MAY 2011

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SCHOOL NEWS CLIPS - MAY 2011

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St. Augustine Preparatory School parents and students plan rallies to show support for Father Paul Galetto (Press of Atlantic City, by Diane D'Amico, 5/31/11)

bullet Students mobilize against removal of Father Galetto as president of St. Augustine Prep (Press of Atlantic City, by Diane D'Amico, 5/27/11)
bullet BUENA VISTA:  Students rallying to keep Fr. Galetto as St. Augustine president (The Daily Journal, by staff reports, 5/27/11)
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St. Augustine Preparatory School graduates 175 (The Press of Atlantic City, by Caitlin Dineen, 5/22/11)

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St. Mary's School celebrates 50 years (The Daily Journal, by Kristi Funderburk, 5/12/11)

St. Augustine Preparatory School parents and students plan rallies to show support for Father Paul Galetto (Press of Atlantic City, by Diane D'Amico, 5/31/11)

Parents and students from St. Augustine Preparatory School in Buena Vista Township have planned two rallies to show their support for keeping Father Paul Galetto on as president.

A letter received by supporters indicates support for Galetto has been heard at the highest levels of the Augustinian order.

Egg Harbor Township resident Lisa Oakley, president of the school's Austin Society, received an email Tuesday from Miguel A. Martin Juarez, secretary general of the Order of Saint Augustine in Rome, saying that officials will be looking into the situation. The email was forwarded to supporters and obtained by The Press of Atlantic City.

"I was surprised and delighted," said Oakley, who emailed Augustinian officials in Rome on Sunday despite her husband's skepticism that they would personally respond to a letter from a parent in New Jersey.

"But there it was, and I was jumping up and down in front of the computer," Oakley said.

In it Juarez wrote they are well informed of both Galetto's service and his recent termination as president of the school by Prior Provincial Father Anthony Genovese. He stresses that the decision to name or remove a school president is the role of the Prior Provincial on the regional level and that in general, the governing body in Rome does not intervene.

"However, given the overwhelming response to the decision that was recently announced regarding the transfer of Fr. Galetto, we have begun to learn more about the situation, and we are going to pursue the question with the Prior Provincial, to see if a satisfactory solution can be found, most importantly for the good of St. Augustine Prep," the email says.

Meanwhile, supporters ranging from Buena Vista Township Mayor Chuck Chiarello to members of the school's parents clubs, are continuing to work to reinstate Galetto, who had notified the school community Friday by email that he had been terminated as president effective June 30. A 1974 graduate of The Prep, he has been teaching at the school since 1982 and became president in 1998.

A rally for parents is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Thursday at The Prep before the 3 p.m. Board of Directors meeting. Genovese is chairman of the board, although board members have said they knew nothing of the decision to remove Father Galetto. Students have scheduled their own rally from noon to 6 p.m. June 17 at the school, after all students return from school trips.

Anthony Iocono, of Mantua Township, Gloucester County, treasurer of Men of The Prep, said they want to show that it is not just students who support Galetto.

"We want to let Father Genovese know that people are willing to show up on a work day to support Father Paul," he said.

The group is ordering T-shirts, and support continues on the Save Fr. Paul website. Almost 1,000 people have signed an electronic petition on change.org.

"I'm not usually a rabble rouser," Iocono said. "We are being very respectful. There are very few people I would put myself out like this for, and he is one of them."

Oakley said several local and state officials are expected to attend, and they want to show that the school is important to the community, and not just parents.

Chiarello also wrote a letter to Genovese saying what a shock the decision has been and how outraged it has made the community. In his letter, he said he understands decisions leaders must make are not always popular, but urged him to reconsider replacing Galetto. He said while his own decisions might at some point lose him an election, if Father Paul were to run for mayor, he would likely win.

Contacted by phone, Chiarello said Galetto has transformed The Prep and has been a vital partner to the township.

"We have had numerous opportunities to work with him firsthand," Chiarello said. "Our high school students use the pool at The Prep. Their students have used the fields at Michael Debbi Park. He came to me just recently about doing an event to promote the community and our Richland Village project."

Over the years, Galetto has raised millions of dollars for the school, Chiarello said, a talent that should not be overlooked or underestimated.

"The Augustinians are lucky to have a priest with the talents of a CEO," Chiarello said. "He has been a real asset to the township."

 

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Students mobilize against removal of Father Galetto as president of St. Augustine Prep (Press of Atlantic City, by Diane D'Amico, 5/27/11)

Students and families are rallying behind the Rev. Paul Galetto, president of St. Augustine College Preparatory School in Buena Vista Township, and asking why the man who has given his life to "The Prep" has been removed as head of the school.

Galetto, a 1974 graduate of St. Augustine, returned in 1982 to teach and has been president since 1998. He notified students and families in an email Friday that he had been informed Wednesday by the Rev. Anthony Genovese, chairman of the school's Board of Directors and Provincial Superior of the Augustinian Order, that his tenure as president would end June 30.

Galetto said he disagreed with the decision but acknowledges Genovese's authority to make the decision. The Press was unable to reach Galetto or Genovese on Friday.

Kenneth Calemmo, a member of the school's Board of Directors, said the announcement was as much of a shock to the board as it was to students and families.

"We were not consulted on the issue," he said. "(Galetto) does serve at the discretion of the Province, but we have not been given any information about why this was done."

St. Augustine is part of the Augustinian Province of St. Thomas of Villanova.

Calemmo said the board has called for a meeting Thursday to try to get an explanation.

"Father Paul is a great man," said Calemmo, whose son graduated from the school in 2008 and served as class president. "For the last 30 years, he has built a great institution. We are so thankful for him."

Support for Galetto built all day. Galetto's email was sent early Friday, and by mid-morning students had already set up a "Save Fr. Paul" page on Facebook and were trying to organize a rally at the school. An online petition was set up on change.org, and families were encouraged to contact Genovese directly.

Student Chris Lucasti, of Longport, who is entering his senior year at St. Augustine, said he is helping to rally support because he does not want to lose Galetto.

"He's just the greatest guy you'd ever want to meet," he said.

In his letter, Galetto thanked St. Augustine teachers, staff, students and families.

"They are the best, and I could not have done much without them," he wrote of the staff. "I want to thank the parents and students because you have made the Prep great. I want to thank the alumni and benefactors whose constant support has enabled the school to accomplish many great things. Lastly I want to thank the Augustinian Community and the Board of Directors for their help and guidance; it has been invaluable."

He also wrote: "If I have offended anyone, I apologize. It has always been my intention to treat everyone with respect and love."

Under Galetto's tenure, the school has grown in size and prestige. While he was director of development in 1997, the school broke ground on a 14,000-square-foot arts and science building, the almost $2 million cost of which was covered by fundraising. He became president in 1998, and in 2006 the school announced the largest expansion in its then 47-year history, a $21 million, 100,000-square-foot complex that includes a swimming pool, gymnasium, science labs, offices and a chapel.

Since 1999, enrollment has grown from 235 students to more than 600. This year's graduating class had 175 students.

Galetto ended his letter by saying that he believes many great things were accomplished in his time and that he had plans for many more.

"I am sorry that I will not be able to see them to fruition," he wrote.

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BUENA VISTA:  Students rallying to keep Fr. Galetto as St. Augustine president (The Daily Journal, by staff reports, 5/27/11)

Father Anthony Genovese OSA who is the Chairman of the Board of Directors has told Father Paul Galetto President of the St. Augustine Prep that his tenure with the school will end June 30. 

For complete details go to:  www.thedailyjournal.com

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St. Augustine Preparatory School graduates 175 (The Press of Atlantic City, by Caitlin Dineen, 5/22/11)

BUENA VISTA TOWNSHIP - The 175 students who graduated Sunday from St. Augustine Preparatory School were not the same students who first stepped onto the school's campus in 2007, commencement speakers told them.

"You have changed over these four years," the Rev. Anthony Genovese, chairman of the school's board of directors, said during Sunday's commencement exercises.

Genovese said the success and evolution of each student was possible only because of the love and sacrifice of their parents and the school community.

However, he said, after they leave the hallways of St. Augustine, they will face challenges that ask them to change who they are again.

"This is the beginning. You are heading to great education institutions," Genovese said. "You'll be asked to change."

Genovese said students should be prepared to leave their comfort zone but should always know they "have a foundation" to which they can return.

During a pre-graduation Mass, St. Augustine President the Rev. Paul Galetto said the class of 2011 was comprised of outstanding Christian men who thought outside themselves and gave back to the community.

"This class of 2011 is a wonderful group of men because they reached out to help others," Galetto said, adding that students participated in a variety of community outreach projects both locally and in Camden. "It was in their charity that they did great for themselves and for each other."

Rose Davis, who awarded the Josephine and Louis Buondonno Scholarship named after her parents, said students took the time to make personal connections with their fellow classmates and develop a bond of brotherhood that will survive the years.

"You created a bond among yourselves that cannot be broken," Davis said. "In short, you have achieved the goal of The Prep."

In his farewell address to his fellow classmates, David Wilson discussed the protesting and violence that erupted earlier this year in Egypt and stressed the importance of higher education.

"A strong education prepares us," Wilson said. "We are expected to help society move forward."

Wilson said it was through his four years at St. Augustine that he found that the education system works best and students achieve as individuals when they are taught in a cohesive and "organic" environment.

"With this atmosphere, a whole education can be obtained," he said, adding this year's graduates needed "unity while maintaining individuality" to succeed.

 

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St. Mary's School celebrates 50 years (The Daily Journal, by Kristi Funderburk, 5/12/11)

St. Mary's School on Union Road has been educating children for 50 years. 

For complete details go to:  www.thedailyjournal.com

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