Saint Joseph High School welcomed back Larry Van Deventer to the role of teacher, director, and producer for 2016-2017 school year. Van Deventer, who taught and directed SJHS theatre productions from 1981 to 1985, is no stranger.
Mr. Van Deventer left Saint Joseph’s and moved to Virginia where he received a master’s degree in Liberal Studies and worked with the local diocese to restart a theater group called the “Agape Theater.” After 26 years away from California, Van Deventer, felt the pull to move back. Teaching is Mr. Van Deventer’s mission and life’s work. A self-described perfectionist, he instills that perfectionism in his students. The gift he gives himself is, “when rehearsals are over and the curtain goes up, I like to sit in the audience to see the cast do incredible and wonderful things.”
Mr. Van Deventer believes God had it in His plan to have him back at Saint Joseph High School. In asking Larry Van Deventer what is the same about the school since he left, he says that the camaraderie is better than ever. “The campus still has a celebration of life: that is what the Catholic Church and SJHS is about.” He notes that on his first day of class, students came and greeted him with well wishes.
When asking Mr. “V” what has changed in the past thirty years, he noted the changes to the theater and campus. For example, the Flynn Center and the improvements to the MPB's lighting and production technology. "The improvements that Dr. Mendoza has made to the campus make the school a very special place."The Saint Joseph High School Visual and Performing Arts curriculum and co-curricular activities provide a unique experience for students, who are encouraged to find their voices, shine their light, create their vision, and share their stories. Students can enroll in stimulating and challenging academic courses: Art, Drawing and Painting, Sculpture, Advanced Placement Art Studio, Drama, Dance and Women's Chorus to satisfy their State of California graduation requirement. Many of our talented young women go above and beyond this requirement and participate in one or more co-curricular activities including Hand Bells, Percussion, Steel Drums, Choir, Color Guard, Dance, and Drama. As an all girls school, the students explore technical roles and jobs traditionally reserved for men, such as lighting, sound, and stage scene construction resulting in the confidence and preparation to take on any role in the creation of performance.