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Twelve members of HGP's Class of 2018, including these eight guys pictured, will continue their academic and athletic careers this fall.

12 HGP Class of 2018 grads will play college sports

Twelve members of the Class of 2018 have committed to continue their academic and athletic careers in the fall.

“We are so proud of the successes these young men had at Holy Ghost Prep, and we look forward to continuing to watch and cheer for them as they play at the next level,” said Jim Stewart, Holy Ghost Prep’s athletic director.

The 12 HGP Class of 2018 members, in alphabetical order, who will play collegiate sports are:

Grayson Bautz (rowing), College of the Holy Cross

Brendan Eagen (soccer), Catholic University

Connor Fife (soccer), Gettysburg College

Mark Jonathan Pabalon (tennis), Stevens Tech

Matt Rueter (lacrosse), NJIT

Phil Rueter (lacrosse), Elizabethtown College

George Rusnak (lacrosse), Siena College

Brett Sternberg (baseball), Rutgers University

Mark Seibert (baseball), Gettysburg College

Luke Verga (baseball), Ursinus College

Zach Vittorelli (baseball), DeSales University

Owen Yake (lacrosse), Elizabethtown College

“These students demonstrated hard work and dedication inside and outside of the classroom,” said AnnMarie Dougherty, HGP’s director of college guidance. “They will be wonderful ambassadors for Holy Ghost Prep.”

 

 

  

 

Holy Ghost Prep's storied speech and debate program recently performed well on a pair of national stages. Brian Gabriele '18 (pictured) received special recognition as a four-time qualifier for NSDA Nationals.

HGP speech and debate team performs well on national stage

Holy Ghost Prep’s storied speech and debate program recently performed well on a pair of national stages—the National Catholic Forensics League’s Grand National Tournament in Washington, D.C. over Memorial Day Weekend and the 2018 National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) National Tournament in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, from June 16-23.

At the Grand National Tournament in D.C., Justin Gabriele ’21 and Colton El-Habr ’20 both finished as semifinalists—reaching the top 24 in the categories of declamation and extemporaneous speaking, respectively. In addition, Shane McHugh ’18, who will attend Loyola (Md.) University in the fall, advanced to the semifinals in the Student Congress competition.

Holy Ghost Prep was also well represented at the recently-completed NSDA National Tournament in Florida as Brian Gabriele ’18. Shane McHugh ’18, Colin Landers ’18, and Luke Muller ’18 all competed.

Gabriele, a National Merit finalist who will attend Johns Hopkins University this fall, received special recognition as a four-time qualifier for NSDA Nationals. In order to qualify for nationals in each of his four years at Holy Ghost Prep, Gabriele had to capture on of the top two spots in the Valley Forge district in his discipline—which is no small feat.

The four graduating seniors—Gabriele, McHugh, along with the two-time state championship-winning duo interpretation team of Landers and Muller—all ended their stellar careers together at NSDA Nationals and have left an indelible mark on HGP’s forensics program.

 

Six former Holy Ghost Prep student-athletes will be inducted into the HGP Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, January 26. (Photo from the 2018 induction ceremony is courtesy of Catalano Studio)

HGP announces 2019 Athletic Hall of Fame inductees

Six former Holy Ghost Prep student-athletes will be inducted into the HGP Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, January 26. 

The six former standouts that comprise the newest HGP Athletic Hall of Fame induction class are:

David D’Aulerio ’86 (soccer)

Dan Harmon ’86 (soccer)

Greg Winther ’02 (soccer)

Michael Ivcic ’03 (ice hockey)

Jamie Cousart ’04 (basketball)

Christian Lupica ’11 (track and field)

In addition, HGP’s 1974 PIAA state championship basketball squad will be honored as a “Team of Distinction.”

More information on the Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony will be released in the coming months, but please save the date.   

A group of 10 Holy Ghost Prep rising seniors recently traveled to New York City and met with Wall Street executives as part of their summer finance course.

Investing their time wisely

A group of 10 Holy Ghost Prep rising seniors recently traveled to New York City and met with Wall Street executives as part of their summer finance course.

The course, taught by Tom Murtaugh, combines in-class lectures and class trips, the latter of which allows Holy Ghost students the opportunity to learn high finance from experts in the field.

The 10 Holy Ghost students enrolled in Murtaugh’s summer finance class are Mario Calderon, William Chapin, Alexander D'Angelo, Brendan Gibbons, Nkosi Graham, Reagan McKissick, Patrick Monaghan, Kevin Morrison, Jack Rittenmeyer, and Christopher Thompson.

The summer finance course assists senior economics students in learning the skills necessary to manage the Frank Frederico ’00 Student Investment Fund. Dominic Frederico, the CEO of Assured Guaranty, donated $25,000 to establish the Frank Frederico ’00 Student Investment Fund, a fund which the students in this finance course and other AP Economics students manage as fiduciaries. This is the third year that the course is running, and the Class of 2018 was able to earn the Frederico Investment Fund a 9% return on investment in the past seven months.

The Class of 2019 students recently took a three-day visit in New York City, meeting with financial experts and HGP alumni. Students enjoyed lunch with Dominic Frederico, the man who started the Frank Frederico ’00 Student Investment Fund. Students also met with Andrew Romano ’99 a financial advisor at Strategies for Wealth. In addition, the students toured the Morgan Library and Museum established by the world’s most famous financier, J.P. Morgan. The students received a campus tour and met personally with Michael Dahlgren '10, a Fordham admissions counselor and one of Murtaugh’s former students. The HGP students also met with James DeLuca ’11, founder of the start-up company Inkwiry, a personal financial planning tool.

Students were provided with a guided tour of Lower Manhattan’s financial district and were treated to the gold vault tour at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where more gold is kept in one place than any other place on Earth. Students also had time to take in Shakespeare in the Park’s performance of Othello

The summer finance students will be meeting with two other financial experts in the Philadelphia area in July.

“Meeting with Mr. Frederico is always students highlight of our New York visit,” says Murtaugh. “He always has a positive message for the students so they can achieve a meaningful and successful life.”

 

  

Eight Holy Ghost Prep students traveled to Atlanta, Georgia this past weekend to compete in the 2018 Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science (TEAMS) national competition.

Eight HGP students compete in national engineering competition

A group of eight Holy Ghost Prep students traveled to Atlanta, Georgia this past weekend to compete in the 2018 Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science (TEAMS) national competition. TEAMS is a competition for high school students designed to help them discover their potential for engineering.

Daniel Behr, Louie DeLuna, Colton El-Habr, Henry Fina, Matthew McGrath, Charles Mshomba, Krishna Mysore, and Matthew Watanabe qualified for the TEAMS’ national competition by placing second in the state of Pennsylvania in the 9th/10th grade division.

The national competition consisted of a digital media challenge, a problem solving competition, and a prepared presentation—all related to “Engineering a Greener World,” the theme of this year’s competition.

The students were accompanied to TEAMS’ national competition in Atlanta by two members of Holy Ghost’s Prep’s science department, Dr. Stephen Tomshaw and Amanda Coopersmith.

 

HGP's Class of 2018 is an accomplished group of 117 students who will continue their academic careers at 56 different colleges and universities in 18 different states. (Photo courtesy of Donald Otto/Catalano Studio)

Holy Ghost Prep’s Class of 2018: Where they are headed in the fall

Holy Ghost Prep presented diplomas to its 117 newest graduates on Saturday, June 2. The Class of 2018 is a group of spirited, unique and talented individuals who have excelled in the classroom, on the stage, in laboratories, in community service efforts and on the playing fields.

The Class of 2018’s collective talents didn’t go unnoticed as they submitted 754 college applications and received $18,219,250 in scholarships, an average of $155,720 per student. HGP’s Class of 2018 is an accomplished group of 117 students who will continue their academic careers at 56 different colleges and universities in 18 different states.

“The wonderful array of college admissions offers that Holy Ghost’s Class of 2018 received is a reflection of the students’ many talents in and out of the classroom,” says AnnMarie Dougherty, Holy Ghost Prep’s Director of College Guidance. “As the world of college admissions becomes more competitive every year, it is a source of pride that colleges recognize Holy Ghost’s excellent academic preparation and the significant contributions that our graduates are poised to make to their college communities.”

The Holy Ghost Prep Class of 2018 included:

  • 7 National Merit Scholarship Commended Students
  • 4 National Merit Scholarship Finalists
  • 20 Summa Cum Laude graduates (Cumulative GPA of 4.15 or higher)
  • 26 Magna Cum Laude graduates (Cumulative GPA of 3.75 to 4.14)
  • 11 Student-Athletes Headed to Division I and Division III College Athletics Programs
  • 5 Legacies (Graduating seniors whose dads also graduated from Holy Ghost Prep)

Gregory J. Geruson ’79, President of Holy Ghost Prep, says: “The Class of 2018 has left an indelible mark on Holy Ghost Prep. It’s a credit to them, their parents, our teachers, and our College Guidance Office that they are headed to such an impressive list of colleges and universities in the fall. They are undoubtedly prepared to make a difference within their college communities, just as they have done in ours.”

The students in Holy Ghost Prep’s Class of 2018 are headed to the following schools in the fall (listed alphabetically):

Bloomsburg (Pa.) University Princeton University
Boston College  Providence College
Boston University  Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Bucks County Community College Rochester Institute of Technology
Coastal Carolina University Saint Joseph’s University
College of the Holy Cross Siena College
DeSales University St. John’s University
Drexel University Stevens Institute of Technology
Duquesne University Syracuse University
Elizabethtown College Temple University
Emory University The Catholic University of America
Georgia Institute of Technology The College of New Jersey
Gettysburg College The University of Scranton
Grand Canyon University The University of Tampa
Gwynedd Mercy University Thomas Jefferson University
Hobart and William Smith Colleges                  United States Military Academy
Holy Family University University of Dayton
James Madison University University of Delaware
Johns Hopkins University  University of Michigan
La Salle University University of New Hampshire
Lafayette College University of Pennsylvania
Liberty University  University of Pittsburgh
Loyola University Maryland  University of Rhode Island
Marquette University Ursinus College
Miami University, Ohio Villanova University
Muhlenberg College Wake Forest University
New Jersey Institute of Technology West Chester (Pa.) University
Pennsylvania State University West Virginia University
Philadelphia Steam Fitters  
Acclaimed financial writer Jim McTague '67 just published "Follow the Leader," a fictional murder mystery that takes place on Capitol Hill.

Jim McTague ’67 publishes a novel

Acclaimed financial writer Jim McTague ’67 just published “Follow the Leader,” a fictional murder mystery that takes place on Capitol Hill.

McTague spent his career as a journalist, covering the finance industry and politics and served as a contributing editor to Barron’s and several other publications. He is a credentialed Congressional correspondent.

Back on October 18, McTague spent the entire day at Holy Ghost as HGP’s Executive in Residence—lecturing in several classes and meeting with HGP administrators, faculty, and staff. While in Pat Hoelzle’s creative writing class, McTague discussed his own writing process (he currently spends between two and five hours per day on his writing) and told tales ranging from covering mobster trials with the Asbury Park Press to writing about the economy during the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations.

“Follow the Leader” is McTague’s fourth published book. His nonfiction book “Crapshoot Investing: How Tech Savvy Traders and Clueless Regulators Turned Wall Street into a Casino” on the U.S. stock market and the Flash Crash of May 6, 2010 was released on March 24, 2011. He’s also self-published a sci-fi romance “Onion Heads” and a children's book “The Amazing Aerobatic Adventures of RAF Bunny," a work which was inspired by the Battle of Britain.

 

Owen Sienko (left) and Connor DiMarco (right) served as the valedictorian and salutatorian for Holy Ghost Prep's Class of 2018, respectively. The complete text of their speeches appear appears here.

Complete text of speeches by Holy Ghost Prep's 2018 valedictorian, salutatorian

Owen Sienko and Connor DiMarco served as the valedictorian and salutatorian for Holy Ghost Prep’s Class of 2018, respectively.

A truly gifted writer headed to Syracuse University renowned S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in the fall, Sienko was perfectly suited to be the valedictorian, a role in which officially bid farewell to the school for the Class of 2018 during the graduation ceremony on June 2. As the salutatorian, DiMarco, who will attend the University of Michigan this fall, welcomed the entire Holy Ghost Prep community to graduation weekend by giving an address at the Baccalaureate Mass on June 1.  The complete text of their speeches appear below. 

Connor DiMarco's salutatorian speech:  

“Mr. Geruson, Mr. Danilak, Faculty and Administration, Family, Friends, and most importantly my fellow graduates, good evening and welcome to Graduation Weekend.  

Four years ago, we arrived together as freshman; lost, confused, excited, but nervous. Some of us came from big schools with lots of friends, and some of us were the only people from our grade schools. But when we sat in our classes, and we were all met with the same kinds of confusion.  

“An all-boys school,” they say, “you never have to worry about how you look.” But then you see him. You walk into Mr. Goulet’s classroom and you see the perfectly pressed shirt, the precisely tied tie, and carefully coiffed hair.  

Then they say, “You’ll be able to relax. You’ll walk into class, take your blazer off, and focus on learning.” But then you meet her. There are rules on the corner of 9th and Passyunk, and there are rules in Mrs. Carmine’s classroom, and no one takes off their blazer, and God help you if you show up with coffee.  

But if there is any certainty you have as a freshman, it’s what will happen in religion class. There’ll be a little prayer, you’ll learn about the Church, and it’ll all go smoothly. But then it turns. People start talking politics, and there’s yelling, you form alliances with people you’ve never met before, and before you know it, Fr. Phil has launched a piece of chalk across the classroom, and as you dive to avoid the shrapnel, you realize how much you love Holy Ghost. 

As the salutatorian, my role is to welcome; to welcome all of you to the commencement, and the celebration of our four years at Holy Ghost. We arrived together, failed some tests, and adjusted. Then we got into a rhythm, and along the way, we stepped out of our comfort zones, tried new things, learned about ourselves and made lifelong friends. Now, this weekend, we can celebrate our time here, and be thankful for all the opportunities we’ve been given.  

 First, we should thank our parents, who sacrificed to give us the chance to come to Holy Ghost, and who gave us constant support for the past four years. Thank you for always standing by us, through the successes and the failures, and for all your help throughout high school. You have given us this incredible gift of attending Holy Ghost; so thank you.  

Next, we should be thankful for all of the teachers and the amazing resources we’ve had here at Holy Ghost. Our teachers have been dedicated to all of us, even staying after hours, just to make sure we know how to balance an equation, or use the subjunctive mood. Your commitment to all of us will never be forgotten; thank you for all you have done.  

When I think of Holy Ghost, and all that I’ve learned, I think of my time in the Dominican Republic, on our school mission trip. We spend a little over a week there, running a sports camp at the local parish in San Juan de la Maguana, with Father Don, the Spiritan pastor.  

In the Dominican Republic, we don’t build houses, and we don’t bring money or supplies; we foster a relationship, between the people in the town, Father Don’s parish, and the Holy Ghost community here in the United States. What we do doesn’t immediately pull anyone out of poverty; it changes the way people think.  

The Church in the Dominican Republic doesn’t give people money, but it provides education, and a path out of poverty, in a place where it could seem inevitable. Their situation is obviously less than ideal, but with the right help, they can achieve their own success, and can be the best version of themselves, instead of trying to be like us. Over time, the people in the Dominican Republic begin to look at their situation differently; Father Don changes the world every day, by changing how people think. 

Our distinction as the only Spritain school in the United States has provided us with the unique understanding of engagement, brotherhood, and spirit. We have accomplished countless, incredible things together over the past four years. Small victories like passing a Chem test we didn’t study for, beating Lower Moreland in basketball, or taking bigger risks, like traveling to a foreign country on a mission trip. But the most important thing we’ve learned from all of these experiences is that our success is not measured by how shiny our trophy is, but by our ability to help others. We can do a lot of things on our own, but we must always remember that it is our commitment to helping others to achieve their own success and to changing the way people think that can truly change the world.  

This is what we learned at Holy Ghost. Mr. Goulet didn’t change the way we thought about dressing perfectly; he taught us how to clearly express ourselves through writing. Mrs. Carmine didn’t want us to be hot; she wanted us to know that details and rules matter, especially 11 lines into solving an integral. And Fr. Phil didn’t blow through a box of chalk just to get our attention, but for us to realize that the world’s problems are real, and we have to be empowered to understand and change them.  

Holy Ghost, over the past four years, has changed the way we think. All of us came with some kinds of expectations about the school and the world around us, and Ghost has shown us a different way of thinking. As cliche as it sounds, if you can change thinking, you can change the world, and Holy Ghost and the Spiritans have put us in a position to do just this, even if it’s as simple as choosing a hair product, wearing a blazer, or tossing some chalk. 

So this is the welcome to our end. Tomorrow, we will get our diplomas, walk down the path one last time, shake hands with our teachers, and leave as alumni. But the handshake is not a farewell, but rather a welcome: a welcome and an announcement to the world: an announcement that we are ready to change how the world around us thinks. Thank you everyone, for the best four years of my life. Enjoy the weekend, and to everyone here tonight, welcome to the beginning of our celebration." 

  

Owen Sienko's valedictorian speech: 

“Good Morning to our guest speakers, Mr. Geruson, Principal Danilak, Fr. Agber, Fr. McDermott, Fr. Silvio, Faculty, Family, Friends, and my Brothers in the Class of 2018.

Here we are after four years of Fig’s speeches, Coop’s lab reports, Mr. Goulet’s “fun handouts…” We’ve really been through the ringer and faced countless challenges, but we’ve risen to the occasion, and now here we stand, imminent graduates of Holy Ghost Prep. Today, after exiting through the red doors as per tradition, we find ourselves at the end of the road. As you all know, those doors symbolise both the beginning and end of our journey. We entered through the doors four years ago, and now we exit them for the last time as HGP students.

Now that I think about it, there have been a lot of “lasts” this year.  The last free period. The last milkshake drive. The last “today is B Day.” Sometimes, we had no clue that our fondest memories had just passed for the last time. I was thinking about that while writing this speech, and I was just filled with this overwhelming feeling of dread.  It’s a shot in the gut, you know?

We’ve all been a part of this community for so long. I’ve been honored to call you guys my brothers. We’ve been through so much together. A lot has changed since we first set foot on campus as clueless freshmen four years ago. The Founder’s Computer Lab is now a cooperative workspace. The Cornwells Computer Lab is now Dr. Tomshaw’s room. Dr. Tomshaw’s room is now the Innovation Center. Speaking of doctors, Mr. Puleo is now Dr. Puleo. The Holt Center was planned, funded, and constructed within our tenure. Mr. Geruson is now our president. Six faculty members retired, twelve more have arrived, and the only remaining students who walked the halls during our freshman year are the ones sitting next to you.  Think about that. We are the physical manifestation of the last four years, the culmination of all of these changes. We’ve witnessed it, changed with it, grown with it. We’ve come to call this beautiful stack of ancient stones our home. The red doors have stood throughout the rapid evolution of our community, and it is through them that we leave this familiar place, shed our weathered shells, and cross the threshold of adulthood into a new world.

“A new world.”  Sounds ominous, doesn’t it?  Mysterious? None of us has any clue what lies ahead, but that’s the thing about opening new doors.  You never know what’s on the other side, and, here comes that dread again, those moments can be scary.  I know I’m terrified. I’m terrified of the new faces I might see, of the familiar faces I’ll miss, and of the challenges I’ll inevitably face.  I could talk about how each one of us has been endowed with the skills and knowledge we need to succeed in life, that we’re going to jump every hurdle that this new world throws our way.  The truth is we don’t know what obstacles lie ahead, but we trust that Holy Ghost has imbued within us the capacity to think critically, act confidently in our pursuits, and overcome any challenges we might encounter.  The evidence of this lies within what we’ve achieved here. Both the hockey and soccer teams won state championships, but those wins only came after countless grueling practices and heartbreaking losses. Luke Muller and Collin Landers won the state championship for their forensics performance two years in a row, but they probably couldn’t tell you how many hours they spent writing their acts, performing them for Mr. Figliola, and then going back to the drawing board and starting all over.  The mock trial team finally won a match, but not before I baffled the judge by requesting a sidebar, which, apparently, you are not allowed to do.  All of these victories did not come without adversity, heartbreak, and sometimes even failure.  But doesn’t it feel good when you finally get over that hump and really accomplish something? Nothing compares to that feeling.

As students of a premier preparatory high school, we’ve been given a fantastic educational experience, as well as unique opportunities to act as leaders in serving the global community.  Every year, we make a real impact by giving children in the Dominican Republic the once in a lifetime opportunity to just be kids for a week. I had the great privilege of embarking on this mission trip.  Every moment of the trip -- when the cashier at Burger King called Jared “Jurt,” when Mr. Ryan hosted late-night poker games on the roof, when we arrived at camp in the morning to see the smiling faces of the children—these were the kinds of formative experiences that none of us will ever forget.  It is through experiences such as these that we grow closer to our brothers and strengthen the bond between one another. On the senior retreat, that bond was solidified. I shared my fears with those around me, just as they placed their trust in me. We laughed together, cried together, broke couches together…We left retreat with a genuine relationship that cannot be called anything short of brotherly.

Now, it is up to us to use that knowledge, commitment to service, and sense of community to immerse ourselves in this new world, serve those in need, and make a lasting difference.  Holy Ghost has given us the key cards to unlock the doors to our futures. And if the key cards malfunction, we can always use our aptitude for breaking furniture to knock those doors down.  I’m sure there’s a magnet lying around here somewhere… I have no doubt that we’ll achieve great things in college and beyond. However, regardless of what we accomplish, those triumphs will not be without their challenges.  We’ll stumble. We’ll fall. God knows how many times I’ve done that walking up the stairs with a stuffed school bag. What matters in the end, though, is that we get back up and keep going, and it feels good to walk through the door on time.  We should remember that feeling of accomplishment, that feeling like you’re above the clouds. Crave it. Chase it. But more importantly, remember what it has taken to get where we are today - the sacrifices our parents have made, the time our teachers have invested in us, and the gifts which the Holy Spirit has bestowed upon us - and prepare for what it will take to move forward.  Yes, we’re smart, talented, handsome, but we still have so much to learn and so much to experience. It’s scary that I’m not going to be able to share those experiences with you guys. It’s kind of surreal, actually. But although we might be leaving this place and parting ways with one another, this is not goodbye. Rather, this is an opportunity to use what we’ve learned and what we’ve become to open new doors in the world.  There are people and places across the globe who have waited long enough for the change we have been trained to be in the world. There are deadly diseases to treat and cure, barriers to equality that must be breached, doors blocking social progress that must be propped open. It is time for us to nudge, shove, and, yes, force open those doors.

Remember, though, that the most important thing about some doors is that you can always walk back through them.  Those red doors over there will always be open to us, and we will always have a home here. I feel like I have a brother in each and every one of you.  I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve accomplished, couldn’t be more excited to see what differences we’ll make in the future, and couldn’t be happier to share such an amazing high school experience with my classmates.  So, as we walk away today with diplomas in hand and fires in our hearts, let us set our eyes upon the future and prepare to kick down any doors that stand in our way.

In one heart…”

 

 

Holy Ghost Prep alum Matthew Costello '91 (pictured), an executive at Apple and Beats by Dr. Dre, delivered the commencement address to the Class of 2018 on June 2. Here is the complete text of his speech, the words of wisdom he shared with our latest graduates. (photo courtesy of Donald Otto/Catalano Studio)

Complete text of Matthew Costello's commencement address

Holy Ghost Prep alum Matthew Costello, an executive at Apple and Beats by Dr. Dre, delivered the commencement address to the Class of 2018 on June 2. Here are the words of wisdom that Costello shared during his speech.

“Provincial Duaime, President Geruson, Board Members, Faculty and Old Friends, thank you for this tremendous honor.

For the parents and families, who, I am sure much like my own parents 30 years ago, sacrificed so much in order to support your young man in reaching this incredible milestone, I wish you the most heartfelt congratulations.  

And, finally, to the graduates of Holy Ghost Preparatory School of the Class of 2018, I am absolutely certain that this group will be the most successful and distinguished group of graduates ever! How do I know this, you may ask? Well, there are seminal moments in each generation—and you have the distinction of being the first-ever generation of winners in Philadelphia history. Our Super Bowl win has changed everything for this city, lifting us from what felt like centuries of declining fortunes, despair, and frustration. 

I was at the November game in Los Angeles when Carson Wentz tore his ACL and lamented every day thereafter the sad but oh-so-very-Philly turn of events that had seemingly doomed us yet again.  But, on February 4th of this year, life was magically transformed for both the born and unborn of Philadelphia.  I find this phenomenon hard to explain to outsiders but Nick Foles sure gets it – he was in the Beats office a few weeks ago and mentioned that grown men regularly start crying when they see him, muttering repeated “thank yous” between sobs.

And so, while it maybe more traditional to anoint those “born” in this special year to be the founders of a new generation, I think we need to make an exception for this class of graduates.  You get the history but you are now unburdened and untethered—you can use this as a once-in-a-generation inflection point.  

Hence, I am formally declaring you the founding members of a new Generation – the Generation of E, with the branding inspired by our beloved Eagles. Move over Generation X and Y and Z.  Time for E.    I will send out a tweet shortly and then it will be so.

Maybe I should have established my credentials before such a proclamation so let me give you a bit of background.  I graduated from Holy Ghost in 1991 – truth be told, I was basically average in everything. After my first forensics tryout, Tony Figliola took me on as his personal reclamation project to remove the “stuff in my mouth.”  Tony Chapman realized that my one unique talent on a basketball court was to foul out so he and John Mundy conspired to turn me into a thrower for the track team. I actually won our league in shot put my senior year but I think John Mundy had arranged an eighth grader from Christopher Dock as the primary competition to make me feel better.  Kidding aside, my four years here were by far the most formative of my life and I am forever grateful to the faculty and friends whom enabled this.  

After leaving Holy Ghost in 1991, I went to Duquesne after some “encouragement” from Father McCloskey, graduating in 1995.   I realized over those years the special protections that God affords the Spiritans—on several occasions, I hitched a ride across the state of Pennsylvania with the Provincial at that time, Father Norm Bevan, who was an incredibly wonderful and inspirational man, but an absolutely terrifying driver who insisted to drive stick shifts.  I can tell you—success in navigating the Pennsylvania Turnpike S-curves in the winter will reaffirm anyone’s faith in God when you were a passenger with Father Bevan at the wheel, God Rest His Soul.

The Spiritans have remained an incredibly important part of my and my families’ life throughout our journey, and I am so grateful to have founded many of these relationships here.  I recently had the honor of being appointed to Duquesne’s board of directors, so I will look forward to seeing our Duquesne Presidential Scholars Ryan Taylor and Sean Kerrigan around campus and will buy you dinner while you’re there. Congratulations to you both!

Upon graduating from Duquesne, I joined the same consulting firm that President Geruson is an alum of, called Andersen. I interned for President Geruson when he joined Holy Ghost as the assistant headmaster in the early 90’s and I was amazingly impressed with how one individual could build lists that spanned several notepads and still remember where that one item for me to follow-up on was located. After watching him that summer, I was sold that management consulting would help me become—at the very least—better organized. In fact, on top of my education, it was one of the most formative periods of my career: teaching me how to think, solve problems and communicate effectively across a range of problem sets and environments.  

From there, I would go on to meet and marry my lifetime love and partner, Liselott, who was born in Sweden. We would have the privilege of raising three wonderful kids—one of whom—my absolutely amazing 15-year-old daughter Annika—is here with me today.  

We would become global citizens, having lived in 12 cities in eight different countries across Europe, Asia and the U.S. I would have the privilege to work both as a partner in some of the world’s largest consulting firms—Andersen and Booz Allen Hamilton—and, starting in 2006, join the leadership of some of the world’s great companies, first with Sony-Ericsson in Sweden, then HTC Corporation in Taiwan, then IKEA of Sweden, and finally, today on the West Coast with Apple and, its subsidiary, Beats by Dr Dre.  

As I reflect on where I am today—responsible for Hardware Engineering and Operations for Apple and for the Beats brand as the Chief Operating Officer, I can still sometimes openly wonder about how all of these things came to be. Some of you today possibly have a “grand gameplan” and know where you want to be in 20 years. Others, like me in 1991, didn’t/don’t have a clue. Frankly, it really doesn’t matter, you of Generation “E” have four main superpowers whether you know it or not:

First, You are the Enlightened Generation. This is not just the amazing training you have received here but also the curiosity about life and learning that you will take with you. Education is a lifelong process, not something that ends only in a diploma. Enlightenment is the process of learning and continuing to push yourself to get better.

You will seek out mentors for guidance and support moreso than any previous generation.  I learned early on how critically important learning and leaning on others can be to help navigate the non-linear path of life. I have had strong mentors at each stage in my career and had the benefit of a “life” mentor at home in my wife throughout.

Always remember that asking for “help” and “advice” is a sign of strength, not weakness. And you will not be too proud to admit when you are wrong.  I am constantly wrong and I surround myself with people who are not afraid to tell me that. This makes everyone better around you, creates a true team culture and makes everything more fun along the way. 

Second, You are the Environmental Generation. Yes, you will be the generation that will need to address climate change. But my point is different—you are a product of the environment you create for yourself, and the wider you cast your net to understand the environment and its possibilities in the world around you, the better and bigger life will be.

Understanding the underlying strengths of different cultures—Swedish, English, Danish, American, Taiwanese, Japanese, etc.—will be your secret skill to unlock big problems as we increasingly realize that our strengths can be blended together to offset our inherent limitations. We are wired differently across the world—from our upbringings to our educational systems—but learning that the symphony of life is made up of many different instruments that you can assemble around you is how you can change the nature of your environment for the better.

Third, You are the Evolving Generation. Keep going until you find what you are born to do. And until you find what you are born to do, do what you must. Don’t be afraid of hard work.

Along the road, I have found that I’ve often stumbled unexpectedly upon what I “love to do” simply by doing what I’ve “needed to do.” As a wise man once said: “Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

In 2010, we decided to move from the comfy confines of Sweden to a small island off the coast of Southern China, otherwise known as Taiwan. It was there that a company called HTC was working to pioneer the smartphone industry. I knew that it would be incredibly different and even risky, but I also knew that HTC would be a unique place to gain the “hands-on” experience in high tech engineering and operations that I had been missing.  They were an incredible four years for us a family—and for me, very sleepless—but we knew that living in Taiwan was a necessary “stop” on the way and not the final destination for our family.

Midway through my time at HTC, we made an acquisition of this Hollywood startup called Beats by Dr. Dre, founded by Jimmy Iovine, the godfather of the music industry in Hollywood and Andre Young – a.k.a. Dr. Dre – the legendary artist and producer and I was appointed to the Board to help stand up the company.   When my oldest daughter, Ellinor, heard that I was chilling with Dr Dre in LA, she started telling me: “Dad you are so un-cool that your are cool.” I can vividly remember sitting in my first Board meeting with Jimmy and Dre in my “Holy Ghost Prep-inspired” sportscoat, blue-collared shirt and khaki pants that I carried with me for 20 plus years after graduation. Thanks to my wife and daughters, who now dress me, khakis and collared shirts have been officially discarded for jeans and hoodies.

Ironically, when Dre and Jimmy noticed the change in my dress code, they tried to hire me as their Chief Operating Officer. We were actually on our way back to Europe at the time to work for IKEA when we got the call about Beats. So, in a six-month period, we were residents of Taiwan, Sweden, the Netherlands and, ultimately, Los Angeles. Six months after this, Beats was bought by Apple.

Today, my team and I are strategizing, designing, engineering, and building consumer electronics of all kinds under the Apple and Beats by Dr. Dre brands.  I can tell you with absolute certainty that, sitting in your chair 27 years ago, I had absolutely zero clue that this would be the evolution and fulfillment of my life’s work.

Finally, You are the Enthusiastic Generation. Keep a positive attitude and don’t take yourself too seriously. There are not too many true geniuses out there. Most of us can get by on talking straight, thinking straight, staying humble, seeking good advice and being a decent human being who makes mistakes and, ideally, can learn from them and laugh at themselves along the way. And always stay “Philly” – there is something endearing and truly unique about being from this place.

So, there it is, Generation E: The Enlightened, The Environmentalists, the Evolvers, the Enthused, all inspired by our beloved Eagles.  

When one of you is giving this speech in 27 years, I am absolutely positive that the world will have transformed itself in ways that are unforeseen today.  It is likely that in your lifetime, we will travel to and perhaps even colonize another planet, machines will be autonomously running parts of our daily life and how we travel, interact and communicate will be completely different than today. My generation is laying some of these foundations, but your generation will bring it to life. That will take new skills and crazy ideas that your education and training here has prepared you for in more ways that you can ever possibly fathom sitting here today.  

I am genuinely excited to see what you will do with the world you will create and am humbled to have been able to share with you some perspectives as you set off.  I congratulate each of you and wish all the very best.”

  

Tim Brennan, a 2015 Holy Ghost Prep graduate, was selected in the seventh round of the 2018 major league baseball draft by the Texas Rangers on June 5. A star pitcher for Saint Joseph's University, Brennan was the 209th overall selection. (photo courtesy of SJU Athletics)

Tim Brennan '15 is drafted by the Texas Rangers

Tim Brennan, a 2015 Holy Ghost Prep graduate, was selected in the seventh round of the 2018 major league baseball draft on June 5. The Texas Rangers chose Brennan, a star pitcher for Saint Joseph’s University, with the 209th overall selection.

“I’m blessed and thankful to be selected by the Texas Rangers,” Brennan said.  “It has been a dream of mine since I was little to play professional baseball.  I was very grateful to spend the day with my family that has sacrificed so much to allow me to achieve my dream.”

Brennan earned second team All-Atlantic 10 honors this season after posting a 9-3 record and a 2.94 earned run average in 88-2/3 innings.  He led the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio and walks allowed per nine innings, having fanned 84 against just five walks.

A native of Philadelphia, Brennan was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team and the All-Philadelphia Big 5 Baseball Team in 2016.  He was also tabbed as the Big 5’s top rookie and shared the Pitcher of the Year honor that season and is the frontrunner to be named the top arm in the Big 5 once again this season.

Last summer, Brennan pitched in the prestigious Cape Cod League with the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox.  His 20 career victories and 216 career strikeouts in the Crimson and Gray both rank second in program history, while his 2.79 career ERA places him fifth on the program’s all-time list.

 

 

Holy Ghost Preparatory School graduated 117 seniors at its commencement exercises on Saturday, June 2 on the campus lawn behind Cornwells Hall. (Photo courtesy of Donald Otto/Catalano Studio)

Holy Ghost Prep graduates its Class of 2018

Holy Ghost Preparatory School graduated 117 seniors at its commencement exercises on Saturday, June 2 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 2018 but with all other Holy Ghost Prep graduates.

“Stay connected, never lose that sense of community and brotherhood that is Holy Ghost Prep,” said Holy Ghost Prep President Gregory J. Geruson ’79. “It is not as easy to do as it sounds. Friends move, life changes. But you are a remarkably close group, and my prayer for you is that that same feeling of brotherhood can always remain.”

Besides Geruson, the other featured graduation speakers were valedictorian Owen Sienko and Matthew Costello, a 1991 HGP graduate who serves on Holy Ghost Prep’s Board of Trustees and is a vice president of hardware engineering and operations at Apple and the chief operating officer of Beats by Dr. Dre.

Sienko cited how the red doors of Cornwells Hall symbolize “both the beginning and end of our journey” and then wove the theme of doors throughout his well-crafted speech.

“Those red doors over there will always be open to us, and we will always have a home here,” said Sienko, a truly gifted writer headed to Syracuse University renowned S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in the fall. “I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve accomplished, couldn’t be more excited to see what differences we’ll make in the future, and couldn’t be happier to share such an amazing high school experience with my classmates. So, as we walk away today with diplomas in our hands and fires in our hearts, let us set our eyes upon the future and prepare to kick down any doors that stand in our way.”

In his commencement address, Costello recalled his days at Holy Ghost Prep and how the school had laid the groundwork for his success in the corporate world. He also dubbed Holy Ghost Prep's Class of 2018 “Generation E” as they are blessed four qualities that start with “E”: Enlightened, Environmental, Evolving, and Enthusiastic. 

“Education is a lifelong process, not something that ends only in a diploma,” Costello said. “Enlightenment is the process of learning and continuing to push yourself to get better.”

Salutatorian Connor DiMarco delivered his address the evening before at the beautiful Baccalaureate Mass. In his salutatorian speech, DiMarco—who will head to the University of Michigan in the fall—perfectly set the tone for the weekend with remarks that were equals parts funny, smart, and reflective.

During the graduation ceremony, special prizes and awards were presented to the following graduating seniors:

The School Spirit Award: Colin Philip Landers

The Rev. Jeffrey T. Duaime, C.S. Sp. ’76 Award for Service Leadership in the Spiritan Tradition: Patrick John McLean

The Sedes Sapientiae Award for Scholarship, Leadership and Achievement: Mason Sami El-Habr

National Honor Society Service Medal: Brian Anthony Gabriele

Medal, Overall Excellence in Mathematics: Mason Sami El-Habr

Diane Garforth Medal, Overall Excellence in English: Brian Anthony Gabriele

Medal, Overall Excellence in Writing: Mason Sami El-Habr

Medal, Overall Excellence in Religion: Brendan Scott Mindiak

Medal, Overall Excellence in Science: Mason Sami El-Habr

Medal, Overall Excellence in Social Studies: John Robert Martin

Medal, Overall Excellence in Art: Jacob T. Lawall and Owen Daniel Yake

Medal, Overall Excellence in Music: Bryan Andrew Quigley

Medal, Overall Excellence in the Performing Arts: Michael A. DiNofa

Medal, Overall Excellence in Computer Science: Mason Sami El-Habr

Medal, Overall Excellence in Latin: Anthony Dennis Baum

Medal, Overall Excellence in Spanish: Brendan Scott Mindiak

Medal, Overall Excellence in French: Owen Andrew Sienko

Paul J. Pomeroy, Jr. Student Marshal Medal (Highest cumulative GPA): Mason Sami El-Habr

Silver Cups of Recognition (Highest academic achievers in senior class)

Christopher James Aileo

Anthony Dennis Baum

Eric Thomas Booth

Eric John D’Angelo

Connor DiMarco

Mason Sami El-Habr

Jack Thomas Elliott

Brian Anthony Gabriele

Matthew Robert Hofmann

Sean Liam Kerrigan

Steven Macchione, Jr.

John Robert Martin

Brendan Scott Mindiak

Austin Tyler Moran

Kevin Daniel Mulcahy

Mark-Jonathan Talingting Pabalan

Bryan Andrew Quigley

Aleksnader William Seibel

Owen Andrew Sienko

Ryan Andrew Taylor

 

 

The Holy Ghost Prep students receiving diplomas were:

Christopher James Aileo

Nicholas Anthony Appolonia

Luke Anthony Aquaro

Corry Albert Arnold

Stefano M. Arnone

Liam Joseph Athas

Anthony Dennis Baum

Grayson James Bautz

John Bishop

Paul John Bizzaro II

Eric Thomas Booth

Robert W. Braun

Casey T. Buck

Ryan J. Callahan

Aidan Campagnolio

Patrick S. Cannon

Joseph Anthony Carrado, Jr.

Kevin Michael Caulfield

Michael Charlton

Zachary John Chipperfield

Carlo Anthony Ciccotelli

Brandon C. Cimino

Collin M. Cimino

Jake James Conti

Christopher William Corr

Nicholas Vincent Costigan

Ryan Danastorg

Eric John D’Angelo

Alexander Danna

Anthony Michael Dattilo, Jr.

Joshua De Oliveira

Tristan Nathan Devine

Connor DiMarco

Michael A. DiNofa

Shawn Joseph Donohue

Matthew Robert Doucette

Brendan James Eagen

Mason Sami El-Habr

Jack Thomas Elliott

Connor Edward Fife

Alexander J. Finney

Brian Anthony Gabriele

Kyle Frank Gardyan

Thomas Joseph Geib, Jr.

Graham P. Gibbs

Dale Victor C. Glova

Dean Guiliano

Zamir Kennell Guy

Hunter Charles Hensel

Matthew Robert Hofmann

Daniel Hoyt

Timothy Steven Hughes

Richard Johnson III

Dylan Glenn Kelley

Sean Liam Kerrigan

Cole Michael Kosmorsky

Dillon LaCorte

Colin  Philip Landers

Jacob T. Lawall

Ryan James Legris

Anthony Vincent Leipziger

Richard Liberatore

Shangqi Lin

Ryan Michael Lucas

Steven Macchione, Jr.

Cole Anthony Martillotti

John Robert Martin

Max Ryan Massari

Sean Michael Massello

Shane Robert McHugh

Patrick John McLean

Brendan Scott Mindiak

Austin Tyler Moran

Joshua Mozdzonek

Ryan M. Mudrick

Kevin Daniel Mulcahy

Luke Patrick Muller

Zachary David Nangle

Jeremy Chidi Obaze

John Francis O’Connell

Sean O’Hara

Patrick Anthony Espiritu Oniate

Mark-Jonathan Talingting Pabalan

Jarrod Padilla

Ryan John Parsons

Andrew Nicholas Phillips

Daniel James Pinciotti III

Nicholas Joseph Quaranto

Bryan Andrew Quigley

Michael Reilly

Jacob Dominic Riti

Alexander R. Rubinstein

Matthew Edward Rueter

Phillip Rueter

George Charles Rusnak

William Barry Russell

Matthew R. Savinon

John P. Schrenk

Aleksander William Seibel

Mark Philip  Seibert

Jared Michael Septer

Owen Andrew Sienko

Alexander Simon

Zitao Song

Brett R. Sternberg

Shane B. Stevens

Ryan Andrew Taylor

Kevin James Trusdell

Jason Tyrrell

Luke Isaac Verga

Zachary Vittorelli

Willdragon Wang

Timothy P. Wolfe

Owen Daniel Yake

Kevin Yohe

John Zampirri

Alec Bryce Zubyk

  

Many of Holy Ghost Prep's best and brightest students in the Classes of 2019, 2020, and 2021 were recognized at the school's Honors Convocation on May 29. Tony Carbino (pictured) was awarded the Downey Scholarship and the George Washington Book Prize that night.

Honors Convocation celebrates some of HGP’s best and brightest

Many of Holy Ghost Prep’s best and brightest students in the Classes of 2019, 2020, and 2021 were recognized at the school’s Honors Convocation on May 29.

In addition to a slew of academic awards and inductions into honor societies for excellence in world languages, mathematics, English and science, a series of scholarships and prestigious prizes were presented over the course of the evening.

Tony Carbino ’19 received the Downey Scholarship, a half-tuition scholarship that is presented to a member of the current junior class who best exhibits a blend of academic ability, a sound work ethic, and a strong school spirit. The recipient fully supports and practices the Catholic beliefs and values taught at Holy Ghost Prep. 

Patrick Byrnes ’19 was presented with the Marx Scholarship, a $6,500 scholarship which is awarded to a member of the current junior class of Holy Ghost Prep who demonstrates leadership, a sound academic ability, and a commitment to giving back to HGP. This scholarship is named in memory of Frank Marx, a brilliant young man who died tragically at the age of 21 back in 2004. 

Nicholas Evans ’19 received the Flynn Scholarship which is presented to a member of the current junior class of Holy Ghost Prep who best demonstrates an adventurous spirit, a sense of independence, a sound academic ability, service to the school community, and physical and athletic rigor. 

T.J. Butler ’20 was awarded the Clare McGovern-Warning Scholarship (in memory of St. Katherine Drexel), given to a current sophomore who demonstrates a love of God, demonstrated by a willingness to use personal resources for others; a faithful regard of religious obligations; a diligence towards schoolwork; assumption of family responsibilities; efforts to reach out to people different than himself; efforts to embracing all members of the school community. 

E.J. Pohl ’21 received the Class of 1979 Scholarship which is presented to a member of the current freshman class of Holy Ghost Prep who demonstrates leadership, a sound academic ability, some financial need and a commitment to giving back to HGP.  The Class of 1979 Scholarship is funded through a commitment of HGP graduates from that year.  The scholarship is $2,500 per year.

Connor Gallagher ’21 won the National Honor Society Scholarship, while William Krohn ’19 was chosen as the National Art Honor Society Scholarship winner.

 In addition, the following awards were presented at Holy Ghost’s Honors Convocation on May 29:

The Harvard University Book Prize (awarded to an outstanding junior year student selected by the faculty of each participating high school, based on academic excellence, exceptional personal qualities and significant contribution to school or community): Albert Johnston-Ramirez ’19

The George Washington Book Award (recognizes high school students who embody the GW drive and spirit, specifically with their academic excellence, leadership outside of the classroom, diversity of thought, and ability to put knowledge into action): Tony Carbino ’19

Bausch and Lomb Science Award: Thomas Barbaro ’19

Rensselaer Medal: Keegan Pietrak ’19

American Chemical Society Award: Henry Glunz ’19

Excellence in Art Awards: Henry Glunz ’19, Andrew Iannacone ’19, Zeyao Jiang ’19, William Krohn ’19, Schuyler Cauley ’20, John Keating ’20. John Nycz ’20, Matthew Spinelli ’20, Gabriel Hackman ’21, Michael Keddie ’21, Jon Nieto ’21, Adam Verga ’21

Excellence in Religion Awards: Tony Carbino ’19, Hajir Likaj ’19, Connor McGill ’19, Ryan Power ’19, Sean Elliott ’20, Matthew Spinelli ’20, Mathew Stauffer ’20, Matthew Watanabe ’20, Christopher Gasiewski ’21, Michael Keddie ’21, John Schoeder ’21, Maguire Sholette ’21

Excellence in Social Studies Awards: Tony Carbino ’19, William Krohn ’19, Andrew Plunkett ’19, Alexander Taylor ’19, Daniel Behr ’20, Louis DeLuna ’20, Colton El-Habr ’20, Henry Fina ’20, Joseph Noto ’21, Anthony Padula ’21, Maguire Sholette ’21, Kyle Stone ’21

Excellence in English Awards: Matthew Burst ’19, Thomas Forkin ’19, Keegan Pietrak ’19, Aiden Schmidt’19, Daniel Behr ’20, Louis DeLuna ’20, Colton El-Habr ’20, Matthew Watanabe ’20, Jake Marek ’21, Jack McDermott ’21, Anthony Padula ’21, Kyle Stone ’21

Excellence in Science Awards: Thomas Barbaro ’19, Andrew Beck ’19, Daniel Kovacevich ’19, Keegan Pietrak ’19, Daniel Behr ’20, Sean Elliott ’20, Sean Parsons ’20, Justin Gabriele ’21, Connor Gallagher ’21, Jack McDermott ’21, Anthony Padula ’21.

Excellence in Music Awards: Patrick Byrnes ’19, Matthew Davies ’19, Jeffrey DiFrancesco ’19, Albert-Johnston Ramirez ’19, Joseph Dryden ’20, Ryan Fitzpatrick ’20, Benjamin Gollmer ’20, Matthew Stauffer ’20, Sean Costigan ’21, Brandon Dorsey ’21, Jonathan Pinkstone ’21, Andrew Zubyk ’21.

Excellence in Computer Science Awards: James Castner ’19, Andrew Pflaumer ’19, Benjamin Scuron ’19, Sean Smith ’19, Aidan Bell ’20.

Excellence in Mathematics Awards: Thomas Barbaro ’19, Andrew Beck ’19, Nicholas Evans ’19, John Gasiewski ’19, John Boyle ’20, Colton El-Habr ’20, Henry Fina ’20, Krishna Mysore ’20, Nicholas Braun ’21, Brandon Dorsey ’21, Jake Marek ’21, Shrikanth Srenivasan ’21.

Excellence in French Awards: John Horgan and James Littley (level one); Matthew McGrath and John Nycz (level two); Andrew Beck and Tony Carbino (level three)

Excellence in Latin Awards: Syed Naqvi and Jared Seehusahai (level one); Samuel Hicks and Matthew Stauffer (level two); Matthew Burst and Andrew Pflaumer (level three)

Excellence in Spanish Awards: Connor Gallagher, Jack McDermott, Joseph Noto, and Kyle Stone (level one); Daniel Behr, Sean Elliott, Ryan Henry, and Tomas Vallejo (level two); John Burke, Louis DeLuna, Liam Hart, and Matthew Watanabe (level three).

 

 

 

Owen Sienko (left) and Connor DiMarco (right) will serve as the valedictorian and salutatorian for Holy Ghost Prep's Class of 2018, respectively.

Meet Holy Ghost Prep's 2018 valedictorian, salutatorian

Owen Sienko and Connor DiMarco will serve as the valedictorian and salutatorian for Holy Ghost Prep’s Class of 2018, respectively.

A truly gifted writer headed to Syracuse University renowned S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in the fall, Sienko seems perfectly suited to be the valedictorian, a role in which officially bids farewell to the school for the Class of 2018 during the graduation ceremony on June 2.

In addition to authoring “Reality” pieces this school year for the Bucks County Courier Times, Sienko, a member of Holy Ghost Prep’s National Honor Society and National French Honor Society, took full advantage of all that HGP has to offer—serving in campus ministry, playing on the chess team, and being the editor-in-chief of both the Flame (the school newspaper) and Embers (the school’s literary magazine).

“Owen Sienko is one of the finest writers I’ve ever had the privilege to teach; he is so much more than that, though,” says Patricia O'Connor, Ph.D., an English teacher at Holy Ghost Prep. “I observed Owen as he tutored at his former elementary school and worked with children in the Dominican Republic. Owen is a kind, reflective, strong young man. When those qualities are combined with the experience he will gain at Newhouse, I am confident that Owen’s writing will advance the Spiritan mission and change the world for the better.”

As the salutatorian, DiMarco will welcome the entire Holy Ghost Prep community to graduation weekend by giving an address at the Baccalaureate Mass on June 1. 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.

DiMarco was certainly a deserving selection. He will attend the University of Michigan in the fall and dreams of traveling into space one day. A member of HGP’s National Honor Society, DiMarco was heavily involved during his four years at the school—serving as the vice president of HGP’s student government, being a four-year member of TEAMS (Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science), taking a life-altering service trip to the Dominican Republic, and earning a spot in the Spanish National Honor Society.

“Connor DiMarco is an amazing young man,” says Ryan Abramson ’94, the director of admissions and marketing at Holy Ghost Prep. “Along with being one of the most talented students in the Class of 2018, Connor has also traveled to the Dominican Republic on our service trip, helped coordinate our after-school middle school math program, and served the school as the student government’s vice president. It is appropriate then that his classmates voted him to be the salutatorian for the Class of 2018.”

 

Forty-five HGP students were inducted into the Venerable F. Libermann Chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS) of Secondary Schools on May 29. (photo by Edna Ramirez)

Holy Ghost Prep inducts 45 new NHS members

Forty-four members of the Class of 2019 and one member of the Class of 2018 (Andrew Phillips) were inducted into the Venerable F. Libermann Chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS) of Secondary Schools on May 29.   

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: William Adams, Thomas Barbaro, John Barry, Andrew Beck, Ian Brick, Matthew Burst, Michael Calcagni, Anthony Cancelliere, Tony Carbino, David DeAngelo, Shane Deegan, Jeffrey DiFrancesco, Nicholas Evans, Thomas Forkin, John Gasiewski, Brendan Gibbons, Henry Glunz, Liam Hart, Albert Johnston-Ramirez, Stephen Joyce, Alexander Kobilnyk, Daniel Kovacevich, William Krohn, Kyle Macan, Shane Marotta, Brandon McCoy, Connor McGill, Matthew McGinley, Thomas McNulty, Kevin Morrison, Matthew Moyer, Troy Neals, Andrew Pflaumer, Andrew Phillips, Andrew Plunkett, Keegan Pietrak, Jack Pinkstone, Nicholas Polidoro, Ryan Power, Jack Rittenmeyer, Timothy Schmidt, Aiden Schmidt, Sean Smith, Derek Swider, and Alexander Taylor.

Next year’s NHS officers are:

President: Alexander Taylor

Vice President: Matthew McGinley

Secretary: Matthew Burst

Treasurer: Albert-Johnston Ramirez

Coordinator of Special Projects: Andrew Plunkett

Tutoring Chair: Thomas Forkin

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 Prep alum Matthew Costello, an executive at Apple and Beats by Dr. Dre, will deliver the commencement address to the Class of 2018 on Saturday, June 2.

Matthew Costello ’91 to deliver HGP’s 2018 commencement address

Holy Ghost Prep alum Matthew Costello, an executive at Apple and Beats by Dr. Dre, will deliver the commencement address to the Class of 2018 on Saturday, June 2.

“We are thrilled that Matt will return home to Holy Ghost Prep to speak at this year’s commencement,” says HGP president Gregory J. Geruson ’79. “We often talk about how a Holy Ghost education will take you places, and that’s certainly been the case with Matt. He has had a remarkable life and career—working all over the globe in leadership roles for a number of multinational corporations. I am certain that Matt will deliver an inspiring message to our graduating seniors.”

A current member of Holy Ghost Prep’s Board of Trustees, Costello is a vice president of hardware engineering and operations at Apple and the chief operating officer of Beats by Dr. Dre, the audio and consumer electronics company co-founded in 2008 by artist/producer Dr. Dre and Interscope Geffen A&M chairman Jimmy Iovine and acquired by Apple in 2014.

Prior to that, Costello served as business development officer for the IKEA Group based in the Netherlands, the chief operating officer of HTC Corp based in Taiwan, and the corporate vice president of operations and strategy for Sony Ericsson in Sweden. Prior to his operational management experiences, Matthew was a management consultant, having started his career in Andersen LLP both in the United States and in Europe and later serving as a partner in Booz Allen Hamilton (Booz & Co.) based in Stockholm. 

A 1995 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences at Duquesne University, Costello lives with his wife Liselott and their three children (Ellinor, Annika, and Patrick) in Santa Cruz, California.

While at Holy Ghost Prep, Costello was a Diocesan Scholar who attended some classes at what was then-Holy Family College. In addition, Costello starred on HGP’s forensics team, served as the president of National Honor Society, ran indoor and outdoor track, acted as a peer minister, played in the HGP band, and participated in intramural football and basketball. Costello was a key contributor to Holy Ghost’s back-to-back national title-winning forensics teams in 1990 and 1991—finishing third overall in original oratory at the 1991 National Forensics League’s Grand National Tournament in Chicago.

During the 1991 Holy Ghost Prep graduation ceremony, Costello was presented with the Sedes Sapientiae Award for Scholarship, Leadership and Achievement, an award that is still given today.

 “Holy Ghost Prep and Duquesne University laid the foundation for my success,” says Costello. “Both Spiritan schools armed me with skills that I have always taken with me: the ability to think through and solve problems, a strong moral and ethical compass, and the confidence to feel like I could always figure things out—no matter how challenging.” 

 

 

Vince Rossomando '02, who has been a member of the baseball staff for the past 12 years, has resigned as Holy Ghost Prep's varsity baseball coach effective immediately due to the increased responsibilities of his full-time job.

Vince Rossomando ’02 steps down as HGP’s baseball coach

Vince Rossomando ’02, who has been a member of the baseball staff for the past 12 years, has resigned as Holy Ghost Prep’s varsity baseball coach effective immediately due to the increased responsibilities of his full-time job as an electrical contractor.  

Rossomando compiled an impressive 46-16-1 record in his three seasons as HGP’s head baseball coach and played a vital role in the development of nearly 250 players during his dozen years within the program.  

“When I was hired as the head coach in 2015, it was one of the best days of my life,” says Rossomando. “Conversely, the decision to step away from the program is one of the hardest, but I will leave Holy Ghost with fond memories.” 

During the Rossomando tenure, Holy Ghost Prep has been one of the top programs in all of PIAA District 1 baseball—producing Nolan Jones (a rising star in the Cleveland Indians organization) and a number of college baseball players/commits within the past three seasons, including pitcher Peyton Birch (Hofstra), pitcher John McCrane (University of the Sciences), pitcher Ryan Staropoli (Lehigh), pitcher Luke Verga (Ursinus), pitcher Zac Vittorelli (DeSales), infielder Colin Costello (La Salle), infielder John McNamee (Rider) and catcher/DH Mark Seibert (Gettysburg).

“Vince will no longer be the head coach, but HGP is his alma mater and he will always remain a loyal alum and an ambassador for school and the baseball program,” says Jim Stewart, Holy Ghost Prep’s athletic director. “He has really transformed the program during his time here.

“In addition to their success on the field, Vince and his staff was able to ensure a new fence to close in the right field side of our field, brand-new bullpens for all three teams, new training equipment, protective screens, windscreens, field maintenance equipment, training videos, a professional pitching machine, new bases for all three teams and multiple team-building dinners and events.

“Needless to say, we will miss Vince and are grateful for tireless efforts on the behalf of the young men in our baseball program.”


 

Hockey player Max Massari '18 (pictured here with former HGP coach Jim Britt and current head coach Gump Whiteside) took home one of the special prizes, the Tibbles and Britt Award, at Holy Ghost Prep's 2018 Athletic Recognition Night.

Holy Ghost Prep holds annual Athletic Recognition Night

Holy Ghost Preparatory School held its annual Athletic Recognition Night on Wednesday, May 30 on campus in the Chapman Arena. Over 400 members of the Holy Ghost Prep community attended to celebrate another year in the proud tradition of Holy Ghost athletics. 

Ryan Callahan ’18, the 2018 Bicentennial Athletic League (BAL) bowling champion who is headed to Emory University in the fall, served as the student-athlete speaker for the event, and the following special awards were handed out:

 

Track & Field

The David Proven Memorial Award: Kevin Trusdell ’18

 

Baseball

David Betz Memorial Baseball Award: Jared Septer ’18

 

Basketball

The Jack Schott Memorial Basketball Award: Jack Elliott ’18

 

Ice Hockey

The Brian Tibbles and Jim Britt Award (Supported by the Ray Schultz Memorial Fund):

Max Massari ’18

 

Soccer  

The Michael A. Fuccello Memorial Award for Soccer

Sasha Rubinstein '18


 

Swimming

The Joe Boback Memorial Coach’s Award for Swimming: Matthew Doucette ’18

 

 

Team Sportsmanship Awards:

Baseball: Zach Vitorelli ’18

Basketball: Alex Taylor ’19

Bowling: Anthony Baum ’18

Cross-Country: Tony Carbino ’19

Golf: Patrick Monaghan ’19

Ice Hockey: Patrick Cannon ’18

Indoor Track & Field: Tony Carbino ’19

Lacrosse: Matt Rueter ’18

Rowing: Aiden Bell ’20

Soccer: Cole Martillotti ’18

Swimming: Nicholas Polidoro ’19

Tennis: Mark Pabalan ’18

Track and Field: Jarrod Padilla ’18

Ultimate: Will Russell ’18

 

HG Red Club Award for Athletic Participation in Multiple Sports:

Tony Carbino ’19

Brendan Eagen ’18

 

The Ted Grabowski Scholar-Athlete Award:  Mark Pabalan ’18

 

 

With Holy Ghost Prep art teacher Karen Smallen set to retire after 26 years of excellence at the school, here's a feature that Matt Jordan, an English teacher at HGP, wrote about her in the Winter issue of Holy Ghost Prep Magazine.

Mastering the Art of Teaching

Beginning with the Brennan Family Innovation Center, Holy Ghost Prep has begun converting the northeast wing of Cornwells Hall into a STEM Tower to ensure that the school remains at the forefront of innovation in science and technology well into the 21st century.

But what Karen Smallen, Holy Ghost’s art teacher for the past 26 years, has been doing with her students in the art studio right next door is a good reminder that the STEM Tower will not be the only space on campus where innovation is happening.

Smallen has been emphasizing 21st century learning skills such as collaboration and creative problem solving in her art studio classes for some time now. “I bring to them the idea that you must think,” Smallen says, “but you have to think in another way. In math, one and one is two. It has to be two. But here, it can be three. When I went to high school, we were taught to memorize. Here, we teach you how to think.”

 Making art helps adolescent boys in ways beyond creating something meaningful, Smallen believes. It also allows them to be more vulnerable emotionally, something that she thinks is especially important at an all-male environment like Holy Ghost. “They’re willing to be brave,” she says, “they’re willing to express themselves, because it’s an all-male school.”

It’s a contradiction of an idea that some might have of the all-boys school as a place full of sports-obsessed alpha males. “There’s a connection that boys are willing to make to art at an all-male school that they wouldn’t if there were girls around,” Smallen says. “These boys discover a part of themselves that they might not be able to do otherwise.”

Smallen loves teaching at Holy Ghost. “It’s a very active job,” she says, “a physically and emotionally active job. And no two classes are the same. No two days are the same. There is no boredom factor here.” She cites with pride the number of students who have gone on to become art majors in college, not to mention landscape architects, graphic designers, and commercial artists in their careers after college. And she loves the moments when parents walk into her art gallery, see their sons’ work on the walls, and tell her, “Oh my gosh, I had no idea he was capable of doing this.”

None of that success would have been possible, Smallen acknowledges, without Holy Ghost’s commitment to the arts, a commitment that was sealed for her when the school converted what was once its library into the current art gallery and studio in 1999.

“This,” she says, gesturing to the studio behind her, where absorbed students work independently to complete projects that are meaningful to them, “is more than I ever could have predicted 26 years ago. This space is exciting to the students. It is conducive to the arts. This space says that this school cares that its students pursue the arts at Holy Ghost Prep.”

Under Smallen’s guidance, the gallery and studio will undoubtedly be a space that produces not just innovation, but meaningful work created by actively engaged students, for years to come.

 

 

On May 15, the High School Sports Show recorded its entire two-hour weekly radio show from Holy Ghost Prep's dining hall. The show aired Sunday, May 20 from 1-3 p.m. on 990 AM.

HGP was spotlighted on area high school sports radio show

On May 15, the High School Sports Show recorded its entire two-hour weekly radio show from Holy Ghost Prep's dining hall. The HGP student-athletes, teachers, coaches, and administrators all shined as they discussed the school's athletic programs and the school's culture. The show aired Sunday, May 20 from 1-3 p.m. on 990 AM.

Part of a series of programming that tapes weekly on Tuesday 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.  

FYI: If you missed the May 20th airing of the show, they are archived and can be accessed and listened to by clicking here

 
 

 
 

Thanks to Beth Bruno's ecology class, Holy Ghost Prep has been gifted two lovely planters with the school seal, a cleat cleaner, and a side table (pictured) made completely from the hockey team's broken sticks.

Final ecology projects “put it all together”

The end of senior year can be a flurry of activity.  In Beth Bruno’s ecology class, the flurry revolves around the final project.  After a semester of examining Holy Ghost as a business, the human impact on climate, the working of the oceans and the atmosphere, farming and soil, the need for water and mining minerals, the students are asked to find a way to “put it all together.”  

In these final projects, the students are required to use their knowledge of the working of HGP, their time at HGP to take something normally thrown away and make it useful, and to ultimately make something useful for HGP.  There are no other restrictions, after approval of the project.

“My intent is to make the students aware of how much and how readily we throw things away,” says Bruno. “There are always clever and interesting projects, but this year has some unique projects.”

Thanks to Bruno’s current class, Holy Ghost Prep has been gifted two lovely planters with the school seal, a cleat cleaner to be given to the Firebird Fieldhouse, and a side table made completely from the hockey team’s broken sticks. In addition, but not a visually interesting, is paper studying the possibility of putting a green roof on the new STEM Tower.

 

Owen Sienko (left) and Connor DiMarco (right) have been named the valedictorian and salutatorian for Holy Ghost Prep's Class of 2018, respectively.

Holy Ghost Prep announces 2018 valedictorian, salutatorian

Owen Sienko and Connor DiMarco have been named the valedictorian and salutatorian for Holy Ghost Prep’s Class of 2018, respectively.

A truly gifted writer headed to Syracuse University renowned S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in the fall, Sienko seems perfectly suited to be the valedictorian, a role in which officially bids farewell to the school for the Class of 2018 during the graduation ceremony on June 2.

In addition to authoring “Reality” pieces this school year for the Bucks County Courier Times, Sienko, a member of Holy Ghost Prep’s National Honor Society and National French Honor Society, took full advantage of all that HGP has to offer—serving in campus ministry, playing on the chess team, and being the editor-in-chief of both the Flame (the school newspaper) and Embers (the school’s literary magazine).

“Owen Sienko is one of the finest writers I’ve ever had the privilege to teach; he is so much more than that, though,” says Patricia O'Connor, Ph.D., an English teacher at Holy Ghost Prep. “I observed Owen as he tutored at his former elementary school and worked with children in the Dominican Republic. Owen is a kind, reflective, strong young man. When those qualities are combined with the experience he will gain at Newhouse, I am confident that Owen’s writing will advance the Spiritan mission and change the world for the better.”

As the salutatorian, DiMarco will welcome the entire Holy Ghost Prep community to graduation weekend by giving an address at the Baccalaureate Mass on June 1. 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.

DiMarco was certainly a deserving selection. He will attend the University of Michigan in the fall and dreams of traveling into space one day. A member of HGP’s National Honor Society, DiMarco was heavily involved during his four years at the school—serving as the vice president of HGP’s student government, being a four-year member of TEAMS (Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science), taking a life-altering service trip to the Dominican Republic, and earning a spot in the Spanish National Honor Society.

“Connor DiMarco is an amazing young man,” says Ryan Abramson ’94, the director of admissions and marketing at Holy Ghost Prep. “Along with being one of the most talented students in the Class of 2018, Connor has also traveled to the Dominican Republic on our service trip, helped coordinate our after-school middle school math program, and served the school as the student government’s vice president. It is appropriate then that his classmates voted him to be the salutatorian for the Class of 2018.”

 

Holy Ghost Prep seniors Mason El-Habr, Brian Gabriele, Matthew Hofmann, and Brendan Mindiak were recognized for their academic achievements at the 39th annual Archdiocesan Honors Convocation on May 17.

Four HGP seniors recognized at Archdiocese’s Honors Convocation

Four Holy Ghost Prep seniors—Mason El-Habr, Brian Gabriele, Matthew Hofmann, and Brendan Mindiak—were among the 157 students recognized for their academic achievements at the 39th annual Archdiocesan Honors Convocation held at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia on Thursday, May 17.

Each of the 157 students honored was ranked in the top 3 percent of their classes at the end of the first semester of their senior years. Each student received the St. John Neumann Medal at the ceremony.

“I am so proud of these young men and their accomplishments over the past four years. They have demonstrated success in and out of the classroom and are the perfect representatives of Ghost,” says Holy Ghost Prep principal Jeff Danilak.

The four HGP honorees are all headed to schools ranked among the U.S. News and World Report’s top 50 national universities: Mason El-Habr (Princeton); Brian Gabriele (John Hopkins); Matthew Hofmann (University of Pennsylvania); and Brendan Mindiak (Georgia Tech).

Junior Alex Taylor, the president of the Holy Ghost Prep’s National Honor Society for the 2018-19 school year, served as HGP's flag bearer for the event. 

 

 

On May 15, the High School Sports Show recorded its entire two-hour weekly radio show from Holy Ghost Prep's dining hall. The show will air Sunday, May 20 from 1-3 p.m. on 990 AM.

HGP will be spotlighted on area high school sports radio show

On May 15, the High School Sports Show recorded its entire two-hour weekly radio show from Holy Ghost Prep's dining hall. The HGP student-athletes, teachers, coaches, and administrators all shined as they discussed the school's athletic programs and the school's culture. The show will air Sunday, May 20 from 1-3 p.m. on 990 AM.

Part of a series of programming that tapes weekly on Tuesday 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.  

FYI: After the shows air, they are archived and can be accessed and listened to by clicking here

 
 

 
 

Holy Ghost Prep seniors Ryan Taylor and Sean Kerrigan (pictured) were recently awarded full presidential scholarships by Duquesne University. Taylor and Kerrigan will both enroll Duquesne's six-year pharmacy program and will room together next year.(photo by Catalano Studio)

Two HGP seniors earn Duquesne University presidential scholarships

Holy Ghost Prep seniors Ryan Taylor and Sean Kerrigan were recently awarded full presidential scholarships by Duquesne University.

Taylor and Kerrigan will both enroll Duquesne’s six-year pharmacy program and will room together next year.

“We had a really strong pool of applicants for the two Duquesne presidential scholarships this year,” says Gregory J. Geruson ’79, the president of Holy Ghost Prep. “Ryan and Sean are two terrific young men who have added so much to the Holy Ghost Prep community during their time here, and I am certain that they will make a similar impact at Duquesne University.”

A member of the National Honor Society, Taylor excels in the classroom, taking a number of honors and advanced placement courses. In addition, he has been a member of the Campus Ministry group, served as an Unum leader (helping HGP freshmen transition to life at Holt Ghost in that role), and was a four-year member of HGP’s bowling team. Taylor works at the Flynn and O’Hara warehouse during the school year. During the summer months, he has worked as a camp counselor at the YMCA.

Kerrigan, like Taylor, is an outstanding student who is a member of Holy Ghost Prep’s National Honor Society and an Unum leader. Kerrigan was a four-year member of TEAMS (Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics and Science) and also plays baseball at Holy Ghost Prep. This year, he was appointed to the HGP Student Athletic Council, where a student from each sport is represented. This past summer, Kerrigan worked at a local assisted living facility and continues to work there during the school year—logging 10-15 hours a week.  

“Ryan and Sean are well prepared to meet the challenges they will face at Duquesne,” says AnnMarie Dougherty, Holy Ghost Prep’s director of college guidance. “They both value service, hard work, and independence, and I am sure they will maintain high academic standards as they work their way through college.”

 

Holy Ghost Prep junior Liam Hart, the 2017 PIAA Class 3A state champion, won the Philadelphia Junior Open on May 12-13 at Five Ponds Golf Course in Warminster by shooting a 69 and a 74 to finish one-over par.

Liam Hart ’19 captures Philadelphia Junior Open

Holy Ghost Prep junior Liam Hart, the 2017 PIAA Class 3A state champion, won the Philadelphia Junior Open on May 12-13 at Five Ponds Golf Course in Warminster by shooting a 69 and a 74 to finish one-over par. Hart easily captured the title by seven strokes over Karsen Rush of Chambersburg, Pa.

“The key to my win at the Philly Junior Open was just playing smart,” says Hart. “I drove the ball pretty straight, hit most greens, and made some putts. When I wasn’t hitting it great, my putter would step up, and vice versa. I didn’t make a double bogey or worse either day, so that definitely helped.”

It marks the second straight Hurricane Junior Golf Tour event that Hart has won. Back in late April, Hart bested the field in the New Jersey Spring Open at Hopewell Valley Golf Club. Hart will spend lots of time on the links during the summer months. 

“I am going to play about 10 events during the summer months,” says Hart. “I will also begin to visit colleges in the summer. I plan on playing a tournament down at Pinehurst (the terrific golf course down in North Carolina), so I’ll kill two birds with one stone and also visit a number of southern colleges that week.” 

Given his 2017 state title, his selection as this year's High School Boys Golfer of the Year by the Bucks County Courier Times, and his recent success on the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour, Hart is building an impressive golf resume, one that should impress college golf coaches when Hart begins his college search process in earnest this summer.

“For golf, taking action to reach out is more on the player than it is on the recruiter,” says Hart. “Over the summer, I will really dive into the recruiting process and reach out to schools I am interested in.”

 

 

Holy Ghost Preparatory School
2429 Bristol Pike Bensalem, PA 19020
P 215.639.2102   F 215.639.4225

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