March 7th, 2020
Student Qualifies for State Geography Bee Finals
Ryan O'Malley '24 recently qualified for the National Geographic GeoBee Massachusetts State Finals, taking place March 27th at Elms College in Chicopee, MA. Ryan is one of 100 qualifiers for the State Championship, where students will be competing for a top prize of $1,000 cash and a trip to Washington, D.C., for the National Championship. Students that come in second and third place will receive cash awards of $300 and $100, respectively. The 2020 national champion will receive a $25,000 college scholarship, $1,000 in cash, a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society and an all-expenses-paid Lindblad expedition to the Galápagos Islands aboard the National Geographic Endeavour ll. Good luck, Ryan!
Summer Programs Registration Now Open
Check out what is happening at Austin Prep this summer! Austin Prep will be offering a variety of summer programs to keep your children active and learning all summer long! Registration is now open by clicking here. For questions about our summer programs, please contact Mr. Joe Desjardins.
St. Augustine Lecture Series Continues Monday
Austin Prep recently announced that Dr. Crystal Kuykendall will serve as the speaker for this year's St. Augustine Lecture Series. This year's lecture will take place March 9th at 8:30 a.m. in Richard J. Meelia Hall.
The St. Augustine Lecture Series began in 2015 and is designed to enrich the intellectual life of the school community by exposing students to accomplished individuals who share their experiences and lessons learned in life. Previous speakers include: Brian Montgomery, former Deputy Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary in the Executive Office of President Bush and former Housing & Urban Development Secretary for President Obama; Major General Charles W. Whittington, Jr., the Deputy Commanding General of Operations in the U.S. First Army; Dr. Steven DiSalvo, current President of Endicott College and Austin Prep Trustee; Grace Cotter Regan, the first female president of Boston College High School; and Rev. Raymond F. Dlugos, OSB, an Austin Prep Trustee and Merrimack College’s Vice President of Mission and Ministry.
A critical thinker, analyst, motivator and mentor, Dr. Kuykendall has astounded audiences and individuals through the power of her observations and the warmth of her words. A former elementary and secondary school teacher, Dr. Kuykendall has also taught at Seton Hall University and Montclair State University. She is the former Executive Director of the National Alliance of Black School Educators. She has also served as the Director of Urban & Minority Relations for the National School Boards Association and the Director of the Citizens Training Institute of the National Committee for Citizens in Education.
Dr. Kuykendall has spoken internationally and is considered by many to be one of the most powerful, dynamic and inspiring speakers in the world, giving over 100 speeches annually. Her audiences laugh, cry and experience an incredible array of emotions as she weaves her magic behind a microphone. Audiences connect instantly with her high energy, charm, charismatic delivery and moving messages. She not only develops effective leaders but she facilitates self-analysis and inspires personal and organizational change, growth and powerful results. Her speeches reflect her own unique background replete with personal victories and many professional responsibilities.
Dr. Kuykendall has been exemplary in leadership, public service and corporate success. She has served on the Board of Directors of Health Power, Inc. She also served on the Advisory Board of the Congressional National Youth Leadership Conference, the Education Task Force of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Social Change, the National Youth Leadership Conference and the National Education Task Force. Most recently she served on the Board of Directors of the Maryland Mentoring Partnerships and the Board of Directors of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Chesapeake Maryland, Currently, she serves as Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Henry C. Gregory III Family Life Center Foundation of Washington, DC.
Sablone Continues Domination of New England Sprint Scene
Austin Prep's Lauren Sablone '20 continued her hot streak on the track, winning the 55-meter dash and 300-meter dash at last Saturday's New England Championships. The wins follow her 55-meter title from the MIAA All State Meet a week prior. The senior, who has committed to play softball at Princeton, registered personal bests of 7.14 for the short sprint and 39.55 for the 300-meter.
Environmental Policies Proposed During UN Simulation
Students in Mr. Chris Capone's '88 AP Environmental Science class participated in a UN World Population Conference simulation this week during class. Representing different countries and using data and evidence to back their ideas, students proposed concepts to help develop laws and policies to address various aspects of world population growth impact on Earth, including habitat and species destruction, and water conservation.
Middle Schoolers Answer Questions From Prospective Parents
On Monday, James Hickey, Ph.D. P'22, '23, '24 and Mrs. Cindy Hickey P'22, '23, '24 hosted a dinner event in the dining hall for the parents of accepted Middle School students. Parents had the opportunity to meet fellow parents and interact and ask questions of the faculty and school administration in attendance. The highlight of the night followed dinner when parents were provided with the forum to ask questions of our student panel. Our students represented Austin Prep well and provided prospective parents an authentic glimpse into the Austin Prep experience.
Chemistry Students Apply Classroom Lessons to Real Life Current Events
With current events bringing the importance of hand washing and the shortage of hand sanitizer to the forefront of media coverage, students in Ms. Elizabeth Farrell's Chemistry classes investigated the properties of “mobile sanitizers."
Students went to work analyzing the composition of sanitizers and developed procedures to make their own product. Investigations included why to use alcohol as the main component, the use of isopropyl alcohol versus ethyl alcohol as the base for the sanitizer, the function of astringents, and identification of natural oils that also function as antibacterial agents. Further, students observed that the properties of alcohol and its effect on the skin necessitated the incorporation of natural moisturizers to replenish the drying nature of the sanitizer. Another opportunity for Austin Prep students to apply lessons learned in the classroom to real life!
Austin Prep Alum Presents on Sports Analytics
On Wednesday, Austin Prep welcomed back to campus Louis Finocchiaro '17, who spoke to students in Ms. Doreen Fuller's P'09, '13 Statistics classes. Finocchiaro is in his third season with the Northeastern University Men’s Hockey program, where he serves as a hockey analytics coordinator. An integral part of the Huskies’ back-to-back Beanpot victories, Hockey East championship and two NCAA tournament appearances, Finocchiaro assists in all video coordination and film analysis for the men’s hockey program, including collaboration on pre-scout reports and in-game video breakdown. Finocchiaro gave Austin Prep students a glimpse into his role with the team, which includes using special statistical computer software to help analyze in-game trends and other predictors for team success.
Latin Students Study Roman Engineering
Students in Mr. Roger Stone's Latin III class recently studied Roman Engineering and built bridges made of straws using information they learned in class. The bridges were well-built; they were capable of holding masonry bricks!
Spirit Week Donations Delivered to Local Charities
The Austin Prep community rallied together during Winter Spirit Week last month in support of local charities. Recently, students delivered all the items collected to the non-profits benefiting from Austin Prep charitable efforts. The organizations were all very appreciative of the hard work the Austin Prep community put into supporting their respective causes. A great example of our Augustinian value of caritas in action!
New Austin Prep Website Wins Award
Austin Prep’s redesigned website was recently selected as a Platinum Winner in the Educational Website category of the annual AVA Digital Awards. There were 2,500 entries from throughout the United States, Canada, and 23 other countries. AVA Digital recognizes outstanding achievement by creative professionals involved in the concept, direction, design and production of media that is part of the evolution of digital communication. Work ranges from audio and video productions to websites and social media sites that present interactive components such as video, animation, blogs and podcasts.
Special Lent Friday Lunch
Yesterday was a Friday in Lent, so the Austin Prep Community was treated to Sushi for Lunch!
March 14th, 2020
Girls Hockey Crowned Co-State Champions
The Austin Prep Girls Hockey team was crowned the MIAA Division I Co-State Champion Thursday by the MIAA. The team advanced to the State Final at TD Garden after a thrilling 2-1 semi-final victory over Braintree on Monday. The final seconds of the game can be viewed here.
As a result of the current conditions surrounding COVID-19, the MIAA Board of Directors met via conference call Thursday and voted unanimously to cancel the weekend state final games. As a result of this action, both Austin Prep and Woburn were named 2020 Co-State Champions.
"Congratulations on the success of your teams during this 2020 ice hockey season. The unprecedented conditions of the past days as well as the days and weeks ahead caused the MIAA BOD to make this decision for the safety of all student-athletes, coaches and school communities," The MIAA said in a statement released to both schools.
While disappointing, this year the team earned their second consecutive trip to TD Garden, after participating in the State Final in 2019. The team finished the 2020 season with a record of 21-1-2. We are proud of their accomplishments and look forward to recognizing their success in the very near future!
St. Augustine Lecturer Inspires Students to
Build Community Through Caritas
Dr. Crystal Kuykendall, a nationally recognized educator, attorney, author, and motivational speaker, shared experience and insights from her life journey with the Austin Prep community on Monday, March 9th as part of the St. Augustine Lecture Series. Dr. Kuykendall used the Augustinian value of caritas – or love – as the basis to “Presume Good Intent,” which is a central theme within the Austin Prep community. Her presentation was held in Richard J. Meelia Hall before an audience of Austin Prep students, faculty, and staff.
Dr. Kuykendall reminded students that love is an extraordinary force and blessing in our lives, and that no matter our background, it is the quality of relationships that we have in life that brings us joy. She emphasized the importance of developing leaders who can look past differences and help us search for and understand what is important in life.
“We live in a society with too much hate, too many divisions and differences that move us away from our common purpose, which is to embrace the similarities between us.” Dr. Kuykendall said. “We need to understand that when we show reciprocity in love, friendship, and kindness we create communities that care.”
Dr. Kuykendall also addressed life challenges that force us to appreciate human frailty, and emphasized the importance of goodwill and blessings from others during times of need. “I always wanted my children to know they could make a difference,” Dr. Kuykendall said. “Sometimes you are a beneficiary of other people’s love. But it is important to be a benefactor, too.”
At the conclusion of her presentation, Dr. Kuykendall took questions from Middle School and Upper School students on a wide range of topics. Through personal examples and anecdotes, Dr. Kuykendall encouraged students to be “Merchants of Hope” through change, persistence and resilience, and shared her own story of what inspired her to pursue a career in education.
Named for Austin Prep’s patron saint, the St. Augustine Lecture Series began in 2015 and is designed to enrich the intellectual life of the school community by exposing students to accomplished individuals who share their experiences and lessons learned in life. Previous speakers include: Brian Montgomery, former Deputy Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary in the Executive Office of President Bush and former Housing & Urban Development Secretary for President Obama; Major General Charles W. Whittington, Jr., the Deputy Commanding General of Operations in the U.S. First Army; Dr. Steven DiSalvo, current President of Endicott College and Austin Prep Trustee; Grace Cotter Regan, the first female president of Boston College High School; and Rev. Raymond F. Dlugos, OSB, an Austin Prep Trustee and Merrimack College’s Vice President of Mission and Ministry.
A former elementary and secondary school teacher, Dr. Kuykendall also has taught at Seton Hall University and Montclair State University. She is the former Executive Director of the National Alliance of Black School Educators and served as the Director of Urban and Minority Relations for the National School Boards Association. Appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the National Advisory Council on Continuing Education, she served as Council Chairperson from 1979-1981. Most recently she served on the Board of Directors of the Maryland Mentoring Partnerships and the Board of Directors of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Chesapeake Maryland, Currently, she serves as Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Henry C. Gregory III Family Life Center Foundation of Washington, DC.
Yearbook Advertisement Deadline
The deadline to create a Senior Tribute Advertisement for your child in the 2020 Omega Yearbook is Sunday, March 15th. Don't miss out!
Tribute ads are a great way to celebrate your child's achievements and include a personal message, such as pictures that show his/her growth throughout the years. The Yearbook Innovation website is designed to easily help you create an ad even if you don't feel very comfortable with technology. To order and pay for a Tribute Ad, click here.
- Full page: $350
- 1/2 page: $255
- 1/4 page: $125
- 1/8 page: $75
Middle School Represented at Annual NELMS Conference
At the annual New England League of Middle Schools (NELMS) conference this week in Providence, Mrs. Leeann Blais presented “Flying off the Shelves: Optimizing Student Use of Classroom Libraries.” The description of her session read as follows: Building a classroom library is a herculean task, but the benefits of a robust library can be career-changing. Learn some awesome ways to make this job less work and more fun. From library software to junior librarians, running your classroom library can go from being a headache to a pleasure.
Mrs. Blais' legendary classroom library was the topic of conversation among those in attendance!
Golf Sponsorship Opportunities for Business Owners
Are you a business owner interested in advertising among the Austin Prep community? All while supporting a good cause? The 33rd Annual Austin Open Golf Tournament will take place Monday, May 18th at Indian Ridge Country Club in Andover, MA. Event sponsorships help make our event a success, and a wide array of sponsorships are available on our website here. We would welcome your participation as a golfer as well! Proceeds from this year's tournament will help fund the expansion of parking on campus. We hope to see you on the course for another great day in support of Austin Prep. If you have questions about golf sponsorships or the event in general, please contact Ms. Susan Belanger.
Another College Athletics Commitment
This past week Austin Prep hosted another celebratory signing for a college bound student-athlete. Eryn Taber '20 has committed to play hockey at the University of Southern Maine. Congratulations to Eryn and best of luck as you continue your athletic career!
veritas, unitas and caritas
This is a challenging time for Austin Prep, the nation, and the world as we respond to COVID-19 and the uncertainty around it. We would like to thank members of our community for the patience, understanding, and cooperation displayed as we navigated through the challenges of the past week. In the days ahead, we will continue to be guided by our commitment to Austin Prep’s mission – embodied in veritas, unitas, and caritas – as we dedicate ourselves to the health and overall well-being of our community.
March 21st, 2020
Teaching and Learning Continues at Austin Prep Despite Closure
When Governor Charlie Baker announced in response to the growing COVID-19 crisis a three week suspension of school operations at all public and private elementary and secondary (K-12) schools in the Commonwealth, plans were already well in place to implement a remote teaching and learning plan at Austin Prep.
In the week before the statewide order, staff from the Austin Prep Department of Technology set up over 70 brand new Apple MacBook Air computers, configured with all the tools needed to teach remotely in case of a school-wide shut down. At the same time that Gov. Baker made his announcement on Sunday, March 15th, Austin Prep Faculty were participating in web tutorials led by the Austin Prep Office of Academic Affairs using the videoconferencing app Zoom Cloud Meetings.
From there, taking advantage of an already scheduled professional development day on Monday, March 16th, the laptop computers were deployed to faculty members on campus, and final plans were made for remote teaching and learning to commence on Wednesday, March 18th. Students were instructed to download the free Zoom Cloud Meetings App on their school issued iPads, and then received Google Calendar invitations from their advisors and teachers with individual links to enter virtual classrooms with their teachers and classmates.
“I am extremely proud of and thankful for our faculty who are demonstrating ‘continuing education’ in action,” Head of Middle School Mr. Michael McLaughlin said. “Over the past couple of days, they have been learning how to navigate this videoconferencing technology in real time in order to be able to educate our students through frequent interaction and support.”
During this period of remote teaching and learning, Austin Prep is following a modified schedule of its Advisory Program and rotating academic block schedule. Classes are 45-minutes in length and allow for teachers to interact with their students and discuss concepts, skills, and assessments as well as maintain the connections students and teachers enjoy in class. There are four classes a day and advisory meets on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
“Our family would like to thank the entire Austin Prep faculty and staff for having the forethought, motivation and ability to get a distance learning program up and running for our students during the coronavirus outbreak,” Mrs. Karen Brabeck P’25 said. “Not only is it important to continue learning during this time, but it provides a sense of stability and ongoing community for our students who can remain connected with teachers, classmates and friends.”
Austin Prep Faculty have echoed that sentiment. “I am really grateful for the technology that we have at Austin Prep that allows me to be present in the lives of my students during this very challenging time,” English Department Chair Mrs. Nicole Putney P’26 said.
Despite the interruption to the traditional, in-person teaching schedule, the academic year is continuing as planned, with the third quarter ending Friday, March 27th and the fourth quarter beginning the following Monday, March 30th.
“This is a challenging time and the strengths of Austin Prep will sustain us through uncertainty: our commitment to veritas, unitas, and caritas, our sense of community, small class size, and, of course, our faith,” Headmaster Dr. James Hickey P’22, ’23, ’24 said.
Winter Sports Honor Roll
The Austin Prep winter athletics season was an incredible success, and included both individual and team state championships. Austin Prep student-athletes also claimed a significant number of individual accolades, which are included in the following honor roll.
Boston Globe All-Scholastic
Boston Herald All-Scholastic
Catholic Central League MVPs
Catholic Central League All-Stars
In an email to the Austin Prep community on Friday, Dr. Hickey acknowledged the hard work of Austin Prep faculty and staff who helped launch a remote teaching and learning program in response to the school closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of those efforts, many have emailed words of thanks, support and encouragement. We would like to collect all those well wishes in one spot for a well deserved public "shout out."
Please consider sharing those thoughts by filling out this simple form. Your appreciation will be posted here on Austin Prep’s website for the whole community to see. There have been many sacrifices from so many to get us to this point and, no doubt, there will be more required in the days ahead.
Thanks for the Memories
Not lost in the news and activities of the last week was the departure of Tom Brady from the New England Patriots. A 20 year veteran, and six-time Super Bowl Champion, Brady is the only starting Patriots quarterback our current Austin Prep students have ever known. Over the years, countless Sundays were spent with family and friends in support of Brady and the Patriots. The artwork above, a drawing by Jacquie Plante '22, completed as an assignment in Mrs. Heather Scott's independent study art class, presents one such family gathering: her own. Thanks for the memories, Tom!
March 28th, 2020
Austin Prep Offering Virtual Mass this Sunday
We would like to thank all the members of the Austin Prep Community who joined Fr. Patrick Armano virtually for the Friday morning prayer service in St. Augustine Chapel on campus.
With the suspension of masses at your local churches we would like to provide you the opportunity to share in a virtual Sunday mass with Fr. Armano this Sunday, March 29th. Worship will begin at 10:00 a.m. and you can access the mass by clicking here. You will be prompted for your name and email, and we encourage you to arrive a little before 10:00 a.m.
In these difficult times it is important to be as close as possible to family and friends. As a community gathered in the Name of the Lord Jesus and under the patronage of St. Augustine let us strengthen each other through this act of celebrating mass together.
Academic Schedule Next Week
Yesterday, March 27th, marked the close of the third quarter. To provide students and faculty with an opportunity to recharge and reset, we will be following a modified schedule on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday next week. Students can access next week’s schedule here. We hope that the delayed start on Monday and early release on Wednesday will provide students the opportunity to step away from screens and schoolwork.
We are also excited to launch several initiatives from the Dean of Students’ Office to facilitate students socializing and connecting with their much-missed friends (see below). As one example, this Tuesday students will have a Cougar Block with clubs and activities. If you have questions regarding clubs, please contact Student Activities Coordinator, Mr. Patrick Costello. We hope you all have a great weekend!
Student Activities Coming Next Week
Starting on Monday, March 30th, Student Activities will be offering different daily challenges to test your knowledge on various subjects. An email with more information will be forthcoming. Here's a brief summary of the fun challenges that will be available:
- “Mashup Mondays” will challenge you to identify multiple songs by listening to only a few seconds of each tune
- “Trivia Tuesdays” will test your knowledge on various educational and fun subjects
- “Where’s Cubby Wednesdays” will invite you to identify the place where Cubby is pictured
- “Throwback Thursdays” will require you to recognize a dated picture of a person or place of interest
- “Figure It Out Fridays” will provoke you to look at some graphics and determine the word or phrase it represents
These challenges will be accessible through the Veracross Home Page. To participate, you can submit a Google form each day for the respective challenge.
There will be a $5 Bagel World or Dunkin Donut gift card for three winners each day (one Middle School, one for Upper School, and one for Faculty/Staff). We will send the gift cards to winner or hold for pick up once we return to school.
We look forward to your participation and hope you enjoy these upcoming activities.
College Admissions Online Panel
The Austin Prep College Counseling Office aims to provide students with as many tools as possible as they progress in the college search and selection process. We are excited to present an expert online panel on Thursday, April 2nd at 7:00 p.m., featuring college admissions professionals who will offer advice for seniors looking to make college decisions at a time when college visits are not possible, and for juniors and sophomores looking to ramp up the process. The panelists are:
Brian Ford, Director of College Counseling, Austin Preparatory School
Susan Ardizzoni P'19, Senior Director of Admissions, Tufts University (MA)
Karen Gerrior-Mariani, Associate Director of Regional Admissions, High Point University (NC)
Ken Sawada, Associate Director of Admissions, Syracuse University (NY)
To ensure that we are making the most of this opportunity, please take the time to fill out this question request form prior to the event. We will spend time grouping the questions together to make sure ample information is shared.
To log into the webinar, please click here.
Remote Teaching and Learning Program Highlighted on WHDH 7News
On Friday's evening news, WHDH 7News profiled the recently launched Austin Prep remote teaching and learning program. The news story and broadcast can be viewed here. The story focused on the program's success in bringing a sense of normalcy to the lives of our students during the statewide school closure, and the efforts made by our faculty in educating themselves in a new way of teaching. Father Patrick Armano, School Chaplain and Dr. James Hickey P'22, '23, '24 were prominently featured, as was Ms. Elizabeth Farrell and Reporter John Cuoco '04. Ms. Farrell had Mr. Cuoco in her class when he was an Austin Prep student, and shared this fun virtual exchange.
We all are. But check out this great video put together by our Office of Admissions. It gives prospective families a feel for what our campus is like, even though we currently can't be there. We hope you enjoy the video!
The Middle School Blog is Back
This week the Middle School Blog makes it return. Click here to read as Mr. Michael McLaughlin, Head of Middle School, draws parallels between the recent efforts of our Middle School Faculty and the Royal Navy as both entities commit to "do their duty." Enjoy!
Students Use Video Technology to Teach, Too
Before Austin Prep faculty were using video technology to teach classes, students in Mrs. Natalie Petrillo’s P’10 Advanced Math Topics class made videos of themselves teaching the famous Differential Equations math problem. Above are screenshots of Ava Carbone’s ’20 and Devon Robinson’s ’20 presentation. Do you know the answer?
“One day it started snowing in the morning at a heavy and steady rate. A snowplow started out at noon, going 2 miles in the first hour and 1 mile in the second hour. What time did it start snowing?”
Athletic Complex Construction Continues
Work on the lower fields athletic complex continues and the facility is really starting to take shape. On the baseball field this week, significant progress was made on the installation of bleachers, dugouts, bullpens, the turf surface and press box.
Women's History Month
The month of March is Women's History Month. Here at Austin Prep, we are so lucky to be surrounded by amazing faculty and staff. We honor and empower all women during Women’s History Month and beyond.
We have been overwhelmed by the support and well wishes members of our community have been submitting thanking faculty and staff for their efforts in launching a remote teaching and learning program. There is still an opportunity to share your thoughts by filling out this simple form. Your appreciation will be posted here on Austin Prep’s website for the whole community to see. We are grateful to be a part of such an outstanding community.