Bellarmine-Jefferson High School
|Bellarmine-Jefferson High School|
|Steeple at Bellarmine-Jefferson
God helping me, I will do my best today
|465 East Olive Avenue
Burbank, California, (Los Angeles County), 91501
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic|
|Patron saint(s)||Robert Bellarmine|
|Vice principal||Dr. Colby Boysen|
|Color(s)||Red, White and Blue|
|Accreditation||Western Association of Schools and Colleges|
|A.P./Dean of Students||Steven Bergen|
|A.P./Director of Guidance||Br. Philip Shepler|
|Athletic Director||Fred Martinez, '81|
Bellarmine-Jefferson is a co-educational Catholic high school located in Burbank, CA that was founded by Monsignor Martin Cody Keating in 1944. Keating selected the school's name from St. Robert Bellarmine (a 17th-century Italian Jesuit priest) and Thomas Jefferson (the nation's 3rd president). The school colors are Red, White, and Royal Blue. The school mascot is the Guard, named for the Swiss Guard organization that has protected the pope since 1506. Bell-Jeff celebrated its first commencement ceremony with the class of 1948. The school's unofficial motto is "God helping me I will do my best today," a quote attributed to St. Robert Bellarmine.
The school's main building is a replica of the old Pennsylvania State House, also known as Independence Hall, located in Philadelphia, PA. Adjacent to the main building is St. Eleanor's Hall, a replica of the main library at the University of Virginia, designed by Thomas Jefferson. The main entry to St. Eleanor's Hall has 13 steps, representing the original 13 colonies in the order they became states by ratifying the U.S. Constitution.
The clock tower on the main building is frozen to honor the two famous documents written in Independence Hall. On the north side of the tower is July 4, 1776 @ 8:00 pm to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and on the south side is September 17, 1787 @ 4:00 pm to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution.
Bell-Jeff is a four-year college preparatory high school. As of the 2014-2015 school year the school offers eight Advanced Placement courses (Calculus, Chemistry, Chinese Language & Culture, English Literature, European History, Psychology, Spanish Language, and United States History), UC approved college prep courses, and a host of electives.
In recent years the school has sent students to the University of Notre Dame, Georgetown University, Columbia University, Boston University, UCLA, UC Berkeley, USC, St. John's University, UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, Occidental College, University of Arizona, UC Riverside, Loyola Marymount University, Pepperdine University, and UNLV.
Bell-Jeff offers 14 varsity sports. The girls compete in the Santa Cruz League of the CIF Southern Section in six sports while the boys compete in the Santa Fe League of CIF-SS in eight sports. * Athletics Website
The Cross Country teams are arguably the most successful programs on campus. The girls team has won its league championship seven times since 2000, most recently during the 2008 season, and is a consistent challenger in the CIF-SS Division V. Both teams will proudly host the 41st annual Bellarmine-Jefferson Cross Country Invitational on September 27, 2014 at Griffith Park. The Invitational is one of the largest and longest-running invitationals in Southern California. It also is the longest running event in Griffith Park.
The most popular sport at Bell-Jeff has had it greatest success in the past two decades. The boys team has made the CIF-SS playoffs six consecutive years and had California's state leader in scoring in 1998 in Ruben Douglas. Douglas went on to lead the NCAA in scoring as a senior at the University of New Mexico and played professional basketball in Europe. The Guards last won the Santa Fe league title in 2011, ending a 14 year drought. The Lady Guards proudly own the school's only two sectional championships, winning the CIF-SS title during the 1996-1997 season and most recently during the 2008-2009 campaign. The 2008-2009 team went on to win the Southern California regional championship and then on March 20, 2009 defeated Pinewood Prep, 55-47, at Arco Arena in Sacramento to win the school's first California State Championship. The state championship was also the first ever for any Burbank area high school in a team sport. In addition, the team has appeared in the CIF-SS title game two times, losing both in 2003 and 2008. The Girls team also won the Nike Tournament of Champions in the Grey Division in 2008 and placed 3rd in 2009. After winning the CIF and State titles in 2009, the Lady Guards advanced to the CIF Semi-Finals for three consecutive seasons, 2010-2012. During the 2012 season Rishonda Napier was named the LA Daily News player of the year and was nominated as a McDonald's All-American.
The football team returned to play its 2012 home games at newly constructed Memorial Field on the campus of John Burroughs, after playing its 2011 home games at North Hollywood HS. Despite the school's small student population, the football team is consistently ranked in the top-ten of CIF-SS's Northeast Division. The team has won four league championships in its history - 1954, 2000, 2004, and most recently 2007. The 2008 team won the schools' 1st CIF playoff game since 1954, before falling in the CIF Quarterfinals. The Guards returned to the playoffs in 2012, and the future is bright as the Guards welcome new Head Coach and Athletic Director, Fred Martinez (Class of 1981) to the school for the 2014 season.
Both teams play their home games in Keating Memorial Gymnasium (nicknamed "The Guard House") on campus. The girls team won seven consecutive Santa Cruz league titles from 2006-2012. The girls had a 49-1 record during that time which included a winning streak of 46 matches. In 2009, the team advanced all the way to the CIF-SS Division IVA Championship game, the only title game appearance in school history. The Lady Guards had advanced to the CIF Quarterfinals in 1993 and 2008. In 2010 the girls reached the CIF Semi-Finals and then the Quarterfinals in 2011 - both years falling to the eventual division champion. The boys team also has fared well in recent years, qualifying for the CIF-SS Division V playoffs three consecutive years and having their finest season in 2007 when they advanced to the CIF Quarterfinals.
The baseball team plays its home games at Burbank's Brace Park and competes in CIF-SS Division V. The team ended an almost twenty-year drought by winning the Santa Fe League Championship in 2005. The team qualified for the CIF-SS playoffs for nine consecutive years from 2003-2011. The softball team competes at Burbank's Gross Park and has qualified for the CIF-SS playoffs in each of the last nine seasons, winning its first playoff game since 1994 in 2008. The softball team has developed into one of the finest in the area. The Lady Guards have won five consecutive Santa Cruz League Championships from 2010-2014 (losing only one game during that time - by forfeit) and advanced to three consecutive CIF-SS Championship games, losing to Pomona Catholic in 2011 and again in 2012, before finally breaking through and winning the school's first CIF-SS softball championship on June 1, 2013, 8-4 over Mary Star of the Sea.
Faculty & Staff Alumnuae
Many Bell-Jeff alums are currently working as teachers and staff members as of the 2014-2015 school year. Among them are: Lori Clerihan - Alumni Director (Class of '72) Carol De Philip - Finance Manager (Class of '82); Melody Doyle - Administrative Assistant/Office Manager (Class of '70); Fred Martinez - Athletic Director and Head Football coach (Class of '81); Michelle Otis - Choral Director, English & Religion teacher (Class of '87);
- Angie Dickinson - actress
- Alan Alda - actor
- Doug Savant - actor
- Philip McKeon - actor
- Nancy McKeon - actress
- Bobby Schayer - drummer of Bad Religion
- Mike Fasano - drummer of Warrant
- Ruben Douglas - basketball player
Notes and references
- WASC-ACS. "WASC-Accrediting Commission for Schools". Retrieved 2009-06-05.