We'll see you next Fall! The next Memorial Connections will be published after the beginning of the 2020-2021 academic year. To stay up to date with SJM, follow us on Facebook/Instagram @sanjoaquinmemorialhs or go to our website sjmhs.org .

In the meantime, if you have any questions please email [email protected] .

Thank you to the SJM community and alumni who continue to support the school and its mission of teaching young minds the values of faith, learning, and service!
Happy 75th Anniversary SJM!

San Joaquin Memorial High School is celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year! On October 1, 2020, a 75th Anniversary Mass with Bishop Joseph Brennan will be held for the entire SJM community which includes students, faculty, parents, alumni, and friends. This celebration will be followed by refreshments and birthday cake. Be sure to Save the Date on your calendars!
“We’re really looking forward to spending this upcoming school year celebrating our 75-year history,” said SJM Head of School Michael Burke. “I think our students will be amazed and proud of all of our alumni’s accomplishments as faith and community leaders throughout the Central Valley and beyond.”
A Little History
On October 1, 1945, the Brothers of the Christian Schools opened SJM as a middle school through high school facility with a total enrollment of 270. This was a cooperative agreement made with the Diocese of Monterey-Fresno, who owned and currently owns the school. The Brothers taught 7th through 9th grade boys and the Sisters of the Holy Cross taught 9th grade girls and 10th, 11th, and 12th grade boys and girls.
On October 1, books were distributed to the students and school was dismissed until Wednesday, October 3. On Wednesday, a Pontifical Mass for the entire student body was held at St. John’s Cathedral in downtown Fresno, with the school day beginning after Mass.
The faculty and key players included: Brother Albert, Superior; Brother Dominic; and Brother Pius; Sister Paola, Superior; Sister Alfreda Mari; Sister Teresa Claire; Sister Clarinda; and Sister Anselma.
1945-1946 Inaugural School Year Highlights
Oct. 1 - School opens
Oct. 3 - Pontifical Mass for entire student body at St. John’s Cathedral
Oct. 31 - First issue of school paper, “Red and Blue”
Nov. 2 - First student body meeting & installation of officers
Nov. 5 - School cafeteria opens, serving hot plates and incidentals
Nov. 19 - First football game vs. Roosevelt Jr. Varsity at Roosevelt, lost 37-0
Jan. 8 - School team plays first basketball game and wins
Jan. 19 - Open house for Brothers and inspection of school. Splendid banquet put on by St. John’s Mothers Club, about 40 Brothers attended
Feb. 27-28 - Senior Play, “Don’t Take My Penny” at St. John’s Hall
March 12 - Spanish Club and Latin Club organized
March 27 - First baseball game, lost 9-2 to Roosevelt Jr. Varsity at Roosevelt 
April 22 - Junior Prom, Marigold Ballroom
May 2 - Yearbook “Spirit of 46” comes out
May 15 - Mass at St. John’s Cathedral in honor of St. John Baptist de La Salle
June 1 - Baccalaureate Mass for Seniors at St. John’s Cathedral at 8:00 am followed by breakfast at Hotel California
June 7 - Last day of school
June 7 - Senior Graduation, St. John’s Cathedral, 8:00 pm. Bishop Scher presided and presented diplomas
Upcoming 75th Celebration Events
September 12, 2020 - Holy Bowl 
October 9, 2020 - Homecoming 
November 7, 2020 - 43rd Annual Auction in celebration of SJM’s Diamond Jubilee! 
February 2021 - A Service Day Celebration is being planned for the entire Memorial community. 
Stay tuned for more 75th Anniversary updates in future issues of Memorial Connections!

Memorial grad and Cal football player gives back to community during pandemic

For many student-athletes, the COVID-19 pandemic canceled spring seasons or team workouts. In Zack Angelillo’s case, the Cal football player and former SJM star found himself working out from home after Cal’s football camp was called off after four practices and the Berkeley campus was closed.

While disappointed, Angelillo decided to turn a negative into a positive by volunteering at food drives sponsored weekly at University Presbyterian Church in Fresno while continuing his online studies from home.

He saw it as his role in the community to contribute even in the smallest of ways, a mindset Angelillo developed long ago from playing football. As a student at Memorial (Class of 2018), Angelillo organized a fundraiser to help out the family of longtime, popular high school assistant Tony Perry, who died abruptly in 2017, while coaching at Edison.

“It’s the nature of who Zach is,” Memorial coach Anthony Goston said. “It’s not always about what’s best for me. It’s about what’s best for everyone. What can I do to help the team? What can I do to help others? That’s how Zach thinks.”

Before Cal, Angelillo served as captain for the 2017 Memorial team that won the school’s first Central Section title in 14 years. He had multiple offers to play college football elsewhere, including Air Force, Cal Poly and Fresno State. In the end, Angelillo decided he wanted to compete at the Power 5 level of college football. So he walked on at Cal, betting on himself that he could earn a scholarship.

While volunteering at the food banks, the possibility of coming into contact with someone who has the coronavirus has been a concern. Angelillo and other volunteers wear gloves and masks and follow strict guidelines that limit their physical interaction with those picking up the groceries.

“I’m just very proud of him,” said Aristotle Thompson, Angelillo’s position coach at Cal. “At the same time, I’m not surprised. Zach’s such a selfless teammate within our program. It makes sense he’s like that with the Fresno community.”

“I look forward to volunteering,” Angelillo said. “When people are being valued and know they’re being cared for, they feel good. And it feels good to help them.”

Editor’s Note:  This is an abbreviated version of the story on Zack Angelillo that appeared in The Fresno Bee. For the full story visit https://www.fresnobee.com/sports/article241949911.html
Caitlin Phelps, SJM Class of 2016

Caitlin is a 2020 graduate of Santa Clara University with magna cum laude honors. She will receive her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, with a Minor in Public Health. Caitlin was elected into the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, one of 30 students in her senior class of over 1,000 to receive this honor. As an undergraduate, Caitlin has been active in Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, served as a peer advisor in the Psychology Department, worked as the student director of university tutoring, worked as a peer tutor in finite mathematics and statistics, and as a peer educator (teaching assistant) in Psychology classes. She will be attending Santa Clara University School of Law this fall, where she has a keen interest in healthcare law. Caitlin attended St. Aloysius School (K-8) in Tulare. She thanks all of her teachers who inspired her at SJM, particularly Mr. Borges, Mr. Ferdinandi, Miss Frye, Ms. Hamilton and Mr. Williams.
Call for Class Notes

Have you recently gotten married, had a baby or experienced a big life moment that you want to share with your fellow Memorial alumni? Have updates about your reunion? Share them with us! Submit announcements to  [email protected].
Call for SJM Memorabilia

Do you have SJM memorabilia from the past 75 years? If you have items you would like to share with us for our 75th anniversary, please contact Shirley Boujikian at [email protected]
May They Rest in Peace... with God Forever

Mailyn VanderGeest passed away earlier this year. She is the grandmother of Grant VanderGeest '20.

Fr. James Rude passed away March 5, 2020. He was often the celebrant at Masses at San Joaquin Memorial High School.

Jim Bartko passed away March 16, 2020. He is the father of Danielle Bartko '21.

Thomas Edward Gill passed away in March 2020. He is the father of Thomas Gill '82.

Molly Linneman passed away April 6, 2020. She is the mother of James Linneman '91 and grandmother of Sean Linneman '21 and Evelyn Linneman '24.

Jesus Armando Quintana passed away April 30, 2020. He is the father of Cynthia Quintana Valenzuela '75, Elaine Quintana Greenfield '77 and Richard Quintana '79. 

Ernest Paul Rojas '54 passed away May 1, 2020. He is the father of Mark Rojas '77, Nancy Rojas '78 and Katherine Rojas Kirby '80.

Vera Nevarez Johnson passed away on May 2, 2020. She's the mother of Michael Nevarez Payne '84 and David Nevarez '89; sister-in-law of Anna (Alarcon) Carrasco '75; aunt of Bill Carrasco lll '84, Stephen Carrasco '85, Cecilia (Carrasco) Salinas '86, Caryn (Carrasco) Kochergen '87, Andrea (Carrasco) Weaver '99, Jamie Carrasco '00, Jessica Carrasco '01 and James Carrasco '03; she's the great aunt of Matthew Holtermann '09, Adam Salinas '18, Griffin O'Brien '18, Joselyn Carrasco '19, Ceara Salinas '20 and Jake Salinas '22.

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 pre-game dinners, alumni mixers and so much more! To stay connected,  please  fill out this form .

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