Mission

To inspire hearts to unite, minds to inquire, and hands to serve. 

 

Our History

Austin Preparatory School was founded by the Augustinian Fathers of the Province of St. Thomas of Villanova in 1961 and opened to students in September 1963. Austin is, in fact, an abbreviated version of Augustine, so our name does carry on the legacy and acknowledges our debt to St. Augustine and his followers, the Augustinians. St. Augustine is the School’s patron saint, and we strive toward the Augustinian ideal of: “One mind, one heart, intent on God.” 

1960s: At the invitation of Cardinal Richard Cushing and the Archdiocese of Boston, Austin Preparatory School was established by the Order of Saint Augustine, Province of St. Thomas of Villanova. The Augustinians welcome 176 freshman and 24 sophomore boys in the school’s inaugural year, graduating its first class of 18 students in 1966. We continue to live out this heritage as a school “in the Augustinian tradition” today. 

1970s: Facing declining numbers in vocations, the Augustinians plan to close several of their schools, including Austin Prep. Amidst growing concerns, a group of dedicated parents, students and faculty stage protests, orchestrate petitions and appeals, and broker a deal with the Order to save the school. The Augustinians, hoping to keep the school alive, agree to a buyout and the school is transferred to a new lay Board of Trustees. Austin becomes a fully incorporated Catholic independent school.

1980s: To help insure enrollment numbers remain sustainable for future admission cycles, the Board approves the addition of a Middle School. Still an all-boys school, Austin now serves young men in grades 6 through 12. 

1990s: Amid concerns of declining enrollments, Catholic and independent schools across the country look for new ways to bolster their numbers. Austin makes the decision to open its doors to young women. Austin’s first alumna graduates in 1993. Today the school’s enrollment is split evenly between boys and girls. Once again, on the cutting edge of educational advances, Austin reorganizes class schedules into 90-minute academic periods. The school also kicks off its first capital campaign to build the MultiPurpose Facility. 

2000s: The campus undergoes its first major construction project since 1961. The long-awaited MultiPurpose Facility is complete. The school also renovates the science laboratories and classrooms to incorporate state-of-the-art technology and equipment. A second capital campaign gets underway to renovate the unused Monastery Wing into arts classrooms, music classrooms, an art gallery, dance studios, a technology lab, and an expansion of the Fr. Smith Library & Media Center.

2010s: Austin Prep celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2011. After serving as headmaster for 25 years, Paul J. Moran retires. The Board conducts a national search and appoints James Hickey, Ph.D., from The Pennington School in New Jersey, as Austin’s 10th headmaster in 2013. The school takes on a major capital campaign and gives a "face lift" to its beloved Fr. Seymour Field. The new synthetic turf stadium includes lights, a new sound system with a state-of-the-art scoreboard, an amenities building housing a concession stand and restroom facilities, and stadium seating for 1,100. The new track is also state-of-the-art and includes space for the shot put and javelin. The football team hosts its first Friday night game ever on Fr. Seymour Field on November 25, 2015, to a sold-out crowd of 1,500 alumni, families and friends. In fall 2016, the school renames the MultiPurpose Facilty for alumnus Richard J. Meelia '67. In recognition, His Eminence Sean Cardinal O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston, celebrates Mass at Austin Prep and blesses Richard J. Meelia '67 Hall. 

OUR AUGUSTINIAN HERITAGE

 

101 Willow Street  •  Reading, MA 01867
Phone: (781) 944 - 4900  •  Fax: (781) 944 - 7530

Austin Preparatory School is a Catholic private school in Reading, MA for Middle School and High School students in grades 6-12. We seek to cultivate the hearts and minds of our young students and provide an environment in which our students can successfully learn, grow, and develop beyond the classroom.

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