President's Office

Dear Friends of the Prep,

It is wonderful to enjoy the pace of Philadelphia in the summer as we enjoy the treasures of the city -- Summer in the City, as that 60s song so fondly sang -- and feel anticipation as St. Joseph's Prep prepares for a new academic year.

While the summer months are quiet for some parts of our school, others are planning for the return of our students and -- as is the case with the Principal's Office -- acclimating themselves to home on 17th & Girard. On July 1, we welcomed Andy T. Cavacos to our school. He comes to us from McQuaid Jesuit where he spent 26 years in various leadership roles. When the search committee met Andy in February, we felt a strong connection and knew he was the right person for the job. We will always be grateful to Jason Zazyczny '90 for his selfless dedication to the Prep and wish him the best as he prepares his lesson plans for his return to the classroom this fall.

In June, St. Joseph's Prep awarded diplomas to 185 members of the Class of 2019. We celebrated record seasons for our sports teams and our clubs and have trophy cases filled with shining examples--the fruits of many hours of practice, dedication and commitment to their goals. In fact, this summer saw our Varsity 8 Crew Team competing with the top teams in the world at the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta, finishing in the top eight and as the last American team standing.

During this summer, St. Joseph's Prep colleagues near and far are witnessing the Strategic Plan coming to life through the vision of the Ignatian Engagement Committee, the Office of Diversify and the Office of Development:

  • The first goal of the Strategic Plan is Live our Catholic and Jesuit Mission, a small group of colleagues -- led by Senior Director of Mission and Ministry Rev. Chuck Frederico, SJ and English Teacher Susie Cook -- has created programming that is at the heart of what it means to live the Jesuit ideals. The 2019-20 academic year will be the Year of the Examen, which helps us better focus on the first of the Universal Apostolic Preferences recently announced by the Society of Jesus. I look forward to the many blessings that will manifest themselves to all members of our Prep community through this programming.
  • Last year, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion held cultural competency training for all students and many of the Prep Colleagues. More on that will continue this year. The Prep is also working with the Office of Black Catholics and will do some programming to ensure that our community continues to value our differences while melding us all into a community. 
  • Through much hard work along with the benefit of newly created leadership groups, the Office of Development has exceeded their financial goals for the year and is fully focused on For Others Forever, the Prep’s Campaign for the Future that will ensure a transformative educational experience for our students and colleagues.

Also looking ahead to the future, we excitedly welcomed nearly 300 rising 7th and 8th Graders to Prep U, our renowned summer program. For more than half a century, the best and brightest middle schoolers from across the Delaware Valley have come to the Prep and gotten a taste of the Prep experience. Many of the boys will soon matriculate here and the roots begin at Prep U. That is in addition to the dozens of young boys and girls who are participating in our many sports camps.

St. Joseph’s Prep is a machine that wakes up early, stays late and always has an open door. There is a lot going on and we welcome the energy and excitement that is found throughout our halls twelve months a year. I welcome you to our website, our school and the Prep community.

Have a blessed summer!


Rev. John W. Swope, SJ ’72

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The Jesuits of the Prep

Rev. Chuck Frederico, SJ, Rev. John Swope, SJ '72 and Bro. Bob Carson, SJ

Fr. Swope and Principal Mr. Andy Cavacos

2019-2020 Trustee Leadership

M. Shawn Bort, Chair, Rev. John Swope, SJ '72, President, and Dr. Mark C. Reed '92, Vice Chair

2019 Alumni/Father-Son Communion Breakfast

Fr. Swope joins award winners Johnny Freeman ’19 (Sauter Award), Joe Oakes ’60 (Schnorr Service Award) and Chris Gutt ‘20 (Man for Others Award) at the Annual Alumni/Father-Son Communion Breakfast

Fr. Swope and Trustees at the President’s Reception at PAFA

Mother-Son Communion Brunch

Fr. Swope joins Mothers' Club officers Debbie Bevilacqua, Monica Mohler, and Tina Clayton to thank keynote speaker Sr. Mary Scullion of Project Home. 

Ignatian Identity Week 2019

Fr. Swope, Fr. Frederico, and Mr. Jason Zazyczny '90 join Mummers to celebrate Ignatian Identity Week

Commencement 2019

The Class of 2020 Student Council Executive Officers led the procession at Commencement

Commencement 2019

Fr. Swope and Mr. Zazyczny after wonderful Commencement Exercises for the Class of 2019

Listen. Understand. Act.

"St. Joseph’s Prep is a machine that wakes up early, stays late and always has an open door. There is a lot going on and we welcome the energy and excitement that is found throughout our halls twelve months a year. I welcome you to our website, our school and the Prep community."

--Rev. John W. Swope, SJ '72

St. Joseph's Preparatory School
1733 West Girard Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19130
tel: 215.978.1950
fax: 215.765.1710
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