Prep is Physical

Our focus is the whole person. We inspire students to develop their God given gifts and to respect the abilities of all. #Golden Links

Prep is Physical

Our focus is the whole person. We inspire students to develop their God given gifts and to respect the abilities of all. #Golden Links

Prep is Physical

Our focus is the whole person. We inspire students to develop their God given gifts and to respect the abilities of all. #Golden Links

Prep is Intellectual

St. Francis Prep is a Catholic, college preparatory school in the Franciscan tradition. #Golden Links

Prep is Social

At Prep students are members of our school, our city, our nation, and our world. We value the unique contribution each person makes to all the Prep communities. #Golden Links

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Tomorrow: 1/25/2022-Day 1

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Principal's Newsletter

December 2021

From the desk of Mr. McLaughlin:

Dear SFP Families,

As 2021 comes to a close, we all should be proud of our opportunities, success, and achievements. SFP continues to build a solid reputation as one of the finest schools in New York City because of the tremendous work of our faculty, staff, and students. We also dedicate ourselves to being our best selves in 2022.

I wish everyone the joys and blessings that Christmas brings. Before we begin a well-deserved vacation, we come together on Monday, December 20th, and Tuesday, December 21st, to celebrate our Christmas liturgy with our student body, faculty, and staff. The birth of Jesus renews our hope in realizing God’s plan for each of us.

Merry Christmas. Have a happy, healthy, and successful New Year!

God Bless!

Mr. McLaughlin

2021 Thanksgiving Drive

SFP continued its tradition of our annualThanksgivingDonationDrive. We are grateful to be able to return to a full, in-schooldriveafter the challenges of the last 2 years. This year, each Cor was assigned a specific set of items that will benefit one of a handful of local agencies doing their part to serve those in need.

Those not associated with a Cor were still invited to help. Below is a list of the sites and assignments were given.

  • CORS 101-109 collected goods for the St. Michael’s Parish Food Pantry.
  • CORS 110-118 collected goods for the Presentation Parish Soup Kitchen.
  • CORS 201-209 collected goods for Holy Trinity Food Outreach Program.
  • CORS 210-218 collected goods for the Queen of Peace Residence.
  • CORS 301-309 collected goods for HOUR Children’s House.
  • CORS 310-318 collected goods for St. Aloysius Food Pantry.
  • CORS 401-409 collected goods for Incarnation Food Pantry.
  • CORS 410-418 collected goods for St. John’s Bread and Life.

2021 Virtual Christmas Tree Lighting

The SFP Dance Team, under the direction of coaches Ms. Mejia and Mrs. Istrico, performed their traditional holiday dance routine at the Annual Christmas Tree lighting in front of a live audience on Dec 3. The Seniors were especially grateful to have this opportunity. We would like to thank Mr. Fischetti and the Administration for their support.


During the first week of January, we will begin the process of course selection for the 2022-2023 school year. Students, parents, and guardians will receive an email that contains the course selection video for that student’s level and a link to the course selection booklet. Guidance counselors will visit a class on every level to discuss course selection. Students will have until 6 February to discuss courses with teachers, counselors, and parents and guardians: all course selection must be completed by 6 February. Please encourage your child to take full advantage of this time in order to make the best choices for the next school year. We make some changes in June, but many classes close and are not available; changes cost $50. We do not make changes in the Summer or next year. Students are best served to make wise choices now. The entire course book is also posted on the school web site.

Students may choose to take an extra credit or a Z period class if they are in good academic standing and have good attendance and punctuality. There is no application form. Students who do not meet the criteria for Z period or extra credits will be removed from these extra classes.

Pre-registration for certain classes will begin on Sunday, 30 January. There is information about pre-registration in the video and the course booklet. Students will also get more information during class visits.

We encourage students to take the most appropriately challenging classes for which they are eligible. This selection is unique for each student. Please encourage your child to speak with his or her teachers and guidance counselor to make the best decision. Each department has its own criteria for honors and A.P. classes and its own process for receiving approval. Classrooms teachers are the best source of information about how to proceed. There is information in the course booklet.

Once your child has selected and submitted the choices for classes, we will send an e-mail home with the classes he or she chose. Thank you for your guidance with this process and for encouraging your child to meet with counselors and meet all deadlines.

Please contact your child’s guidance counselor or Mr. Castellano (ext. 209) with questions about course selection.
SFP Fall Drama: The Addams Family

The Alvernian Drama Society and the Art department once again joined together to create a live production of The Addams Family. The Alvernians’ last live performance was in December 2019. The talented cast and crew worked together to create a visually beautiful show under the Direction of Ms. Mejia.

The Theater Production class designed the show from behind the scenes, taking on the roles of Assistant Director, Backstage and Stage Manager, prop and costume consultants, and crew. The actors were chosen among over one hundred who auditioned. We were grateful and beyond excited to be able to perform in front of a live audience. We would like to thank the Art department and Administration for their help and support. We look forward to our next production in April 2022. Please follow us on sfp_alvernians.

Science Honors Society

NY State Science Honors Society students brought in hygiene kits last week to support the Midnight Runs and other Campus Ministry outreach activities. The response from our students and their families was overwhelming. We appreciate their longstanding support of our programs. We will have enough kits to support the rest of the Midnight Runs and breakfast runs and also give a number of kits to the Presentation Soup Kitchen.

2021 Drexel University High School Photography Contest Exhibition!

Junior Saint Francis Prep student Natalie Leung (Cor 309) has been selected as a finalist in The 2021 Drexel University High School Photography Contest Exhibition! There were many excellent entries. Please join us in congratulating on having her work chosen as part of the show. Judging will continue further to select the six winners. The six final winners will be announced January 17, 2022. Drexel will be exhibiting Natalie’s photograph at their University’s photography gallery located at the Photography Facility on 33rd and Arch Streets in Philadelphia, from January 29 through February 27, 2022. Drexel University will showcase the work of 150 finalists, one of whom was Natalie! Over 1600 photographs were entered. It is an honor to know the work of one of our students was noticed and admired by Drexel’s Competition judges!

PHOTO TITLE: The Light from Within


SFP Bowling Team

The SFP Varsity and JV Bowling teams are currently in first place in their division. Varsity is led by our two senior captains, Kaylee Lopiccolo and Giana Giampapa; they are the top two females in the division with the high game and high series award so far. We are looking to finish strong and catapult ourselves into the BQ championship.


This fall, the Science Research Program has had a record number of Seniors conducting research. All of our students have made wonderful contributions to science. They have been busy applying to local and national competitions to showcase their work. We are so proud of all of them and hope that they receive the recognition they deserve! One senior, Stella Haralambou, will be included as a co-author on the paper that her mentor, Dr. Peters of Mt. Sinai, is publishing soon. Stella's research focused on the genetic similarities between Parkinson's Disease and IBS. We look forward to being able to read the final paper!


The festive season is approaching. Here at the SFP ART studio, we love all things Christmassy! On Thursday, December 16th, our faculty and staff joined them and some of their National Art Honor Society students in a glass snowflake workshop. Festive tunes hung in the air and refreshments were provided. In this workshop, participants learned how to cut glass and how to assemble their glass snowflake. Their completed snowflake will measure approximately 12cm diameter. It will look fabulous hung in front of a window to catch the light or equally as fabulous adorning their trees.


This has been an exceptional and exciting month for Prep's Music department. Over the last many weeks, our ensembles have been pre-recording their portions of the annual Christmas Concert and, for the first time since January of 2020, the Prep community will be able to view concerts featuring our groups performing TOGETHER! Special thanks to Mr. DeBenedittis, Mr. Santullo, and the SFP-TV student crews for all their time and expertise. Keep an eye out on the Prep webpage for the links.

On January 17th, Dr. Corbino and Mr. Johnston were privileged to present their clinic, "Beyond the edTPA: A ‘baker’s dozen’ worth of tips for the new teacher," at the 75th annual Midwest Clinic. According to their website, "The Midwest Clinic International Band, Orchestra and Music Conference offers guests interested in music education an array of clinics and exhibits, as well as access to music and teaching icons. The conference will also focus on industry trends and future topics in business and music education. With more than 18,000 attendees from all 50 states and more than 40 countries, The Midwest Clinic offers music educators and musicians alike an unmatched networking opportunity." To say that this is the pinnacle of their careers would be an understatement. Not only did they provide insight, experience, and expertise to the hundreds of attendees who attended their clinic; they also shone a very bright light on the Music department of St. Francis Prep.

But they were not the only Prep Music teachers who were able to enjoy well deserved recognition. Mr. Kobayashi also attended the Clinic. He also spent a day at the University of Chicago. Mr. Kobayashi was selected for the University of Chicago’s Outstanding Educator Award! According to the University, "This distinguished award has existed for more than three decades. Students accepted into the University of Chicago Class of 2025 were asked to nominate an educator whose guidance has helped them along the path toward intellectual growth. Responses were received from thousands of students in recognition of educators who have positively impacted their lives." Congratulations to Mr. Kobayashi! Well deserved!

Prep's Tri-M Music Honor Society has been busy selling Holiday Music Grams! Look for our halls to be filled with Music on the 20th and 21st! Proceeds go to the Campus Ministry Toy Drive. Thanks to moderators Ms. Corwin and Dr. Silvagni and all our Tri-M students.

Finally keep an eye out for our Concert for Beginning Students in January.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Prep's Music department!

Dr. Corbino and Mr. Johnston presenting at the 75th Annual Midwest Clinic

Mr. Kobayashi and Sherry Katherine Vernon, Senior Assistant Director of Admissions of the University of Chicago

Mr. Kobayashi with internationally-renowned composer, Eric Whitacre

Veteran’s Day Fundraiser

On November 10th, 2021, the Social Studies and Alumni departments hosted alum veterans in a tribute to their service to our country. The veterans spent the day speaking to students in the auditorium about their experiences and catching up with each other, finding an incredible camaraderie among a wide span of generations and service experiences.

The event also commenced the Social Studies department’s annual fundraiser for Vet Dogs - an organization that trains dogs to act as service dogs to our veterans. Through the extreme generosity of our students, alum, and friends, we surpassed our goal and will be once again sponsoring a dog. We will update all about the dog’s name and progress. Below is a picture of Francis, the puppy we sponsored from our last fundraiser. He is currently being trained for service.

Forensic Criminology

Students in Mr. Jardines’ Forensic Criminology class have had an exciting semester with guest speakers sharing their experiences from the field.

Detective Mark Acevedo visited Mr. Jardines’ Forensic Criminology classes today. He is a retired Detective from the NYPD Ballistic section of the Crime Lab. He served over 23 years in the military and trained members of the Coast Guard in firearms. His presentation was on the forensic value of ballistic evidence. Students offered many compelling questions.


The SFP Chorus caroling in the west lobby during Christmas Week.

Toys for Tots

This year at SFP, almost the entire school donated for the Toy Drive dress down day. Many students gave over the $2 donation; some even asked for the extra money they gave to go to students who couldn’t donate or maybe forgot to. Some definitely did forget because Ms. O’Neill was getting emails from them asking to donate in the morning.

We had a full Advent Season in the office of Campus Ministry!

On Wednesday, December 1st, the Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Mr. Johnston, went to Camp Alvernia for their orchestra retreat. Focusing on building bonds and fostering excellence, the orchestra spent the day getting to know each other better and building bonds with one another. The students had a great day and were better connected to one another by the end of the day.

On Thursday, December 2nd, we welcomed 15 priests from around the diocese to assist with our Day of Reconciliation. The day began with a prayer service. Students came to the auditorium to have a conversation with a priest or to receive the sacrament of reconciliation. Over 450 students had a holy conversation with a priest.

Monday, December 6th, was the Feast Day of St. Nicholas. In the spirit of this special feast day, Fr. Ralph distributed candy canes to each of our students and faculty.

On Tuesday, December 7th, twenty students went out for the second Midnight Run of the year. Our students distributed food, clothing, and hygiene kits to many in need on the streets of Manhattan.

Prior to the run, Fr. Ralph celebrated mass in Our Lady of the Angels Chapel for the vigil of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th. The Immaculate Conception is a feast day of the Blessed Mother, commemorating her lack of the stain of sin at the moment of her own conception in the womb of her mother.

On Friday, December 10th, Thursday December 16th, and Friday December 17, our junior and senior Religion classes came to Our Lady of the Angels Chapel for a period of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Following the theme Rest in the Lord, Fr. Ralph, Mr. Sempowich, and Mrs. Ruotolo-Merkle invited the students to take time to pause during this busy time of preparation to be in peace before the Eucharist.

The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe was Sunday, December 12. One of our students, Jason Tepepa ‘22, asked if he and his family could decorate our image of Our Lady in honor of her feast day. When asked why this was important to him, Jason explained that every day he passes the image of the Blessed Mother in the west stairwell and says a prayer, but noticed that it was never decorated for her feast day. Jason further explained that he is thankful for the gift of coming to Saint Francis Prep and, to show his appreciation for La Virgen's protection, he would remember her feast day by doing something for her. We are so thankful for Jason and his family and honored to witness their devotion to Our Lady.

To close out the month, all of our students attended Christmas Mass on Monday, December 20, and Tuesday, December 21. Fr. Ralph’s message was “everything old is new,” but the Christmas story remains timeless. It was truly a wonderful celebration for all of our students.

We wish you a peaceful Christmas and a blessed 2022!

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