Strake Jesuit College Preparatory

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Strake Jesuit College Preparatory
Strake Jesuit College Preparatory is located in Texas
Strake Jesuit College Preparatory
Strake Jesuit College Preparatory
Strake Jesuit College Preparatory is located in the United States
Strake Jesuit College Preparatory
Strake Jesuit College Preparatory

Texas 77036-4699

United States
Coordinates29°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
School typePrivate, college-preparatory school
MottoMen for Others
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam
"For the Greater Glory of God"

Sic Deus Vult
"God wills it so"
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
Patron saint(s)Stanislaus Kostka
EstablishedJune 21, 1960; 58 years ago (June 21, 1960)
FounderMichael Kenelley
PresidentJeff Johnson
PrincipalKen Lojo
ChaplainTony Rauschuber
Teaching staff104.8 (FTE) (2017–18)[1]
Genderall boys
Enrollment1,018 (2017–18)[1]
Student to teacher ratio9.7∶1 (2017–18)[1]
Campus size52 acres
Color(s)     Green
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools [2]
PublicationPlume (literary magazine)
YearbookThe Crusader
Tuition$20,800 (2018–19)
Last updated: May 13, 2019; 34 days ago (2019-05-13)
Carlos Setien's Untitled on Strake campus

Strake Jesuit College Preparatory (properly referred to as "Strake Jesuit" or "Jesuit" but often informally called "Strake" by students and alumni) 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] It is located in proximity to Alief.[4]

With over 1000 students, it is the largest Catholic high school in Houston. It boasts such a large collection of art installed around the campus, both inside and out, that the City of Houston has classified the campus as an art museum,[5] 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.,[6][7] on June 21, 1960, in what was then the undeveloped, west side of Houston. The school's patron saint is Stanislaus Kostka, a Polish Jesuit who serves as a patron of students; additionally, as a Jesuit institution, Ignatius of Loyola is invoked as an unofficial patron saint.[8]

During a three-year period until 1993, the number of applications submitted to Strake Jesuit doubled. Fr. 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.[4] 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."[4]

In 2017 Niche ranked Strake second among Catholic High schools in Texas, along with the comment: "Challenging academic program supplemented by excellent arts and strong athletics produces well rounded students. The faculty and staff here genuinely care about these students as individuals and their holistic development."[9]


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).[10] 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.[citation needed] After T.C.I.L. merged with TAPPS, both Strake Jesuit and Dallas Jesuit were not permitted to join as TAPPS believed those two schools were too powerful.[10] From the fall of 2000 to the spring of 2003, the Crusaders competed as an independent in all sports.

They were admitted into the University Interscholastic League (U.I.L.), the public school athletic league, partly due to the efforts of Joe Nixon, a member of the Texas House of Representatives.[10] After its admission into the U.I.L., Strake began competing in its 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 its 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.[citation needed]

The Houston Press ranked the U.I.L. realignment as the "Best Way to Break In to the Big Time" in 2003.[10]


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 24–29–1 against STH.[11]

Cross country / track[edit]

The Cross Country Team won 22 straight T.C.I.L. State titles starting in 1972.[citation needed]

Way of the Cross[edit]

Retreat & Leadership Center[edit]

Jesuit has a spacious country retreat with a lake and woods to accommodate various forms of retreats, and other groups. It includes a chapel and dining room each seating 125 people, and adjacent to the dining room a conference hall plus 8 rooms for break-out sessions. Near the chapel is a large, octagonal building in a wooded setting, for quiet reflection. There are 8 cabins spread over the grounds, each with 5 double bedrooms. There is also a bunkhouse, in proximity to the recreation area which includes a 400,000 square foot covered pavilion. A guest house completes the facility.[12][13]


St. Ignatius statue at Strake

All students and members of faculty and staff take part in a retreat at some point during the school year. Besides 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, they spend two days reflecting on the experience, upon the brokenness of the world, and the meaning of Jesus' claim to be present in the poorest. The other option is focused on prayer; this began 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, and the psalms, and using such things as play-dough as creative prayer.

Seniors participate in a 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 to see how the Spirit of God is present in all aspects of life. There is a special session of this retreat each year open also to juniors, often referred to as "Junior Kairos".[14]

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.[15] Strake Jesuit shares this understanding 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.[16]

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."[17] It is the declared goal of the Pastoral Department to foster this aim.

Notable alumni[edit]

Entrance to Strake Jesuit

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.[21] Also, since the foundation of the Catholic High School Honor Roll in 2004 by the Cardinal Newman Society, this society has bestowed the following honors on Strake Jesuit: ranked among the top 50 Catholic High Schools in the United States in 2004,[22] 2005,[23] 2007,[24] 2008,[25] and 2010;[26][note 1] recognized for its academics in 2004,[27] 2005,[28] 2006,[29] and 2007;[30] and in 2004,[27] 2005,[28] and 2007[30] recognized for its civic education.[note 2]

Strake's robotics team joined with St. Agnes to win the regional tournament and move on to the global competition in 2017.[31]

See also[edit]


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


  1. ^ a b c d e "Search for Private Schools – School Detail for Strake Jesuit College Preparatory School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  2. ^ SACS-CASI. "SACS-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Retrieved September 30, 2010.
  3. ^ "Chinatown." (Archive) Greater Sharpstown Management District. Retrieved on December 4, 2012. Map image, Archive
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "Campus". Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  6. ^ Pope, John (January 11, 2011). "The Rev. Michael Kennelly, former Loyola University president, dies at age 96". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved January 17, 2011.
  7. ^ "Past president of Loyola dies at age 96". Loyola University New Orleans. January 5, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2011.
  8. ^ "About - Strake Jesuit". Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  9. ^ "2017 Best Catholic High Schools in Texas". Niche. Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  10. ^ a b c d "Best of Houston® /// Sports & Recreation /// 2003 Strake Jesuit joining the UIL Best Way to Break In to the Big Time". Houston Press. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ "Facilities". Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  13. ^ "Strake Layout" (PDF). Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  14. ^ "Retreats". Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  15. ^ "Catechism of the Catholic Church - PART 3 SECTION 2 CHAPTER 2 ARTICLE 7". Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  16. ^ "Community Service". Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  17. ^ "Spiritual Life". Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  18. ^ Sondheimer, Eric (May 12, 2019). "Matthew Boling sets national record in the 100 meters in Texas". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 23, 2019 – via
  19. ^ "Mike Toomey". Ballotpedia. Retrieved May 22, 2019 – via Mike Toomey is a Texas lobbyist, former chief of staff to Texas governors Rick Perry and Bill Clements and a former member of the Texas House of Representatives.
  20. ^ Hart, Patricia. "The Enforcer". Texas Monthly. No. May 2003. Retrieved May 23, 2019 – via ... St. Vincent de Paul, the Catholic grade school Toomey attended before going to all-male Strake Jesuit College Preparatory.
  21. ^ "View Content". Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  22. ^ "CathHonRoll 2004".
  23. ^ "CathHonRoll 2005". Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  24. ^ "2007 Catholic High School Honor Roll". Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  25. ^ "CathHonRoll 2008". Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  26. ^ "Catholic Education Honor Roll - Cardinal Newman Society". Cardinal Newman Society. Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  27. ^ a b "Catholic Education Honor Roll - Cardinal Newman Society". Cardinal Newman Society. Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  28. ^ a b "Catholic Education Honor Roll - Cardinal Newman Society". Cardinal Newman Society. Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  29. ^ "Catholic Education Honor Roll - Cardinal Newman Society". Cardinal Newman Society. Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  30. ^ a b "Catholic Education Honor Roll - Cardinal Newman Society". Cardinal Newman Society. Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  31. ^ "Spectrum Wins Quality and Finalist Award at Lone Star Central". Retrieved March 25, 2017.

External links[edit]