September 2018

“If no one ever took risks, Michelangelo would have painted the Sistine floor.”
Neil Simon, Playwright

From the desk of Mr. McLaughlin: 

As we complete our first month of school, we have successfully welcomed all of our students, especially our Class of 2022 with SFP Follies, Strategies for Academic Success, and iPad training and distribution and an orientation day for sophomore, juniors, and seniors. We are a community of learners in a nurturing, rewarding, challenging, and inspiring environment at St. Francis Prep. Our faculty, staff, and students live out our Franciscan values on a daily basis: To Live Lovingly, Care for Creation, Proclaim Joy and Hope, and Be Living Instruments of Peace.

I wish everyone a peaceful, productive, and enriching 2018-19 school year!

Mr. McLaughlin


On Friday, September 28, St. Francis Prep held its 8th annual Walk-a-thon fundraising event. The proceeds of this event benefit special projects and programs at the Prep, most notably the current Capital Improvement and Modernization Project. As you know, we already constructed new Physical Education and Art Education Centers and totally overhauled the Science Classrooms and Laboratories. Currently, the construction of new Music Education facilities is well underway. Thanks to everyone for making Friday’s Walkathon a great success!

Walk-A-Thon Slideshow HERE

Our Franciscan Mission:

We welcome our Franciscan Family as we celebrate 160 years of living our Franciscan Mission and Values here at SFP. Students, families, faculty, staff, administration, and all auxiliary services join with our alumni and the Franciscan Brothers as we share our Franciscan values: Live Lovingly, Care for Creation, Proclaim Joy and Hope,  and Be Living Instruments of peace. Please discuss these values and make reference to them at home.

Our Franciscan Youth Ministry (FYM) is the student arm of our  Mission and leads by example, fostering our values through many action steps and projects throughout the year, including weeks devoted to raising consciousness through Gratitude is an Attitude, Project Joy, Care for Creation, and Peacemaker weeks. Our Annual Baby Shower last Spring collected over 60 cases of baby items from diapers to clothing to bottles, bibs, baby wipes, etc.

Working closely with Campus Ministry and all its programs, FYM leads Service Retreats open to all students.  Twelve students spend a school day visiting, serving, and assisting the elderly throughout the day at Queen of Peace  Nursing Home, bringing joy to the residents. All students are welcome. See Brother James, and sign up in Campus Ministry.

From the desk of Mr. Castellano 


We will offer many of the Regents exams in January.  Students who did not pass a Regents exam and would like to re-take it in January must see Mr. Castellano by 18 October.  Students who did not pass a Regents exam required for graduation will be automatically registered for the exam and must take it in January.  Students who passed a Regents exam may not re-take it to get a higher grade.  Parents or guardians with questions may call their child’s guidance counselor or Mr. Castellano: 718-423-8810, ext. 209.

College Fair

Our Guidance Department sponsored a College Fair for our junior and senior students and their parents on Tuesday, September 25, in our school cafeteria. We welcomed 154 colleges who came to share critical information with our students. Mrs. Armon and Guidance Departments members gave short presentations on the college process and answered many questions. Good Job!

Faculty News

SFP Alumni Director and Baseball Coach Brother Robert Kent and his brother Brother Ed Kent (former SFP English Faculty) were honored by The Charles F. Heeran Foundation on Saturday, September 8, at St. Francis DeSales Church in Belle Harbor, NY. The foundation was created by Bernie Heeran (a retired FDNY firefighter) to honor the memory of his son Charlie who died in the Twin Towers while working for Cantor Fitzgerald on 9/11. Charlie, his twin brother William (Billy), and their brother Sean were all working in the Financial District that fateful day. Billy and Sean said watching the FDNY race to the towers and tirelessly sift through the rubble searching for survivors inspired them to become firefighters.

Mass was celebrated by Father Bill Sweeney (former SFP Chaplain), with Father Jim Cunningham (SFP Class of 1986), Msgr. Martin Geraghty, and Rev. William J. Wallace concelebrating.

Front Row (l-r): Don Kent '62, Msgr. Marty Geraghty, Fr. Bill William F. Sweeney,  Bro. Robert Kent, Bro. Ed Kent, Fr. Bill Wallace, and Bernie Heeran.  Back row:  Members of the FDNY Emerald Society Pipes and Drums

Bro. Leonard is honored at the Great Irish Fair with the Fr. Mychal Judge Award.

The Father Mychal Judge, O.F.M., Award (which is named in honor of the FDNY chaplain who died in the terrorists’ attack on the World Trade Center in 2001) was bestowed upon SFP’s President, Bro. Leonard Conway, O.S.F. at the Irish American Building Society’s 37th Annual Great Irish Fair on Saturday, September 22, 2018, at The Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk in Brooklyn. Like Father Mychal, Brother Leonard's dedication and compassion in his ministry as a teacher, school principal, camp director and school president has touched many lives.

Congratulations Brother Leonard on this well-deserved recognition!

Pictured (l-r): Bro. Bill Boslett, O.S.F., Gerry Scales ‘76, Eileen LeMonda ‘78, Brother Leonard, Patrick McLaughlin, Father Bill Sweeney, Wally Bishop ‘80, Brother Robert Kent, O.S.F. and Brother Lawrence Boyle, O.S.F.

Music Award

After earning a perfect score on her New York State School Music Association adjudication, Junior 'cellist Hyelim Jo has been invited to perform with the All-State String Orchestra at the 2018 NYSSMA Winter Festival in Rochester, New York.  


The Music department started last summer with a concert tour of England.   This was our 3rd time there and 7th international trip in 14 years.  In all, 83 student-musicians, faculty, and family members saw sights such as the Harry Potter Studios, Blenheim Palace (the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill), Shakespeare’s birthplace, Canterbury Cathedral (the site of St. Thomas Becket's martyrdom), the Tower of London, and Westminster Abbey.  Students from our Chamber Choir and Prep Chorus, Jazz Band, and Chamber Orchestra performed at the Stratford River Festival (for an audience in the thousands) and Southwark Cathedral.  The singers sang in a Mass at St. Augustine Church in Royal Tunbridge Wells that was concelebrated by Prep's Chaplain Emeritus, Fr. Bill Sweeney.

Last spring, the Music department became the first school ever to be re-accredited for the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools "Program of Distinction" in Music.  The Middle States visitor cited, "Students and parents exclaim that the music program is the reason for choosing SFP.  Relationships of students and faculty are strongly rooted in the development of the whole child.  The faculty embraces teaching the students through the discipline of music.   With that, they bring a comprehensive study of music through relationship building and develop a deeply genuine and wholesome experience to, and for, students."

Already hitting the ground running, members of our percussion ensemble performed at SFP Follies and will perform at our Annual Walk-A-Thon on September 28 as will the Jazz Band.  Jazz Band will then be performing at Open House on October 13 along with Chamber Choir and Chamber Orchestra.

We're looking forward to yet another successful year sharing God's gift of Music!!!

Prep Students go on a "Holocaust Tour" of Europe

Nineteen students visited sites related to the World War II European Holocaust – Berlin, Warsaw, Prague, Krakow, Prague and Munich.  The students visited the Holocaust camps of Auschwitz and Dachau.  According to Mr. Hessel these visits were moving and sad and had a profound impact on all the travelers.

Prep students in Krakow
Visiting Auschwitz/Birkenau

While the trip was sobering, the travelers were able to also visit traditional tourist sites, such as the Marienplatz with its famous Glockenspiel in Munich, the old cities of Warsaw and Krakow, the Jewish Quarter in Prague and the city of Mozart Salzburg. They even took a river cruise on the Moldau river in Prague! Her the students could enjoy themselves shopping, touring museums, and seeing the sites in these great European cities.

Slideshows and Videos of the trip HERE

German Exchange Program At German Partner School

 Students stayed with their German host families at the Albert Einstein School in Maintal, Germany, in August. While in Maintal, students attended classes at the German school and toured the cities of Frankfurt and Würzburg. They also traveled to Berlin and visited the Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Wall, and other sites of historical significance. Students from the German school stayed at the home of their Prep partners and attended classes at the Prep last October.

City Council Member Barry Grodenchik met with Bro. Leonard and Mr. McLaughlin to discuss SFP’s role in the community.

Summer Program

Anna Pyo and Samantha Rooney, seniors, attended the Economics For Leaders summer program sponsored by one of our alumni. Economics For Leaders is a summer program that introduces students to the fundamentals of economics and leadership. 

"I am honored to have received a scholarship to attend a week-long trip to Brown University. There, I enjoyed networking with coordinators and socializing with friends from all over the country. This is something that I had never experienced before and made my summer vacation much more exciting. I would definitely recommend this program to any rising high school junior or senior who has a thirst for learning, socializing, and leadership. "  

Anna Pyo '19

"This week was an amazing and unforgettable experience. I had such a good time at Yale University. I can’t believe how close a group of people could get within a week. I made a lot of great friends that I can hopefully keep in touch with. The economics classes were really interesting. It was awesome to learn about basic economic concepts like supply and demand, scarcity, and GDP. We learned about how these concepts can affect our country and other countries and how to apply these concepts to our daily lives in order to make smart choices. I absolutely loved the leadership activities. The counselors and other students were really open and supportive, which really made the experience even better. A lot of activities highlighted important aspects of leadership, such as working as a team, making sure everyone’s ideas are heard, having good communication skills, and trusting and having more confidence in yourself and your decisions."

Samantha Rooney '19

SFP Summer Camps and Programs

Over the past summer, SFP offered 9 sports camps and 6 academic enrichment opportunities to middle school and elementary school students. We offer these opportunities to school-age children every summer to help them experience excellent instruction in a fun environment.


SFP Senior Justin Hendrick '19 was awarded the Daniel Apicella Memorial Scholarship on Monday, August 27, at Inwood Country Club.
 The Daniel Apicella ‘00 Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a deserving SFP scholar-athlete who exemplifies Dan's giving spirit and hard work.

Pictured (l-r) are: Kevin Wagner '01, (Committee Member) Mrs. Linda Apicella, Justin Hendrick '19, Mr. Robert Apicella and James Lynch '99 (SFP Faculty and Head Basketball Coach)  


Tatjana Mustac graduated from SFP in 2016. She emailed the school regarding an article that was recently published about her. Since creating the Croatian Club at Prep, she continued to increase her involvement with the Croatian diaspora throughout the world. Here is a link to the article:

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