St. Joseph Notre Dame High School

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St. Joseph Notre Dame High School
1011 Chestnut St.
Alameda, California 94501

United States
Established 1881
Color(s) Blue and Orange
Mascot Pilot
Accreditation Western Association of Schools and Colleges[1]

St. Joseph Notre Dame High School is a private high school in Alameda, California, United States.


On March 27, 1881, at the invitation of Father William Gleeson, pastor of St. Anthony Church in Brooklyn, (East Oakland), Sister Marie de Sacre Coeur and four Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur founded an academy for girls, grades one through twelve, on a plot of land on the corner of Chestnut Street and San Jose Avenue in Alameda.[2] Notre Dame Academy educated the young women of Alameda in grades one through twelve.

St. Joseph's was, at that time a "mission" church of St. Anthony's. In 1885, Saint Joseph's Parish was established, with Father Michael McNaboe as first pastor. In 1887 Fr. McNaboe requested the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur to staff a boys elementary school.

In 1916 Father James Bernard Praught opened Saint Joseph Elementary School for the boys and girls of the parish.In 1922 a new co-ed grammar school was donated to the parish by Theresa Ettinger in memory of her husband, the late Victor Ettinger. When St. Joseph Elementary Grammar School was built, the original school buildings became part of the girls high school, the Academy was renamed Notre Dame High School, a combined boarding and day school.[2] In 1960, Monsignor Alvin P. Wagner demolished the antiquated girls high school and built a new Saint Joseph's Notre Dame High School for girls. He erected the Gymnasium/Auditorium in 1964. The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur stayed with the elementary and high schools until 1990.

Saint Joseph's Boys High School was founded in 1935 by Father Praught and Father Joseph Tetzlaff, provincial of the Brothers of Mary (Marianists) on the same city block as Saint Joseph's Church, Saint Joseph's Elementary School and Notre Dame Girls High School.[2] The Brothers of Mary (Marianists) departed in 1970.

In 1972, Pope Paul VI honored Monsignor Wagner and the people of the parish by making the church a minor basilica, renamed Saint Joseph Basilica.

In 1983, Msgr. Wagner retired. Oakland Bishop John Stephen Cummins plans were set in motion to no longer staff the parish with diocesan priests. Cummins invited the Fathers of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart. The new pastor, Father Patrick A. Goodwin, SSCC decided to consolidate the two schools. These plans were completed in 1985 with the consolidation of the two single-sex schools into the coeducational St. Joseph Notre Dame High School. In 2007, the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary decided to leave Saint Joseph's Community. Oakland Bishop Allen Vigneron returned the parish to the diocesan priests. Pastor (2008-2013) Father Fred Riccio. Archbishop Alexander Joseph Brunett, apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Oakland named Rev. George Alengadan, pastor of St. Joseph Basilica, Alameda, June 1, 2013.


SJND enrolls approximately 400 young men and women in grades 9 through 12. SJND students come from over 27 public, independent and Catholic schools. Approximately 50 percent of the students live in Alameda, 25 percent live in Oakland, and 25 percent live in neighboring East Bay communities. Student demographics reflect the Bay Area's cultural and ethnic diversity: African-American 13%, Asian 11%, Euro-American 29%, Filipino 12%, Latino 16%, Native American 1%, Multiracial/Other 17.7%.[citation needed]


St. Joseph Notre Dame has a college preparatory curriculum. The school offers honors level courses in English, Math, Science, and Foreign Language and offers Advanced Placement courses in U.S. History, English Literature & Composition, English Language, American Government & Politics, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Physics, Biology, Spanish Language, Environmental Science, and Art Studio.

The school offers project-based learning and innovative courses including Coding, Mandarin, and a Biomedical Sciences program with STEM curricula. Ninety-nine percent of the senior class of 2014 enrolled in college, and graduates were offered just under $6 million in scholarships and awards. 2014 graduates will attend colleges universities including Brown University, California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, Cornell University, Dominican University of California, New York University, Saint Mary's College of California, University of California schools, University of San Francisco, and others.

Principals of the Saint Joseph Boys High School, 1935–1985[edit]

Brother Matthew Betz, S.M. 1935–1941
Brother Herman Keck, S.M. 1942–1947
Brother Joseph Becker, S.M. 1947–1951
Father Thomas Hogan, S.M. 1951–1957
Brother Roland Hinger, S.M. 1957–1959
Brother Elmer Dunsky, S.M. 1959–1963
Brother Robert Nunes, S.M. 1963–1966
Brother Richard Britton, S.M. 1966–1967
Brother Stanley Murakami, S.M. 1967–1969
Mr. Anthony V. Aiello, 1969–1985

Sources: 1935–1960, St. Joseph Parish 1960 Diamond Jubilee Book; 1963–1985, SJHS Alumni.

Principals of Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School, 1984-present[edit]

Mr. Anthony V. Aiello, 1984-2007
Mr. Simon Chiu, 2007-2015
Mr. Milt Werner, 2015-2016
Mr. Ken Jennings, 2016-

Source: Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School Communications Department.


SJND boasts a comprehensive arts program that includes visual, performing and literary arts offered in more than a dozen courses as well as a host of related student clubs. SJND student artists have been honored for their work in several areas. Each year since 2007, student photographers, illustrators, painters, digital and mixed media artists have garnered honors in competitions including First Place and Best in Show honors in the Congressional Art Competition[3] and other competitions and exhibitions.

The 2014 SJND musical In the Heights was among the top six high school musicals in California in the California State Musical Theater Honors competition.

For more than three decades the school’s arts magazine Prisms has showcased student visual and literary works as well as original musical scores, earning first place awards and other honors from The American Scholastic Press Association and National Council of Teachers of English.


St. Joseph Notre Dame offers interscholastic sports teams in baseball, basketball, cheerleading, crew, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. The school does not field a football team.

Despite being a small school, SJND has a reputation as a basketball powerhouse, having won Six California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) State Championships, a modern-era record for a Northern California school.[4] Most notably, SJND won two Boys' Division I state titles, despite having a student body less than half the size of virtually all CIF Division I schools, defeating Fremont High School of Los Angeles in 1991 and Mater Dei High School of Santa Ana in 1992. SJND reached the Boys' CIF Division I Finals two more times in 1997 & 1998, losing to Crenshaw High School and Westchester High School, respectively. In 2004, SJND won the Boys' Division IV Championship against Verbum Dei High School of Los Angeles, 49-47.[5] Most recently, SJND won the 2011 Boys' Division V State Championship against St. Bernard High School of Playa Del Rey, in 2014 against Renaissance Academy,[6] and once again against St. Bernard in 2016.[7] SJND also appeared in the 2009 Boys' Division V Finals, losing to Windward High School of Los Angeles, 69-53.[8] Former players include Cal and NBA star Jason Kidd '92, UCLA standout Ray Young '98, Stanford standout Justin Davis '99, UCSB star player Alex Harris '04, and Joe Nelson '93 who is now a pitcher for the Florida Marlins.

In men's tennis, St. Joseph Notre Dame won three BSAL Singles Championships in 2006, 2007, and 2008. The men's volleyball team enjoyed similar success as they captured three successive BSAL titles from 2006-2008.

Recently, SJND’s cross-country team has enjoyed great success as well. They were the state champions in their division in 2012 and 2013. In the 2011 season, the team won the BSAL breaking St. Mary’s decade-long winning streak. They also won NCS Division V with a record-setting time by Gabe Arias-Sheridan. The team placed 3rd in the State meet with a 3rd-place finish by Nick Ratto. Later that year, Ratto fished 3rd statewide in the 800m race. Cooper Teare won the Division V State Championship cross country races in 2015 and 2016 with times of 15:07 and 14:58 respectively. Teare continued his success winning the California All-State 3200 in 2016 and the Indoor National Titles for the 5k and 1-Mile in 2017. On April 14, 2017, Cooper ran a 4:00.16 Mile. At the time, this was the 10th fastest mile by an American high schooler ever.

St. Joseph Notre Dame's mascot is the Pilot, in honor of the city's former Naval Air Station.

Notable alumni[edit]


External links[edit]