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Saint Benedict's Preparatory School

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Saint Benedict's Preparatory School

Saint Benedict's Preparatory School
Collegium Sancti Benedicti
School crest
Gratia Benedictus Nomine (Latin)
Blessed in name and grace
520 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
Newark, New Jersey, 07102
Type Private, Day & Boarding school
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1868
Founder Boniface Wimmer, O.S.B.
President Abbot Melvin Valvono
Headmaster Rev. Edwin Leahy, O.S.B
Faculty 21 (on FTE basis)[1]
Grades 712
Gender Boys
Enrollment 561[1] (2011-12)
Student to teacher ratio 26.7:1[1]
Campus Urban
Campus size 12 acres (49,000 m2)
Color(s) Garnet and Gray         
Slogan Whatever hurts my brother, hurts me & Whatever helps my brother, helps me.
Song Ala Mater
Fight song Boola Boola & Garnet and Gray
Athletics 12 varsity teams
Nickname Gray Bees
Accreditation Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools[2]
Publication Kayrix (literary magazine)
Newspaper The Benedict News
Yearbook Telolog
Tuition $7,250 (grades 9-12)
$5,100 (grades 7-8)[3]
Affiliation NJAIS
Assistant Headmaster Mike Scanlon
Dean Of Faculty Michelle Tuorto
Admissions Director Mario Gallo
Athletic Director Ed Bendokas

Saint Benedict's Preparatory School is a college preparatory school in Newark, New Jersey, United States. It is an all-boys secondary school located on a 12 acres (4.9 ha) urban campus serving students in the seventh through twelfth grades. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1990.[2]

Established in 1868 by the Benedictine monks of Newark Abbey, the school is guided by the sixth century Rule of St Benedict. It has been a part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark for over 130 years.[4] It serves students from Newark and its neighboring communities; students come from 100 towns and about 215 schools. More than 60 are from 23 other countries.[3]

As of the 2011-12 school year, the school had an enrollment of 561 students and 21.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 26.7:1.[1]


The school was closed for the 1972-73 school year. Since its re-opening in 1973, the headmaster has been Fr. Edwin D. Leahy, O.S.B, who graduated from St. Benedict's in 1963.[5]

Academic year and leadership

St. Benedict's school year differs from most high schools. The school year is divided into three "phases"; Summer phase, Fall/Winter phase and Spring phase. During Summer phase the whole student body of St. Benedict's gathers for a five-week session of half-day classes during August. For the members of the Freshman class, the session begins with the five-day overnight. The Freshman class is divided into 18 groups of about eight students each, with an older student acting as counselor for the week, preferably a sophomore or junior student. Meals are taken "family style" in the dining room as each student takes a turn being the waiter for his color group, setting the table, serving the food, and clearing up afterward. Freshmen meet faculty members and older students, discover Benedict's history and traditions and learn the school songs. At the end of the week the students will be verbally quizzed on the school's history by current faculty, leaders, and alumni. The amount of questions depends solely on who the person is, and passing will result in the students earning his colors (Garnet & Gray).

During the fall/winter phase students have regular school days with classes beginning at 7:50 and daily convocation in the Shanley the Gym at 9:15 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with the exception of the first Friday of the month. Tuesday and the first Friday of the month are the students late start, where school begins at 9:00 with convocation in the auditorium. On Thursday school begins with convocation at 7:50 followed by "mass" (catholic church service) for one of the four sections of the school. The sections alternate turns going to mass each week approximately attending mass once a month. During convocation, prayers are said and songs are sung with the whole community present. At the end of convocation there is a brief time period in which the entire community takes part in sharing announcements with the rest of the school body. These announcements are about upcoming events, results from pass events, meetings for leadership, opportunities for extra help, and things that the community is either doing well with or needs to improve on.

Spring phase ends the academic year. Students choose projects to work on for four weeks such as community service, US history, Gardening, Dancing, Music Production, Photography, Journalism, Finance, Acting, Physics, Intense Exercising, karate, and cooking.

Freshmen don't have a choice. At the end of the Freshmen Year, Freshmen spend a week together. They sleep in tents. Freshman team members take turns cooking for one another, preparing food they have carried on their backs. The Backpacking Project is a five-day trek over 50 miles (80 km) of the Appalachian Trail in the mountains of western New Jersey. Freshmen form themselves into 16 teams of eight members each and elect a leader. Upon selecting a leader they also make decisions for the rest of available positions, which are the camping specialists(2), the cooks (2), the first aid person (1), the nature specialist (1), the navigator (1) and the Captain. Four such teams make a "company" that is led by specially trained older students, first-aiders, and adults. Three weeks of intense training precede the week on the trail.[6] Bringing back old history the transfer students no longer have choice as they to have to walk the trail.

St. Benedict's is divided into 18 groups of about 20 to 30 members each. Each group, named after successful Benedict's alumnus meets daily, competes in events, academics, attendance, and plays an active role in running the school. Each group elects a student Group Leader and Assistant Leaders and works closely with its faculty advisers. The school is run by group of eight distinctive seniors.The Senior Group leader, four section leaders, a freshman leader, a transfer leader and a seventh and eighth grade leader. They work together daily in leading the school and enforcing rules.[6]


The prep school sponsors twelve sports: water polo, cross country running, soccer, swimming, fencing, wrestling, basketball, indoor track, crew, golf, baseball, outdoor track. The school has produced several notable athletes including an Olympic gold medalist.[7]

Saint Benedict's basketball team, coached by Mark Taylor since 2011, consistently ranks as one of the top high-school basketball teams in the United States among USA Today High School Boys Basketball Super 25.[8][9] and is part of what The New York Times calls the "NBA pipeline".[10] In 2013, the basketball team was ranked 5th in ESPN's top 25, losing to Montverde Academy in the ESPN Rise National Championship.

The 2006 boy's soccer team finished the season with a 20-0 record, and was ranked first in the nation in the NSCAA/adidas National Rankings.[11] A 4-1 win against the Pennington School in the 2011 Prep A championship gave St. Benedict's a perfect 24-0 season, its 23rd consecutive Prep A title and its seventh spot as the top-ranked high school soccer team in the nation by ESPN/Rise, having previously been recognized as national champion in 1990, 1997–98, 2001, 2005–06 and repeating in 2011-2012 and 2012-2013.[12][13] Numerous alumni of the soccer program have become world-renowned players.[14]

Extracurricular activities

St. Benedict's has a music, and a visual arts program.

Its Drama Guild has traveled to England, Ireland and Bolivia.

The band has participated in local and national shows, including competitions in Boston and Montreal.

The Benedict News is nationally recognized among student newspapers. It has won the Columbia Scholastic Press Association gold medal three times, in 2005, 3006 and again in 2008.[15] The school literary magazine, The Kayrix is published every year during spring phase.

The 520 is a student-run maintenance corporation. The goal of the corporation is to cost-effectively support the maintenance needs of the school while enhancing the environment, and providing students with the opportunity to develop skills and earn a competitive income. The corporation was established in 1998.


The history of the school is related in Thomas A. McCabe's Miracle on High Street (New York: Fordham University Press, 2010). A documentary about Newark Abbey and Saint Benedict's Prep, The Rule, by Newark-based filmmakers Jerome and Marylou Bongiorno, premiered at the 2014 Montclair Film Festival.[16]


Notable alumni

Notable faculty

  • Ernest Blood (1872–1955), basketball coach who led St. Benedict's Prep to a 421-128 record and five state championships from 1925 to 1950.[39]


  1. ^ a b c d St. Benedict's Preparatory School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed June 9, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Saint Benedict's Preparatory School, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools. Accessed October 10, 2011.
  3. ^ a b School Profile
  4. ^ Essex County High Schools, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark. Accessed October 10, 2011.
  5. ^ About St. Benedict's and Newark Abbey, Saint Benedict's Preparatory School. Accessed June 18, 2008.
  6. ^ a b Saint Benedict's Preparatory School
  7. ^ Thornton, Ed. ANOTHER OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST VISTS ST. BENEDICT'S ; Kenyan champion offers advice to track team, St. Benedict's Prep, January 2008. Accessed June 9, 2014. "St. Benedict's had the wonderful opportunity to have alumnus Cullen Jones '02 speak to the school back in October. Jones won the gold medal with Michael Phelps in the 4x100m this past summer in the Beijing Olympics."
  8. ^ Cohen, Micah (January 19, 2007). "St. Benedict’s Basketball Plays Two". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  9. ^ "New Jersey Powers St. Benedict's (Newark), St. Anthony (Jersey City) Move into Top 5 of USA Today High School Sports Super 25 Boys Basketball Rankings" (Press release). USA Today. February 19, 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  10. ^ Araton, Harvey (December 18, 2012). St Benedicts basketball "N.B.A. Pipeline Bypassing New York for New Jersey". The NewYork Times. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  11. ^ NSCAA/adidas National Rankings: National Final Regular Season Poll Poll, November 21, 2006. Accessed July 27, 2007.
  12. ^ Staff. "Pennington (1) at St. Benedict's (4), Prep A Tournament, Final Round - Boys Soccer", Trenton Times, November 6, 2011. Accessed December 5, 2011. "With the victory, St. Benedict’s completed a perfect 24-0 campaign and will finish as the No. 1 ranked team in the country for the seventh time in school history and first time since 2006. The title is the 23rd straight Prep A crown and 25th overall state title for St. Benedict’s, which will carry a 36-game winning streak into next year.... St. Benedict’s, which was guaranteed the ESPN/Rise No. 1 spot in the national rankings with a victory, also won national championships in 1990, '97, '98, 2001, '05 and '06."
  13. ^ "SEVENTH HEAVEN! GRAY BEES PICK UP THEIR 7TH NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP; Beat Pennington to cap perfection & earn 23rd straight state title", St. Benedict's Soccer, November 6, 2011. Accessed August 21, 2012. "The Gray Bees wrapped up a perfect season and claimed their 7th National Championship and 23rd successive state title with a 4-1 victory over Pennington Sunday in the Prep A Championship game before a boisterous crowd at NJIT."
  14. ^ Parchman, Will (September 23, 2013). "St. Benedict's is a N.J. beacon for soccer". Top Drawer Soccer. Retrieved 2013-12-15. 
  15. ^ The Benedict News, Issuu. Accessed June 9, 2014. "Columbia Schoolastic Press Assosiation Gold Medalist: 2005, 2006, 2008"
  16. ^ Program. Montclair Film Festival, April 28 - May 4, 2014, p. 71
  17. ^ Gregg Berhalter profile, US Soccer, accessed May 3, 2007. "A four-year letter winner for St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, N.J., where he started on the team that won two state championships and ranked No. 2 and No. 1 in the nation in 1989 (22–0) and 1990 (25–0), respectively."
  18. ^ Peter A. Carlesimo, National Invitation Tournament. Accessed December 3, 2007.
  19. ^ Ownie Carroll, The Baseball Cube. Accessed August 19, 2007.
  20. ^ Lambert, Jim. "Edward Cheserek of St. Benedict's Prep will attend Oregon", The Star-Ledger, February 16, 2013. Accessed June 9, 2014. "Edward Cheserek of St. Benedict's Prep, the No. 1 high school distance runner in the nation and the best distance runner in New Jersey high school history, announced his eagerly anticipated college choice tonight."
  21. ^ "Annual Report 1999–2000". St. Benedict's Prep. 2000. p. 10. Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  22. ^ Profile of John J. Degnan, New Jersey Attorney General. Accessed June 26, 2008.
  23. ^ James E. Delany, Commissioner, Big Ten Conference. Accessed December 6, 2007.
  24. ^ Galarcep, Ives. "Angulo will chase his dream", Herald News, May 16, 2007. Accessed July 27, 2007. "He's one of the most talented attacking players that I've coached in 22 years, said St. Benedict's Prep coach Rick Jacobs, who counts Ramos, Claudio Reyna and Serie A striker Gabriel Ferrari among his former players.
  25. ^ Thornton, Paul. Annual Report 2005-2006, Saint Benedict's Preparatory School. Accessed August 13, 2012.
  26. ^ Mallozzi, Vincent M. "U.S. Swimmer Hopes to Inspire", The New York Times, August 3, 2008. Accessed August 13, 2012. "He joined the Newark Swim Team and began standing out at St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark and with a West Orange-based club team, Metro Express."
  27. ^ Wechsler, Philip. "Liddy Is Recalled As Youth in Jersey; Tenacity Recalled Average Teen-Ager Respect for Law and Order Dated Liddy's Sister Never a Ladies Man First Lieutenant in Army", The New York Times, August 27, 1973. Accessed May 11, 2011. "At a time when track was a popular sport, G. Gordon Liddy, second from the right, top, made the St. Benedict's cross-country team, winner of the state prep championship."
  28. ^ Bondy, Stefan. "Zack Rosen and Scott Machado: from highschool teammates to combine competitors", Daily News (New York), May 19, 2012. Accessed August 13, 2012. "Rosen, a native of Colonia, NJ, who attended St. Benedict’s Prep, averaged 18.2 points with 5.2 assists as a senior last season. He was teammates at St. Benedict’s with another projected second-round point guard at Saturday’s combine, Scott Machado, the NCAA’s assist leader last season for Iona."
  29. ^ Havsy, Jane. "The MetroStars added four more players through Major League", Daily Record (Morristown), January 26, 2006. Accessed May 11, 2011. "Houston selected St. Benedict's Prep alumnus Mpho Moloi, a midfielder from the University of Connecticut, in the first round."
  30. ^ Staff. "Class Notes and Milestones", St. Benedict's Prep Newsletter, Summer 2012, p. 6. Accessed June 9, 2014. "John Matthews ’85 wrote that Kevin O’Connor ’86 of This Old House has a new book about the show Best of This Old House, which, as of September 2011, was on the Boston Globe’s best seller list"
  31. ^ a b Galacep, Ives. "Immersed in the game", Herald News, October 24, 2006. Accessed May 3, 2007. "It isn't every day that a 15-year-old is mentioned as a candidate to add his name to the storied list of New Jersey standouts to leave St. Benedict's for memorable professional careers, such as U.S. national team legends Tab Ramos and Claudio Reyna."
  32. ^ "Zack Rosen athletic biography". University of Pennsylvania athletics. Retrieved 2012-04-06. 
  33. ^ via Associated Press. "Former St. Benedict's star and Louisville F Samardo Samuels declares for NBA Draft", The Star-Ledger, April 20, 2010. Accessed May 11, 2011.
  34. ^ Samardo Samuels, Accessed May 11, 2011.
  35. ^ Nuggets Acquire J.R. Smith from Bulls: Team sends Eisley, two second round picks to Chicago, Denver Nuggets press release dated July 20, 2006. Accessed May 11, 2011 ."Originally the 18th overall pick of the 2004 NBA Draft out of St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, N.J., Smith has appeared in 131 career games, averaging 9.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg and 1.5 apg in 21.7 minutes."
  36. ^ Mehta, Manish. "Former St. Benedict's star Corey Stokes shines in Villanova's 76-75 thriller over Marquette in Big East Tournament", The Star-Ledger, March 13, 2009. Accessed May 11, 2011.
  37. ^ Luicci, Tom. "NCAA Tournament: Former St. Benedict's star Lance Thomas happy as Duke role player", The Star-Ledger, March 25, 2009. Accessed August 13, 2012. "Some of the expectations were justified. Lance Thomas, after all, was a McDonald's All-American and a star at St. Benedict's Prep in Newark, one of the country's top high school basketball programs."
  38. ^ Yannis, Alex. "SOCCER; A Long Road to M.L.S. For MetroStars' Villegas", The New York Times, May 14, 2001. Accessed August 13, 2012. "But he said he was especially grateful to the Rev. Edwin D. Leahy, the headmaster of St. Benedict's Preparatory School in Newark, who took Villegas under his wing as a freshman."
  39. ^ Sports biography of Blood, Ernest A., accessed May 3, 2007. "Blood coached at the U. S. Military Academy in 1924–25 and 1925–26, then went to St. Benedict's Prep in Newark, where he spent the rest of his career, retiring in 1949. His St. Benedict's teams won five state championships."

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