Prep Community donates bags of socks and clothing to help the homeless!
Members of the Spanish Honor Society get ready to load a SUV with bags of new socks and clothing donated for the Bridgeport Rescue Mission. From left: Kelvin Alvarez '15, Alejandro Correa '15, Steven DeMoura '15, K.C. Maloney '15, Peter Campbell '15, Ignacio Altamiranda '16, Brey Jackson '15, and Emil Friis '15.
Every year the Spanish Honor Society sponsors a clothing drive to help those in need at the Bridgeport Rescue Mission. Those people who are fortunate to stay in a shelter for the nights are often turned out in the early morning with no place to go until the shelter allows them back in at night. They are frequently outdoors in the most frigid conditions. The drive collected hundreds of pairs of new socks, plus underwear, which will be distributed by the Mission. Ms. Billie Brooks, Spanish teacher and moderator of the club, thanks the Prep Community for your kind contributions.
Prep's $25,000 Tuition Raffle is back!
The $25,000 Tuition Raffle prize can be used for any K-12 schools, colleges or universities, located and accredited in the U.S. Additionally, it can be used to pay back college loans! Only 1,000 tickets are available for sale at $100 per ticket. (500 tickets must be sold, or buyers will receive a full refund.) Proceeds from the raffle will benefit the scholarship and student enrichment programs at Fairfield Prep. The drawing will be held at the Spring Auction on Saturday, May 2, promptly at 10:30 p.m. at Alumni Hall on the Fairfield University campus. Winning ticket holder does not need to be present to win.
To purchase tickets for the raffle stop by Fairfield Prep's Development Office Monday-Friday 8:30-4:30 p.m., call (203) 254-4237 or email email@example.com. More info available: www.fairfieldprep.org/raffle.
Christopher Specht '15 named Fairfield Prep’s DAR Good Citizen
Each year the Daughters of the American Revolution recognize one outstanding young person from each area high school. To be considered for DAR Good Citizen recognition a student must exhibit the qualities of dependability (defined as truthfulness, loyalty and punctuality), service (cooperation, courtesy and consideration for others), leadership (personality, self-control and ability to assume responsibility) and patriotism (unselfish interest in family, school, community and nation) – all to an outstanding degree. From Fairfield Prep, Chris Specht is this year’s DAR Good Citizen and he was recognized in a ceremony held on March 9 in Fairfield.On campus Chris is an outstanding student, among the very strongest in the Prep Class of 2015. Chris is a Summa Cum Laude Scholar, a National Merit Commended Student, an AP Scholar and a member of the National Honor Society. Chris has dedicated his energies to furthering his interests in politics, government and current issues on a local, state, national and international level. In pursuit of this passion, he is founder and current President of Prep’s Model United Nations Club and Editor in Chief of Zeitgeist, the political newspaper of Prep’s Political Awareness Club. Chris shares his academic gifts on campus as a Peer Tutor and offers his energies to the community through service at the Kennedy Center and Cardinal Shehan Center in Bridgeport. He has chosen to explore and deepen his faith by both experiencing and leading Kairos and through his role as a Freshman Retreat leader. In all areas of his life Chris serves as a fine example of the values and activities which epitomize a DAR Good Citizen.
Prep Continues to Build "Bridges" in 2015
Since February 2010, Fairfield Prep has been bringing a group of students to Tierra Blanca, El Salvador, during February vacation week. Tierra Blanca is a small village near Usulutan, located about 90 minutes from the country's capital city, San Salvador. While on this trip students, under the supervision of Prep faculty and administrators, lived as the El Salvadoran people live. They ate like they ate, slept like they slept, and worked like they worked. Prep students also met and heard the stories of a number of survivors from the country's civil war (1979-1992). A large part of this trip was visiting different villages, learning about the life of Archbishop Oscar Romero, visiting the University of Central America and other sights in San Salvador. There is a rich, Jesuit history in the country of El Salvador that Fairfield Prep's students who attended this trip experienced. The February 2015 trip was a great immersion trip for the participants. See slideshow and reflection below.
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Excerpt from a reflection written by Connor Bercik '16...
Faith, love and community are all very vibrant within El Salvadorians and I believe this is what drives them to live happily each and every day. Even though their conditions are beyond poor, they manage to maintain strength in their communities and survive because of this. This trip gave me many ways to experience these values: building fences for the community, experiencing the Christian-based communities, talking with Tierra Blanca residents, and much more. I could expand forever about the details on each and every moment, but I’d rather focus on the emotions within these moments and how that changed me. For instance, building fences was not for mere service, but rather was a way to bring all of us down to the level of the Salvadorians. Other members of the community saw us working and immediately offered help and tools to us. This moment displayed the purity of the Salvadorian spirit. Being a part of this showed me how kinship is very possible in any circumstance, and that we should not be afraid to expand our limits to others.
Freshmen host Field Day for Bridgeport school children
On March 12, freshmen began their journey as Men for Others by participating in their first official Prep service project, Freshman Field Day. This one day event is designed to expose freshman students to those with life circumstances somewhat different from their own. Freshmen were paired with elementary school students from Cathedral Academy of Bridgeport. They exchanged letters describing themselves with their new buddies before meeting them at Prep. The day was held in Fairfield University's Alumni Hall and Rec Plex Fieldhouse, and all of the students participated in parachute games, obstacle courses, football tosses and many more fun activities. The smiles show the positive feedback to a great day! See photos below and Prep You Tube!
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Tyler Bernier '15 and Quinn Pollard '15 named Evans Scholars
Pictured from left: (Front) Quinn Pollard '15 and Tyler Bernier '15; (Back) Dean of Guidance & College Advising Mr. John Hanrahan, Principal Dr. Robert Perrotta, President Rev. John Hanwell, S.J., and Guidance Counselor Mr. Rick Hutchinson '87.
Tyler Bernier and Quinn Pollard recently were awarded the prestigious Charles “Chick” Evans Scholarship, a full four-year tuition and housing scholarship awarded to golf caddies. Tyler and Quinn both have caddied at Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield for several years, and are the second and third Brooklawn caddies to receive this award, and the first ever from Fairfield Prep.
Tyler and Quinn were selected from over 750 applicants this year, following a formal interview in New York City with many representatives of the Western Golf Association. Selected recipients of the Evans Scholarship must have a strong caddie record, excellent grades, outstanding character and demonstrated financial need. Currently, 870 caddies are enrolled at 18 universities across the nation as Evans Scholars, and more than 10,000 caddies have graduated as Evans Scholars since the program was founded by famed Chicago amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans Jr.
In addition to their outstanding citizenship and success in the classroom, Quinn and Tyler have each made meaningful contributions to the Prep community:
In his Prep years Quinn has explored his interests and talents in initiating the MSG Varsity High School Cube program which presents live broadcasts of Prep sporting events to the community. He has further served the Prep community through the Cardinal Key Society, attended the Notre Dame Vision Christian Leadership program, participated in Prep’s Appalachia Mission trip, and served in junior year as a group leader for the Freshman Retreat. Quinn has reached out to the local community through service at the Wakeman Boys and Girls Club through the Keystone Club and coaching basketball, and currently volunteers in the after-school program at Riverfield Elementary School.
Tyler is a Magna Cum Laude honor student, member of the National Honor Society, and has served the Prep community as both a Peer Tutor and as a member of the Cardinal Key Society. Tyler participated in Prep’s Appalachia Mission trip. In junior year he was a group leader for the Freshman Retreat and in senior year he led a Kairos Retreat. Tyler is a four-year member of the golf team, elected captain for his senior season. He also played hockey while at Prep. He has volunteered with the Connecticut Storm Hockey program which assists special needs children and adults, and currently volunteers at Achievement First Academy in Bridgeport where he tutors children after school.
Congratulations to both Quinn and Tyler who will attend Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, this fall.
Jack O’Connor '16 & Grant Stone '16 are SCC Scholar Leaders
The SCC (Southern Connecticut Conference) hosted its 21st annual Scholar Leader Banquet on March 23 at Anthony's Ocean View in New Haven. Forty-six scholar leaders, chosen by their respective school principals, were recognized for outstanding scholarship and leadership in their respective schools and external communities. Pictured from left: Grant Stone '16, Principal Dr. Robert Perrotta, and Jack O’Connor '16
John P. O’Connor '16
Jack is a dedicated student and athlete who is a true school leader. He is a Summa Cum laude student who was nominated as a Governor’s Scholar. Jack spends time as a tutor and mentor at the Boys and Girls Club of Stamford in addition to coaching a youth lacrosse team. He was leader of the Freshman Retreat and the Kairos program. He also received All-State and All-SCC honors on the lacrosse field.
Grant H. Stone '16
Grant is a summa cum laude student in Prep’s most demanding curriculum. He is a varsity letterman in baseball, and co-chair of the Fantasy Sports Club. He peer tutors his fellow students at Prep, and serves as a tutor and mentor at the Stamford Boys and Girls Club, plus volunteers as a coach to middle schoolers in the Stamford Peace Basketball League. Grant is also a Freshman Retreat Leader.
Freshman Retreat builds Spirituality and Brotherhood
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Prep held its 15th annual Freshman Retreat March 12 and 13. This year’s retreat theme was:
"We are each a brick in the wall of brotherhood."
The two day event was led by a dedicated group of over 70 juniors and seniors who trained and prepared for this role since last summer. A special thank you goes to our four senior co-directors: Kelvin Alvarez, Chris Baudouin, Brendan Blees, and Josh Hunter. The Class of 2018 had small group discussions, recreation time including a knee hockey tournament, and opportunities to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, celebrate Mass together, pray together, share meals together, watch a movie, and have a sleepover in the school. They explored their faith lives, learned more about deepening their friendships, and gained self-knowledge. For many participants this retreat solidified their feelings of being a member of Prep – something they will value for the rest of their lives.
A big thank you goes out to the entire faculty and staff who helped in the execution of the retreat. Still, we would like to recognize the following groups in a special way: to the four faculty retreat directors who assisted Mr. Gualtiere in many ways during the planning process and the retreat days - Mr. Altieri, Ms. Bohan, Mr. Dotolo, and Mr. Whiteman; there were numerous faculty and staff who presented faith talks to the freshman small groups Friday afternoon (always a highlight of the retreat experience); to the faculty and staff who spent the night in the school Thursday (no easy task). Also, Mr. Jack Wallace '06 (see You Tube video) gave a special talk to the freshmen Thursday afternoon of the retreat, which focused on how they can use their gifts and talents to better those around them. Finally, the Campus Ministry Department would like to thank the Fairfield Jesuit Community who helped hear confessions Friday morning. We look forward to our 16th annual Freshman Retreat in March 2016.
*Note: rising juniors and seniors will have the opportunity to apply for a leadership position for this retreat over the summer.
Watch Freshman Retreat Video!
Liam Hullihan '16 wins Home Design Award
For the second year in a row, Liam Hullihan '16 received an award in the statewide Student Design Competition sponsored by the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Central Connecticut (HBRA) at the Connecticut Home Show in Hartford on February 26. Liam won the award for Best Green Building and received $500 designated for Prep’s Art Department. This award was given to Liam at a ceremony which took place at the Governor’s Mansion on March 24. Liam entered the contest with the guidance of his art teacher Mrs. Dolores Tema.
The Home Design Contest was open to students in grades 10 through 12 that are enrolled in design or drafting courses in high schools across the state. Each student is required to include a scale model home with presentation drawings that met specific criteria. This year’s criteria were to design a three bedroom home not to exceed 2,000 square feet of floor space and the students were required to include three National Association of Home Builders Model Green Building Guidelines.
Spring Fashion Show features Class of 2015 Mothers & Sons
Over 200 guests enjoyed the Spring Fashion Show, sponsored by the Bellarmine Guild, which featured the mothers and sons of the Class of 2015. The event was held at Testo's Ristorante in Bridgeport on March 19. Guests enjoyed a cocktail reception, shopping with fashion vendors, delicious dinner, and live runway fashion show. Special thanks to M.C. John Brennan, retired Prep Housemaster; Co-chairs Lisa Bosken P '16 and Danica Franchuk '16: Sue Connelly P'15, Eileen Blees P'15, Kitty Robertson P'15 and Julie Pollard P'15 who made the mother/son slideshow; and the entire Fashion Show committee for planning and hosting this event. See video highlights on Prep YouTube or below!
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See online order website to buy portraits through Robert Taylor Photography.
Champions: Fairfield Prep survives Westhill to win Class LL title, first since 1997
UNCASVILLE >> The 12 seconds left in Saturday’s Class LL state championship final must have felt like hours to Fairfield Prep. Three previous trips to the LL championship game in the past four years had ended in heartbreak for the Jesuits. But here they were again, at the Mohegan Sun Arena, now armed with a one-point lead as precious seconds ticked away.
And a team that prides itself on defense may have had its best defensive possession of the season. Westhill finally was able to get the ball to Vashon Natteal in the corner for a game-deciding 3-point attempt. He missed and Prep was finally victorious.
The 51-50 victory for the top-seeded Jesuits over No. 2 Westhill was the team’s first state championship since 1997 in front of 5,654 at Mohegan Sun Arena.
“I think that was the slowest second of my entire life,” said Prep guard Tom Nolan. “I could have had tears of joy or tears of sorrow all in one second. It was just unreal. It’s still surreal. I don’t even know what’s going on.”
Said Prep coach Leo Redgate: “The boys really bought into playing unselfish basketball and really focusing on defense. … I think it’s a fitting end for a team that has had an incredible record and reputation over the last five years. They really deserve it.”
The Jesuits (25-2), the No. 6 team in the Register Top 10 Poll, had lost to Hillhouse and Bridgeport Central the previous two years.
“This feels needed,” said Nolan, who started in the last three LL finals. “If I didn’t come out with this, my high school career wouldn’t have felt as full.”
After Rich Kelly missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 25 seconds left, C.J. Donaldson (14 points) drove in for a basket to make it 51-50. Nolan was then fouled with 12 seconds left. He, too, missed the front-end free throw.
The third-ranked Vikings (26-2) couldn’t get the ball to their best player, Jeremiah Livingston, as Matt Gerics face-guarded him the entire way down. Natteal had made the 3-pointer to end the first half, but bounced this attempt off the rim.
“It’s easily the greatest feeling I have ever had on a basketball court. It’s amazing,” Kelly said. “Livingston didn’t have the ball, so I felt good about (the last possession). Then No. 32 (Natteal) got the ball and he let it go and it looked good. I got scared. It was short and a mountain came off of me. So much pressure was relieved.”
Said Westhill coach Howard White: “We had a good look, a good shot. It just didn’t fall, so the main thing to try and tell them was to keep their heads up, take it as a learning opportunity and grow from it.”
Prep played a lot of zone against Westhill and paid particular attention to Livingston. Every time he would enter the lane with the ball, he was met by two defenders. When he cut through without it, he was still face-guarded.
Livingston finished with just one field goal early in the third quarter and 12 points. He alone had 78 points in the FCIAC tournament semifinals and final.
“Ryan Foley and Matt Gerics, we told them before the game, that’s your objective. Who cares if you score a point tonight? Shut down Livingston,’” Nolan said.
Tyrell Alexander also had 14 points for Westhill, which saw its 22-game winning streak snapped.
“They have nothing to hold their heads down for,” White said. “Words can’t even explain what these kids brought to the table.”
FAIRFIELD PREP 51, WESTHILL 50
Westhill 13 16 15 6 — 50
Ffld Prep 13 13 16 9 — 51
Livingston 1 9-11 12, Donaldson 7 0-0 14, Alexander 6 2-4 14, DelaCruz 1 0-0 2, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Natteal 2 0-0 6, Thomas 1 0-0 2. Totals: 18 11-15 50
FAIRFIELD PREP (51)
Thomas Nolan 3 3-6 12, Rich Kelly 3 5-7 12, Joe DiGennaro 2 2-2 6, Ryan Foley 3 0-0 8, Patrick Harding 5 3-4 13, Matt Gerics 0 0-0 0, John Kelly 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16 13-19 51
3-point goals: Westhill 3 (Natteal 2, Livingston); Fairfield Prep 6 (Nolan 3, Foley 2, Kelly); Fouled out: Westhill (Alexander); Records: Westhill 26-2; Prep 25-2.
Business Club creates Young Entrepreneurs!
The Business Club sponsored six teams of students, who developed new business concepts and competed in a presentation to moderator Tom Shea '73 (back row), as well as alumni judges Dan Pengue '73 (far left) and Chris McLeod '73 (far right):
The team presentations included:
Vigilance: a device to insure driver alertness and avoid accidents for the commercial transportation industry. Jun Lin Mo '17, Freddy Rio '17, Brendan Sawyer '17, and Jonathon Siveyer '17
Safe Straw: a drink stirrer treated with a chemical to detect Ruphalin and other harmful drugs to promote woman’s safety. Alex Capozziello '17, Will Bennett '17 and Stephen Westphal '17
Baggage Claim: a software app to assist travelers in locating lost baggage. Patrick Steed '17 and Ryan Dunn '17
Nanny in the Air: A service offering trained escorts to assist minors traveling alone on flights. Sonny Franke '17, Nick Muro '17
The winning team was CNG: a proposal to convert local commercial transportation like busses and delivery trucks to natural gas. Kevin Gallagher '17 and James Rivers '17
Ski Team takes 2nd Place in State Open
Congratulations to the Fairfield Prep Ski Team for another great season. The Varsity team completed the regular season with a 22-2 record and JV with an unbeaten record of 17-0.
Varsity finished 2nd in the State Open final, losing a close one to Greenwich on a hot 50 degree day at Mt. Southington. Sam Cusick '16, Patrick Lambert '15, Danny King '17, Connor Laurion '17 and Owen Richards '16 all placed in the top 20, with junior Cusick leading the way with a 5th place finish.
1st Team All State
Sam Cusick and Patrick Lambert
All State Honorable Mention
Danny King and Connor Laurion
The team will return seven of their top ten skiers next year to make another great run to the State Championship. Team coaches Cary Nadel and Jason Tweed have just completed their 4th year at Prep and have an overall record of is 85-8.
Alumni return for Lenten Retreat
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Alumni Retreat 2015: A Day of Service & Prep Fellowship
On Saturday, March 14, 35 alumni spanning from the 1950s to 2010s returned to campus to rekindle the retreat experience in observance of Lent.
The retreat, themed "A Day of Service and Prep Fellowship" featured: service for others, recalling God's presence in our lives, and spiritual talks by Jonathan DeRosa, Director of Student Affairs & Christian Service; Austin Ryan '06, Director of Alumni Relations; and Rev. Tom Simisky, S.J., President-elect of Fairfield Prep. In addition to speaking, Fr. Simisky led the retreat.
Upon their arrival, attendees donated food items and gift cards to stock The Merton House of Bridgeport as they enjoyed breakfast, fellowship, and a slideshow of pictures from service trips offered at Prep. Mr. DeRosa, accompanied by Ryan Matera '15, Andy Spangenberg '15, Alejandro Correa '15, and Ryan Gannon '15, reflected on their experiences on different service trips. Afterward, attendees were broken into small groups, with each senior assigned based upon the particular trip he participated in, to delegate small group discussion.
Lunch featured a delicious Fish Fry in observance of the Lenten season and more opportunity to see pictures of Prep students in service of others. Following lunch, Mr. Ryan spoke about his journey of service in Jesuit education: as a student, teacher, and now development officer.
Fr. Simisky concluded the day by calling to mind the obstacles to hearing God's call to serve, and how to overcome them. He and Rev. Stephen Gleeson '55 celebrated Mass, during which alumni committed to a service project for Prep's National Day of Service, September 12, 2015. This retreat, following the Kairos module, offered ample time for self-reflection, quiet prayer, Reconciliation, and strengthening the bonds of Prep brotherhood amongs alumni. The day was enjoyed by all, and this experience will hopefully carry over into September, and beyond. AMDG.