Looking through a new lens

The deans have purpose beyond giving detentions; they are people too.


Through the eyes of SMCHS students, the deans are considered bad guys on campus. What the students don’t see is that the deans play a vital role in our campus’s safety and discipline. The deans (Jerry Holloway, Jill Hegna and John Fitzpatrick) and the campus supervisors (Juan Ventura, Alicia Sayles and Travis Kowalec) ensure the safety of students and encourage students to live through Caritas Christi. There’s more to the deans and campus supervisors than meets the eye.


Jerry Holloway – Dean of Students

What is your weirdest experience with the student body? Once the Orange County Bomb Squad was called because this kid put a smoke bomb in his girlfriend’s locker to ask her to a dance. When she opened it, he had set it up where the smoke bomb would go off. This army regulation smoke bomb sent smoke throughout the lunch shelter.

What do you like most about working at SM? The energy level is very high, and it’s enjoyable to be around the students.

Are you involved in the RSM city council and what is your role? Yes, I am part of the RSM city council. I was previously Mayor in 2005 and 2010. As a member of the Council, we make city policies and represent the residents and businesses.

Favorite activity to do on the weekends? Golf

If you had a magic wand, what would you change about the students here? I would have all the students ban cell phones from campus during the school day due to all the problems that arise from it.


Jill Hegna – Associate Dean of Students

How long have you been a dean at SM? Five years.

What sport do you coach? I am the Girls’ Varsity Golf Coach and head of the golf program.

What is your favorite color? Eagle blue, of course!

What is you biggest pet peeve? Short skorts.

What is one fun fact about yourself? I like to play golf or go boating on Lake Havasu. I spent a lot of the summer at the lake.


John Fitzpatrick – Associate Dean of Students

What sport do you coach? This is my twentieth year coaching softball, and 15 years at SM.

What is a fun fact about yourself?  I married my high school sweetheart after a five year break.

What is your favorite animal? I like horses, especially racehorses.

Which dean would you say gives the most detentions? Ace and Sayles.

Would you rather be at the beach or in the mountains (skiing/snowboarding)? Dream vacation? The beach and a Mediterranean cruise.


Juan Ventura (Ace) – Campus Supervisor

How long have you been a dean at SM? 19.5 years

How did you get your nickname? My real name is not Ace — it is Juan Ventura. The nickname came from the movie Ace Ventura.

What is your favorite sport? Football.

What is your favorite restaurant? I don’t have a lot of time to go out to restaurants, but I would have to say Claim Jumper.

What is your biggest tip for freshmen? We, the deans, are really nice people so don’t be afraid of us. We are just here to help and guide you for four years.


Alicia Sayles – Assistant Campus Supervisor

How does it feel working with student-athletes in the water polo program? It’s been great to see former athletes go to outstanding universities and be able to compete at the highest level of collegiate athletics.  It’s rewarding to see their hard work and sacrifices pay off.

What is your favorite food? Oh, I love fruits and veggies.  However, chocolate covered bacon is delicious.

What is a fun fact about yourself? I am an SM graduate.

What is your favorite activity to do on the weekend? I go to any and all sporting events.  I was actually in Dallas for the USC vs Alabama football game on the weekend of Aug. 3.

If you had a superhero power, what would it be and what would you use it for on campus? Invisibility, but only so I can sneak cookies without anyone knowing.


Travis Kowalec (TK) – Assistant Campus Supervisor 

Did you attend school at SM – if so did you play sports and who was your favorite teacher? I did go here in high school, and I played football all four years. My favorite teacher was Mr. Nielsen [religion teacher], who passed away a few years after I graduated.

Where did you go to college? I went to The University of Alabama, the greatest school in the United States. Roll, Tide.

What is a fun fact about yourself?  Fun Fact, all condiments gross me out; no exceptions, they are all nasty.

If you had a superpower what would it be? Super power would be super strength because that’s obviously the coolest one

What is the craziest/most uncomfortable experience at SMCHS? My strangest experience would, for sure, be when one of the students asked me to prom.