In this edition of Alumni Spotlight, we go down memory lane with Steve Agnos ‘00 and reflect on his days at Sacred Heart Cathedral and how its transformative education and inclusive community paved the path to his success. As a member of the Class of 2000, he witnessed the evolution of both the school and the world around him, navigating the start of the new millennium and the timeless lessons imparted by dedicated educators. Now, as a video producer intimately connected to his alma mater, he speaks on the impact of his formative years, the joy of community service and the wisdom he offers to current SHC students embarking on their respective journeys.

Where did you grow up, and where did you go to grammar school?

I grew up in San Francisco. I actually went to John Swett Elementary School for kindergarten, which was only a couple blocks south of SHC. Then my family moved from Potrero Hill to Twin Peaks and I spent grades 1-5 attending Rooftop Elementary School, followed by Horace Mann Middle School.

What are some memories that stand out? What was the most innovative technology at the time?

Well, I am in the Class of 2000 and this school looked a lot different in the late 90s! The Pavilion hadn’t been built yet, and there was a lawn and an outdoor basketball court in its place. Similarly, on the De Paul Campus, the theater hadn’t been built yet and there was another outdoor basketball court in its place. The internet was still a strange new thing that existed in the library. I remember my class being very humorous and just a lot of laughing during lunch periods. We were always having a great time.

Who were some teachers who impacted your development as a student?

There are so many! Mr. Bill Kruegar teaching U.S. History is a class that stands out. He always made it feel like the most important class of the day. Mrs. Palumbo/Murray taught a really fun improv elective class that helped me loosen up and get me out of my shell a bit. I also really liked Mr. Gallegos’ Civics class as a senior.

What is the most important lesson you learned at Sacred Heart Cathedral?

Try new things! Don’t worry if you aren’t good at them at first, in fact, it helps if you expect not to be good at them at first. I think I was more afraid of failing than I needed to be during my time here. That probably prevented me from taking full advantage of everything this place has to offer. For example, I wish I had tried being in a school play, both as an actor or as part of the Tech Crew.

What did you do after graduation? Did you ever think you’d find yourself back at SHC?

After I graduated, I went to Chico State for two years, which I enjoyed, but I kept coming back to the city to see friends. A lot of my friends from SHC ended up back in SF as well, so I ended up transferring from Chico to SF State and graduated college there. I just love living in the city.

What do you enjoy most about serving your community?

Well, as a video producer, I feel fortunate to be involved with SHC and to be a part of some really amazing moments over the last five years. I remember my first time being back on campus in 2019 and just being amazed at how futuristic the campus now felt, with the same joyful student body and staff that I remembered. It was fun trying to capture that energy and put it into a video. Then when Covid hit and we came back on campus in 2021, the energy was so different with all the masks and everyone being so careful around each other, but we managed to make something inspiring out of it.

Then the following year, getting a chance to film the SHC football team winning the championship and documenting it, was definitely a high point. And now this year, the positive energy I felt here in 2019 definitely feels back in full swing! I have really enjoyed getting to work on a short VPA documentary and then this most recent Admissions video is my favorite one yet.

What would you say to current SHC students who are embarking on the next step of their lives? Similarly to the biggest lesson I learned at SHC—try new things and don’t be afraid to fail. You may decide what you majored in isn’t what you want to do for a living after all, and that’s ok. Each of your experiences continues to count and you can always draw from all of them whenever you need to. So in that sense, there really isn’t any failing in your work lives, just more experiencing.

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