Letter to Salpointe Families

Update: May 21, 2021
Dear Lancer Families,

We are glad to put the 2020-2021 school year in the rear view mirror! We look forward to embracing normalcy in August, with mask free, on-campus education and no requirements for distancing! 

And while I am enthusiastic about 2021-2022, my heart goes out to every Lancer as we look back on the past fifteen months. I recognize that you have suffered mightily and that you did not have the opportunity to participate 100% in the signature Salpointe high school experience. We worked hard to provide it with instructional creativity and technology, by maintaining athletic competitions, and by offering reimagined Kairos retreats, class masses, theatrical performances, freshman frolic, sophomore and junior movie nights, senior sunrise breakfast, prom and graduation. It wasn’t easy for anyone and there were disappointments along the way. Through it all, please know that our goal was to achieve balance, health and safety for the whole community: our students, our faculty and staff, and our Tucson community. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigated uncharted territory. 

Lancers, do not let this period of adversity define you or derail you. Dig deeply and depend on your God to inspire you and embrace you as you move forward in your life. 

I often say that things don’t “just happen” at Salpointe Catholic.  Outcomes are carefully orchestrated. Our faculty and staff make all the difference and we honor their hard work, dedication and commitment. I therefore extend sincere gratitude to all of Salpointe’s teachers and staff who pivoted to meet the academic, athletic, spiritual, emotional and social needs of our students.

We are very proud of the 287 graduates of the class of 2021.  These Lancers leave us as young adults of character and confidence: they are resilient, proud, respectful, accountable, hopeful, and prepared. They have brought high honor to themselves and to Salpointe.

The members of this class were accepted to 166 colleges and universities across America.  In addition to Arizona’s fine universities, members of this class were offered admission to prestigious universities such as University of Chicago, Notre Dame, Davidson, UC Berkeley, NYU, Vassar, Northeastern, Howard University, Villanova, University of Southern California, Boston University, Tulane, Wake Forest, Scripps and Pepperdine, just to name a few.  The members of this class earned over $21M in merit academic scholarships over four years. Thirty four students graduated as Salpointe Scholars with grade point averages of 4.0 or higher. One Lancer will enter college as a National Merit Finalist, one as a National Merit Commended Student and three as National Hispanic Scholars. Five Lancers will serve in the United States military.

In athletics: this year, our Lancer athletes earned seven state championships: men’s and women’s cross country, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer, sand volleyball and softball. All teams earned the AIA Team Scholar Athlete award for having team GPAs of 3.5 or higher. Thirty-two students in the Class of ‘21, over 10% of the class, will participate in athletics at the collegiate level. In its inaugural year, our AIA E-Sports video gaming teams competed in state playoffs in both the fall and spring semesters. Our new Lancer varsity League of Legends team finished the season as the State Champion Runner-up! Salpointe’s athletic department was recently ranked #1 in Arizona and #32 out of 30,000 high schools in the United States by Max Preps, placing Salpointe athletics in the top 1% of high schools nationally.

We recently dedicated the Stearns Center for the Arts with new facilities for dance, drama, music, choir, 2D and 3D art. This spring’s production of  "All in the Timing" was showcased in the junior patio to much applause.  Even in the pandemic, Salpointe was awarded top honors by the International Thespian Society, including Gold Honor Troupe for the 22nd consecutive year.  Against all odds, our Lancers just kept going; they never gave up.

That is the story of our Lancer Marching Band as well. Ours was the only marching band in Southern Arizona to perform at 2020 football games. Even with the challenges of both in person and at home learning, the Marching Band helped rally our Lancer football team at home games and performed halftime shows for our fans. Salpointe's Instrumental Music program, including Jazz Band, Concert Band and String Orchestra, provided an exceptionally entertaining performance at the Aspire Dedication event.
 
In Visual Arts: our 2D art students were able to nurture observational art techniques using pastel, watercolor, acrylic and oil paint. Four seniors were invited to exhibit with the Pima County Public Library and the University of Arizona Museum of Art. Five seniors created theme-based portfolios submitted for College Board Advanced Placement credit.
 
In the world of 3D art: During remote learning, students rose to the challenge of recreating famous works of art with items around the house, including kitchen gadgets, pets and siblings. Then they were tasked with creating chicken sculptures out of any material they could find: metal, wood, food, clothing, and recycled products. Their creativity was remarkable!
 
In Humanities, according to Ms. Malovich, “The Advanced Placement students were exceptional thinkers, exceptional learners, exceptional workers who did not want to stop learning. Their willingness to learn was inspiring.”
 
Salpointe is proud to offer a nationally accredited STEM program for our Lancers. STEM students once again participated in Racing the Sun, a state wide competition sponsored by SARSEF. This year, Salpointe’s standard kart, constructed on a pre-fabricated chassis, won the Grand Challenge Award, the most prestigious honor in the competition, and placed 2nd in Speed and Efficiency. The Salpointe maker kart, constructed from scratch, won 1st place in Efficiency and 2nd place in Speed and Endurance. Lancer programming students were awarded Emerging Technology micro credentials badges from IBM and our Engineering students participated in Arizona's State University’s College of Engineering COVID Challenge.

Salpointe’s Campus Ministry Department provided the capstone Kairos retreat to over 200 seniors during five retreats this spring semester. By having retreats on campus, both leaders and retreatants learned that Kairos is not about the place, but about the experience of sharing their struggles and successes, and about building lasting relationships. One retreatant noted: “Kairos gave me community, shoulders to lean on, teachers to look up to, and bonds that will last a lifetime.”

And so even with the challenges of COVID, our Lancers earned high honors for themselves and for our school. We take pride in these accomplishments as we look forward to business as usual in August. 

May God bless you,

Kay Sullivan
President

Salpointe Catholic High School

1545 E. Copper St.,
Tucson, AZ 85719
(520) 327-6581
Attendance: (520) 327-1990
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