Strake Jesuit College Preparatory

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Strake Jesuit College Preparatory
"Men for Others", Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (motto of the Jesuits), Sic Deus Vult (from the motto of the First Crusade)
"For the Greater Glory of God", "God wills it so"
8900 Bellaire Boulevard
Houston, Texas, United States
Coordinates 29°42′29″N 95°32′23″W / 29.70809°N 95.53979°W / 29.70809; -95.53979Coordinates: 29°42′29″N 95°32′23″W / 29.70809°N 95.53979°W / 29.70809; -95.53979
Type Private, All Boys
Religious affiliation(s) Catholic (Jesuit)
Established June 21, 1960
President Daniel K. Lahart
Principal Ken Lojo
Asst. Principal Jeff Johnson; Mark McNeil; Trip Norkus
Chaplain Flavio Bravo
Faculty 81
Grades 912
Enrollment 936
Student to teacher ratio 12:1
Campus Urban
Campus size 52 acres
Color(s) Green and White          
Mascot Dark Green Knight
Nickname Crusaders
Accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools [1]
Average SAT scores 1915[2]
Publication Plume (literary magazine)
Newspaper Magis
Yearbook The Crusader
Dean of Students Dan Healey
Admissions Director Thomas Beverick
Athletic Director Mike Crowley
Entrance to Strake Jesuit
Carlos Setien's Untitled on the Strake campus
Statue of St. Ignatius on campus

Strake Jesuit College Preparatory (commonly referred to as Strake Jesuit or simply Jesuit) is a Jesuit, college-preparatory school for males, grades 9-12, in the Chinatown area and in the Greater Sharpstown district of Houston, Texas.[3][4] It is located in proximity to Alief.[5]

With over 900 students, it is the largest Catholic high school in Houston. It boasts a large collection of art installed around the campus, both inside and out. Its collection is so extensive that the City of Houston has classified the campus as an art museum[6] for which the school maintains a full-time curator. The school is located within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. It is one of only two private schools in Texas that are members of the University Interscholastic League (the other being Dallas Jesuit), which allows it to compete athletically against the largest public schools.


The school was founded by Father Michael Kenelley, S.J.,[7][8] on June 21, 1960, in land donated by Frank Sharp on what was then the undeveloped, west side of Houston.[citation needed]

During a three-year period until 1993, the number of applications submitted to Strake Jesuit doubled. Father Brian Zinnamon, the school President, said during the year that there were two times the number of applicants compared to available spots. At the time, tuition was $4,700 per year, described by Stephanie Asin of the Houston Chronicle as being steep.[5] Father Zinnamon said, "Certainly what is going on in the public schools is a factor. Parents are choosing a safe environment where they know their children are getting Christian values."[5]


The "Fighting Crusaders" were one of many Catholic high schools that originally competed in the now defunct T.C.I.L. (Texas Christian Interscholastic League) The league began in 1935 under the direction of Albert Mitchell (then principal of Central Catholic, San Antonio) Strake Jesuit's last year of competition in the T.C.I.L. concluded when the league came to a close in the 1999-2000 athletic season with the baseball team capturing the final T.C.I.L State Championship in any sport. In the fall of 2000 to the spring of 2003, the Crusaders competed as an independent in all sports until their admission into the University Interscholastic League (U.I.L.). They began competing in their listed district of 19-5A in the fall of 2003. The Crusader's own numerous District, Regional and State Championships in their various sports that date back from over the past 50 years in their old league. The Crusaders also won several District and Regional Championships along with a State Championship, State runners-up and State semi-finalists within the past eight years in the U.I.L. The "Fighting Crusaders" athletic department provides 13 different programs which include: Baseball, Basketball, Cross-Country, Football, Golf, Lacrosse, Rugby, Soccer, Swimming & Diving, Tennis, Track & Field, Water Polo, and Wrestling.


Despite moving to the U.I.L., Strake Jesuit still maintains its rivalry with Saint Thomas High School (STH). Since 1964 Strake has a record of 23-26-1 against STH.[9] Another less noted rivalry is the one between Strake and Dallas Jesuit. Since 1970 Strake has gone 10-14 against Dallas Jesuit.

Cross Country / Track[edit]

The Cross Country Team won 22 straight TCIL State titles starting in 1972.[citation needed]

Strake Jesuit Educational Television[edit]

The school uses a closed-circuit television system known as Strake Jesuit Educational Television (SJET). Daily morning prayer is led by students via the system, and announcements are shown in a format similar to typical television news programs. Programs are produced by students under the guidance of Jim Gilbert, who has moderated SJET since its inception. The students participating in SJET can take Television Production for half a class credit.[10]

Around 1999, Strake Jesuit updated its SJET system with the addition of smart boards in some classrooms, and boards were added to all classrooms by the beginning of the 2006 school year. Smart boards use projectors and touch sensitive technology to produce an interactive way of teaching. They are also used for the display of the SJET morning announcements. Throughout the course of the year, the student body may view new installments of the school's own game show, "Scribbage Match" during the morning announcements. SJET is also commonly used to announce items of interest to the student body, including student council candidate speeches and messages from the faculty. In addition, interviews, and other programs that are intended to be comical are shown on SJET. The ten SJET announcers, two of whom announce on any given day, compose a story every school quarter. It is then shown to the student body after announcements are finished, should time permit.[10]

Spiritual Life[edit]


All students and members of faculty and staff take part in a retreat at some point during the school year. Apart from taking part in their own retreat, many teachers are involved in retreats for students.

Freshmen participate in a three day retreat, led by juniors and seniors who spend several months in preparation. Sophomores are responsible for the 'nuts and bolts' dimension of the retreat such as errands, meals and cleaning. Freshmen gather in homes, spend a night at school, visit nursing homes and engage in various activities designed to promote spiritual growth and class bonding.

Sophomores take part in a retreat with their fathers or father-figures. The purpose of the sophomore retreat is to develop the relationship between father and son as well as the spirituality of the student.

Juniors have a choice of retreat. One is a three day retreat experience, the first day of which is spent with the disadvantaged members of the Houston area. Afterwards, juniors spend two days reflecting on the experience, upon the brokenness of the world, and how Christ may or may not be present in the poorest. Another option is the prayer-styles retreat, which was begun in 1996 after requests from students over 2–3 years. During this three day residential retreat, juniors discover and experience a variety of prayer methods such as meditation, praying with music, through nature, the psalms and using such things as play-dough as creative prayer.

Seniors participate in the four day Kairos Retreat, during which they, together with faculty, share their lives particularly those moments when they have experienced God, emptiness, joy, pain or healing. The purpose is for students to see how the Spirit of God is present in all aspects of life. There is a special session of this retreat held each year that is also open to juniors, often referred to as "Junior Kairos".[11]

Community Service[edit]

Catholicism embraces a preferential option for the poor, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that a healthy spirituality is expressed in a concern for the social aspects of life.[12] Strake Jesuit embraces this concept, and was one of the first Catholic schools in Texas to require its students to engage in community service in order to graduate.

Freshmen visit nursing homes, sophomores collect Christmas gifts for underprivileged children, juniors engage in various projects and seniors are required to spend 100 hours of community service in such places as soup kitchens, camps for special needs children and missions abroad. Seniors are also required to produce a reflection paper on the experience.[13]

The Strake Jesuit website states: Strake Jesuit College Preparatory is grounded in the conviction of St. Ignatius of Loyola that God is to be found in all things. All activities of the school, from biology to band, from football to forensics, have this objective: to find God in all of God's wondrous creation.[14] It is the declared goal of the Pastoral Department to foster this aim.

Notable alumni[edit]

Awards and honors[edit]

Strake Jesuit was recognized by the Texas ACT Council with the 2009 College Readiness Award for maintaining or increasing the number of students taking the ACT Assessment over the past five years and significantly increasing their level of achievement and college readiness.[16] Since the foundation of the Catholic High School Honor Roll in 2004, Strake has been ranked among the top 50 Catholic High Schools in the United States in 2004,[17] 2005,[18] 2007,[19] 2008,[20] and 2010.[21][note 1] In addition to being named to list, the school was recognized for its academics in 2004,[22] 2005,[23] 2006,[24] and 2007[25] by the Catholic High School Honor Roll, and in 2004,[26] 2005,[27] and 2007,[28] it was also recognized for its civic education.[note 2]


  1. ^ Note that no list was compiled in 2009 and 2011.
  2. ^ Note that no category leaders were named in 2008, 2010, and 2012.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ SACS-CASI. "SACS-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  2. ^ Congratulations to the Class of 2013!
  3. ^ "Districts[dead link]." Greater Sharpstown Management District. I. Retrieved on August 15, 2009.
  4. ^ "Chinatown." (Archive) Greater Sharpstown Management District. Retrieved on December 4, 2012. Map image, Archive
  5. ^ a b c Asin, Stephanie. "GOING BY DIFFERENT BOOKS/More private institutions get the call". Houston Chronicle. August 8, 1993. Section C, Page 1. Retrieved July 21, 2011.
  6. ^ Strake Jesuit - Campus
  7. ^ Pope, John (2011-01-11). "The Rev. Michael Kennelly, former Loyola University president, dies at age 96". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  8. ^ "Past president of Loyola dies at age 96". Loyola University New Orleans. 2011-01-05. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  9. ^ Jenkins, Jeff. "GAME OF THE WEEK Strake to host rivalry game Crusaders favored over historic foes in opener of school's 50th." Houston Chronicle. August 19, 2010. Retrieved on July 23, 2011.
  10. ^ a b Strake Jesuit - SJET
  11. ^ Strake Jesuit - Retreats
  12. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church - PART 3 SECTION 2 CHAPTER 2 ARTICLE 7
  13. ^ Strake Jesuit - Community Service
  14. ^ Strake Jesuit - Spiritual Life
  15. ^
  17. ^ 2004 Catholic High School Honor Roll
  18. ^ 2005 Catholic High School Honor Roll
  19. ^ 2007 Catholic High School Honor Roll
  20. ^ 2008 Catholic High School Honor Roll
  21. ^ 2010 Catholic High School Honor Roll
  22. ^ 2004 Leaders in Academics
  23. ^ 2005 Leaders in Academics
  24. ^ 2006 Leaders in Academics
  25. ^ 2007 Leaders in Academics
  26. ^ 2004 Leaders in Civic Education
  27. ^ 2005 Leaders in Civic Education
  28. ^ 2007 Leaders in Civic Education

External links[edit]