a biweekly electronic newsletter sent to Alumni and Friends of
San Joaquin Memorial High School.
A Message from
Michael Burke, Head of School
Dear SJM Alumni, Benefactors and Friends,
Welcome to the inaugural issue of Panther Connections! We are excited about this new alumni publication designed to keep you informed about all the noteworthy happenings at SJM.
As your new Head of School, I am honored to be part of this wonderful school community that strives for academic excellence enveloped by a faith-filled environment. I am looking forward to meeting and working with all of you as we continue this journey together of enhancing the quality of the student experience at Memorial. Go Panthers!
Yours in Christ,
Michael C. Burke
Head of School
SJM Strategic Plan: Update on Catholic Identity
Article by: Clarissa Myers
A lot has been happening with Memorial's Catholic Identity over the past few years. The most notable accomplished goals from the 5-year strategic plan include solidifying a full-time Service Coordinator position in the 2017-18 school year, establishing the "Partners in Faith" Catholic identity volunteer support team in 2018-19, and offering All Class Mass/Formation Hour services every month of the school year since the 2016 fall semester.
The impact of a full-time Service Coordinator has allowed for more one-on-one mentoring with students and more consistent service immersion experiences. It has also led to record breaking success in service completion as well as the establishment of the Distinguished Service Award which identifies seniors who go above and beyond in service to marginalized populations.
The "Partners in Faith" support team, though fairly new, has a lot of enthusiasm. The team is comprised of alumni, current and former parents, and other community supporters of SJM who work on projects and initiatives that support the faith life of the school. A couple of these initiatives include a prayer team and a group focused on religiously themed campus beautification projects. The All Class Masses and Formation Hour services cater to each specific grade level to offer more engaging and supportive spiritual experiences that promote class unity.
The Catholic Identity Committee is proud of these and other goals accomplished in the recent past and look forward to further promoting and strengthening Memorial's ever present Catholic Identity.
SJM's Catholic Identity Strategic Plan Mission Statement:
San Joaquin Memorial High School will exemplify its identity as a Roman Catholic school founded on Gospel values through faith formation, worship, campus ministry, and service opportunities, in order to manifest these values within our school, our families, our parishes, and our community.
Alumni Scholarship Fund Created
San Joaquin Memorial alumni have the storied reputation of being generous givers. When asked to show their support for various endeavors, Memorial graduates rise to the occasion.
With that said, the Advancement Office has created a new SJM Alumni Scholarship Fund that will benefit current students who need financial assistance in order to continue their high school experience at Memorial.
As an alumnus, you know that your scholarship donation will make a lasting impact on the lives of Memorial students. So, once again, we are asking our alumni to rise to the occasion and donate to the newly created Alumni Scholarship Fund by contacting Kenyeih Williams at email@example.com or (559) 475-5841.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Class of '67 Birthday Bash
On September 14, 2019 the SJM class reunion committee is hosting a 70th birthday party for members of the class of '67. The party will behosted at Jack and Chris Oberti's home. For more information, contact Jean Manuszak at (559) 321-6228 or Peggy Towns England at (559) 960-6505.
Class Reunion Schedule
Class of 1969 (50th Year Reunion)
September 28, 2019 6:00 PM at Fort Washington Country Club
Aleta Kennedy (email@example.com)
Kathy Mulligan Birnbaum (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Class of 1975 (45th Year Reunion)
Monica Lovgren (email@example.com)
Class of 1989 (30th Year Reunion)
October 19, 2019 7:00 PM at Tap & Cellar (317 West Bedford, Fresno CA. 93711)
Hillary Bell (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Class of 1999 (20th Year Reunion)
October 5, 2019 6:00 PM at San Joaquin Memorial Block M Pavillion
Courtney Roque-Bautista (email@example.com or 559-287-2514)
Class of 2009 (10th Year Reunion)
Alex Coyle (firstname.lastname@example.org or 559-761-4884)
If you are looking for more information about your reunion or are looking to plan one, contact the Advancement office at email@example.com.
STAY CONNECTED: Please provide updated contact information to the advancement office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Class of '79 Reunion
The Class of '79 celebrated their reunion at San Joaquin Country Club. The 65 classmates that gathered for the reunion had a great time celebrating life long-friendships and honoring their classmates who have passed.
Class of '64 Reunion
Over the summer, the Class of 1964 had their 55th class reunion. A few years back, this group of proud alumni made history by being the first graduating class to endow a scholarship. Now, the class' legacy lives on because the scholarship rewards one returning SJM student whose family has suffered a recent financial hardship.
A special thanks to the Class of '64 for being proud supporters of a Memorial education.
If you'd like to donate to the the Class of '64 Scholarship or would like to find out how your graduating class can make a scholarship gift, please contact Kenyeih Williams at email@example.com or (559) 475-5841.
Friday, September 13
Memorial Boosters Club Holy Bowling, 7:00 pm Bowlero Fresno
Our Annual SJM Many Dreams One Mission Auction is going to be on Saturday, November 2. We would love to have you join us for the evening. We are adding a new and exciting table to our Silent Auction this year. We will have an Alumni Table where our amazing and generous SJM Alumni can donate an item of their choice to be presented on the Alumni Table along with their name and year of graduation. We have some exciting items such as Dodger tickets, wine, beer, and so much more. Join in the fun and contact Katie Spencer Farris '90 at (559) firstname.lastname@example.org if you have an item you would like to donate. Thank you for your continued support to SJM and our students.
Your legacy is our future!
There are many ways you can ensure your support for San Joaquin Memorial continues well into the future. Join us on October 9, 2019 to learn how charitable gifting can benefit your family with industry professionals Kim Herold, Partner, McCormick Barstow LLP, and Taylor Whelan, CFP, Whelan Financial.
SJM mourns the recent loss of two Hall of Fame inductees
Jill Palonco, SJM Class of '84, and Hall of Fame inductee in 2016, passed away September 1, 2019. Many of her family members also attended Memorial.
While Jill played basketball and volleyball during her four years at Memorial, softball was her passion. As a sophomore, she was recognized as the team's Outstanding Infield Defensive Player. In her junior year, Jill earned All-Metro accolades, was named Most Valuable Player All League 1st Team and Central Sequoia League Defensive Player of the Year.
As a senior, Jill took home the Best Defensive Player of the Year award for softball, was named to the Fresno Bee All Metro squad and was recognized with the 1984 Gutierrez Sportsmanship Award. Jill went on to play softball at Fresno State where she was one of two players to earn All-American recognition.
Vincent Palmo, Sr., SJM parent, booster and volunteer, passed away August 25, 2019. He was inducted into the SJM Hall of Fame in 2007.
Palmo adopted San Joaquin Memorial in the fall of 1972 when he and his wife Klytia decided to enroll their children: Vince, Jr. '76, Luke '78, Maria '79 and Gina '81. He supported Memorial and its athletic program in great ways. His commitment to Catholic education and to SJM was well known. Palmo was an SJM school board member and member of the SJM Dad's Club. He was a leader in the effort to renovate the football field stands and lighting, as well as the renovation and construction of the baseball field.
His construction company built the Brothers Residence (Willinger Hall), the Brother S. Albert and Sister M. Paola Science Center, the Mary Alice Diener Media Center as well as Ryan's Gym. Palmo also served as chairman of the St. Pat's Golf Committee. San Joaquin Memorial and its athletic program are grateful for the dedication and generous spirit of Vince Palmo.
May They Rest in Peace... with God Forever
Frank Sierra passed away May 20, 2019. He is the brother of Dan Sierra '58, John Sierra '60, Mary Sierra (Wells) '63, Mona Sierra (Balber) '63 and Michael Sierra '66.
He is the uncle of Michele Lopez '84 and Tim Lopez '89.
Jacquelene "Jackie" Marie Braz '52 passed away June 23, 2019.
Rodolfo German '67 passed away in June of 2019.
Lynette Jill Polanco '84 passed away September 1, 2019. She is the sister of
Anthony Polanco '77, Annette Polanco (Grieser) '77, Debbie Polanco (Martinez) '81. She is the aunt of David Polanco '00.
Elroy Brandt passed away April 15, 2019. He is the father of Kristen Brandt (O'Neil) '96, Mark Brandt '94 and David Brandt '99.
Richard Silveria passed away on May 22, 2019. He is the father of Andrew Silveria '96. He is the unlce of Vanessa Gragnani (Seely) '00, Michael Gragnani '05, and Candace Gragnani '04.
Joanne Lippert passed away May 26, 2019. She is the mother of Taylor Lippert '76, Stephen Lippert '95, Robert Lippert '72, Rick Lippert '73, Patricia Lippert '83, John Lippert '80, and Chrisitne Lippert '78.
Kerry Filgas Sr. passed away June 5, 2019. He is the brother of Kim Filgas '73 and Kevin Filgas '72. He is the cousin of Anette Filgas (Simmons) '84, Scott Raiskup '67, Janell Filgas (Mendoza) '69, Joan Filgas (Lepore) '71, Cheryl Filgas (Glenn) '68, Dale Filgas '68 and Alan Filgas '70.
Albert Cosyns passed away June 7, 2019. He is the grandfather of William Cosyns '15.
Bonnie Newman passed away June 16, 2019. She is the mother of Amy Newman '89 and Mark Newman '88.
Margaret Kidwell passed away June 25, 2019. She is the mother of Mary Beth Kidwell '75.
John Lasgoity passed away June 26, 2019. He is the grandfather of Julia Lasgoity '20, Claire Losgoity '22, Paul Lasgoity '23, Eric Peters '14, and Christine Peters '12.
Jim Stefanich passed away July 22, 2019. He is the father of Eric Stefanich '84, Anthony Stefanich '98, Traci Stefanich (Shouse) '82, and Elizabeth Stefanich (Kinsey) '81.
Rose Lometti passed away August 3, 2019. She is the mother of David Lometti '63, Bruno Lometti '73 and Neila Lometti (Harris) '66.
Vincent Palmo Sr. passed away August 25, 2019. He is the father of Gina Palmo (Feiner) '81, Luke Palmo '78, Maria Palmo '79 and Vincent Palmo '76. He is the grandfather of Jacob Moss '02 and Samuel Moss '00.
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.