Archived News from 2019-2020

From Mr. Petrocelli, June 24, 2020

Dear Spartan Community:

For the past two days, we have been collecting textbooks and allowing students to clean out their lockers, and just seeing the students enter the building has been a blessing. I could see their smiles (even with a mask on), and every student shared with me the same sentiment, “Mr. P, we have to re-open school in September.” Just listening to them share with me their experiences since March 13 allowed me to recognize the resilience and determination of every student that bears the name of “Spartan.”

So we all are asking the same question, what will September look like? The most honest answer that I can give you is, as of June 25, I really do not know for sure. But, what I can share with you is how we are moving forward towards September in the hope of addressing the various options that may play out. We are preparing plans which can be revised and altered as additional information related to restrictions is shared with us from the Governor’s Office and the Diocese of Paterson. Every week we see more and more restrictions being lifted, and we pray that this continues in a positive direction.

Read the Full Letter »

Congratulations to Jessica Long

Congratulations to the Class of 2020 Salutatorian, Jessica Long, recently notified that she was named one of only 23 Fordham University students to be selected as a Cunniffe Presidential Scholar.

This prestigious honor is in addition to Jessica being invited into Fordham's Global Business Honors program.

Nicely done, Jessica. Spartan Proud!

Graduation Awards

The Msgr. John P. McHugh Award recognizes exemplary Christian witness, academics, service, and involvement in athletics and/or activities. From the Class of 2020, Sean Kelly and Jessica Long received this honor.

Fr. Geno Sylva Award recognizes two students who exemplify selfless giving. This award is presented by the Parents' Association. The honorees from the Class of 2020 are Jesus Delgado and Anna Soltys.

Graduation Awards

The Elizabeth Ann Seton Award recognizes students who use their faith and gifts in service to others. From the Class of 2020, Charlotte Ortzian and Riley Sikorski received this honor.

The Sr. Patricia Flarity 110% Award is based on determination, effort, and accomplishment. Connor O'Neill and Kaylee Reyes were named this year's recipients.

William F. Martin Awards

The William F. Martin Award for Leadership and Service Award is presented to a member (or members) of the graduating class who best exemplifies servant leadership and a lasting legacy. Alexa LoMonaco and Olivia Peiser were the Class of 2020 recipients of this prestigious award. Alexa was President of both the Student Council and National Honor Society. Olivia was the Senior Class President and Yearbook Editor-in-Chief.

Graduation Links

See the Grade 8 Graduation Video »
See the High School Class of 2020 Graduation Video »
See the High School Class of 2020 Awards Presentation Video »
See the Class of 2020 Tributes Videos »

Thoughtful Thursday, June 7

Dear DePaul Catholic High School Community:

During the past week, our entire nation has felt the pain and heard the cries of people seeking justice and peace. As a catholic faith community, it is our responsibility to respect the inherent dignity of all people and the sanctity of life, from conception to natural death.

align="left" Racism, intolerance, and all forms of violence have no place in this great nation. As a faith community, we must stand up for what is right and the rights of all people. In the Peace Prayer of St. Francis, we pray, "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace: where there is hatred, let me sow love." Let us always be that instrument of peace. Together as one nation, we seek to heal the wounds of this past week.

St. Vincent DePaul, Pray for Us!

For the entire DePaul Catholic High School Community,
Russell D. Petrocelli, Principal

Happy Birthday, Sr. Jeanne!

On Monday, June 8, the DePaul Catholic Twitter accounts and other Social Media outlets lit up with birthday wishes for a true Spartan, Sister Jeanne Agans. By 3:00 p.m. all of Wayne could hear the horn-blaring parade of DePaul Catholic Staffers who drove the front oval and wished her well.

Mr. Petrocelli's Thoughtful Thursday Message Contains Some Good News for All

Mr. Petrocelli's May 1 Messsage

The Class of 2020 as of April 30

National Honor Society

Not being able to gather at school didn't stop 58 teachers, parents, and students from gathering to celebrate the accomplishments of the newest members of the Holy Spirit Chapter of the National Honor Society.

Science National Honor Society

Congratulations to the new Class of 2020 members inducted into the Science National Honor Society.

Catholic Charities

Super job by Interact (left) moderator, Mrs. Dacles, numerous DP teachers, and the DePaul Catholic Community for the abundant collection of food, paper products, clothing, and gift cards for Catholic Charities

Huge shoutout to our Spartan football families (right) for continuing to support the Murray and Fitzpatrick houses of Catholic Charities especially during these trying times.

At the 124th Annual New Jersey State Council Knights of Columbus Convention, held virtually this year, Mr. Russell D. Petrocelli was reelected New Jersey State Warden and represents the Archdiocese of Newark on the New Jersey State Council.

The Annual Art Show

Traditionally, the Fine and Performing Arts Department showcases the talents of the DePaul Catholic art students in a beautiful display of work in the student commons. Our current circumstances may have forced a change in format, but they cannot stop the considerable talents of our students.

Please enjoy the video to the right.

Our first Virtual Open House was a huge success. Packed with information, the site has been visited hundreds of times by families interested in joining the Classes of 2024, 2025, and our 8th Grade Prep program. If you missed it, click the image above.

Teacher Appreciation Week Ends

Click the image above to read a heartwarming letter from the family of a Class of 2020 student and a Class of 2016 graduate.

Mother's Day 2020

Click the image for Mr. Petrocelli's Mother's Day Message

Mr. Petrocelli's May 7 Thoughtful Thursday

The Class of 2020 shares memories in the video above.

The Girls Lacrosse Team sends Thanks to our Teachers.

Mr. Petrocelli and Sr. Jeanne went out of their way to show our teachers their appreciation.

Mr. Petrocelli addresses the DePaul Catholic Community, March 30, 2020.

News 12 Coverage of our PPE Drive - an ongoing endeavor every Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to Noon.

The Class of 2021 sends thanks and prayers.

More Thanks from Staff and Students

The Classes of 2022 and 2023 send thanks and prayers.

Prayers and well-wishes from the Class of 2020.

The Class of 2020 sends thoughts and prayers.

The Class of 2021 recognizes our front-line heroes.

Quarter 3 Honor Roll

We may not be able to assemble for the Quarter 3 Honor Roll presentations, but that didn't stop our Administrators from congratulating our high-achieving students.

For a full list of this year's Honor Roll Students, check our Honor Roll page.

In addition to our own School Counseling Services, the following resources are available for those in need of assistance.

NJ Help

Spartans for Spartans
The Sr. Patricia Flarity Scholarship Fund

"Spartans for Spartans" is a unique fund dedicated solely to assisting current Spartans in crisis. It is funded by you, the Spartans of the past and present, many of you who remember Sister Pat or those of you who are just proud to say, "I am a DePaul Grad".

Each June, a portion of the funding comes from the Sister Patricia Flarity Annual Golf Classic. This year, as with so many other events, The Classic has been put on hold and will not take place in June. Still, the need for funding continues and we are hoping you can once again be generous to the Sister Pat Fund - "Spartans For Spartans"

Your generosity will help to build a bridge for a family in a temporary crisis to continue to receive a DePaul education. The same education you were fortunate to receive. You can be assured that your generosity is appreciated and needed. The challenges facing all of us have hit some “Spartans” extra hard through illness and or job loss. Sometimes a little help can go a long way in helping a fellow Spartan in temporary need.

Thank you for being part of DePaul’s history, DePaul's legacy. As Sister Jeanne says, we must stay together and follow Sister Pat's example by caring for one another all the time.

If you can help, here is the donation link:

College Board Honors

APCSP Our Advanced Placement Computer Science program was recently honored by College Board with the Female Diversity Award. Of 20,000 schools, DePaul Catholic was one of 639 to be recognized for its female representation in AP CompSci.

Welcome Bishop-Elect Sweeney to the Diocese of Paterson

Dear DePaul Catholic High School Community:

I am pleased to share with you the news that our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has appointed Fr. Kevin J. Sweeney, pastor of St. Michael Church in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, as the 8th Bishop of the Diocese of Paterson.

Please join together as the DePaul Catholic High School community to welcome and pray for our new Bishop.

St. Vincent DePaul, Pray for Us!

Russell D. Petrocelli, Principal

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli, 75, from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Paterson and has named Father Kevin J. Sweeney, a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn as Bishop-elect of Paterson.

The appointment was publicized in Washington, D.C. on April 15, 2020 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop-elect Sweeney was born on January 17, 1970 in Elmhurst, New York and was ordained to the priesthood on June 28, 1997 for the Diocese of Brooklyn. Father Sweeney graduated from St. John’s University, Queens, New York in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts and received a Master of Divinity from Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, New York in 1997.

Father Sweeney's assignments in the Diocese of Brooklyn after ordination include: Parochial Vicar at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Parish in Jamaica (1997-2003); Coordinator of the Irish Apostolate (1999-2001); Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of Sorrows, Corona (2003-2004); Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Brooklyn (2004-2010); Chaplain at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School, Brooklyn (2005); Administrator at St. Michael Parish, Brooklyn (2010-2012); Spiritual Director at Jovenes de Valor (2010-2013). His service includes membership on the Seminary Admissions Board (2010-present); Presbyteral Council (2011-2016); Dean of the Brooklyn 8 Deanery (2013-present); Vocations Representative (2014-present); and the Priest Personnel Assignment Board (2017-present). Bishop-elect Sweeney, who speaks both English and Spanish, is currently Pastor of St. Michael Church in Brooklyn where he has served since March 2012.

The Diocese of Paterson is comprised of 1,214 square miles in the State of New Jersey and has a total population of 1,153,982 of which 430,000 are Catholic.

NHS Sponsored Child

NHS Sponsored Child

For the past 29 years, our NHS has conducted bake sales twice a month. The money collected is used to support a child from the Philippines through the Child Fund organization. Click on the image to view a letter recently received from our currently-sponsored child (translation on the bottom).

Holy Week Mass with Father Andrew

PPE Delivery to St. Joseph's 4/9/2020
Donations on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to Noon.
Curbside drop-off in the front of school.

Congratulations to Senior Alexa LoMonaco

Each year, National Honor Society (NHS) members are invited to apply for one of the scholarships granted through a program supported by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). Membership in the NHS nation-wide is estimated at "more than one million", and this scholarship program is open to all senior members.

Alexa LoMonaco was recently informed that she is one of only 600 students selected. Alexa was named a National Semifinalist based on her academic excellence, strong character, leadership, and participation in service activities. Alexa is an Honors/Advanced Placement student who also holds the position of President of both the Student Council and NHS and Captain of the Varsity Lacrosse and Varsity Cheering squads. Her service is evident within the DePaul Catholic family and extends into her own community and national organizations. Alexa will attend Dartmouth next year.

Virtual Classes Accompanied by Virtual Meetings

On the afternoon of Friday, March 27, having been out of school for two weeks, Mr. Petrocelli, the Principal of DePaul Catholic, held a staff meeting. 55 staff members gathered online awaiting the news of when we can return to school with our students. As we do all things at DePaul Catholic, we opened the meeting with a prayer.

After a few housekeeping chores about some procedural issues and the news that we would not be returning until Monday, April 20, we had a check-in from teachers, many of whom shared success stories and strategies from their online classes. Many expressed concern about their students and families. A check-in from departments followed. Coleen Brophy shared that we are extending our PPE Drive for two more weeks. Sr. Jeanne shared a few calendar events that are still be shuffled. Brynn-Merritt Campbell shared the outreach events scheduled for our registered and prospective students. Mrs. Gregory shared that the Guidance Department is hard at work with online meetings with students.

Before the formal meeting began and after the agenda items were covered, there was a commonality among all in attendance: we miss each other, we miss our students, and we are praying for the health and welfare of not only the DePaul Catholic Community, but the greater Community at-large. St. Vincent DePaul, Pray for Us.

Volleyball Kicks Off Spirit Week

Spirit Week Wednesday: Hungry Hungry Hippo and Sports Jerseys

New Turf Planned for Alumni Field

Our athletic field, known as "Alumni Field," is an important part of life here at DePaul Catholic. It is home to seven different sports for both girls and boys teams; softball, baseball, soccer and lacrosse for both genders, and football. These teams use Alumni Field for practice and for contests against other schools. Some of them compete at three levels: varsity, junior varsity, and freshman. Our physical education classes use the field as well. This constant use results in lots of wear and tear.

The current turf was installed in 2008 and has now reached the end of its useful life. Recent testing has convinced us that we should replace it, and we have taken steps to do that. After receiving bids from three reputable vendors, our Board of Trustees has selected Field Turf, Inc. to help us. Field Turf was the obvious choice: in addition to submitting the lowest bid, it already enjoys a positive relationship with our school due to its previous engagements here, one we can build on once more.

We expect that this work will begin as soon as the spring sports seasons conclude. The new turf will reach wall to wall, and with increased drainage, we reduce the chances of the water collections that have presented some difficulties in the past. With some preliminary work underway early, Field Turf expects the new turf ready for camps and in tip-top shape for our fall teams to use in September.

Boys Basketball Serves on President's Day

While many of us were simply thankful for the day off, our boys basketball team spent the President's Day holiday serving others as they served nearly 400 guests at Eva's Community Kitchen in Paterson. Coach Ryan Hagen and the guys were joined by fellow DePaul Catholic Alumnus, Mayor Andre Sayegh, and State Senator Nellie Pou. John Renaldo, assistant boys basketball coach and his brother Dan, the CEO of Eva's Village, both DePaul Catholic Alumni, were also present to serve.

O'Reilly Hits the 1000-Point Milestone

Entering the game eight points shy of the career 1000-point milestone, senior John O'Reilly accomplished the feat with 7.7 seconds left in the first half.

Bottazzi and O'Neill are District Champions

Bottazzi earned the top seed at 120; Checinski, the five seed, stunned the first seed in the semifinals, 9-3; Calautti, having lost in the semis, came back with a technical fall in the consolations to take third; Gerish took third in an 8-5 decision; and O'Neill, going in as the second seed finished off the first seed in the finals.

Bottazzi: ByeChecinski p. 4:46Calautti d. 9-2Gerish d. 6-0O'Neill p. 0:27
Bottazzi p. 2:26Checinski d. 9-3Calautti lostGerish lostO'Neill p. 1:15
Bottazzi d. 6-2 (OT)Checinski lostO'Neill p. 2:55

Hanna Vaidya is a NMSQT Finalist

Every October, about 1.6 million juniors across the country take the PSAT. Those who score in the top 1% achieve the distinction of National Merit Semifinalist.

In February, some 15,000 Semifinalists are notified that they have advanced to Finalist standing.

Congratulations Hanna for this recognition of your hard work.

Winter Signings

Winter Signings

On February 5, six Spartans signed Letters of Intent to continue their academic and athletic careers in college. Pictured from Left to right are Zack Levitt, baseball, Johnson and Wales; Tedy Afful, football, Stony Brook; Eddie Bierals, football, St. Francis University; Elijah Calautti, football, American International College; Eric Meslin, football, Stonehill College; Zach Najem, football, Franklin Pierce University.

Bench Goes to Trenton


Jamielyn Juan, Kayla Gelin, and Joseph Giordano, members of the Honors Engineering 2 class, Mr. Petrocelli and Ms. Parler represented the Diocese of Paterson in Trenton on Monday, January 27th to kick off Catholic Schools Week with a presentation of STEM in action. The students were challenged to solve a problem through STEM. They chose to build a solar-powered convertible bench-to-table that would allow park visitors to contact local law enforcement with the push of a button, and to charge cellphones as well. The panel on top of the bench rotates to always get the greatest degree of sunlight. This was accomplished with the use of a solar tracker and a linear actuator.

Their project addresses two different populations: 1) working parents who pick up their children after school and want to stop by the park on the way home. These busy parents may wish to have a cellphone charging station available in the park. 2) The other population includes park-goers that recognize the need for emergency services and a simple push of a button can notify law enforcement of the emergency.

Mr. Leontarakis is the New Boys Lacrosse Coach

"Coach Koz", the guy we've known on the football sidelines as the wide receivers' coach and assistant offensive coordinator, became "Mr. L." when he stepped into ML1 as a Spanish teacher in September. A certified PE teacher, Mr. L. is fluent in English, Spanish, and Greek. He was a member of both the National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society when he was in high school.

Mr. L. is also the co-coach of the Boys and Girls Bowling Team, having a few perfect 300s himself. This spring sees Mr. L. back on the Alumni Field sidelines as the new Boys Lacrosse Coach. He began his lacrosse coaching career in 2015 as the freshman coach at Governor Livingston High School. The following year, he was the varsity offensive assistant -- a position he maintained for two years. In 2019, he took the JV/Freshman Lacrosse position at New Providence High School. On January 6, he was named the 2020 Head Boys Lacrosse Coach at DePaul Catholic -- a position he very much looks forward to assume.

Despite losing eight players to graduation, the Spartans return a strong nucleus of players including seniors Chris Bianciella and Aaron Kucinski, and seven juniors including the leading Spartan goal-scorer from last year, Matthew Luehs, who was named one of the top sophomores in New Jersey by

Lennon Passes Torch and Domino Changes Ensue

Read Dr. Stickles Letter

Girls Basketball Wins Christmas Tournament

The Girls Basketball team defeated Columbia High School, 37-34, in the finals of the 2019 Blue and Gold Holiday Tournament in Pequannock. The team had previously defeated the host team, 50-44, in the opening round. Senior Riley Sikorski led the Spartans with 16 points. Fellow senior Olivia Peiser contributed seven.

The Spartans jumped out to a commanding 27-15 lead at the half. A feisty Columbia team outscored the Spartans, 13-3 in the fourth quarter, but it just wasn't enough as the Spartans hung on for the 3-point victory. The Spartans are off to a blazingly hot 4-0 start to the 2019-2020 season.

Freshmen Boys Win their Holiday Tournament

The Freshman Boys Basketball Team won the North Jersey Holiday Hoop Fest in Teaneck during Christmas Break.

Girls Soccer Wins State Sectional Title

State Sectional Champions!

The Girls Soccer team had reached the Non-Public A North Sectional finals for three consecutive years leading to its fourth try on November 7, 2019 – when they refused to be denied.

In a thrilling, 2-1 double-overtime defeat of Immaculate Heart Academy, the Spartans met their number one objective of the season: the State Sectional Title.

IHA led struck first, scoring six minutes into the first half and maintained that lead deep into regulation until with 2:26 left, freshman Maggie Blum scored the game-tying goal.

The score remained dead-locked at 1-1 through regulation and the first overtime and it certainly appeared as though the game would remain dead-locked until, with 13 seconds left in the second overtime, senior Bryana Pelayo lifted DePaul Catholic to a 2-1 victory.

The two teams had met twice in conference play earlier in the season, with the Spartans taking the first one, 4-2, and dropping the second contest, 3-0.

To a player, every Spartan agreed that this one, the first State Sectional championship in DePaul Catholic Girls Soccer history, is one they will not forget.

Circle of Friends

On the feast day of our patron saint, Vincent de Paul, Sr. Dianne, a Sister of Charity, addressed our community about the conditions under which some Haitians live. She told stories of hope and need. Spirit Alive HAITI began a school seven years ago for 12 children whose parents could not afford the uniforms, shoes, and transportation to send them to public school. Today, they have 250 children. In 2019, Food for the Poor replaced our school, constructed of scrap pieces of wood and tin, with a beautiful new building. But, their generosity did not include money to operate the school and educate the children. The Circle of Friends campaign was initiated to raise those needed funds. Sr. Dianne's words touched many of us.

This week, Sr. Dianne provided an update. The conditions in Haiti have been challenging over the last year. They deteriorated to the point that Sr. Dianne was unable to return as scheduled in October. Strikes and demonstrations were occurring on a daily basis making it unsafe.

During what seemed to be a “truce” for the holidays, Sr. Dianne was able to go to Haiti for eight days in December. She brought Christmas presents for the school children and money to pay the teachers. She also carried with us greetings of love and support from our many Circles of Friends in the United States. Where most of the banks, schools, and businesses were closed from September to November due to the unrest, their school remained open with 85-90% of the children in attendance. Given the conditions in the country, this was remarkable.

Through the generosity of donors, they were able to give the teachers their full pay. They also had the schools’ cooks prepare lunch every day as if there was full enrollment so they could give any left-over beans and rice to the families living in the surrounding area who had little or no food.

Sister closed her note as so... We have no idea what will happen in Haiti in 2020. The issues that underpin the current problems still remain unresolved. But this we know. Our school will continue!

Share her stories of hope in Haiti, and, if you can, help a child attend school. $100 = year!

Sheer Joy

Interact Makes Christmas Merry

Interact made Christmas a little more merry for 25 familes in need. Pajamas, sweaters, baby clothes, mittens, gloves, scarves, toys, and giftcards were collected and delivered to Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Paterson.

Each member of the family was given a clothing outfit, each child received a toy, and household items like sheets, pots and pans, and towels were also given to each family.

Interact members ready the presents. Interact elves at work.

Football Wins State Championship

For the second time in the past three years and fifth time in the past seven years, DePaul Catholic Football has won a section championship. DePaul wasted little time in getting its high-octane offense into gear. De’Mere White scored in the first four minutes of the game after hauling in a Butler pass and spinning out of a tackle for a 9-yard score.

Afful hauls in one of his 10 receptions. Butler's 2Q TD

Butler and senior receiver Tedy Afful (top left), who finished with 203 receiving yards and a touchdown on 10 catches, led the offense the rest of the first half with Afful scoring on a 50-yard strike and Butler sneaking in a 1-yard run at the end of the half (top right) to give the Spartans a 14-point lead at the break.

Offensive stat leaders included Butler, who threw for 363 yards, and Afful, who finished with 203 receiving yards. Junior Joseph Fano (right) led the defense with 10 tackles including a spectacular 4th-and-goal stuff.

In addition to the 27-25 defeat of Mater Dei on December 7th, senior receiver, Tedy Afful, and junior quarterback, Andrew Butler, both broke school records: Tedy Afful '20, Single Season Record for Receiving Yards, 54 catches for 1,349 yards; Andrew Butler '21, Single Season School Record, 2,853 yards, 27 TD passes.

Junior Joseph Fano.

Honors Anatomy Visits the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia

Honors Anatomy

The students in Honors Anatomy traveled to Philadelphia to walk through the current exhibits at the Mütter Museum. Among the exhibits was Going Viral, which examines the intersection of disease and environment through the lens of three major theories of infection. Additional exhibits included Innovations in spinal surgery in which students learned about some of today's most common forms of spinal injury and disease, discovered past medical treatments, and explored how technological leaps by doctors are opening up new frontiers of treatment options.

HIED Spends a Day at LSC


On December 12, the Honors Academy Engineering students traveled to the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City for a day of coding for engineering. The first session introduced the students to Sphero SPRK+. Equipped with Bluetooth SMART takes hands-on learning up a notch with programmable sensors like motor encoders, LED lights, accelerometer, and a gyroscope.

Their task was to program the Sphero to negotiate the rugged, mixed-media Mars landscape and to hit certain checkpoints along the way. The students dug in immediately, drawing high praise from the facilitators of the experience.

In the second session, the students made their own platform game with Construct 3, a powerful tool for teaching general computing skills and programming skills. Construct 3 offers a sophisticated block-based event architecture alongside Javascript programming, making it a perfect tool for beginning programmers.