St. Peter's Preparatory School

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Saint Peter's Preparatory School
SaintPetersPrep Emblem.png
Sub Umbra Petri
Under the Shadow of Peter
144 Grand Street
Jersey City, New Jersey, 07302
United States
Coordinates 40°42′57″N 74°2′24″W / 40.71583°N 74.04000°W / 40.71583; -74.04000Coordinates: 40°42′57″N 74°2′24″W / 40.71583°N 74.04000°W / 40.71583; -74.04000
Type Private
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1872
School code 310645
President Rev. Kenneth J. Boller, S.J.
Dean John Morris
Principal James DeAngelo '85
Vice principal Mary Durante
Dean of Student Life Anthony Locricchio, '96
Faculty 61.9 (on FTE basis)[1]
Grades 912
Gender Boys
Enrollment 950[1] (2011-12)
Student to teacher ratio 14.4:1[1]
Campus type Urban
Color(s) Maroon and White ‹See Tfm›    ‹See Tfm›    
Slogan "Men for Others"
Song "Pride and Glory" to the tune of "It's an Old-fashioned Garden"
Fight song "A Peter's Team" to the tune of "It's a Grand Old Flag"
Athletics conference Hudson County Interscholastic League
Team name Marauders
Accreditation Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools[2]
Average SAT scores 1685
Average ACT scores 25
Publication Literama (literary magazine)
Newspaper Petroc
Yearbook Petrean
Tuition $14,150[3]
Vice President of Finance John Caulfield, '71, P'00,'03
Chief Advancement Officer Christopher Casazza, '97
Vice President for Planning and Principle Giving James Horan '70
Director of Admissions John Irvine '83 P'11
Director of Athletics Rich Hansen P'03, '09
Director of Campus Ministry Maura Toomb
Along Grand Street

Saint Peter's Preparatory School (called "Prep") is a private all-male Jesuit college-preparatory school located in Jersey City, New Jersey. Located within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark,[4] the Society of Jesus founded the school in 1872 and today the school is operated as part of the Jesuits' New York Province.[5] The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1930.[2]

Students are enrolled from counties in Central and Northern New Jersey, as well as from nearby New York City. The school has a faculty of 72, which is made up of 10 Jesuits and 62 lay teachers, plus six counselors, including three college placement counselors. Tuition and fees for the 2011-12 school year is $12,250.[3]

As of the 2011-12 school year, the school had an enrollment of 950 students and 65 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 14.4.[1]


Foundation and growth[edit]

Saint Peter's Prep was originally founded in the Paulus Hook section of Jersey City as one department within Saint Peter's College (now Saint Peter's University) by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 3, 1872. Along with the Preparatory department were the Collegiate and Grammar departments. As a school for young men, Saint Peter's opened in September 1878 with seventy-one students in the Preparatory department. Academic degrees were first conferred in June 1889. At this time the only building on the campus was Shalloe Hall at 144 Grand Street. Mulry Hall, on the corner of Grand and Warren Streets. was built around the turn of the century as a local social club, before being acquired by the school.

Separation from the college[edit]

In 1918 Jesuit Superiors decided to close the College division in order to focus more attention on other Universities in the Northeast. It remained closed until 1930; during this time, however, the Preparatory division remained open. The College division reopened in another location in 1930 and in 1936 settled at its current location. The College and Preparatory departments were officially incorporated separately on February 10, 1955. Although Saint Peter's College has not been located at 144 Grand for over eighty years, at an entrance to the original building, Shalloe Hall, a window pane above the door still reads "Saint Peter's College."


The original building, Shalloe Hall, is named after Francis J. Shalloe S.J., and was built in the 1870s. Mulry Hall was dedicated in 1913. Across the street is the Humanities Building (previously known as the Freshman and Science Building and still commonly referred to as the English Building). This four-storied building was constructed in the 1880s and until 1924 housed the Academy of Saint Aloysius, an all-girls school. Prep acquired the building in 1924 and in 1995 completed a complete renovation of the structure, including a revamping of the Siperstein Library. Hogan and Burke Halls on the west side of Campus were constructed in 1942 and 1965–66, respectively. In 1948 the Memorial Gymnasium was dedicated. It is commonly referred to as "The Barn" by the Prep faithful for its unique shape.

In 2005 Prep completed the purchase of the vacant Saint Peter's Grammar School as well as the Saint Peter's Church adjacent to Prep's existing property. Recent renovations over the past twenty years include a remodeling of Warren Street as a pedestrian walkway during school hours named after Pope John Paul II, the upgrade of the Humanities Building and Memorial Gymnasium, and the construction of James F. Keenan, S.J. field about three blocks away. The new field has provided the soccer, rugby, and lacrosse teams a home field, as well as practice space for the football and baseball teams. Beginning in the 2010-2011 academic year the former church was converted into a temporary multi-purpose space to serve as the lunch room, renamed the "O'Keefe Commons." In October 2011, renovations of the 50-year-old Burke Hall were completed and the building was rechristened the "Moriarty Science Center." Major renovations on Mulry Hall began at the conclusion of the 2013-2014 school year, including an updated facade and modern classrooms.

Recent years and the future[edit]

On June 22, 2009 the board of trustees voted unanimously to approve phase O\one of the Campus Master Plan.[6] Developed over several years, the plan lays out the future of Prep's campus. Given the limited amount of space available in downtown Jersey City, every effort was made to maximize the limited resource.

Phase one included a remodeling of Saint Peter's Church into a temporary cafeteria/multi-purpose space known as the O'Keefe Commons. This was completed over the summer of 2010 in time for the beginning of the 2010 academic year. This phase also included a complete renovation of Burke Hall along Warren Street into a premier science building, including roof space for a greenhouse and other outdoor learning capabilities. A new main entrance along Warren Street was also constructed.

The remaining phases of the Master Plan were to be approved by the Board once funding for the remainder of the project was secured. Prep introduced a campaign, "Imagine: The Fund for Saint Peter's Prep," for the financing of the Master Plan projects. Total gifts as of September 29, 2010 were over $13.6 million.[7]

The other phases included the construction of a large multi-purpose space in the York Street parking lot, extensive renovations of Mulry Hall and Hogan Hall, a major reconfiguration of the former Jesuit residence, possible accommodation for parking on campus underground, construction of a new academic building (along York Street), and the conversion of the upper floors of the Humanities Building (former Freshman Building) into office space for non-academic administration and external affairs.


Students at Prep are required to take two years of Latin, three years of mathematics (four years recommended), three years of history, two years of science (at least three years recommended), four years of English, two years (three years recommended) of modern language (Spanish, French, German or Italian), and four years of religion. Prep offers art and music classes for students wishing to broaden their creativity and to pursue the arts in college. Independent study courses include Greek Honors, Portfolio Art, and instrumental music. Other elective classes are offered to juniors and seniors, and there are many honors and AP classes to choose from. The school has inaugurated the John E. Browning, S.J., '46, Learning Center, which features resources for individual learning and a learning specialist.


The school's 17 varsity athletic teams are called the Marauders and wear maroon and white. The Marauders compete in the Hudson County Interscholastic League, which includes private and parochial high schools in Hudson County, and operates under the supervision of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[8]

Saint Peter's Prep Marauders Logo

The football team won the NJSIAA Non-Public a North state sectional championship in 1989 and in Non-Public Group IV in 1994 and 2005.[9] Saint Peter's Prep football won the 2005 Non-Public Group IV State Championship defeating Don Bosco Prep 22-15.[10] In 2006, Saint Peter's Prep fell short in the finals of the Non-Public, Group IV tournament, losing to Don Bosco Prep 41-0.[11]

Known by their outstanding football and being one of the best high school organizations in New Jersey. On September 14, 2007, Coach Rich Hansen surpassed legendary coach Bill Cochrane as the all-time most-winning coach in Prep history. Hansen was awarded in a pre-game ceremony the following game on September 28, against North Bergen High School. The game was nationally televised on ESPNU. Coach Hansen also set an unprecedented record in the 2007 year, winning 70 consecutive HCIAA games.[12]

On November 17, 2007 the Marauders beat Bergen Catholic High School 41-7.[13] This victory advanced Prep to its third state sectional championship game in three years, all of which have been against Don Bosco Preparatory High School. On December 2, 2007, the Marauders played Don Bosco Prep again, and lost 42-14 in the Non-Public, Group IV sectional championship game.[14] This was the third consecutive State Championship game in which the two met, with Don Bosco winning two of three.

The Saint Peter's Prep volleyball team achieved 100 consecutive wins in Hudson County in 2006, but lost the winning streak at the county championships against Bayonne High School that same year. It has consistently been ranked among the top ten teams of the state of New Jersey. The team won the 2007 Boys Volleyball - North state sectional championship over Bayonne High School (25-17, 25-20).[15] The team moved on to play for the NJSIAA overall state championship on June 8, 2007 against East Brunswick High School,[16] falling 25-21, 25-22.[17]

The Saint Peter's Prep Hockey program has had a top five team in the state nearly every year, producing many great players who go on to play at higher levels of the game. In the 2006-2007 season, they advanced to the final round after defeating Christian Brothers Academy (New Jersey) 2-0. They played St. Augustine College Preparatory School in the NJSIAA championship, but fell 3-1.[18]

The Prep basketball team won the 2008 Hudson County Coviello Division Championship by defeating #2 seeded Union Hill by a score of 48-47. In the process they pulled off "upsets" against #1 seeded Bayonne, 79-76 in overtime, and #5 seeded Emerson in the 2nd round on Thursday night 71-55. This marked the first time the #8 seed won the tournament.

Swimming is another one of Saint Peter's Prep's most well-known sports. The team has won over three dozen county titles, holds the majority of Hudson County's swim records, and swimmers and divers have accounted for more titles at Prep than any team in the past 30 years.[19] The team was brought to the state forefront in 2011 when beloved senior swimmer, B.J. Giannone, collapsed and died at a swim meet at Saint Peter's College (now Saint Peter's University).[20] Then coach, Ryan Heffernan, and senior captains and close friends of Giannone: Will Brown, Liam Tully, and Brendan Higgins, were applauded for leading the team against NJ #7 Scotch Plains, the school which Giannone's girlfriend swam for, only 3 days after his death. The crowd set unofficial records for attendance and noise at a regular-season New Jersey high school dual meet. The team also wore sweatshirts printed with the number 20.67, the time that the official score board malfunctioned to in the 50 freestyle on B.J.'s last individual race on the night of his death.[21] The day before B.J.'s funeral, head coach Ryan Heffernan suffered a compound fracture in his leg. Despite medical advice and pain, Heffernan left to attend the funeral in the school's gym less than 24 hours after being admitted to the hospital. He led the team from a wheelchair and walker for the rest of the season.[22] The saying "Live Like B.J." was born out of the event, and some members of that team continue to wear bracelets with the saying to this day.[23] Giannone's memory was memorialized in 2013 with the creation of the annual B.J. Giannone Award for "embodying the spirit and camaraderie of B.J." Then junior and team captain, Matt Jasko, who was a freshman on the team at the time of B.J.'s death, was the first to be bestowed with the honor.[24][25] During the 2013 season the team pulled off an improbable upset victory over Bergen Catholic in the state playoffs en route to earning both a trip to the state semifinals, as well as north-Jersey coach of the year honors for head coach, Ryan Heffernan.[24][25][26] In 2014 the team won its 40th county title and finished ranked 8th in the state.[24][25][27]

The Saint Peter's Prep Crew team has been around only for four years, but the Marauders have become an elite program under Coach Alex Canale. The JV 4+ took first place at Stotesbury Cup Regatta, the largest high school regatta in the world, and also won SRAA National Championship Regatta. The same boat, however, placed second at the Garden State Championships, respectively. Along with the JV 4+, other Prep boats have succeeded in many regattas.


Saint Peter's offers 18 sports and 38 teams, including football, soccer, cross country, basketball, bowling, fencing, indoor track, wrestling, swimming, ice hockey, baseball, golf, volleyball, outdoor track, lacrosse, tennis, and rugby. In 2010, Prep inaugurated a club crew team which was made varsity in 2012, and in 2011 a club water polo team.

Campus Ministry[edit]

Christian service[edit]

At Saint Peter's, each year of study must complete a Christian Service requirement. Service is as follows:

  • Freshmen - 10 hours: fulfilled through Freshman Day of Service
  • Sophomores - 20 hours: fulfilled through Sophomore Retreat
  • Juniors - 60 hours: to be decided upon with direction from the Campus Ministry department.

At the end of his sophomore year, a student may participate in a summer immersion trip, typically lasting one week. Locations of trips include West Virginia, Camden, and the New York Metropolitan area, among others. Completion of this trip fulfills a student's junior service requirement.

In the summer of 2007, the school introduced a senior service immersion experience in New Orleans. This program was continued in August 2008 as Prep sent 16 students and 4 faculty members to Covington, Louisiana to work with Habitat for Humanity.

The summer of 2009 saw the introduction of the school's first international service trip. Ten rising juniors and seniors, along with two faculty members, traveled to the Working Boys' Center in Quito, Ecuador. The group updated a blog with reflections and experiences throughout the trip [1].


Retreats are an essential component of Saint Peter’s Campus Ministry program. They provide students with the chance to step away from their busy lives and reflect on their relationshipswith God, family, and friends. The retreats also offer students an opportunity to reflect on themselves – providing them the time to examine who they are, where they come from, and what they believe in. The retreats are as follows:

  • Freshman "IgNite" Retreat: It occurs a few days before the regular school year begins. Incoming freshman stay overnight with their homeroom at the school where they are introduced to Ignatian Spirituality. This is mandatory for all freshmen. Formerly, the retreat began after school and ended the following day. This retreat first took place in 2007.
  • Sophomore Retreat: This combines service and retreat in an Urban Immersion experience. As a homeroom, students spend a weekend together serving at a food bank and senior center in order to work with the poor and marginalized in society. The retreat shows the importance of "a faith that does justice."[28]
  • Kairos: When translated from Greek, kairos means "the appropriate time" and is loosely translated as "God's Time." It is an opportunity for juniors to reflect on the presence of God in their everyday lives. The themes for the four-day retreat are based on Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises, and they challenge students to a deeper self-examination than the reflections of previous retreats. 2007 was the first year this retreat took place. There are six scheduled per year.
  • Emmaus: The Emmaus Retreat program has been a part of Prep since Fr. Ned Coughlin, S.J., directed the first "Emmaus Weekend" in 1977. A three-day retreat, Emmaus provides students with the opportunity to examine their own spirituality and their relationship with God, form a community with classmates and faculty members, and open their minds and hearts to the experiences, beliefs and feelings of others. There are eight Emmaus retreats throughout the year. The retreat is optional, although most seniors attend. There have been over 260 Emmaus retreats over the years. Although the location of the retreat has changed over the years from the Jersey Shore to the mountains of Passaic County to its current location in Warwick, New York the essence of the experience remains one that stays with Prep men for many years.

Formerly, Emmaus was a retreat available to juniors and Kairos for seniors; however, this changed in the 2011-2012 school year. Currently, Kairos is the junior retreat and Emmaus is the senior retreat.

Social justice issues[edit]

Starting in 1998, Prep has hosted an annual Arrupe Lecture, named after the former Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Pedro Arrupe S.J., on a social justice topic. From 1998 through 2008 this entailed a one-time lecture on such various topics as Jewish-Christian Relations, the Death Penalty, and urban poverty, among others.[29] In 2009, under the direction of then-Campus Minister Ryan Heffernan, the program took on a new direction, transforming into the Arrupe Lecture Series, a week-long summit on social justice issues. 2009 dealt with genocide and ethnic conflict while spring 2010 focused on poverty in the United States. The Fall 2010 series addressed immigration issues within the United States.

Prep also sends a delegation annually to the Fort Benning, Georgia to protest the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC, formerly the School of the Americas - SOA), which has been implicated in the training of mainly Latin American military officers who have later committed human rights violations in their home country, including the murder of six Jesuits in El Salvador.

Beginning in the 2009-2010 school year, Prep became home to the first micro-finance organization to be run by high-school students.

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Tony Conza (1941 - ) - founder and former CEO of Blimpie; founded the first Blimpie in Hoboken in 1964 with former Prep classmates Peter DeCarlo and Angelo Bandassare
  • Thomas Fleming (born 1927, class of 1945) - military historian and historical novelist[30]
  • Shawn Michael Howard (born 1969) - film, television, theater actor, voiceover artist, and producer
  • Gregory Kearney - former host for CSPAN, sports analyst
  • Kevin O'Connor (class of 1984) - television personality (contestant on original Amazing Race on CBS, 2001; host of Kevin and Drew Unleashed on Discovery Channel, 2004; fifth lead in Dirty Laundry, 2007)[44]
  • Rye Coalition - band founded by alumni Dave Leto, Ralph Cuseglio, and Jon Gonnelli[47]


  1. ^ a b c d St. Peter's Preparatory School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed January 5, 2012
  2. ^ a b St. Peter's Preparatory School, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools. Accessed January 5, 2012.
  3. ^ a b Tuition & Fees, Saint Peter's Preparatory School. Accessed January 5, 2012. "Tuition and fees for the academic year 2011-12 total $12,475. Fees are due June 1st and tuition begins on July 1st. Book fees vary by year, and average about $300. "
  4. ^ Hudson County High Schools, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark. Accessed January 5, 2012.
  5. ^ High Schools in the New York Province, Jesuits New York Province. Accessed January 5, 2012.
  6. ^ "Prep's Master Plan: A Green Light for a Grand Vision" Accessed November 4, 2010
  7. ^ Imagine:The Fund for Saint Peter's Prep Accessed November 4, 2010
  8. ^ League Memberships – 2012-2013, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 27, 2012.
  9. ^ Goldberg, Jeff. NJSIAA Football Playoff Champions, NJSIAA. Accessed January 5, 2012.
  10. ^ 2005 Football - Non-Public, Group IV, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed June 1, 2006.
  11. ^ 2006 Football Tournament - Non-Public Group IV, NJSIAA. Accessed December 10, 2006.
  12. ^ Ford, Ed. This St. Peter's team belongs with the elite, The Jersey Journal, accessed November 17, 2007.
  13. ^ accessed November 17, 2007
  14. ^ 2007 Football - Non-Public, Group IV, NJSIAA. Accessed July 23, 2008.
  15. ^ 2007 Boys Volleyball - North, NJSIAA. Accessed June 12, 2007.
  16. ^ Battaglia, Joe. 2007 No. 5 St. Peter's downs No. 4 Bayonne, The Star-Ledger, June 7, 2007. Accessed May 7, 2007.
  17. ^ 2007 Boys Volleyball - State Final, NJSIAA. Accessed June 12, 2007.
  18. ^ 2007 Ice Hockey Tournament - Non-Public, NJSIAA, accessed March 24, 2007.
  19. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  21. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  23. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  24. ^ a b c  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  25. ^ a b c  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  26. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  27. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  28. ^ Sophomore Retreat Accessed November 5, 2010
  29. ^ Past Arrupe Speakers Accessed November 4, 2010
  30. ^ a b Hall of Fame Nomination Form, Saint Peter’s Prep. Accessed January 5, 2012.
  31. ^ "Rev. Charles J. Beirne, S.J., '56, Dies", Saint Peter's Preparatory School, April 14, 2010. Accessed January 5, 2012. "Rev. Charles J. Beirne, S.J., '56, retired president of LeMoyne College, Syracuse, NY, and Fordham University professor, has died."
  32. ^ George Blaney, Accessed November 4, 2007.
  33. ^ Q&A with Philip Bosco, interview dated October 15, 2006.
  34. ^ Rohan, Virginia. "Haworth's Philip Bosco is a seasoned star", The Record (Bergen County), November 14, 2007. Accessed November 14, 2007. "It was at St. Peter's Prep High School in Jersey City that Bosco met his mentor, a retired actor named James Marr."
  35. ^ The Life of Will Durant, Will Durant Foundation. Accessed June 7, 2007. "His teachers were nuns, and he practiced his religion so fervently that no one doubted that he would become a priest. In 1900 he entered St. Peter's Academy and College in Jersey City, where his teachers were Jesuits, and, one of these, Father McLaughlin, urged him to enter the Jesuit Order following his graduation in 1907."
  36. ^
  37. ^ [2]
  38. ^ Coach Bob Hurley - Induction into NJ Hall of Fame, Saint Anthony High School. May 11, 2012. Accessed February 23, 2013. "A Jersey City native, Robert Hurley, Sr. played high school basketball at St. Peter's Prep, Jersey City, N.J."
  39. ^ Janiga, Bruce. "Side by Side with Ken Jennings",, undated. Accessed July 23, 2008. "I lived in Jersey City, went to St. Peter's Prep, went to St. Peter's College on a dramatic scholarship."
  40. ^ Staff. John V. Kelly, The Star-Ledger, November 2, 2009. Accessed November 2, 2009.
  41. ^ George A. Krol, Our Campaigns. Accessed December 24, 2007.
  42. ^ Gardner, Amanda. "THEATER; Tony Awards' New Jersey Ties", The New York Times, July 23, 2008.
  43. ^ Q&A with Nathan Lane, interview dated October 23, 2006.
  44. ^ Kevin's Bio, Accessed January 5, 2012.
  45. ^ Sheehan, Joseph M. "Slow A foot, Fast of Quip; Amherst Runner Tells How It Feels to Be Last Man Across Finish Line", The New York Times, November 21, 1958. Accessed January 3, 2008.
  46. ^ "U.S. BENEFITS URGED FOR FILIPINO VETS... A FRENCHMAN ANSWERS FOR WW2 CRIMES... DEBATE CONTINUES ON QUEBEC INDEPENDENCE...", Daily News (New York), October 5, 1997. Accessed June 8, 2008. "Filipino-American Paolo Montalban of New Jersey will play the prince in a new television production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. The musical airs Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. on ABC. Montalban has been interested in musical theater since his high school days at St. Peter's Prep in Jersey City, where he starred in Oliver."
  47. ^ LaGorce, Tammy. "MUSIC; The Rye Coalition: They're Not Dead Yet", The New York Times, April 23, 2006. Accessed January 5, 2012. "Curses (Gern Blandsten), released last Tuesday, is the group's fourth full-length album since forming during high school at the all-boys St. Peter's Prep in Jersey City."
  48. ^ Elnardo Webster profile, database Football. Accessed June 7, 2007.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]