JOURNEY Spr i ng 2 0 1 9
IT TAKES A FAMILY TO BUILD A SCHOOL
“Let us leave a little room for reflection, room too for silence. See where there be some delightful hidden place in your consciousness where you can be free of noise and argument….” - Augustine, Sermon 55, 22 During his time on earth from 354 to 430 A.D., Augustine of Hippo wrote prolifically. One Augustinian scholar estimates that Augustine’s writings were roughly equal to publishing one 300 page book a year for 40 years. Much of Augustine’s writings were a reflection on scripture and the creation of prayer on his journey of the heart towards sainthood. Today, on our individual journeys, including our time together at Austin Prep, I want to encourage you to think about Augustinian interiority, the practice of finding the Inner Teacher. In addition to providing our students with a first rate college preparatory education to develop strong habits of the mind and a championship athletic program to foster spirited habits of the hand, Austin Prep is a Catholic school that fashions Augustinian hearts to seek what it once had in abundance. These are challenging times for the Church. It’s hard to listen to the news without hearing critics and skeptics point out failures and behavior that has no place in the Church. In these times we ought to look inward, to the interior. St. Augustine said it best: “I searched for you outside myself, while all along you were within me” (Confessions 7, 10, 18). We are a superb Prep school. But we are first and foremost a superb Catholic school. It’s an unbeatable combination that equips you for life. We fashion traveling companions for the Journey.
From a full-time chaplain in residence available for spiritual direction, to usual celebrations of the Mass, to special events like our recent St. Augustine Lecture featuring Trustee Fr. Ray Dlugos, O.S.A. (see page 23) our students are given every opportunity to develop their spiritual selves. Let me close with something from the Confessions of St. Augustine (4. 12, 18) that may help you refocus towards interiority when needed.
Return to your heart and hold fast to Him who made you. Stand with Him and you will stand firm, Rest in Him and you will find peace. Sincerely,
James Hickey, Ph.D. P’22, ’23, ’24 Headmaster
IT TAKES A FAMILY TO BUILD A SCHOOL
Matt Pimentel ’01
Jill Pimentel Slye ’99
“Austin Prep wants to keep strengthening our community and to do that we needed to do something bold in our evolution toward excellence in all things.” – Dan Bouchard, P ’10,’14,’15, Board Chair The challenge was to create that kind of space in a traditional, yellow brick Catholic school structure. Sullivan said Headmaster Dr. James Hickey asked for a space that provided something “warmer, more inviting, and that supported the AP community.”
They say Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither was Austin Prep. But thanks to a rare combination of families with unmatched skill, experience, commitment, and most of all, love of School, we are making great strides with each passing year. The original Austin Prep building was completed in 1963 and to say it was showing its age might be an understatement. Recent trends in education, architecture and eating habits suggested that if the school had aspirations of keeping up with the times, it needed to evolve from an old-fashioned cafeteria to a dining room.
Once the design and budget had been approved by the Board, Austin Prep was fortunate to be able to turn to an experienced partner to lead a project that included many firms with close family ties to the school. In some ways, it was a dream team in the best spirit; Reflective of the School’s mission which is “to inspire hearts to unite, minds to inquire, and hands to serve.”
Current Board Chair Dan Bouchard, P’10, ’14, ’15, reflects on the renovation of the space, “Austin Prep wants to keep strengthening our community and to do that we needed to do something bold in our evolution toward excellence in all things.” After a thorough bid process, the Spencer, Sullivan & Vogt architecture firm was chosen, and Partner Gerry Sullivan said the design was aimed at creating a gathering place, where faculty and students could share meals and conversation. SS&V list Wellesley College, MIT, Providence College and Roxbury Latin as clients, so Sullivan had a good idea of what to do to bring Austin Prep’s dining experience to the next level, aligned with the school’s vision of community.
Tony Pimentel P ’99, ’01 of Pimentel Construction Co. Inc. has headed his Wilmington-based construction company for 45 years and had worked with the School before, building what is now Richard J. Meelia Hall. Pimentel Construction also renovated the original monastery, now known as St. Augustine Hall. Tony served on the Austin Prep board, including five years as chair. As a former Austin Prep parent, he brings a wealth of experience and understanding of the mission to the task at hand. That experience included son Matt ’01 and daughter Jill Pimentel Slye ’99. As Vice President of Estimating/Project Manager, Jill specializes in estimating project costs and timetables, both of which require precision.
“The Ledge” 4
Vice President of Construction, Matt led the project on the ground. An Austin Prep Hall of Fame runner, and former track standout at Clemson, Matt knew that “building a new dining hall would be more of a marathon than a sprint, but it was a race that had to be finished over the summer before school started.” The Pimentels took Gerry Sullivan’s plans and got to work. With decades of local construction work and strong Austin Prep connections, the Pimentels utilized resources to help support this family-based initiative. Dining rooms require kitchens and that means a state of art HVAC system. Carving heat and ventilation systems through the old building from ground floor to the roof was more like exploring a treasure map than a blue print. Fortunately, Kevin Hanlon from BL Mechanical, and parent of Sean ’15, was up to the task. “Every day was an adventure” Hanlon said as layers between floors were demolished and rebuilt. Other proven partners included a host of Austin Prep parents and alumni. Chris Frommelt parent of Sarah ’07 and Sam ’11, handled the new overhead door and dish room.
Dave Williams, parent of Alyssa ’16 was the Senior Project Manager at Valiant Industries who were responsible for all the fine millwork: cabinets, columns, beams, benches and lobby trim that brought Sullivan’s vision to life. Pat McCarron was one of the skilled finish carpenters. His father Tim ’70 is an alum, as is his uncle Michael ’73, another Austin Prep Hall of Famer in football. Joe Salines, parent of Silvanna ’19, was responsible for welding and all the structural steel on the roof and the chapel, as well as all of the doors and frames. When the time was right, Frank Capone ’85 who oversees the landscaping of the entire Austin Prep campus, including the new stadium, put the finishing touches on the outside of the newly renovated main entrance and dining hall. Visible projects can be seen and appreciated with your eyes. What most people never see is the hard work that went into the foundation. For that Pimentel turned to BF Construction, founded by Dan “Butch” Fonzi, parent of Austin Prep alumni Michelle ’99, Dan ’01, Meagan ’09 and Andrew ’12. Andrew was the project manager and heavy equipment operator who did the exterior site work for the patio and new school entrance. He also took on one of the biggest challenges of the project, aka “The Ledge.” Spring 2019
Getting the dining hall and kitchen up to health department code standards demanded a grease trap which required a new, 8,000-gallon storage tank. There was only one place for the tank to go, outside under the parking lot. When BF Construction started excavating they discovered a layer of solid blue stone, perhaps what someone had in mind when coining the phrase “hard as a rock.” It took two 25,000 pound hydraulic jack hammers working fulltime for two weeks to clear the space. It’s a good thing Andrew was a Super Bowl winning football player while at Austin Prep, because the job required the tough tenacity of a former linebacker. As the opening of school approached, with health department officials checking daily, Tony Pimentel, Butch Fonzi and others stopped by every day in the August heat to check progress, something Jill Slye said was a bit unusual for CEO’s of companies to do at this stage of a project. Perhaps nothing symbolized the commitment more than that. This wasn’t just another site. This was Austin Prep. This was family. Which is why at 3:00 a.m. on Monday, September 10th, the day school was to open, all was not quiet on Willow Street. With just hours remaining until the opening bell, Matt Pimentel was busy overseeing the final clean-up of the new Dining Hall. By 7:00 a.m. he was joined by Dr. Hickey as they helped the crew setting up new chairs and circular tables. By the time the first students arrived, all was ready. On time and on budget, just as planned. As Tony Pimentel said, “It wasn’t a construction project. It was a transformation.” Jill added, with the genuine enthusiasm of a former champion cheerleader, “I have two young children in school who one day might attend Austin Prep. We were building this for them, for Austin Prep’s future.” Bouchard thoughtfully states today “The new construction demonstrates the continued commitment of the Board to improving Austin Prep; to continuing Austin Prep on that upward trajectory with more great things to come.”
Portrait of a Coach
It’s only 11 miles between East Boston and Reading, Massachusetts. But for one man the journey has taken 40 years. Celebrating a hard fought Thanksgiving win after his last football game, Head Coach Bill Maradei stood at mid-field in freezing temperatures, determined not to leave until the last player, parent or friend came by to offer a well-earned handshake of congratulations and gratitude for his career on the sideline.
As with all great mentors, however, Maradei is quick to point out that the wins were secondary to the process. “I feel coaching was my vocation. I never wanted to do or be anything else since the 3rd grade.”
Maradei started playing football on the playgrounds of his native “Eastie,” followed by a four-year career at UMass Boston. Listed at 6’ 1” and 235 pounds, playing as a two-way tackle took grit, but Bill was to show he has it in spades. Following 14 years coaching for his hometown Salesians at Dom Savio, Bill spent the next 26 seasons up the road with the Augustinians at Austin Prep. Different order, same results; With an amazing record of 270 wins, 152 losses and 4 ties. At 118 games over .500 it is the best record in the history of Catholic high school football in the state, and was more than enough to gain admittance for Coach Maradei into the Massachusetts Coaching Hall of Fame.
He was named Boston Globe coach of the year six times, and was the only coach in any league in state history to win more than 100 games at two different schools.
Each day after teaching middle school science and inculcating new students with the values of “The Austin Way” – paying attention, working hard, showing respect for others, – Bill continued the lessons in the athletic arena. He also coached hockey, basketball, track and field, and lacrosse. But it was the gridiron where he enjoyed the most success. Practice was a joy. “Austin Prep athletes are a special breed and it has been a privilege working with them all. We had fun. We told jokes and we worked.” In his first season 50 players showed up for the first team meeting. When he was done listing his expectations, 35 boys actually made it to the locker room.
“That was a special class. In those days we played on a rocky, dusty field. Not the beautiful stadium we have today. I sent my first Austin Prep team thank you notes a few years ago for getting things started with me.”
The line at Thanksgiving extended for more than half an hour as players and alumni from both Dom Savio and Austin Prep stopped by. Despite the icy temperature, a warm “Thank you, Coach!” was the perfect theme for the day.
Despite all of the wins, Maradei can point to one game as the highlight. Winner of several league and state titles, the 2009 Super Bowl victory was his “Disney moment.” Coaching his two sons, Billy ’11 and Mark ’12, Austin Prep faced undefeated Holliston as heavy underdogs. “We were only 8-3 but beat Lynnfield in the playoffs in overtime to make it to Gillette Stadium for the championship.”
” ! h c a o C , u o y k n a Th “
Despite representing a school that preaches caritas, the Cougars went out and played “old school, smash mouth football. We won 38-15. They never knew what hit them. “Sharing that with my sons after the game was a dream I’ll never forget.” After moving to Reading a few years ago, Maradei plans to teach for a few more years and continue helping out with other teams. Whether holding the bench door for girl’s ice hockey, or running the game clock for lacrosse, “I just love being with our athletes.” Spring 2019
Portrait of a Coach 2.0
â€œWhat excites me most is having the opportunity to build a program with unparalleled resources, inspired student-athletes and outstanding school leadership,â€? - Billy Tucker, Head Coach, Austin Prep
Filling the cleats of a legendary coach like Coach Bill Maradei might be daunting. But Austin Prep Athletic Director Jonathan Pollard did not have to look far to find the right man. In fact he didn’t even have to look out of town. Reading native, and former 1992 Boston Globe Player of the Year as a running back and defensive end, and Reading Memorial High School Rockets Hall of Famer, Billy Tucker is ready to write the next chapter in Cougar football. “Today is a great day for Austin Prep,” Pollard said when announcing the appointment. “We are extremely fortunate not only for what Coach Tucker will bring to our football program, but our community as a whole.” After a successful playing career at Bentley University where he is also in the Hall of Fame, Tucker went on to coaching posts at his alma mater and later as Defensive Coordinator at Merrimack College where he became conversant to the Augustinian tradition and values of veritas, unitas, and caritas.
Kicking-off this spring was the Middle School Spring Flag Football program. This six-week program is managed by Coach Tucker, and focuses on technique/fundamental instruction, followed by participation in games for our youngest students. “I am excited to offer this new program at the Middle School level. Our goal is to develop fundamental skills, namely coverage and route running concepts, and conclude each session with exciting games inside the Austin Prep varsity stadium. It will serve as a valuable and fun first experience to those new to the game of football while also remaining a competitive learning opportunity.” “I believe a winning team culture built with strong core values will breed success on the field. I also believe in having a fundamentally strong system in all three phases of the game that adapts to your player’s skill-set, and also to your weekly opponents.” He also hopes he can create an atmosphere so that the team will have the same kind of meaningful experiences he enjoyed as a player.
Later, in his capacity of Vice President of Football with 3 Step Sports, Tucker has been closely involved in the development of elite high school talent from coast to coast. As the Director of Under Armour Grassroots Football, staging prospect camps around the country, he was able to watch some of the nation’s best coaches and programs.
“My best memories stem from the relationships made. I was fortunate to make lifelong friendships with former teammates and coaches from my high school and college playing days.
Every winter, Tucker has been at the helm of Under Armour’s High School All-American Game. This event, contested before a national television audience, features America’s best high school players, many of whom find themselves playing professionally following college.
Apart from the gridiron, perhaps no greater reference for Coach Tucker came from Reverend Jim Wenzel, O.S.A. A graduate of Merrimack’s first class in 1947 and later Warrior team chaplain, he came across thousands of students, student-athletes, faculty and staff during his over half-century in North Andover. Wenzel formed a bond with Tucker that remains strong to this day.
“Coach Tucker is unquestionably the right person at the right time to lead Austin Prep’s football program to the next level of excellence,” Headmaster Dr. James Hickey said. “He understands that building a winning culture is not just about what happens on the field during the season. More importantly, he understands that building a championship culture is about instilling timeless values in students that will last for a lifetime. And he models those values in his personal and professional life.” “What excites me most is having the opportunity to build a program with unparalleled resources, inspired student-athletes and outstanding school leadership,” said Tucker, who still resides in his hometown with wife Karaline and children Jackson and Brooke.
“Football, like no other sport in my opinion, builds a lasting bond due to the commitment and challenge to fulfilling the team goal.”
“In choosing Billy Tucker to be Head Coach of Austin Prep’s football team, the school will have a man skilled as a leader in this sport,” said Wenzel. “Perhaps of far greater significance and importance, Austin Prep will have a mentor whose example as a man, husband, father and friend will help form and foster strong character for the members of his team.”
“I plan on becoming an active ambassador for the school and football program with the goal of building and expanding the current roster. I am both honored and excited to follow in the steps of Coach Maradei.” His immediate goals for the Austin Prep’s Football program moving forward are to build a year-round commitment to the sport of football that will develop both athletic and leadership skills. Spring 2019
2018 Lumen Award winners (from left to right) Vin Parrella, Bob Hennessy, Gary Mackiewicz, and Roger Stone.
Luminous & Quotable The Lumen Award is given each year by the Board of Trustees to a faculty member who embodies the Augustinian values of veritas, unitas, and caritas. Each recipient is a beacon of light, bringing out the best in others, and is a shining example of what it means to personify Austin Prep’s mission “to inspire hearts to unite, minds to inquire and hands to serve.” 2018 was a unique year, as four faculty were nominated together as a group by Elizabeth Farrell, Chair of the Science Department. The 2018 Lumen Award winners are Roger Stone, Bob Hennessy, Gary Mackiewicz, and Vin Parrella. Ms. Farrell wrote of the four faculty, “They have inspired students and colleagues to pursue Truth as a lifelong journey. Through the years, they have promoted community through active engagement in the life of the school, developing programs on shoestring budgets during the seventies and eighties so that students could have the full educational experience. They are the personification of St. Augustine’s instruction to ‘love and do what you will.’ ” With about 200 years of service among them, Mr. Stone, Mr. Hennessy, Mr. Mackiewicz and Mr. Parrella are not only highly regarded by their colleagues; alumni and their families time and again credit these gentlemen for playing a significant role in their own journeys:
“Mr. Mackiewicz taught me to continue to learn and grow - not to settle with just one path, but embracing the adventure of new things.” ~ Chris Morris ’85 “Mr. Stone is one of the more influential teachers I have ever had. Beyond teaching me Latin for four years, Mr. Stone really taught me how to develop confidence in myself. He helped me to realize that there was nothing I was not academically capable of, and this lesson has been something that I have been able to apply in all areas of my life.” ~ Matt Diapella ’98 “As a parent you are looking for that one teacher that will influence your children, encourage and bring the best out of them. Mr. Hennessy was that teacher for
all three of my children. Not only was he a wonderful teacher he was a supportive role model. He is truly an inspiration and I cannot thank him enough for his total dedication to Austin Prep for so many years, but especially for taking great care to help my children become the wonderful adults they are today.” ~ Louisa Tanner P’01 ’03 “Mr. Stone taught me perseverance. In freshman year, he continued to push me until I had mastered ancient history if for no other reason than to prove that I could do it.” ~ Chris Morris ’85 “The educational foundation I built during my time at Austin Prep proved invaluable to me in both my undergraduate years at Northeastern University and in graduate school at MIT. Even beyond college, throughout my career I have found myself leveraging skills that were first impressed upon me by my Austin teachers, such as what I learned in Mr. Parrella’s English classes. “ ~ Jamie Dooley ’92 “Mr. Parrella is one of the biggest reasons that I elected to major in English in college and subsequently become an English teacher. His passion for literature is infectious, and his willingness to help me cultivate such a passion as well is something for which I will always be thankful.” ~ Matt Diapella ’98 Together, these four faculty lions have given their time and skills to build excellence and to advance Austin Prep over the decades of their service to the community. To quote Ms. Farrell, “They challenge students and colleagues to pursue excellence, often leading by example, thus bringing out the best in others.” Mr. Stone, Mr. Hennessy, Mr. Mackiewicz and Mr. Parrella embody all that the Lumen Award represents. We thank them for their invaluable service.
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NATURAL TALENT Nina Fahy ’02 For most kids, the challenge of choosing a college is hard enough. In the early 2000’s Nina Fahy ’02 was looking deeper. Considering many factors simultaneously has always been in her nature. “My AP Calculus teacher, Mr. Enright, suggested it would be wise to factor my graduate school plans into my selection of a college. That was good advice. I knew I ultimately wanted to pursue an advanced degree in a subject that would be at the nexus of politics and economics.” Nina chose Tufts University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. She went on to MIT, where she found her niche researching the geo-economics of energy. There, she earned a Master of Science degree in Security Studies, which deals with integrating technical and political analysis of national and international security problems. Her first job involved institutional investment at a firm in Greenwich, CT. “The main lesson I learned there, buried in Excel spreadsheets, was how to use the data other people would compile for me for analysis, as I became more senior.” The collapse of Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns convinced her to leave financial services and focus on energy industry research instead, where she could combine her analytical skills with the sector knowledge she had amassed at MIT. Nina’s journey after Austin Prep has taken her internationally, including a year abroad in Europe, ultimately settling in New York City. She spent nearly a decade at PIRA Energy Group in New York, eventually becoming a senior director. Two years ago, she moved to Energy Aspects Ltd. in New York, where she is currently the Head of North American Natural Gas. Nina is crazy-good at what she does—there’s no other way to say it. In a recent article, Bloomberg referred to her as “the top forecaster of supply in the world’s most actively traded natural gas market…” That wasn’t a casual compliment. At the time
the piece was written, Nina’s estimates of natural gas stockpiles had been the most accurate for the previous eight weeks in a row. She describes her method as both science and art, a shifting mixture of quantitative analysis and Python modeling, gut hunches, listening to the market, talking with clients, and consulting her colleagues in London, Singapore, and Houston. No detail is too insignificant to ponder. For example, Nina seeks out the best meteorological input she can get because the ground in different regions freezes at different temperatures and that will have a bearing on the amount of natural gas produced that week. In simplest terms, she attempts to predict supply and demand with the goal of forecasting the price. “As one of my mentors told me, ‘If research doesn’t tell you the price, it doesn’t tell you anything.’ ” There’s always a great deal riding on her estimate. Getting an accurate fix on the stockpile number is crucial for traders, especially in winter, when the interplay of supply, demand, and price factors is most volatile. The U.S. Energy Information Administration releases its data at 10:30 a.m. every Thursday. It’s an event that can change the market in a minute. Nina hasn’t missed a single announcement in ten years. For someone with so much reason to proclaim her skills – or at least mention them – Nina is unfailingly modest. As she told Bloomberg, “The short-term models that we have developed are consistently performing well, and that has been the key to our storage estimate performance.” It’s obvious that Nina herself is the key, but who are we to argue with her? Looking back, she realizes her early decisions had a lot to do with how things worked out. Her advice to current Austin Prep students: “Don’t focus on what you think you’re already good at. Make your plans around what you think you want to do, even if it seems like a stretch. You have to remember that you will
continue to evolve. When I was at Austin Prep, I didn’t even know that jobs like mine existed.”
“There are so many advantages to staying in touch. I still talk every week with a circle of women I went to school with.”
Nina credits the fierce academic competition among her classmates at Austin Prep with priming her for success at Tufts and MIT. Likewise, she says it was a long exchange at Colegio Manuel Belgrano in Buenos Aires, arranged by Father Healey in her sophomore year, that first stoked her interest in living abroad.
When asked what she would do if she couldn’t work as an analyst anymore, she has a well-defined Plan B. “I think I might like to be a high-end real estate agent,” she says. “Living in New York, I have a good idea of the current inventory and it would enable me to combine my love of architecture and design with what I do best.
A second piece of advice for Austin Prep students is to maintain the network of friendships you make during your time at Austin Prep. “Your network will help you in all kinds of ways,” she says.
“Or, it might be fun to run a vintage jewelry business.”
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WAY PAST PERFECT Britt Denaro ’03 As a kid, Britt Denaro ’03 had this thing for perfection. Passionate about Metallica, Pink Floyd, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Dave Gilmour, and Nancy Wilson, she locked herself in her room and practiced endlessly on a “purple, sparkly” Ibanez, trying to get every note precisely right. “My first career goal was to play ‘Eruption’ by Van Halen. “I achieved that earlier than I thought I would,” she says matter-of-factly. By 16, using the stage name Britt Lightning, she was touring with a band, and arguing with her father about going to Berklee. A typical dad pragmatist, he insisted on the Music Business program at Northeastern and Britt enrolled there “learning a lot about contracts” in the process. It would be useful: her career accelerated fast. In 2004, Britt Lightning met Hillary Blaze (of Judas Priestess) at a day-long rock show, it was the genesis of the all-female metal band Jaded. Her younger sister Abbey ’05 joined them on bass. Jaded toured for years throughout the U.S. and Europe. “At one point after Jaded, I decided to become a guitar-for-hire,” she recalls. One of my first auditions was with Lady Gaga’s band – and I almost got the gig. I played with them for a week, and one day Gaga herself was there. She called me “The Closer,” the kind of musician you can count on to bring the show through no matter what. Nice to hear, but she also wanted me to shave my head before I signed on. Looking back, that wouldn’t have been good for anyone.” Her week with Gaga led to an extended gig with Alejandro Sanz, a giant of Latin music. “We played in enormous stadiums throughout South America, Mexico, and Spain. Playing stadiums had been my second big goal when I was a kid,” Britt says. “A lot of the band members spoke little English, so we communicated mainly through our music. It was such an extraordinary experience. I lived for months at a time in Spain. As difficult as traveling all the time can be, the opportunity to immerse yourself in other cultures is wonderful.”
In 2017, Britt was recruited as lead guitar by Vixen, the all-female classic 80’s rock band. “I’m really honored to be playing with these ladies,” she said. “They are legends.” When asked about how an artist evolves, she returns to Lady Gaga. “In the beginning, she promoted herself aggressively, to get noticed, but she moved on from the meat dress to duets with Tony Bennett to other things. Remember, your fans are evolving too. They might find you when they are 12 years old, but if you want them to stay with you, you have to grow with them. There’s an old saying: ‘Here. Huge. Whatever happened to her?’ I want to avoid that.” Britt has evolved by slowly discarding everything artificial, pre-planned and technical from the way she performs music ---On playing the guitar: “I’ve abandoned precision and outcomes for something raw, natural, experimental. Listen to Jimi Hendrix, how good his mistakes sound. Sure, you can finagle a bad note, but why do it? A ringing string or some other “error” can be a gift.” On performance: “If you’re Brittany Spears, with a choreographed move for every note, that’s one thing, but I never practice stage moves. You’ve got to stop thinking and let the music flow through you. If that doesn’t happen, you’re just going through the motions.” On successful concerts: “Some will say a sold-out concert is a success. Or one that gets a loud reception. For me, success involves the feeling that I’m transmitting the right kind of energy. Adrenalizing the place. Think of Mick Jagger, Robert Plant. Confident, happy, positive energy. Get into the zone and a two-hour concert can seem two minutes long.” What Britt remembers most about Austin Prep was the sense of community “The teachers were so in tune with the students. Like Mr. Russo and the guitar club. I was able to come out of my shell there. That was and is my spiritual center, a place to go when I’m overwhelmed.”
She urges current Austin Prep students to never lose faith in themselves. “No matter how many people tell you that your ideas and aspirations are ridiculous, ignore them. People who say you’re not good enough, ignore them. Do what your heart says and you’ll never have regrets. Sometimes, however, it can take the world a long time to see things the way you do.
Britt still has one big question about her career: “When am I going to be invited to do a big show at Austin Prep? I think it’s time, don’t you?”* *We are thrilled to announce that Britt Denaro ’03 (a.k.a. Britt Lightning) will be at Austin Prep this fall working with current students in the Performing Arts program!
“My father just couldn’t understand why I had been so committed to my music all those years until he saw me in a live performance at Radio City Music Hall,” she says. ‘OK,’ he told her afterward. ‘I get it now. You’ve been right all along.’ ”
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A JOURNEY IN PROGRESS Hillary Hurst Bush ’03 Hillary Hurst Bush ’03 is thoughtful in every sense of the word. Warm, generous, and encouraging in conversation, it’s easy to see how effective she must be when working with young patients at Mass General Hospital’s Learning and Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP). In another sense, Hillary’s journey is an impressive example of how careful consideration of one’s goals is essential to a productive and fulfilling life. Once she knew where she was headed, her certainty gave her the focus and stamina to get there. She traces the long road to becoming a clinical psychologist back to a non-profit facility for individuals with intellectual disabilities, such as cerebral palsy and Down’s Syndrome. She volunteered there as her senior service project at Austin Prep. “As soon as I saw it on the list, I said ‘This is for me!’” From Austin Prep, she went on to Wellesley College, and from there to a stint as a legal marketer. After eighteen months, she returned to the non-profit in Reading, where she spent the next three years. Then, sure that clinical psychology was her life’s work, she got her master’s and doctoral degrees at UMass Boston. That was followed by a doctoral internship focused on the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with autism at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Finally, she completed postdoctoral training in pediatric neuropsychological and psychological assessment at LEAP. “All that plus two licensing exams,” she jokes “Only then could I call myself a clinical psychologist!” Hillary explains that there are many kinds of psychologists, including therapists and teachers. She says she has found her particular niche in neuropsychological testing, which, among other things, involves evaluating memory, attention, learning, executive functions, and family interactions.
Asked about typical patients, she answers in general terms, “I might see a nine year-old girl,” she says “She’s bright, interested in many things, but becoming more anxious and having difficulty reading. Unfamiliar words are a real challenge. Her parents report that she seems more stressed and high-strung. She’s worried in ways she wasn’t before. I might have a hunch that the issue lies in the area of phonological processing, but the first step is a thorough investigation. This involves interviewing or surveying parents and teachers. Assessing strengths and weaknesses. Performing a cognitive battery of tests. Evaluating visual/spatial capabilities and non-verbal skills. The diagnosis might be problems with the manipulation of phonemes. A mild form of dyslexia.” Hillary also works with patients with autism, a developmental disorder that can affect social interactions and communications. Symptoms can include difficulty making eye contact, interpreting facial expressions or tone of voice, such as sarcasm. The challenges she faces can be steep, but the forms of satisfaction she derives from her work are almost too many to name. “We work with patients and their families from all over the world,” she says. “In some cases, these are people for whom neurological testing wouldn’t be possible in their home country.” Working in the diagnosis phase, she is not always able to know how things turn out for a patient in treatment, but she has been at LEAP long enough now to begin seeing young people coming back for re-evaluation. “The effects of mental health therapy are life-altering. Being part of all this is very fulfilling.” Teaching and leadership have emerged as additional forms of professional satisfaction for Hillary. As LEAP’s Director of Medical Education, she helps train interns and fellows. “I’d like to share what I know more broadly. Speaking, blogging, even writing a book—these are all possibilities. I published my doctoral thesis. I’ve presented work at national conferences. That aspect of my career will evolve over time. Right now I’m thrilled to be benefiting people beyond those who come to LEAP.”
How does a student know if she has the right stuff to become a clinical psychologist? “If you’re drawn to the subject, take a course in psychology,” she says. “Test your hypothesis. Do you like people? Do you have an open mind? Do you have something to offer anyone you meet? And I’ll tell you this, you’ve really, really got to like school. Clinical psychology is a social science degree. You’ve got to be excited about research.”
“It all began for me at Austin Prep. My parents made the sacrifices necessary to send me there. Because I had Austin, I did well in college, and that enabled me to go to graduate school. “The Austin Prep journey was a privilege of a lifetime.”
An interesting professional point about what she does in her downtime: “When you’re a psychologist, you have to have balance in your life. You have to be a whole person. As a psychologist, you are the tool.”
A LU M N I PROFI L E S
Sneaker design making more than an impression: alum shares network to mentor current student Marc Gigliotti ’03, TJ Dysart ’21, Dustin Simone Last summer, Marc Gigliotti ’03 was back to campus with his young family to see the new dining hall and fitness center. During his visit, he shared with the Director of Alumni Relations and Giving Jennifer Hodgdon where his career in business, marketing, management and digital marketing has taken him on his Journey, including working at Puma NA, Reebok Int., addidas Group, CVS Health, Kaspersky Lab, and most recently Fidelity Investments. Fast forward to September. “My name is TJ Dysart, I am a sophomore. I am currently in a semester-long class called Experiential Learning in Technology with Mr. Harkins.” Sophomore TJ Dysart ‘21 reached out to Mrs. Hodgdon looking for an alum to mentor him on his Experiential Learning in Technology project. After being dissuaded from working on a toaster by his teacher Mr. Brad Harkins, TJ decided to go with a personal passion-- sneakers. Mrs. Hodgdon introduced TJ to Marc. Thus began one of Austin Prep’s most interesting case studies in hands-on education, mentorship, and creativity between a current student and an alum. While Marc was not intimately involved in designing sneakers at Reebok and Adidas, he has a network of professionals who could help TJ bring his sneaker designs to life, including Dustin Simone. A master footwear designer at Reebok, Dustin has been involved in designing Reebok’s Sole Fury, Fusion, Nano, ATV and Easytone collections. TJ began to collaborate with Dustin on the development of his own sneakers. For the record, TJ is no beginner when it comes to sneakers. He is a connoisseur with encyclopedic knowledge. His peers consider him to be a trend-spotter, networker, collector, trader, and go-to guy on campus for sneaker-buying advice, early releases, reduced prices, etc. He’s also a born marketer, always in touch with the sneaker-buying public. To help him zero in on the most promising design, he ran ideas past a Google-based survey group he set up, 35 people whose opinions he values. He routinely polled them on possible directions, not always heeding their advice, but eager to hear what they thought. 20
Asked why kids buy the sneakers they do, TJ shrugs. “Mainly because everyone else has them. It kind of makes me sad. Personally, I want something original, wild, orange, different.” Capable as he was, however, TJ still had a lot to learn and Dustin was a willing teacher. His first lesson dealt with the problem of where to discover good ideas. “It’s really easy to look at other sneakers and try to pull inspiration,” Dustin wrote. “But you can find inspiration in nature, the automotive industry, anywhere. Always be thinking of the problem. The solution might present itself when you least expect it.” TJ had been working with the concept of cities, especially Chicago, where he visits frequently. He had been focusing on its very recognizable skyline, but Dustin urged him to go both deeper and wider. “TJ and I talked about not just using design elements from the city of Chicago, but also its mood. The city has so many iconic places, colors and shapes. I was trying to get TJ to use all of those things to help define the final output.” TJ acknowledges that Reebok’s process is a lot slower than the one he had been using, but has no doubt that working with Dustin upped his game. In fact, halfway through the project, he decided to approach things exactly as Reebok would, factoring in a wider range of business considerations, such as the packaging, material, manufacture cost, and sales price. “In the beginning, I really thought I could do it all myself, but I was wrong. You can only get so much from videos and articles. Having a mentor was a huge advantage.” Both Dustin and Marc, who continued to stay looped-in on the mentorship and project, provided more than just encouragement throughout the semester. Dustin guided TJ through each technical step, from roughs to blueprints to prototypes. It was experiential learning at its best. At Austin Prep, the emphasis on teaching is moving from the acquisition of knowledge to its application. It’s not what you know
Marc Gig liotti ‘03
anymore, it’s what you can do with what you know. Put another way, you can get the knowledge from books and lectures, but you master it through experience. TJ’s initial plan was to do a 3D version of his design with Adobe Illustrator, and then use AP’s laser cutter to create materials and assemble them on a sneaker sole. He wrote later, “I switched my project around a little bit towards the end of the semester. Instead of designing an actual sneaker, I focused more on all of the skills involved in being a designer.” TJ says that design work is a major career focus. He doesn’t care that, as Dustin points out, there are many more pro athletes than shoe designers. “Creating stuff is great,” he says. His two collaborators also had a memorable experience. Marc, now a Director of Wealth Management Experience at Fidelity Investments, reports he was glad to help mentor an Austin Prep student and is looking forward to the next opportunity.
“I was glad to help TJ,” says Marc Gigliotti. “And I look forward to mentoring other Austin students. It’s all about focus. Keep learning, connecting, never stop. TJ has those qualities. A lot of Austin kids do.” Meanwhile, Dustin is spending six months working directly at the Reebok factory in Vietnam. Next time he mentors a student, he would “…like to be even more hands-on. My job is very interactive. I’d like to show more of how shoes are made and teach some of the tools involved.” When he gets back to the U.S., Dustin anticipates having TJ and a few classmates visit him at Reebok. Focus and relentless effort are essential, Dustin believes, but it’s important to ask for advice along the way. As he puts it: “Experience is an invaluable resource to tap into.” Fortunately for Austin Prep students, experience and expertise abounds in the alumni community.
Austin Prep Blue Mass Honors First Responders. Representatives from Reading Police and Fire, as well as emergency medical technicians, turned out for Austin Preparatory School’s 3rd Annual Blue Mass on Thursday, November 1st. “Austin Prep hosts the Mass in gratitude for all those who put their lives on the line for others.” said Headmaster Dr. James Hickey. “Today we honor the dedication, heroism and sacrifice of the men and women here today and those who are not here today,” Dr. Hickey said. “It takes a special kind of person to do their work.” Austin Prep parents who are first responders also attended the Blue Mass which was celebrated during our Mass for the Solemnity of All Saints.
“In the Letter to the Hebrews there is a mention of being surrounded by a “great cloud of witnesses.” Chaplin Fr. Patrick Armano said. “The saints in Heaven began their lives of holiness on Earth. Our first responders are part of the great cloud of witnesses. Every day they put their own comfort, safety and very lives on hold for the sake of others.” After Mass, Fr. Armano blessed the emergency vehicles in the school parking lot and gave a special blessing to the first responders. Following the Mass, first responders enjoyed a full breakfast prepared by the school’s dining service.
The St. Augustine L E C T U R E
S E R I E S
We Believe in You. On Tuesday March 5th, the day before Ash Wednesday, Austin Prep students heard a message that was a perfect introduction to Lenten reflection.
and licensed psychologist, resulted in his attempts to answer the vital question of what exactly makes a ‘good’ Catholic today, and how we can choose to mindfully live that way.
School trustee Fr. Ray Dlugos, O.S.A. Ph.D. and Vice President for Mission and Ministry at Merrimack College, addressed the student body and school community in this year’s Augustinian Lecture.
His slides convey messages like “You exist in love, through love and for love.” And “Your mind is designed to seek and discover truth.” All are positive, freeing, and enthusiastic. They do not focus on punishment and failure, instead on hope and encouragement.
Fr. Dlugos presented his groundbreaking program “We Believe In You.” Broken down into 12 statements, each on a slide, and individually reproduced for every attendee, Fr. Dlugos suggests that the key to spiritual growth, and turning prayer into action, isn’t about answering the question “Do you believe in God?” Rather the key is more about discerning “What does God believe about you? And what are you going to do about it?”
Perhaps not coincidentally, they align perfectly with Austin Prep’s mission “to inspire hearts to unite, minds to inquire and hands to serve” based on our values of veritas, unitas, and caritas; truth, unity and love. Named for Austin Prep’s patron, the St. Augustine Lecture Series is designed to enrich the intellectual life of the school community by exposing our students to accomplished individuals who share their experiences and lessons learned in life.
Fr. Dlugos has been working on his program at Merrimack for the last few years and, after an enthusiastic reception at the college, is now taking it on the road.
A Villanova alumnus, Fr. Dlugos entered the Augustinians 40 years ago, was ordained a priest 35 years ago, has been chaplain at Merrimack for 10 years and has served on Austin Prep’s board for five. This neat symmetry, combined with a career as a trained
Brian Montgomery, former Deputy Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary in the Executive Office of President Bush and former Housing & Urban Development Secretary for President Obama Major General Charles W. Whittington, Jr., Deputy Commanding General of Operations in the U.S. First Army Dr. Steven R. DiSalvo, President of Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire Grace Cotter Regan, the first female President in Boston College High School.
Send us an update on your life, your work, your Journey.
Mike Allsup ’69 is a self-employed entrepreneur at MGLM & Co., based in Winter Park, Florida.
Teammates from the 1969-1970 varsity boys basketball team were on campus for a tour, dinner and to cheer on the boy’s basketball team against Matignon on February 1st. Pictured are Chuck Kiezulas ’70, Paul
Mike Grealish ’90 enjoyed a visit to campus and lunch with faculty Gary Mackiewicz in December.
Lyman ’71, Jim Martin ’70, George ‘Bud’ Simmons ’70, and Ed Hoell ’70.
Mike Tumsaroch ’99 completed his post
Jim Martin ’70 is an avid Boston sports fan and had an opportunity to see the World Series trophy up close!
Dr. John Wells ’78 was named the acting
Associate chief of Staff for Research Service at the Bedford VA Medical Center as a search is conducted to fill the position. He has been a research scientist for 30 years.
Jose Isidoro ’88 received the 2018 Mass Youth Boys Recreational Coach of the Year award.
with the Drug Enforcement Administration in Thailand and is now assigned to Indiana. Mike and his wife Brooke welcomed Stella Jean into their family in October 2017.
Mike Lynch ’98 took command of the 337 Air Control Squadron (ACS) at Tyndall AFB in May 2018. The mission of the squadron is to provide initial training to over 200 Battle Managers, which provide Command and Control to air and ground forces, through a nine month course. The ACS is the only squadron in the Air Force that provides this initial training to an entire career field. The squadron additionally runs a Dept of State International Battle Manager course. Mike shared “The squadron has 300 officer, enlisted, civilian and contractor members assigned. On October 10, 2018, Tyndall AFB, and the surrounding community received severe and widespread damage from Hurricane Michael.Tyndall AFB, in its entirety, was evacuated leading up to the storm, and some remain evacuated even now. The ACS lost 3 MU-2 Aircraft and sustained significant damage to all 3 of the squadron’s buildings. Since the Hurricane, the men and women of the 337 ACS have overcome herculean obstacles, both personally and professionally. Many squadron members remain displaced or have moved back to Tyndall without their families. Despite this, training .
resumed on 7 January 2019, our first class since the hurricane will graduate this February, and the squadron will be up to full student production in March.The resiliency and determination of these Airmen is what makes the US Air Force the most powerful air force in the world.”
Rob Coppola ’05 and Courtney Weld ’05 were married on September 15, 2018 in
Several lucky Austin Prep alums got to take in Super Bowl LIII first-hand in Atlanta Justin
Mia Lazarewicz ’02, Drew Garland ’07 and Hannah Andry ’12 returned to Austin Prep as part of the Alumni Writer’s Workshop series.
Zolot ’08, Addie Solomon ’07, Tim Igo ’95, and Mac Cerullo ’08.
Arianna D’Isoloa ’12 is a military police officer. She was recently back to campus to catch up with faculty and current students.
Molly O’Mara ’00 is the Marketing and
Communications Manager at Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts.
Shannon O’Neil ’13 was recently named
the Youth Hockey Graduate Assistant with the Boston Bruins. She will be coordinating Learn to Play programs and other initiatives with youth hockey programs around the New England area.
Joe Sciacca ’13 is a weather forecaster for Rob Peterson ’04 had a visit from an old friend, Fede Ciani, who stayed with the
Peterson family as an exchange student from Argentina during 2003.
James Carregal ’10 passed the Massachusetts Bar Exam in November 2018.
Precision Weather Forecasting Inc. He earned his certificate in Weather Forecasting from Penn State in 2017.
New Hampshire State Police Colonel Christopher Wagner is pleased to announce that Trooper Michael Petrillo ’10 of Troop D has been chosen as the Concord Area Grange Trooper of the Year. Trooper Petrillo will be honored at a ceremony in May.
Gianna Gravalese ’16 is living her dream!
– She has been on the Ellen Show six times over the last year, most recently for the 12 Days of Giveaways show in December. As a student at Chapman University, Gianna has traveled internationally to make documentaries with classmates. Her travels have brought her to Bhutan and Nepal, and will take her to Paris in August. She is also the entertainment producer for Chapman News. Previously, Gianna interned at Seacrest Studio (donated by Ryan Seacrest) at a local children’s hospital.
Reunion Recap Class of 1969 at the Merrimack College vs. Holy Cross Men’s Hockey, November 2018.
Class of 2008 10th Reunion in Boston, November 2018.
Engagements & Weddings Class of 1972 Holiday Gathering in the North End, December 2018.
Renee Leavitt ’16 is studying Theology at Maynooth University in Ireland this semester. She is a double major in Political Science and Theology.
Luke Theriault ’17 created a service
2018 in Boston Public Garden. They plan to celebrate their wedding in October of 2020 in Plymouth, NH surrounded by family and plenty of friends that they met during their eight combined years at Austin Prep!
Class of 1988 30th Reunion in Woburn,
Class of 1994 Holiday Gathering in Burlington,
club at Regis College, “Together A Better Community.”
Michael Giuliano ’11 and Caroline LeBranti ’12 got engaged on December 1,
Fred White ’69 and Marilyn Dyer were engaged on December 6, 2018.
Sean McKendry ’03 and Jessica Bruno were married on October 20, 2018.
Ashley McCarthy ’05 and Nick Leo were married on September 8, 2018. Ashley’s bridal party included Bianca Camasso ’05, Tara Chenery ’05 and Lauren
In Memoriam † Joseph Zagarella ’69 Michael C. Bider III ’70 George “Ted” Gagnon ’70 Lt. Col. John “Jack” Twomey, Jr. ’73 Brendan Regan ’74 Brian Kelly ’78 Craig Dougherty ’78 Jerry Caruso father of alums Jerry ’90, Jeff ’93, and Kevin’99 and grandparent of two current students. Valerie Kelley, mother of alums Dan ’69, Joe ’73, and John ’78
John and Mary Fanale, parents of alum Steven ’80 Anthony Joseph, father of Peter ‘00 and Andrew Christiana Homeyer ’08 and David Fink
were married November 11, 2018.
Michael Sverdlove ’14 Tessa Geomelos, sister of Janet ’18 and Deana; cousin of Alana ’18, Alyssa ’21 and Janna ’25 Vounessea
Stay in touch. Email Jennifer Hodgdon, Director of Alumni Relations and Giving, at email@example.com.
Future Austin Prep Cougars
Kristen (Boyce) ’03 and her husband James Fitzpatrick welcomed Connor James into the world on March 26th. Connor was also welcomed by big sister Katherine.
Hailey and Riley Flanagan, daughters of Katie (Carney) ’03 and Brian Flanagan, are gearing up for Austin Prep athletics. The Flanagans look forward to welcoming a baby boy later this year.
Sadie Donaldson was born in August 2018 to Andy Donaldson ’03 and Katy. Sadie is the little sister to Abby.
Catherine (McCue) ’03 and David Witts, along with their son Robbie welcomed Evelyn Grace (Evie) on May 4, 2019.
Jenna (Cesere) ’03, her husband Kevin Gacomo and their son Anthony welcomed Alexander Richard on March 22nd.
Gina (Gravalese) ’06 and Matt Carapellucci welcomed Lorenzo James on June 18, 2018. Lorenzo joins big sister Sophie.
CJ Hanafin ’01 and MaryAnn Ware ’04 and daughter Grace welcomed Charlie Hanafin in September 2018.
* Jaymi (Little) ’01 and Nathan Amaral welcomed Bentley on December 25, 2018, weighing 5lbs. 10 oz. Big sister Trinity was
Sloane Peterson arrived on December 6, 2018 to proud parents Rob ’04 and Kelly. She joins big sister Hadley Tyler.
Teddy Verge was born on February 19, 2018. He was welcomed by his parents Carolyn Fryze ’04 and Luke and big sister Avery. The Verge family is living in Redondo Beach, California.
Elena Castellano Santos ’06: : Zacarias Rafael Santos arrived at 10:15 on November 7, 2018 at 7 lbs 10 ounces and 22 inches long he’s such a good, sweet boy! Richard McMahon ’12 and Skyler Carr welcomed Woodes Bonner McMahon on February 18, 2019, weighing 7 lbs. 7 oz.
Mary Jaynce Alves arrived on October 15, 2018 to proud parents Parents Michael Sullivan ’03 and Katherine. Mary joins big brothers Michael and Joseph.
Stay in touch. *Please let us know if there is a new Austin Prep Cougar in your family and we will send you an official Austin Prep baby onesie! Email Jennifer Hodgdon, Director of Alumni Relations and Giving, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Spring 2019
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Alumni EVENTS & HAPPENINGS
We want to follow your Journey beyond Austin Prep. Please share updates including academic and sports honors, career milestones, marriages, births or any of life’s other big announcements. Send a Class Note or update your contact information to continue to receive updates.
Join fellow classmates and alumni at our upcoming events.
AustinPrep.org/StayConnected Facebook Facebook.com/AustinPrep Twitter Twitter.com/AustinPrep LinkedIn Austin Prep Alumni Instagram Instagram.com/austinprepschool
May 24-26, 2019: Class of 1969 50th
July 18, 2019: Alumni Summer
Gathering with Marla Pascucci-Byrne, Art and Design Department Faculty Chair at Bunratty Tavern, Reading, MA
November 27-30, 2019: Reunions for Classes Ending in 4 & 9 Stay tuned to ‘Austin Preparatory School Alumni’ on Facebook for updated list of dates and locations for each class reunion November 27, 2019: Class of 2019 Breakfast
August 22, 2019: Alumni Summer Gathering with Director of Athletics Patrick Driscoll ’97 and Football Coach Billy Tucker at Bunratty Tavern, Reading MA
October: Autumn at Austin Weekend – Stay tuned to ‘Austin Preparatory School’ on Facebook for an updated list of events Saturday, Oct. 19th: Pancake Breakfast with Cubby
WEDDINGS & ONESIES! Are you getting married? The Office of Alumni Relations will lend you an Austin Prep banner for photos at your wedding. Did you recently welcome a new cougar into your family? Let us know what size onesie your little cougar cub needs and the Office of Alumni Relations will send along one of our new Austin Prep Cougars onesies.
Contact Jennifer Hodgdon, Director of Alumni Relations & Giving, at email@example.com or 781-944-4900 ext. 852