February 2020

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

From the Desk of Mr. Castellano:


Students are automatically registered for Regents exams associated with all courses they take at St. Francis Prep. For many classes, the Regents exam serves as the final exam for the course; the Regents exam grade can count for as much as 10% of the student’s final grade. Regents exam grades appear on the transcripts of students. It is important for students to prepare well for these exams and to do their best. All teachers will do Regents exam review in class, and many teachers offer extra review classes after school. Please encourage your child to take advantage of all these review opportunities.

Some students may have missed or not passed a Regents exam from past years. Students who are missing any of the required Regents exams (Algebra 1, Biology or Earth Science, Global History, U.S. History, and English) will automatically be enrolled for the appropriate June Regents exam. We will contact students who must take an exam in June.

Students who wish to re-take any other Regents exams must see Mr. Castellano by Tuesday, 10 March, in order to register for an exam. St. Francis Prep allows students to re-take an exam if the student failed it; students may not re-take an exam they passed in order to raise their score. Parents and guardians with questions about Regents exam matters should call their child’s guidance counselor or Mr. Castellano at ext. 209.


Students completed course selection on 6 February. We e-mailed to all parents and guardians the courses the students selected. We are now in the process of scheduling the students. We are not making course changes at this time. In late May, students, parents, and guardians will receive the course verification form; this form is not a schedule but will list all the classes for which a student has successfully been scheduled. At that time, students may request course changes. Course changes require departmental approval and are based on qualification for the class and space availability; course changes cost $50. We will make changes until 29 June. We do not make changes in the Summer or once school begins in September.

From the Desk of Mr. Mendolia:

Summer School 2020

Summer School for 9th-, 10th-, and 11th-grade students who fail classes during the regular

school year will be held from July 6‐July 31. Classes will meet Monday through Friday for four consecutive weeks. Summer School Registration will take place on June 29 from 9:00 a.m.‐12:00 noon in the auditorium. Summer School classes for seniors will take place between June 8 and June 29. Registration for these courses will take on June 2 from 9:00 a.m.‐12:00 noon in the auditorium. All Summer School classes must be taken at St. Francis Prep.

Students who are failing or are in danger of failing a course should not schedule any vacations, college visits, etc., during the summer session. Students who miss more than 2 classes will be unable to earn course credit and will be forced to withdraw from St. Francis Prep.

Campus Ministry

During February break, 10 SFP, 12 St. Anthony's High School (Huntington NY), and 10 Notre Dame (Cape Girardeau, Missouri) students came together for a week filled with service, fellowship, and memories. The students shared the week living simply, sharing classrooms as their living space, and serving those in need at many different social agencies in Queens and on Long Island. Our students also participated in a Midnight Run encountering those experiencing homelessness on the streets of Manhattan and toured the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Our participants described the week as transformative and moving, and many cited that they felt energized for Lent.

A big thank you to all of the chaperones, faculty and staff who offered bed linens so the students could have a good night's sleep, and faculty and staff who donated food and their time to cook and prepare meals for us throughout the week. Thank you to Ms. Zerilli, Ms. Glynn, Mr. Mendolia, Mr. McLaughlin Jr., Mr.Albaneze, and Ms. Corwin, who stayed up through the night during the week to help ensure the safety of our students.

February 26th was Ash Wednesday, the beginning of our 40-day journey to Easter Sunday. We held a school wide prayer service. Our 9th-graders experienced the prayer service firsthand in the auditorium, while our upper-class students followed along and received ashes in their Cor classrooms. We were able to begin Lent together, marking our foreheads with ashes as a reminder of God's love for us and our need to continually turn back to Him as His beloved.

During Lent, we as a school community will raise money to help our brothers and sisters in Lare, Kenya. Last year, our $10,000 raised went toward providing a basketball court for the students at St. Francis Secondary School. This year, the money we raise will go toward providing the school with tile floors, since many of the classrooms still have dirt floors. With our help, their students will have real floors under their feet during the school day.

We will pass around envelopes on Fridays during Cor to gather up extra loose change, and we are selling Lenten T-shirts that students can purchase and wear with their Prep pants every Friday during Lent. The T-shirts are $10: $5 to defray our cost of the shirt, and $5 to go directly to Lare. Please support our mission to benefit our friends in Kenya!

We are also hosting our annual Campus Ministry raffle to benefit many of our programs. The proceeds for the raffle provide financial aid for student participants and reduce the costs of travel expenses for our service immersion trips and summer faith experiences at the University of Notre Dame and Lare, Kenya. Tickets are $5 each or 12 for $50.

Prizes include the following: a Samsung 55" LED Ultra HD 4K Smart TV, Xbox and outdoor speaker; dinner for 10 prepared and served by Brother Leonard, Fr. Ralph and Mr. McLaughlin; and a two night stay in the Poconos, sponsored by Cor Cabins, LLC. Participate today and help support our many projects throughout the year!

May God bless you and your Lenten commitments throughout the season.

Science Research

On Saturday, February 8th, five seniors from the Science Research Program were selected to compete as semi-finalists in the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. Tina Chang, Sabrina Chen, Kevin Edwin, Fiorella Delago, and Bryan Herrera all presented their research in front of a panel of judges. Bryan was selected as the 3rd Place winner in the Engineering category for his project, "The Implementation of a Wireless Power Transfer System Applicable To Flying Quadcopters With a Rechargeable Lithium Battery." Fiorella Delgao came in 1st Place in the Behavioral and Social Science category for her project, "Investigating the Effect of Screen Time on Immediate Food Choice." Fiorella will be competing in the Regional Finals on Saturday, February 29th. We wish her the best!

Project Joy

SFPTV visited Project Joy this Christmas to understand their mission and the idea behind creating their organization.

Project JOY


Winter Pep Rally video

Model UN

The St. Francis Prep Model United Nations attended a conference hosted by Connetquot High School with over 200 delegates from 10 different high schools. Our delegation of 16 had a wonderful time, and we left with 3 awards. We want to recognize all our members who attended this event, especially Arjun Mishra cor 111 and Valeria Quintero-Segura cor 314, who won an Honorable Mentions, and Henrik Israelian cor 407, who earned Best Delegate.


We are thrilled to announce that students from the SFP Art Department are once again winners in the National Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards. The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards have grown to be the nation’s longest-running, most prestigious recognition initiative for creative teens, and the largest source of scholarships for young artists and writers. Students from across the nation submitted over 250,000 works of art and writing to the Scholastic Art Competition. Winners are recognized at the regional level and celebrated in exhibitions and ceremonies at The New School and The Metropolitan Museum of art. Our winners this year are as follows:

Gold Keys - Students art work displayed in the MetropolitanMuseum of Art in April

1 Joshua Balina – Gold Key
Joshua Balina – Gold Key #2

2. Xuanchen Zhu (Kyle) - Gold Key

3. Shulin Song – Gold Key

4. Shulin Song – Gold Key #2

5. Nicholas Nestola - Gold Key


1. Isabella Agate – Silver Key

2. Ashley Adamkiewicz – Silver Key

3. Ashley Adamkiewicz – Honorable Mention

4. Jomarie Almeus – Silver Key

5. Jomarie Almeus – Honorable mention

6. Joshua Balina – Honorable Mention

7. Joshua Balina – Honorable Mention

8. Joshua Balina – Honorable Mention

9. Keying Lai – Silver Key

10. Christina Fernandez – Honorable Mention

11.Bryan Herrera – Silver Key

12.Bryan Herrera – Honorable Mention

13.Xuanchen Zhu (Kyle) – Honorable Mention

14.Xuanchen Zhu (Kyle) – Honorable Mention

15.Taryn Liello – Honorable Mention


On February 12th, wearing shirts that the students created themselves, the Art department embarked on a fantastic adventure at Walt Disney World. For over a year, the teachers in the department have been coordinating this excursion with Custom Tours, who also handle the annual senior trip. Mrs. Buccino, Mr. Biondolillo, Mrs. Lynch, and Ms. Shmerykowsky, along with forty students ranging from 10th-12th grade, experienced a dream experience full of all the excitement that Disney World is known for along with an intense art-making focus. The students were all given kits with art supplies from Blick Arts. Not one of the kids had to be reminded to stay active during the trip; they carried their sketchbooks constantly to make visual recordings of all that they experienced. The students then took part in Disney's art program, in which they learned photography, cel animation, painting, gesture drawing, and character design, among other topics, from veteran Disney artists who worked on such films as Lilo and Stitch and The Little Mermaid. The entire experience culminated with a trip to Epcot, where the tour got to partake in the annual Festival of the Arts, which included classes, art scavenger hunts, special food (including a paintable dessert), performances, and more. The time in Disney World also included extra magic, including a VIP dinner viewing of the show "Fantasmic" and a breakfast at the Grand Floridian Resort with famous English Disney characters. The trip was so magical that the art department plans to make this a regular event.

During the course of this experience, students participated in five workshops led by industry professionals and expanded curriculum directed by the St. Francis Prep art department. This excursion deliberately overlapped the annual Epcot Festival of the Arts. Of course, students also enjoyed the traditional Disney World offerings, and even had a little extra magic sprinkled in!


One of our fall semester photography students had the wonderful experience of seeing her work showcased in an art show this past month. Brigid Coghlan is a junior in our school. On February 8th, a photograph of hers was presented in the 2019 Drexel Photography Contest. Drexel University in Philadelphia showcased the work of 150 finalists, one of which was Brigid’s, in their art center as acknowledgement for their dedication to their art. Over 1600 photographs were entered. It was an honor to know the work of one of our students was noticed and admired by Drexel’s Competition judges!


On Friday, March 20th, the St. Francis Prep Music department will be presenting its annual Jazz-Pop concert at 7:45 p.m. in the Brother Ralph Clifford, O.S.F., Memorial Auditorium. The evening will feature our Jazz Band, Honors Percussion Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra, and Chamber Choir. Highlights of the evening will include Chamber Orchestra's performance of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and Honors Percussion Ensemble's medley from the video game Cuphead, arranged by senior Kirbey Paran. We will also be welcoming the Jazz Band from Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy. Tickets are $5 and are available only at the door the night of the concert. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. Please join us for a night of spectacular Music making!


The team Placed 6th at A CHAMPS at Eisenhower Park February 8 and 9.

  • The team was presented with the Fran Schnarr Award for Outstanding Team Spirit and Sportsmanship for the 2019-2020 CHSAA SWIM SEASON.
  • Sandon Karinsky was awarded the Tom Booras Most Valuable Swimmer Award at the CHSAA Championships.
  • Sandon qualified for states in the following events:

- 200 free style with a time of 1:47.54
50 free with a time of 20.58
100 butterfly with a time of 49.87.

  • Fernando Oliveira qualified for states in the 50 free with a time of 22.1.1
  • Boys pictured below qualified for States Championships in the 200 free relay:

Joshua Nierer, Fernando Oliveira, Nicolangelo Sofsky, Jack Whelan, Sandon Karinsky, Philip Tyka

Girls Track

Kiriaki Georgiou qualified for the State Championship for the weight throw, breaking the school record in the process. The Varsity Shuttle Hurdle Relay team of Marygrace Kenny, Demetria Vasiliadis, Fran Palmeri, and Melissa Gonzalez broke the school record. The Freshman Sprint Medley team of Makayla Hall, Bella Muro, Sophia Leslie, and Grace Hughes broke a 23-year-old school record.

Freshman Sydney Morgan ran the Disney Half Marathon and placed 4th in her age group with a time of 1:51:35.

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