Serra LogoJunipero Serra High School

Alumni eNewsletter

 December 2011


A Great Story!!


You will be receiving the Annual Appeal letter from Our School shortly. Last year, the Appeal Letter featured Marquis Lee now of USC. This year features Urina Harrell. We suggest you open the letter and read Urina's story !


Appeal Letter  



Alumni Tiles


We always put a funds request in the

eNewsletter. In deference to the Appeal Letter, the only request that will be made this time is to report that the Alumni Tile total is at 66 as of today. We refer you to the Alumni Section for an ORDER FORM.


If you really want to help, send us $1200.00 and become one of 10 whose name and class year will be placed in a special section with a larger tile. These 10 will be covering the cost of building the wall. We have 4 donors in at $1200.00 each. 





As two readers pointed out, Mr. Donovan's name was misspelled. 




April 21, 2012. We will host an event honoring Coach Dwan Hurt.


Coach Hurt graduated from Serra in 1981. He then attended and played basketball at Gonzaga. Coach returned to Serra in 1986 as an assistant coach and teacher. Dwan became Head Basketball Coach for the 1988-89 season. Since then, his Serra teams have won 14 League Championships, 5 C.I.F. Championships, 2 Southern California Championships and 2 California State Championships. Coach also taught Religion and has  served as Dean of Discipline since 2000.   Mark April 21st on your calendar.



Reunion Schedule



May 5, 2010           '62

Denny Grace

Mike Raffanello

Sam Brakel


May 12, 2012          '72

Mike Faneuff


May 19, 2012          '82

James George 

Walter DeJean   


Fall Sports Review 


"When the One Great Scorer comes to write against your name, He marks not that you won or lost---- but how you played the game."  Grantland Rice


     With only 12 Seniors, Serra's gridiron heros won the League Championship for the 4th year in a row, but lost in the first round of C.I.F. Wait till next year! Girls's Volleyball went 17-5 overall and 8-0 as Mission League Champs.   Boys Cross Country finished 6th and the Girl's finished 4th. Girls Golf and Tennis Teams in their Inaugural year finished their seasons winless. All of our student athletes practiced and played hard and we are proud of their efforts.




Monsignor Sal Pilato visited Serra and advised us that an Alum from '64 or '65 had a short novel published.  The setting in this novel was Serra under another name. It included characters that resemble an interesting typing teacher and more. A copy was given to Serra for inclusion in the library.....the mystery is, what's the title and who is the author? 


If you are reading

this in beautiful NE Oklahoma or sunny Arizona, and are interested in more on Serra Athletics, we suggest you go to the

 Daily Breeze 

and find email subscriptions.  $65.00 buys you a year.  

Baseball Note 


Columbia University will be on campus early January scouting Serra Baseball players.


Financial Update 


Through the end of November 2011, the Alumni Council reports contributions at $55,815.


Through November last year, the total was $21,352.


Thanks for your support and let's keep the ball rolling.




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Serra's Class of 1976 Returns to Campus



76 Reunion Photo 

Serra's Class of 1976 returned to their Alma Mater on October 22 to celebrate their 35th Year Reunion. The class really enjoyed getting back to Serra and seeing their old campus and classmates. Many commented on how good the campus looked. After the sun went down, a few got outside and were impressed to find the Greccio Grotto of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. The Grotto was built by Monsignor Sal Pilato, principal from 1996 to 2008 (then Father Sal).

Serra 1962      Serra 2012      Serra Parent    


Dave Ohara graduated from Serra in 1962. Dave was the quintessential Serrra student. He served on the Student Council, was Chief Justice of the Student Court, and he lettered in both football and track. Shortly after graduation, tragedy struck. This promising young Serra grad was killed in an automobile accident. The Class of 1962 built a memorial for Dave. The next time you visit the campus..... take the time to visit the memorial and read Dave's words of inspiration.



Christina & Rodolfo





















Standing by Dave's memorial is Senior Christine Gonzalez and her father Rodolfo Serra's Groundkeeper who is responsible for the up keep of the JSHS campus and its memorials. 

Dean Carter and Ted Phillips

 Dean Carter & Ted 


















Dean Carter, Class of 1979, continues to contribute in many ways to Serra's continuing success. Dean was an active student while at Serra. He managed the Basketball and Track Teams, was in the Math Club, participated in the Model U.N. among other activities. Dean met with Ted Dunlap, Serra's Athletic Director and Math Teacher.   

Brian Abrahams and Felicia Cordova


Brian  Abrahams


Brian Abrahams, Class of 1982, visited and talked of old times with others from his era like Coach Hurt '81 and Joe Cormier '81. Part of the discussion was about Brian's future help for Serra. Outside, we met up with 2012 graduate, Felicia Cordova. Felicia is an active member of the Life Team at Serra. The Life Team Members are the Christian Leaders at Serra.   Thirty years apart and Brian and Felicia are important members of Serra's Family


Kevin Biggers

    Kevin Biggers
Kevin Biggers, Class of 1980, stopped into visit Serra and walked out with a Tile Reservation and an Alumni Card. Kevin has done much to be proud of. So much that we suggest you go to and learn about Kevin's experiences in politics, athletics....he still competes in Masters Track and Field, business and as an Actor, a great Serra Alumni!

Mike Johnston '67


Mike Johnston, Class Captain '67, arrived in the late afternoon and got the grand late afternoon tour. We left the Development Office and turned the corner heading for the Gym and ran into 15-20 Serra JV/Frosh football players acting like 14-15 year old football players. They saw us and started acting like 30 year olds. I told them, this is Mr. Johnston, Serra Class of '67. Our young men lined up, stuck their hands out and each announced in turn, I'm DeShawn Y class of '13, I'm Jason D, class of '14 etc.


We moved into the Gym where McKinsey Hadley, varsity girls basketball coach was conducting intense drills with his team.....Coach and the girls were concentrating and working so hard, we did not interrupt.


We then proceeded to the track and field. Our Ladies Cavaliers Soccer Team were warming up under the direction of Coach Tiana Oliver. The ladies greeted Mike warmly.  Across the field we met Head Track Coach Smith-Thompson.   In addition to Urina Harrell's success story Coach told us that she had other student athletics visiting universities such as Columnia and Duke.  As Mike and I walked back to the development office, Mike remarked that he was looking for a word to describe what he had seen. I said, "Mike, it's easy, it's Serra and it's magic." 

Did You Know


Part of your IRA or 401k Can be Donated to Serra High School. A charitable donation of a portion of your Retirement Plan completely avoids both income tax and the federal estate tax. Donating a part of your 401k or IIRA can greatly benefit Serra. The Alumni Council has set up a free program for Serra Alumni to help you make a donation to Serra through your will, living trust or retirement plan.


Contact Bill Wais '70 at 818-244-1894 or Bill can send you a list of Serra Alumni volunteer estate planning attorneys who can provide free assistance with your donation. Any Serra Alum estate planning attorney who would like to join this program can contact Bill

Christmas  Prayer 


Lord, in this holy season of prayer and song and laughter, we praise you for the great wonders you have sent us: for shining star and angel's song, for infant's cry in lowly manger. We praise you for the Word made flesh in a little Child. We behold his glory, and are bathed in its radiance.

Be with us as we sing the ironies of Christmas, the incomprehensible comprehended, the poetry made hard fact, the helpless Babe who cracks the world asunder. We kneel before you shepherds, innkeepers, wisemen. Help us to rise bigger than we are. Amen.


The Alumni/Development department wishes you a Blessed Christmas and Happy New Year!    


Vince Kates '61     Joe Cormier '81     DeShawn Burton '88                       Crystal King '11     Connie Bohannon     J Michael Liberty