Two St. Augustine Prep students describe their experiences.
It is not easy to find a place where the Augustinian values of truth, unity, and love are expressed on a day to day basis, but two places that practice these morals everyday are Malvern Prep and St. Augustine Prep in Richland, New Jersey.
Although these two schools are in two different states, “Malvern students seem to be like Prep students,” Father Don Reilly O.S.A, President of St. Augustine Prep, said. “Of course, we are both Augustinian schools, we hear the same language, and we value the same qualities of truth, unity, and love.”
Reilly, who will be Malvern’s new Head of School beginning in July, believes that the teachers at Malvern and St. Augustine’s educate their students in similar ways.
“St. Augustine’s is a second home to me. I can rely on anyone at the Prep, whether it be students or faculty, to be there for me if I need them.” -Jack Snediker, Hermits ’17
“St. Augustine’s is a second home to me. I can rely on anyone at the Prep, whether it be students or faculty, to be there for me if I need them.”
-Jack Snediker, Hermits ’17
These twenty-first century terms have a common theme, and that is collaboration.
“Everyone works on projects where you recognize your own strengths and then put them into the group for a greater good. You also recognize other’s talents, so it is a wonderful expression of mutual strengths that bring about further learning,” Reilly said.
Jack McCoy, who is a freshman at St. Augustine Prep, is working on a project with a few of his fellow classmates for Geometry class.
“Right now, we are designing kites,” McCoy said. “And eventually, we will go outside to test them and see if they can fly.”
This year, McCoy made a transition between the Avalon School, which is a co-ed middle school, to St. Augustine Prep, an all-boys Catholic school.
“Without girls, there is less pressure,” he said. “Now, I feel that I can try harder and concentrate more.”
McCoy enjoys the sense of unity that comes from St. Augustine Prep.
“Everybody’s brothers. I take a computer coding class with sophomores. Outside the classroom, our student sections for sports games are huge, especially for basketball, those sections have at least 150 guys.”
Like McCoy, senior Jack Snediker cherishes the brotherhood that comes with Saint Augustine’s Prep.
“St. Augustine’s is a second home to me. I can rely on anyone at the Prep, whether it be students or faculty, to be there for me if I need them,” Snediker said.
As a senior, Snediker gets to enjoy some senior privileges.
“I get to wear khakis instead of grey slacks to school. This is a symbol that you have made it to senior year at the Prep, and underclassmen really seem to have respect for the seniors,” Jack said.
Next year, Jack plans on attending Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. After three years, Snediker will move to Georgia Tech for two years on a dual degree civil engineering program.
“Mr. Powell, my counselor, did a great job helping me through the search. I encountered various problems with the College Board, and Mr. Powell helped me through all of them successfully,” Snediker said.
Snediker is forever grateful for the opportunities that St. Augustine Prep provides for him.
“In my mind, Saint Augustine’s has made me into the man and the scholar I am today,” he said. “The teachers there have allowed me to grow academically, and all of my brothers around me have helped me to grow socially. The feeling of brotherhood that is spoken about at the Prep is a very true thing. Saint Augustine’s is truly an amazing place.”
History of the Church teacher Mrs. Jessica Kenworthey believes in the power of St. Augustine’s influence.
“The Augustinians are the best order in the entire church,” Kenworthey said. “They are very human and very real. Their spirituality is very grounded.”
What makes St. Augustine special is that anyone can relate to him.
“When Augustine was a child, he was a troublemaker and wanted nothing to do with God. However, over time God changed him into the scholar and saint that he is known as today,” Jack Snediker said.
Similar to the strong communities of St. Augustine Prep and Malvern Prep, Augustine was never alone.
“Although Augustine is often painted alone,” Mrs. Kenworthey said, “he was rarely alone. He was always with his diocese or his people, which is where we find Christ.”