Welcome to the forty-third edition of 
Panther Press, 
a biweekly electronic newsletter sent to families and friends of 
San Joaquin Memorial High School
In this Issue
  • Empowering Today, Transforming Tomorrow: The Campaign for the Students of San Joaquin Memorial
  • The 44th Annual Auction
  • Acting Success
  • A Creative Tea Party
  • FFA Leaps Forward at SJM
  • Art in Unlikely Places
San Joaquin Memorial High School Launches $9 Million Campaign for the Students of San Joaquin Memorial
San Joaquin Memorial High School has launched a $9 million campaign to support the Students of San Joaquin Memorial with much needed physical improvements to the campus. To date, we have raised $5,826,658. The campaign supports the creation of a campus-wide learning environment that will reaffirm the school’s mission after 75 years of excellence. The Empowering Today, Transforming Tomorrow Campaign aims to modernize and refresh the campus.
“The 75-year-old San Joaquin Memorial campus has been a second home for generations of Memorial families from Fresno and the surrounding communities,” said San Joaquin Memorial High School President Michael Burke. “And it will be home for generations of families to come. Now is the time to prepare our campus for the next 75 years. Our facilities are showing the effects of years of busy student life. Some, like the school’s gym, have never had air-conditioning. Still others were built for a purpose no longer suited for today’s students. We need innovative, efficient, and effective spaces across the campus to support student life and learning at Memorial.”
With early donor generosity, capital campaign projects are now underway including the renovation of the Mary Alice Diener Academic Center, air conditioning installation in the gym, exterior painting of campus buildings, the installation of a new public address system installation, an additional shade structure in the quad, and the addition of an automatic security gate on the Angus Street entrance. The next projects in line are the renovations of Ryan’s Gym and the cafeteria, to be referred to as the Campus Commons.
This campaign will also support the growth of the academic community at SJM with money going toward increasing the Memorial Scholarship Fund and creating four Endowed Faculty Chair positions, recognizing and promoting excellence in teaching.
“We believe an investment in SJM’s campaign now is both timely and necessary as an endorsement of current students and those to come,” said Donald and Judith Peracchi, Campaign Chairs. “It’s our family’s view that the San Joaquin Memorial community is generational and uniquely loyal. Perhaps it’s that personal part that makes SJM so special, and most important of all the Memorial experiences.”
Visit the campaign website at https://sjmhs.org/campaign to learn more about how to support the Empowering Today, Transforming Tomorrow capital campaign.

Get Ready for Fun at our 44th
Annual Auction
Save the Date for our 44th Annual Auction on November 13, 2021! Get ready for a night of fun and celebration! Learn more at sjmhs.maestroweb.com.

There are also many ways you can help!

  • Sponsor the event, purchase a table, buy tickets, or advertise in the event program: Contact Shirley Boujikian (559) 475-5831 or sboujikian@sjmhs.org for more information.
  • Support the Silent Auction. You can do this by purchasing auction items or by donating funds via Venmo or by check. Venmo address is Panther Pete: @Panther-Pete. Please notate that it is for the auction. You may also send a check to SJM, Attention: Shirley Boujikian. Please note “auction” in the memo line. Contact Shannon Stubblefield (559-250-6879) or Karen Jimison (209-612-2828) with questions.
  • Bid during the silent auction, from anywhere! The silent auction items will be available to bid on starting on November 5! Check out sjmhs.maestroweb.com for more information!

2021 Fall Semester UPDATE
Service Education Requirement

The Fall Semester student service requirement has been changed to 5 hours. As a reminder, students must complete all service hours with a non-profit organization and will need to submit their service hours on x2VOL to earn credit.

The Fall Semester service education requirement will be due on December 1, 2021.

Should you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Veronica Cortez at sjmservice@sjmhs.org or 559-268-9251 x105.
SJM Sophomore Heads for the Spotlight
SJM Sophomore Mary-Ellison Hage is stepping into the spotlight this year, with a performance at the Selma Arts Center and trip to Florida to appear on a t.v. show in her future. She recently performed the role of the fairy godmother in Disney's Descendants at the Selma Arts Center.

"It was a bitter sweet moment this past Saturday as she performed the last of eight shows that were all sold out," said her mother, Ramza Coury Hage. "She was very happy to be back on stage since the pandemic caused a pause in that industry."

This musical marked Mary-Ellison's 12th show at the Selma Arts Center since she performed her first role there as Windy in Peter Pan when she was 8.

"I am very grateful for the support that my teachers, my friends and the staff at SJM showed me," said Mary-Ellison.

But there's more this year for Mary-Ellison: Mid-December, she will be heading to Florida to film 8 episodes of the online series called Go Iguanas! Mary-Ellison will be playing a lead role. Her character's name is Irene Vandergelder.
A Creative Tea Party
Ms. Frye's AP Literature class hosted a Pride and Prejudice Tea Party! The party featured treats, tea and literary discussion!
San Joaquin Memorial High School FFA Grows with Greenhouse Project

San Joaquin Memorial High School's FFA chapter is in full swing and students are excited for the opportunity to get their hands dirty and learn about agriculture.

"The mission statement of the National FFA Organization stresses the importance of 'premier leadership, personal growth, and career success,'" said Amanda Bailey, SJM Agricultural Science Instructor and FFA Advisor. "I am excited that San Joaquin Memorial High School can now offer students opportunities in this organization, which will help them grow as leaders and individuals. Connecting agriculture from the classroom to real-world events helps students find future careers in science, communication, law, business, and fabrication. As a school nestled in the heart of California Agriculture, it is important for our students to connect with their communities and have a depth of understanding about the industries that employ so many in the Valley."

In an effort to build on the experiential learning opportunities for students, the program will is aiming for a much needed project soon: the building of an SJM Greenhouse.

The greenhouse will stimulate academic inquiry by promoting cross curricular learning, civic engagement, leadership, critical thinking, and career development. Students will be able to design and implement their own research projects, take initiative, make decisions, and hold responsibility. It would be built between the science building and Willinger Hall.

In the meantime, FFA students continue to build the chapter.

FFA is a dynamic youth organization that changes lives and prepares members for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. FFA develops members’ potential and helps them discover their talent through hands-on experiences, which give members the tools to achieve real-world success. Members are future chemists, veterinarians, government officials, entrepreneurs, bankers, international business leaders, teachers and premier professionals in many
career fields.

"All FFA Students are responsible for planning and implementing an SAE (Supervised Agricultural Experience) Project," said Bailey. "Some students will choose to raise animals off campus, some will design a research based project, and others will utilize space in the new greenhouse for plant science projects, once that space becomes available. We will also use the greenhouse for class-wide labs. Competitions include over 40 areas of interest, and we will be competing in any event in which students decide to form teams or compete as individuals. So far students have shown interest in vet science, public speaking, and agriculture sales."
Art in Unlikely Places
Ms. Hathaway's art students tackled a unique project: creating a 3D color wheel out of everyday objects. Students made a color wheel out of everything from children's shoes to paper.

Halle Deniz (pictured) used vegetables from her father's farm.
Spread the Word About Memorial
The SJM 2022-2023 Application for NEW incoming freshmen and fall transfers is opens November 1 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 tour of the SJM Campus, contact Bianca Blanchette, Director of Admissions at (559) 268-9251 EXT 139 or bblanchette@sjmhs.org
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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