New Principal Announced
PHILADELPHIA – St. Joseph’s Prep President Rev. John W. Swope, SJ '72 announces the selection of John Petruzzelli as the school’s new Principal. He will begin his tenure on July 1, succeeding Jason Zazyczny '90, who is ending a five-year term in the position. Zazyczny will remain with the school and return to the faculty as a member of the History Department.
Petruzzelli is not a stranger to the Prep. From 1998-2004, he served on the Prep’s administrative team, first as Dean of Students (1998-2002) and then as Director of the Ignatian Service Program (2002-04). A native of Northeast Philadelphia, he returns to his hometown after 13 years away, most recently as the Principal of Bethlehem Catholic High School, a position he has held since 2010. Prior to that he was Associate Principal at St. Elizabeth High School in Wilmington, Del.
“We are fortunate to welcome such an experienced educator to our school,” says Fr. Swope. “In his 26 years in the education field, John has worked in nearly every aspect of secondary education and will bring those positive experiences with him to this position. The fact that he is also a familiar face to many here at the Prep is a benefit. He embraces our Jesuit mission and understands the importance of the Prep in Philadelphia. I am thrilled to welcome him back and look forward to working with him to elevate the great work of our school.”
At Bethlehem Catholic, Petruzzelli made a significant impact. During his time there, he helped improve the school in nearly all facets. He helped shepherd a strategic planning process as well as a Middle States reaccreditation. He also oversaw the renovation of much of the school’s physical plant, including science and computer labs, classrooms and music spaces as well as a media center, student lounge and store. In addition to the academic leadership, Petruzzelli was also active in: admissions, helping the school add 70 new students over his time there; athletics, serving as the PIAA District 11 Private School Representative; development, working to secure alumni gifts to support renovation projects; and mission/ministry, expanding the service and retreat opportunities for students.
“As a product of Catholic education, I value the chance to instill my lifelong love of learning into a new generation of students,” says Petruzzelli. “Having worked at the Prep, I have a deep love for the school and so appreciate the work it does helping students become ‘Men For and With Others.’ Along with Fr. Swope and the members of the Leadership Team, I am excited to continue the Prep’s outstanding legacy.”
Petruzzelli holds degrees from Wilmington University (M.Ed., Secondary School Leadership and Instruction) and Saint Joseph’s University (B.A., History). At Bethlehem Catholic, he taught a history class while Principal and hopes to remain in the classroom at the Prep when possible.
Fr. Swope was grateful to the women and men who served on the search committee. The committee-- consisting of administrators, faculty, students and a parent--was chaired by Trustee Dr. Anthony Stevenson, Director of Secondary Education for the Radnor School District and Chair of the Prep’s Educational Affairs Committee. “I think I speak for the entire school community when I offer my thanks to Dr. Stevenson and all of those who served this vital role in our search,” says Fr. Swope. “I could not be more pleased with their efforts and I’m confident that the search yielded a wonderful result.”
St. Joseph’s Preparatory School is an independent, Catholic, college-prep school for boys in grades 9-12. The only Jesuit high school in the Delaware Valley (one of 56 in the US), the Prep is located in North Philadelphia. A diverse community of young men, Prep students hail from over 270 elementary and middle schools, 177 different zip codes and 10 different counties and they are taught by a faculty of scholars, mentors and coaches, 91% of whom hold a Master’s degree or higher. For more information, go to www.sjprep.org.