Oratory Preparatory School
|Oratory Preparatory School|
|One Beverly Road
Summit, NJ, (Union County) 07901
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic|
|Head of school||Robert Costello|
|Chaplain||Fr. Sal DiStefano|
|Faculty||35.3 (on FTE basis)|
|Enrollment||318  (2013-14)|
|Student to teacher ratio||9.0:1|
|Campus size||10 acres (40,000 m2)|
|Color(s)||Royal Blue and Gold|
|Athletics||11 varsity sports|
|Athletics conference||Union County Interscholastic Athletic Conference|
|Accreditation||Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools|
|Average SAT scores||1818|
|Average ACT scores||27|
|Publication||The Phoenix (literary/art magazine)|
|Affiliation||Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark|
|Academic Dean||Owen McGowan|
|Admissions Director||Thomas Boniello|
|Athletic Director||J. Patrick Gist|
Oratory Preparatory School, commonly known as Oratory Prep, is a Roman Catholic college preparatory day school for boys in grades 7-12, located in Summit, in Union County, New Jersey, United States, approximately 19 miles (31 km) west of Manhattan. The school is located one block away from the Kent Place School and is in close proximity to Summit High School.
The school is associated with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark. Oratory Preparatory School is a member of the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools and has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1973.
The school was founded in 1907 as Carlton Academy, with grades 4-12. Most of the students lived on campus. Due to the school's relatively small size, students in a given grade are not individually ranked. Oratory is home to young men from over 70 towns in the New York metro area. Tuition and fees for the 2015-16 academic year was $19,900, not including transportation, books, and meals. Financial aid and scholarships are offered to more than 30% of Oratory families. Each year 100% of Oratory seniors are accepted to four-year colleges.
- 1 Awards, recognition and rankings
- 2 History
- 3 Capital improvement plan
- 4 Student life
- 5 Academics
- 6 Campus ministry
- 7 Study abroad
- 8 Athletics
- 9 Extracurricular activities
- 10 Annual events and fundraisers
- 11 Headmasters and faculty
- 12 Noted alumni
- 13 Gallery
- 14 References
- 15 External links
Awards, recognition and rankings
In 2015, the United States Department of Education announced that Oratory had been recognized with the National Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence, the Education Department's highest honor. Oratory was one of 15 schools in the state and one of two private secondary schools across the nation to receive this distinction.
Though the school is named Oratory, it does not have any connection to the Oratorian Fathers. However, there may have been an association in the past, as advertisements for the school in The New York Times during the 1910s mention the Oratorian Fathers. The reason for the name change is said to be that the school wanted to attract Oratorian Priests, however this plan proved to be unsuccessful. Oratory was founded as an exclusive boarding school serving boys in grades 4 through 12, although in 1964 it became strictly a day school.
Oratory originally resided on a 15-acre (61,000 m2) lot, but was reduced to its current ten after selling off a portion of land in the 1960s. In 1967, the school was sold to the Archdiocese of Newark after running into financial difficulties. Among century-old specimen trees and rolling hills, the campus consists of two main academic buildings, athletic fields, and a prayer garden. The Newman Hall mansion, located at 14 Bedford Road, houses two classrooms, a chapel, and admission/development offices. Around the start of the 21st century, the campus was conversationally referred to as "The Park" by Summit residents because it had various athletic fields, intricate lamp posts, its own irrigation system, and a small pond that was used for skating during the winter season. The Fr. John J. Bain Academic building, built in 1959, contains classrooms, cafeteria, library, gymnasium, weight room, guidance offices, computer lab, chemistry lab, and art room. Oratory's Cavalero Memorial Field, an artificial turf field constructed in 2010, hosts a baseball diamond as well as Northern New Jersey's largest high school soccer field. Three practice tennis courts are adjacent to Kelly Field.
In 2006, the land was assessed at $6,270,000, and the buildings at $2,752,700, a total of $9,022,700.
Capital improvement plan
Oratory Prep is governed by a 21-member Board of Trustees, appointed by the Archbishop of Newark. Annual Giving provides approximately 20 percent of the school's annual budget, which currently averages about $3.9 million. Corporations, foundations, parents, and alumni contribute to the Annual Giving Program.
With support from all resources, Oratory has made significant changes to the school in the past five years. Beginning in 2003, the school has required, as part of the "Anytime, Anywhere Learning Program", personal laptop computers for grades 9-12, and put the entire campus on a wireless internet network. In the summer of 2004, a $1.3 million renovation to Fr. John Bain Academic Building was completed, resulting in major renovations to each classroom, and the installation of smartboards. In 2005, a new library and art studio was built in the location of the previous stage area. In 2010, an artificial turf field, named Cavalero Memorial Field, was constructed on the former Kelly Field. That same year after the observation that the library was unused, they turned the library into a state-of-the-art music room, and started a jazz band.
Throughout the summer of 2006, improvements included renovations to the main lobby and gym, and the installation of an up-to-date security system, complete with 18 security cameras and new servers. A new marquee is located on the Morris Avenue side of the campus.
Students travel from towns as far away as Washington Township (50 miles away), to one block down the street. Students get to school using New Jersey Transit rail and bus services. The Summit train station is located approximately 1-mile (1.6 km) from the school. Additional busing is provided by county-run bus services. Juniors and seniors are allowed to park in designated parking spaces in the school lot.
Oratory starts school in August, and ends in June (May for seniors), with 180 school days, and three major vacation periods. Each day begins at 8:10 AM and ends at 2:40 PM; however, supervision is provided by the school until 6:00 PM. There are four periods, with the third being split up into three sections (3A, 3B, and 3C), in which two are compromised of a class (Either 3A and 3B or 3B and 3C) while the third (Either 3A or 3C) is a lunch period.
- Listing of all core and elective courses for grades 9 - 12; many non-AP courses have a College Prep or Honors option
Oratory operates on a numerical based graded system where no letter grades are given. Each quarter, students are awarded different levels of honors depending on their GPA. The levels are as follows:
- St. Philip Neri Highest Honors - 90% in each class with an overall GPA of 95%; students who achieve this status attend a headmaster's breakfast at the end of the quarter.
- High Honors - 85% in each class with an overall GPA of 90%
- Honors - 80% in each class with an overall GPA of 85%
Faculty Supervisor: Catherine Marshall. At least once a month the gym is used as a chapel for school-wide masses. Mass highlights include the annual Christmas and Easter celebrations. A variety of spirited musicians participate during the mass, with instruments of guitar, percussion, piano/keyboard, chimes, and chorus. Although a Catholic school, Oratory welcomes students of all faiths and therefore often hosts prayer services without the inclusion of the Eucharist. There is a daily mass in the gym before school for whoever wishes to attend.
Students participate in community service programs such as Bridges, Operation Helping Hand, Habitat for Humanity. Meetings run on a weekly basis, where fundraiser ideas are discussed. Proceeds from two or more dress-down days throughout the school year are donated to the Bridges Program.
Overnight Emmaus retreats run continually throughout the year for all grades. Every school year, each class travels on a day trip to the Xavier Retreat Center at the College of Saint Elizabeth. The lower school holds their retreats at Newman Hall during the fall season. The freshmen have an overnight retreat in Blairstown, New Jersey for team building exercises, and finish their trip at Newman Hall the following day.
Oratory offers week-long trips to several countries in Europe for the purpose of acquainting students with foreign environments and customs. In past years Oratory has hosted trips to France, Italy and the United Kingdom. One highlight from the 2006 trip was having Easter mass at the Santa Maria del Fiore Church in Florence, Italy.
Popular at Oratory is the annual ski trip to Italy (however in 2007, they went to Utah instead of Italy). Not only do the students have the opportunity to ski on the Italian Alps, but they also experience the life of the surrounding towns.
Oratory Prep now competes in the Union County Interscholastic Athletic Conference, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA). Prior to the NJSIAA's 2009 realignment, the school had participated in the Mountain Valley Conference, which included public and private high schools in Essex County, Somerset County and Union County. Oratory had recently held the most titles of any school in the conference. Teams compete in the NJSIAA non-Public B state tournaments because of the school's small population. More than 80% of students at Oratory participate in at least one sport.
Oratory Golf's home course is Canoe Brook Country Club. The golf team was NJSIAA Non Public B State Champions in 2004-05, and won the NJSIAA Prep B State Championship in 2005-06. For the 2006 season, the Oratory golf team was ranked 20th in the state by The Star-Ledger. Steve Zychowski won the state and Mount Valley tournaments and helped lead the golf team to a win in the NJSIAA Parochial B tournament in 2009. The golf team most recently captured the North Jersey Non-Public B title in 2013, as well as earning the title of Union County Conference Champion for the Watchung Division in 2014.
For 14 consecutive years through 2009, the swim team won the Mountain Valley Conference and won the NJ Prep B Championship in 2004. The cross country team was the NJISAA Prep B State Champions in 2004, and has continually placed first in the conference for the past ten years. The team is led by Coach E.J. Cronin, who is also the junior varsity baseball coach. The varsity baseball team were conference champions in 2006, a feat not accomplished since 1956, and had a perfect in-conference record of 12-0.
Oratory employs three part-time athletic trainers for strength and conditioning year-round.
Sports Enthusiasts Club
The mock trial team, sponsored by the New Jersey State Bar Foundation, began at Oratory in 2003. In 2006, the team won the state regional final championship, and in 2007 the team won the state semifinals, finishing third in the state. The team has won the Union County Championship 3 of 4 years, including the past two years. In 2007 the team qualified for the American Mock Trial Invitational held in New Jersey. There the team won two of three trials, and finished fifth in the nation. The team was coached by Bill Martin, former athletic director, for all four years. In 2012, the team won the state championship, marking the first time that a school from Union county had won the state championship.
Oratory hosts a battle-of-the-bands style event, called OPalooza, twice a year, in the spring and fall. Most of the performers are school or local bands.
Annual events and fundraisers
- Father/Son Communion Breakfast
- Family Mass
- Christmas Foreign Language Masses
- Oratory's Annual Golf Classic
- Spirit Week
- Fashion Show
- Christmas Tree Sale
- Ram Day
- Open Houses
- OPalooza Battle of the Bands
- Spring Gala
Headmasters and faculty
- Mr. Charles H. Schultz (1907–1917)
- Msgr. James F. Newcomb (1917–1923)
- Msgr. Joseph M. Capoano (1923–1931)
- Rev. Felix J. Kelly (1931–1945)
- Rev. John J. Bain (1945–1967)
- Rev. James F. Pindar (1967)
- Rev. Joseph W. Russell (1967–1968)
- Msgr. Michael Fitzpatrick (1968–1974)
- Rev. Theodore Osbahr (1974–1975)
- Rev. Michael Fitzpatrick (1975–1978)
- Mr. Joseph T. Boland (1978–1980)
- Rev. Floyd Rotunno (1980–1994)
- Rev. Paul Manning (1994–1996)
- Rev. F. Kevin Murphy (1996–2002)
- Bro. Robert J. Wickman (2002–2005)
- Mr. Timothy Lynch (2005–2007)
- Mrs. Marlene Kostka (2007–2009) (Interim Head of School)
- Mr. Robert Costello (2009–Present)
- Chris Carlin (born 1972), radio producer and sportscaster at WFAN Sports Radio 66 in New York City.
- Richard Codey (born 1946), former Governor of New Jersey.
- Danny DeVito (born 1944), actor.
- Justin Guariglia, photographer for National Geographic Magazine.
- School Data for Oratory Preparatory School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed October 10, 2015.
- Oratory Preparatory School, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools. Accessed June 21, 2011.
- Union County High School, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark. Accessed June 21, 2011.
- School Search, New Jersey Association of Independent Schools. Accessed July 29, 2008.
- Tuition & Tuition Assistance, Oratory Preparatory School. Accessed June 21, 2011.
- Oratory Prep Fast Facts, accessed September 10, 2006 Archived May 3, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Oratory Prep Named a 2015 National Blue Ribbon School", Summit Patch, September 30, 2015. Accessed October 10, 2015. "U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made the official announcement Tuesday morning that 50 private schools and 285 public schools from across the country have been chosen for this prestigious honor based on academic excellence. Of the 50 private schools, we are one of only two secondary schools to receive this distinction."
- 2015 National Blue Ribbon Schools All Public and Private, United States Department of Education. Accessed October 10, 2015.
- Rae, John W. & John W. Rae Jr. (1985). Summit's Forgotten Past "The Gilded Age." Summit, NJ, John W. Rae.
- Tax Records, accessed February 5, 2007
- League Memberships – 2014-2015, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 15, 2014.
- Home Page, Mountain Valley Conference, backed up by the Internet Archive as of February 2, 2011. Accessed December 15, 2014.
- Final Golf Top 20, The Star-Ledger, June 19, 2006.
- Polakowski, Art. "Success recognized in Oratory sports", Independent Press, June 8, 2009. Accessed June 21, 2011.
- Staff. "NJ Track: Oratory boys, Villa Walsh girls win prep B titles", The Star-Ledger, May 19, 2010. Accessed June 21, 2011. "Laroche’s double fueled Oratory, which scored in 14 of 16 events to beat runner-up Pennington, 152-127."
- Koomar, Joe. "Rambling On: Oratory becomes track power with third prep championship", Independent Press, March 6, 2011. Accessed June 21, 2011. "On February 15, Oratory’s winter track squad defied all odds and captured the inaugural Prep B State Championship. Oratory dominated the meet from start to finish. In the 3200 M Run, Cormac Raeda, Joey Mascolo and Mark Weinhoffer finished one-two-three respectively."
- Oratory Prep team rules in court, The Star-Ledger, March 22, 2007
- Dougherty, Susan. "Oratory Prep Mock Trial Team Wins State Championship". SummitPatch, March 22, 2012. Accessed March 24, 2012. "After scores of Mock Trial scrimmages and matches this year among 221 high school teams in New Jersey, only two schools were left standing to compete for the title of Mock Trial State Champions on Thursday, March 22, 2012 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick.Oratory Prep School of Summit was named New Jersey State Champions by one of the two presiding judges,The Honorable Barry T. Albin, the Chief Justice of the NJ Supreme Court."
- Chris Carlin profile, WFAN. Accessed June 19, 2007. "Chris grew up in Chatham Township, New Jersey, and attended Oratory Prep High School in Summit."
- Golway, Terry. "ON POLITICS; The Bishops, in Codey, Have a New Target", The New York Times, November 14, 2004. Accessed November 3, 2007. "He is a graduate of Oratory Prep in Summit, and his wife, Mary Jo, attended Caldwell College and Seton Hall, all Catholic institutions."
- Saturday Morning Shootout: Danny DeVito, AMC (TV network), accessed April 2, 2007. "DeVito attended Our Lady of Mt. Carmel grammar school and Oratory Prep School in Summit, New Jersey, but appeared in only one school play, as St. Francis of Assisi."
- Nationally Recognized Photographer at Oratory Preparatory School, accessed March 13, 2008. "When Justin Guariglia, a 1992 graduate of Oratory Preparatory School in Summit came “home” on January 24 to present an assembly program to the student body of grades 7 – 12, he did not know what to expect...."