February 2019

“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”
Lyndon Johnson

From the desk of Mr. McLaughlin:

On Wednesday, February 13, we inducted 179 Juniors and Seniors to the Franciscan Chapter of the National Honor Society. I am so very proud of these students who have worked hard and deserve the recognition for their outstanding accomplishments in the area of scholarship, character, leadership, and service. We were privileged to have Eric Gioia, SFP class of 1991, return to the Prep to give an inspirational message to the students about perseverance and hard work. Eric currently is Managing Director, Private Bank at J.P. Morgan. Congratulations to our students. Thank you to the work of the Faculty Council and Moderators, Dr. Sullivan, Mrs. Bergin-Sementilli, and Mrs. Rafferty, for selecting such a deserving class. Well done!

From the desk of Mr. Castellano:


Students are automatically registered for Regents exam 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.

Students who wish to re-take any other Regents exams must see Mr. Castellano by Thursday, 7 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 5 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 28 June. We do not make changes in the Summer or once school begins.

From the desk of Brother Lawrence Boyle, O.S.F., Registrar:


Parents of students who reside outside the City of New York are reminded that transportation requests for the School Year 2019-2020 are due in districts offices usually on March 31st.

If your district provides any sort of transportation and you have not heard from them regarding the next school year, please contact your District.

Finalist in the 2019 Competition for National Merit Scholarship

Close to 2 million students sit for the PSAT every year and are automatically entered into the National Merit Scholarship program. We are proud to announce that David Murtha of Cor 411 has been designated as a finalist by demonstrating distinguished performance and high potential for future academic accomplishment. Congratulations to David!

Campus Ministry


Students and Faculty are still feeling the love from a week of service in Cape Girardeau, Missouri!
Franciscan Immersion Experiences (FIE) are extended service trips that bring students to different parts of the world to learn more about poverty, justice, service, community, and faith. The February break FIE is supported by the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn and is called the Franciscan Volunteer Program. For many years, students from Franciscan high schools have been gathering as an alternative to the traditional February break to serve the poor and vulnerable of our communities. Students participate in a service-learning experiences designed to confront issues which divide our community – poverty, race, class, hunger, and homelessness – in a safe, prayerful, and communal environment.

This year, the program was hosted by Notre Dame Regional High School in Cape Girardeau, MO. SFP students and student volunteers from Saint Francis Prep and Saint Anthony’s High School in South Huntington, New York, flew to Cape Girardeau to meet up with our extended Franciscan family and make a difference in the Cape Girardeau community. Each school sent 10 students and at least 2 faculty chaperones. It is a great testament to each member of the team that he or she committed to a week of direct service to those people who are marginalized in our communities.

The students served over 10 locations this year through cleaning, serving meals, and building structures such as a storage shed for Mac’s Mission Animal Rescue and a fence for Birthright in Cape Girardeau. Other locations included the Cape Senior Center, The People’s Shelter, St. Mary’s Food Pantry, Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, and Salvation Army in Cape Girardeau; the Jesus in Disguise Food Pantry; and the South-East MO Food Bank. They also made 53 “ugly quilts” for the Ugly Quilt Project at St. Vincent’s in Cape Girardeau. These quilts will be given to anyone who is need of a warm blanket through the cold winter months.

Our team members this year brought diverse experience and insight to the program. The work they accomplished alongside two other Franciscan high schools was absolutely incredible. Special thanks are in order for the programs chaperones, Mr. Rob Johnston and Ms. Marinna Bradfield.

There are two more Franciscan Immersion Experiences occurring this year. The first is at the end of April in Camden, New Jersey. The second will see our SFP students travelling to Lima, Peru, to minister to the sick children of the Hogar San Francisco De Asis. More information about both of these experiences can be found on the Campus Ministry web-page. Sign-ups are happening now. Please contact Mr. Sempowich in the Campus Ministry Office with any questions.

SFP students pictured below along with student volunteers from St Anthony’s and Notre Dame Regional:

Christian Bahr-Lopez, Krista DiMaggio, Jason Ligasan, Joshua Mathew, Joseph Prisco, Raquel Ramirez, Kathryn Ruiz, Leila Shanley, and Michael Velez.


Campus Ministry is holding a fun raffle to benefit SFP campus ministry programs!

We have some fantastic prizes donated by CorCabins, LLC, and three of our school leaders as well as a new home theatre setup! The proceeds from the raffle will provide financial aid and reduce the costs of travel expenses for students participating in service immersion trips to Camden, NJ, and Lima, Peru, and summer faith experiences at the University of Notre Dame and in Lare, Kenya.

Tickets are only $5.00 each or 12 for $50.00. So please buy some raffle chances and help support the good work of these faith-filled students and teachers. Tickets are available in the campus ministry office and will remain on sale through the time of the drawing in April.

Here is what you can win:

  • LG 55" LED Ultra HD 4K Smart TV with HDR , Toshiba sound bar and wireless subwoofer,
    Programmable smart remote &
    Nintendo Switch
  • Dinner for 10 in the SFP Friary Hosted Prepared and Served byBr. Lenny, Mr. P. Mclaughlin and Fr. Ralph Edel.
  • 2- Night stay in a beautiful cabin in the Poconos donated by COr Cabins


The office of Campus Ministry at Saint Francis Preparatory School is proud to announce our Annual Lenten tee-shirt sale and donation drive to benefit our brothers and sisters at St. Francis Secondary School in Lare, Kenya. This relationship is an important part of what makes SFP all that it is today. Through it, we are able to strengthen our Franciscan identity and be an active part of our international community.

The Franciscan Brothers of Galway, who sent two of their own to start St. Francis Prep in Brooklyn in 1858, is the same religious community that started St. Francis, Lare, in 1980s. Lare is a small village. Most of people who live there do so with very limited means. Through our support, St. Francis Secondary has been able to purchase bicycles for students who live a considerable distance from school, new computer equipment, a photocopy machine, several desks and chairs, books, a new water tower, and a school van. Most recently, we helped add an extension to their kitchen facilities. This coming year we hope to raise enough funds for a basketball court. Like ours, their futures are much brighter with the blessings of a Franciscan education.

Over the last few years, our partnership with St. Francis Secondary School has evolved. In the beginning, we collected funds and sent what we could to Lare. Then, we began a Lenten tee-shirt drive for the students at SFP and allowed them to wear their shirts in lieu of the normal Prep uniform shirt on Fridays throughout Lent. We are excited about this opportunity to give and recognize that it truly is “in giving that we receive.”

Please consider purchasing a shirt through the Campus Ministry office and making a donation to help support our Franciscan Family!

Art Department

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

  1. Kasper Bielecki - Gold Key
  2. Jinghong Chen - Gold key and Honorable Mention
  3. Yejin Kim - 4 Gold keys, 2 Honorable Mentions, 4 Silver keys
  4. Allison Lau - 2 Gold Keys
  5. Charlize Ruiz - Gold Key


  1. Joshua Balina - Honorable Mention
  2. Zhamia Nunez - Simon Honorable Mention
  3. Matthew Stabiner - Honorable Mention
  4. Dongtianyi Zhao - Honorable Mention and Silver key
  5. Shulin Song - Honorable Mention
  6. Jessica Lee - Honorable Mention
  7. Dian Wang - Silver Key
  8. Victoria Reshetnikov – Silver Key and Honorable Mention

Field Trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art with A.P. Art History

Ms. Shmerykowsky

On January 8thth, 2019, the Advanced Placement Art History class visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. We recently finished learning about the Greek and Roman civilizations and thought it best to see their history come to life with a visit to the museum. Our tour was entitled “Ancient Greece and Rome: Art of Heroic Ideals.” The students learned how the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome used visual art and mythology to understand concepts like beauty, death, and heroism. As they traveled through the Ancient Greek and Roman Wings, students were mesmerized to see sculptures, paintings, and ancient artifacts from so many years ago. Some of the pieces they saw were examples from our lecture; they were truly amazed how their perceptions of the art work changed when they had the chance to see everything in person rather than on a Smart Board! Afterwards, the students were allowed to explore the museum to see a variety of other art historical topics we are currently covering, such as Byzantine, Romanesque, Gothic, and Early Renaissance. They also spent time drawing in the Roman and Greek Wing! To observe such beautiful classical sculptures while drawing is an experience not many people have. The students had a wonderful experience at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This experience for the students not only brought the art to life but also gave them a chance to see amazing examples of the past right in front of them. This gives them a more tangible way to prepare for the Advanced Placement Exam and gained more appreciation of the past!

On February 8, 2019, students, faculty and staff from St. Francis Prep participated in the renowned 2019 New York Fashion Week in Bryant Park. Working as backstage staff for New York City based, Christian Dior trained designer Tre LaVoux, students got a first-hand opportunity to see the behind-the-scenes world of NYFW. Dressing the professional models in original luxury women’s wear, designed exclusively by Tre LaVoux, students felt the rush of excitement that accompanies the time constraints of getting ready for the runway. Dresses, shoes, and accessories all had to be perfect before hitting the catwalk. These volunteers did an exceptional job making everything go seamlessly well in minutes! The school- sponsored event was organized by Mr. David Ganci, Director of Student Activities; the majority of the students came from Mr. Biondolillo’s Fashion class. It was an opportunity of a lifetime for these girls who wish to pursue careers in fashion! Bravo to all!


We want to be sure to invite everyone to St. Francis Prep’s Annual Jazz-Pop Concert on Friday, March 15th, at 7:45 PM. The concert will be held in Prep’s Brother Ralph Clifford Memorial Auditorium, 6100 Francis Lewis Boulevard in Fresh Meadows.

Originally a vehicle for Prep’s Jazz Band, the concert has grown to feature our elite ensembles: the Jazz Band, the Honors Percussion Ensemble, the Chamber Choir, and the Chamber Orchestra. Members of these groups are our most seasoned and experienced student-musicians, and the night, as always, promises to be a special one!

As the title of the show implies, the majority of selections will be from the Jazz or Pop idioms. Highlights include Chamber Orchestra’s performance of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir,” with special Music faculty guest performers. Honors Percussion Ensemble will give the premiere of a Sonic the Hedgehog medley, arranged by Prep’s Percussion teacher, Marc Silvagni. Chamber Choir will present Mark Brymer’s arrangement of “Wichita Lineman.” The night’s headliner, Prep’s Jazz Band, will offer Tower of Power’s “What is Hip?” The concert will kick off with the Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy Jazz Band, under the direction of Anthony Russo.

Additionally, our Chamber Orchestra has been and will be busy. They performed for Prep's annual National Honor Society installation on February 13th. Then, on March 1st, they will be having a clinic, via Skype, with Los Angeles-based, Emmy Award-winning composer and Prep Alum Jim Dooley (’94).


Congratulations! Dario Zeni was accepted to the Albany Nanotechnology Program. This is the technology of future. He will do well based on his intelligence and the background Prep has provided him.

On February 3, four of our seniors in the Science Research Program were selected as semi-finalists in the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. Vincent Smedile, Alex SooHoo, Chris Tuffy, and Katie Zahner went to present their research. We recently found out that Vincent was awarded third place in the Earth and Space Sciences Category and Alex Soohoo came in first place in the Behavioral and Social Sciences Category. Alex will go on to present as one of twelve regional finalists on February 23rd.


The English Department was proud to present its 11th Annual Poetry Out Loud competition. Fifteen students memorized 2 classic or contemporary poems each and recited them to an engaged audience of teachers and fellow students.

Rachel Luscher, Cor 410, and Ruth Zhang, Cor 118, won 3rd place;

Valerie Franchitti, Cor 105, won 2nd place. Nicole Kardum, Cor 308, won 1st place.

Monday night at the Walt Whitman Birthplace and Museum, 9th-grader Valerie Franchitti and junior Nicole Kardum competed in the New York City Regionals for Poetry Out Loud. Both of them did a spectacular job.

Nicole was able to go the distance and win runner-up. We are proud to announce that she will be going on to the New York State Regional at F.I.T. on March 8th, with a chance to go on to the Nationals in April.

This is the 5th time Prep has had a winner go to the State Regionals--more than any other Catholic high school in the State. We wish Nicole all the best!

Last month, Mr. Hafker took his senior Poetry class to Poets House in downtown Manhattan. Poets House boasts the largest collection of poetry in the U.S. and is a major organization in funding poetry readings, workshops, and talks in the New York City area. The students explored the rows and rows of books, read letters from famous poets adorning the walls, and wrote some of their own poems. Assistant Principal and English teacher Mr. Castellano also joined the trip.

World Youth Day

Epifanio Guzzardi of cor 307 was selected to go to World Youth Day in Panama with St. Mel's this January. He had the extraordinary opportunity to see the Pope and hear his message. We thank Bishop DiMarzio and Father Sauer for giving Epifanio this outstanding experience. Well done!

Speech and Debate Team

On February 2nd, our school hosted a National Catholic Forensics League Speech and Debate tournament. Congratulations to Nyla Firoz and Rachel Luscher for winning 4th place in Junior Varsity intermediate debate.

Model UN

The St. Francis Prep Model United Nations attended a conference at Connetquot High School attended by over 250 students from 12 different high schools. Our students did a wonderful job claiming 6 awards and demonstrating the impact of hard working preparing for this challenging event. We want to recognize all the delegates who attended and especially the award winners:

  • Athena Kalavanos 108 Honorable Mention as Bangladesh in UN Women
  • Olivia Frantangelo 207 Honorable Mention as Japan in the Security Council
  • Thanasi Dilos 304 Best Delegate as the United Kingdom in the IMF council
  • Henrik Israelian 307 Best Delegate as Iraq in the Arab League committee
  • Abigail Bossa 402 Best Delegate as China in the General Assembly
  • Joanne Gotanco 407 Honorable Mention as the Russian Federation in the UNCSTD committee


Boys swimming:

Sandon Karinsky placed 1st in the 100 yard butterfly at the CHSAA City Championships on February 9th at Eisenhower Park with a time of 51.34. He will compete at States championships on March 1st and 2nd.

Congratulations to the SFP Varsity Boys Swim Team. They came in 6th place out of 16 teams in the CHSAA City Championship competition on February 9th and 10th! Special congratulations also go to Skylar Nenadich, who placed 3rd overall in the CHSAA Diving Champs on February 8th. All the swimmers and divers deserve recognition for all their hard work and accomplishments.

Boys Basketball:

Justin Hendrick scored his 1000th point and was presented with a basketball by Coach Jimmy Lynch to commemorate this amazing accomplishment! (Slideshow HERE)

Boys Track:

On February 9th, Constantinos Athanailos won the 1000 meter run at the CHSAA Catholic State Championship. His time of 2:32.69 missed the school record by .02 second. This performance currently ranks him 8th in all of New York State. He will have the opportunity to move up in the rankings when he represents Prep at the State Championship on March 2nd.

On Sunday February 25th, the Boys 2-mile relay of Jack Lynch, Shnyder Germain, Constantinos Athanailos, and Diego Llanos competed at the USATF National Championship. This event was broadcast on NBC. The team represented our school well, competing with some of the top teams in the Northeast. This was a great learning experience for our athletes as they got to race in between World Class athletic events and athletes. The team is looking forward to continuing their season at the New York State Championship in March.

Girls Track

Girls Indoor Track - The track team placed second in the Brooklyn-Queens and City Championship. Brooklyn-Queens Champion - Chiara Cinquemani 3000 meter run. City Champions included Demetra Vasiliadis in the Triple Jump, the 4 x 800 relay of Nicoletta Lagudis, Elena Duffy, Krista Olivieri, and Tara Mansfield. Stephanie Zovich is the Catholic State Champion in the Shot Put and is competing in the NY State Champs March 2. The 4 x 800 Relay team of Cinquemani, Duffy, Mansfield, and Olivieri competed at the USATF Championship in a special High School Race on February 24.


2019 Legal and Healthcare Alumni Reception

The St. Francis Prep Profession-based Alumni Chapter Networking receptions are a great opportunity to meet alumni working in your industry and catch up with old classmates. They have produced many exciting opportunities for alumni and students alike. Young alumni have learned of career advancement opportunities and landed valuable internships in healthcare, law, finance, the arts, and technology. Students have greatly benefited too!

On February 7, SFP Principal Patrick McLaughlin spoke at the Legal and Healthcare Professions Alumni Chapter reception and provided an example of how Prep Alumni are helping to enhance the educational experience of current students.

Mr. McLaughlin told the story of how Bob Blenderman ‘97, Chief Operating Officer of NY Presbyterian Hospital Queens, and Alumni Board member,Nancy Demers ’92,Administrative Director, Neurosciences and Children’s Service Lines at the same hospital, proposed a partnership program to assist Prep students interested in pursuing a health care degree in college through The Health Care Discovery Program at New York Presbyterian Queens.

The program offers our students a series of four‐week rotations (as volunteers) for 2‐3 hours after school one day a week in one of the following areas:

  • Physician Assistant
  • Nursing
  • Radiology Services
  • Physical and Occupational Therapy

“The opportunity for our students to work alongside preceptors and learn about the many career pathways in health care is such an invaluable experience,” said Mr. McLaughlin. “We are grateful to NY Presbyterian and its COO, Bob Blenderman, for offering our students this incredible opportunity.”

The enduring loyalty of St. Francis Prep Alumni is the reason why we say,“High school is four year; St. Francis Prep is forever.” We are thankful to EVERYONE (alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends) who support Prep and our wonderful students!

To learn more about this program, Email: kisrico@sfponline.org

Click on the following link to view images from the alumni reception: Facebook Slideshow

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