Cathedral Preparatory School

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Cathedral Preparatory School
Prep seal2 copy.jpg
Developing men of vision in spirit, mind, and body
225 West 9th Street
Erie, Pennsylvania, (Erie County) 16501
United States
Coordinates 42°7′27″N 80°5′17″W / 42.12417°N 80.08806°W / 42.12417; -80.08806Coordinates: 42°7′27″N 80°5′17″W / 42.12417°N 80.08806°W / 42.12417; -80.08806
Type Private
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1921
Founder Archbishop John Mark Gannon
Sister school Villa Maria Academy
Oversight Diocese of Erie
President Fr. Scott Jabo
Principal Jim Smith
Grades 9-12
Gender Boys
Enrollment 558 [1] (2010-11)
Average class size 25
Student to teacher ratio 14:1
Color(s) Orange and Black         
Song "Loyal and True"
Athletics conference PIAA
Mascot Rambler
Team name Ramblers
Accreditation Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools[1]
Publication Literulae
Newspaper The Rambler
Tuition $8,475 (2015-2016) [2]
Athletic Director William Flanagan

Cathedral Preparatory School (often referred to simply as Prep) is an all-male college prep school in Erie, Pennsylvania, run by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie and was established in 1921 by Archbishop John Mark Gannon. The school boasts a 98%-100% college acceptance rate among graduating classes.


Classes were originally located under St. Peter's Cathedral. The school is now located behind the cathedral .

Cathedral Prep was founded in 1921 as an all-boys Catholic high school by Archbishop John Mark Gannon of the Diocese of Erie. Archbishop Gannon’s vision was to provide a college preparatory, Catholic education for young men to strengthen the Catholic faith in Erie, and to act as a conduit for vocations. The school was originally located underneath St. Peter Cathedral in what is now the cafeteria. In 1953, an Auditorium and a three level classroom addition were constructed as enrollment grew. The last major addition was the 1964 science wing addition at the corner of 10th & Myrtle in order to accommodate the growth of the school.

On January 8, 2009 Villa Maria Academy announced a merger with Cathedral Prep because of financial issues. The two schools are under the same management, but maintain their separate campuses and identities. Villa Maria was formerly a girls' school which became coeducational in 1989. With the merger, Villa Maria stopped accepting boys and returned to its single-sex roots. "Prep-Villa" is run by a single Board of Directors, whose members include the principals of the respective schools.


Cathedral Prep is one of the most exclusive prep schools in the state of Pennsylvania. The school has 578 students, with an average college acceptance rate of 98%. Students are required to take courses in English, history, mathematics, religion, foreign languages, science and are also required to complete 100 hours community of service. Additionally, every student must take the SAT in order to graduate. Some colleges and universities attended by the graduates include Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Yale, Cornell, Columbia, MIT, Notre Dame, and the United States Military, Naval and Air Force Academies. Acceptance to the freshman class at Cathedral Prep is based on the results of the mandatory Entrance Exam, elementary school transcripts, elementary school disciplinary record, and recommendations from the elementary school teachers and principal.


Cathedral Prep is a member of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) in PIAA District 10. Prep offers 13 varsity sports as well as many JV and freshman sports.


Prep is a member of District 10, Region Six and has won three state championships. The three championships were won in 2000, 2012 and 2016. The 2000 Ramblers finished with a No. 4 national ranking by the USA Today, while the 2012 team finished with a No. 17 national ranking by the USA Today. Prep has played in the District 10 championship every year since 1986, winning 19 of them, the most in the district. The Prep football team also holds the current record for most consecutive wins in the city of Erie history (28). On September 10, 2010 Prep officially opened the Cathedral Prep Events Center, a new athletic complex for football.


Prep basketball has been considered one of the top programs in the state of Pennsylvania. Prep has played in a total of nine state championship games, winning six of them. Since joining District 10 in 1980, Prep has appeared in 31 district championship games, winning 20 of them. Additionally, each year the Prep basketball team hosts the Burger King Classic, which has been regarded as the No. 1 four-team basketball tournament in the country.

Pennsylvania State Championships[edit]

Sport Year(s)
Basketball 1953, 1954, 1968, 1971, 1980, 1993
Wrestling 1964, (7 Individual State Champions)
Golf 1982*, 1985*, 2007*, 2008
Track & Field 1952, 1953, 2003*, 2004*
Swimming 1990, 1995*, 2001
Football 2000, 2012, 2016
Ice Hockey 1984, 1997, 2015
Tennis 1984^, 2012^, 2016^
Soccer 2001

- *Individual State Champion

- ^Doubles Tennis Champions

Student Section[edit]

The Cathedral Prep student cheering section, particularly at football and basketball games, is widely known and has been called the best in the state of Pennsylvania. [3] [4] [5]

Speech and Debate[edit]

Cathedral Prep is a nationally recognized school in Speech and Debate. The team has won 9 State Championships in Policy Debate. The team won the National Forensic League Championship in 1982.


Tablet PC Program (2004-2012)[edit]

At the time Prep was one of the few high schools in the nation to have a Tablet PC program for all students accepted into the school. All incoming freshmen were leased a Tablet PC which they used over the four years at the school and then own upon graduation.

iPad Program (2012-present)[edit]

On Friday, February 10, 2012, Prep Headmaster Father Scott Jabo announced every student will receive an iPad instead of a tablet PC starting the in 2012-13 school year.


Over the last decade, Cathedral Prep has undergone interior renovations to the halls and classrooms of all four floors in its main building. The project, which included the installation of new windows, ceilings, walls, lockers, lighting fixtures, carpeting, and a technology infrastructure has a projected completion cost of three million dollars. Prep has recently completed a $1 million renovation to the science wing and auditorium [6]. On September 10, 2010 Prep officially opened the Cathedral Prep Events Center, a new athletic complex for football, basketball, swimming, water polo, soccer, lacrosse, and track and field. A 1,800 seat gymnasium and a 400-seat natatorium complete with an Olympic-sized pool, a new wrestling room, and a weight room were recently completed on the corner of 12th and Cherry Streets for a cost of over $10 million. [7]

Notable alumni[edit]

The Prep brotherhood numbers over 13,000.

This is an incomplete list, which may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness. You can help by expanding it with reliably sourced entries.


Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Tom Ridge 1963 Former Governor of Pennsylvania, and First United States Secretary of Homeland Security [8]
Louis J. Tullio Mayor of the City of Erie (1966-1989) []
Richard E. Filippi Mayor of the City of Erie (2001-2005) []


Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Mike McCoy 1966 Former NFL player []
Mark Stepnoski 1985 Former NFL player (2-time Super Bowl Champion and 5-time Pro Bowler) []
Bob Sanders 2000 NFL player (Super Bowl Champion and 2-time Pro Bowler) []
Kyle Rogers 2004 NHL player, Toronto Maple Leafs []
Julian Blanks Professional Basketball Player in Portugal []
Nick Palmieri 2007 NHL player, New Jersey Devils []
Andy Lorei 2007 Professional American soccer player []


Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Alfred Michael Watson 1925 Former Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie []
Justin Fatica 1997 Co-Founder of Nationally Acclaimed "Hard As Nails Ministries" []


Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
David Elliot Cohen 1973 Author, has four New York Times Bestsellers []
Tim Rohan 2008 New York Times Reporter. Wrote "Beyond the Finish Line" detailing the Boston Marathon Bombing. []

Film and Television[edit]

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
David Fabrizio 1982 Movie and TV actor [9]


Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Harry Markopoulos 1974 Bernard Madoff Ponzi Scheme Whistle Blower []
R. Ted Weschler 1979 Investment manager at Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. [10]
John Barber President and CEO of Barber National Institute []
Robert Uhlman Jr Former President Laborers Local 603 []


Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Jerry Clark 1978 Lead FBI investigator in the Brian Douglas Wells "Pizza Bomber" case. []


  1. ^ MSA-CSS. "MSA-Commission on Secondary Schools". Archived from the original on 2009-09-17. Retrieved 2009-05-23. 

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