Salpointe Catholic High School

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For more information, see: U.S. parochial schools.


Salpointe Catholic High School is a private, Catholic college-preparatory high school located in Tucson, Arizona, enrolling approximately 1200 students. The school is certified by the Western Catholic Educational Association and accredited as a college-preparatory school by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. [1]


Salpointe Catholic High School was the first parochial high school opened by the Tucson Diocese. The year was 1950 and there were only one hundred students attending and the campus was about a quarter of the current size. In 1953, the Order of the Carmelites came to Salpointe and the first Carmelite principal was appointed. At this point there were eighteen faculty members: three Carmelites, eleven sisters of various orders, and three laypersons. On September 8, 1955, ownership of the campus was officially transferred to the Carmelite Order for “$10.00 and other valuable considerations.”

In 1954 a local woman by the name of Helena Corcoran became interested in the growth of Salpointe Catholic High School. In the following years, she and the Raskob Foundation invested 8-10 million dollars in the expanding of the school.[2] The additional buildings allowed the attending number of students to grow from four hundred and eighty to one thousand. A few of her contributions include the bleachers for the baseball and football field, the English wing, as well as the theater, which is named in her honor.

In 1987, Salpointe was accredited as a college preparatory school by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The school’s focus had changed from vocational preparation to ensuring every graduate had the chance to attend college. Ten years later the school was wired for computers and another ten years after that interactive whiteboards and projectors were installed in every classroom. Salpointe is currently one of the largest college preparatory schools in Tucson and competes in the 5AI athletic division.[3]

Academic Departments


The mission of the English Department at Salpointe Catholic High School is to inspire an appreciation for the English language and its literatures while promoting literacy - specifically the ability to write, read and think critically. Throughout the curriculum, students learn to read closely, think critically, challenge assumptions, practice methods of interpretation and research, analyze the formal qualities of texts, approach texts from various perspectives, place texts in various contexts, and write with clarity, coherence, and precision. The English faculty is a diverse group of committed professionals teaching in the Carmelite tradition and upholding the Salpointe Mission Statement while exposing students to a variety of instructional methods and styles.

Social Studies


Applied Sciences


Modern Languages

The Salpointe Catholic High School Foreign Language Department offers the study of three languages: four levels of French, three levels of Latin (four as of 2010-2011) and five levels of Spanish. The department also offers honors levels in all three languages, Advanced Placement (AP) courses in French and Spanish as well as a program for native Spanish speakers. [4]


Fine Arts

The Crusader newsmagazine is produced by the Salpointe Catholic High School Newspaper I, II, and III classes. The student body is the primary audience of the paper. The secondary audience is made up of administrators, faculty, parents, alumni, advertisers and friends of Salpointe. The goals of the newsmagazine are to: educate, inform and entertain students; offer life improvement; serve as a medium for students to express and exchange their opinions and serve as a source of leadership by presenting informed and intelligent opinions. The paper is designed by the students and for the students, as a public forum of student expression.

Horizons yearbook is produced by the Salpointe Catholic High School Yearbook I, II, III Classes. The student body is the primary audience of the book. The secondary audience is made up of administrators, faculty, parents, alumni, and friends of Salpointe. The goal of the yearbook is to serve students as both a memory and history book by covering the events of the entire year and the effects those events had on the student body.

Mixed Chorus is open to any member of the SCHS student body. No previous experience is required. It is a year long course that will cover the basics of proper vocal production, music notation, and sight-reading skills. Together, the director and singers will explore a variety of musical styles and genres.

Show Choir is Salpointe's advanced choral ensemble. It is an "audition only" group, with one year of previous experience required. Show Choir is a year long course that will cover an in-depth look at proper vocal production, music notation, sight-reading, and ear-training skills. Together, the director and singers will explore a variety of musical styles and genres. This group travels and competes in various music festivals.

While artist-in-residence programs are more common in college than high schools, Salpointe had mariachi musician Alberto (Beto) Ranjel in residence between 2005 and 2007. [5] Mariachi music continues to be a specialty, with Louie Ranjel as the current instructor.


Campus Ministry

Under the guidance of the Carmelites, Salpointe has developed an active campus ministry. Students are encouraged to attend a number of retreats throughout their time at Salpointe, culminating in the Kairos experience during their junior or senior year. Salpointe's four-year retreat program is directed by the Campus Ministry Department and is led by well-prepared students and adult teams. All freshmen, sophomores, and juniors are expected to take part in their retreat day. Each retreat is part of a four-part program. Part I, for freshmen, has its focus on the celebration of our diversity and the dignity of all people. Part II, the sophomore retreat, focuses on the value of respect of one's self and in our relationships. Part III for juniors, is centered on servant leadership. Part IV is the Kairos retreat. [6]

Days of Recollection

The Days of Recollection are a time for students to reevaluate themselves, their peers, and their faith. During this day, the students will participate in exercises involving self evaluation, reflection, and learning from the experiences of their peer leaders. The Freshman and Sophomore classes participate in these days, each focusing on a specific theme. The Freshman focus on the celebration of dignity and diversity and recognizing these aspects of their school and social lives. The Sophomore’s focus is on respecting the relationships in their lives, with others as well as themselves.

Junior Day of Servant Leadership

The Junior class participates in a Junior Day of Servant Leadership. In compliance with the mandatory Social Justice class that Juniors must take, the Juniors get a chance to put what they learned into action. With projects like The Community Food Bank, Bens Bells, Democratic and Republican Headquarters, and Bufflegrass removal, these students work on improving the community that they have found faults in.

Kairos Retreat

The Kairos retreat for juniors and seniors is a four-day experience in which the students have the opportunity to reflect upon their experience of God, family, and friends throughout their high school years, and to look ahead to what the future holds and how God is present in both. [7] These retreats are held during school days. The retreat is not mandatory, but most students participate by the end of their senior year. Seven retreats are offered per class, with two opportunities to attend at the end of junior year or five opportunities to go during senior.


Salpointe Catholic athletics is dedicated to fostering young athletes who compete with a spirit of confidence, dedication, class and pride. Each athlete is expected to uphold responsibility for their actions and perform on the court, the field or in the gymnasium to the best of their ability, while promoting Christian morals and values. Salpointe’s record of athletic excellence is fueled by a spirit of community and a commitment to preserving integrity in all sports.

Athletic Accomplishments

Sport Region Championships Region Tournament State Runner-up State Champion
Men’s Cross Country 1956, 1964, 1996, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008 2005
Women's Cross Country 1994, 2000, 2005, 2007 2000 2005
Men's Golf 1964, 1967, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1991, 1993, 1994, 2001, 2003,2004, 2005, 2006, 2008,2009 1994, 1996, 2000 2005, 2006, 2008 1964, 1980, 1981, 2004
Women's Golf 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002,2003,2005, 2008, 2009 2000 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003
Men's Swimming and Diving 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990,1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001,2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 1990 1998
Women's Swimming and Diving 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996
Women's Volleyball 1985, 1986, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 1967, 1968, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001
Men's Basketball 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004 1983, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2007 1996, 1998
Women's Basketball 1997, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 2000
Men's Soccer 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1998, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 1999 1984, 1985, 1995, 2003
Women's Soccer 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 200, 2001, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2008 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003 1990, 1992, 1993, 2000 1989, 1991, 1997, 1998
Wrestling 2008 1993, 1994
Baseball 1976, 1977, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2004, 2007 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995 1995, 1996
Softball 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996,1998, 2008 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996 1987, 1998 1992, 1995
Men's Tennis 1971, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 1986, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 1989, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001 1971, 1990, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007
Women's Tennis 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 1994, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002 1992, 1993, 1995, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
Lacrosse 2008
Men's Volleyball 1993, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 2001, 2006, 2007, 2008 2000 1993
Men's Track and Field 2000, 2005
Women's Track and Field 1991, 1993, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2005

The AIA Scholar Banner system was changed in 2001 to incorporate Chess, Speech and Debate, and Spirit Line/Dance. It no longer recognizes the team with the highest GPA in the state of Arizona, but instead, every team with a cumulative team GPA of 3.5 or higher. Since 2001, every team has been recognized for this accomplishment. The Band, Chorus, and Drama/Theatre activities do not compete interscholastically at this time.

Athletic Facility Improvements

Salpointe has recently been in the news due to it's renovation to their field. In June, they installed a new artificial turf for football, soccer, and lacrosse. This $850,000 process was only the first phase of a six phase, $260,400,000 complete renewal of the not only the sports facilities but also the academic, theater, and common areas.



Though a high school, Salpointe Catholic has a surprisingly supportive and enthusiastic alumni base. With about 15,000 former students, Salpointe Catholic has built a strong community and has fostered the development of many notable graduates. Mike Urbanski, current Associate Head of School for Student Services says of the school’s alumni, “We were a community back then, just like we are today.” This sentiment represents the great reciprocity between past students and current students. The school receives numerous donations every year, with much of the money going to academic endowment funds for current students. The enthusiasm shown by alumni can be explained by the profound impact that the Salpointe Catholic experience has on students. “The Salpointe experience is about more than just education. It is about shaping young people and preparing them with the tools necessary to succeed in the outside world,” says current Social Studies teacher and Salpointe alumnus Marco Enriquez, of the importance of his Salpointe experience. Alumni wish to preserve the caliber of education and the positive and moral atmosphere which Salpointe prides itself on. Through a variety of events, councils and donations, Salpointe Catholic alumni use their positive experiences at Salpointe to better and expand the experiences of current and future students.

Alumni Office

The Alumni Office, a branch of the Department of Advancement, works with the community and students to incorporate Salpointe alumni in activities on campus and in the alumni chapters. The Alumni Office is also responsible for alumni relations, including updating personal information in the Alumni Directory and the semi-annual Salpointe Today alumni magazine, Alumni service awards, reunion information, and the Sports Hall of Fame. They also encourage alumni to participate in campus events like sports games, drama productions, and service projects within the school and surrounding community like “Games for the Greater Good”, RAK (Random Act of Kindness) Week, and Adopt-A-Family.

Alumni Office: (520)-547-1950[8]

Alumni Association and Council

All graduates of Salpointe Catholic High School are members of the Alumni Association. The Alumni Association and the Alumni Council are essentially one in Tucson. However, Salpointe has launched three alumni groups in the United States: One in Northern Arizona, one in Phoenix, and one in Washington, D.C.. The Alumni Association and council contribute to the Salpointe Community through donations and volunteer efforts.

Alumni Council

Mission Statement: The Tucson Alumni Council of Salpointe Catholic High School is a charitable organization of alumni who collaborate for the purpose of reuniting alumni, fostering and sustaining relationships within the Salpointe community, and helping to support the mission and development of the school.[9]

Founded in 1986, the Tucson Alumni Council participates in Sal's Diner at Homecoming, the Alumni Mixer, the Veteran's Day Mass, the Gaslight Theatre event, Bingo and Burgers, the Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame induction, the Sports Hall of Fame induction, the Alumni Service Award presentation, the Alumni/Senior Breakfast, alumni watch sales, the Alumni Band and the sponsorship of Alumni Chapters. In addition, the council contributes to the community through service projects including “Adopt a Road”, bone marrow drives and “Games for the Greater Good”.[10]

Salpointe Alumni Band

The Salpointe Alumni Band is a seventeen part, all scored, volunteer Jazz Band. Playing Big Band and other genres of music, the band plays for no charge at various functions throughout Tucson. The Salpointe Alumni Band was started on April 9, 2003 by four past band members: Ron Lusteck ’62, Mary Lou (Rhome) Clark ’67, Phil Oliver ’67 and Bob Steinmann ’86.[11] All alumni are welcome to join the Alumni Band whether they participated in band at Salpointe or not; membership is open to all musicians. Practice is every Tuesday 7-9pm in the Music Studio on the Salpointe campus.

Notable Alumni


  2. "Missions Benefit From Foundation Funding", Carmelite Review, May 2001
  3. History[2]
  4. Foreign Language Department[3]
  5. Musical Directors, Los Changuitos Feos de Tucson
  6. Campus Ministry[4]
  7. Kairos Retreat[5]
  8. Advancement[6]
  9. Alumni Council[7]
  10. Alumni Council[8]
  11. The Salpointe Alumni Band[9]