Focus on the Faculty: 1990s

The decade of the 1990s could be split into two halves. For the first half, the school worked to smooth the transition from a single-sex to a coeducational institution, with the last all-male class graduating in June 1992. Students and faculty saw change everywhere — from the new buildings rising up on the south end of the campus to changes in program and personnel. In the latter half, the faculty found new opportunities for growth in the Professional Development Program that has become a model for schools in California and for the 47 Jesuit high schools across the nation.

The ’90s also saw a change in leadership with the departure of Fr. Prietto, the arrival of Steve Nejasmich ’65 and the promotion of SI’s first lay principal, Charlie Dullea ’65.

Academically, the school enjoyed remarkable success, especially with Advanced Placement tests. SI ranked among the top 20 schools in the nation in terms of the number of tests students took and passed, and students continued to find entry into the nation’s top colleges.

They found success in other venues, too. Campus Ministry flourished in the 1990s with the creation of the Immersion Program, which sent juniors all over the world to experience life in Third World communities. The senior retreat program changed formats to a Kairos experience, and the retreat program grew at every class level.

Thanks to coeducation, new athletic traditions began at SI with the creation of the field hockey and softball teams and with girls forming volleyball, soccer, basketball, tennis, swimming, water polo, lacrosse, track and field, cross country, crew and golf teams. The decade also saw SI’s first athletic national championship when the boys’ crew took gold medals in Cincinnati in 1997 and three state championships. The girls’ crew also excelled, winning two state titles.

The boys’ cross country team brought home a state championship in 1996 — only the second time any SI team had ever done so. The boys also won the league title four times and the CCS title three times. The girls’ cross country team turned in 10 straight league victories between 1991 and 2000 and six sectional titles, a remarkable achievement.

The boys’ lacrosse team won the state championship three years running, from 1999 to 2001 as well as league titles in 1990 through 1992, and the girls’ team won its league five straight years, from 1997 through 2001. Basketball continued to generate excitement with the boys earning league crowns and a CCS championship in 1998. A young girls’ program proved its strength from the start, taking two CCS titles. A host of other sports also enjoyed tremendous success, from basketball, softball, tennis, swimming, soccer, field hockey and volleyball, each winning league or sectional championships.

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