|Junípero Serra High School|
451 West 20th Avenue
|Other names||Serra or JSHS|
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic|
|Color(s)||Blue and Gold|
|Accreditation||Western Association of Schools and Colleges|
|Yearbook||El Padre Yearbook|
Junípero Serra High School (commonly Serra or JSHS) is a Catholic college preparatory high school in San Mateo, California, United States, serving students in grades 9-12. A part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco, this school provides education for young men. The school has an academic focus with a college preparatory curriculum.
Serra High School was founded in 1944 by the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco and was originally located at Columbia Drive and Alameda de las Pulgas in San Mateo, which is the current site of St. Bartholomew's Catholic Parish. The original student body consisted of 86 freshmen and sophomores. The school moved to new facilities at 451 West 20th Avenue in San Mateo in the fall of 1955 when the student body grew to 576. In 1978, Michael Peterson was named the first lay principal of Serra and Fr. Stephen H. Howell was named the school's first president. From 2002-2004, Fr. Joe Bradley served as president, overseeing fundraising efforts for major campus renovation. In 2008, Barry Thornton, Ed.d, was named principal and Lars Lund was named president. Under their tenure, the school expanded course offerings and completed large-scale renovations.
More than 60 percent of Serra students are enrolled in honors and Advanced Placement courses. Serra has averaged an 80 percent AP pass rate over the past five years, which is more than 20 points higher than the national average. Serra's Class of 2018 received more than $27 million in college scholarships. Serra has a one-to-one device program in each classroom and 99 percent of Serra graduates exceed the minimum course requirements set for the CSU and the University of California. Serra features 30 honors and AP classes, and 93 percent of Serra faculty members hold advanced degrees.
The Serra athletic program has grown dramatically since its very modest beginnings in the mid-1940s. For a time in the years after World War II, the San Mateo school offered just three sports: Football, basketball, and baseball. Boxing was also available, particularly on one night of the year when so-called student "Golden Gloves" competition was presented. Early on, Serra joined an embryonic Catholic Athletic League, a Bay Area-wide aggregation of what were then small Catholic schools. The Padres had some significant successes in that circuit. Two of its varsity football teams were unbeaten in 1949 and 1954; those remain the only unblemished football teams in school history. Serra captured five CAL baseball championships and seven CAL football crowns. In 1967, as new Catholic schools were opening throughout the region, the Padres joined what was a direct outgrowth of the CAL, the new West Catholic Athletic League. Since that point, Serra's athletic program has flourished.
Now, the school offers 14 competitive team sports. Stars like Tom Brady, Lynn Swann, and Barry Bonds, among others, all came onto the scene as Serra stretched its sporting legs in the WCAL. As time went by, the Padres became one of Northern California's signature prep sports entities and the league itself morphed into a state powerhouse. As of early 2018, the school had won 67 WCAL varsity titles, 31 Central Coast Section championships, and two state crowns (basketball in 2016 and football in 2017). Serra athletes had garnered individual state championships in several sports. A number of them had become Olympians. A total of 11 Serra baseball players, including the record-setting Bonds, have played in the major leagues; Jim Fregosi, Serra's first big league star, also managed several teams in the majors. Nearly a dozen Padres have played professional football. Brady and Swann, an all-American at USC and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, were both Super Bowl MVP's. Tom Scott is in the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame. In the mid-1970s, Jesse Freitas led the nation in passing at San Diego State. One of the most dominating exhibitions by a Serra football team occurred in 2017 when the Padres, coached by Patrick Walsh, posted an overall 13-2 record (10-0 vs. WCAL foes, a feat never accomplished before in the history of the league) and won a California Interscholastic Federation state championship, the first for a San Mateo County high school football team since 1926.
Phase I of Serra's master plan was completed in 2005, featuring new facilities for football, baseball, and wrestling, along with a 150-space parking structure. Phase II was completed in 2011, and created five new science lecture-labs, a new music room, two art classrooms, an academic resource center, and a 550,000-gallon infinity pool for competitive aquatics. In 2016, Serra undertook a smaller project, renovating the playing surfaces used for baseball, football, soccer, lacrosse, and track.
Junípero Serra High School is a Roman Catholic school. It offers faith and theology education through its Campus Ministry program and curriculum. Campus Ministry offers four-day-long Kairos retreats, retreat leadership opportunities, liturgical leadership opportunities and Immersion trips to Watsonville, West Virginia, Nicaragua, San Jose and Los Angeles. The Campus Ministry office also manages the school's Christian Service program. Theology courses offer instruction in the Catholic faith, morality and worship, and stress the importance of individual faith development.
This article's list of alumni may not follow Wikipedia's verifiability policy. (March 2018)
Junipero Serra High School is a part of a program called Tri-School, a partnership with Notre Dame High School, Belmont, and Mercy High School, Burlingame, both all-female schools. The schools host some morning classes with mixed education and collaborate in other activities as well.