Strake Jesuit College Preparatory
Strake Jesuit College Preparatory (commonly referred to as Strake Jesuit, Strake, or simply Jesuit) is an all-men's Jesuit, university-preparatory school
University-preparatory school
A university-preparatory school or college-preparatory school is a secondary school, usually private, designed to prepare students for a college or university education...

 for grades 9-12 in the Greater Sharpstown area of Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas
Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States, and the largest city in the state of Texas. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a population of 2.1 million people within an area of . Houston is the seat of Harris County and the economic center of , which is the ...

. It is located in proximity to Alief.

With 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 for which the school maintains a full-time curator. The school is located within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston encompasses of ten counties in the southeastern area of Texas: Galveston; Harris; Austin; Brazoria; Fort Bend; Grimes; Montgomery; San Jacinto; Walker; and Waller.The chancery of the diocese is located in Downtown Houston. The Archdiocese's...

. It is one of only two private schools in Texas that are members of the University Interscholastic League
University Interscholastic League
The University Interscholastic League is an organization that creates rules for and administers almost all athletic, music, and academic contests for public primary and secondary schools in the American state of Texas....

 (the other being Dallas Jesuit), which allows it to compete athletically against the largest, public schools


The school was founded by Father Michael Kennelly
Michael Kennelly
Michael F. Kennelly, S.J., was an Irish-born American Jesuit and academic administrator. He was a member of the Society of Jesus for more than seventy-seven years....

, S.J., on June 21, 1960 on land donated by the Strake family on what was then the undeveloped, far west side of Houston.

In a three year period ending in 1993, the number of applications submitted to Strake doubled. Father Brian Zinnamon, the school President, said during that 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
Houston Chronicle
The Houston Chronicle is the largest daily newspaper in Texas, USA, headquartered in the Houston Chronicle Building in Downtown Houston. , it is the ninth-largest newspaper by circulation in the United States...

as "steep." 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."

Recent events

November 10, 2011 - Sophomore Taylor Charbonnet '14 received the 2011 Capt. Andrew Houghton '97 Award at a special dinner held in the Clay Center foyer on Thursday night, November 10. In its third year, the award is presented to a current Strake Jesuit sophomore "who best exhibits the characteristics and values" that Andy Houghton exemplified. Those include academic excellence, service to friends and the community at Strake Jesuit and beyond, an enthusiasm for life, and a determination to succeed. Past recipients include Kenny Lahart '12 and Sean Ryan '13.

Capt. Andrew Houghton '97 passed away on August 9, 2004 from injuries sustained on July 10, 2004 while serving in Iraq. He was a Captain in the United States Army with the 1st Squadron, 4th Calvary.

Taylor is a member of the National Honor Society at Jesuit. As a freshman he played football, lacrosse and wrestling and as a sophomore will play lacrosse and wrestling. His family has a strong Jesuit education connection at other schools that includes his father and grandfathers plus cousins who attended Strake Jesuit.

In accepting the award Taylor said, "While I was selected (to receive this award), it is my classmates who have been given the challenge. Through Andy’s life, as a Jesuit student, a friend, a son, a brother, and an officer in the United States Army, we – my class and I – have been given a concrete example of how to live the motto Men for Others. Tonight, I am honored to accept this award. I will strive to meet the ideals and values that Andy set for us all.”

Longtime Jesuit faculty member Larry Finke served as the evening's keynote speaker. In his comments he said, "I have been so fortunate that I’ve had the honor to either coach or teach all of these young men (past recipients Kenny Lahart and Sean Ryan and 2011 recipient Taylor Charbonnet) including Andy (Houghton ’97). I’m so privileged to have a chance to be associated with young men like these. While all these guys are different they have a lot more in common. All of which can be summed up by the Jesuit ideals that we out forth every day."


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 Rev. Albert Mitchell (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. 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 Crusaders 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 22-25-1 against STH, however, since 1998, Strake has won the past 14 contests between the two schools. 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

The Cross Country Team has won 22 straight TCIL State titles with the first one in 1972.

2006 Season
The cross country team won the 17-5A district title, their first ever. The Crusaders placed all 7 runners in the top ten at district and moved on to the Region III meet, winning the Region title. In their first state appearance the cross country team placed 8th.

2007 Season
Strake Jesuit won the region III meet, after also winning the 2006 regional title, by edging Mayde Creek 90 to 92. The Strake Jesuit team finished 9th at the state meet in 2007.

2008 Season
During the 2008 Cross Country season the team finished 3rd at the Region III meet. The cross country team placed 9th at the 2008 state cross country meet.

2009 Season

After placing first in all their meets leading up to the McNeil XC Invite at Round Rock, run on the state course, the Crusaders ran one of their best team races, running an average of 16:09 with six runners around 16:30 or better. Overall the team placed second. Leading up to district the Crusaders regained winning taking 1st place at their home meet for the first time in years. At the 18-5A district meet Weston Novelli ran away with the race in a rain soaked course. The Crusaders placed five runners in the top ten. Leading up to the Region III meet Kingwood was the favorite for the title. However the Crusaders won with Novelli and Gibson placing second and fourth respectively.

Strake Jesuit Educational Television

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.

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
Scribbage is a classic dice word game published in 1959 by the E. S. Lowe Company. 13 dice are rolled which have various letters on each side. Each letter is given a point value depending on its frequency in the English language. A timer is flipped and the player has to put the dice into words...

 Match" during the morning announcements. SJET is also commonly used to announce items of interest to the student body, including student council
Student council
Student council is a curricular or extra-curricular activity for students within elementary and secondary schools around the world. Present in most public and private K-12 school systems across the United States, Canada and Australia these bodies are alternatively entitled student council, student...

 candidate speeches and messages from the faculty. In addition, 'news strips', 'interviews', and other programs that are "intended" to be comical (such as teacher impersonations) are shown on SJET. Special guests are featured on occasion. 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.


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
Christ is the English term for the Greek meaning "the anointed one". It is a translation of the Hebrew , usually transliterated into English as Messiah or Mashiach...

 may or may not be present in the poorest of the poor. Another option is the prayer-styles retreat, which was begun in 1996 after requests from students over 2–3 years. During this 3 day residential retreat, juniors discover and experience a variety of prayer methods such as meditation, praying with music, praying through nature, psalms
The Book of Psalms , commonly referred to simply as Psalms, is a book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible...

 and using such things as play-dough as creative prayer.

Seniors participate in the 4 day Kairos retreat, during which they, together with faculty, share their lives particularly those moments when they have experienced God
God the Father
God the Father is a gendered title given to God in many monotheistic religions, particularly patriarchal, Abrahamic ones. In Judaism, God is called Father because he is the creator, life-giver, law-giver, and protector...

, emptiness, joy, pain or healing. The purpose is for students to see how 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".

Community Service

Catholicism embraces a preferential option for the poor, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the official text of the teachings of the Catholic Church. A provisional, "reference text" was issued by Pope John Paul II on October 11, 1992 — "the thirtieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council" — with his apostolic...

 states that a healthy spirituality is expressed in a concern for the social aspects of life. 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
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

 gifts for underprivileged children, juniors engage in various projects and seniors are required to spend 100 hours of community service
Community service
Community service is donated service or activity that is performed by someone or a group of people for the benefit of the public or its institutions....

 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.

The Strake Jesuit website states: Strake Jesuit College Preparatory is grounded in the conviction of St. Ignatius of Loyola
Ignatius of Loyola
Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish knight from a Basque noble family, hermit, priest since 1537, and theologian, who founded the Society of Jesus and was its first Superior General. Ignatius emerged as a religious leader during the Counter-Reformation...

 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.
It is the declared goal of the Pastoral Department to foster this aim.

Notable alumni

  • Nelson Akwari
    Nelson Akwari
    Nelson Ndukwe Akwari is an American soccer player currently with Los Angeles Blues in the USL Professional Division.-Youth and College:...

     (2000) - professional soccer player with Los Angeles Blues
    Los Angeles Blues
    Los Angeles Blues is an American soccer team based in the Los Angeles suburb of Fullerton, California, United States. Founded in 2010, the team plays in the National Division of the new USL Professional Division, the third tier of the American Soccer Pyramid....

  • Chris Darkins
    Chris Darkins
    -Biography:Darkins was born Christopher Oji Darkins on April 30, 1974 in San Francisco, California.-Career:Darkins was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round of the 1996 NFL Draft and was a member of the team that season and as such was a member of the Super Bowl XXXI Champion...

     - former NFL defensive back, drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 1996
  • Rod Graves
    Rod Graves
    Rod Graves is currently the General Manager of the Arizona Cardinals. He had previously spent time with the organization as Vice President of Football Operations, after being promoted to that position from Assistant to the President following the 2002 season...

     - General Manager
    General manager
    General manager is a descriptive term for certain executives in a business operation. It is also a formal title held by some business executives, most commonly in the hospitality industry.-Generic usage:...

     of the Arizona Cardinals
    Arizona Cardinals
    The Arizona Cardinals are a professional American football team based in Glendale, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

  • John Harris - professional soccer player
  • Garth Jax
    Garth Jax
    James Garth Jax is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys and the Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals...

     - former NFL linebacker; played for the Dallas Cowboys
    Dallas Cowboys
    The Dallas Cowboys are a professional American football franchise which plays in the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference of the National Football League . They are headquartered in Valley Ranch in Irving, Texas, a suburb of Dallas...

     and Arizona Cardinals
    Arizona Cardinals
    The Arizona Cardinals are a professional American football team based in Glendale, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

  • Gray Hampton Miller
    Gray Hampton Miller
    Gray Hampton Miller is a United States federal judge.Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Miller attended Strake Jesuit College Preparatory. Miller then received a B.A. from the University of Houston in 1974 and a J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center in 1978...

     - United States federal judge
    United States federal judge
    In the United States, the title of federal judge usually means a judge appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the United States Senate in accordance with Article II of the United States Constitution....

  • Chris Ogbonnaya
    Chris Ogbonnaya
    Chris Ogbonnaya is an American football running back for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League. He was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft...

     (2004) - NFL running back; current player for the Cleveland Browns
    Cleveland Browns
    The Cleveland Browns are a professional football team based in Cleveland, Ohio. They are currently members of the North Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

  • Jake Voskuhl
    Jake Voskuhl
    Robert Jacob "Jake" Voskuhl is an American professional basketball center.After attending Strake Jesuit College Preparatory, Voskuhl went to the University of Connecticut from 1996–2000, where he was the starting center on the school's 1999 NCAA National Championship team. The squad also featured...

     (1996) - professional basketball center; played for the Chicago Bulls
    Chicago Bulls
    The Chicago Bulls are an American professional basketball team based in Chicago, Illinois, playing in the Central Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association . The team was founded in 1966. They play their home games at the United Center...

    , Phoenix Suns
    Phoenix Suns
    The Phoenix Suns are a professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association and the only team in their division not to be based in California. Their home arena since 1992 has been the US...

    , Charlotte Bobcats
    Charlotte Bobcats
    The Charlotte Bobcats is a professional basketball team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. They play in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association. The Bobcats were established in 2004 as an expansion team, two seasons after Charlotte's previous NBA...

    , Milwaukee Bucks
    Milwaukee Bucks
    The Milwaukee Bucks are a professional basketball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. They are part of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association . The team was founded in 1968 as an expansion team, and currently plays at the Bradley Center....

    , and Toronto Raptors
    Toronto Raptors
    The Toronto Raptors are a professional basketball team based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They are part of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association . The team was established in 1995, along with the Vancouver Grizzlies, as part of the NBA's re-expansion...

  • Eric Mullins - former professional football player

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.