St. Augustine Prep Blog

Faculty Reflections – What Makes Us Different by Mrs. Asselta

Posted October 20th, 2023

By Mrs. Deborah Asselta (Faculty, English Department)

Having spent my entire adult career in the secondary classroom at three different schools (a public school, a diocesan school and “The Prep”) makes it easy for me to answer this question. What makes us different?

St. Augustine Prep is more than a public school with a cross on top. It is a community of people who care about one another. It is a community of people who love one another. It is a community of people who dedicate each day to making our school a better place in a safe environment of spiritual, academic, athletic, social and self-growth. The boys who enter here leave as men to serve, realizing the truth of St. Augustine’s words, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” This mantra serves to make each member’s life more meaningful, more fulfilled. The gents fortunate enough to attend this school and the faculty and staff fortunate enough to work here understand how special we are. The young men are offered witness to their faith, an opportunity for outstanding academics, and a myriad of highly-competitive sports in state-of-the-art facilities offered in a beautiful setting surrounded by love. Here are a few brief stories that are testimony to the validity of these statements.

At parent conferences, a parent once said to me: “We don’t have much money. I am a laborer and my wife works in a school cafeteria. Of course, I wanted the best for my child but I did wonder if the Prep was worth the money.” Then with tears in his eyes, he said, “As the weeks passed, I realized each day when my son walked into our house, and I saw the smile on his face and the lift in his step. . . I knew I made the right decision. We will give up the trips, the restaurants and other extras ensuring his true happiness each day in his high school experience.”

I recently asked a student of mine who had transferred from a local high school how he was doing as a new student, he said, “I’m doing great, having fun.” I responded, “But what are you learning?” He immediately said with a smile, “I’m learning to be a better man.”

Another student told me he wasn’t sure about what the Brotherhood was. Then after a car accident on the way home from school, he found himself standing by the side of the road wondering and worrying what his dad would say. With tears in his eyes, he looked up and found himself surrounded by fellow Hermits who didn’t know him, but recognized his uniform and stopped to see if he was ok. His epiphany descended on him “This is the Brotherhood.”

As parents, you are supposed to spend your life preparing your child to leave. You are doing that by sending your son to St. Augustine Prep because every day when he walks out of your front door, he walks into the arms of his Brothers.

Mrs. Asselta is a model representative of the talented and passionate faculty at St. Augustine Prep.  Countless Hermits have benefited from her skill in the classroom and genuine investment in the continued development of her students.  She is one of many teachers who walk side-by-side with the Christian Gentlemen of the Prep as they develop into socially, spiritually, emotionally intelligent agents of change in the community.  Visit to explore the next steps to joining the Hermit Brotherhood!