October 2018

“A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.”
St. Francis of Assisi

From the Desk of Mr. McLaughlin:

On October 4, we celebrated the Feast of St. Francis with a Liturgy celebrated by Bishop Chappetto and concelebrated by Fr. Ralph Edel and Fr. Bill Sweeney. We celebrated the many blessing we have at SFP and recognized faculty and staff members who have been with us for 15 and 25 years.

The Canticle Citation Awards were presented to the following faculty members:

25 Years of Service
Christopher Mendolia

15 Years of Service
Eileen Cosgrove
Michael Hernandez
Stacey Godek
George Anne Kotowicz
Mary Pappas
Melissa Rafferty
Marianna Ruggieri

The Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn who were present, Bro. Damien, Bro. Leonard, Bro. James, and Bro. Robert, renewed their vows.

At our Open House on October 14, students, staff, faculty, parents, and alumni came together to spread the good news about SFP to future Terriers. The day was a very impressive display of SFP values and the 4 Golden Links of a Franciscan Education: Spiritual, Intellectual, Social, and Physical. Our first ever Homecoming for the student body started on Monday, October 15, ending on Sunday, October 21. Thanks to David Ganci and Stacey Godek for organizing and implementing a great week of activities for us. Read more about the week in this newsletter. Senior Week culminated with our annual Senior Halloween Dance on Friday, October 26, with another dazzling demonstration of creative costumes. Once again, October was a month that embodies the culture of SFP and ties us back to the last line of our Mission Statement: “Together we create an environment filled with academic success, respect, integrity, and joy.”

Open House Slideshow

As we close in on the end of the 1st quarter, keep in mind that Parent-Teacher Interviews are scheduled for Tuesday, November 20, with an afternoon 3:00-5:00pm and evening 6:00-8:00pm session.

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 St. Francis 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 top 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 2017-2018 school year received certificates acknowledging this achievement in Cor during the last week of October. Congratulations. Keep up the great work.

National Hispanic Recognition Award –Samuel Sosa

National Merit Commended Students:
Anna Pyo
Michelle Sorokko
Samuel Sosa
Eseosa Uwaifo

National Semifinalist – David Murtha

The National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists presented their Award of Excellence to Daniella DeViccaro.

The New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA)appoints Irene Jo to the All- State String Orchestra.

NHS Franciscan Chapter Adds Members, Elects Officers

The Franciscan Chapter of the National Honor Society elected new officers for the 2018-2019 school year. Zoe Mitchel will serve as President, Julia Sultana as Vice President, Jade Acot as Publicist, and Elias Germanakos as Secretary. Congratulations to the newest members of the Class of 2019 accepted into the society. Please note that juniors from the Class of 2020 with a cumulative grade point average of 92% will be invited to apply at the beginning of December. Please consult page 21 of the school calendar for selection criteria.

Retreat Leaders Ready to Go for the Year!

On the weekend of Sept. 29-30, 55 dedicated juniors and seniors attended their Retreat Leader Training retreat at Camp Alvernia. The students learned or enhanced their skills of public speaking, small and large group facilitation, and leading prayer. “It is really impressive to see such a high level of devotion by these student leaders to provide the younger students a great retreat experience,” explained Dr. Sullivan, Director of Campus Ministry. Each team of six students will lead two of the sophomore retreats during the course of the year.

Midnight Run: Franciscanism in Action

Thank you to all parents, faculty, and staff who donated clothing and hygiene products for our neighbors who live on the streets of Manhattan. These donations were distributed by 25 of our faithful Terriers on Friday, October 12. Special thanks to Mr. Tallman (Mathematics), Mr. Mendolia (Assistant Principal), and Ms. Troha (Mathematics) for chaperoning. Students and parents interested in serving a meal on the streets of Manhattan should sign-up for the Breakfast Run on December 1 by contacting the Parent Guild.

Making Strides

On October 22, the Girls JV soccer team participated in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk at Jones Beach. They walked 5 miles and raised $409 to benefit The American Cancer Society.

German Franciscan School at the Prep

A delegation from the Prep’s new partner school in Germany, the Franciscan School Kreuzburg, visited the Prep in October. The delegation, led by the school’s executive director Father Udo Schmälzle, toured the Prep, observed classes, and met with Mr. McLaughlin, Brother Leonard, and other members of the school administration and faculty during their four-day stay. An exchange program is planned between our two schools for the coming school year as well as several other joint projects.


The A.P. Art History class is incorporating 3D Printing into the college level A.P. curriculum, using 3D scans and digital models to examine sculptures, architecture, and even archaeological sites. This gives the students an even deeper understanding of the objects and material culture they are learning about! They are excited to use this creative technology in a new way

NY Botanical Gardens Class Photo Shoot

On October 17, during a day blessed by sunny skies, Mr. Biondolillo's Fashion Design class and Mrs. Buccino's Digital Photography class embarked on a trip to the Bronx Botanical Gardens. The fashion students were charged with a single, broad subject: Autumn Foliage. After a seminar on the styling profession and creating an inspiration board full of thematic ideas, the students styled themselves as models in the theme of their choosing. 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. In a very special addition to this year's trip, Andrew Biondolillo(class of '02), now a stylist and art director for a men's magazine, joined the trip and led the students in a demonstration of how tocreatea 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 know 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, the results of which will be displayed in the near future. A fulfilling day was had by all!


The Saint Francis Prep Art department hosted admission counselors from 16 art schools, including SCAD, Lesley University, PRATT, School of Visual Arts, RISD, 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!

Overlooking the Throgs Neck Bridge

On October 17, 2018, 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, just as the Impressionists did!

Senior Beam Signing

Members of the Class of 2019 signed one of the beams that will be added to our new Music and Physical Education addition.

Homecoming 2018

Monday, October 15:Cafeteria Karaoke: SING SING SING during G period before lunch, A period (lunch), and B period after lunch. All students and faculty welcome!
Ninth-graders went outside to tie ribbons on the fence during extended Cor!

Tuesday, October 16:Seniors will be signing beams for the new SFP construction, just like the first respondersdid for the Freedom Tower after 9/11. This happens after school at 2:45pm.
Seniors went outside to tie ribbons on the fence during extended Cor!

Wednesday, October 17:Ninth and Tenth-graders attended an outdoor Pep rally from 2:00 to 2:45. The Pep Rally was outside on the grassy area. The DJ played musicuntil 3:30! Students could buy cookies and chips.
Sophomores went outside to tie ribbons on the fence during extended Cor!

Thursday, October 18:SFP Terrier Ninja Warrior Gamestook place from 3:00 to 4:30 in the gym. Juniors took on faculty members in a challenging obstacle course and relay race! There were 45 prizes for winners, including a 50-50 raffle and homecoming raffles sold that day. Raffle proceeds went to “Team Brookie” (see below). Juniors went outside to tie ribbons on the fence during an extended Cor!

Friday, October 19:SFP Color Run: All levels enjoyed this event! Two dollars per student to participate! As students ran, friends and faculty members covered them in colored powder!


All of the proceeds of the money raised from homecoming week (i.e. t-shirts, raffles, color run) went to the Brooke Pearson Foundation.
Thank you to all of the faculty, staff, and students who participated and helped with events during the week, especially our moderators Mrs. Godek and Mr. Ganci.

Homecoming Slide Show HERE

Alumni Homecoming

The Annual Alumni Homecoming Weekend was held from Thursday, October 18, through Sunday, October 21. The weekend was dedicated to the memory of the late Coach Tim Leary '63 and drew the support of hundreds of Alumni, Students, Parents, Faculty, and Staff.
The Three-on Three-Basketball Tournament on Thursday, October 18, is held each year in memory of Jimmy Prendergast '79 (a former assistant coach) and his late father, James H'11. The 3-Point Foul Shot Contest was held in memory of Brian O'Connor '86 who was a loyal and dedicated Prep alumnus and parent. This event draws more than 120 alumni and friends as participants each year. Student athletes from Prep basketball program assist as referees and help the SFP Alumni board coordinate all aspects of the program! It's a wonderful event that celebrates the memory of these fine alumni and draws "future alumni" into the incredibly rich community spirit that is the hallmark of the St. Francis Prep Alumni Association! Click the link below for the complete event photo gallery:
Facebook Slideshow

Friends of SFP Football "Night of Champions" on Friday, October 19, 2018

Click the link below for the complete event photo gallery: Facebook Slideshow

SFP Annual Homecoming weekend included a "Night of Champions" at Bourbon Street on Bell Boulevard in Bayside on Friday evening. It was a wonderful "reunion" held in honor of many of the great coaches, athletes, and dedicated fans who have supported the teams and helped distinguish Terrier Football as one of the most esteemed and storied programs in the area.

A Day at the Races: Belmont Race Track on Saturday, October 20, 2018

Click the link below for the complete event photo gallery:
Facebook Slideshow

Alumni, family, and friends enjoyed a wonderful afternoon at the races for the Annual Homecoming Day at Belmont Park. The price of admission included a delicious buffet lunch, soft drink in the exclusive Turf and Field Club, a paddock tour, and a chance to visit the Winner's Circle!

Annual 5K Fun Run in Honor of our 9/11 Heroes on Sunday, October 21, 2018

Click the link below for the complete event photo gallery:
Facebook Slideshow

Athletes of all ages and abilities "compete" in this annual Prep tradition in honor of our 9/11 Heroes. The morning begins with a celebration of Mass in the chapel. The children's (Pee Wee Race) kicks off the festivities; the runners and walkers follow. Track student-athletes, their coaches, and the SFP cheerleaders figure prominently in the spirit and coordination of this day. SFP Alumni board members administer the check-in and trophy presentation ceremony for the top runners in various age categories. It's a wonderful community spirit day that culminates with a wonderful hot brunch buffet.

AP Government and Politics

The AP Government and Politics class participated in the Federalism Amazing Race Activity. This activity was created based on the idea of the TV reality show The Amazing Race. This "Race" was designed for the students to use clues to find examples of Federalism throughout the school. The students enjoyed the activity and were able to complete the race and learn about the governmental concept of Federalism.

Social Media Presentation

On Wednesday, October 24, the entire student body attended assemblies that presented the positive and negative aspects of Social Media. Kevin O’Connor, Assistant Commissioner of Social Media Analytics for the NYPD, gave a powerful presentation that alerted the students to all of the implications of posting on Social Media websites.

Girls Swimming

Celebrating senior night at Queens College on October 22. We are blessed to have 15 seniors on the swimming team and we wish them all the best!


October 19 was SFP Soccer senior night, a great night for both the boys and girls Varsity teams. Both teams had great performances and celebrated the evening with a feast in the parking lot after the games. Thank you for all who helped make it a great success!

Varsity Boys Soccer Slideshow HERE

Girls Varsity Soccer – Champions!

Girls Varsity Soccer Slideshow HERE

National Anthem at the Queens Chamber of Commerce –Zoe Mitchell

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