History

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History 2017-06-26T14:49:40+00:00

2014-10-06 09.44.00San Joaquin Memorial High School is a Catholic, co-educational college preparatory high school owned and operated by the Diocese of Fresno in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley.

Founded under the inspiring leadership of the late Most Reverend Philip G. Scher, our school has the distinction of being the first Diocesan Catholic High School in the Monterey-Fresno Diocese.

San Joaquin Memorial was named to honor those men and women from the San Joaquin Valley who gave their lives in the service of our country during World War II.

Classes started in the fall of 1945, just as construction was completed on the first three buildings. Construction of the fourth and fifth buildings was completed a short time later, with classes open the following year.

San Joaquin Memorial High School was then operated by the Sisters of the Holy Cross and the Brothers of the Christian Schools, with both orders sharing the governance for more than 40 years.

New Transition

In July of 1988, the Brothers of the Christian Schools signed a 10-year lease with the Diocese of Fresno and assumed sole direction of the school. The Brothers—together with faculty and a corporation consisting of lay people from the community—began operating San Joaquin Memorial as a private Catholic school, in the tradition of the De La Salle Christian Brothers.

In 1997, the Christian Brothers transferred governance of the school to the Diocese of Fresno.

At that time, the bishop appointed a diocesan priest as rector and a new board of directors was established.

2000 and On

In 2002, Brett Lowart was hired as president and CEO and also assumed the responsibilities of financial director and director of development for the burgeoning campus.

In the spring of 2006, the Christian Brothers influence returned to campus when Brother Raphael-Philip Thez, F.S.C. was named interim principal.

In 2008, Memorial High selected Edward Borges as its new principal. The following summer, Mr. Lowart left SJM for a similar position at a Southern California high school. Mr. Borges assumed both the duties of president and principal for the 2009-2010 school year.

In June 2010, the board named Lisa Nilmeier as the new president of San Joaquin Memorial High School.