Scholar Highlights

Check out the latest good news about our excellent scholars in the classroom below: 

Update for Sept 14

Ms. Bacon’s Spanish Scholars

Ms. Bacon’s Spanish 2 Honors class kicked off the school year with a small group, collaborative review session covering topics they studied last year. After receiving a set of questions in English, they worked together to phrase the questions in Spanish. When faced with uncertainty, the groups could choose to send a “runner” to examine sheets with the correct translations Ms. Bacon had set up around the room and in the hallway. The runner was tasked with finding the correct translation and reporting back to the group. Review work will continue over the next few days!


Mrs. Daly’s Math Scholars

Although she may be new to the faculty, Mrs. Daly in the Mathematics department has been a presence on campus since her daughter, Shannon, came to Saint Joseph Prep last year as a 9th grader. This year, Mrs. Daly is teaching Algebra, Geometry, Calculus, and AP Statistics.

In Algebra, the freshmen are learning how to use their MacBooks and Google Classroom, while also making new friends. Geometry started with an Algebra review, including the summer work, and now her students are diving into the wonderful world of Points, Lines, and Planes. Her AP Stats class is learning the methodology of the test, so they can prepare effectively throughout the year.

Mr. Patolia’s Chemistry Scholars

The first step in Mr. Patolia’s Chemistry classes is to review the safety standards and behavior for the Chemistry lab. All students are required to score a 100% on the upcoming quiz in order to work with the lab equipment and materials.

The AP Chemistry students, already well-versed in lab safety, will have their first test covering the summer work (the first three chapters of the book) and all of the material previously covered in Honors Chemistry. In its second year at Saint Joseph Prep, the class has grown from nine students to 22 students!

Mr. Glozzy’s Studio Art Scholars

This year, Mr. Glozzy is joined by Mr. Barber, a student-teacher from Emmanuel College. Together, they have been helping our Studio Art students develop their skills and create beautiful works of art.

The Intro to Studio Art students will begin their first real project, a narrative collage, this week. The goal is to create a story from magazine images that are either visually appealing to them or where the subject matter is of interest.

Studio Art students spent the day working on blank contour drawings. Each student set up an easel and had to draw the image of another student without either looking at their picture or lifting their pen off the page. The awkwardness of staring at someone else’s face for an extended period of time also served a great icebreaker!

Advanced Studio Art students are working on creating assemblages which are 3-dimensional collages. Each student is studying the work of a historical artist for use as inspiration. The final critique will occur next week.

Finally, AP Studio Art students have begun to create two-dimensional art in any medium of their choice. They were tasked with examining their summer experience and boiling everything down to just one word, which is the theme of their individual project.

Ms. Gabriel’s Theology Scholars

In Ms. Gabriel’s Theology 4 classes, seniors are discussing social justice and finding examples of calls to social justice in the Bible. The goal is to understand why there is a need to care about other people’s human dignity. Why is it important, even if things are going well for you as an individual, to have concern for the welfare of others?

One example from the New Testament refers to Jesus’ call to care for foreigners and outcasts and not just to care for one’s own people.

Seniors will eventually complete a project in which they examine ethical business practices and how companies do, or do not, practice these methods.

Posted by D. Shiner on Thursday September 14
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Academic Highlights, June 9

Ms. Creamer’s Spanish Scholars

Ms. Creamer's Spanish 1CP class has been talking about their family members, their birthdays, and their ages. In order to practice in Spanish, the students participated in a scavenger hunt in which they had to find out simple information about their classmates and families using a fun app called “Aurasma.” The students recorded videos of themselves and “posted” these videos around the room. The app allows them to use their iPads to watch these videos and therefore to answer student-written questions!


Spanish Scholars Traveling to Spain

Ms. Bacon, Ms. Creamer, Mr. O’Mara and 22 students will be traveling to Spain this summer, and anyone can follow there travels via the blog they will be updating along the way. The link to the blog is:

The team leaves on June 26 and will return on July 6, and will be visiting the following cities and sites: Granada (the Alhambra & a Moroccan tea house); Sevilla (the Cathedral, an olive farm & a bull ranch); Córdoba (the Mesquite); Madrid (the Royal Palace, the Prado Museum & the Reina Sofía Museum); Toledo (the Cathedral & the Barrio Judío); and Barcelona (the Sagrada Familia & Parc Güell).

Feel free to check the blog once they have begun their excursion!

Posted by D. Shiner on Friday June 9
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Academic Highlights, May 18

Mrs. Osborne’s Biology Scholars

In Mrs. Osborne’s 9th grade Biology classes, students are exploring a unit on Genetics. To understand the patterns of inheritance and how certain traits are passed on through generations, they are currently studying Punnett squares. They will start with an examination of hair color in rabbits and move on to predicting children’s blood types. The juniors taking AP Biology are now working on independent study projects. Vivian Ho ’18 is looking at the real science behind “Jurassic Park,” Kate Stanislaski ’18 is researching strange, but true medical diagnoses, Jacob Yang ’18 is reviewing the genetics behind mental illness and substance abuse disorders, Emma Wren ’18 is preparing for an upcoming summer trip to Thailand by learning more about the animals, plants, and viruses indigenous to the area, and Kirk Zhou ’18 will be studying fusion and how substances react with each other.

Ms. Griffith’s Geometry Scholars

Ms. Griffith’s Geometry classes are in the middle of a unit on Proportions, Ratios, and Similarity. To further their understanding, students have been tasked with picking an object, identifying its dimensions, and then recreating that object on a larger or smaller scale. Some examples of the 3D objects students have chosen include an iPad, household furniture, a tea bag, the Prudential Center, and the Great Pyramid of Giza. Upon completion, students will submit a reflection paper outlining their process, paying special attention to the theorems and concepts they learned in class. The models will be on display as the class takes a museum tour to check out their peers’ work!

Mr. Macdonald’s English Scholars

Juniors in Mr. Macdonald’s English classes have begun the important task of writing their college essays. Working closely with the Guidance and College Planning office, students will have three drafts reviewed alternately by Mr. Macdonald, Ms. Piendak, and Mr. O’Mara. As the Class of 2018 makes strides towards a finished product, the primary goal is to draw the reader in using concrete details; showing, not telling. While three drafts will not be the end of the road on this process, the juniors will have a polished draft to continue editing throughout the summer.

Ms. Gabriel’s Theology Scholars

Last week, Ms. Gabriel’s Theology 1 classes were tasked with taking a parable from the gospels of Matthew or Luke and rewriting it in a modern context. The students then created comic strips to illustrate their parables. Using many unique and modern examples to present Jesus’ parables and overall, they students produced excellent work. As examples, Nik King ’20 (image 1) chose to rewrite the Parable of Talents, Briana Hamilton ’20 (images 3 and 4 below) had her own take on the Parable of the Lost Sheep, and Gabe Hanna ’20 (image 2) put an SJP twist on the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Great work, Theology I!


Mr. Scarlata’s World History Scholars

In Mr. Scarlata’s World History II classes, students explored the causes, lived experiences, and results of the Vietnam War. The unit concluded with a gallery walk in the classroom with various stations providing information and statistics related to everything from the effects of Agent Orange to the anti-war music that was popular during that era. Students collected data and then discussed what they learned throughout the unit.

Ms. Creamer’s Spanish Scholars

Ms. Creamer’s Spanish 2 Honors class performed dialogues that they wrote last week. The goal of this activity was to help someone who had gotten lost in a city. The groups had to make up why and how they got lost, ask for help, and get back on track with the help of a conversation partner!

Aidan Wech ’20Brian Wheet ’20, and Ben Wheet ’20 took a creative and funny approach with their conversation, supported by Aidan’s captivating and expressive acting.

Ms. Creamer congratulates all of the groups on a job well done!


Posted by D. Shiner on Wednesday May 17 at 07:11PM
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Academic Highlights, May 3

Ms. Scorza’s History & Gov’t Scholars

AP exams started this week and SJP students have been feverishly preparing with their teachers to maximize their success! In AP U.S. History, Ms. Scorza’s students have been going through countless multiple choice questions in advance of the fifty-five questions they’ll face on test day. Additionally, they’re practicing responses to document-based questions (or DBQs) where they’ll be asked to pull information from seven documents and their own knowledge to respond to a prompt.

In AP Government and Politics, the students have been tasked with creating and presenting reviews on various textbook chapters from throughout the year. They’ve also been closing monitoring and discussing current events in a political climate that has been charged, to the say the least, over the past year.

Although the resources can’t be used during the exams, Ms. Scorza has generously gifted her AP U.S. History students rulers depicting all of the U.S. presidents with interesting facts. Meanwhile, her AP Government and Politics class were the recipients of pocket versions of the Constitution, straight from the Capitol gift store.

In World History II, they are studying Latin American revolutions. Ms. Scorza was one of the faculty chaperones on the Service Immersion trip to Haiti over April break, so discussion around the Haitian Revolution is particularly timely. There is also an ongoing competition using Sporcle on the student iPads, where students are challenged to correctly identify as many countries as possible on a map in a given amount of time. Anthony Khoory ’19 leads the way with 127 correct responses!

Ms. Hughes’ Theology Scholars

Ms. Hughes’ Theology 3 students are currently studying a unit on Human Life. Among the various issues they will be exploring in this larger context, students are currently learning about and discussing the death penalty.

The juniors are reading Dead Man Walking, a book written by Helen Prejean, CSJ related to her experience ministering to Elmo Patrick Sonnier, a convicted murderer on death row in Louisiana. The book was later developed into a movie of the same name, starring Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon. Prejean, a Sister of Saint Joseph, is at the forefront of the capital punishment debate, and was a witness in the Marathon bombing trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Students are also discussing the recent developments in Arkansas, where the state recently executed four inmates in eight days.

Ms. Byun’s & Ms. Mueller’s English Scholars

Under the direction of Ms. Byun and Ms. Mueller, the 9th grade Writing classes are working on an exciting project in which students are applying research methods to popular culture. From High School Musical to Harry Potter and from Taylor Swift to Twilight, the freshmen are responsible for exploring relatable themes and doing the research to further explore the relative strengths or weaknesses of the connection.

For example, does Sharpay Evans from High School Musical personify the traits of an ideal leader? Does the Percy Jackson book series align with Greek mythology? Does Taylor Swift exemplify fourth-wave feminism? To these questions, and many more, students will gather data and proof points to make their argument.

Ms. Gipson’s STEAM Scholars

The sophomores have been hard at work in Ms. Gipson’s STEAM classes. Over the past several weeks, they have been building robots and designing nautical-themed chess sets using Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software.

The unit included four different elements: 1) design and construction of the actual robot, 2) developing a related comic book, which will be featured in the STEAM SHOW, 3) developing the re-imagined chess set, and 4) creating a robot animation.

Below are examples of the sea-inspired chess sets designed, in partnership, by Aleksandra Christie ’19 and Charlie Cassidy ’19 (left), Annie McElroy ’19 and Mark Yan ’19 (center), and Helen Miao ’19 and Cheryl Wang ’19 (right).


Mrs. Muth’s AP Calculus Scholars

Last Tuesday, in preparation of the upcoming test next week, 28 students in Mrs. Muth’s AP Calculus classes (both AB and BC) sat down to take a full-length practice AP exam. Lasting nearly four hours, the students worked their way through the 2008 AP exam, recently released by the College Board, under test-day conditions. Mrs. Muth graded the exams and used the data to guide review sessions. She also created a comprehensive review guide for students to test their knowledge independently.

Mary Forbes ’17 participated in the practice exam and appreciated the opportunity to go through the process. “I’m now more comfortable with the format. I won’t be going in there for the first time not knowing what to expect, which is nice. I understand how to manage the time and pace myself.” Sharon King ’17 added, “Now I know what I need to study and I what I already know. I can spend time appropriately preparing for the free response questions versus the multiple choice. I’m hoping to test out classes for college, so this was a very helpful exercise.” Both Mary and Sharon will be attending College of the Holy Cross in the fall.

Ms. Bacon’s Spanish Scholars

On Tuesday, May 2, Saint Joseph Prep students sat for the AP Spanish exam. The nine scholars joined Ms. Bacon, their instructor, for a pre-test breakfast at the local IHOP to calm their nerves and get some protein in their systems!

Ms. Bacon has a friend walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain, so her Spanish 3 students have been creating their own imaginative pilgrimages. They are identifying a destination and stopping at four locations in between, discussing how to get there and what to do at each location, in Spanish, of course! As an examples, one group is going on a gastronomical tour of various countries, enjoying the local cuisine along the way. Another group is visiting various countries specific to their own ancestral heritage. Like those who walk the Camino de Santiago, the students will receive a certificate upon successful completion of their journey!

Mr. Shiner’s Graphic Design Scholars

The students in STEAM I: Intro to Graphic Design have been studying the history and development of Typography in an effort to understand the importance of letterforms in design. Recognizing that alphabetic characters can be beautiful whether they stand alone or are combined to form words, the students have been charged with developing their own 73-character typeface design (all upper and lower case letters, the numbers 0-9, and 11 forms of punctuation).

In addition to developing a keener eye for detail, the students are becoming much more adept with the digital tools vital to contemporary digital graphic design. According to Shiner, “one of the essential elements to an effective type design is consistency, and many of the students are learning to pay closer attention to this aspect as they revise and improve their initial designs.”

Shiner notes that several students have really excelled in this particular project, including: Angelique Lazard ’20Andrew Nenortas ’20Erica Shamshak ’20Melissa Vallucci ’20PJ Weekes ’20, and Sam Wright ’20. Check out their work and more at the STEAM SHOW on Thursday, May 11!

Posted by D. Shiner on Wednesday May 3
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Mr. Tice’s CAD Scholars

In CAD, students 3D-printed their nameplates and pencil holders. They first made them StL files so they could print out the mold. In addition, the students finished drawing the CAD classroom to scale and in 3D. Each student had to draw two or three assigned objects in the room. Then, they had to join two other students on their team to collaborate and expand the 3D classroom drawn. Finally, they had to work with three other students to establish the entire classroom. The six student teams learned to collaborate with each other on a large scale project, which can be so important in industry. Below are two drawings done by individuals in the class.

Posted by D. Shiner on Friday April 7 at 12:35PM
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Ms. Gabriel’s & Ms. Hughes’ Senior Theology Scholars

This week, the seniors delivered their “Last Lecture” speeches in Theology class. Modeled after Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture, which became a successful book, the Class of 2017 shared with peers their answer to the question, “What wisdom would you share with your classmates if this were the last time you were going to see them?” Below are some insightful comments from our soon-to-be graduates:

Sean Bennett ’17: The things that you taught me were just the ones that I could fit in this 3 minute speech. I have learned something from every individual in this room. I hope that all of you have had the same experience of learning from each other. If not, the one thing I want you all to learn from me is that there is a lesson in every person that you meet in life.

Allen Fleureny ’17: I have been taught throughout my whole life that spreading love is something that is more valuable than spreading hatred. Love is what moves our country forward. We cannot spread anymore hatred because it will not get us anywhere.

Simon Jiang ’17: School is not only a place to learn knowledge but also a place for students to exchange their ideas and define their characters. We are all more than the way we talk, the way we look like and even our grades. High school has taught me to not judge people based on stereotypes.

Hayley Leger ’17: The happiness I feel when I get a new shirt or phone is nothing compared to the happiness I relive whenever I remember the long rides in Sharon’s truck, or accidentally punching Cali in the face freshman year. Even on my worst days, these experiences- no matter how embarrassing they are- stay with me.

Tessa Lewis ’17: There are no mistakes, only lessons we need to master. The idea of this is that we learn from everything and everyone, no matter the situation. You will be thrown into situations where you will learn from the experience and the people around you. Even if the situation is negative, we all learn from them no matter what the result is.

Jada Ross ’17: I think that this is what I have begun to realize: that we have no control over our future, yes we can study vigorously, join clubs, sports, and community service activities to help shape us to whom we want to be. And yes, we can work hard to for something we love earnestly, in hopes that one day we will achieve our goals. But sometimes God’s plan is better. Although we do not recognize it in the heat of the moment, we can look back at times things didn’t work the way we wanted and realize that God put us in a better situation.
Posted by D. Shiner on Friday April 7
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Ms. Scorza’s AP Government Scholars

Ms. Scorza’s AP Gov class has had some very noteworthy guest speakers, including her husband, Mr. Downey! He holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy and has worked for many government agencies over the years. Yesterday, he stopped by to speak to students about future careers in the federal government.

Posted by D. Shiner on Friday April 7
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Mr. Glozzy’s Studio Art Scholars

The SJP student artists have been extremely busy this semester creating unique and wonderful works of art. Among the more challenging projects, the woodcut prints done by the seniors and juniors were a resounding success! Each 6x8” wood panel was designed first on paper, then hand-carved, inked in various colors and pressed to high quality printmaking paper. Each print provides insight into the interests and dreams of our student body.

Elsewhere, freshman students have been busy creating exciting silhouette mosaic collage pieces. This project helps build valuable skills in iconic design, use of color and positive and negative space. The students well exceeded Mr. Glozzy's expectations and turned in some truly exciting and fresh works of art.

Finally, all of the visionary student work here at SJP will be proudly displayed at our Inaugural Steam Show (in place of Arts Night) on Thursday, May 11, 2017. Please come out and support the STEAM program, including Robotics, the Fine and Performing Arts, Graphic Design and CAD. It should be a night to remember!



Posted by D. Shiner on Friday April 7
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Ms. Griffith’s Geometry Scholars

Ms. Griffith’s Geometry scholars were challenged to a Quadrilateral STEAM application to create a perfect square using only string, tape and skewers in class this week. Students took many creative approaches for making sure the sides of the square were all the same length. However, the ultimate test was to make sure the diagonals of the square were the same length, to distinguish it from a rhombus.

Posted by D. Shiner on Friday April 7
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Pi Day 2017

Students at SJP competed in Pi Day activities on Thursday, 3/16 to celebrate March 14, Pi Day. (Note: thanks to a late-season snowstorm, the festivities were postponed two days!) The winners of the three competitions were:

Pie Bake Off: Charlie Cassidy ’19 with a delicious apple pie

Pi Digit Memorization: Kelli Aquino ’18 with 86 digits

Pi Creativity: Dalela Andrade ’20 with a St. Patrick’s Day themed pi drawing

Congratulations to all of our contest winners and participants!

Posted by D. Shiner on Wednesday March 22
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