In April, Saint Peter’s Prep lost one of its legendary figures when Father Tony Azzarto, S.J. passed away. For me, and for thousands of others, it was a personal loss. Father Azzarto had been my freshman English teacher, celebrated my marriage, baptized my son, said the funeral Mass for my father; you get the idea. He embodied what makes Prep such a special place.
Teachers, counselors, coaches and staff are much more than just adults our students will encounter during their four years at Prep. They become advisors, mentors, friends. I am proud to count among my closest friends, teachers I had at Prep, and students and players I taught and coached. That does not happen in every high school. Prep students feel a connection to the school, a connection that will last long after they have received their diploma.
Father Azzarto encouraged everyone at St. Peter’s Prep to “be present.” He would tell freshmen during their orientation to go to the opening football game, he would encourage the athletes to get a ticket for the winter play or spring concert, and he would always ask faculty to join him at these school events. There are countless opportunities for students to “be present” at St. Peter’s during the course of the year. Those club activities, concerts, plays, dances, games, and meetings are chances to find one’s passion, contribute to the life of Prep, and most importantly, make friendships that will last a lifetime.
I hope that you will visit us soon, join us one day as a Prep student, and stay connected to this school forever.
John Irvine, ’83, P’11
Director of Admissions