a biweekly electronic newsletter sent to families and friends of
San Joaquin Memorial High School
A Message from Michael Burke,
Head of School
Dear SJM Parents and Friends,
This is an exciting time for me as we embark on a new school year together here at Memorial. As your new Head of School, I am honored to be part of a wonderful school community that clearly cares about academic excellence infused by a faith-filled environment for our students.
I am looking forward to meeting each and everyone of you as we progress through the school year. With all of us working together, we will accomplish great things and continue to enhance the quality of the student experience at Memorial. Go Panthers!
Yours in Christ,
Michael C. Burke
SJM Welcomes Back Michele Sani as Assistant Head of School for Academics
Michele Sani isn't a newcomer to San Joaquin Memorial (SJM), but she is to the position of Assistant Head of School for Academics. She began her career at SJM in 1997 and continued through 2013 where she taught AP Literature and Composition, AP Language and Composition, World Literature, and Freshman English. In addition, Sani was the English department chair from 2002 to 2013 and served as senior class moderator from 1998 to 2012.
Sani is excited about this new administrative opportunity. Her primary goal for academics at SJM is to incorporate the Catholic Intellectual Tradition of engaging students in rigorous, cross-curricular investigations that lead to higher truths. "Those truths will inspire students to be courageous and proactive in the pursuit of solutions to problems that plague our world," according to Sani. "This kind of intellectual and spiritual discipline creates a vision of a world mediated by meaning and motivated by values."
Over her teaching career, Sani has garnered a wealth of knowledge. "I understand that every student has his or her own story. I know that teaching is hard and I appreciate that administrators support students and teachers who bring a variety of challenges to the table," she notes. "As Assistant Head of School for Academics, I will respect confidentiality; I will be sensitive and candid; and understanding and firm. I will emulate the Gospel message."
Sani earned a Bachelor's Degree in English and Comparative Literature from UC Davis, a Master's Degree in painting from CSU Fresno, and a Single Subject (English) Teaching Credential from Fresno Pacific University.
She is married to Dr. Ron Sani, has two stepsons (who graduated from SJM) and two beautiful granddaughters.
"We're excited to have Mrs. Sani's passion and drive for excellence spearheading academics at SJM," says Head of School Michael Burke. "We're looking forward to a banner year under her leadership."
Thursday, August 22
Boys and Girls Water Polo
JV Boys 3:30/Var Boys 4:30/Var Girls 5:30 pm
Home vs. Fresno High
Friday, August 23
Meet & Greet with Head of School Michael Burke, 6:00 pm before
First Football Game Home vs. Kingsburg, 7:00 pm
Thursday, August 29
Back to School Night, 6:00 pm Cafeteria
Wednesday, September 11
Freshman Welcome Week Retreat, Scout Island Fresno
Friday, September 13
Memorial Boosters Club Holy Bowling, 7:00 pm Bowlero Fresno
Saturday, September 14
2019 Holy Bowl and BBQ Bash at SJM
Wednesday, September 18
Opening Mass of School Year with Bishop Brennan, 9:15 am
Welcome New Faculty and Staff
We're excited to welcome the following new additions to our faculty and staff!
Mr. Michael Burke - Head of School
Mrs. Michele Sani - Assistant Head of School for Academics
Ms. Melissa Au Yeong - Drama Instructor
Mr. Anthony Bonanno - Algebra, Geometry and Trig/Calculus
Mrs. Kylie Gomez - Counseling Department
Mrs. Laura Holden - English 9 and AP Literature
Mr. Luis Medina - Freshman and Junior Theology
Ms. Kelley Robbins - English 10 and Writing Workshop
Mrs. Kylie Gomez, Counseling Department, is shown (center) with students during Freshman Orientation.
News You Can Use
The Faculty and Staff Retreat was held recently for a day of team building, sharing and spiritual reflection in preparation for the 2019 school year according to Ms. Clarissa Myers, Campus Ministry Director.
In other notes, the Campus Ministry Team attended a training camp August 16-19 to gear up for the new school year. Wednesday, September 4, marks the first Prayer at the Fountain at 8:40 am.
Faculty and Staff Retreat in preparation for the 2019 school year
The International Department welcomed nearly 30 students to SJM for the fall 2019 semester, including 11 new students from China, Vietnam, South Korea and Armenia. Thanks to the generosity of Steven and Jeannine Campos, the Antonio & Juliet International Boarding Academy has been scrubbed, polished, refreshed and remodeled over the summer in preparation for the new school year. A huge thank you to the maintenance crew for all their hard work, from the courtyard to the dorm rooms and all the places in between. We have hired a new chef and one of his specialties is baking blueberry muffins from scratch! Penelope Villa-Fiero has returned as the International Dormitory manager, and she will be providing updates on the International Department, the staff, the students, and more as the school year progresses.
The first Varsity Football game is slated for Friday, August 23, at home versus Kingsburg at 7:00 pm. Come out and support our Panthers!
The Girls Varsity Volleyball team is heading to Hawaii August 29-September 2 to play in the Labor Day Classic, Kamehameha Schools. According to Athletic Director Stacey Abney, "Our coaches have contacts in Hawaii and wanted our SJM Varsity program to go have a great experience."
Meet & Greet with Mr. Burke
More than 30 people enjoyed an evening with our new Head of School Michael Burke on August 13. Mr. Burke shared his personal background, educational experience and philosophy with those in attendance and fielded questions as well. It was a evening of good conversation.
Welcome Class of 2023
Freshman Orientation went smoothly as 115 students gathered in the Memorial Gym to hear student leadership representatives, administrators and faculty members welcome them to the SJM family. Students were presented helpful information and visited their classrooms to make the transition to high school as seamless as possible. Shown here is a group of freshman checking out the stadium.
Benches donated by
Class of 1987
Many thanks to the Class of 1987 for donating benches for the outside the North and South administrative office areas. Your generosity is greatly appreciated!
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 pre-game dinners, alumni mixers and so much more! To stay connected
please fill out this form.