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Juarez Stake Academy

by Richard Culatta

Juarez Stake AcademyFounded in 1897, The Juarez Stake Academy (JSA) or Academia Juárez, located in Colonia Juárez, ChihuahuaMexico, is the oldest private high school owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) that follows a dual-language program that is unique in the country. The academy is located on the corner of Callers Sonora and Pacheco in Colonia Juarez (Casas Grandes), Chihuahua, Mexico.

During the 2008-2009 school year, 418 students were enrolled in classes. Approximately 73% of those are LDS; most of the remaining 27% are affiliated to the Catholic faith and who are placed in a higher tuition payscale. To enhance expectations in academic levels, the academy maintains a highly competitive admissions criteria for non-members who undergo an intensive round of interviews during the admission process.

JSA students avoid the consumption of drugs and alcohol, and consider academic honesty of paramount importance. The Academy's main purpose is to prepare its students to exceed expectations within their communities and be fluent in Spanish and English through a balanced spiritual, academic, technological, physical, and multi-cultural education in the dual-language program. JSA also has a strong athletic program. The Lobos (or Lobas as the girls teams are known) compete in a variety of sports, including basketball and US fooball. Max Spilsbury is credited for having founded American football in Northern Mexico in 1969 when he started the JSA football team. He was the head coach at Academia Juarez from 1969 to 2000. 

JSA chorus Michele Call leads a chorus rehearsal at JSA. The academy is known for it's strong music programs.




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