August 31, 2014
I would like to welcome everyone back to the 2014‐15 school year!
I will be writing a monthly “Principal’s Newsletter” to better inform students, parents, faculty, and staff about events, accomplishments, and activities concerning our St. Francis Prep community. A special welcome is given to the class of 2018 into the SFP Family. Many of you have already bonded with other members of the 9th grade class at the Freshmen Follies held on August 25th. Our Parents Guild will also host the 9th Grade Parent Welcome Program on Sunday, September 14th starting with a 10:00 am Liturgy followed by a reception in the Cafeteria. Important orientation information will be presented as well as a chance for parents, teachers, and administrators to meet in a casual and relaxed environment.
Our school calendar has been posted on the school website, www.sfponline.org. Please review for all important dates, deadlines, events and faculty and staff information. We are going “green!” No paper copies of the calendar will be printed nor mailed.
We are in the process of modernizing our Science labs. They will be state of the art that feature facilities and equipment that would be found on the University level. Another improvement so that our students to have optimal high school experience.
A look at the week ahead:
All students must be in uniform for the first week of school.
Tuesday, September 2: All faculty report
Wednesday, September 3: Freshmen and Peer Counselors report at 8:30 am. Students should
bring lunch and will be dismissed at 12:30 pm.
Thursday, September 4: Sophomores and Juniors report at 8:30 am. Seniors report at 10:00am.
Friday, September 5: First full day of class. All students report to Cor at 8:30 am.
A reminder to parents to activate your Power School account that will give you live time access
academic progress via the Parent Portal. If you need assistance with any of your Power School needs, please contact Ed Woods, Director of Technology, at email@example.com.
Again, all the best for a highly successful school year!
A reminder to Parents:
We will be holding our 2nd Parent University on Thursday, September 25th - Our mission is to give parents an opportunity to learn about the very latest topics relating to the high school life of their adolescent child. An involved and educated parent makes for a successful, healthy, and spiritual adolescent.
Thursday, September 25th, 2014
6:00 P.M – 9:00 P.M (5:00 P.M Registration) Registration forms are on the school website.
All the Best, God Bless!
During the summer…
The summer of 2014 was a busy one for so many of our students. One small but energetic group traveled to the University of Notre Dame to attend the ND VISION Youth Conference..
Accompanied by Mr. Bill Leone and Mrs. George Anne Kotowicz, seniors JOANNA FREDA & ELAINA LONG, and sophomores AMANDA CAPASSO and SAMANTHA ESCOBEDO traveled 714 miles to spend a week with 360 other high school students from across the country and Canada in an exploration of God's call and the ways in which they could respond to that call. Through Community, Prayer, Song, Witness, Spirituality, Good Conversations about real life issues, and a great deal of FUN, our students had an experience they will not soon forget!
On Tuesday, August 26th, the incoming Class of 2018 participated in Prep's annual Freshman Follies. Organized by Student Activities Director David Ganci and Director of Intramurals Michael Aguilo, the day was a rousing success. Students worked with select members of the senior class throughout the morning, had an opportunity to meet with several faculty members, participated in scavenger hunts, competed in field day activities, and took advantage of a chance to meet fellow classmates. Several faculty members volunteered their time and effort to ensure that the incoming Freshmen felt right at home. Thank you to everyone who helped make this event a success!
Students from the Prep traveled to Germany this summer to take part in an exchange program with our German partner school, the Albert-Einstein-Schule. Prep students spent three weeks living with their German host families, attending classes, and sightseeing in Frankfurt, Regensburg and Berlin. The Prep students' German partners will arrive in New York for a three week stay spent three weeks in New York and attend classes at the Prep.
On June 30th, 101 members of the Prep community assembled in our cafeteria prior to traveling together to JFK and mounting Prep's fourth (and by far largest) international concert tour to London, England.
The trip featured visits to traditional sites, such as Windsor Castle, the Tower of London, the Globe Theate, and Westminster Abbey. We also visited unique places such as the Warner Bros. Harry Potter studios, where we got to see Hogwarts and Diagon Alley. We also attended a performance of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. On our final morning, we attended a private Mass, celebrated by our own Fr. Bill Sweeney at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Notting Hill, which was specially selected for us by our tour company, Worldstrides International Discovery.
But the centerpieces of our trip were our own performances. Our Jazz Band, led by department chairperson, Dr. Robert Corbino, and Singers, led by Dr. David Y. Kobayashi, performed at St. Paul's Church (the actor's church) in Covent Garden. The Jazz Band, as well as Chamber Orchestra, led by Robert Johnston, next performed at the Royal Embankment Gardens, an outdoor bandshell along the Thames River. And finally, the Singers and Orchestra performed at Medieval Hall, a 13th century banquet room on the grounds of Salisbury Cathedral (we even drove past Stonehenge on the way there)!
The concerts were well received by all who attended, and at our farewell dinner, it was announced that plans would be underway for a 2016 tour to Italy, including the home of our patron St. Francis - Assisi!
Franciscan Immersion Experience: This past July, as a part of the Franciscan immersion experience (F.I.E.) program, 15 S.F.P. students and 3 faculty members offered up a week of their time to help those in need. Their journey took them to the Hogar San Francisco de Asis, a home and hospital for poor and destitute children in Lima, Peru. The Hogar is run by an incredibly selfless man, Dr. Tony Lazzara. His hardwork and generosity have helped hundreds of children live full and joyful lives despite any number of maladies. There are currently 45 young people being healed at the Hogar. You can find more information about Dr. Tony and the Hogar at www.villalapazfoundation.org.
SFP students spent their time in Peru doing all manner of service at the home. They provided comfort and attention for the residents and lived amongst the poorest of the world’s poor. The students were prompted to write about their experience and their words provide the best insight. The following quotations are excerpts from the service journal of two of the F.I.E. participants.
“Dr. Tony told me the Hogar only exists due to the sin of poverty. Ironically this sin helped gives us this invaluable experience and bring out what truly makes us all humans, Compassion. This trip showed us that one of the most important things to believe in [is] each other, our fellow human beings.” –Eric Cabrera ‘15
“People grow close and emotions become out of our own control. I thought I knew the meaning of love, the meaning of true compassion, but I was wrong. Love is what these children have for each other. Love is what pushed them to keep on fighting. I went into this experience thinking I'd help those in need. Frankly, I was the one being helped.” -Taylor Virone ‘15
The office of Campus Ministry will be offering 3 more F.I.E trips this year. For more information and to apply for one of these experiences check the Campus Ministry website or see Mr. Sempowich in the CM office.
|Students (in alphabetical order): Ariella Albert, Lily-Ann Bergin, Jean-Luc Bernard, Eric Cabrera,
Kiean Coba, Silvanna Conti, Erma Duarte, Krystal Juarez, Kevin Livingston, Elaina Longo, Victoria Pilosi,
Rob Rodriguez, J.P. Tenesaca, Taylor Virone, Anthony Viscovich.
Faculty: Ms. Brizicky, Mr. Sempowich, Mr. Soto
Also Pictured: Hogar Residents Bruno and Eloy
Faculty Professional Development:
All teachers have been immersed in our Ipad Professional Development Program during last school year in anticipation of the Freshman iPad Program for the 2014-2015 school year. In a collaborative effort with the 1:1 iPad Program, all Religion 9 students and teachers will have access to an online text, also known as the SFP Religious Education 9 iBook, written and designed by Kristin DeMatteo and Marisa Torreblanca. The teachers worked hard this summer to combine their resources and designed a way to enable all Freshman students to access relevant texts that will be used throughout their initial year at Prep. Students will be able to access text, review questions, vocabulary and the New American Bible all by using the iPad. We are very excited to implement this new technology and look forward to it bringing new life to our subject! Other departments have also been involved with the development of ibooks which we will highlight during the year. Good Job!
Science Research News:
Sophomore Rebecca Zhang applied and was accepted to the Columbia University Science Honors Program (CUSHP). Through this program she will be able to work with some of the faculty and staff of Columbia University to learn more about a particular field of research and work towards designing and conducting a novel research project. The program takes place on saturdays during the fall semester of 2014 and the spring of 2015.
Junior Natalie Correa was awarded the opportunity to participate in the Summer Student Program at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. This program is typically for undergraduate students interested in various fields of science and provides the opportunity for students to work with and experience the lives of professional scientists. Natalie's application was accepted due to her grant proposal that caught the eye of her mentor, Dr. Kevin Flurkey. With Dr. Flurkey and his lab team Natalie will be given a chance to work with these professionals as they examine some of the molecular triggers of reproductive aging in women. In fact, Natalie is nearly finished with her first project, and her second project was just approved to begin in July.
Michael Wagner and Caitlin Donovan enjoyed an adventurous trip with SFP students of all ages to Greece and Italy to see the historical sights and soak up the ancient cultures of two of Europe's finest countries in July.