October 2019

When you get right down to the root of the meaning of the word ‘succeed,’ you find that it simply means to follow through.
F.W. Nichol

Important upcoming dates:

  • November 1st – Feast of All Saints – School Closed
  • November 4th - Thanksgiving Drive begins
  • November 7th – Final Day of Quarter 1
  • November 11th – Veterans Day – School Closed
  • November 14th – Parent Teacher conference: 3pm-5pm; 6pm-8pm
  • November 28th – Happy Thanksgiving – School Closed

From the desk of Mr. Castellano:


Student GPAs are displayed on a number of reports and screens. The information below will assist you in understanding what each one represents.

At the end of each quarterly marking period, we calculate the average for that quarter and generate the Quarterly Honor Roll. If a student is on the Honor Roll for a particular quarter, a notation is made on the bottom of the emailed report card. We also post the most recent Quarterly Honor Roll in the school lobby.

The quarterly GPA is determined by adding the grade for all classes and dividing by the number of classes (not credits). The quarterly GPA is not weighted; every class carries the same weight and quality points for honors and A.P. classes are not included. The quarterly GPA is not listed on the transcript.

At the end of each semester and the end of the school year, we calculate the Transcript (or cumulative) GPA. This is the student’s GPA for his or her entire career at Prep, and it is listed on the student’s transcript. The Transcript GPA changes every time a course is successfully completed. It is located at the bottom of the Grades and Attendance screen on the Parent Portal as “Current Transcript GPA.” This is the method by which we calculate the Transcript GPA:

  • The grade for every class is included in the GPA.
  • Each grade is weighted by the number of credits it carries. For example, English 9 is a 1-credit class, so the grade for that class carries its full weight: 90 x 1.0 = 90. Physical Education 9 is a half-credit class, so that grade is counted half: 90 x 0.5 = 45.
  • Every honors class receives 4 quality points added to the final grade for that class; each A.P. class receives 6 quality points. These extra points are reflected in the Transcript GPA but do not appear in the final grade on the report card or transcript. For example, a student who earns 92% in English 9 honors will have 96% added into the calculation for his or her GPA; 92% will appear as the final grade for English 9 honors.
  • We add all these numbers together and divide by the number of credits (not courses) to compute the student’s Transcript (cumulative) GPA.

YEARLY HONOR ROLL (different from Quarterly Honor Roll)

Students who were on the Honor Roll based on their Final Yearly GPA for the 2018-2019 school year will receive certificates acknowledging this achievement in Cor during the first week of November. The Yearly GPA is calculated the same way the Transcript GPA is calculated but includes only the courses for that year. Congratulations. Keep up the great work.


Ms. Elizabeth Prohaska was recognized as the University of Chicago’s Outstanding Educators Award.

Campus Ministry

On October 3rd and 4th, 65 juniors and seniors travelled out to Camp Alvernia with the SFP Campus Ministry team and some of the sophomore Religion teachers to prepare for their year of service as sophomore retreat leaders. The group was split into eleven smaller teams and participated in team- building activities and training. The goal of the overnight training was not only to give the leaders their own retreat experience but also to equip them with the tools needed to effectively lead the sophomores on their retreats throughout the year. Our retreat leaders are excited to work and pray with sophomore class this year and are ready to help them foster good relationships and think about their values.

The SFP Campus Ministry team

On October 16th, our Campus Ministry department piloted the first-ever SFP Founder's Day, a retreat experience for our 9th-grade class. Ninth-grade Cors came together to listen to a keynote address given by Ansel Augustine, D.Min, Catholic leader in the diocese of New Orleans; participate in team building activities with their Cor teachers and senior volunteers; and pray and worship at their Mass of the Holy Spirit, celebrated by our chaplain Fr. Ralph Edel. Music for the celebration was performed by Alverlis, a diocesan praise and worship leader. A big thank you to our first-year students for participating so attentively, to our 9th-grade Cor teachers,and all of the teachers for facilitating, and to our outside guests for assisting in making this a wonderful retreat experience for the class of 2023.

SFP Founder's Day

SFP Founder's Day

SFP Founder's Day

Service Opportunities at SFP

  • Cunningham Park Clean-Up-Students clean up debris, assist with raking, and make improvements as needed in Cunningham Park.
  • Midnight Run- Volunteers sort clothes, make sandwiches, and receive an orientation. They are then transported by SFP buses with SFP faculty chaperones into Manhattan to distribute the donations to folks living on the streets. We do this service In collaboration with midnightrun.org
  • Presentation Soup Kitchen- Students assist with preparing and serving a meal to guests at the Soup Kitchen at Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Jamaica, NY.
  • Service Retreat (FYM)-Students spend the day with the elderly population of the Queen of Peace Nursing home.
  • Franciscan Immersion Experiences:
    • Franciscan Volunteer Program –February break service immersion with other Franciscan schools – Notre Dame Regional HS, Cape Girardeau, MO, and St. Anthony’s HS – focused on serving the community of the hosting school
    • Romero Center Urban Challenge – Camden NJ– Holy Week service immersion, focused on poverty and social justice.
    • Hogar San Francisco De Asis (Home of St. Francis) Chaclacayo, Peru – Summer immersion program in a suburb of Lima, serving Peruvian children who live at the Hogar because they require medical treatment that they could not otherwise receive.
  • Liturgical Service –Students taking part in school liturgy: readers; gift, candle, and cross bearers; morning prayer readers; liturgical ensemble
  • Summer Service Academy –Week-long summer service “day-camp” connecting SFP students with community organizations where they may provide direct service (Presentation Soup Kitchen, Hour Children’s House, The Interfaith Nutrition Network, St. John’s Bread and Life, among others)
  • PS4 Volunteers –Students utilizing free periods to provide tutoring andmentoring to young people at PS4
  • Charitable Drives
    • Thanksgiving –food drive supporting 8 local community organizations
    • Lent –Financial drive supporting St. Francis Secondary School, Lare, Kenya

Cunningham Park Clean Up Service

Cunningham Park Clean Up ServiceMusic Honor Society Induction

On Friday, October 11, we celebrated the second annual induction ceremony of the St. Francis Prep chapter of Tri-M Music Honor Society, moderated by Ms. Kirsten Corwin and Dr. Marc Silvagni. We had 70 inductees this year of our top music students. The ceremony consisted of performances put together entirely by the inducted students and a ceremony in which the students were given their membership certificates and Tri-M pins, all run entirely by the student-led Tri-M executive board members. Before the ceremony, we also heard welcome music from our Chamber Orchestra, run by Mr. Robert Johnston. It was a lovely evening in celebration of musical and academic achievement.

Our Executive Board

Art Department

New York Botanical Gardens and Crocheron Park - Class Photo Shoot

October 20

On October 20, a day of record temperature, Mr. Biondolillo's Fashion Design class and Mrs. Buccino's Digital Photography class embarked on a trip to the Bronx Botanical Gardens. Preceding this trip, the classes were visited by Mr. Biondolillo's brother Andrew (class of '02), now a stylist and art director for a men's magazine. Andrew tasked the students to create looks based on the theme of "Buried Treasure" as a link to the overall department theme of "Adventure" for the current school year. Acting as though they'd be working for a magazine, the students had to feature jewelry in their look. After a seminar on the styling profession and creating an inspiration board full of thematic ideas, the students styled themselves as models. Once at the Botanical Gardens, the group explored the stunning grounds. The photography class took part in a class photo walk, practicing camera modes and techniques. Mrs. Buccino led the photography students in a lesson on shooting fashion in outdoor spaces, while Mr. Biondolillo's fashion students prepared themselves for the shoot and designed two floral-themed garments. Students then journeyed to the second part of the trip, Crocheron Park. The fashion photo shoot took place in Crocheron Park. In addition, Andrew Biondolillo joined the trip and led the students in a demonstration of how to create a fashion photo shoot. This was a follow-up to his guest in-class presentation. Having a professional on the scene allowed the students to completely absorb the process and learn what would be expected of them in a real-world setting. The students were then paired for the remainder of the trip to complete the fashion photo shoot. We are investigating how to put together a small special printed edition of this work in the form of a magazine.

Mr. Biondolillo's Fashion Design


The Saint Francis Prep Art department hosted admission counselors from 16 art schools, including SCAD, Lesley University, PRATT, School of Visual Arts, Parsons, and the Fashion Institute of Technology. Art students had the opportunity to speak to the counselors and receive portfolio feedback. Students had their art work critiqued and received one-to-one portfolio reviews. The art college representatives were impressed with the student art work and offered invaluable advice. A fabulous afternoon was had by all who attended!

Portfolio Day SFP

Portfolio Day SFP

Overlooking the Throgs Neck Bridge

On October 2, 2019, the Advanced Drawing and Painting class ventured to the Bayside Marina to dabble in a Plein Air Drawing experience. The view was breathtaking, overlooking the seascape and the Throgs Neck Bridge. Students set up their portable easels and watercolor paints and got right to work. They spent several hours drawing and painting in the fresh air. The experience was so uplifting the class plans to return in late May to continue painting, as the Impressionists did!


On October 9th, 2019, fashion designer Tre LaVoux attended the Art Departments National Art Honor Society meeting. NYC-based women’s wear brand, Tré LaVoúx was one of many names that graced the runways of New York Fashion Week this past September with his luxury women’s wear brand. Debuting his Pre-Fall 2020 Atelier Collection, followed by a Ready-to-Wear Resort 2020 Collection, Tré showed his audience the importance of giving back to the community by auctioning off VIP tickets to the fashion show to Broadway Cares, a non-profit that provides assistance and care to those affected by HIV/AIDS. At the NAHS meeting, Tre displayed the garments in his Fall 2020 collection to the students. He spoke to them about his career as a fashion designer and gave invaluable feedback to fashion students. The National Arts Honor Society was thrilled to have Tre and his ready-to-wear fashion line at the meeting!

Tre LaVoux attended the Art Departments National Art Honor Society meeting

Guest Engineer, Errol Stabiner, visits

SFP Architecture class

This October, engineer Errol Stabiner visited the SFP Art Department. He was a guest speaker in Mrs. Buccino’s Mechanical Drawing and Architecture class. Mr. Stabiner is the grandfather of Junior Kristin Stabiner. The architecture class had the invaluable opportunity to hear about Mr. Stabiner’s life experiences as an engineer. They heard first-hand what it was like to work on incredible architectural projects. Mr. Stabiner was one of the Senior Field Construction Engineers on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and the NGL Plant in Iran. He was a Project manager for construction for the West Side Highway and the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point. Mr. Stabiner spoke to the class about his engineering experiences and gave a lesson on using scale and the scale ruler to design floor plans. The SFP Art Department was thrilled to have Mr. Stabiner visit! He stated that he truly feels like a SFP Alumni!

engineer Errol Stabiner visited the SFP Art Department

Congratulations to Sierra Santiago for being awarded Outstanding Hispanic Scholar from the College Board.

Congratulations to Sierra Santiago '20 who was recognized by the College Board as one of the academically outstanding Hispanic-Latino high school juniors who took the PSAT-NMSQT this year. Sierra's scores earned her a spot in the National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP) this year. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success - including the SAT® and the Advanced Placement Program®. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators, and schools. (Pictured: Ms. Robyn Armon, SFP Director of College Counseling, and Patrick McLaughlin, SFP Principal). Well done, Sierra!

Sierra Santiago '20

German-American Partnership

Prep Prinicpal Patrick McLaughlin was presented a plaque from Stephanie Proessl from the German-American Partnership Programm (GAPP), identifying the Prep as a "School of Distinction" for its many years of participating in exchanges with German schools. The plaque praises the Prep for "promoting citizen diplomacy and international understanding through German American youth exchanges." The Prep has had exchanges with German partner schools since 2004. GAPP is an organization run by the Goethe Institute, the cultural office of the German government.

German-American Partnership Programm (GAPP)

German Exchange Students Visit the Prep

A group of ten exchange students from our German partner school, the Franciscan School Kreuzburg, visited the Prep from October 4 to October 19. The students, who were accompanied by their teacher Mr. Hans-Peter Ritzer lived with the families of Prep students, attended classes with their Prep partners, and did some sightseeing during their two week stay. The visit was the second half of the exchange, which began with Prep students visiting the German school in August.

German Exchange Students

Color Run

Mr. Ganci and Mrs. Godek thank all faculty, students, and staff who helped make this year’s Color Run a huge success. We had just a little over 250 students participate. A great time was had by all! Thank you for giving up your time after school. It was very much appreciated and wouldn’t have gone so well without everyone pitching in! Pictures here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmHJ4cEZ

The Color Run!

Powder Puff Games 2019

SFP seniors participated in our Annual Powder Puff Games to raise awareness of Breast Cancer. Photos here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmHUnsUW

Annual Powder Puff Games


The girls JV and Varsity Volleyball team walked at the Breast Cancer Walk in Jones Beach on October 20. They also raised over $400 for the cause.

Breast Cancer Walk in Jones Beach

Girls Soccer

On October 20th, the JV Girls Soccer team participated in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk at Jones Beach. It was a great team turnout. Together they raised $1,264 for The American Cancer Society.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk

Congratulations from the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee

Congrats from the St. Patrick's Day Committee!

CHSFL Board of Governors

Our Varsity Football Coach was inducted into the Catholic High School Football League Board of Governors. Congratulations, Coach!

Coach Carrol

Girls Varsity Soccer

On Friday, October 25, 2019, the St. Francis Prep Girls Varsity Soccer Team defeated Holy Trinity by the score of 3-1 for the Nassau Suffolk CHSGAA Championship. It was a hard fought game. The scoring opened up early with a goal by senior captain Victoria Padavona. However, Trinity quickly equalized. Solid play from Senior Samantha Dumont and Juniors Viviana Cvecic and Francia Pressoir helped keep the score 1-1 until the 63rd minute, when Victoria Padavona took a free kick from 30 yards out and buried the goal. St. Francis Prep never looked back as Junior defender Francesca Palmeri ended the scoring with a goal from the left side of the 18 yard box. Freshman goalie Arianna Valte had 8 saves. Victoria Padavona was named Game MVP for the finals. The team finished the season with a record of 15-3-2.

Nassau Suffolk CHSGAA Champions

Girls Varsity Swimming Senior Night

The girls varsity swimming team celebrated together and honored their seniors on October 24th at Queens College. Seniors pictured from left to right: Anna Waitword, Leondra Craig, Captain Sabrina Demo, Maria Louiza Manessis, Jaela Burmester, Captain Isabella Lovasz.

Girl's Varsity Swimming Senior Day

Girls Track

The SFP 9th-grade Cross Country girls won the City Championship and the Brooklyn-Queens Championship. Grace Hughes was the Brooklyn-Queens individual race winner. Congratulations!

Cross Country Champs!

Girls Basketball

Congratulations to Jeanna Cunningham for signing a letter of intent to attend and play basketball at West Virginia University.

Jeanna Cunningham to WVA!

Senior Night at SJU for our Soccer Teams

Soccer Senior Night


Marissa Kosinski and Hannah Daniel receiving their White Coats at the 2021 Nursing St. Francis College ceremony.

Hannah Daniel and Marissa Kosinski

Terrier 5K

Congratulations to Clare Cashen-Castro, St. Francis Prep alumna of the Class of 2000, for her continuous participation and diligence in the Homecoming 5K Run in Memory of our 9/11 Heroes at St. Francis Prep.

Clare and her husband Jason Castro, also a 2000 SFP alumnus, participate every year in our annual Homecoming 5K Run. We applaud Clare on her well-deserved victory. We wish Clare and Jason all the very best in the future!

Clare Cashen-Castro '00

Dental Clinic in Lare, Kenya

Thanks to Joe Pantaleo SFP Class of 2003 for his leadership and expertise in setting up a dental clinic in Lare, Kenya, for our partner school St. Francis Lare.

Lare Dental Clinic, Kenya

Lare Dental Clinic, Kenya

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