Home Diocese Drexel School System Receives $25 million Gift to Transform Catholic Education

Drexel School System Receives $25 million Gift to Transform Catholic Education


John A. and Sue Sobrato, along with their son John M. Sobrato and the Sobrato Family Foundation, believed in the promise and vision to transform Catholic Education for the 21st century. Their generosity helped to fund the launch of the innovative Drexel School System in the fall of 2013. This past March, John and Sue increased their support and commitment to Drexel and gifted the transformative school network $25 million with a bequest of their estate. This is the largest single gift that the Diocese has ever received.

The Sobratos have been leaders in the emergence and growth of Silicon Valley and remain committed to this place they have called home for generations. “We are committed to support local organizations that promote access to excellent schools and sustain individuals and families. We view the Drexel School System, and the Diocese of San Jose, as partners and innovators who share our vision for the Valley,” said John A. Sobrato.


The funds received from the estate of John and Sue Sobrato, through the Sobrato Family Foundation, will be used to establish the Sobrato Family Scholars Fund for tuition aid within the Drexel School System. This fund will be an annual program that supports elementary school students wishing to attend a Drexel School, but who cannot financially afford it. The Sobrato Family Scholars Fund will increase the Drexel System’s ability to provide greater access to high-quality, Catholic education for all deserving students.

“This high-impact investment in the Catholic elementary school graduate will change the face of Silicon Valley,” says Bishop Patrick J. McGrath. “The gift from John and Sue Sobrato to establish, in perpetuity, the Sobrato Family Scholars Fund will challenge others to invest in the Drexel Scholars Fund and will amplify the transformational power of the Drexel School System to form the next generation of Catholic schools’ graduates serving the Silicon Valley and beyond.”

The Drexel School System was developed in response to the changing educational landscape and to revitalize and transform Catholic schools, ensuring success in the 21st century. This innovative system delivers measurable results to the diverse mix of students in our Catholic schools. Recent results demonstrate that Drexel schools increased academic achievement with a system average in math that puts them at the top 17 percent in the nation. The system has higher numbers of students that meet or exceed the standards for reading and math than their competitors.

Within the Diocese of San Jose, Drexel has already built a strong community of schools. Launched in 2013 with seven schools (Catholic Academy of Sunnyvale, Holy Spirit School, Most Holy Trinity School, Resurrection School, Saint Clare School, Saint Patrick School, Saint Joseph School Mountain View), and expanding to 10 (Saint Mary School Gilroy, Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception School and Saint Elizabeth Seton School) in fall of 2017.The Drexel School System provides a model for renewing Catholic education and identity in the Silicon Valley and across the nation.

“We are extremely grateful to John, Sue and the Sobrato Family Foundation for their confidence, commitment and dedication to transforming Catholic Education in the Diocese of San Jose,” said Kathy Almazol, Superintendent of Schools.