St. John's Preparatory School (Massachusetts)

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St. John's Preparatory School
St. John's Preparatory School
72 Spring Street
Danvers, Massachusetts, (Essex County) 01923
United States
Coordinates 42°34′57″N 70°57′10″W / 42.58250°N 70.95278°W / 42.58250; -70.95278Coordinates: 42°34′57″N 70°57′10″W / 42.58250°N 70.95278°W / 42.58250; -70.95278
Type Private
Motto Concordia Res Parvae Crescunt.
(In Harmony Small Things Grow.)
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Denomination Xaverian Brothers
Established 1907
CEEB code 220665
Dean Peter Richards
Principal Keith Crowley
Head of school Edward P. Hardiman
Faculty 113
Grades 612
Enrollment 1,450[1] (2016)
Average class size 18
Student to teacher ratio 11:1
Campus Suburban
Campus size 175 acres (71 ha)
Color(s) Navy Blue and White         
Slogan "We are St. John's". "It's a great day to be an eagle". "Faith, brotherhood, wisdom".
Song "Far above the neighboring hilltops"
Athletics conference Catholic Conference – B
Mascot Eagle
Nickname St. John's, SJP, The Prep
Team name Eagles
Rival Xaverian Brothers High School
Accreditation New England Association of Schools and Colleges
Average SAT scores 1216
Publication Piece of Mind
Newspaper The Concordia
Yearbook The Spire
Tuition $20,555 (2014-2015)
Alumni 14,500
Headmaster Emeritus Dr. Edward Hardiman
Chairman of Board of Trustees Bernard L. Caniff, Jr. '72
Director of Admission Jennifer Glover

St. John's Preparatory School is a Roman Catholic college preparatory school for young men in Danvers, Massachusetts. Notable alumni are Matthew Solomon, Pat Blaney, and Bo Burnham. It is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. The school was founded in 1907 by the Xaverian Brothers, an order named for St. Francis Xavier founded by Theodore James Ryken in 1839. St. John's was formerly a combination commuter-boarding school but ended its residential program in 1975. It serves a geographically diverse body of students primarily from the North Shore, Merrimack Valley, southern New Hampshire, and the northern region of the Boston metropolitan area.


In 1891, the Xaverian Brothers purchased the Jacob Spring Family Estate, which included 100 acres (40 ha) and three buildings. At this time, the Xaverian Brothers began St. John's Normal College, a school for young men aspiring to become members of the Congregation of the Brothers of St. Francis Xavier. In 1907 Brother Benjamin, with seven Xaverian Brothers, founded St. John's Preparatory School for young men. Brother Benjamin's building program began in the fall of 1907, with construction of a wood frame gymnasium which housed the basketball team until the early 1950s. In 1908, the chapel was added to the rear of the Administration Building. To keep pace with school growth, Xavier Hall was built 1910–1911, housing 16 classrooms, a library and reading room, a study hall, an assembly hall, as well as 50 private rooms and a dormitory room for about 80 beds. The first class graduated in the Spring of 1910.

In 1916, with the resident population rising to 230 and an additional 100 "day hop" students, Ryken Hall opened, named after Theodore James Ryken, founder of the Xaverian Brothers. The building housed 150 students both in private rooms and in an open dormitory. The academic wing contained six large classrooms, study halls, club meeting rooms and recreational facilities. Today the residential wing is gone but the academic wing houses our thriving Center for the Arts.

The first clubs were formed at St. John's under the second headmaster, Brother Norbert, CFX. The first two clubs were based on national fraternities: Alpha Delta Phi and Kappa Kappa. The two clubs became "great rivals." Sigma Nu formed in 1923 and became such a powerhouse that it hosted three club meeting rooms, a gym of its own, and a bowling alley in the basement of the Ryken dormitory building.

In 1926, Brother Edmund earned the distinction of being the first alumnus and former faculty member to become Headmaster of the school. His Brothers recognized his leadership skills and later appointed him President of Xaverian College.

New extracurricular activities, fraternities, and scholastic societies were formed at St. John's under headmaster Brother Ambrose 1929–34. He oversaw the development of the current football stadium, track, tennis courts, and enlargement of the library in the Administration Building. In 1930 St. John's saw the addition of the German-born Sisters of the Divine Redeemer to the staff. The Sisters served as the dietitians and cooks for the students and Brothers for the next twenty-one years. During World War II, students were allowed to graduate in three years plus one summer so that they might contribute to the war effort. This dramatically reduced the student body, so between 1944 and 1947 seventh and eighth grade boys were allowed to attend the school.

Memorial Gymnasium opened in 1955. In the early 1960s the first capital campaign funded the building of Brother Benjamin Hall and Alumni Hall, both of which were completed during the 1964–65 school year. On May 22, 1965 – fifty years after the dedication of Ryken Hall – Cardinal Cushing dedicated the two new buildings. During the 1960s St. John's expanded their course offerings and created the independent study program. The 1967 and 1968 football teams were Class B State Champions. The Prep soon added soccer, swimming, and other programs.

In the late 1960s, the Board of Trustees voted to phase out the residential program during the next several years, a program which finally ended in 1975. Another change during the late 1960s was the phasing out of the coat and tie dress code, with the school later opting for a more casual attire consisting of a button up shirt paired with khaki dress pants. During the 1960s, young men of different faiths began entering the school.

Changes continued at St. John's during the 1970s. Lay people outnumbered Brothers among the faculty and school leaders. The most unexpected change occurred when the Prep accepted young women due to the closing of two Catholic schools on the North Shore. A short-term decision, urged by the parents of the male students, the program lasted for six years and concluded in 1977, resulting in 77 alumnae, many of whom have children that currently attend the school. During the late 1970s the first official Alumni Office was created to maintain strong contact with the many alumni. The Development Office was also formed to help create support for the school through alumni, parents, and friends.

In 1980 enrollment reached an all-time high surpassing the one thousand mark and causing a much more competitive admissions process. The class of 1980 was the first to graduate with more than 200 members (211). The 1980s marked the continuation of an impressive string of "championships" for the SJP Drama Guild under the direction of Brother Ronald Santoro, C.F.X. and Headmaster Brother Edward Keefe, C.F.X. hosted the 75th Anniversary Celebration in 1982. In 1989 Brother William Drinan, C.F.X. succeeded Brother Keefe as Headmaster and he initiated plans for the "Building on the Prep Experience" campaign. As a result of this $3 million initiative and strategic plan, Fine Arts were added to the curriculum in the early 1990s and in 1995, Ryken Hall was renovated into Ryken Center for the Arts with art instruction, gallery space, theater instruction and design studios, along with an entire floor devoted to musical instruction and performance.

The 1997 football team completed their first eleven-win season including a dramatic Thanksgiving Day victory over Xaverian High School and a "Super Bowl" championship. In 1998 St. John's Prep graduated its 10,000th alumnus, just after the school's 90th anniversary celebration. In the 12 years that Brother William Drinan served as headmaster, he saw religion restored as an academic requirement, unparalleled athletic successes and a revitalization of the lay-Xaverian partnership. Brother Drinan still serves the school as Headmaster Emeritus.

After a nationwide search in 2001, Albert J. Shannon, PhD was named the 15th Headmaster of St. John's. He became the first Catholic layman to hold the position of Headmaster in the Prep's history. Late that same year, the Prep received a five million dollar gift in support of academic and facility initiatives at the school.

The Prep celebrated its 95th Anniversary in September 2002 with a gala celebration that brought alumni, families, faculty and staff together on campus. That same year the school saw the breaking of ground for the new $12 million Academic Resource Center Project, adding 24,000 square feet (2,200 m²) of space, including the A.E. Studzinski Library, featuring the Ozzie Technology Center, and six new classrooms. With this state-of-the-art building, the facilities are able to keep pace with the quality of education and experience at St. John's. The A. E. Studzinski Library and Ozzie Technology Center opened in September 2003 and Brother Benjamin Hall was remodeled with six new science labs(The Carey Science Center), the Ford Family Counseling suite and new academic department offices. Both facilities are equipped with wireless internet access and sophisticated technology resources in keeping with the needs of today's students and faculty. Xavier Hall reopened in September 2005 following a year of extensive renovations. The revitalized campus landmark stands ready for a second century of service with 31 new state-of-the-art classrooms, a wireless Internet environment, academic department offices, and a new 4,000-square-foot (400 m²) Campus Ministry Center.

In 2007, The Prep commenced its 100th Anniversary Celebration. The celebration included a Mass for alumni, students, and faculty before the year began, and the school newspaper was renamed "The Concordia" in honor of the school's original newspaper publication. After serving for eight years as principal at St. John's, Edward P. Hardiman, PhD was named Headmaster in June 2011, succeeding Dr. Shannon. He is a graduate of Fairfield University and earned his doctorate at Boston College. Keith A. Crowley, PhD was named to succeed Dr. Hardiman as principal. In 2014, St. John's announced plans to build a new High School Academic Building and open a Middle School for boys in grades 6, 7 and 8. The Middle School and the new building was scheduled to open in September 2015.

List of Headmasters and Principals[edit]

Headmaster Tenure Principal Tenure
Br. Benjamin, CFX 1907—1917 unknown 1907—1940
Br. Norbert, CFX 1917—1926
Br. Edmund, CFX 1926—1929
Br. Ambrose, CFX 1929—1934
Br. Aubert, CFX 1934—1940
Br. Aloysius, CFX 1940—1946 Br. Richard (Ricardo) Kerressey, CFX 1940—1949
Br. William, CFX 1946—1949
Br. Bertin, CFX 1949—1955 unknown 1949—1951
Br. John Chrysostom, CFX 1951—1952
Br. Paul, CFX 1952—1956
Br. Gilroy, CFX 1955—1960
Br. Edwin, CFX 1956—1958
Br. Edward Daniel, CFX 1958—1960
Br. Harold (Climacus) Boyle, CFX 1960—1965 Br. Robert, CFX 1960—1963
Br. Jean, CFX 1963—1969
Br. Richard (Ricardo) Kerressey, CFX 1965—1971
Br. Joseph Smithers, CFX 1969—1971
Br. Joseph Smithers, CFX 1971—1974 Br. Edward Keefe, CFX 1971—1974
Br. Edward Keefe, CFX 1974—1989 Br. James Boyle, CFX 1974—1976
Br. John T. Hart, CFX 1976—1993
Br. William Drinan, CFX 1989—2001
Br. Brian Davis, CFX 1993—2000
Br. Timothy Paul, CFX 2000—2003
Albert J. "Skip" Shannon, PhD 2001—2011 Edward P. Hardiman, PhD 2003—2011
Edward P. Hardiman, PhD 2011—present Keith A. Crowley, PhD 2011—present


St. John's Preparatory school is located in the town of Danvers, Massachusetts, about 15 miles (24 km) north of Boston. The school is spread out over 175 acres (71 ha) of wooded, residential land. The student population spends the majority of its time in the two main academic buildings:

  • Xavier Hall (built 1911; renovated 2004–05) and
  • Brother Benjamin Hall (1964; renovated in 2015 to house the middle school)
  • Keefe Academic Commons (built 2015).

Other buildings of note include:

  • The Administration Building (1880), which includes a chapel;
  • Ryken Center for the Arts (1916; renovated 1995), a former dormitory building that has been renovated into a fine arts facility;
  • Memorial Dining Hall (1925; renovated in 2007), the cafeteria;
  • Alumni Hall (1965; renovated in 1993), home to the 350-seat Kaneb Theatre;
  • Memorial Gymnasium (1955; renovated 1991); and
  • A.E. Studzinski Library (2003);
  • A function building/trophy room, Griffin Hall

Also on the property of St. John's are two homes for Xaverian Brothers:

  • Xaverian House
  • The Xavier Center

School Life[edit]


St. John's Preparatory School has a very competitive athletics program, and traditionally has excelled in track and field, football, lacrosse, swimming, baseball, wrestling, hockey, and rugby.[citation needed] In 2006 their soccer team completed an undefeated season with a record of 22-0-2, captured the Massachusetts Division-1 State Title, and topped it off with a 6th place national ranking.[citation needed] Some of the lesser known spectator sports, such as rugby, wrestling, swimming, fencing, ultimate disc, and volleyball, have dominated their respective fields in the state of Massachusetts.[citation needed] Since 2001, the swim and dive team has won twelve Division-1 State Titles, including nine in a row between 2006 and 2014, with the most recent title in 2017.[citation needed] They have also gone undefeated the past five seasons.[citation needed] The fencing team won their 6th straight state championship and went undefeated in the 2009–2010 season. The tennis team also holds five state titles, including 1979, 1994, 1995, 2000, and 2001.[citation needed] The golf team won the state championship in the fall of 2010 and 2015, and came in second place in 2011 following a league title. The wrestling team holds eleven straight Catholic Conference league titles, and the rugby team is also very successful.[citation needed] The athletic program has a longstanding rivalry with Catholic Conference competitor Xaverian Brothers High School. The other members of the Catholic Conference include Malden Catholic High School, Boston College High School, and Catholic Memorial High School. St. John's is the sixth team in the conference in some sports. In 2012 the football team won the state title.

Drama Guild[edit]

The St. John's Prep Drama Guild presents two major productions a year: a fall production, and in the Spring, an entry into the Massachusetts State Drama Festival. Through the rigorous drama classes offered through the Fine Arts Department, students gain an understanding of the inner-workings of theater which is then applied in the productions. Recent fall productions include Young Frankenstein, One Man Two Guvnors, Spamalot, The Laramie Project, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Animal Crackers, On the Razzle, and Crazy for You.

The St. John's Prep Drama Guild is tied for first all time in victories in the Massachusetts State Drama Festival (presented by the METG) with 18 wins. Their participation in the festival began in 1974 under the direction of Brother Ron Santoro, and is now currently under the direction of Ms. Alicia Greenwood. Their first winning production was Molière's The Doctor in Spite of Himself in 1974.[2] Recent festival entries include Metamorphoses (play), Macbeth, The Manhattan Project's Alice in Wonderland, The Green Bird, Richard III and The Odyssey. Most recently, in 2014, the St. John's Prep Drama Guild won the Massachusetts's Educational Theatre Guild's 2014 Drama Festival with their production of bobrauschenbergamerica by Charles L. Mee directed by Greenwood and Ms. Catherine Bertrand. They have also represented the state at the New England Festival on numerous occasions.

Clubs and other extracurriculars[edit]

St. John's is the home of more than 60 clubs and extracurricular activities. While faculty moderators are present many of these groups are run solely by the students. The clubs include academic organizations, such as The Spire yearbook staff, The Concordia newspaper, and the Cicero Society debating club, as well as including recreational clubs such as the Improv Club and the Aviation Club. St. John's also has many clubs that help further prepare students for life after college, such as the Young Republicans, Model United Nations,Young Democrats, Mock Trial (model court hearing), and Future Entrepreneurs. Minority outreach clubs exist as well, such as L.U.N.A. (Latinos Unidos "N" Accion) and Always our Brothers and Sisters, St. John's Prep's Gay/Straight Alliance. Also, many fine arts activities are offered, including after-school music lessons and the award-winning Drama Guild, Swingtown!, the Prep's faculty-student a cappella group.

Notable alumni[edit]

Distinguished Alumnus Award recipients[edit]



  1. ^ Official site figures, St. John's Preparatory School, accessed 11-11-2009.
  2. ^ Massachusetts State Festival History.
  3. ^ {{cite web
    • Evan Laplante, best Freshman movie goer 2016
    |url= |title=Comedy Central: Comedians: Bo Burnham | |accessdate=2008-07-07 }}
  4. ^ Well done graduates, SJP Alumni news, May 18, 2009.
  5. ^ a b c St. John's Prep (MA): Notable Alumni. Retrieved on 2013-01-13.
  6. ^ Player Bio: Matt Antonelli :: Baseball. Retrieved on 2013-01-13.
  7. ^ 1981 NHL Entry Draft – Bobby Carpenter. Retrieved on 2013-01-13.
  8. ^ Kourikchi, Ayoub. "Pat Connaughton is the Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Basketball Player of the Year". Boston Globedate=March 18, 2011. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  9. ^ Coach. Retrieved on 2013-01-13.
  10. ^ Ken Hodge (b. 1966) hockey statistics and profile at. Retrieved on 2013-01-13.
  11. ^ Rob Konrad Past Stats, Statistics, History, and Awards. Retrieved on 2013-01-13.
  12. ^ [1] Archived October 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ NFL Players. Retrieved on 2013-01-13.
  14. ^ John McCarthy (b. 1986) hockey statistics and profile at. Retrieved on 2013-01-13.
  15. ^ James Pedro, Danvers Massachusetts, lightweight judoka, Olympics-bronze-92, 96 October 30 in History. Retrieved on 2013-01-13.
  16. ^ Scott Shaunessy hockey statistics and profile at. Retrieved on 2013-01-13.
  17. ^ Paul Sorrento Statistics – The Baseball Cube
  18. ^ Brian St. Pierre | PLAYERS. Nflplayers.Com. Retrieved on 2013-01-13.
  19. ^ "Boston Red Sox - Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski boosts grandson's budding baseball career - The Boston Globe". 

External links[edit]