2017-01-25 / Features

St. Francis Prep Receives Special Honors


(L. to r.); Glen Mort from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Robert L. Johnston, Prep’s co-Internal Coordinator for its Middle States accreditation, Brother Leonard Conway, O.S.F. Prep’s President, Patrick McLaughlin, Prep’s Principal, and Abelardo Leston, Prep’s co-Internal Coordinator for its Middle States accreditation (L. to r.); Glen Mort from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Robert L. Johnston, Prep’s co-Internal Coordinator for its Middle States accreditation, Brother Leonard Conway, O.S.F. Prep’s President, Patrick McLaughlin, Prep’s Principal, and Abelardo Leston, Prep’s co-Internal Coordinator for its Middle States accreditation On January 20th, a representative from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools visited St. Francis Prep to present plaques recognizing Prep’s standout Guidance and Art Departments. Last spring, those departments each earned the coveted Middle States Program of Distinction. According to Middle States, “…Programs of Distinction provide external validation of a school’s accomplishments in specific areas of expertise, enhancing a school’s prestige and promoting its reputation as a top-tier institution. Middle States Programs of Distinction serve as models for schools throughout the world.”


(L. to r.); Art teachers Dianna Shmerykowsky and Jean-Marc Duplessis, Glen Mort from the Middle States Association, Prep’s Art Department Chair, Jeanne Buccino, and art teachers Kathleen Schnurr and Anthony Biondolillo. (L. to r.); Art teachers Dianna Shmerykowsky and Jean-Marc Duplessis, Glen Mort from the Middle States Association, Prep’s Art Department Chair, Jeanne Buccino, and art teachers Kathleen Schnurr and Anthony Biondolillo. Prep’s Art Department has garnered regular and prestigious recognition the last many years. For example, students have earned high praise via the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. As a result, Prep students have had their work displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Prep alumni attend as many as 25 different collegiate art programs, pursuing varied art-related majors. According to the visiting team that validated Prep’s application, “It was obvious…that the Visual and Performing Arts Program is of exemplary quality. The student work is excellent. There are high expectations for quality in instruction and assessment.”

Prep’s Art department features over 30 courses taught by 7 instructors. A recent highlight was a week-long residency by Florence-based, Comedia dell’arte artist and actor, Roberto Andrioli. Prep’s Art Department is led by Jeanne Buccino.

Prep’s Guidance Department serves three major student-centered functions: course counseling, college counseling, and psychological and emotional counseling. Prep counselors care for nearly 2,500 students day-in and day-out. During the two-day validation visit, representatives from Middle States found that, “As affirmed by evidence seen and heard throughout the visit, the school counselors are an integral part of the total school effort, and committed to its vision ‘to continue to grow and thrive in the three major areas: course counseling, college counseling, and personal counseling.’”

In a time when college costs can present hurdles for families, Prep’s Guidance Department not only shepherded last year’s 608 seniors through the college application process, but helped them earn over $150 million in merit scholarships. This fall, Prep’s class of 2016 headed off to colleges in 40 states, and many foreign counties, including Canada, Greece and Australia. The Ivy League schools were well represented with students attending the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, and Brown University. Also, City University of New York’s Macaulay Honors College, CUNY School of Medicine, and Carnegie Mellon University, who only accepted six percent of their applicant pool.

Art Albrizio, who led the validation visit for Prep’s Guidance department had this to say: “SFP’s school counselors are a committed group of professionals who exhibit a genuine passion for the role they play in the educational process at Prep.

“The school counseling program is standards-based and may be described as progressive and responsive; designed to meet the needs of the diverse student population served at Prep.

“It was clear to me that under the leadership of visionary Department Chair Robyn Armon, the school counselors remain focused on promoting the development of students’ spiritual, intellectual, and social/emotional well being.”

St. Francis Prep is one of only two schools to have earned three Programs of Distinction. In addition to their Guidance and Art Departments, Prep’s Music Department was the first school ever to earn the Program of Distinction in Music, which according to Middle States, “is aimed at recognizing only those schools with the most sophisticated programs and the highest goals in music education.” Prep’s Music Department is led by longtime Chair, Dr. Robert Corbino.

For more information, visit www.sfponline.org and www.msacess.org.

St. Francis Preparatory School is located at 6100 Francis Lewis Boulevard, Fresh Meadows, NY 11365; (718) 423- 8810.

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