of 24 female athletes from local high schools to receive this honor and be recognized for their outstanding contributions to athletics, academics, and citizenship. 
This is the 39th year of the Junior League of Fresno honoring local female athletes. Margaret was the SJM nominee for her athletic achievements as a captain and integral leader of the volleyball team, a team that captured the Valley Championship for the first time in over 30 years! 
“In addition to Margaret’s athletic prowess, her academic achievements were amongst the highest in her class. In addition, her service work locally and internationally exemplifies the depth and breadth of her compassionate work ethic,” said SJM Athletic Director Steve Ferdinandi.
“Margaret is an intense competitor who also shows care and respect for her opponents and all those she meets. She is the true definition of a student-athlete,” according to Ferdinandi. “Margaret has left a lasting and positive impact on the entire SJM community and is very deserving of this recognition. She is another example of our exceptional students at SJM, and we are happy to see her receive this amazing award.”
"Being named senior girl athlete was such an honor," said Margaret. “To be recognized in this way makes me so thankful for all the support the Memorial community and my family have given me these past four years. I was lucky to have had coaches who pushed me to be my best every day, on and off the court. Thank you Memorial, and the Junior League of Fresno!”

The selection criteria for Senior Girl Athlete awards is based on 60% athletic achievement, 30% academic achievement and 10% community involvement. At the Junior League of Fresno 39th annual Senior Girl Athlete Awards Program Banquet, female athletes from 26 local high schools were recognized for their outstanding contributions to athletics, academics, and citizenship. They were awarded with a medallion and scholarship in memory of fellow Junior League Member and Senior Girl Athlete Program creator, Dorothy “Dottie” Rohlfing.
SJM History Club Receives Noteworthy Recognition

The SJM National History Honors Society chapter is one of only 10 clubs from across the United States to be selected as a recipient of the History Club of the Year award for the 2019-2020 school year. With more than 550 history club chapters across the country, this recognition is especially noteworthy.
Robert L. Nasson, Executive Director of the National History Club wrote in a letter addressed to SJM club moderator Ed Borges, “This wasn’t an easy decision for our committee as there were a lot of great schools nominated, but they thought that your level of engagement as a group made you deserving.”
For this award, the SJM club will receive a one year complimentary subscription to The Concord Review, the only journal in the world for the history essays of high school students, according to Nasson, and a framed certificate from the National History Club. “We will also highlight the ten clubs in our spring Newsletter along with a group photo,” he said. “Congratulations again and thank you for all that you do to promote the study of history!”
“This is my third year as moderator of the SJM National History Honors Society chapter and I am amazed at the high participation rate of our students at all of our events: field trips, meetings, cinema nights, etc.,” Borges said enthusiastically.  
“The club is unusually large (over 60 active members) and next year the club's membership promises to be even greater. So it is especially gratifying to be recognized and honored by the National History Club organization for our on-going work in promoting the study of history,” he said. “Since there are more than 550 history club chapters across the United States, this recognition is especially noteworthy and exciting.”

As outgoing President of the NHHS club this year, senior Margaret Smith shared, “The National History Honors Society has been such a large part of my high school experience. The club is fairly new, so to accomplish this honor so quickly after our creation is truly something the club and I are very proud of. What is truly remarkable, however, is the dedication each member has to history. Every movie night, field trip, and activity is approached as a fun and exciting experience, not a chore, and I think that is what makes this club special.”

The SJM history club most recently went on a February 29th field trip to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Thirty-eight students attended this field trip which featured  Michelangelo: Mind of the Master, an exhibit of Michelangelo's original studies for the Last Judgement in the Sistine chapel.
Pictured above is the SJM History Club outside of the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, CA.
Pictured above are the 2019-2020 NHHS Officers:
L to R (seated): Maya Safadi, vice-president; Margaret Smith, president; Michael Askins, secretary;
L to R (standing): Chloe Bennett, treasurer; Matt Garza, senior rep; Catherine Gleason, junior rep; 
Anna Fagundes, sophomore rep; Sophie Cochiolo, historian.
SJM Senior Receives Award for Volunteering with At-Risk Youth

SJM Senior Tucker Ewell recently received recognition for his service work with Fresno Teens That Care. This local nonprofit serves the community by encouraging teen volunteers to work with elders and at-risk youth. One organization that the non-profit serves is the Police Activities League commonly referred to as PAL. PAL’s mission is to build relationships between at risk youth and the Fresno Police Department.  

Tucker was immediately drawn to PAL and its mission and began volunteering at the Hinton Community Center where he played a pivotal role in facilitating activities such as athletic events, community barbecues, and other various activities that targeted youth.

Although Tucker made an impact at the Hinton Center, he did not stop there. He received the “Rock Star” award from Teens That Care for his work at Kirk Elementary. At Kirk, Tucker worked alongside former Fresno Police Chief and Mayor-Elect, Jerry Dyer to mentor the students. Tucker even recruited fellow SJM classmate Todd Azevedo to help volunteer. 

The COVID-19 pandemic hindered Tucker’s face-to face volunteer work but he did not let that stop him as he worked on projects to provide blankets and other necessities to families within the community.

Tucker says the award is a reflection of the service values he learned from both St. Anthony’s and SJM. He also says he’d like to continue his volunteer work throughout college.

Congratulations Tucker, the SJM community prays for the continuation of your community service. 
Be on the look out for SJM Seniors on TV!
KNXT, the television station run by the Diocese of Fresno, will be airing commercials honoring SJM seniors. The commercials will air throughout the day so be on the lookout! Below is a sneak peak, more seniors 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 are 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 and 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