The Ram Page

August 18, 2023

Bi-Weekly Newsletter for Garces Families, Students, Alumni & Friends

Important Dates

Aloha Dance

Aug. 19

Freshman Elections

Aug. 21-25

Back To School Night

Aug. 30

Senior Sunrise

Aug. 31

Freshman Retreat

Sept. 7

Sophomore Retreat

Sept. 19-20

Homecoming Week

Oct. 2-6

Homecoming Game vs Frontier

Oct. 6

Homecoming Dance

Oct. 7

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Message from Principal Leon

Garces Families,

Welcome to the 2023-24 school year! 

I am excited to see what God has planned for us this year. I feel blessed to be able to join the Garces family as the principal and to welcome all our students on campus for a fulfilling school year. 

I started my professional experience in education as an afterschool magnet teacher for the Bakersfield City School District when I was 19 years old. At that time, I did not realize I would eventually become a classroom teacher and continue to grow in my profession to become the principal of Garces Memorial High School. I have been blessed beyond measure with the experiences I have been granted as an educator, teaching at all levels K-12 and in many settings including public school, charter school, outdoor school, international boarding school and Catholic school. 

I am grateful to be back home in Bakersfield and to be back in Catholic education. Catholic education gives students an opportunity to not only excel academically, but also grow as service minded individuals who reflect and develop one's moral compass in a safe and supportive environment; to become the person God created them to be. I feel so honored to be part of this for our Garces students.  

I look forward to working with the entire Garces community to fulfill our mission. Our Mission calls us to instill every member of the Garces Memorial community the courage to act with faith, knowledge, compassion and justice. 


The rich traditions of Garces are unmatched because of our Garces community. I look forward to meeting all of you personally at our upcoming events.

God Bless and Go Rams!

Noel Leon


Student News

Welcome to the 2023-24 School Year

Garces Memorial is extremely excited to have all of our students back on campus for the 2023-24 school year.

Our campus has grown exponentially since last year with 30 more students on campus and 150 freshmen on campus, our largest freshman class in more than a decade.

Garces Memorial is pleased to bring back the choir program this school year. Any interested students can contact Mrs. Espain at

Aloha Rally And Dance

What a fun day on campus Thursday with the first rally of the school year leading into our Aloha Dance from 7-9:30 p.m. in the quad Saturday night. Tickets are sold at the door for $20.

This week in Garces Athletics

The 2023-24 athletic calendar for Garces Memorial Athletics kicked off last night with season opening games for varsity football and volleyball.


Sophomore Gunter Golla threw for 234 yards and two touchdowns but the Rams weren't able to overcome a two-score deficit in a 41-27 loss at Clovis on Thursday night.

The Rams closed the gap to 22-14 with 40 seconds left in the first half on a 70-yard touchdown pass from Golla to Cage Williams (4 catches, 131 yards, 2 TDs).

Garces will host Lancaster-Paraclete at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 24.

The JV team will play at Clovis this Saturday at 10 a.m. after excessive heat postponed the game Thursday.


The Rams opened the season Thursday night at Porterville-Monache in a 25-20, 25-12, 25-19 loss. The JV team is in the West High Tournament Friday and Saturday and the F/S team is at the South High Tournament on Saturday.

Be sure to follow Garces Athletics on social media @GarcesAthletics for updated information and scores.

Holy Smoke Fall BBQ


The Holy Smoke Garces Fall BBQ Committee is hard at work planning a great night on our campus! Our co-chairs are Bill Potter and Joe Etcheverry. Committee members include Lexi Clerou, Jeff Etcheverry, Santos Gutierrez, Dan Hoekstra, Jared Lane, Tom McCarthy, Philip McDermott, Molly Antongiovanni, Jenny Asaro and Lou Ann Durrett.

We are pleased to announce that Mission Bank is once again our Title Sponsor. We are very grateful for their generous support.



Thank you to everyone who has already agreed to be sponsors of the BBQ. They are listed below. If you haven't done so already, we hope you will consider being a sponsor. We have several levels available. We will have a VIP area at the BBQ for our sponsors that will include special appetizers and we will have runners who will bring our VIPs their dinners so they do not have to wait in line. For more information about being a sponsor, you can visit our website at or email Lou Ann Durrett at or Jenny Asaro at


The BBQ is on Thursday, Oct. 12, in the Garces quad. Tickets include an open bar and a NY steak dinner. There will also be dancing to a live band, Valley Fever. Tickets are $75 for one, $125 for two and each additional ticket is $60. You can also sponsor a Garces teacher BBQ ticket for $40. You can purchase your tickets on-line or at the Business Office. We hope to see all of you there!

Purchase BBQ Tickets

Thank You to Our BBQ Sponsors To Date

Kathy Gargan

SC Anderson, Inc.

Paul Dhanens Architect, Inc.

Domenick & Edith Bianco

Mary Trichell

Ponder Environmental Services

B & B Surplus

Terri & Shawn Shambaugh

Christopher D. Hamilton, MD

A+ Shredding, Inc.

Terri Collins Team

The McDermott Family

Hoekstra & Associates, Inc.

Monique Rogers

Sierra Printers

Geoff & Lisa King

Gold Dust Almond Ranch

Tom & Judy Franconi

Jim & Debbie Sakowski

Sill Properties, Inc.

Meet Our New Staff Members

Garces Memorial is pleased to welcome eight new members to our campus faculty and staff, led by our new principal, Ms. Noel Leon.

We have also welcomed six new teachers, a new receptionist, a development associate and a new member of the maintenance staff to our Garces family this school year.

Alumni News

2023 Hall of Honor

Thursday, November 16th

Luigi's Warehouse

Save the date for the 2023 Hall of Honor. This year's inductees are:

  • Damon Culbertson
  • Steve Lewis '64
  • Rich Romo '70
  • Jeremy Tobias '84

The Alumni Award recipient is the Mike & Laura Etcheverry Family.

The Garces Alumni Board is hard at work to make it a memorable evening. Members of the Alumni Board are Chairman Gregg Gunner '66; Cindy (Duncan) Lynch '68, Mary (Loken) Cornett '68, Tom Swertfager '69, Jim Sakowski '70, Melissa Fortune '72, Carolyn Antongiovanni '72, Mike Georgino '75, George Clerou '76, Katie (Anspach) Whittington '77, Bernadette (Eyherabide) Root '78, Raji Sanghera '87, Maria (Bernal) Toretta '88, Courtney (Kirschenmann) Tobias '92, Lexi (Antongiovanni) Clerou '06, and John Moore III '07.

Sponsor & Ticket Information

60th Class Reunion

Class of 1963

Calling all alumni from the Class of 1963! Nanette (Thomas) Lynch, Marianne (Wortiska) Malenk, and Jack Swertfager are planning your upcoming reunion for November. More details to come. Please contact Nannette for more information.

Nanette (Thomas) Lynch


55th Class Reunion

Class of 1968

Calling all alumni from the Class of 1968! Cindy (Duncan) Lynch is hard at work on organizing your 55th class reunion. It's going to be on Saturday, October 21 at Luigi's Restaurant. Please contact Cindy for more information.

Cindy (Duncan) Lynch


50th Class Reunion

Class of 1973

Calling all alumni from the Class of 1973! Dianne (Grifffiths) Riley is hard at work on organizing your 50th class reunion. It's going to be on Saturday, October 7 at her home. Please contact Dianne for more information.

Dianne (Griffiths) Riley

Cell: 661-204-1271

40th Class Reunion

Class of 1983

Calling all alumni from the Class of 1983! Kristine and Monica are busy planning your 40th reunion. It's going to be on Saturday, October 28 at Luigi's Warehouse and it's going to be a blast! So spread the word and let Kristine or Monica know if you plan on attending. More details to come!

Kristine (Owens) Morton


Cell: 661-549-5174

Monica (Valpredo) Sacco


Cell: 661-703-7028

40-ish Class Reunion

Class of 1982

Calling all alumni from the Class of 1982! Diana Bates is busy planning your 40th reunion. It's going to be on Saturday, October 28 at Luigi's Restaurant and it's going to be a blast! So spread the word and let Diana know if you plan on attending. More details to come!

Diana Bates


Cell: 310-422-9202

20th Class Reunion

Class of 2003

Save The Date! The 20th reunion for the Class of 2003 will be on Saturday, Sept. 16 at Luigi's.

For more information and updates, please visit the website dedicated to the reunion.

In Memoriam

In Our Prayers


Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.

May they rest in peace. Amen.

Garces Memorial High School mourns the passing of Dr. John Ritter.

Dr. Ritter began at Garces in 1979 as the assistant principal for curriculum and instruction, a position he held for two decades as well as a school year as the interim principal in 2004-05.

The 2002 Garces Man of the Year was also inducted into the Garces Hall of Honor in 2013.

Dr. Ritter was preceded in Heaven by his wife Kathy and survived by his daughters Alicia and Mary Kay (both Garces graduates).

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