Welcome to the thirty-first edition of 
Panther Press, 
a biweekly electronic newsletter sent to families and friends of 
San Joaquin Memorial High School
San Joaquin Memorial High School has been busy these past few weeks. This issue, we highlight important news, student success, and new staff.
San Joaquin Memorial Continues Transition to President/Principal Model of Administration

The next phase of San Joaquin Memorial's planned administrative development is now underway. SJM will be transitioning from a Head of School administrative model to a President/Principal administrative model. The nationwide search for a Principal is now underway and it is expected that the Principal will be named in late spring. Current Head of School Mike Burke will transition to the role of SJM's President.

"SJM’s transition to the President/Principal organizational structure, a budget-neutral endeavor, reflects the breadth of responsibilities and entrepreneurial nature demanded by today’s academic leaders," said Susan Byers, SJM Board of Directors Chair. "It will allow our President to focus on the wide-ranging 'business' of directing a successful, modern, Catholic educational institution, while ensuring that the Principal leads his or her SJM faculty and staff in continuing to cultivate the strength and integrity of the overall SJM student experience. We are confident that, once implemented, this change will help San Joaquin Memorial today and properly position it for the future."

The move is a continuation of a process that began upon the hiring of Mr. Burke two years ago. The transition is the next step in this ongoing process.

"I am excited to continue the process of re-organizing the SJM administrative structure," said Mike Burke, SJM's Head of School. "Having worked in the President/Principal structure for the past 20 years, I am confident that this is the best way to serve our students. Our constituents will be surprised how this simple change will positively impact the future of SJM."

Adopting this model will bring SJM in line with many other successful Catholic schools in the country as well as simplifying the current organizational chart. The President will focus on advancement, admissions and other more business related concerns while the Principal will focus on academics and the day to day concerns of the school.

"The President/Principal Model of leadership is standard in Catholic high schools around the country," said Mona Faulkner, Superintendent. "San Joaquin Memorial is now in the position to return to this model because the school is financially strong and we have the right person for the position in Mr. Burke."
New Tuition Scale and Perpetual Enrollment
SJM has a new tuition scale. Please see below for the details and a look at the new tuition fees. After this school year, SJM will also be switching over to a perpetual enrollment model. This model will assume that current students will remain enrolled in the following school year unless notification has been made of other plans to SJM.

More Information:

Perpetual Enrollment Dates: The Financially Responsible Party understands that by March 1 of each school year, San Joaquin Memorial will notify (in writing or electronically) the Financially Responsible Party of the registration and tuition amounts for the next school year and the date by which the registration fee must be paid to reserve a place for the Student’s next academic year. San Joaquin Memorial will presume that the Financially Responsible Party intends to maintain the perpetual enrollment of the Student for the next school year on the same payment plan as the previous school year, unless San Joaquin Memorial has received a contrary notification regarding enrollment or the selection of a different payment plan by the Financial Responsible Party by May 22nd of the current school year.  
A Homecoming Legacy
In Fall of 1957, Ernestine Severini (now Schuh) became what may have been the first ever San Joaquin Memorial High School Homecoming Queen. Schuh remembers the honor vividly. At the time, the school was still divided by gender and it had been up to the boy's side of the school to elect a Queen.

"It was pretty surprising," she said. "You always think no way do I have a chance.
It was so different then. We didn’t have the fancy dresses and all that. We were pep girls and so we were just in our pep girl outfits. They had convertibles and we sat in the convertible and went around the track" (pictured above).

Little did Ernestine know at the time that her reign as Homecoming Queen would kick off a family legacy of Homecoming honors.

Several of Ernestine's children attended San Joaquin Memorial, while many of her grandchildren have also attended. Several grandchildren have been part of the Homecoming court over the years, including Charlie Schuh '03 (Homecoming King), Beaux Schuh '05 (Homecoming King runner up), and Ashlee Schuh '15 (Homecoming Queen candidate). With SJM's homecoming celebrations set for next week, her granddaughters Emily '21 and Gracie '21 are now joining the fold as Homecoming candidates. The court will be acknowledged with a ceremony next Friday, February 26.

“Being chosen by staff and administration to be on the SJM homecoming court is an honor, and knowing my Grandma was one of the first homecoming queens at SJM makes my nomination even more meaningful,” said Emily Schuh.

SJM will celebrate Homecoming next week, February 22 to 26, with rallies, a homecoming court celebration, and lunchtime activities.

Ernestine Schuh believes that, while times have changed since she was at SJM, Homecoming is more important than ever.

"It's so important to promote school spirit," she said. "Wanting to be on the Court gives students something to reach for."

Got homecoming memories of your own you'd like to share? Send them to [email protected]
SJM Drive Through BBQ Set for March 20

Join us on March 20 for a Drive-through BBQ Fundraiser! Grab a tasty meal to go and support SJM Athletics! That day, we will also host a silent auction via Text2Bid. All proceeds go directly to SJM Athletics.

For $95 you can pick-up a dinner for four with your choice of two options:

Ranch Style Beans
Mac and Cheese
Crunchy Coleslaw
Dessert from the SJM Parent's Guild

Ranch Style Beans
Mac and Cheese
Crunchy Coleslaw
Dessert from the SJM Parent's Guild

Pick-up time for the drive-through will be from 3:30-5:00 PM. You will enter on Floradora St. to get your meal.

Want to secure your order? Register online at the link below. You can also download the form below and return it to Shirley Boujikian by mailing it to 1406 N Fresno St, Fresno, CA 93703 or emailing it to [email protected].

Donations to our silent auction for this event are also being accepted. Please contact Shirley to donate.

See below for more information on how to help sponsor this event!
Sponsorships to Support the SJM Athletics Drive-Through BBQ

Sponsorship tiers are as follows:

$2500: Dinner for Eight, Company Logo on Tex2bid Website, special recognition at event and in Panther Press and Memorial Connections and on all San Joaquin Memorial Social Media Channels

$1000: Dinner for Four, Company Logo on Tex2bid Website, special recognition at event and in Panther Press and Memorial Connections and on all San Joaquin Memorial Social Media Channels

Please make checks payable to San Joaquin Memorial High School and send payment to
1406 North Fresno Street, Fresno, CA 93703

If you have any questions, please contact Shirley Boujikian, Constituent Relations Coordinator (559) 475-5831 or [email protected]

New Board Members

San Joaquin Memorial welcomed two new members to our Board of Directors. John Amendola '98 and Quincy Pondexter '06 joined the board starting in January.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to serve on my alma mater's board of directors," said Amendola. "I look forward to supporting Mr. Burke, and his team, to further San Joaquin Memorial’s great tradition."

Amendola is the President of Valley Wide Beverage.

Pondexter is a Professional Basketball player.

“Being a part of the board is the honor of a lifetime," he said. "With this responsibility, I look forward to helping SJM stay the most prestigious high school in the valley” 
SJM Welcomes New Athletic Trainer

SJM has welcomed a new athletic trainer, David Pardini. Pardini is an SJM alumnus.

"I graduated from SJM in 2015 then attended Fresno City College for two years," he said. "While there, I studied kinesiology and was a part of the Fresno City Football Team. After my two years at Fresno City, I transferred to California Lutheran University where I continued to study Kinesiology. I played football at Cal Lu for two more years, and once my eligibility was up I became a part of the Athletic Training Staff. My last year at Cal Lu was spent in the classroom and in the training room, trying to learn all I could in what little time I had left there. I am very grateful to have earned this position and cannot wait for sports to start back up. Go Panthers!"
SJM SAT Offering on Campus
SJM is offering the SAT on our campus during the school day for current juniors on Wednesday, March 24, 2021.
We highly recommend that ALL juniors sign up for this exam as part of their college plan. The SAT is accepted at U.S. colleges for admissions consideration; it measures what students are learning in high school and what they need to know to succeed in college and career. Although some colleges may be test-optional for the class of 2022 (test score not required to apply), we still recommend having a test score.
We are pleased to offer SAT School Day at SJM so that...
  • Your student is more comfortable and confident by testing in a safe, familiar setting. (Social distancing protocols will be in place.)
  • You don't have to worry about the logistics of getting to a test center.
  • No one has to worry about weekend conflicts or disrupting family time. 
The cost for the SAT is $52. *
The cost of the SAT with Essay is $68. *

*This is the same cost for national weekend test dates. All funds will go directly to College Board.
Registration is due by Thursday, February 18, 2021.

The SJM 2021-2022 Application for NEW incoming freshmen and fall transfers is now open on the SJM website. Help us spread the word by passing this information on to prospective parents and students! For assistance in the application process or to schedule a private, socially distanced tour of the SJM Campus, contact Rainey Lewis at (559) 475-5837 or [email protected].

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.

Join our Parent Guild or Booster’s Club!

Interested in getting involved at SJM and supporting the school? Join our Parent Guild or Booster’s Club! Contact Shirley Boujikian for more information regarding the Parent Guild at [email protected], (559) 475-5831 and [email protected] for more information on the Booster’s Club. 

Click here for the application forms: 
San Joaquin Memorial High School | sjmhs.org