December 3, 2022
Signature Event is Tonight!
We look forward to seeing you at the Andover Country Club
The Signature Event is tonight! The Parents Association looks forward to welcoming those attending this evening’s event at the Andover Country Club.
The annual Signature Event is an evening dedicated to celebrating the Austin Prep Community. While the fundraising component of the event is very important, the night is also the Parents Association’s largest social of the year and this is our biggest event ever. It’s an evening meant for connecting with friends and making new ones.
For those attending, you can start bidding on silent auction items from your phone. Check yesterday's text messages and emails from GiveSmart for directions.
Finally, we send a heartfelt thank you to the Signature Event Committee and volunteers. Without their support, hard work, and creativity this incredibly special night would not be possible.
And don't forget, the winning tuition raffle ticket will be drawn tonight. Thank you to everyone who purchased a ticket. You do not need to be present to win, but have your phone handy in case you receive a call tonight from Head of School, Dr. James Hickey. This is a call from Dr. Hickey you will want to take!
Lessons and Carols is Next Week; The Nutcracker to Follow
Lessons and Carols
Monday, December 5th, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. This is a performance for Austin Prep parents at Stoneham's Greater Boston Stage Company. Admission is complimentary, but seating is limited. Secure your ticket here.
Tuesday, December 6th, 2022: This is an on-campus, schoolwide performance for Austin Prep students and staff. Chapel dress is require of students on this day. This performance will be livestreamed for the greater community here.
Monday, December 12th, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. Performance will take place at the Collins Center in Andover. Ticketing details to follow.
Tuesday, December 13th, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. Performance will take place at the Collins Center in Andover. Ticketing details to follow.
We are grateful for all those who will help us make these events a reality, and hope you will join us for the shows.
Immaculate Conception Mass to be Celebrated Thursday
The Austin Prep community will celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception Mass together on December 8th. As a reminder, chapel dress is required of all students for Mass. Throughout the month, there will be additional opportunities for students to celebrate the Advent season in preparation for Christmas.
Annual Blue Mass Kicks off Thanksgiving Week of Gratitude
Representatives from the Reading Police and Fire Departments, as well as first responder parents from the Austin Prep community, attended Austin Prep’s 6th Annual Blue Mass and Mass of Thanksgiving on Monday, November 23rd. The Mass is held annually in gratitude for all those who put their lives on the line for others.
Jackie Brand '22, School-Wide President, welcomed classmates to the Mass. "First responders’ work is parallel to that of the Good Samaritan. When they go to work, they have no warning of who they will come upon in need. They treat everyone as their neighbor. Everyone receives their help no matter who you are," Jackie noted. "This type of work correlates with the way Jesus wants us to live."
The Mass was celebrated by Austin Prep Trustee and Merrimack College Vice President of Mission and Ministry Father Ray Dlugos, O.S.A. "If we wait for a life changing moment to be grateful, we might miss out on the process of being able to say thank you," Fr. Dlugos said. "Without gratitude, we are isolated and lost. There is no love. With gratitude, we are humbled and joined with others with compassion, and we become the ones who God wanted us to be."
At the conclusion of the Mass, Head of School James Hickey, Ph.D. offered his thanks: “On behalf of the Austin Prep community, I extend our gratitude to all the first responders who are present this morning, and those who are present in our thoughts, including the families of first responders who share in the burden and the sacrifice.”
After Mass, Fr. Dlugos blessed the emergency vehicles in the school parking lot and gave a special blessing to the first responders. Following the Mass, first responders enjoyed brunch in the Heritage Room with Austin Prep faculty and staff. The Blue Mass comes on the heels of the recent National First Responders Day, which was recognized on October 28th.
Father Ray Receives Merrimack College's St. Augustine Medal
Just two weeks prior to celebrating Blue Mass with the Austin Prep community, Fr. Dlugos was presented the Merrimack College Saint Augustine Medal at a 75th-anniversary celebration event in the newly renovated Collegiate Church of Christ the Teacher on the Merrimack campus. The medal is presented to a member of the Merrimack community who embodies the College’s mission to enlighten minds, engage hearts and empower lives. Watch this video to learn more about Fr. Ray's impact at Merrimack.
“He is a dear friend,” Merrimack College President Christopher E. Hopey, Ph.D. said of Dlugos before presenting him the award. “A priest, our campus prior, our most vocal cheerleader, a counselor to all, a mentor to many, and someone we all love…There is absolutely no one in this community more deserving of this honor than Father Ray.”
"This award demonstrates that the Merrimack College community shares the great esteem we have for Father Ray," Dr. Hickey said. "Father Ray is a pillar of the Augustinian community and exemplifies the values shared by both the Merrimack and Austin Prep communities."
Epic Austin Prep Thanksgiving Eve for the Ages
Class of 2022, State Champion Girls Ice Hockey and Baseball Teams, and Football Team Enjoy Limelight
Austin Prep continued the tradition of welcoming back the past year's graduating class for an alumni brunch the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. On Wednesday November 23rd, members of the Class of 2022 gathered in the Dining Hall to connect with classmates, faculty and staff as a kick-off to the holiday weekend. Thank you to all who returned back to campus!
Also on Wednesday morning, members of the 2022 MIAA Division I State Champion Austin Prep Girls Ice Hockey Team received their State Championship Rings and the Head of School Medallions. The Head of School Medallion is reserved for distinct occasions and rare moments to salute those who unquestionably exemplify Austin Prep's Augustinian values of veritas, unitas and caritas. You can view photos from the ceremony here.
The Austin Prep Girls Ice Hockey team captured the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) Division 1 State Championship with a 4-1 victory over Arlington High School on Sunday, March 20th at TD Garden. The win capped a historic season for the Cougars, finishing a perfect 27-0-0. Additionally, it marked the program's third state title, adding to the 2016 championship and the 2020 co-championship which was awarded to the team after the state final was halted as a result of the emerging Covid-19 pandemic.
Not to be outdone, members of the 2022 MIAA Division 3 State Champion Austin Prep Baseball Team received their State Championship Rings and the Head of School Medallions. Additionally, Associate Head of School and Head Varsity Baseball Coach Jonathan Pollard '97 was inducted into the Head of School Medallion Fellowship after his near decade of service to Austin Prep and achievements as Athletic Director, Head Baseball Coach, and Associate Head of School. You can view photos from the ceremony here.
The Austin Prep Baseball team captured the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) Division 3 State Championship with a 2-1 victory over Newburyport High School on Saturday, June 18th at LeLacheur Park on the campus of UMass Lowell. The win capped a historic season for the team, finishing a perfect 25-0 which included a No. 24 national ranking by the National High School Baseball Coaches Association (NHSBCA) and an overall No. 1 ranking in the state by the Boston Globe. Additionally, it marked the program's second MIAA state title, adding to the 2018 championship.
Finally, the Austin Prep Football Team had the opportunity to kick off Thanksgiving weekend with a Wednesday afternoon game against St. Mary's at historic Fenway Park, providing memories to last a lifetime. You can view photos from the game here.
In the Classroom...
Students Participate in Lecture With Local Rabbi
Seniors enrolled in Theology Faculty Mr. Raymond Kabunga's Literature and Religion class met with Rabbi Max Chaiken from Temple Emmanuel in Andover on Wednesday. Rabbi Chaiken shared an overview of the history of the Jewish people with the class and elaborated on how their cultural traditions have sprung from four unique periods of history. He related his passionate commitment to Jewish life, learning, community, and spiritual growth, while students were intrigued by how different denominations of faith practice their beliefs and enact their worship of God.
FBI Special Agent Visits with Forensics Students
A Special Agent from the Boston Office of the FBI was on campus to discuss how key terms that students have learned in Science Faculty Mr. Dennis Goodwin's Forensics class are applicable to his work on the Counter Terrorism Taskforce. Students discussed the importance of transitory evidence, DNA, evidentiary impressions, fibers, and geotags while being asked to examine a well-known case study of a robbery of a weapons depository that occurred in Worcester in 2016. Students were presented with a narrative about the case and asked to walk through how they would discover evidence based on the facts that were revealed.
Additionally, students were introduced to Tina Norton who also works in the FBI. She related how she applied her Psychology degree in her work with the crisis negotiation team that supports special agents. This unique opportunity helped students imagine how they might apply the theoretical knowledge they have obtained.
Mandarin Students Make Learning Fun With Use of Chopsticks Game
In World Language Faculty Ms. Lei Xue's Mandarin class, students are learning vocabulary about both Chinese and Western food in their current classroom unit. Paired with that, using chopsticks is one of the most important things in Chinese food culture. To practice, students were asked to use chopsticks during Thanksgiving vacation, and to test their skills, students participated in a fun chopsticks competition in class this week.
Yu '24 Accepted to Senior Chorus
Before the Thanksgiving holiday at North Andover High School, Austin Prep Choir member Bernice Yu '24 auditioned for and was accepted to the Northeastern District Senior Chorus. She will sing alongside the best high school singers from the northeastern part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at the Senior District Festival Concert at New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall on Saturday, January 7 at 10:00 a.m.
Additionally, Bernice's district audition score was high enough to qualify her to audition for the Massachusetts All-State Chorus this January. Only a small percentage of students accepted into the state's five district ensembles receive invitations to audition for All-State. If she is accepted, she will perform in the All-State Music Festival at Symphony Hall in Boston in March. Congratulations, Bernice!
School Community Demonstrates Caritas This Holiday Season
This Thanksgiving season Austin Prep students and staff assembled and donated 75 Thanksgiving baskets to families from St. Mary the Assumption Parish in Lawrence, a parish with deep ties to the Augustinian Friars who founded Austin Prep in 1961. Students delivered the baskets two days before Thanksgiving, a gesture that reminded us to be thankful for all that we have while also helping those less fortunate. Thank you to everyone who helped support the effort. Details regarding Christmas service initiatives will be forthcoming.
Students Living our Mission
Check this space monthly as we recognize students demonstrating our values on campus.
Unitas is a key component of what distinguishes an Augustinian education from all others. We continue to look forward to working together to strengthen our community in a way that is reflective of our core values of veritas, unitas, and caritas.
As we do so, the Office of Student Life aims to build students of strong character while recognizing exemplary behavior on campus. Students who best display the values that are distinctive to the Austin Prep experience will be acknowledged monthly here in the Cougar Courier and on social media.
This month, we would like to recognize the work of Peter Pavlakos ‘24 and Caroline Forlizzi ‘27. During his Public Speaking class, Peter supported his classmates, especially those younger and more nervous to present. Additionally, he cleaned up the classroom at the end of class without being asked. He demonstrated respect, support, and kindness. When students were dismissed from Fundamentals of Drama to head to lunch, Caroline, without being asked, stayed behind and cleaned up the set and put away props. Their leadership and integrity are qualities we look for in our students.
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!
Students returned to Austin Prep after Thanksgiving break with a festive campus decorated for the Christmas season. We are looking forward to a special couple of weeks together! #TheMostWondefulTimeOfTheYear
December 10, 2022
Austin Prep Christmas Traditions Continue with The Nutcracker
December is a month filled with Austin Prep Christmas traditions, including our rendition of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. This year's shows will take place at the Collins Center at Andover High School. Additional details are as follows:
Monday, December 12th, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $15.00 and can be purchased here.
Tuesday, December 13th, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $15.00 and can be purchased here.
We look forward to showcasing the talents of our dancers and stage crew while presenting this annual Austin Prep Christmas tradition.
Prospective 6th Graders Invited to Learn More About "Lifer" Experience
Reminder: The Priority Application Deadline for 2023-2024 is also December 15th
Christmas is such a special time of the year at Austin Prep and we want to share it with prospective students and families. Do you know a family who should apply for 6th grade for 2023-24? If so, please consider inviting them to our 6th grade admissions event “It’s a Wonderful Life at Austin Prep” happening on Thursday, December 15th from 5:45 to 7:30 pm. You can register for the event by clicking the button below:
"It's a Wonderful Life" Registration
Prospective 6th grade families will come together to learn more about the Austin Prep community and engage with faculty, school leadership, and students. Thank you for helping us tell the Austin Prep story and connecting more great families to our community. Please send any questions to the Admissions team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get Your Christmas Shopping Done at the Unitas Shop
The Unitas Shop will be open next week for those looking to purchase some last minute Austin Prep branded Christmas gifts. The shop is fully stocked with all your favorite items! If you have any questions about the school store, please reach out to Mr. Pat Costello, Coordinator of Students Activities.
Ms. Doreen Fuller Announced as Lumen Award Winner
Congratulations to Ms, Doreen Fuller P'09, '13 who is this year's recipient of the St. Augustine Lumen Award. The Lumen Award was established by the Austin Prep Board of Trustees to recognize outstanding teachers. Head of School Dr. James Hickey and Board of Trustees Chair Dan Bouchard P’10, ’14, '15 presented Ms. Fuller with a certificate that noted "Ms. Doreen Fuller places the holistic formation of students as the foundation of a life well lived in the vocation of teaching. Inspired and inspiring, the St. Augustine Lumen Award Recipient is a beacon of light, bringing out the best in others and being a shining example of what it means to personify Austin Prep's mission.”
The award was presented Tuesday night in front of faculty, staff, and members of the Austin Prep Board of Trustees.
Lessons and Carols gets Community in the Christmas Spirit
We Had a Great Night at the Signature Event!
The Signature Event took place on Saturday, December 3rd and was another wonderful evening in support of Austin Prep. This year, the parent community celebrated the Christmas spirit with the theme of "Holiday Cheer for our 60th Year." Nearly 300 people attended in support of programs and initiatives for students and faculty. This year, the Tuition Raffle winner was in attendance, and a special congratulations goes out to Armen and Christine Kourkounian P'22, '25 for taking home this year's prize! Additionally, we would like to recognize Mrs. Mannie Gouveia P'23, who worked tirelessly in her final year as the event chair. Thank you, Mannie, for your unwavering commitment to Austin Prep over the years!
Immaculate Conception Mass Celebrated Thursday
On Thursday Austin Prep welcomed Fr. Daniel Madden, O.S.A. to campus to celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. The Daughters of Mary, with Theology Faculty Mr. Raymond Kabunga, participated in the Mass with the singing of “Mary Loving Mother.”
"Mary was born in a backwater town in Nazareth, the edge of the Roman Empire," Fr. Madden said. "Mary, to whom Gabriel was sent to say, 'You will become the mother of God.' Mary, who was from the very moment of her conception made without sin, so that God could undo the sin of the world. We can't do much but stand in awe of what God has done through Mary."
We look forward to continuing to celebrate the Advent season with students in preparation for Christmas.
Class of 2023 Begins to Receive College Admissions News
College decisions have started to roll in for the Class of 2023. Here are a few of the amazing schools where students have been admitted: Boston College, Clemson University, Elon University, Northeastern University, and Union College. We're so proud of our seniors, and we look forward to more exciting news next week!
Follow @AustinPrepOCC on Twitter for more college admissions decisions and general department information.
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!
Next week will be all things Christmas! Door decorating. Elf hats. Gingerbread cookie decorating. We'll spread some Christmas cheer through our Christmas drive in support of Saint Mary of the Assumption Parish of Lawrence, and we will likely receive an appearance from Santa Claus. You'll be able to find it all right here. We can't wait. Have a great weekend! #TheMostWondefulTimeOfTheYear
December 17, 2022
Students Impress With Two Performances of The Nutcracker
This week Austin Prep continued its nearly 30 year Christmas tradition of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, with performances at the Collins Center at Andover High School on Monday and Tuesday. Over 150 students participated in the shows, which were widely received as perhaps Austin Prep's best performances to date. You can view photos from the Monday night performance here. You can watch the performance of the Tuesday's first act finale, "Waltz of the Snowflakes," by clicking above. A special thank you to all those across our school community who help make the shows a reality!
Get Your Christmas Shopping Done at the Unitas Shop
The Unitas Shop will be open next week for those looking to purchase some last minute Austin Prep branded Christmas gifts. The shop is fully stocked with all your favorite items!
If you have any questions about the school store, please reach out to Mr. Pat Costello, Coordinator of Students Activities.
Head of School Christmas Open House
Austin Prep Seniors were welcomed to Head of School Dr. James Hickey's office Friday for the annual Head's Christmas Open House. They shared Christmas cheer, complete with breakfast bites, refreshments, pastries, cookies, and more. How about those Christmas sweaters?
Austin Prep Families Demonstrate Caritas This Christmas Season
In the spirit of our mission, we live out our Augustinian value of caritas by embracing others and sharing our blessings this Christmas season. As is tradition, student advisory groups assembled gift packages which were delivered on Friday to St. Mary of the Assumption parish in Lawrence. Thank you to everyone who helped support the gift drive!
Families Learn Why it Really is a Wonderful Life at Austin Prep
Austin Prep welcomed prospective 6th grade families to Austin Prep on Thursday -- Priority Application Day -- to learn more about the Austin Prep community and engage with faculty, school leadership, and students. Prospective parents experienced an Adeodatus reflection, met with faculty, and participated in a panel with current students and parents. Prospective students experienced a sample Latin and Science Class and decorated Christmas cookies. And there was even a guest appearance from Santa!
Interested in starting your Austin Prep Journey? Reach out to the Office of Admissions at email@example.com to learn more!
Advisory Groups Deck the Halls in Annual Door Decorating Contest
Dr. James Hickey Leadership Medal Established in Honor of 10th Year
The 2022-2023 academic year marks Dr. James Hickey's 10th year as Head of School at Austin Prep. To commemorate this occasion, at the December 3rd Signature Event, the Austin Prep Board of Trustees commissioned a new award, the Dr. James Hickey Leadership Medal. Announced by Trustee Mr. Joey Carregal '05 on behalf of Board Chair Mr. Dan Bouchard P'10, '14, '15, this medal will be awarded annually at commencement to the student who best exemplifies the following characteristics: ambition, integrity, and service before self. The award will honor a graduating senior who has exhibited the capacity to lead and serve, demonstrated an unwavering commitment to mission, and has had a significant impact on the Austin Prep community.
Deeply committed to the mission of Austin Prep, over the last decade Dr. Hickey has led the school through successful transformation, innovation and growth, and his leadership has contributed to the overall success, strength, and stability that Austin Prep maintains today. At the Signature Event, a video was played which reflected on Dr. Hickey's tenure at Austin Prep. The video can be viewed above. Austin Prep continues on the upward trajectory of excellence and we are grateful for Dr. Hickey's leadership. Thank you, Dr. Hickey!
Successful First NEPSAC Season Marked by Conference Honors
Austin Prep's first season in the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) was a good one, with the Girls Cross Country Team taking home the NEPSAC Division 2 team title in additional to a slew of All NEPSAC recognitions. Fall awards are as follows:
Austin Prep Delegation to Return to the Eternal City Over Break
Members of the Austin Prep Choir will be a part of an Austin Prep delegation traveling to Rome over the Christmas break. Students will be departing from Boston on December 28th and returning on January 5th. Be sure to follow Austin Prep on social media for updates throughout their trip!
Middle School Students Celebrate Roman Banquets
Mr. Corrado Russo's Foundations of Latin 1 classes in the Middle School recently celebrated a Roman dinner banquet called a cena as part of their exploration of Roman daily life. Students had the opportunity to dress up in authentic Roman clothing, listen to some ancient music, and feast on popular Roman dishes, including bread, olives, grapes, and (Swedish) fish. Euge! (Hooray!)
Access Study Tools This Holiday Break
Despite being away for the holiday break, please note that the Fr. Smith Library is always open with Sora, Austin Prep's free ebook and audiobook platform! Simply scan the QR code in the image, download the free app from the Apple Store or Google Play Store, or visit our Sora site to get started. Simply enter your Austin Prep credentials to get access to thousands of new and classic books instantly. If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Alex Williams, Library Director.
Show Your Christmas Spirit in Support of the Austin Prep Fund
The Austin Prep culture is rich in mission and tradition, and we hope many members of the parent community had the opportunity to attend Austin Prep’s Nutcracker, beautifully performed at the Collins Center this week.
This Christmas, please consider making a gift to Austin Prep. Your generosity and support anchors Austin Prep now and in the future. To donate by credit card, PayPal or ApplePay, click here. Your generosity is appreciated!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
From Sister Maria Gorreth Nassali, Director of Campus Ministry
This year as we celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus, we want to thank you for all you have done. We are very grateful for each and every one of you and for the many talents we share that help us build our Austin Prep Community.
God, our Creator, during this Christmas season as we await the birth of your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, we thank you for the love and care you bestow on us each day. We thank you for the gift of your Son Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate. We thank you for the hardworking staff and students and all they have accomplished this year. We thank you for the support from parents and the entire Austin Prep Community.
Help us to contemplate the Child Jesus, who gives hope, healing, and peace to all. May we continue to bring peace and love in our families and those around us.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.