St. Augustine Prep Blog

Faculty Spotlight: Mr. Anthony Iaconelli P’10

Posted December 16th, 2020

Every teacher brings passion to the classroom at St. Augustine Prep but as is the case at every school, there is always a legendary few that make the experience a special one.  Mr. Tony Iaconelli P’10 is one of those special few as he is one of the most influential Augustinian educators in the 61-year history of St. Augustine Prep.  Beginning his teaching career in 1985, he has become a pillar of the history department teaching student favorites such as AP Government and Honors Holocaust.  His intellect and leadership have served the Prep in other administrative capacities including Dean of Student Leadership and currently as a college guidance counselor.  Athletically, he held the position of Director of Athletics along with leading the baseball program as head coach for 17 years and serving numerous stints as a head coach and an assistant for the football program.  Currently, he continues to serve in his long-time role as an assistant coach for the Hermits Basketball program alongside Coach Paul Rodio.

“Coach Ike” as he is affectionately known around campus, holds an M.A. in Holocaust Studies and is a prestigious Alfred Lerner Fellow in Holocaust Studies from The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous held annually at Columbia University in New York.  He is one of only 500 Master Educators from the U.S. and Eastern Europe committed to teaching the public and their peers about the history of the Holocaust and preserving the Legacy of Righteous Gentiles, non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.  As a member of the South Jersey Holocaust Coalition, he has presented many topics on his specialty in the past few years.  His latest presentation highlights, “Nazi Germany as an object lesson of the human condition and fragility of a nation.”  His segment further discussed why people continue to talk about Nazi Germany despite the atrocities committed during the time period.  During his piece, Mr. Iaconelli stated, “People are always sharing Hitler as a model for modern evil. Nazis never go away.  They are constantly brought back into the cultural lexicon in our discussions.”

Every teacher has a purpose, or a why – Coach Ike is no different.  Summarizing his “why” he proudly shared, “We carry the fire in an attempt to produce vibrant young men who will be change agents in a world that desperately needs them.”

Quinn Menet ’22, currently a student in Mr. Iaconelli’s Honors Holocaust following in the footsteps of older brother Jack ’16, explains “Coach Ike can work a class so every student can feel comfortable.  He genuinely wants the best for every student in his class.” Quinn also shares that having Coach Ike is a “privilege” and his favorite part about the class is how Coach Ike makes the class discussions more interactive.

Hermits, past and present, have been fortunate to have Mr. Iaconelli as a teacher.  He continues to leave an indelible impression on every student and ignites the fire within each and every one of them.