In 1989, SI became the first (and still the only) coeducational Jesuit high school in the California Province, and much of the history of SI in the 1980s concerns that historic event. However, life continued routinely for the boys of SI. In fact, with the transition to the new school complete, the school was enjoying some of its best years. Ironically, with families moving to the suburbs and having fewer children, the number of students applying to SI was slowly diminishing. Those low figures weren’t the only factors prompting administrators here to re-examine the school’s mission. Alumni with daughters were also interested in a Jesuit education for their girls, and the school responded to their needs.
Academically, SI continued to excel with a steady growth in the Advanced Placement Program, and it was recognized as one of the 60 best prep schools in the nation by the U.S. Department of Education in 1984.
SI athletes also excelled, with the boys basketball team winning the league four straight years and taking two CCS crowns and the Northern California Championship (1984). Swimmers took six league championships, soccer won the WCAL in 1981, and the track team won two league crowns. Ray Calcagno ’64 and Jim Dekker ’68 continued to coach successful football and baseball teams, and new sports began making their marks.
Leading SI throughout the 1980s were Principal Mario Prietto, SJ, and President Tony Sauer, SJ. Together, this duo from Southern California prepared SI for coeducation and launched a $16 million building campaign that, by 1994, would lead SI to new heights.
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