Monday, August 12, 2013

Fall Sports @ the Prep: Part I

Mens sana in corpore sano

In order to fulfill our mission as a Jesuit high school, we offer our students several opportunities to develop their mind, body, soul and character through competition. Through our 18 varsity and club sports - not to mention intramurals - nearly 70% of our students apply the same diligence and enthusiasm on the field as they do in the classroom. They strive to maintain a "sound mind in a sound body."

Fall Sports: Football & Soccer


I stopped by Belmont Plateau early this morning to sneak a peek at our football team's first practice. Coach Gabe Infante and his staff are getting the squad ready for what should be a thrilling season. The tempo was up, the guys were challenged, and everyone had a responsibility. Their sense of purpose and brotherhood was palpable. As a former Prep football player, I recalled fondly my practices at Belmont and the anticipation of that first game. Don't let the season pass without coming out to cheer on the Crimson and Grey on the gridiron.


Tonight at the Dairy Fields in Fairmount Park, Coach Jim Murray '59 and his team begin another season of Prep Soccer. Each year our soccer players compete in what may be the toughest division in the area - the Philadelphia Catholic League Red. In addition to playing against the best in the PCL, we also participate in several challenging non-league matches against other fine independent schools in the Delaware Valley in our pursuit of a championship.

Thursday - Part II: Golf & Cross Country

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Summer Reading: Staff Picks

What we're reading

All members of the St. Joe's Prep community are asked to read Julie Otsuka's The Buddha in the Attic before classes begin in September. In addition to this brief but powerful and memorable novel, all incoming and returning students are asked to complete their grade's required reading. And our English department has compiled a list of suggested summer reading for those early evenings on the beach down the Shore and misty mornings on the porch.

Since I'm always looking for a good read, I asked my co-workers what they're reading this summer. Here's how they responded:

Ms. Mascio - Admission Counselor
Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbrath a.k.a. J.K. Rowling & Joyland by Stephen King

Mrs. Kettinger - Assistant Principal 
PowerSchool Manual :)

Mr. Gonzalez - Director of Diversity
Failing Forward by John C. Maxwell

Mr. Scanlan - Chief Financial Officer
Gettysburg: The Last Invasion by Allen C. Guelzo

Ms. Nelson - Librarian
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck & The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde

Mr. Turner - Director of Admission
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink & Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

That should get you through August, right?

What are you reading? Let us know in the comments.

Monday, August 5, 2013



Whenever my wife, Erin, visits me at the Prep, she marvels at what she calls the "vibe of the place." The positive energy that flows through the Prep impresses her to such a degree that Erin wishes she could take "whatever it is that you have here and put it in a bottle." When asked to elaborate, Erin says, "Everyone just seems so happy."


It's August and things tend to slow down here at St. Joe's Prep. The positive energy that is palpable during the school year needs a few weeks to recharge. That period before the start of a new academic year permits the admission office to reflect on the past year, look ahead to the upcoming year, and purge the office. To assist with the cleaning, our office has the help of two summer work grant students: Billy Matz '16 and Keith Smith '15.

Billy Matz '16
Narberth, PA

Keith Smith '15
Chestnut Hill
As we rearrange my office's bookshelves, I ask these young men if my wife is right. Are we happy at the Prep? Without hesitation, each of them says, "Yes." Billy says that he feels welcome here at the Prep, and that his teachers genuinely care for him. Keith says that everyone at the Prep - classmates, teachers, staff, and alumni - acknowledges him, and that simple act makes him feel special.


Recent research suggests that a person's job success is related in no small part to his or her optimism, not just education or work ethic. The Prep provides its students with a stellar education and promotes a strong work ethic within a positive and nurturing environment. It all sounds like a recipe for success to me.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Greetings from 17th & Girard!

Thank you!

If you're reading this blog, then thank you. Your interest in the Prep - whether you're an alumnus like me ('00), a current parent, or a curious 8th grader - is appreciated, and I'm thrilled that you landed here.

My name is Ed Turner, admission director at St. Joseph's Prep.  The topic for the Prep admission office's first blog post is simple: gratitude.


Take a look at the following pictures:
Danny Turner '09

Chris Donnelly, John Gallagher, Ed Turner, Matt McNamee
Class of 2000
The first picture is of my brother, Danny '09, on his graduation day. The next one is of four members (including me) of the Class of 2000. My hope is that these pictures show you many things: joy, brotherhood, accomplishment, excitement, and promise. But above all, I hope that they illustrate a profound sense of gratitude. We Prep guys are thankful - each day - for the education we received at 17th & Girard, and we can't think of a better place to spend your high school years.