Junior Hannah Holscher swims the Strait of Gibraltar

HannaHolscher600pxHannah Holscher ’16 became the youngest American to swim the Strait of Gibraltar when she made the 10-mile swim Aug. 6, with her father swimming alongside her.

She was glad for the company, especially given her father’s credentials. He set a world record for the longest relay when he and his team swam in shifts from San Francisco to Santa Barbara. He also swam the English Channel twice, also as part of a relay team.

Holscher at 16 already has her list of accomplishments, having won top team awards her freshman year as a member of both the water polo and swim teams at SI. This year, she will compete on the varsity level as well as continue her off-season work competing for SHAQ, a Junior Olympic team. Eventually, she hopes to become an architect and follow in both of her parents’ footsteps.

While browsing online swimming sites at the end of school in June, Holscher saw a story about a college student who had just made the crossing. “I saw her age and realized that I could be the youngest American to make the swim,” she said.

Back in 2009, that honor belonged to Stewart Goosens ’10, who completed the swim at 17 in 4 hours and 1 minute. Holscher took a little longer, making the swim in 4 hours and 49 minutes. (Back in 1989, a 12-year-old girl from India took the plunge, and she still holds the record as the youngest swimmer to successfully swim from Europe to Africa.)

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Football team draws national attention for high tech helmets

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Pictured above: SI Athletic Director John Mulkerrins ’89 with the new helmet sensors by Riddell.

The first practice of the SI varsity football team drew the attention of national press not because of its recent success but as a result of the school’s cutting-edge commitment to player safety.

The school purchased 180 InSite Impact Response System units from Riddell, the makers of the Speed helmets worn by the athletes, to measure impact and alert sideline staff to hits that may put the players at risk.

Though other Bay Area high schools have purchased a handful of these sensor units for some members of their first string varsity athletes, SI is by far the largest user of this new device in Northern California and has outfitted each member of the freshman, JV and varsity squads with sensor.

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SI rides the earthquake with no damage as seismic work progresses

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Shortly after a 6.0 earthquake shook the Bay Area out of its sleep on the morning of Aug. 24, SI’s Director of Buildings and Grounds Christopher Meehan walked through the school and saw that it had ridden the seismic waves without a crack or a scratch.

The next day, Lloyd Berges (pictured above) confirmed what Meehan saw. As superintendent for Plant Construction Company, the firm doing the $6 million seismic project, he knew that SI, given the strength of this earthquake, would have been fine even without the retrofit, thanks to the school’s long commitment to safety. The school was built to existing codes in 1969 and subsequent remodeling efforts incorporated reinforcements to the campus structures. The current work is being done in advance of new city codes. Read More

Interview with Camille Edwards & Eduardo Valencia

St. Ignatius College Preparatory President John Knight interviews seniors Camille Edwards, co-president of AAAS, and Eduardo Valencia, co-president of ALAS, on their recent achievements, their plans for college and their commitment to working for justice for underserved communities.

SI Voice: Episode 3 from St. Ignatius College Preparatory on Vimeo.

Helping families understand tuition assistance at SI

TheresaBayzeFinalSMTheresa Bayze, SI’s tuition assistance director, knows parents who worry about divulging too much information – but for two opposing reasons. Some worry about disclosing all their assets and not receiving as much aid as they want. Others – mainly parents of eighth graders – worry that SI might look askance at their applications if they even apply for aid.

Bayze’s job is to partner with both groups in her role as steward of SI’s tuition assistance fund and convince them to be up front and on time with their forms.

“Some families come from cultures that aren’t comfortable asking for help, while other families ask for aid who don’t need as much as they think they do. Complicating matters are the skewed economics of living in San Francisco, where salaries seem high, but so too is the cost of living. We also remind parents that our admissions process is needs-blind. We don’t consider family income at all when we review a student’s application to enroll here.”

This year, SI distributed more than $3.2 million to a quarter of the student body. Next year, that number will grow to more than $3.4 million, and for the second consecutive year, money earned by the endowment fund won’t cover the need. To make up the difference, the school will draw directly from donations. Read More

Students win awards for films about ocean & SITV

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Pictured from left: SITV moderators Yosup Joo & Don Gamble; Jack Weber & Henry Callander; Gina Bruni

Three SI students have won awards in two film competitions, one showcased at the White House and another that the filmmakers hope will inspire care for the ocean.

Gina Bruni ’15 and Henry Callander ’14 created a film about SITV – the newest way students at SI learn about announcements and news during their announcement periods. They received an honorable mention for the inaugural White House Student Film Festival, a high honor considering the 2,000 entries for the contest. As recipients of an honorable mention, Callander and Bruni had their film featured on WhiteHouse.gov/FilmFestival and highlighted through White House social media channels.

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SI Students Talk About Resilience

SI Students Talk About Resilience from St. Ignatius College Preparatory on Vimeo.

Watch the latest video with senior Julia McKeon and freshman Henry Davis as they talk to SI President John Knight about bouncing back from disappointment to achieve success in other arenas.