Junípero Serra High School (Gardena, California)

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Junípero Serra High School
14830 South Van Ness Avenue
Gardena, California, (Los Angeles County), 90249
United States
Coordinates 33°53′48″N 118°19′3″W / 33.89667°N 118.31750°W / 33.89667; -118.31750Coordinates: 33°53′48″N 118°19′3″W / 33.89667°N 118.31750°W / 33.89667; -118.31750
Type Private, Coeducational
Motto "You Shall Be My Witnesses."
(Acts 1:8)
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic;
Marianists (1950-1994)
Established 1950
School code 051025
Principal Christian De Larkin Ed.D.
Grades 912
Campus Suburban
Color(s) Royal Blue and Scarlet         
Nickname Cavaliers
Accreditation Western Association of Schools and Colleges[1]
Annual tuition $7,510 - $7,810
Vice Principal Nadi Wissa M.A. Ed.
Athletic Director Ted Dunlap
Director of Advancement John Posatko
Alumni Relations and Development Director Joseph D. Cormier '81

Junípero Serra High School is a private, Roman Catholic high school in Gardena, California, a suburban city located 14 miles southwest from downtown Los Angeles. Honored as a State School of the Year, Serra is operated by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.


Junípero Serra High School was founded by James Francis Cardinal McIntyre in 1950.[2] It is named for founder of the California Missions, Blessed Fray Junípero Serra, The school, which was largely staffed by the Society of Mary graduated its first class in 1953.[2] Religious of the Sacred Heart and Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and archdiocesan priests have also helped to staff the school at various times in its history. The Marianists left in 1994 due to lack of members to staff all their schools.[3] The school has played a very important role in the life of the community, graduating over four thousand students.

The current administration and faculty are predominately lay women and men. Their dedication to the Catholic philosophy of education and values of the Gospel serves as an example for today's youth.[2]

In addition to Gardena, the school also serves Carson, Compton, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lennox, Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, and Torrance.[2] The student body brings with it a diverse cultural and ethnic background which continues to enrich the traditions begun in 1950.[2]


In the tradition of Padre Serra, Serra High School provides a Catholic and college preparatory education for our students with varied curricular and extracurricular programs. With the support of faculty, parents, alumni, the advisory board and the community, students from diverse cultural, economic and religious backgrounds work together to create a true Christian spirit.[2]

This tradition, based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, educates the whole person, emphasizing the importance of developing the individual spiritually, academically, socially, and physically. This emphasis instills the self-motivation for success in life now and in the future.[2]


Serra High School is recognized for the diversity of its academic programs and student accomplishmentsl. In 2010, U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) presented school administrators with a framed copy of a statement she filed in the Congressional Record that honors Serra for its academic and athletic achievements. In 2011, Serra won its second consecutive national championship in the Catholic Math League, outscoring 29 top high schools from around the country.


As of 1992 the school White, Latino, and African-American students.[4]


CIF and State Championships[edit]

Serra athletic programs have earned numerous California State and CIF-Southern Section titles. In the spring of 2013 the boys track & field team set a record with 148 team points en route to winning their 20th CIF Southern Section title, taking twelve out of the last fourteen. After narrowly missing the title in 2010 and 2012, the boys track & field team finished a historic season by capturing the California Division 1 State Championship. The team finished with several individual state champions, making it their team second California Division 1 State Championship. In the Spring of 2012 the girls won the California Division 1 State Championship and their 4th consecutive CIF-Southern Section title. Serra has also placed five top 20 records in California State High School Track & Field history in the 4x100 meter relay according to DyestatCal and ESPN,[5] along with all time marks in the 100, 200, and 400 meter sprints, 300 intermediate hurdles, discus, and 4X400 relay. The track program has also produced 3 (Division 1) State Coaches of the Year since the year 2000, and 19 individual (Division 1) State Champions in recent school history.[6] In December 2012, the Serra Cavaliers football team won the Division 2 California State title. They also won a Division 3 California State title in 2009, making that a total of two titles in four years.[7][8] This victory adds to the three CIF- Southern Section Championship titles that the Serra Cavaliers earned in football during the same four year period.[9] In the 2011-2012 academic year, Serra won four CIF Southern Section-Ford championships.[10] In 2010, Serra Basketball claimed the CIF-Southern Section and California State Boys Basketball titles.[11] The Boys Basketball team has earned 2 California State titles in all-time school history.

Since 1980, the school has won numerous state and CIF Championships, in addition to dozens of league titles:[12]

  • 1980: CIF-SS BoysTrack Field
  • 1981: CIF-SS BoysTrack & Field
  • 1982: CIF-SS Boys Track & Field
  • 1989: CIF-SS Football
  • 1993: State Champs Boys Basketball, CIF-SS Boys Basketball
  • 1994: CIF-SS Boys Track & Field
  • 1996: State Champs Boys Track & Field (4x100), CIF-SS Boys Track & Field
  • 1997: CIF-SS Boys Track & Field
  • 1998: CIF-SS Boys Track & Field
  • 1999: CIF-SS Boys Basketball, CIF-SS Boys Track & Field
  • 2000: Division 1 State Champs Boys Track & Field, State Champs Boys Track & Field (100 meter dash, 4x100 relay, 4x400 relay), CIF-SS Boys Track & Field, CIF Regional Boys Basketball, CIF-SS Boys Basketball
  • 2002: CIF-SS Boys Track & Field
  • 2003: CIF-SS Boys Track & Field, CIF-SS Girls Track & Field (first CIF Title for girls; was all-boys school until 1991)
  • 2004: CIF-SS Boys Track & Field
  • 2005: CIF-SS Boys Track & Field
  • 2006: CIF-SS Boys Basketball
  • 2007: CIF-SS Boys Track & Field
  • 2008: CIF-SS Boys Track & Field
  • 2009: State Champs Football (Division III), State Champs Girls Track & Field (4x400 relay) (400 meter sprint), State Champs Boys Track (4x100 relay) CIF-SS Football (Northwest Division), CIF-SS Girls Track & Field, CIF-SS Boys Track & Field
  • 2010: State Champs Boys Basketball, State Champs Girls Track & Field (400 meter dash), State Champs Boys Track and Field (Boys 4x400 relay), CIF-SS Boys Track & Field, CIF-SS Girls Track & Field, CIF-SS Boys Basketball, CIF-SS Girls Basketball, CIF-SS Football (Western Division),
  • 2011: State Champs Girls Track (4x400 relay), CIF-SS Boys Track and Field, CIF-SS Girls Track and Field, CIF-SS Boys Basketball, CIF-SS Girls Basketball,
  • 2012: State Champs Girls Track, State Champs Girls Track (4x100 relay, 4x400 relay, 400 meter dash, Long Jump), State Champs Boys Track and Field (110 hurdles, Long Jump), State Champs Football (Division II), CIF-SS Football (Western Division), CIF-SS Girls Track, CIF-SS Boys Track
  • 2013: Division 1 State Champs Boys Track, State Champs Boys Track & Field:(Boys 4x100 relay, Boys 300 hurdles, Boys 4x400 relay), State Champs Girls Basketball, CIF-SS Boys Track, CIF-SS Boys Baseball

School of the Year[edit]

In the 2009–2010 academic year, the Serra Cavaliers, who compete in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), became the first school in California history to win state football and basketball titles in the same academic year. For this achievement, Serra was named "2009–2010 State School of the Year" by Cal-Hi Sports. Based on school enrollment, Serra is the smallest school to ever receive this honor and the first State School of the Year recipient from the South Bay region of Los Angeles in 44 years.[13][14][15]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]


  1. ^ WASC-ACS. "WASC-Accrediting Commission for Schools". Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g JSHS. "About Us". Junípero Serra High School website. Retrieved 2007-09-04. 
  3. ^ JSHS. "School History". Junípero Serra High School website. Retrieved 2007-08-01. 
  4. ^ Fernandes, Lorna. "Japanese Students Sample Life at U.S. Schools : Education: The visit to Junipero Serra High School was a cultural awakening for guests and hosts alike." Los Angeles Times. November 20, 1992. Retrieved on February 6, 2013.
  5. ^ "All-Time California Track & Field Records; ESPN". 
  6. ^ "Serra-Gardena Championships". 
  7. ^ http://www.dailybreeze.com/sports/ci_22203226/high-school-football-serra-overwhelms-oakdale-win-cif
  8. ^ http://www.modbee.com/2012/12/15/2497555/mustangs-corralledserras-advantage.html
  9. ^ http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-1201-chaminade-serra-20121201,0,2384526.story
  10. ^ http://www.cifss.org/news_detail.php?id=1308&from_page=index
  11. ^ "Gardena Serra Wins D3 State Title | Junipero Serra High School Boys' Basketball". iHigh.com. 2010-03-29. Retrieved 2010-11-05. 
  12. ^ "Junipero Serra High School". Serrahighschool.com. 1999-12-31. Retrieved 2010-11-05. 
  13. ^ "A Nod For Small Schools Everywhere - Espn Rise | High School Sports News, Training For Performance And College Recruiting | How To Be A Better Athlete". Rise.espn.go.com. Retrieved 2010-11-05. 
  14. ^ Gittelson, Gerry (2010-07-19). "Serra named Cal-Hi Sports state school of year; H.W. also honored - Daily News High School Spotlight". Insidesocal.com. Retrieved 2010-11-05. 
  15. ^ "Serra wins Cal-Hi Sports State School of the Year honor". The Daily Breeze. 2010-03-09. Retrieved 2010-11-05. 
  16. ^ "100 METRES HURDLES - WOMEN - SENIOR - OUTDOOR - 2009". 
  17. ^ "Memorial service held for blow molder Melville". Plastics News. Retrieved 2010-11-05. 
  18. ^ "400 METRES HURDLES - WOMEN - SENIOR - OUTDOOR - 2011". 
  19. ^ "2011 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships~ Women's 400 Meter Hurdles Senior - Final". 
  20. ^ "2012 U-S-Olympic-Team-Trials Results: Womens 400 Meter Hurdles Final Results". 
  21. ^ "60 METRES - MEN - SENIOR - INDOOR - 2010". 
  22. ^ "400 METRES - MEN - SENIOR - OUTDOOR - 2010". 

External links[edit]