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Five years after Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac Catholic High School’s (SJHS) establishment and opening, the school welcomed students into a brand-new state-of-the-art campus building on the first day of the 2023-24 school year on August 14.

“Dreams definitely come true when there is hope, perseverance, and a good cause,” said Sister Ernestine Velarde, ODN, President, St. Jeanne de Lestonnac Schools. “A 30-year dream to extend the education of St. Jeanne de Lestonnac Schools through the high school years has been fulfilled with the help and support of so many people.”

The new building spans 17 acres with over 20,000 square feet of learning space, including a culinary arts kitchen, media and arts studio, biomedical and engineering labs, and a chapel that can serve up to 475 high school students.

“It is a pleasure to be part of something that makes such a remarkable impact on students’ lives and thus to society.” said Annette Zaleski, St. Jeanne de Lestonnac High School Principal. “St. Jeanne students (preschool through 12th grade) commit to living their ‘yes’ to God’s call, which leads them to serve others.”

SJHS opened to freshmen and sophomores in 2018 and since then, has had three graduating classes with a 100 percent graduation rate. SJHS offers a college preparatory curriculum across a wide range of disciplines and within the requirements of most American universities and colleges, especially those of the University of California and California State University systems. All SJHS’s curriculum and sports programs are also rooted in Catholic values.

The Sisters of the Company of Mary, Our Lady, who founded the St. Jeanne de Lestonnac Schools in Temecula, are also celebrating the 30-year anniversary of their educational establishment in the Temecula Valley. The Sisters of the Company of Mary, Our Lady also celebrate this year, the 75th anniversary of the Canonization of Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac. With the opening of the new high school campus building, the Sisters are adding to the 400-year history that began by foundress St. Jeanne de Lestonnac, following the educational charism to bring quality education to the whole person, in life and for life.

Elena Macias is the Managing Editor of the Inland Catholic BYTE.