News & Events
Eric D'Angelo, Luke Aquaro, and Casey Buck (pictured) were among the 36 members of the Class of 2018 recently inducted into the National Honor Society (NHS).
Holy Ghost Prep inducts new NHS members
Thirty-six members of the Class of 2018 were recently inducted into the Venerable F. Libermann Chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS) of Secondary Schools.
The NHS provides a model of Scholarship, Leadership, Service and Character for the entire Holy Ghost Prep community.
The newest inductees, in alphabetical order, are: Chris Aileo, Luke Aquaro, Corry Arnold, Anthony Baum, Jack Bishop, Paul Biazzaro, Eric Booth, Casey Buck, Ryan Callahan, Zachary Chipperfield, Chris Corr, Eric D’Angelo, Connor DiMarco, Matt Doucette, Mason El-Habr, Jack Elliott, Brian Gabriele, Matt Hofmann, Richard Johnson, Sean Kerrigan, Dillon LaCorte, Jacob Lawall, Ryan Lucas, Steve Macchione, Cole Martillotti, John Martin, Brendan Mindiak, Austin Moran, Kevin Mulcahy, Zachary Nangle, Mark Pabalan, Bryan Quigley, William Russell, Alek Seibel, Owen Sienko, and Ryan Taylor.
Next year’s NHS officers are:
President: Chris Aileo
Vice President: Connor DiMarco
Secretary: Cole Martillotti
Treasurer: Luke Aquaro
Coordinator of Special Projects: Eric Booth
Tutoring Chair: Steve Macchione
Pat Hoelzle ’01 serves as the faculty advisor for Holy Ghost Prep’s NHS chapter. The NHS provides important service to the school at key events and raises funds annually for a number of single-year scholarships for members of the rising sophomore class.
In addition, one of the most important services provided by the NHS is a tutoring service to the entire HGP student body.
Holy Ghost’s NHS chapter was chartered on November 11, 1969.
Holy Ghost President Gregory J. Geruson '79 hugs Bob Watters '81, a member of Holy Ghost Prep's Board of Trustees, as he presents him with the Reverend James P. McCloskey, C.S.Sp. '70 Award.
Bob Watters ’81 receives the McCloskey Award
During the 2017 commencement exercises, Bob Watters ’81, a member of Holy Ghost Prep’s Board of Trustees, was presented with the Reverend James P. McCloskey, C.S.Sp. ’70 Award. The award is given annually to “the alumnus whose profound generosity, commitment, and support demonstrates a unique understanding of the mission of Holy Ghost Prep.”
Watters is certainly a deserving McCloskey Award recipient.
“Bob is one of the most genuine, thoughtful, gracious people I know. From his graduation day in 1981 until today, Bob has been one of our most loyal and engaged alums—lending his time and talents as a member of the Holy Ghost Prep Board of Trustees and a member of the school’s finance committee,” says Gregory J. Geruson’79, president of Holy Ghost Prep. “In addition, he is a partner at Ernst & Young and has hosted our students as part of our LEAP program the past couple years. And in typical Bob Watters’ fashion, he goes the extra mile to ensure that each HGP student who comes to Ernst & Young as a LEAP participant has a truly unique experience.”
Fellow trustee and finance committee member John Di Paolo said of Watters: “Bob Watters possesses that rare ability to personally connect with individuals, understand their concerns beyond the words they articulate, and humbly offer meaningful, generative solutions. In doing so, he ensures HGP’s ongoing vibrancy and has indelibly shaped the HGP experience of those graduating today. ‘We are Holy Ghost’ because Bob embodies ‘One Heart, One Mind.’”
A vocal supporter of advancing HGP’s mission through programs and capital projects, Watters has been a lead donor to major projects ranging from Founders Hall to the new Holt Center.
In addition to graduating from HGP, Watters is a 1985 graduate of Lehigh University. And much like he has given back to Holy Ghost Prep, Bob applies the same pay-it-forward strategy at Lehigh, serving as the chair of Lehigh’s College of Business and Economics Advisory Board. He lives with his wife, Margi, and his son Robert Jr. in Chester Springs, Pa.
Holy Ghost Preparatory School graduated 115 seniors at its commencement exercises on Saturday, June 3 on the campus lawn behind Cornwells Hall.
Holy Ghost Prep graduates its Class of 2017
Holy Ghost Preparatory School graduated 115 seniors at its commencement exercises on Saturday, June 3 on the campus lawn behind Cornwells Hall.
During the ceremony, students were recognized for their accomplishments and were reminded that they will always be brothers not only with members of the Class of 2017 but with all other Holy Ghost Prep graduates.
“Today, you will become members of the unique branch of the Holy Ghost Prep family tree called alumni,” said Holy Ghost Prep President Gregory J. Geruson ’79. “We are a brotherhood that is blessed and united by our mission, by our common experience of the seven Core Components of a Spiritan School, and by the Holy Spirit.”
Besides Geruson, the other featured graduation speakers were valedictorian Luke Profy and Ed Walsh, a 1995 HGP graduate who has been a successful communications adviser to senior leaders in business and government for nearly 20 years.
Profy cited the orientation candle the group had received just prior to their freshman year as “the first uniform bond we shared as a brotherhood” and then wove the theme of light throughout his speech.
“Our flames will burn as we walk down the path one last time together, as we drive away, as we board trains and planes to travel the country and the world next year as we head off to college,” said Profy. “It only takes a spark to ignite a fire. We must be that spark for others and set the world ablaze.”
In a perfectly constructed commencement address, Walsh told the graduates how HGP had prepared him to work on the White House speechwriting staff for former President George W. Bush at the age of 25 and advised them that their HGP education would serve them well too.
“The years ahead are going to be exciting for you. And you’re ready for them,” Walsh told the graduating seniors. “Exactly where you’re going may seem unclear right now. But as you find subjects that motivate you in the classroom, and you gain experiences and meet new people outside the classroom, you’ll start to figure it out. Twenty-two years removed from my graduation, I know I don’t have it all figured out. But I’ve had a lot of great experiences along the way. And I owe it to the Holy Ghost education that we all share.”
Salutatorian Justin Letizia delivered his address the evening before at the beautiful Baccalaureate Mass. In his salutatorian speech, Letizia reflected on the shared milestones that the Class of 2017 had accomplished at Holy Ghost Prep before examining what lies within HGP’s latest graduating class.
During the graduation ceremony, special prizes and awards were presented to the following graduating seniors:
The School Spirit Award: Peyton E. Birch
The Holy Ghost Fathers’ and Brothers’ Award for Christian Living: Carlo G. Duffy
The Sedes Sapientiae Award for Scholarship, Leadership and Achievement: Luke Thomas Profy
National Honor Society Service Medal: Luke Thomas Profy
Medal, Overall Excellence in Mathematics: Carlo G. Duffy
Diane Garforth Medal, Overall Excellence in English: Nolan J. Raghu
Medal, Overall Excellence in Writing: Justin Thomas Letizia
Medal, Overall Excellence in Religion: Carlo G. Duffy
Medal, Overall Excellence in Science: Mark Vigliotti
Medal, Overall Excellence in Social Studies: James Michael Nycz
Medal, Overall Excellence in Art: Luke Thomas Wade
Medal, Overall Excellence in Music: Luigi Alfonso Galzerano IV
Medal, Overall Excellence in the Performing Arts: Charles Lucas Lawall
Medal, Overall Excellence in Computer Science: Hengrui Ricky Wang
Medal, Overall Excellence in Latin: James Michael Nycz
Medal, Overall Excellence in Spanish: Joseph M. Visconto, Jr.
Medal, Overall Excellence in French: Thomas P. Horgan
Paul J. Pomeroy, Jr. Student Marshal Medal (Highest cumulative GPA): Luke Thomas Profy
Silver Cups of Recognition (Highest academic achievers in senior class)
Carlos A. Abarca
George Theodore Barbe
Carlo G. Duffy
Conor J. Gibbons
Thomas P. Horgan
Justin Thomas Letizia
Dominic Michael Macaluso
James Michael Nycz
Luke Thomas Profy
Nolan J. Raghu
Patrick A. Taylor
Trevor J. Zuech
The Holy Ghost Prep students receiving diplomas were:
Carlos A. Abarca
William Joseph Abbamont
Andrew M. Adair
Ryan Attryde (posthumous)
Nicholas M. Aregnano
Zachary James Babst
George Theodore Barbe
Aidan Patrick Bauer
Jonathan D. Beck
Peyton E. Birch
Joseph Charles Calvin
Dylan G. Carey
Nicholas P. Chimbos
Hugh Patrick Collins
David W. Connuck
Piotr John Cymbalski
Alexander C. Dale
Triet M. Dao
Ryan Timothy Deegan
Dante Joseph Antonio DeSanctis
Daniel Louis DiFranco
Kevin Michael Dineen
Sean M. Dixon
Carlo G. Duffy
Alec K. Duris
Thomas A. Eckert
Alexander J. Fallon
Mark E. Featherstone
Erik J. Fenstermaker
Liam P. Flood
Ryan Christopher French
Dylan J. Fritz
Andrew M. Galasso
Luigi Alfonzo Galzerano IV
Matthew T. Gemerek
Joseph T. Giannos
Conor J. Gibbons
Stephen Raymond Hackman
Thomas P. Horgan
Paul Leonard Horgan, Jr.
Samuel Charles Huslin
Michael John Kennedy, Jr.
John William Kiczek
Jacob C. King
Nicholas F. Klein
Alexander F. Kuhn
John Charles LaRosa
Charles Lucas Lawall
Sean Patrick Lawall
Luke Christopher Ledes
Callahan Aidan Lennon
Kyle Gregory Leon
Justin Thomas Letizia
Eric Christopher Lorenzo
Dominic Michael Macaluso
Matthew H. Marchand
Walter Ronald Marcinhowski
John P. McCrane
Luke T. McDonald
Michael Dennis McFadden
Conlan J. McHugh
Robert J. McLoughlin
K. Garrison Moore
George N. Mundy
Owen P. Murphy
James Michael Nycz
Robert Ovecka III
Cooper O. Pandorf
Daniel Robert Pawluczyk
Konstandinos A. Petsos
Timothy Michael Price, Jr.
Luke Thomas Profy
Nolan J. Raghu
Sean R. Reading
Daniel I. Reifsnyder
David John Robbins
Michael R. Roche
Conor William Sablich
Harry F. Scuron
Thomas James Seffrin
John Joseph Skalski III
Jack Robert Smiley
Andrew T. Smith
Edward Francis Stokes, Jr.
Noah M. Tapp
Patrick A. Taylor
Sean Michael Terry
Thomas Elvis Theuer
Joseph M. Visconto, Jr.
Donald Edward Vittorelli
Luke Thomas Wade
Hengrui Ricky Wang
Albert E. Wilson IV
John J. Wisniewski
Matthew J. Young
Jake A. Zelinsky
Cameron Christopher Zubey
Trevor J. Zuech
Chris Crawford '12 qualified for his second consecutive U.S. Open appearance after firing an 8-under 134 over 36 holes to tie for second at the sectional qualifier at Canoe Brook Country Club. (photo courtesy of Drexel University)
Chris Crawford '12 punches ticket to second straight U.S. Open
Chris Crawford '12 qualified for his second consecutive U.S. Open appearance after firing an 8-under 134 over 36 holes to tie for second at the sectional qualifier at Canoe Brook Country Club. The 117th U.S Open will take place June 15-18 at Erin Hills in Wisconsin. To read more about Chris, click here.
On June 5, Holy Ghost Prep alum Grant Cooper and HGP student-athletes Luke Aquaro and Tony Carbino (pictured) joined radio host Rich Henkels for the taping of the High School Sports Show.
Two HGP students appear on area high school sports radio show
On Monday, June 5, Holy Ghost Prep alum Grant Cooper '11 (CEO of Social Vantage) and HGP student-athletes Luke Aquaro (hockey) and Tony Carbino (track) joined Rich Henkels at the Green Parrot in Newtown for the taping of the High School Sports Show’s discussion on the topic of social media.
Part of a series of programming that tapes weekly on Monday nights from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., the High School Sports Show, now on News Talk 990 AM, is a program that is dedicated to discussing all aspects of high school sports. The episode recorded at Green Parrot on June 5 will air from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 10.
With topics ranging from parental roles to proper nutrition to what it takes to have a future in athletics, the High School Sports Show is a valuable resource for high school athletes and parents alike. The June 5th taping took place live at the Green Parrot (240 N. Sycamore Street, Newtown, PA 18940).
This show marked the third time this spring that an HGP contingent of student-athletes has appeared on the High School Sports Show.
Peyton Birch '17 (pictured), who just signed a letter of intent to play Division I baseball at Hofstra University, served as the student speaker at the annual Athletic Recognition Night on June 1.
HGP holds annual Athletic Recognition Night
Holy Ghost Preparatory School held its annual Athletic Recognition Night on Thursday, June 1 on campus in the Chapman Arena. Over 350 members of the Holy Ghost Prep community attended to celebrate another year in the proud tradition of Holy Ghost athletics.
Peyton Birch ’17, who just signed a letter of intent to play Division I baseball at Hofstra University, served as the student speaker for the event, and the following special awards were handed out.
Track & Field
The David Proven Memorial Award: Samuel Huslin ’17
David Betz Memorial Baseball Award: Peyton Birch ’17
The Jack Schott Memorial Basketball Award: Kyle Cartin ’17
The Brian Tibbles and Jim Britt Award (Supported by the Ray Schultz Memorial Fund):
George Mundy ’17
The Joe Boback Memorial Coach’s Award for Swimming: Walter Marcinkowski ’17
Team Sportsmanship Awards:
Cross Country: Thomas Horgan ’17
Golf: Jack LaRosa ’17
Soccer: Alec Duris ’17
Basketball: Luke McDonald ’17
Bowling: Dan Reifsnyder ’17 and John Wisniewski ’17
Ice Hockey: Zach Babst ’17
Indoor Track & Field: Samuel Huslin ’17
Swimming & Diving: Erik Fenstermaker ’17
Baseball: Andrew Galasso ’17
Lacrosse: James Brook ’17
Rowing: Kyle Cartin ’17
Tennis: Carlo Duffy ’17
Track & Field: Daniel Pawluczyk ’17
Ultimate Frisbee: Dylan Fritz ’17
HG Red Club Award for Athletic Participation in Multiple Sports:
Kevin Dineen ’17
Sean Dixon ’17
Mark Featherstone ’17
Erik Fenstermaker ’17
Liam Flood ’17
Sam Huslin ’17
Callahan Lennon ’17
The Ted Grabowski Scholar-Athlete Award: Callahan Lennon ’17 and John McCrane ’17
Holy Ghost Prep alum Edmund A. Walsh '95 will deliver the commencement address to the Class of 2017 on Saturday, June 3.
Edmund Walsh ’95 to deliver HGP’s 2017 commencement address
Holy Ghost Prep alum Edmund A. Walsh ’95 will deliver the commencement address to the Class of 2017 on Saturday, June 3.
“We are thrilled that Ed will return home to Holy Ghost Prep to speak at this year’s commencement,” says HGP president Gregory J. Geruson ’79. “He has had a remarkable career—serving on the White House speechwriting staff for former President George W. Bush—and I am certain that Ed will deliver an inspiring message to our graduating seniors.”
Walsh, who credits HGP speech coaches Tony Figliola and Fr. John Sawicki with helping him begin to hone his communications skills as a high schooler, has been a successful writer and communications adviser to senior leaders in business and government for nearly 20 years.
After an early foray into journalism, he joined the speechwriting staff of President George W. Bush, where he wrote on a variety of domestic and foreign policy topics. He later served as head writer on the president’s re-election campaign and as the sole speechwriter to Laura Bush.
In the summer of 2006, Ed worked for the State Department’s Global Outreach team at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. He coordinated media coverage of recovery, reconstruction, and human interest stories in Iraq. His service in the Bush Administration also included stints as the deputy press secretary at the U.S. Department of Education and as chief speechwriter to Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson.
After leaving government, he worked as a speechwriter for the CEO of TIAA-CREF and as director of policy communications for the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. Since 2013, he has been an independent writing and communications consultant, working with companies and foundations in the financial services and education fields.
Following his time at HGP, Walsh attended American University in Washington, D.C. where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science.
Fifteen HGP artists participated in the Memory Project, a national program where high school artists create portraits of orphans from developing countries.
15 students participate in the Memory Project
Fifteen HGP artists participated in the Memory Project during the 2016-2017 school year. This is a national program where high school artists create portraits of orphans from developing countries. The purpose of the program is to provide the children with a special memory of their youth and to honor their heritage and identity. The artists in turn practice kindness,empathy and service to others.
This year, HGP artists created portraits of children from Tanzania. Karen Smallen and her students were especially happy to get the photos of Tanzanian children because of the Holy Ghost Fathers’ presence in that African nation. The drawings took several hours to complete.
This year’s Memory Project artists were Hugh Collins, Graham Gibbs, Pioty Cymbalski, Jake Lawall, Dante DeSanctis, Jack Zhou, Cooper Pandorf, Patrick Oniate, Tom Forkin, Chris Aileo, Own Yake, Bryan Kelleher, Bruce Jiang, Eric Lorenzo and Dean Guiliano.
This was HGP’s seventh year participating in The Memory Project. Each year, Holy Ghost Prep students have the opportunity to make portraits of children from different countries.
“We are proud of the work these HGP artists do and plan to continue participating in this project,” says Smallen.
The portraits will be delivered to the children this summer. To learn more about the Memory Project, visit thememoryproject.org.
Luke Profy and Justin Letizia have been named the valedictorian and salutatorian for Holy Ghost Prep's Class of 2017, respectively.
HGP announces 2017 valedictorian, salutatorian
Luke Profy and Justin Letizia have been named the valedictorian and salutatorian for Holy Ghost Prep’s Class of 2017, respectively.
The graduating senior with the highest GPA in his class, Profy successfully continued his family’s legacy at Holy Ghost Prep. Given his accomplishments and his family ties to HGP, Profy seems perfectly suited to be the valedictorian, a role in which officially bids farewell to the school for the Class of 2017 during the graduation ceremony on June 3.
“My years at Holy Ghost have been a blessing to me and my family. My involvement in student government, campus ministry, Ghost Around the World, and many other clubs and activities has helped shape me into the person that I am today,” said Profy earlier this spring at the President’s Reception. “The friendships and bonds that I have made with classmates and friends will remain a part of who I am forever.
“Most importantly, my time at Holy Ghost Prep has allowed me to be more than just a student leader and more than just an active member of our school. Holy Ghost has challenged me to be the best version of myself. I have been blessed.”
Profy will attend the University of Pittsburgh on a full Stamps Scholarship beginning this fall. In partnership with the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation, the University of Pittsburgh awards the Stamps Scholarship to only a handful of incoming freshmen from Pennsylvania. Profy’s Stamps Scholarship covers full tuition; room and board; an allowance for books and supplies; and an enrichment fund for study abroad, research, unpaid internships, leadership training, or other academic opportunities.
As the salutatorian, Letizia will welcome the entire Holy Ghost Prep community to graduation weekend by giving an address at the Baccalaureate Mass on June 2. To be a candidate for salutatorian, Holy Ghost Prep students must earn distinguished or first honors,be an active member of the graduating class, and then must submit an essay and be voted the salutatorian.
The mature-beyond-his-years Letizia was an excellent selection. Letizia will attend Boston College in the fall, where he is a candidate for admission into the school’s honors program. A member of HGP’s National Honor Society, Letizia was heavily involved during his four years at the school—serving as an Unum leader, playing in the jazz band (he’s played piano for a decade), playing some baseball and now serving as the varsity team manager, and being a member of the Cooking Club, peer ministry, mock trial, and Ghost Around the World.
“Justin Letizia is a remarkable young man,” says Ryan Abramson ’94, director of admissions at Holy Ghost Prep. “A scholar, athlete, and musician, he embodies the HGP mission of celebrating unique gifts and humbly shares these gifts with the community around him.”
Senior Kevin Dineen (pictured) was one of 38 area high school students recognized at the 19th annual Courier-Kiwanis Scholar-Athlete Awards ceremony on May 24 at the Bucks County Visitors Center.
HGP senior Kevin Dineen receives scholar-athlete award
Senior Kevin Dineen, one of the leaders on Holy Ghost Prep’s Bicentennial Athletic League (BAL) championship winning cross-country and track teams this year, was one of 38 area high school students recognized at the 19th annual Courier-Kiwanis Scholar-Athlete Awards ceremony on May 24 at the Bucks County Visitors Center.
One of the top students in the senior class and an All-BAL selection in both cross country (where he helped the Firebirds to the PIAA District 1 Class AA team title last fall in addition to a league crown) and track, Dineen will continue his running career at Fordham University in the fall.
“Kevin has excelled in the classroom and in three sports,” says Holy Ghost Prep athletic director Jim Stewart. “He is a leader in so many ways. We are very proud that Kevin’s living of our school mission has paid off for him.”
The Scholar-Athlete Awards were presented from the Dick Dougherty Scholarship Fund, which happened as a result of a longtime collaboration between the Bucks County Courier Times and the Levittown-Bristol Kiwanis Club. The scholarship fund was established in memory of the late Dick Dougherty, a former sports editor at the Courier Times.
Senior Peyton Birch pitched a three-hitter with 11 strikeouts to lead Holy Ghost Prep to a 5-1 win over Wissahickon in a PIAA District 1 Class 5A baseball playoff game.
Peyton Birch gains redemption in HGP's playoff baseball win
Senior Peyton Birch pitched a three-hitter with 11 strikeouts to lead Holy Ghost Prep to a 5-1 win over Wissahickon in a PIAA District 1 Class 5A first round baseball playoff game. To read a Philadelphia Inquirer story about the game, click here. (photo courtesy of William Thomas Cain/Philadelphia Inquirer staff photographer)
For the 23rd consecutive spring, the Holy Ghost Prep track and field team won the Bicentennial Athletic League (BAL) Outdoor Track & Field Championship.
HGP track and field makes it 23 BAL titles in a row
For the 23rd consecutive year, the Holy Ghost Prep track and field team won the Bicentennial Athletic League (BAL) Outdoor Track and Field Championship, held on May 10-11 at Holy Ghost Prep. The team placed first with 148.5 points to best second-place finisher Dock Mennonite Academy, a mere 25 points behind in 123.5 points.
Holy Ghost’s seniors led the way for the team, scoring over 70% of the championship points for the Firebirds. Many athletes sacrificed personal glory to help the team keep the streak of consecutive team championships alive.
Holy Ghost Prep had only three individual BAL champions: Callahan Lennon ’17 in the 3200-meter run (10:10.32), Samuel Huslin ’17 in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles (40.71), and Tony Carbino ’19 in the 800-meter run (2:03.62). The other top scorers in double digits for the team were Sean Lawall ’17, Kevin Dineen ’17, Sean Dixon ’17, and Liam Flood ’17.
Other key scorers included Daniel Pawluczyk ’17, Paul Horgan ’17, Jarrett Zelinsky ’19, John Gasiewski ’19, Adam Lawall ’19, Mark Featherstone’ 17, and Ryan Lucas ’18. Rounding out the scorers for the Firebirds were Matthew Ginnetti ’20, Kevin Trusdell ’18, Andrew Beck ’19, Jarrod Padilla ’18, and Alexander Borda ’20.
Holy Ghost Prep's annual spring mission trip to West Virginia allowed 16 HGP students the opportunity to practice Spiritan principles and serve people in need.
HGP’s mission trip to West Virginia is a rousing success
Holy Ghost Prep sponsored its 24th annual mission trip to West Virginia on April 11-15. Sixteen juniors and seniors were joined by two teachers—John Fitzpatrick and Bob Vierlinck— and two dads (Mr. Klein and Mr. Kelleher) on the excursion to Hampden, West Virginia.
The HGP contingent split into two groups to tackle two large projects. The one group was charged with building a front porch and ramp and a new back porch for a married couple who both have special needs. Previously, they had no exit from the front of their home. The second group was tasked with building a deck and 28-foot ramp for a family caring for their elderly mother with congestive heart failure. The deck and ramp were needed to get her safely in and out of the house and into a waiting ambulance, if necessary.
Three glorious days of sunshine and warm temperatures helped the HGP team accomplish their tasks before departing for home. Aside from learning a bit about missionary life (missing comforts of home, adapting to a new place, etc.), the students also were able to gain insights into some key Spiritan principles, namely a willingness to go places where the church has difficulty finding workers, the importance of developing a global vision, and the baptismal call to provide generous service to the poor.
The 16 HGP students who experienced the 2017 West Virginia mission trip were: Teddy Barbe, Joe Carrado, Nick Chimbos, Dale Glova, Bryan Kelleher, Nick Klein, Alex Kuhn, John Martin, Patrick Oniate, Dan Pawluczyk, Andrew Phillips, Domenic Principato, Dave Robbins, Tom Seffrin, Sean Terry, and Tom Wolfe.
HGP's lacrosse team improved to 11-6 in 2017 after defeating Neshaminy (on Senior Day for Jimmy Brook, Conor Sablich, and Nick Aregnano) and then Archbishop Wood.
Exciting times for HGP lacrosse team
On May 8, the Holy Ghost Prep lacrosse coaches and players celebrated Jimmy Brook, Conor Sablich, and Nick Aregnano on Senior Night vs. Neshaminy. Inspired to give maximum effort for their seniors, the Firebirds came out flying and won the game, 16-7.
Sophomore goalie Zach May had 15 saves and four groundballs to lead the defense. Sam Summer scooped up eight groundballs. Zach Nangle scored two goals and four assists, while Dan Kovacevich added two goals to pace the attack. Phil Rueter spearheaded the midfield with three goals. His brother Matt dominated the faceoff X, winning nine of 16 faceoffs and scoring a goal. Conor Sablich added a goal as well. Freshmen Ben Morschauser was a jack of all trades—winning five of seven faceoffs, scooping five groundballs while notching three goals and assisting on another.
The following day, the team took on Archbishop Wood. The team had a slow start, trailing 2-1 at half. But the team stormed back and won, 10-5. The triumph improves Holy Ghost Prep’s record to 11-6 in 2017, a vast improvement over last year’s one-win season.
Zach May continued his strong play in the cage with 12 saves and was excellent in the clearing game vs. Wood. Zach Nangle had one goal and one assist. George Rusnak had a huge game with two goals and three assists. Dan Kovacevich had two goals vs. Archbishop Wood, giving him a team-best 37 goals this season. Owen Yake and Phil Rueter chipped in two goals each to lead the midfield. The defense was led by strong play with Nick Appolonia locking down the Wood attack. Matt Rueter continued to control the faceoff area, winning nine of 13 faceoffs and adding in two assists.
HGP students Jack Pinkstone, Brendan Mindiak, Cooper Pandorf, Tom Horgan, Paul Horgan, and Trevor Zuech '17 (not pictured) recently earned the rank of Eagle Scout.
Six Holy Ghost Prep students become Eagle Scouts
Six current Holy Ghost Prep students—Jack Pinkstone ’19, Brendan Mindiak ’18, Cooper Pandorf ’17, Tom Horgan ’17, Paul Horgan ’17 and Trevor Zuech ’17—recently earned the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank anyone can receive in the Boys Scouts of America.
In order to attain Eagle Scout status, these young men had to complete 22 or more merit badges, including those on citizenship, emergency preparedness, personal fitness, first aid, personal management, cooking, and family life. In addition, the six HGP students had to design, plan, and execute a significant Eagle service project in the community as well as fulfill leadership positions in their troop.
An Eagle project is the opportunity for a Boy Scout to demonstrate leadership of others while performing a project for the benefit of his community. This is the culmination of the Eagle Scout candidate’s leadership training, and it requires a significant effort on his part.
“Holy Ghost Prep is fortunate to have many Boys Scouts among its student body,” says John Fitzpatrick ’89, the chair of HGP’s religion department. “Congratulations to Jack, Brendan, Cooper, Tom, Paul, and Trevor on earning their Eagle Scout rank this year. We’re really proud of them.”
All told, 10 current Holy Ghost Prep students have become Eagle Scouts over the course of the 2016-17 academic year. Earlier in this school year, four Holy Ghost Prep students—Alex Kobilnyk ’19, Hugh Collins ’17, Garrison Moore ’17, and Walter Marcinkowski ’17—earned the rank of Eagle Scout.
HGP students Will Abbamont '17 and Tony Carbino '19 were given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend the 2017 NFL draft as student reporters.
Two HGP students enjoy inside access to the 2017 NFL draft
On Friday, April 28, Will Abbamont ’17 and Tony Carbino ’19 were given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend the 2017 NFL draft as student reporters.
Abbamont and Carbino were invited to the draft through the NFL’s Youth Strategy Coordination program, an initiative that allowed about 20 other student reporters from Philadelphia area schools to witness the 82nd annual NFL draft.
As part of the program, Abbamont and Carbino were given a private tour of the NFL media pavilion, the NFL draft red carpet, and the draft pick stage. During the tour, the two reporters were lucky enough to meet NFL legends Thurman Thomas, Anthony Muñoz, Robert Mathis, Tony Boselli, John Randle, Mike Alstott, and Joe Klecko. In addition, Abbamont and Carbino had the opportunity to interview Klecko, a member of the infamous “New York Sack Exchange” front four.
“It was really cool to meet and interview NFL legend Joe Klecko,” says Carbino. “As an avid New York Giants fan in Philadelphia, it was neat to see some New York players represented at the draft. Thanks to Mr. Goulet and the NFL Youth program, I was given a once-in-a-lifetime experience!”
After the tour and interview experience, Abbamont and Carbino were allowed to watch the draft picks and visit the many sponsor booths that dotted the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
For these HGP students, that sunny Friday in late April will never be forgotten.
The Holy Ghost Prep Spring Auction, which benefits HGP students and teachers, will take place on Saturday, May 6. Among the live auction items is an authentic Italian dinner prepared for you by HGP president Gregory J. Geruson '79.
Tickets still available for HGP's Spring Auction on Saturday, May 6
The Holy Ghost Prep Spring Auction will take place on Saturday, May 6.
All proceeds from the Spring Auction benefit HGP students and faculty, the school’s academic programming and extracurricular activities at Holy Ghost Prep.
Some of the highlights of the Spring Auction include mobile bidding; a tuition raffle (full tuition for 2017-18 school year or $10,000 in cash; $100 per ticket or $200 for 3 tickets); catering by Carlucci’s; cool HGP items; and a wide array of great silent auction items.
In addition, there is a live auction with must-have items such as:
- Authentic Italian dinner prepared by Chef Greg Geruson ’79 (pictured below, photo by Catalano Studio): Due to popular demand last year, two dinners were auctioned off. Don’t miss the opportunity to have HGP’s world-class chef prepare an Italian dinner for eight people in your home.
- Unforgettable vacation to St. Maarten: One-week stay at the Oyster Bay Beach Resort.
- Golf at the Union League: Foursome and complimentary lunch at MacAlester's Dining Room.
To order tickets for this Saturday’s event, click here.
On May 1, Holy Ghost Prep's admissions director Ryan Abramson and HGP student-athletes Peyton Birch (pictured), Kevin Dineen and Alex Finney joined radio host Rich Henkels for the taping of the High School Sports Show.
Three HGP students appear on area high school sports radio show
On Monday, May 1, Holy Ghost Prep's director of admissions Ryan Abramson and HGP student-athletes Peyton Birch (baseball), Kevin Dineen (cross country/track and field) and Ryan Finney (soccer, track) joined Rich Henkels at the Green Parrot in Newtown for the taping of the High School Sports Show’s discussion on the importance of having a routine to ensure success in the classroom and on the field.
Part of a series of programming that tapes weekly on Monday nights from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., the High School Sports Show, now on News Talk 990 AM, is a program that is dedicated to discussing all aspects of high school sports. The episode recorded at Green Parrot on May 1 will air from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 6.
With topics ranging from parental roles to proper nutrition to what it takes to have a future in athletics, the High School Sports Show is a valuable resource for high school athletes and parents alike. The May 1st taping took place live at the Green Parrot (240 N. Sycamore Street, Newtown, PA 18940).
This show marks the second time this spring that an HGP contingent has appeared on the High School Sports Show. Back on April 3, Holy Ghost Prep JV basketball coach and the school's lifting coach Jack Crouse and HGP student-athletes Kyle Cartin (rowing and basketball), Jack Smiley (ice hockey) and Conlan McHugh (track and field) took part in the High School Sports Show’s discussion on the importance of proper nutrition to fuel athletic performance. That show aired on April 8.
Marie Bliss' remarkable career at Holy Ghost Prep will come to a close this spring as she has decided to retire.
Marie Bliss will retire after 46 years of teaching at HGP
Marie Bliss’ incredible 46-year tenure as a Holy Ghost Prep science teacher ironically began with her turning down the job.
At the time, she was still a college student at what was then-Holy Family College. It was December and HGP's Father Hanley was in a bind. The school needed a biology teacher as soon as possible, but Bliss’ initial answer was “no.”
“I just had too much on my plate …. I was the editor of the newspaper, I was studying for my comprehensives, teaching Sunday school, doing research for du Pont, and carrying a full load of classes,” Bliss recalls. “So I said no.
“But Sister Florence, my academic dean at Holy Family, just kept asking and asking. I’ll never forget her words: ‘I want you to do me a favor and just take this on as a life experience.’”
Bliss begrudgingly took the job. She thought she’d do it for the rest of the school year, take her MCATs, and then head off to medical school.
But her life plan took an unexpected U-turn as she realized that education, not medicine was her life’s true calling.
“I realized two or three years into my time here that this was my vocation and that Holy Ghost Prep was the place that I was meant to be,” Bliss said. “And it’s been a fabulous experience. Each and every student I’ve had during my years at Holy Ghost has had an impact on my life; they’ve taught me so much.”
And Bliss has certainly made her mark on Holy Ghost Prep.
Her terrific career at Holy Ghost Prep will come to a close at the end of the 2016-17 academic year as Bliss has decided to retire.
“Over the course of her remarkable 46 years at Holy Ghost, countless future doctors, researchers, and science teachers were welcomed into Marie’s ‘habitat’ in Cornwells Hall and their passion for science was ignited. I had the pleasure of being taught by Marie, as did Father Jeff Duaime and many members of our faculty and our Board of Trustees,” says Holy Ghost Prep president Gregory J. Geruson’79.
“In addition to her impact on her students, Marie was a trailblazer here at Holy Ghost Prep as the school’s first full-time female lay teacher. Holy Ghost Prep became her second home, a place where she helped an endless sea of high school students learn to navigate not only through biology, chemistry, anatomy/physiology, and forensics science, but through life.”
Stephen Stunder ’98, an alum who returned as the school’s director of counseling, isn’t sure that Bliss even realizes the impact she has had at Holy Ghost Prep.
“There are no real words that can describe what Marie Bliss has meant to the students of Holy Ghost Prep for nearly half a century,” says Stunder. “She is a pillar of this institution, and to me personally, someone who always believed in me—as a student, as a colleague, and most importantly, as a person. I do not know a Holy Ghost Prep that exists without Marie.”
Tony Rocco ’95, like Stunder, is one of thousands of HGP students positively impacted by Bliss.
“Mrs. Bliss’ classes helped me build a foundation for science studies. I also fondly recall ‘life’ conversations with Mrs. Bliss, both as a teenage freshman as well as a young man preparing to enter college. It was not just Mrs. Bliss’ passion for science, but her interest in imparting knowledge, that was special,” says Rocco. “Mrs. Bliss knew how to challenge her students while having a reasonable approach with them. Through discussions with her, I learned that beyond the classroom Mrs. Bliss really valued family and cherished the time with them.
“As a person who sought to have a profession for which to be passionate, achieving the goal of working in the field of Environmental Health and Safety as an industrial hygienist was (and is) something that I value greatly. It is the joy, though, that I receive everyday through my wonderful wife and children that I value most. I feel Mrs. Bliss not only had an influence on me for a science-based profession, but also had a hand in me developing a reasonable personality and a balanced approach towards life.”
After she retires, Bliss will spend more time with her husband Greg and her sons James and Thomas McGoldrick, both HGP alums. She will also continue to help hundreds of animals get adopted in the Bensalem, Yardley and Philadelphia area through her “Four the Paws” organization. In addition, she will pursue her goal of becoming involved with the Red Paw Emergency Relief team, an arm of the Red Cross that cares for animals displaced in disasters and tries to reinite them with their families or find new homes for them.
Nine HGP senior student-athletes will continue their academic and athletic careers at East Coast colleges and universities in the fall.
Nine HGP student-athletes see college dreams come true
With family members, coaches, teachers, and the entire student body sitting in the bleachers cheering them on at the annual senior college commitment assembly in the Firebird Fieldhouse on April 27, Holy Ghost Prep athletic director Jim Stewart proudly announced where nine HGP student-athletes formally will continue their academic and athletic careers in the fall.
The nine members of the Class of 2017 who have committed to play sports at college and universities (in alphabetical order) are:
- Kevin Dineen, Fordham University (cross country/track and field)
- Zach Geiser, La Salle University (rowing)
- Samuel Huslin, Bucknell University (track and field)
- Jack LaRosa, Chestnut Hill College (golf)
- Callahan Lennon, Temple University (cross country/track and field)
- Walter Marcinkowski, Marywood University (swimming)
- John McCrane, University of the Sciences (baseball)
- Bobby McLoughlin, University of Scranton (swimming)
- Conor Sablich, Moravian College (lacrosse)
“This is a great day for these nine student-athletes, their families, and everyone here at Holy Ghost Prep,” said Stewart. “These young men have represented Holy Ghost Prep with class, and I look forward to their continued success at the collegiate level.
“It takes a tremendous amount of perseverance and hard work to hone your skills enough to become a college athlete. I can honestly say that I am as proud of who these young men are as I am of their achievements.”
Jimmy Dillon '96, who starred at Holy Ghost Prep and then the University of Notre Dame, has been named Nazareth Academy's new basketball coach.
Jimmy Dillon ’96 named Nazareth Academy basketball coach
Jimmy Dillon ’96, who starred at Holy Ghost Prep and then the University of Notre Dame, has been named Nazareth Academy’s new basketball coach.
The 38-year-old Dillon averaged 16.8 points and 4.6 assists while sparking Holy Ghost to a 28-3 record and the Class 3A state semifinals in 1996. He is a member of the Holy Ghost Prep Athletic Hall of Fame.
Following a terrific high school career at Holy Ghost, Dillon enjoyed a stellar four-year career at Notre Dame—culminating with his senior season when he led Notre Dame to a 22-15 record and the National Invitational Tournament championship game in 2000.
Following his graduation from Notre Dame, Dillon played professional basketball in Finland.
He currently runs the Hoops 24-7 Basketball Academy with partner Frank Pellegrino and resides in Philadelphia with his wife and daughters.
On April 11th, Holy Ghost Prep held a ceremony that served as both the groundbreaking for The Holt Center as well as the official naming of the building's theater as the Frank Frederico Performing Arts Theater. (photo by Catalano Studio)
Groundbreaking ceremony marks beginning of The Holt Center project
On a sun-soaked April 11th morning, Holy Ghost Prep celebrated a landmark day in its 220-year history with a ceremony that served as both the groundbreaking for The Holt Center as well as the official naming of the building’s theater as the Frank Frederico Performing Arts Theater.
The ceremony, which took place at the future home of The Holt Center, was a true community event attended by the entire student body, HGP faculty, staff and administrators, members of the Holt family, Dominic Frederico ’00P, some local politicians, and members of the Holy Ghost Board of Trustees.
After a stirring rendition of the national anthem by Charles Lawall ’17 and a beautiful invocation by Rev. Christopher McDermott, C.S.S, Tony Geonnotti ’76, the chairman of the school’s Board of Trustees, officially welcomed the gathered guests to the groundbreaking ceremony.
Gregory J. Geruson ’79 then spoke to the crowd.
“Today, we start a new chapter for Holy Ghost Prep by breaking ground on what will be an incomparable building, The Holt Center,” Geruson said. “Once completed, The Holt Center will allow our students to hone their unique gifts in a collegiate caliber facility.”
The Holt Center will include the newly named Frank Frederico Performing Arts Theater as well as a multi-purpose gymnasium, music instruction rooms, and special training areas for baseball, track and field, golf, lacrosse, and rowing.
At the heart of Geruson’s remarks was heartfelt recognition of the generosity of two HGP families—the Holts and the Fredericos.
“The Holts have a deep and abiding love for Holy Ghost, its students, its faculty, and the values that the school instilled in them,” Geruson said. “Thanks to the Holt Family generosity, we are starting a new chapter in the history of Holy Ghost Prep, one that will propel our already great school to even greater heights.”
Thomas Holt, Jr. ’81 explained that the family’s naming gift for The Holt Center, the largest single gift in the school’s history, was simply a gesture to ensure that future HGP students have access to the same great education that 10 members of his family have enjoyed.
“What we learned here has shaped our lives every day since: Holy Ghost not only provided an outstanding education, it also challenged us to understand our place in the world and the expectations that would come from the advantages we enjoyed here,” Holt said. “We learned that because we had the benefit of a Holy Ghost education, we have an obligation to give back so that other young men might have the same opportunity. In the end, that’s what today’s groundbreaking is all about for us.
“Finally, I want to close by paying tribute once again to the man whose example I try to follow every day: my dad, Tom Holt Sr. It was his idea that we attend school here because he understood the value of a high quality Catholic education. And I know that he would have loved the chance to give back to Holy Ghost.”
Like the Holts, Dominic Frederico, a 1970 graduate of Monsignor Bonner and the father of HGP alum Frank Frederico ’00, has been a longtime supporter of Catholic education in the Philadelphia area and has been extremely generous to Holy Ghost Prep—giving of his time, talent and treasure to the school.
“Dominic, along with his wife Michele and his family, have clearly been dedicated to supporting HGP,” said Geruson. “Dominic previously created the Frank Frederico Student Investment Fund, to enable select Holy Ghost students to invest and manage real dollars in the stock market. To the best of our knowledge, there is only one other secondary school in the country that has a similar fund.
“Today, Dominic, along with his wife Michele, have given a $250,000 gift that will allow us to take our already strong performing arts program to reach even greater heights—and for this we are deeply grateful. Imagine a theater that will host musicals and dramatic plays. A space for lecture series, assemblies; to feature HGP music concerts; a theater with state of the art acoustics, lighting, and sound; where the entire performing arts program can grow and develop.”
Like the Holts, Dominic Frederico viewed his gift to name the theater in his son’s honor as a pay-it-forward gift, so that future students could enjoy the same first-rate Catholic education he received at Bonner and that his son Frank benefitted from at Holy Ghost Prep.
“I realize the importance of a Catholic education and the strong moral compass that it helps you set,” said Frederico. “I can’t tell you how many times in my life that I’ve faced very different challenges and very different opportunities, and I really believe that my Catholic education allowed me to make the right choices every step of the way.”
Following Frederico’s remarks, groups of dignitaries were happy to don hard hats and ceremoniously turn over the dirt to celebrate the start of construction.
In 2018, the group will reconvene at the same site for a different type of celebration, a ribbon cutting ceremony when the new Holt Center opens for business.
Edna Ramirez wrote "The Rabbit on the Moon," a children's book, years ago. Her husband had it secretly illustrated (by Philadelphia artist Zack Bird, pictured here with Raimirez) and published as a birthday present.
Authoring a surprise ending
When her husband David Johnston arranged a surprise 50th birthday party for her in late January, Holy Ghost Prep teacher Edna Ramirez thought the party itself was her main present.
But Johnston had a bigger surprise up his sleeve.
For over a year, Johnston had worked to get “The Rabbit on the Moon,” a children’s book that Dr. Ramirez had written in Spanish and English years ago, secretly illustrated and published.
Johnston hired family friend Zack Bird, a Philadelphia-based artist, to illustrate the book and then had the book self-published by Amazon. After many twists and turns, the book was published in mid-January and arrived four days before Ramirez’s birthday. With family and friends, including Bird, gathered together for the surprise party, Johnston floored Ramirez a bit when he presented her with a published copy of her book.
“It was a dream come true,” says Ramirez, who is completing her fourth year as a Spanish teacher at Holy Ghost Prep.
In a word, Johnston describes her reaction to the gesture as “priceless.”
“I think this will keep me out of trouble for a least a year, maybe a little more,” Johnston quipped. “The presentation was done at a surprise party I had arranged for her, so the surprise was really double. Only a handful of people at the party knew about the project because we were worried that someone would spill the beans. She was very surprised all around. I think she is still a little puzzled as to how we pulled it off, but very happy we did.”
Ramirez, who had originally learned “The Rabbit on the Moon” story as a child growing up in Mexico, wrote her adaptation of the ancient Aztec tale in Spanish while she was staying home with the couple’s two then-young children: Manya Johnston-Ramirez, now a senior at Gwynedd Mercy Academy who will attend the University of Pennsylvania next fall, and Albert Johnston-Ramirez, a sophomore at Holy Ghost Prep.
Dr. Ramirez realized that the story would reach even more children if she wrote it in English as well, so she translated the story, took classes about writing children’s books, joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, attended conferences, and worked for three-to-five years to get the story perfectly polished in both languages before approaching several publishing companies.
“I tried to send it to some different publishing companies that had published bilingual books,” Ramirez recalls. “But it was at a time when digital publishing had just taken off, so the big publishing companies weren’t publishing as many books—particularly children picture’s books because they are expensive to illustrate and produce.”
Although the publishing of the book encountered a temporary dead end, Ramirez kept the story alive by reading it to her pre-school though fourth grade students at Ancillae-Assumpta Academy, where she taught prior to Holy Ghost Prep. And you guessed it; the children loved the story—just as Ramirez had as a child in Mexico.
So she approached Bird about possibly illustrating the book five or six years ago. Bird did a few very rough pencil sketches, but Bird makes his living as an artist, had never done a children’s book before, and frankly was pressed for time.
“Zack loved the idea, but he really didn’t have time to embark on the project,” said Ramirez. “So the book went into a drawer for a while.”
But then Johnston decided to author a surprise happy ending to this story. He started discussing the project with Bird again during the summer of 2015 and the illustrator started working on the project, between other jobs, in November 2015.
“From start to finish the project took well over a year. Keeping it a secret was easy at first, but as communications became frequent, it became really difficult. Zack and I communicated in person, emails, text messages, and by phone to discuss what we got wrong and refining what we got right,” said Johnston. “This was her story and so many times we really wanted to ask her opinion on this or that. I almost slipped and asked her something dozens of times. The closer we were to completion, the worse it became. One time, Zack sent me a text about meeting and she read it! I fortunately made up a good excuse and no suspicions were raised.”
The first proof of the book printed last November, but the illustrations came out too dark, so Bird and Johnston made revisions and the final version arrived just in time to surprise Ramirez.
“The amount of work that both of them did, without me knowing, was incredible,” says Ramirez. “Zack’s illustrations are gorgeous. And David really went above and beyond. For instance, when my parents were here for Christmas, David showed the final version to my parents to ensure that there were no grammatical errors in the Spanish text, and to make sure they liked the illustrations.
“My parents loved the book and the illustrations. My dad was amazed that an artist in Pennsylvania was able to capture the Mexican spirit of the illustrations, and that David went to all of this effort to give me the best 50th birthday present I could ever imagine.”
To learn more about the book or to order a copy on Amazon, click here.
Holy Ghost Prep head coach Tony Chapman '71 was honored at the inaugural Coaches vs. Cancer High School Legends Dinner April 5 at the Great American Pub in Conshohocken.
Tony Chapman ’71 honored at Coaches vs. Cancer Legends Dinner
Holy Ghost Prep head coach Tony Chapman ’71 was honored at the inaugural Coaches vs. Cancer High School Legends Dinner April 5 at the Great American Pub in Conshohocken.
Chapman, who enjoys being in the spotlight approximately as much as Holy Ghost Prep turnovers, was one of five legendary high school coaches honored that night—the others being Steve Chadwin (Abington Friends), Jim Fenerty (Germantown Academy), William “Speedy” Morris (St. Joseph’s Prep) and the retired Dan Dougherty, who coached for over 35 years between Malvern Prep and Episcopal Academy.
The quintet has won a mind-boggling 3,676 games and 68 titles in their respective leagues and districts combined.
Chapman’s squads have won over 828 games, 20 Bicentennial Athletic League (BAL) titles, seven District One titles, and two Eastern State titles over the past 39 years. Chapman is a legend at Holy Ghost as evidenced by the fact that he coaches in a court that bears his name.
Each honoree was introduced by someone close to him—in Chapman’s case, his wife Jane impeccably did the honors—and then he humbly accepted the well-deserved accolade.
“I am fully aware that my success is the result of the support I receive from many of the people here tonight sharing this celebration with me,” Chapman told the assembled guests.
“As any coach knows, games and practices are only part of the commitment. Scouting, film reviews and practice planning take up hours of time. My family not only accepts this commitment, but shares and supports this journey with my through their love and support. There is no bigger cheerleader for me, my family or my basketball players than my wife Jane. Whether it is cheering on the sidelines, taking care of everything during the season or reminding me to remain grounded when the emotion of the season begins to build, my wife Jane is the is the foundation of my success.”
The event, hosted by ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi, was attended by five tables full of Holy Ghost guests, including family, friends, classmates, HGP assistant coaches both past and present, and a number of Chapman’s former players. It also attracted a who’s who of local hoops coaches, including Temple’s Fran Dunphy (who introduced Dougherty), Saint Joseph’s Phil Martelli, La Salle’s John’s Giannini, and Philadelphia University’s Herb Magee.
“I have been blessed with committed and hard-working players that saw basketball as more than just a path to college or their names in the newspaper,” said Chapman. “They accepted our style of play; our commitment to defense; our demands that good character is as important as the number of points you score. Along the way we celebrated some amazing nights together … and we supported each other when the season ended before we were ready.
“What is consistent throughout my coaching career is the spirit that is unique to Holy Ghost Prep, a school where the sharing of your gifts to make others better is always valued higher than your own achievements. It is a place where the leading scorer and the team manager have lunch together, a place with the Division One recruit shoots fouls with the last guy on the bench, a place where fans cheer just as loud when the team is up big as they do when the seniors walk off the court on the last game.”
Robert McDonough '13 has been awarded a Fulbright scholarship and will spend the next academic year studying in Austria.
HGP alum Robert McDonough awarded a Fulbright scholarship
La Salle University senior Robert McDonough ’13 was home on spring break in mid-March when the life-changing email from the Fulbright Scholars program arrived in his inbox.
“I think I told my mom that it would just be better if she sat down and read the email herself than for me to try to tell her,” McDonough recalls.
McDonough has been selected for the highly competitive Fulbright Scholars program and will leave in October for Austria, where he will stay until June of 2018. While there, McDonough, who is earning a degree in economics with minors in mathematics and German this spring, will spend the next academic year studying the relationship between Austrian translator Nora Wydenbruck and famous 20th century Austrian poet Christine Lavant at the Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt in southern Austria.
A former HGP forensics standout who was a 2013 state champion and a fourth-place finisher at the 2013 CFL National tournament in extemporaneous speaking, McDonough credits Holy Ghost Prep with laying the groundwork that ultimately resulted in him being named a Fulbright scholar.
“Holy Ghost was a true college prep school. I entered my freshman year at La Salle with some idea that I wanted to study economics, but only because I’d taken a phenomenal AP Economics course as a junior at Holy Ghost,” says McDonough. “But for Holy Ghost, I may never have found my calling. More directly related to the Fulbright, and I’m not overstating this: I would not have earned this Fulbright without the foundation I built at Holy Ghost.”
McDonough’s research project is “An Analysis of Translator and Author: Lessons from Wydenbruck and Lavant.” Wydenbruck translated a handful of Lavant’s short stories and fiction, and the two maintained a unique relationship and friendship. One of Lavant’s works which was thought to be lost was later published in 2001, after the original German manuscript was discovered in Wydenbruck’s literary estate.
The Fulbright award also includes a teaching component, so McDonough will also be an English teaching assistant in a secondary school in Klagenfurt.
“I'll be in the classroom for around 15 hours a week teaching English to native Austrians,” McDonough says.
Following his time as a Fulbright student, McDonough hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in economics. He has already been accepted into the programs at the University of Oregon and SUNY Buffalo.
“The work that I did in and out of class at Holy Ghost gave me the foundation I needed to take advantage of every opportunity that La Salle had to offer. I learned to think critically and express myself effectively at Holy Ghost,” says McDonough. “Also, without the teachers and mentors that I found at Ghost, I would never have developed the mental strength to pursue something like a Fulbright.
“If I had to boil it down to one sentence: The community at Holy Ghost not only started me on this path, they gave me the tools to reach the end.”