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October 30, 2014
Principal’s Newsletter

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Nelson Mandela

One of our school wide goals this year is to be more “green” by reducing our paper footprint. Our first attempt was to place our school calendar on the website and not print copies. Our next project is going paperless with our report cards. Although the information was included in the September newsletter it is worth repeating:
At the beginning of this school year, every student received his/her own email account.  In addition, we have established one Guardian email account for each student's Guardian/Parent.  

To login to the Guardian email account:

There are numerous ways in which our students utilize technology for learning, over a wide range of devices, services, and apps.  Part of our mission is to assist them in developing as responsible technology consumers.  To that end, every student and parent/guardian must read and be familiar with the Technology Acceptable Use Policy, which is posted at the Prep's website (You can find under”1:1 iPad Program").

Girls Varsity Tennis Team:

Coach Brennen reports: Hall of Fame college football coach Joe Paterno speaking about fans expectations said that the greater the success the longer the measuring stick by which you are judged.  Given that formula, after 16 consecutive state championships, the girl’s tennis team at Prep must judge a successful season by a measuring stick of epic proportions.
The season began with a considerable challenge as the roster was filled with freshmen and sophomores and only one senior, Lisa Elie. Our line-up consistently had nine freshmen and sophomores playing significant roles. Sophomores Camille Uy (#2 singles) Lindsey Sayour (#2 doubles), Lejla Redzematovic and Micaela Prisco (#3 doubles) and Alexis Sakatis (#4 doubles) all made major contributions to our season. Freshman Olivia Morris (#3 singles), Amalia Parrish (#1 doubles), Mia Parrish (#2 doubles), Sara Williams (#4 doubles) and Alexa Poulas (#4 doubles) all played a big part in our success. With these ten underclassmen the future continues to look very bright.  Junior captain Donna Episcopio (#1 doubles) and Mary OʼByrne (#4 doubles) provided experience and leadership. 
I cannot remember a team that had only one senior but if that has to be the case you could not ask for a better senior captain then Lisa Elie. (#1 singles) For the 17th consecutive time our girls won the NSCHSAA league with an undefeated 8-0 record. Six matches were 7-0 shutouts with two matches won 6-1.  Unfortunately, playing for the state championships Prep lost a close 3-2 match to Mary Lewis.
The bench mark for a successful season for Prep girl’s tennis is indeed a high mark, but our girls accept that challenge. Winning the league championship with an undefeated season was a major accomplishment with this young team. Next year we expect to continue our tradition of excellence and also have a great deal of fun.

Girls Varsity Tennis A Slideshow

Girls Varsity Tennis B

Mrs. Rich’s Class Trip:

The Marine Biology class visited the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead, Long Island, NY.  Students took part in a lab and Sea adventure.    Some of the aquarium attractions visited were the Shark Tank, Sea Lions, and the feeding of the African penguins.   The Atlantis Explorer Tour Boat ventured down the Peconic River into Flanders Bay. This adventure gave the students plenty of opportunities for hands-on exploration while promoting environmental awareness and education about the Peconic Estuary.

 Making Strides:

On Sunday, October 19th, members of the Key Club, Italian Club, Greek Club, Hero Club, and Varsity Softball participated in the Making Strides against Breast Cancer Walk in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The Girls Volleyball Team participated in the Jones Beach walk.  The volunteers collected over $1000.00 in donations for the American Cancer Society. Great job!

PSAT DAY – Wednesday, 15 October

On Wednesday, 15 October, our 10th- and 11th-grade students took the PSAT.  This test is essentially a practice for the SAT.  Our 11th-graders will take the SAT sometime in the Spring.  The SAT is one of the major factors colleges use in making decisions about student admissions.  Our 10th-graders will take the PSAT again next October and then will take the SAT in the spring of 11th grade.  We will have an assembly to explain the scores when we receive them, usually in December.  PSAT scores do not go to colleges; they do not affect college admission decisions.  Students may, however, qualify for National Merit and other scholarships based on their performance on the PSAT taken during 11th grade.
While our 10th- and 11th-graders were taking the PSAT, our 9th-graders were involved in a variety of programs to help them know themselves and their classmates better.


The 9th-grade girls participated in a program entitled Beautiful Me.  This program is sponsored by the Hance Family Foundation.  The girls watched 2 short videos.  They then broke into small groups and worked with one of our teachers or one of the Hance Foundation’s volunteers in a variety of self-discovery and self-esteem discussions.  The program aims to build self-awareness and self-confidence.  This is our second year running the program.  We have been very happy with the experience our girls have and the feedback they give us.  We are very thankful to the Hance Family Foundation for working with us on this project.  We also thank our teachers who gave time to be trained and then lead the groups.


The 9th-grade boys worked on a program developed by our Physical Education teachers called Project Adventure.  This program encourages teamwork and cooperation to achieve a variety of tasks.  The boys were supervised by our faculty, led by the entire Health and Physical Education faculty.  For about 90 minutes, the boys worked at building trust and communication to achieve challenging tasks.  From the feedback of the students and teachers, this program was quite successful.  Mr. Fischetti, our Physical Education chairperson, addressed the boys at the end and challenged them to use what they learned to continue to form community here.  We are thankful to all the teachers who helped supervise the boys.  We especially thank the Health and Physical Education teachers and Ms. Cappiello, Mr Colucci, and Mr. Fichetti for organizing the day.
These activities are an important aspect of the experiences of our students at St. Francis Prep.  The Franciscan model of education is based on the Four Golden Links: the spiritual, intellectual, physical, and social.  Events such as these help continue to give our students the well-rounded education that will help them continue to mature and grow.

The College Office
On site interviews:

LIU- Post Thursday  November 6

Mount Saint Mary

Thursday November 13


Friday November 14

Mercy College

Monday November 17

St. Thomas Aquinas

Thursday November 20

Hofstra University

Friday November 21

Molloy  College

Tuesday November 25

St. John's University

Wednesday December 3

St. John's University

Thursday December 4

Fairleigh Dickinson

Friday December 5

St. Joseph's College

Wednesday December 10

Adelphi University

Thursday December 11

St. Francis College

Wednesday December 17

LIU- Brooklyn

Friday December 19

Alessandra Ciuffo Cor 104 will be featured in a book being released this October 2014 entitled “Future Chefs” (Rodale Press). Her TV culinary journey began in 2012 when she was chosen from a You Tube audition tape to participate in a Web series called “Super Chef Kids”.  She was noticed by Jane Street Entertainment, which then cast her on Food Network’s Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-off.  She has since done numerous food demos, fundraisers and radio interviews; she participated with Guy Fieri at the 2013 NYC Wine and Food Festival, and appeared on the Rachael Ray show. All the best to Alessandra!

Congratulations! The Gymnastics Varsity and JV teams won their 4th Consecutive N.S.G.C.H.S.A.A Championship.

Gymnastics Slideshow

Congratulations! The Girls JV Soccer Team won the City Championship last Friday beating Molloy

Flag Football Game

On Wed., 10/29 held the second annual Senior Girls Flag Football Game to benefit Breast Cancer Awareness.  This event is totally organized and facilitated by our students and everyone was invited to attend.

Art Department photos and news....

Students visited the School of Visual Arts; they toured the school and had portfolio reviews. Great day!

Mrs. Buccino’s Architecture class and Ms. Shmerykowsky's AP Art History class at the Cloisters last Thursday. The focus was to explore architecture and art history. The students first went to Saint John the Divine Cathedral for a vertical tour climbing over 125 stairs up to the roof top and above the ceiling of the Cathedral. They walked the Bishops walkway above the cathedral and explored hidden passageways.

Bro. Leonard was honored to accept the Mission Award for St. Francis Prep during the Mission Sunday liturgy at St. James for his work in Kenya. St. Francis Secondary School in Lare, Kenya was founded by the Franciscan Brothers of Galway, the same religious congregation that founded SFP. The school operates in the Catholic Diocese of Nakuru and the students come from very poor families.  Several of the children were orphaned by the 2008 election violence but thrive despite adversity.

For the past six years, SFP students, faculty/staff, and families have rallied to raise funds to purchase: 60 bicycles for students who had to walk more than 5 miles (one way) to school each day, a new copy machine, a laptop and digital camera, textbooks, desks and chairs.

German Exchange:

Ten exchange students from the Prep's German partner school, the Albert-Einstein-Schule, returned to Germany on October 18 after a three-week stay in New York. The German students, who lived with the families of Prep students, attended classes with their Prep partners. They also traveled to Manhattan several times with their teachers, Mr. Frank Maier and Mr. Toby Pfitzner. The families of the German students hosted ten students from the Prep during their three-week stay in Germany last summer.

Alumni giving back:
Stephan Lestin ‘12, Orin Donaldson ‘12 - Students at Sophie Davis school of Biomedical Education talking with prospective SFP students on Wednesday.

Guest Speaker:
Mr. Ganci and Ms. Donovan had a professor come guest lecture from St. Thomas Aquinas College.  Dr. Ben Wagner is a psychology professor; he spoke to the joint AP Psychology classes about studying psychology at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as the practical career applications of psychology.

Catholic Action Network E d u c a t i o n N e w s

NYS Catholic Conference October 2014
Keeping you informed on public policy matters affecting you and your school!
Bishops, Superintendents Focused on Enacting Education Tax Credits “Cardinal Dolan, our Bishops and superintendents remain focused on finding ways to keep Catholic schools affordable -- especially as Governor Cuomo and lawmakers expand opportunities for children to attend charter schools,” said James Cultrara, Director for Education at the NYS Catholic Conference. “That’s why enacting the Education Investment Tax Credit legislation is the highest education priority for the Bishops and Catholic school superintendents.” If enacted, the measure will generate $150 million in additional scholarships to help families with tuition at Catholic and other schools. It also provides an equal level of support to public schools.

“We are very encouraged by the progress we’ve made,” Cultrara continued, noting that the vast majority of Democrats and Republicans in the legislature have maintained their long-standing support for the bill. While Governor Cuomo continues to express support for the proposal, he failed to carry out his promise to fight to include the measure in the state budget – angering families across the state. “There has been more than enough support in the legislature to get this done. It’s really up to Governor Cuomo,” Cultrara said.

Cultrara argues that by not enacting education tax credits but continuing to expand charter school opportunities, Governor Cuomo and lawmakers are increasing the burden on tuition-paying families and taxpayers alike. “The time to level the playing field for all of New York’s children and families is long overdue and we need Governor Cuomo’s leadership to get this done,” Cultrara said.

Smart Schools Bond Act: Yes or No?

On November 4, voters will have an opportunity to vote for or against the Smart Schools Bond Act which would authorize $2 billion in bonds for schools, which taxpayers would for over an 8 to 30 year period. If the Act is approved, public schools would be able to use the funds for four purposes: pre-k classrooms; additional classrooms for over-crowded schools; school security measures; and technology upgrades. Religious and independent schools could benefit from technology upgrades if their local public school district uses its bond funds for technology upgrades. We will continue to work with Governor Cuomo and lawmakers to seek to ensure an equitable benefit for all schools. Proponents argue that all schools desperately need the assistance while opponents argue it’s too expensive to borrow funds to buy technology with a limited life expectancy. That’s why we have voting booths.

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