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Crimson Pride The Official JSerra Magazine

Fall | Winter 2011 | Vol. 1 Issue 2

Hedges Catches $3 Million Deal


Artists In Residence Find a Home at JSerra

JSerra Goes International

Where Are They Now: JSerra Valedictorians 22







IN R e s i d e n c e

Mission Statement JSerra Catholic High School is a private Roman Catholic college preparatory institution. We strive to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to the Magisterium of the Church and to guide our students to become leaders who live in accordance with Gospel values. JSerra is a faith-filled and sacrament-based community that educates and nurtures the whole person. We seek to provide our students with the highest quality academic, spiritual, and co-curricular education; to inspire the pursuit of excellence; to affirm the dignity of each individual; to encourage faith; and to foster a commitment to service. JSerra is directed by parents who participate in all levels of school governance to enable the administration and faculty to achieve the school’s mission.

in this issue |

JSerra Fall 2011


volume 1 issue 2

Editor’s Note

by Amanda Samaan

JSerra Goes International


From Germany to Kahzakstan, JSerra brings new cultures to campus through the International Student Program.

The second issue of Crimson Pride arrives with even more triumphs and news than ever before.

Artists In Residence

We began the school year with our highest enrollment. The freshman class is eager to begin making memories that will last a lifetime, and seniors are tirelessly completing college applications-JSerra’s campus is buzzing!


Fine Arts kicks off the new AIR Program with a movie debut, back-to-back concerts and It’s a Wonderful life.

Where Are They Now?


Catch up with JSerra valedictorians and find out what they have been up to since graduation.


I am pleased to bring you this issue of Crimson Pride that is bursting with news of our new Artists In Residence Program, Ivy League visits and the most successful fall sports season in JSerra history. As you turn each page, know that your continued support and passion for the JSerra community plays an important role in our success.

Message from the President


On Campus




JSerra Online


Professional Magnet Updates


I hope you are blessed with a happy and safe Christmas.

Class Notes


Siempre Adelante!

Chairman & Trustee Tim Busch

Editor-in-Chief Amanda Samaan

President & CEO Frank Talarico

Advisors Elizabeth Beas Bill Rams

**Cover photo by Amanda Samaan

Amanda Samaan

Amanda Samaan

School Governance

*Produced by JSerra Advancement

I applaud each member of the JSerra family who played a part in the many great achievements and look forward to celebrating 10 years of conqured challenges and victories at JSerra.

Alumni Relations Coordinator

Office of Advancement Crimsonmag

Fall 2011


President’s Den It is hard to believe the time has already come for our second issue of Crimson Pride magazine. As is always true of JSerra, the past few months have been filled with exciting news, program developments, and community accomplishments. With the holiday season upon us, we have much to be thankful for at JSerra Catholic High School. In the classroom, on the athletic field, and in our community, our students continue to excel and make us proud. We are proud to welcome our new rector Fr. Robert Spitzer, a renowned spiritual leader who has written several highly regarded books on leadership, faith and life issues. As the former President of Gonzaga University, he has influenced the spiritual development of tens of thousands of young men and women over the past three decades. A Catholic Priest in the Society of Jesus, he said he plans to carry on and move our Catholic identity “to the next level.” Sarah David, one of our talented student journalists, interviewed Fr. Spitzer in a recent edition of Paw Print, our student newspaper. Fr. Spitzer told her our students have already impressed him. Among his plans: to ensure JSerra’s religious identity “takes on the same force as our other identities,” including sports. We are truly blessed to have Fr. Spitzer at JSerra. Fr. Spitzer’s role on our campus is just one example of the incredible growth and strength of the JSerra community. You will read about many of our other accomplishments and news in the pages that follow, and regularly on JSerra’s website, blog, Twitter and Facebook pages. The administration, faculty, staff, and Board of Directors of JSerra work tirelessly to ensure JSerra continues its evolution into one of the finest academic, spiritual and community-focused high schools anywhere. Siempre Adelante!

Frank Talarico President & CEO

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on campus |

A Message from Alumni President

Frankie Bastone Dear fellow alumni and friends,

I miss you all so much! I hope everything is going well and you are all enjoying yourselves. I am very excited to be the JSerra Alumni President. It was and still is an honor to be a part of the JSerra family and community. I do miss those everything quesadillas and cookies from the Bistro, Pat Holligan’s red suit, and the Friday night football games at Saddleback College. JSerra has a lot going on right now; the new Artists in Residence program, Father Spitzer’s appointment as rector, and the Business Magnet Program, now in full swing. I am confident JSerra will remain a top competitor in the community. I hope you will start or continue to reconnect with your classmates as well as the faculty and staff at our alma mater. Through the many friendships and experiences we shared at JSerra I know that we will continue to be a strong community and look forward to what is still to come. There has never been a better time to get more involved with your fellow alumni, I promise you. As your Alumni President, I have the honor of representing your voice at JSerra. We are planning a Christmas party in December so look for details and dates regarding this event. Please, reach out to JSerra and to your classmates by reconnecting with a simple phone call, email, note, Facebook, or even a visit. Have a happy holiday season. Remember to Live it Out! Yours truly, Frankie Bastone ’11 Alumni President

JSerra Catholic High School


on campus | JSerra Hosts First Annual Christmas Faire & Brunch

1,000 Attend JSerra’s First Career Faire

JSerra hosted its first annual Christmas Faire & Brunch in December to benefit the Shepherd’s Financial Aid Program. “We are excited to bring a new offering to our JSerra community that benefits holiday shoppers and families who seek a private Catholic education who may need financial assistance,” said Frank Talarico, JSerra President & CEO. “As a product of a private Catholic education and financial assistance myself, I am personally drawn to the Shepherd’s Society. The Christmas Faire on December 3 hosted more than 70 vendors for friends and family in the South Orange County community to shop, including Tracbuco Canyon Barrel Works, Donna B’s Bakery, Shear Sensation Salon and more, with proceeds benefiting the JSerra Shepherd’s Financial Aid Program. “God has placed a fire in my soul about providing a Christ filled education to all those who seek it,” said Tracy Kozlowski JSerra Shepherd’s Chair. Also accompanying the Christmas Faire, was a Christmas Brunch and fashion show presented by The Shops at Mission Viejo, with fashions from Apricot Lane, Cache, Charlotte Russe and Macy’s.

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Representatives from 77 colleges and universities raved about their visits with more than 1,000 students and their families at JSerra’s first annual College Faire held in November at the JSerra Pavilion. “The universities evaluated the event as an overwhelming success,” said JSerra President and CEO Frank Talarico. “We received fantastic feedback from parents, students and university representatives who were delighted they made such essential connections and are already eagerly planning to return next year.” A sampling of universities that attended the event include; UCLA, Notre Dame, USC, West Point, Cornell, Princeton, University of Virginia, and the 600-year-old University of St. Andrews of Scotland. Through the college fair, students and their families were able to get firsthand information from many of the nation’s best universities as they prepare for their futures. JSerra also hosted another innovative college preparatory event following the college fair. More than 400 attended Columbia University’s first-ever informational event on an Orange County high school campus.

on campus | Rummage Sale & Car Wash Benefit Special Operations Warrior Foundation

JSerra Gets

Social JSerra Catholic High School hosted a rummage sale and car wash in November to benefit the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF), which provides support and assistance to the families of fallen and wounded Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps special operations forces. The group received an overwhelming amount of donations of furniture, clothing, toys and tools to help benefit the foundation. “The students and parents of JSerra Catholic High School volunteered hundreds of hours to support this wonderful cause,” said Mrs. Mary Victoria Taylor, the fund-raiser’s chairperson. All proceeds went directly to SOWF. The group raised more than $6,000 to benefit the more than 800 children of fallen special operations personnel, like Diana Martin, daughter of Army Master Sgt. Tim “Griz” Martin, who lost his life in the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993. “With the heartfelt and gracious donations to SOWF in support of our fallen heroes and their families, I have fulfilled my father’s dream for me and was able to go beyond it. SOWF gave me the ability to become someone of whom my father would be proud,” Martin said.

Check out the all new JSerra Athletics Facebook pages, customized to each of the 23 sports JSerra offers. You can easily find out game times, scores and stats of all JSerra sports. New features include: -Twitter feeds from JSerra athletics -Customized player cards -RSS news feed straight from the JSerra Blog -Events calendars and more. Counseling has joined the conversation, too: Have a question about college apps? They have all the answers at the click of a mouse. Also, see upcoming counseling events, news and more.

Get social and start the conversation.

The SOWF recently announced it will offer full college scholarships to the children of all the U.S. military personnel who perished in the recent CH-47 helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

JSerra Catholic High School


Surviving and Thriving in High School with college guidance mentor Debbie Morgan

JSerra offered the Orange County community a free opportunity to have their questions answered about the college admissions process College guidance mentor Debbie Morgan moderated the workshop, titled “Surviving and Thriving in High School.” “It is never too early to begin the process of thoughtful preparation – academically and personally,” Morgan said. “It is becoming more imperative for students with the hope, dream and goal of one day attending college to become well acquainted with what will be expected of them.”

Daphne’s prouDly supports Jserra 14 ORANGE COUNTY LOCATIONS

Connect on Facebook and Twitter


“Debbie offers important tips on how to prepare for the future during these uncertain times. We hope to be able to offer similar opportunities in the future for the community to hear from one of the region’s foremost education experts,” said Frank Talarico, JSerra President & CEO. While the presentation was geared toward families with middle school and high school-age students, it offered information of value to all parents looking for tips about how to improve their children’s educational opportunities,” Morgan said.

on campus | 5 Tips to Successfully Navigating College Applications By Olivia Huie, JSerra Director of Counseling

As JSerra Counselors, our purpose is to guide our students through the seemingly hectic and pressure-filled process of college admissions. However, the process doesn’t have to be stressful or hectic. Here are some tips to help you successfully navigate the college application process. 1. Know thyself first Before even applying to colleges, it’s so important to get a handle on your own values, interests, strengths and goals. In order to find a great “fit” school, you have to know what will ultimately fit. “Before you can research schools, you need to research yourself.” Spend some time getting to know yourself better by utilizing the self exploration tools we offer on Naviance. 2. Challenge yourself responsibly With so many educational opportunities it’s easy to get swept up in the numbers game of taking as many AP or honors classes as possible, joining a magnet program, and being on multiple varsity sports. Yes, grades are very important to colleges, but so is the strength and appropriateness of your curriculum. According to U.S. News and World Report, “You want to take the most rigorous courses you’re eligible for and that make sense given your interests – without sacrificing your health or social life.” 3. Don’t just be a joiner There are many clubs at JSerra in which to get involved, but don’t just join them because it will look good on a college resume. Choose your extracurriculars with the intention of making your mark on the community or honing in on your special interests. Be true to yourself and find opportunities that will help you be the best version of yourself. 4. Don’t apply too broadly It’s much better to be an exceptional applicant at six schools than an average applicant at 12 or 20. Just like Tip #1 implies, you must do your research.

The best way to make a decision is to couple your knowledge of the school with your emotions attached to it. 5. Build strong relationships with your teachers and counselor. Here at JSerra, you have the opportunity to get to know your teachers and counselor. Not only is it beneficial for you to build rapport with your teachers it will come in handy when it’s time to ask for a letter of recommendation. You will be an expert in this whole college admissions process if you do these things, I promise.

JSerra Offers Italian Study Abroad Summer Program JSerra is now offering a study abroad summer program in Italy. The program includes guided tours and daily course work taught by JSerra teachers. The three week program will be held in Florence and Rome where students will study politics, history, art and religion. Trip highlights to include Mass at the Vatican, museums, a trip to Trevi Fountain and the Colesseum. Applications are now being accepted; limited space is available. JSerra Catholic High School


on campus Aquatics Director Receives Presidential Delegation to Attend the Opening Ceremony of the XVI Pan American Games JSerra’s Aquatics Director, Julie Ertel was commissioned by President Barack Obama to represent the USA in the opening ceremonies of the XVI Pan American Games. “Representing our country in the Pan American Games is a very high honor,” said Ertel, a 2007 Pan American Games gold medalist in the triathlon and 2000 silver medalist in women’s water polo. “Having attended as an athlete on three occasions, I love the games and I am excited to experience it in this new way.”

Twins Named Homecoming King & Queen

2012 King & Queen.

The Homecoming court was filled with excitement as the Donovan duo were named the 2011 Homecoming King & Queen. The brother-sister twin duo were announced during the half-time show at Saddleback College as the Lions took on St. John Bosco in a fight to the finish. Jimmy and Sarah Dovovan will return next year to crown the

National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholars Awarded

President Obama announced the designation of a Presidential Delegation that were to attend the Opening Ceremony in October in Mexico. The Honorable Earl Anthony Wayne, United States Ambassador to Mexico led the delegation. “We are proud to have Mrs. Ertel represent America in the Pan American Games,” said JSerra President Frank Talarico. “Her work as our Aquatics Director at JSerra continues to be an inspiration to our athletes and her talents are evident as she coaches our two Olympic qualifiers.”

Congratulations to Kaitlin Bianchi, Austin Williams, Sharon Tengolics and Sam Miller who were chosen out of 235,000 candidates with grade point averages over a 3.5 as the 2011 recipients of the National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholars.

Coach Ertel is a two-time, two-sport Olympian. She captained the silver-medal winning women’s water polo team from the 2000 Olympic Games. She spent three years coaching the UCI womens water polo team before taking time off to become a professional tri-athlete and make another attempt at the Olympics.

The program provides recognition for outstanding Hispanic/Latino high 
school students. Each year, the NHRP identifies nearly 5,000 students from the U.S. and U.S. territories. Being named is important academic recognition and the colleges participating in the program will receive this information.

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on campus | Rachel’s Challenge Program Comes to JSerra

Rachel’s Challenge was developed to honor the life of Rachel Joy Scott, the first person killed at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. Her acts of kindness and compassion coupled with the contents of her six diaries have become the foundation for one of the most life-changing programs in America. The Rachel’s Challenge program was introduced to the students, faculty, staff, administration and parents at JSerra to help implement the program’s core values. Rachel’s Challenge focuses on helping students recognize their purpose in life. Students were issued five powerful challenges that are based on the writings and life of Rachel Scott. By participating in Rachel’s Challenge activities, students learn to: - Embrace and respect individual differences - Appreciate the value and worth of every person - Stand up for others that are being mistreated - Know “who” they are and recognize their own worth - Be kind and compassionate to people - Reach out and help others Be a part of this life-changing challenge with the JSerra community today by bringing the abovementioned lessons into your daily life.

Record-Setting Sophomore Featured on KNBC-TV

JSerra sophomore Ryan Pugh has a diverse set of skills: art, shooting, fishing. You name it, he’s mastered it. The Eagle Scout made history in November, earning his astronomical 131st merit badge, making him the second scout in California with more than 130 Merit Badges and the fourth scout in the country in Boys Scouts of America history. The mayor of Laguna Niguel publicly congratulated him. And he was featured in a KNBC-TV interview with anchor Colleen Williams. “My favorite badges are shotgun & rifle shooting. I eventually want to go hunting in Montana and Arkansas with my family,” he said. “My least favorite badge was art. I lack the ability to draw with any special talent, yet I love to visit various art galleries that include world history and the images of the soldiers in the combat zone.” Troop 772 Scoutmaster Tom Clements said the entire community is proud of his accomplishments. “Only four percent of boy scouts earn the highest rank of Eagle,” he said. Added Ramina Kharileh: “His most recent accomplishment will be recorded in scouting & local history.” JSerra Catholic High School


sports Soles4Souls Warms up Boys Water Polo

Soles4Souls collects new shoes to give relief to the victims of abject suffering and collects used shoes to support micro-business efforts to eradicate poverty. While playing three games in a span of only two hours, the team was able to collect more than 150 pairs of gently used and new shoes to donate to Soles4Souls. Thanks to all the wonderful donors, families, administration, teachers and friends that came to support water polo and Soles 4 Souls.

Boys water polo ran a charitable fundraiser for Soles4Souls during their Trinity League game against Santa Margarita in November.

“JSerra Boys’ Water Polo is fortunate to be a part of an incredible cause that reaches so many people in need,” said Petar Asic, head coach.

JSerra Catholic High School

Ice Lions Hockey

It’s a great day to be an Ice Lion!

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Fall 2011

Football Profiles... sports |

Jonavaughn Williams JSerra senior and varsity receiver Jonavaughn Williams is carving his own path this season. Williams, a standout player, already featured in the L.A. Times for his ability to run plays, catch and execute patterns on a consistent basis. He was also a star at this year’s USC Nike Football Camp. Williams sat down with Crimson Pride to talk about his successes and his future in football. Here is more about JSerra’s leading receiver. What made you choose JSerra? I actually came to JSerra to play for the basketball team; now I play football and I love it. I tried football three years ago and have been hooked ever since. I found that it was more fun for me and I get to hit people with a purpose. It kind of gets my adrenaline going, making me more defensive. When asked about the 2011 season Williams said, “We fought hard and had some great wins, we really worked harder as a team this season.”

Jake Hall Featured in OC Varsity as one of the Top 10 quarterbacks to watch and scouted by Duke and Colorado State, Hall has a bright future. See what keeps Hall going as he sat down with Crimson Pride out on the football field. What do you like about the JSerra football program? I like that it’s well coached, fun and it allows me to be more competitive in the Trinity League. When asked how Hall felt about completing his final season as a Lion he said, “I had a great four season run at JSerra and I’ll always remember every win and every loss as the greatest time in my life.”

Casey Eugenio

Fifteen-year-old Casey Eugenio has already caught the attention of college scouts and the press. He has attended the Top Gun football camp in Williamsburg, VA, and been voted athlete of the week and epic touchdown of the week by OC Varsity. How does it feel to draw so much attention as a sophomore? It’s not really about the attention for me as it it the love of the sport. I always strive to get better, to catch the attention of my dream to play for Berkeley.

JSerra Catholic High School


sports Martin Dugard has Silverscreen Debut

Fall Sports Wrap-up

A successful premier at The Cannes Film Festival in France last May led to the purchase and distribution of “A Warrior’s Heart.” Passion project of JSerra cross country coach Dugard and JSerra Co-founder Marc Spizzirri. The film stars Twilight Saga actors Kellen Lutz and Ashely Greene and chronicles a young lacrosse player dealing with his father’s death. Also worth reading: Dugard’s newest collaboration “Killing Lincoln,” with TV personality Bill O’Reilly.

Boys Water polo 18-11 season making it to the first round of the CIF Championships and winning the Conqueror Classic Tournament title. Girls Tennis JV ended a perfect season with 8-0 and an overall record of 16-2, the best record in JSerra Tennis history making them Trinity League Champions for the first time. Football Ended the season with a 4-10 record for Varsity and a 9-1 record for the Freshman team, a reord for JSerra Freshman.

Leslie Chang is First JSerra Tennis Player to Sign to a Division 1 CSU Scholarship

Winter Athletics Season Dates* January 5- Girls Basketball vs. Rosary 7pm 6- Boys Soccer vs. Servite 3pm 6- Boys Basketball vs. Servite 7pm 28- Ice Lions vs. North Canyon 7:30pm 31- Girls Basketball vs. Santa Marg. 7pm


JSerra tennis signs first Division 1 athlete.

1- Boys Soccer vs. Santa Marg. 3pm 1- Boys Basketball vs. Santa Marg. 7pm 4- Ice Lions vs. Servite 5:30pm (Sr. night)

“This is a culmination of all my hard work. I started my national career at the age of 12 with my Northridge coach, and now I get to start my college tennis career with the same coach. I’m so excited,” said Chang.

*All games are held at JSerra and are reflecting Varsity level games. For complete schedules please visit:

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This is an accomplishment for Chang and the entire JSerra tennis program, as Chang is the first tennis athlete to sign to a Division 1 school since the program’s start in 2003.

sports | Two Lions Baseball Players Commit to Division 1 Schools JSerra announced that outfielder Tanner Bily has signed his letter of intent to play at UC Davis a Division I university. T h i rd -ba se man Nico Darras also signed to play for Cal State F u l l e rton . “I am beyond excited,” Nico Darras signs his letter of intent said Darras. “Being able to play for Cal State Fullerton to play for Cal State Fullerton is a childhood dream. I watched the games as I grew up and I have always wanted to be a Titan. To join the legacy of Coach Brett Kay who played catcher, former JSerra pitcher Grahamm Wiest and slugger Clay Williamson is amazing.” Darras and Bily have started at the varsity level since their freshmen years. “I am excited to be an Aggie and play for a Division 1 school,” said Bily. It has been a long time dream of mine, and I can’t wait to get started.” Bily and Darras join a long list of JSerra baseball players that have advanced to play baseball at top-tier collegiate schools.

Tanner Bily signing his letter of intent to play for the Aggies at UC Davis.

Boras Brothers Drafted to the Major Leagues JSerra alums Trent & Shane Boras were selected on the final day of the 2011 Major League Baseball draft. Older brother and second baseman Shane graduated from JSerra in 2007, and red shirted at USC last year. He was selected in the 39th round by the Oakland A’s. Trent, who played third base for the Lions last year, was picked in the 30th round by the Milwaukee Brewers. Shane and Trent are the sons of Newport Beach based sports agent Scott Boras.

s e g d e

H Catches $ 3 Million

e D

Interview by Brett Kay Written by Amanda Samaan

As the television plays in the background, the heart of a young athlete pounds. Player after player is called during the Major League Baseball draft. Recent JSerra graduate Austin Hedges’ palms get clammy as he fears that he might not hear his name called. He sits at home with his parents. glued to the television until Day One of the draft closes. His name wasn’t called. Day Two begins early much like the day before. Cheers erupt for some, while others face more anxiety. Finally, his moment comes. The sweet sound of being called up to the major leagues. The headlines would read:

Hedges was chosen by the San Diego Padres as the 82nd pick. The decision to go pro wasn’t easy. Hedges had committed last fall to play at UCLA. Crimsonmag

Hedges could not have had a richer 19th birthday. He signed for $3.3 million. JSerra coach Brett Kay sat down with Hedges’ to talk about baseball, UCLA and his other interests, which include the movie, “V for Vendetta.”

“Waiting, watching the TV anxious to hear them call my name, was so nerve wrecking I thought I would have a heart attack”

“Padres select UCLA signee Hedges.” “Austin Hedges a prime catch behind the plate.” “UCLA Strikes Out On MLB Signing Deadline Day.”


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Fall 2011

When did you first start playing baseball? I started playing when I was four years old on a T-ball team called “The Rookies,” that my dad coached. It was fun, and I made a lot of friends that I’m still friends with today. We even played at JSerra together. I met Dylan Christensen and Brett Dahlson when we were 10 years old playing for the Aztecs.

What is it about baseball that you love? It’s a more competitive sport and I remember my dad really liked it. He would always talk about baseball growing up and he coached my first team so it was something that we could do together.

Who inspires you? My parents and Coach Kay. They are really important people in my life, and they helped me become who I am today. I am forever grateful. What was the whole process like for you from scouts to UCLA to being drafted? Well it all started my sophomore year at JSerra, then I did the recruiting camp at Cal State Fullerton and UCLA’s Elite Baseball Series and it kind of took off from there. I always wanted to play for UCLA so when they asked me to sign my letter of intent to play for them it seemed like a no brainer for me. What was it like watching the draft picks in June? It was exciting, scary and nerve racking all at the same time. And it was kind of weird to think that my capabilities on the field were truly good enough for me to make a career out of playing baseball. I always dreamed I would as a kid but I was a kid who really knew it would come true. What made you decide to forgo playing at UCLA to play for the Padres? It was probably the hardest decision I have ever had to make. I really wanted to play for UCLA and had thought about the MLB, but I wanted to see how I would do in college first, and UCLA was my dream school. When it finally came down to it, I felt like this was where I was meant to be and the Padres offered me my dream. What are your expectations for your career? To win every pitch and get used to playing baseball everyday. Playing in high school you’re not on the filed everyday of the week, and now I am and I need to train my body to get used to it. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Playing major league baseball for the Padres, it’s my dream and I want to do everything I can to ensure that it comes true.

* Photos by the OC Register’s Andy Tempelton

JSerra Catholic High School


“This is the greatest moment of my life. I can’t believe I’m only getting started.”

What is your most important asset?

What was your best JSerra memory?

I think it would have to be my competitive nature on and off the field. Without it I’m not sure I would have gotten as far as I did, or as far as I want to go.

Sophomore year when all of us as a team won the Trinity League Championship. It really helped develop our relationships and we grew stronger as a team. We wanted to relive that moment over and over.

What MLB player would you like to meet most?

If you could say one thing to the JSerra community what would it be?

I would love to meet Bryan Wilson, and ask him more questions than I’m sure he would care to answer.

Enjoy and embrace your time in high school and don’t take it for granted.

Who are the three people you would invite to a fantasy dinner?

Watch the entire interview with Coach Kay at

Oh this is easy, I would invite Trent the lead singer of Nine Inch Nails, Tom Brady and V from “V for Vendetta.” He is awesome. Clockwise left to right: Hedges in the outfield at PETCO Park in San Diego, Hedges with dad Charlie and mom Pam Hedges, Heges with fellow signee Joe Ross, Hedges at bat for the first time at PETCO Park after signing, Hedges with agent Scott Boras and General Manager Jason McLeod of the San Diego Padres signing.

*Signing day photos courtesy of the San Diego Padres

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Mas ter of t he S lop es

As the chill of the air breaks through her hair every morning before she dashes off to her computer for class, JSerra freshman Chelsie Foulke balances her passion for skiing with a 4.0 grade point average. She took some time to discuss her intensive training schedule, and what it takes to manage a 4.0 grade point average at JSerra.

and want to become a marine biologist. JSerra Online accommodates my crazy ski schedule, so I went for the opportunity.”

Chelsie’s passion for skiing didn’t take anyone by surprise and ultimately led her to join the Mammoth Mountain ski team four years ago. With grueling six-hour training sessions each day, Foulke was one of the first to sign up for JSerra Online as soon as she finished her eighth-grade year.

Foulke recently returned from an annual trip to New Zealand, where she took part in a twoweek all intensive training. “Traveling alone allows me to be more grown up since parents aren’t allowed on the trip and I can really focus my time on becoming a better and more competitive athlete and still be able to keep up with my school work no matter where skiing takes me.”

“I love skiing and want to eventually make it to the Junior Olympics, but I also really love school

Having the best of both worlds, Foulke is able to attend JSerra Monday to Wednesday and then heads up to Mammoth for the rest of the week to train for year-round competitions.

JSerra Catholic High School


Goes JSerra INTERNATIONAL JSerra’s International Student Program has grown in the three years since Richard Woo, International Program Director, joined the staff. Starting with seven students from one country, the program now has 46 students from eight countries, including Germany, New Zeland and Kahzakstan. In June 2009, JSerra established an International Department to welcome students from around the world. Under their distinctive International Student Enrichment Program, qualifying students matriculate into JSerra’s rigorous college preparatory curriculum. The two international students featured below have ventured out of their comfort zone to become part of the JSerra community with a great deal of success. Meet Andrew Lee from South Korea. He has attended JSerra for three years and has great things to share: “I love JSerra, and how everyone has treated me. I feel like part of a family and I love that. I am very thankful for the kindness of those around me,” said Lee.

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He hopes to find what he loves to do and to be happy. “My favorite thing about JSerra is that I can be myself and improve myself everyday,” he said. Lee recalls his first day at JSerra, “I was at freshman orientation and this guy [Ammar Mistro], asked me if I could rap, which I can’t, but it made me realize that I would fit in just fine and that everyone is more friendly than I had thought,” he said. Message to JSerra: “Thank you for taking me in, and letting me be part of JSerra.” JSerra activities: ASB, Volleyball, Choir, Lions4Africa and Rachel’s Challenge Favorites: American food: In ‘n Out Korean food: Korean miso soup, but “only the one my grandmother makes.” Sport: Volleyball Movies: August Rush, Dead Poets Society and Good Will Hunting Athlete: Kobe Bryant Car: Audi R8 Celebrity Crush: I don’t really have one Haven Yang, a JSerra senior and Caritas Christi member from China, says, “I want to become someone that can support my family since they have given me so much, and the teachers and students at JSerra have been so welcoming that I know I will be prepared for anything.”

Taking time to adjust to California, Yang said, “It may have taken time to adjust but I met Mrs. Desmond and she taught me a lot. It didn’t take long to adjust to the great weather. “It’s great.” While looking for a great high school to attend, Yang chose JSerra because of the strong academics, the campus and most importantly. the well-built international program. Yang also notes some differences between her homes in China and California. “It’s not as hard to make friends in China. We all just seem like family right off the bat. In the states it’s more evident that confidence is important. Everyone I have met has been really nice to me.” JSerra Activities: ASG, Lacrosse, Energy Club and Caratas Christi

Favorites: American food: “I like all food, but desserts the most we don’t really have too many in China.” Chinese food: everything Sport: Lacrosse Movie: Dead Poets Society Athlete: I’m trying to get better at my interest in sports, so I don’t have one. Car: I don’t have one I’m not interested in material things. Celebrity Crush: Hemmingway, he was so cute when he was young. He was brave and a true manly man. Message to JSerra: “Thank you for taking me in. You have helped me to become someone I wished I could be. I can only feel extremely happy and fortunate whenever I think of you.”

JSerra Catholic High School


The Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine is Proud to Support Tomorrow’s Leaders and the Students of JSerra

Offering four dynamic MBA programs – plus PhD and undergraduate business degrees – that deliver our thematic approach to business education: sustainable growth through strategic innovation.

Business Magnet Impresses UCI JSerra’s Business Magnet Program has set the bar high in its first year with 90 students. The program consists of business and finance coursework, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) membership, service hours, and attending events at affiliate Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine. The new magnet program has generated interest throughout the surrounding community, and our students have made quite the impression upon the UCI faculty. “We were so impressed with the way JSerra students conducted themselves at the Distinguished Speaker Series. They should be commended,” said Denise Patrick, Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs. “In fact, George Meier, a marketing professor, requested that I extend an invitation [to Business Magnet Program students] to attend his class,” she said Senior students are already preparing for their business plan competition in the spring UCI’s school of business students. 24 Crimsonmag

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Eric Stroupe Congratulates JSerra AP Scholars The following is a note from Eric Stroupe, JSerra Vice Principal of Curriculum & Instruction: Congratulations to JSerra as we celebrate another fantastic year of AP success. This year’s scores are our best results ever, with an overall pass rate of 75 percent. Last’s year figure was 69 percent by comparison. So, I’d like to congratulate you on outstanding work this last school year. As you all know, it is not just the AP teachers who share in this success. Those students were given strong foundations in their lower-lever courses, so we can all take pride in their accomplishments. While all of our AP teachers and students have records worth highlighting, I wanted to especially highlight the following courses: 100 percent pass rate in Physics C, 4.2 average 92 percent pass rate in Calculus, 4.4 average 93 percent pass rate in English Language, 4.0 average 97 percent pass rate in European History In 2011 we had 36 AP Scholars, 14 AP Scholars with Honor, 14 AP Scholars with Distinction, and three National AP Scholars including Luke Decker, Chloe Kempf and Madeleine Shaver.

w e

NState-of-the-Art Science Lab

Introducing the Martinson Science Lab Dissection Chamber: stores animals for dissection in formaldehyde.

Peter Bastone Simulation Lab: Custom one-way window to observe students interact and practice procedures, while SimMan is controlled by a 3G computer.

SimMan a 3G simulation of a human being who talks, breaths, feels and even cries. SimMan allows JSerra medcal magnet program students to interact and learn.

Digital remote interaction: all tests and quizzes are conducted by individualized remotes for each student in the class, allowing for instant results and better use of technology.

Lab Animals: include Einstein the parakeet, Japanese Bearded dragon, worms and fish.

Lab stations: self-contained with beakers, microscopes, gloves, stethoscopes and lab chemicals.

State-of-the-Art 65� HDTV: projects directly from the web and computer to view live surgeries.

JSerra Catholic High School


i n m u Al Sp otlig ht

Jourdan Banks, who now attends University of Pennsylvania, was the first student from JSerra to attend an Ivy League school on scholarship. Since then, Banks has set the record for most points and rebounds in a single season for the Penn women’s basketball team. Now in her senior year of college, where she is studying sociology and Africana studies, Banks has also been named captain for her final season.

“Even though most would think my biggest moment was making captain, my biggest moment in basketball was actually my first game because I sat out all of freshman year due to an injury,” said Banks. “When I stepped out there my sophomore year for the first time I was so nervous-but excited at the same time! You really don’t know how much you miss something until you can’t do it.” “Balancing school, basketball, friends and everything that comes with being in college is not as easy as I thought it would be. But once you get the hang of it, most things tend to work out in your favor. It’s all about time management,” she said. Banks’ real passion lies in the work she was able to do in Ghana.

“I taught 52 fourth graders creative arts, P.E. and English comprehension for five weeks. It was by far the best thing I have ever done and I am going back this summer. I would highly recommend it,” she said. Banks writes to JSerra students to: “Have fun while you can – adult responsibilities are hard. Be you – I’ve watched a lot of people pretend to be someone they aren’t, it’s really not worth it. Embrace change – in college you have to adjust to so much, let it happen. The change you see could be the best thing that has ever happened to you. And don’t have any regrets – you don’t get yesterday back, use the time you have now and do what you want to do within the law of course.” Jourdans favorites: Fictional character: Dory from Finding Nemo. I think the reasons are obvious, she rules. Top right, Banks her sophomore year on the court. Bottom left to right, Penn State women’s varsity basketball team. Banks and Kobe Bryant after a game of horse and fun team photo her junior year.

JSerra Catholic High School


Book: Aside from the readings assigned for school, I literally never read. But I do love all the Chelsea Handler books.

Car: Penn’s not a driving campus so the last time I was even in a car was during the summer in California.

Sport: Badminton. Random I know, but I find it hilarious how people sprint around to hit a ball that just floats no matter how hard you hit it.

Subject/Class: I took a communications class about children & media and absolutely loved it, primarily because we got to watch old school shows like Doug, Scooby-Doo, Schoolhouse Rock, and Boy Meets World.

Athlete: Kobe Bryant. Sophomore year in high school I got to play with him and I almost beat him in horse until he dunked by jumping over a little kid. My skills weren’t up to that level yet. Celebrity Crush: Phil Dunphy from Modern Family (Ty Burrell). I would marry someone just like him.

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Favorite JSerra Teacher: Does Mrs. Desmond count? She was my “teacher” 3rd period senior year. Definitely a class I would recommend.

JSerra President & Former SEC Chairman Visit Ivy League Admissions Offices This past summer, JSerra President & CEO Frank Talarico and JSerra board member and former SEC chairman, Christopher Cox embarked on a three-day Ivy League university tour to raise awareness about JSerra. Their first stop was Princeton University, followed by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, culminating with Columbia University. “This is a phenomenal opportunity to raise awareness about JSerra at some of the world’s finest universities,” Talarico said. “This trip is the first of several that will elevate JSerra’s visibility.” A graduate of Harvard University’s Business and Law schools, Cox said his goal for the trip was to inform admissions officials about the quality of students and programs available at JSerra, where his daughter is a senior. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the outstanding instruction and overall experience my daughter is receiving at JSerra,” Cox said. “It offers a world-class education, a spirit of community service and a social atmosphere that prepares pupils well for the rigors of an Ivy League education.” The trip is just one way JSerra has raised the bar on college relations. In summer 2010, JSerra hired a college relations specialist to help students gain college attendance through events such as the JSerra College Faire, which hosted more than 1,000 attendees from the community. Only nine years old, JSerra has already sent about a dozen graduates to Ivy League campuses. For example, 2010 valedictorian Luke Decker now attends Dartmouth University.

JSerra Catholic High School


s t s i t r In A Residence JSerra’s fine arts department introduced an Artists In Residence program to provide students with the opportunity to interact with students to professionals in various forms of art including, music, painting, photography and theatre. Only a few months in and the program has already made headlines. Students have been hard at work perfecting their craft. Featured here is a sampling of the work.

JSerra’s Artists In Residence program earned a great honor at the opening night of the Laguna Art Museum’s exhibit “The Best Kept Secret,” featuring a selection of JSerra’s photography students. Under the direction of Regina Stehney, the students had the opportunity to show their work in this retrospective art show-featuring artist from 1965 to 1971 that were also on faculty of UCI. Hosting JSerra students in the downstairs gallery and displays student photography work from their book “Beauty Perceived” that was recently published through the JSerra Fine Arts department. The exhibit at the Laguna Beach Art Museum is open to the public until Jan. 21, 2012.

JSerra photography students featured in the Laguna Beach exhibit are pictured with JSerra photography teacher Regina Stehney.

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Fine Arts Teacher Teresa Backes Composes Score for Theatrical Debut

Left to right: Joe Sachen, Teresa Backes and Lisa Sachen, parents of Savannah Sachen

Congratulations to Teresa Backes, JSerra Instrumental Music Director, who composed the score for a Soka University documentary. The film chronicles the life and story of the Sachen’s a local Orange County family who lost their daughter Savannah to a rare form of cancer.

Instrumental Arts Concert Hosted at Soka University Concerts featuring JSerra’s chamber music ensemble, steel drum band, wind ensemble and jazz band performed for the first time at Soka Univeristy’s new state-of-the-art recital hall. “This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to perform in a venue that is made especially for music. As part of our Artist in Residence program, and a new partnership with Soka, the kids will get to realize a very special dream of playing in a professional hall,” said JSerra Instrumental Music Director Teresa Backes.

“I am very pleased and excited they were fond enough of the music to incorporate it in the film. I am honored to have my music selected for the premier of this film and excited to have met Savannah’s family,” said Backes. “It is evident that Savannah’s legacy lives on and will continue for years to come.” The film debuted at Soka University and was attended by officials from the city of Aliso Viejo, including Mayor Cameron Cave and the President of Soka University, Dr. Daniel Y. Habuki. “We are honored to have one of our own fine arts directors have her work showcased in such a way that will last a lifetime. This is truly the fondest form of flattery our fine arts program could receive,” said Nancy Harrell, JSerra Fine Arts Chair. JSerra Catholic High School


JSerra Valedictorians: Where Are They Now? Caritas Christi, AP courses, sleepless nights, B. Capp’s class, Kairos and Friday night lights, all mean one thing…the life of a JSerra Valedictorian. After eight years and 6 graduating classes, there have been nine outstanding Valedictorians in JSerra history. So, where are they now? 2009 Valedictorian duo Nicole Madro and Lexi Crommett both continued on to four-year universities, while 2011 Valedictorian Luke Decker moved to New Hampshire to attend Ivy League school Dartmouth University.

“Each year, the professors invite one of their classes over to their houses for dinner, simiIar to how each teacher would invite us into their room for lunch just to get to know one another on a deeper level.” Madro also sends a word of advice to the JSerra community: “Never forget how lucky you are to have weekly Mass. I know it can seem routine at times, but one day you’ll realize how much of a treasure it is.’

2009 Valedictorian, Lexi Crommett attends Texas A&M and is majoring in cognitive neuroscience with minors in math, psychology, and statistics. CromMadro is majoring in Liberal Arts and enjoys mett feels that JSerra playing intramural volleyball, at Thomas prepared her extremely Aquinas College in Santa Paula, CA, where she well for college and the also organizes school proof is that Crommett dances and is the president of the Legion of Mary has been on the Dean’s Praesidia. In our interview Honor Roll every semester at Texas A&M. with Madro, before discussing her road to Crommett says her and experience at her greatest JSerra memocollege of choice, I transferred to JSerra as a ries include, running track for coaches Dugard and Carter, “I can’t pick out just one memory sophomore.” from college, but hopefully the best is yet to Madro notes how the professors are similar to the come still, since it just seems to be getting better all the time. teachers at JSerra.

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Crommett’s advice to JSerra: “When choosing a college, don’t worry about the name or prestige as much as how you feel

when you’re there. It’s going to be your home for at least the next four years of your life so you want to be somewhere you are completely comfortable. JSerra’s most recent valedictorian, Luke Decker is running cross-country for Dartmouth College and majoring in government and anthropology with a minor in Arabic. Recalling all his hard work and effort. Decker’s greatest memory at JSerra remains “Winning CIF in the mile with Kat Delaney. It was pretty incredible winning an individual CIF title on its own, but winning it simultaneously with my training partner and teammate was surreal.” Over the next 10 years Decker see’s himself in college with the hopes of doing a joint-study program in both government and law. But his biggest goal is to make Team USA in the 1500m for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

But his biggest goal, is to make Team USA in the 1500m for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Decker’s advice to JSerra students: “Keep your head high. Dream big. Anything is possible if you believe it is and you work towards your goals with determination. Ask God for direction. He gives it. Chase your goals, and be confident you can achieve them. Find mentors who believe in what you are capable of achieving. Listen to your heart and never give up.” Decker urges JSerra students to: “Keep your head high. Dream big. Anything is possible if you believe it is and you work towards your goals with determination. Ask God for direction. He gives it. Chase your goals, and be confident you can achieve them. Find mentors who believe in what you are capable of achieving. Listen to your heart and never give up.”

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32922 Valle Road, San Juan Capistrano 949.493.4511

JSerra Catholic High School


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Class Notes... ‘06


Dustin Himmerich (‘06), attends Johns Hopkins University studying biophysics and is engaged to Maghan Sausaman.

Gavin Steed (‘10) races for the Concordia Eagles on the track & field team. Majoring in business finance and hopes to become a stock broker after graduation.


Dylan Christensen, (’08) Cal State University, Bakersfield junior, plays outfield and relief pitches for a Division 1 team.

Parker Abdo [left] (’10) studies Mechanical engineering at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, MA.

Matt Paradise (’09) Penn State junior majors in communications and plays for the baseball team.

Stephanie Tarle (09) studies psychology and neuroscience at Penn State and also plays tennis. Tarle is the founder and President of the wheel chair for kids club.

Meet JSerra Intern Kriztia Vela Member of the class of 2009, Kriztia is a junior studying communications at John Paul the Great Catholic University, and is the JSerra PR and marketing intern. “I am happy to be back at my alma mater and look forward to my time here.”

class notes |


Corey Miller (‘10), attends Pepperdine University is a reliever who appeared in 19 games, was at his best this season verses conference opponents, ending the year with a 1.08 earn run average and 10 strikeouts.

Casey Mims (11) is attending UC Berkeley swimming for the Bears. In June 2012, she will participate in the USA Olympic trials for swimming in Omaha, NE hoping to make the USA Olympic Team to compete in London.

Joey Kimpler (’11) offensive MVP in the talent-laden Trinity League his senior year at JSerra now studies at the University of Maryland while also playing Lacrosse. Chandler Nason (’11) attends Arizona State University and studies journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.

JSerra Catholic High School



Crimson Pride 2011  

All the latest news, sports, and events from JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, CA.