by George J Elbaum
Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory (SHCP) is an innovative Catholic high school with enrollment of 1300 students and a dynamic blend of liberal arts, scientific inquiry, and 21st-century pedagogy which develops resourceful, independent thinkers. The school prides itself on its commitment to its educational philosophy, Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve, and it offers an array of courses, from college preparatory through honors and advanced placement curriculum. SHCP’s commitment to rigorous academics and social justice helps mold students into hardworking, thoughtful and altruistic adults.
Incoming students are assigned a school counselor with whom they will continue to consult until graduation. In junior year, students are also assigned a college advisor who will guide them through the college research, application and financial aid process. SHCP’s Counseling and Advising Program provides parents and students the academic guidance they need to navigate a challenging college prep curriculum commensurate with the individual student’s talents and aspirations, making the transition from SHC to college as seamless as possible.
Because SHCP lies in the heart of San Francisco’s technology center and near Silicon Valley, plus it has an active network of alumni, parents and professional partners, it established the Student Launch Initiative (SLI) as the area’s preeminent high school entrepreneurship program. This program teaches students to identify problems and design solutions that positively impact the lives of their peers, their families, and their community. Through SLI’s workshops and speakers’ series, industry innovators and entrepreneurs introduce students to entrepreneurial concepts including ideation, project development and business model development. SLI goes beyond the classroom to provide hands-on experience, practical learning, direct mentorship, and seed funding to help launch student projects.
This was my 4th visit to SHCP since 2017 (with a 2-year hiatus for Covid), and once again it was organized by Ish Ruiz, with unabated energy as in previous years! The audience consisted of 5 classrooms of students (see photo below), one of which was Ish’s 12th graders of his Comparative Religions class. His students had 3 lessons on the Holocaust preparing for my visit, spending approximately 4 hours studying it and reading excerpts from Night. Arrangements for the talk were made by Penny Savryn, JFCS Holocaust Center’s Education & Marketing Manager, with assistance from Veronica Siegel, its Administrative Program Coordinator.