Monthly Newspaper • DIOCESE OF BRIDGEPORT

Immaculate High School is proud to celebrate its Boys Cross Country Team for winning the Class S State Championship this weekend. The team competed in the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) at Wickham Park in Manchester, Connecticut on Saturday, October 29.

Congratulations to the team and to the medal winners who earned All-State honors: Seamus Reidy ‘23 who placed second, Lorenzo Lopes ‘26 who placed seventh, Ben Gasparrini ‘23 who placed eighth and Trevor Fuller ‘25 who placed eleventh. On the Immaculate Girls Cross Country Team, Keelin Bremner ‘23 placed fifth to earn All-State.

Immaculate High School is a private, non-profit Catholic college-preparatory institution serving students from 28 communities in Connecticut and New York. A continued commitment to our 60-year tradition of being a value-based, student-centric, outcomes focused Catholic high school, has driven our rising trajectory as evidenced by the 2022 Niche A+, Best Schools ranking.

FAIRFIELD– Notre Dame girls soccer coach Wayne Mones has reached a milestone in his decades-long career. With Tuesday night’s 4-0 victory against Immaculate, Mones earned his 200th win coaching soccer at the high school level.

Athletic Director John Johnson commented, “The Notre Dame athletic community congratulates Coach Mones on his landmark victory. His win total is a testament to his long-term devotion to his players and the game of soccer. More impressive even is the high character student-athletes produced in his program.”

Mones’s coaching resume includes 86 wins with the Central Catholic boys, 114 wins with the Notre Dame girls, and an additional 212 wins with the Western CT State University men. With a record of 200-86-37 at the high school level and 212-89-34 as a college coach, Wayne Mones has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to excellence on the pitch.

“Players make the coach look good”, Mones said. “I’ve been lucky enough to have had many great players over the years.”

For more information, please contact John Johnson at jjohnson@notredame.org.

TRUMBULL—St. Joseph High School recently hosted a service day for their students on July 14, 2022. During the event, 30 SJ students packed nearly 100 backpacks for the children at the Sterling House and Mercy Learning Center.

“There is nothing like a brand new backpack and school supplies to start the school year,” remarked Jessica Costa, director of marketing & enrollment management at St. Joseph High School. “Community service is an integral part of the curriculum at St. Joe’s and during this Back 2 School Supply Pack, students worked diligently alongside their peers to carefully prepare backpacks for children ages 5-14”. Participants also donated items to contribute to each backpack. Each student also included a handwritten note for the backpack’s recipient with well wishes for a great new school year.

The Mercy Learning Center, located in Bridgeport, provides basic literacy and life skills training to women with low income using a holistic approach within a compassionate, supportive environment. All women are welcome without regard for race, religion, color, creed, sexual orientation or national origin. The Sterling House is an organization that is ever-responsive to the needs of the Stratford community—when they see a need, they fill it. St. Joseph High School is proud to serve as a partner with both The Sterling House and Mercy Learning Center and to support their missions as they prepare to support clients for a successful school year ahead.

In addition, prior to the start of the backpack drive, students heard from Michael Rosati, director of youth development at Sterling House, and alumni of St. Joseph High School on the importance of community need awareness and servic­­­­­e.

The school hopes to make this an annual event each summer.

There are plenty of issues occupying our hearts and minds these days. A school choice movement in Connecticut – providing parents in underperforming public school systems with vouchers and education savings accounts for better educational choices – should be among them, which could significantly impact the education of future generations.

The recent Supreme Court decision in Carson v. Makin supports the school choice movement by removing an obstacle to public funding that makes access to parochial schools a choice for more families in more states.

The issue in a nutshell

Many public school systems often in inner cities, are underperforming, if not failing. Parents of children in these schools have few other public options. Yes, there are magnet and charter schools that are public, receive state funds and charge no tuition, but admission is determined by lottery, the luck of the draw. This can and should change, as is happening on the topic of school choice in other states.

There is a better way

School choice brings accountability to all parties involved, saves taxpayer dol1ars and affords parents critical educational choices for their children. In Bridgeport, for example, it costs almost $17,000 to educate each student. At parochial schools, the cost to educate students is significantly less and the outcomes achieved are far superior. At the Catholic Academy of Bridgeport, which educates approximately 900 pre-K through grade 8 students on four campuses, the cost of a child’s education is only about $7,000. More than 85 percent of Catholic Academy students cannot afford the annual tuition of $5,150 and thus qualify for need-based financial assistance. Many families attend for as little as $100 a month.

The Catholic Academy of Bridgeport raises over $2.2 million each year, provided by generous private donors and foundations to cover scholarship funding for those families in need. The academy welcomes students of all faiths; 40 percent of an students are non-Catholic. Importantly, teachers’ pay is based on a merit system, where one of the factors in a teacher’s compensation is the outcomes or success that their work brings to students.

Connecticut does not provide school choice programs like vouchers and education savings accounts to help parents with educational options and the funding to select a better alternative for their child, like Catholic Academy of Bridgeport.

School choice momentum in other states

Other states are catching on, particularly post-COVID. According to the Wall Street Journal, more than 30 states have introduced bills to establish or expand educational choice programs, including strongholds like Virginia and New Jersey that have traditionally opposed school choice. Providing parents a choice and helping to save taxpayer dollars have helped to remove other longstanding policy barriers.

One of these barriers is teachers unions, who naturally oppose school choice programs, claiming that funds to expand choice are taken from public schools. Yet this claim is not valid. In Indiana, legislators have funded voucher programs, yet 93 percent of all education funding still goes to public schools – not a drain at all. State legislators are stepping up to reject the idea that teachers unions should have a monopoly over how K-12 education dollars are spent. These states are leading the way in establishing education systems that give parents more choice, with better outcomes for their children and more productive use of city and state education dollars.

So why not in Connecticut?

Like many policy issues, change comes from building a coalition of support and leadership on topics that taxpayers care about. According to the Friedman Foundation for Education Choice, as of May 2016, Connecticut provides no financial assistance (either in the form of vouchers or tax credits) to parents wishing to send their children to private schools in place of public schools. This must change.

Parochial schools, like the Catholic Academy of Bridgeport, provide better outcomes for students with fewer dollars than their public school counterparts, while saving taxpayer dollars. In Bridgeport alone, where the education budget is funded mostly at the state government level, choice programs would save all state taxpayers significantly. Most importantly, as parents are able to choose the educational model that best fits their children, student success would improve across the board. Thus, the prospects for Bridgeport as a whole improves, bringing further cost savings to Connecticut.

Vouchers should be adopted in Connecticut to give all parents, especially those in inner cities like Bridgeport, equal opportunities to educate their children at the best school of their choice while saving taxpayer dollars. We must demand this of our state legislators. The future of our children trapped in the state’s underperforming public schools depends on it.

John J. Kennedy is on the board of Catholic Academy of Bridgeport

FAIRFIELD — If you are tuning into ESPN programming for the NFL, chances are you will see Dan Orlovsky among those analysts debating anything about the sport.

With training camps opening soon, news is ramping up in the NFL. So Orlovsky, the Shelton native and former UConn and NFL quarterback, will be on air to speak plenty about the upcoming season.

On Thursday morning, Orlovsky discussed his ESPN role — among other things — as the guest speaker at The Patterson Club for “Kolbe Conversations Edition No. 3: Let’s Talk Football.” It was a fundraiser for Kolbe Cathedral High School, a private school in Bridgeport.

“I don’t want to ever get into the media world of being somebody who thinks they can say anything that they want since they are on television,” Orlovsky said. “You’ve got to say what you’re convicted about. Saying something gets you into trouble. … I think a lot of people get into this industry and they are scared to be wrong, especially in the social media world because when you are wrong in the social media world, it spreads quickly. I think if you are scared to be wrong, you’ll never be convicted to be right. I want to be one of those people that (people say about), ‘That dude wasn’t scared to be wrong.’”

The trip to Patterson is a short one for Orlovsky from his home in Westport, where he is husband to Tiffany and father to four, including triplets. That and a full schedule at ESPN keeps him busy.

He had to get home right away on Thursday to expand more about quarterback Baker Mayfield being traded from the Cleveland Browns to the Carolina Panthers. He has a setup in his office to do remote TV work.

Orlovsky, 38, also does color for a college football game each Saturday. And soon, the network will officially announce what has been reported for months: Orlovsky will be a part of a backup Monday Night Football team broadcasting a handful of games this fall, then five per season beginning in 2023.

“This is the greatest accomplishment in this part of my career,” Orlovsky said. He said it will be No. 3 overall, behind being drafted in the fifth round by the Detroit Lions in 2005 and leading UConn to its first Division I bowl victory at the 2004 Motor City Bowl.

Orlovsky said he looked at other broadcasting options this past spring, speaking with FOX, CBS, Amazon and “a bunch of the big gambling entities” before deciding to stay with Bristol-based ESPN.

“I had conversations with everybody. I was sitting there going, ‘OK, we are going to tap into everybody and see what grabs my attention the most and what really do I want to do the next couple years and the next step, 10 years from now?’” Orlovsky said.

Orlovsky spent his first four NFL seasons and last two with the Lions. His career-high starts was seven in 2008. In between, he played for Houston, Indianapolis and Tampa Bay. Orlovsky retired following the 2016 season.

Those days in film study for the opposition have served Orlovsky well in his current occupation. During the season, he is picked up for a drive to ESPN’s New York City studio for “Get Up” appearances or to Bristol for other shows. On those rides, and in his spare time, he is constantly reviewing NFL game films from the last weekend.

As he noted on Thursday, that all started watching film as Shelton High’s starting quarterback. He led the Gaels to the 2000 Class LL state championship his senior season, defeating Greenwich 22-8 at West Haven High.

He can still recall the weather on that championship Saturday almost 22 years ago (“it was 2 degrees”) and he remembers who he threw touchdown passes to. And of course, there’s the satisfaction following the hurt from finishing 9-1 as a junior and not making the postseason.

“I remember losing to Cheshire my junior year and being distraught because we knew that would keep us out (of the playoffs). The expectations were to win a couple (titles),” Orlovsky said. “We knew the journey it took to get there. That’s what made it so special. That was a magic time in my life.”

Orlovsky spent time working with Jim Mora at ESPN. He is excited about how the new UConn football coach has brought some excitement back to a program that has fallen on hard times.

Orlovsky feels the football team’s success will be tied into the men’s basketball team’s success in the Big East Conference, as it was when he was the starting quarterback for the Huskies.

“One thing Randy (Edsall, the previous coach and Orlovsky’s coach at UConn) did so well in the first go-around that was a little different than the second one, was he really found kids with that unmeasured desire to get to the NFL,” Orlovsky said. “(Mora) has tapped into the transfer portal, has become a big part of college sports, and I think he is doing a really good job of that.

“At the end of the day, all of the excitement that seems to be swelling up in the program, you got to go out and produce a better product. One of the things so cool about my time there (2001-04), there were so many people so proud of being a UConn football fan. I think you got to get those people back.”

Orlovsky is unsure where the college landscape goes from here and how it will affect UConn. He does think it will be less about the conferences and more about “super groups of teams” forming together. Also, he noted the success of the other UConn programs like women’s basketball, baseball and hockey, that make the school a viable option.

“But you have to be realistic geographically,” he said.

Orlovsky said his wife once found a notepad of her husband’s when he was around 12. It read. “I want to be on television talking about sports.”

“I don’t remember thinking about it,” Orlovsky said.

Orlovsky considers himself to be a big picture thinker, always looking ahead to what’s next. Someone who likes to educate the ESPN audience rather than saying something just for effect.

“I want to get people to understand there are other great coaches than Bill Belichick and other great players than Tom Brady,” Orlovsky said. “I really want to teach people how cool the game is, how smart the game is and how challenging the game is.”

By Joe Morelli | CT Insider 

FAIRFIELD– Notre Dame High School has announced a leadership change in its athletics department.

John Johnson has been appointed as athletic director for Notre Dame in Fairfield, Conn. Prior to this role, Johnson spent the past twenty-two years teaching in Trumbull and will be starting his fifth season as Notre Dame’s head football coach this fall.

“I am extremely honored to be named the next athletic director at Notre Dame. The school has a strong reputation of both academic and athletic excellence, and I look forward to building on that solid foundation as we continue to grow and innovate our programs,” Johnson said.

Last season, Johnson led the Notre Dame football team to the state quarterfinals with a record of 8-2. He was also recognized as the 2022 National Football Foundation SWC Coach of the Year.

In a statement about the new hire, Principal Chris Cipriano commented, “It is with pleasure that I welcome John to the staff at Notre Dame. As we’ve seen during his tenure as football coach, his commitment to success and to support each student-athlete is extremely strong. I look forward to his work with all of our athletic programs and all of our athletes. There is no doubt that he will help to continue to advance the mission of our school and our athletic program.”

Notre Dame Catholic High School is a coeducational diocesan Catholic high school located in Fairfield that provides a college preparatory education to approximately 500 students coming from 35 different cities and towns.

TRUMBULL—St. Joseph High School, striving to be southern Connecticut’s premier college preparatory school, was proud to host a service day for its students on Monday, July 11, 2022. During the event, SJ students packed 177 snack bags for the clients at The Thomas Merton Center (Bridgeport) as well as 62 Food4Kids Weekend bags for children at The Sterling House Community Center (Stratford).

“These are two incredibly important organizations within the community,” remarked Jessica Costa, director of marketing & enrollment management at St. Joseph High School. “Sterling House provides multiple opportunities and events to feed those in need throughout the year, and the Merton Center serves an average of 400 meals per day. At St. Joseph High School, we believe that community service and a life in service to others is a core part of our educational foundation. We are so proud of the students who will be generously volunteering their time to give back to those in need.”

35 SJ students (from grades 9-12) participated in the Meal Pack Service Day. The school hopes to make this an annual event each summer in addition to the athletic camps and academic programs offered.

What an awesome first year in the CAS Grows Garden! Check out our recap of all the fun our classes had this Spring!🌱

Special thanks to our “Garden Lady” Danielle Jahn for all of her hard work and dedication throughout the year!

CASGrowsSpring22Recap-web

DANBURY—Immaculate High School 2022 Commencement ceremony was held on Saturday, June 4 at the O’Neill center, Western State Connecticut University.

The Honorable Dean Esposito, Mayor of Danbury, addressed the students and complimented them on their exemplary academic achievements despite the challenges created by the pandemic. Stacie Stueber, Diocese of Bridgeport Deputy Superintendent reminded students to choose their words carefully and to be true to themselves followed by Board Chairperson and ‘86 alumnus David Cappiello who quoted baseball coach, Jimmy Dugan, played by Tom Hanks in the movie A League of Their Own: “It’s supposed to be hard.  If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. Hard work is what makes it great.” He told students “that the growth and accomplishments you achieve through your hard work, struggles and pure determination are what you will remember most fondly and will define who you are as a person.”

The 117 students of the Class of 2022 were awarded $33.5 million in college scholarships and grants. School President Mary Maloney thanked the parents and faculty for helping the students achieve their full potential. She encouraged the graduates “to continue to use their talents and embrace discourse with the intent to make compassionate differences that will become infectious. Always remember that seeking the truth is to seek God through your whole heart, mind, spirit and soul.”

Although there were many pandemic restrictions implemented by organizations in the Danbury area, the graduating class completed 22,931 hours of community service. In her address, Principal Wendy Neil praised their exceptional dedication to caring for others and encouraged them to be proactive in diminishing decisions that have a negative impact on humanity and world peace.

Immaculate High School is a top-rated A+ private, non-profit Catholic college-preparatory institution serving students from 28 communities in Connecticut and New York. Founded in 1962, Immaculate High School also allows students to focus on academic excellence, spiritual development, service to others, and personal goals.  Located in Danbury, CT, Immaculate High School is part of the Diocese of Bridgeport’s school system

DANBURY—At its Baccalaureate Mass celebrated by pastor Msgr. Robert Weiss, Deacon Jeff Font, Deacon Richard Lawlor, Deacon Mike Ronan and Father Jim Cole at St. Rose of Lima Church, Newtown, Immaculate High School announced its top ten students of the Class of 2022. 

Julong Williams of Redding is the Class of 2022’s Valedictorian and Matthew Reeves of New Milford is the Salutatorian. Of the 117 members of the Class of 2022, 100 percent applied and were accepted to colleges and universities and 95 percent were awarded college scholarships and grants totaling $33.5 million. The top ten percent of students achieved an SAT score average of 1407. 

Valedictorian Julong Williams (Redding) will attend the University of Virginia where she will study English. An AP scholar, Julong is a four-year Distinguished Honors student, a recipient of the 2021 Cornell Book Club award for academic excellence, recipient of the four-year Presidential Merit Award Scholarship, a member of the National Honor Society, English National Honor Society and Math National Honor Society. A prolific writer and artist, Julong has written original young adult fiction and poetry and received the school’s Excellence in Art award. Her high school athletic career includes four years as a  cross country, indoor track and outdoor track runner. 

Salutatorian Matthew Reeves (New Milford ) will attend Lehigh University where he will study Chemistry. An AP scholar, Matthew is a four-year Distinguished Honors student, the recipient of the Isabelle Farrington Academic Scholarship, recipient of the SW Conference Academic Team, a member of the Math Club, Math and Science National Honor Societies, X-country 5K distance runner and indoor/outdoor track runner and served as team captain for both teams in his senior year. A parishioner of St. John’s Episcopal Church in New Milford, Matthew was a dedicated volunteer with more than 100 hours at the Rudy L. Ruggles Biomedical Research Institute. 

Completing the Top Ten graduating senior list are Stephanie Antonios (Danbury) University of Connecticut; Caitlin Doherty (Danbury) Trinity College; William Doran (Danbury), Georgetown University; Sara MacKinnon (Danbury), Providence College; Kennedi Muller (Ridgefield), University of Notre Dame; Magdalena Swierczek (Danbury), University of Connecticut; Caroline Tucker (Danbury), Georgia Institute of Technology; and Zifeng Zhan (Guangzhou, China) University of California, Santa Barbara. 

Kayla Ondy (Newtown) was named Immaculate High School’s Student of the Year. Kayla earned this honor for consistently demonstrating strength of character and faith in action through kindness to others, a passion for learning and going beyond what is expected. 

Immaculate High School is an independent private, non-profit Catholic college-preparatory institution serving students from 28 communities in Connecticut and New York. Founded in 1962, Immaculate High School also allows students to focus on academic excellence, spiritual development, service to others and personal goals. Located in Danbury, CT, Immaculate High School is part of the Diocese of Bridgeport’s school system. 

FAIRFIELD—Notre Dame High School in Fairfield held its 63rd graduation ceremony on Friday, June 3 at 6 pm at the school. The Class of 2022 is comprised of 103 graduates, representing 21 cities and towns, as well as several international students. The class has co-valedictorians: Shauna Contreras of Bridgeport and Sophia Porzio of Easton. The exact amount of college scholarships and grants received by the class was announced at the graduation ceremony. The media was invited to attend the graduation ceremonies. Please contact Principal Chris Cipriano with any questions at ccipriano@notredame.org or (203) 372-6521.

Photos by Amy Mortensen

DANBURY—Immaculate High School Class of 2022 student-athletes sign National Letters of Intent to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level.

In 2022, Niche has ranked Immaculate an impressive #16 out of 270 schools in Connecticut as “Best for Athletes.” Athletic Director Nelson Mingachos ‘89 shares, “The success of Immaculate’s athletic programs is primarily due to our student-athletes and coaches demonstrating exemplary sportsmanship and competitive excellence on and off the field. This group of talented athletes embodies this and we wish them well in their future.”

Aimee Cirella (Danbury) goalkeeper for Immaculate will be playing soccer at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT, a Division III program.

Gabriella (Gigi) Amatulli (Danbury) the Forward/Mid-Fielder will play Soccer for Barton College, North Carolina in the Division II program.

Ashley Nicoletti (Sandy Hook) has signed to compete in Division II Track and Field for Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina.

Cody Meier (Newtown) will play Baseball for Eastern CT State University, CT a Division III program.

Jack (JT) Gunzy (Danbury) has committed to Roger Williams University, RI to play Baseball for the Division III program.  Gunzy was recognized with the senior leadership award for the South-West Conference representing Immaculate.

Emily Rerick (Newtown) has committed to play Division III Softball at Husson University, Maine.

Sara MacKinnon (Danbury) signed with Providence College, a Division I program to play Softball.

Walter Brady (Sandy Hook) has committed to Manhattan College to compete in Track and Field.

Justin Acevedo (Danbury) will attend St Lawrence University, and has committed to play Football for the Division III program.

Immaculate High School is a private, non-profit Catholic college-preparatory institution serving students from 28 communities in Connecticut and New York. Founded in 1962, Immaculate High School also allows students to focus on academic excellence, spiritual development, service to others and personal goals.  Located in Danbury, CT, Immaculate High School is part of the Diocese of Bridgeport’s school system.

DANBURY—Immaculate High School sophomores Julia Jamba and Isabella Raduazzo both of Ridgefield, CT have been commissioned to design an art mural for The Art Project in Las Vegas, NV.

The first of an ongoing series of art murals that The Art Project will produce, Jamba and Raduazzo’s mural will be on display at Booker Elementary in Las Vegas, NV upon completion.  Jamba and Raduazzo’s design, consisting of an intergalactic space theme, was selected over submissions from higher education institutions and other high schools throughout the country.

Jamba and Raduazzo, along with other students in the Immaculate Graphic Design II class submitted design concepts and artwork that was reviewed by a selection committee including The Art Project founder Kristin Richmond, and Booker Elementary school administrators. “It is beyond exciting that Immaculate was the first to submit mural entries and their work was the ones to be chosen,” offers Richmond. “Now from across the country, the talented design by Immaculate students will be seen by many and will benefit my local community here in Nevada.”

All mural designs will be transferred to canvases via projection by local Las Vegas, NV artist Richmond who hopes to bring awareness to the community organizations that will house each of the murals on display. Jamba and Raduazzo’s mural will consist of 30 canvases total, in a grid pattern.  Once the design is outlined on canvas completed by Richmond, students of Booker Elementary will paint the mural in a style similar to filling in a coloring book. After the mural is finalized in a studio it will be delivered back to Booker Elementary for display for the upcoming academic year. A commemorative plaque size version of the mural will be presented to Immaculate.

The partnership between Immaculate and The Art Project was fostered Winter 2022 when Immaculate assistant principal, Steven Santoli connected Graphic Design teacher, Samantha Kohler and students to The Art Project after seeing an advertisement for mural submissions online.  Kohler shares, “I knew we as a school would be very proud of what the students would produce. I am pleased The Art Project saw their talent and will spotlight their work in this way.”

Immaculate High School is a private, non-profit Catholic college-preparatory institution serving students from 28 communities in Connecticut and New York. Founded in 1962, Immaculate High School also allows students to focus on academic excellence, spiritual development, service to others, and personal goals.  Located in Danbury, CT, Immaculate High School is a Diocesan-sponsored independent school.

DANBURY—Immaculate High School Athletic Director, Nelson Mingachos, announced that their D-1 Immaculate Ice Hockey team will have a new team of coaches for the 2022-23 season.

Patrick McLoughlin has been selected as the Head Coach and is stepping down as the Assistant Varsity Coach at Newtown High School.  He has also been Newtown High School’s JV Head Coach and has been a 14u Youth Travel Head Coach since 2017.

McLoughlin has attained many of his own athletic accomplishments as a player for Newtown.  He won the CT state title in 2014, was recognized as the team’s MVP, played a season for Brewster and three seasons for WCSU in ACHA. As a coach, McLoughlin earned many championships including the 16-17 championship for Newtown and the 14u youth team championships 2017-20.  McCloughlin shares, “I’m honored and humbled to join Immaculate as the new Ice Hockey coach. I look forward to working with the student athletes, administration and parents in building a program we can all be proud of. My long term goal is to help each student develop as a player and more so as a person, as they elevate through Immaculate High School.”

Ready for pre-season fitness training, McLoughlin’s coaching staff will include Will Schlichtig and Bill Garvey with Matt Grogan as a goalie coach. Schlichtig began his hockey career with the Western Junior Colonials and played for Fairfield Prep as their captain and state champion. He currently coaches at Bantams and in the U16 midget program.  Garvey is a Level 4 USA Certified hockey instructor, who spent the last 14 years coaching for the WCYHA and is a Bantam Dean of Discipline Director, Safe Sport Director. Grogan, a 2014 graduate of UCONN where he was a NCAA D-1 goaltending champion and was named 2012-2013 third team all-league. Most recently Grogan was the goaltending coach for the College of Holy Cross, Worcester, MA. Grogan also serves as an Assistant Coach, Goalie Coach and Video Coach for Applecore EHL.

“While getting to know Coach McLoughlin through the interview process, I’ve come to find that he is a leader of young student athletes and a dedicated coach that is ready to get to work. We are looking forward to a successful season with his experience, leadership, and strong faith. Everyone at Immaculate is very excited that he accepted the position and will carry on the Mustang Hockey Tradition,” offered Immaculate Athletic Director Nelson Mingachos.

Immaculate High School is a private, non-profit Catholic college-preparatory institution serving students from 28 communities in Connecticut and New York. Founded in 1962, Immaculate High School also allows students to focus on academic excellence, spiritual development, service to others, and personal goals.  Located in Danbury, CT, Immaculate High School is a Diocesan-sponsored independent school.

TRUMBULL—St. Joseph High School is pleased to announce the appointment of Jeff Bernardi as our new Head Boys Basketball Coach. Coach Bernardi brings a wealth of coaching and leadership experience to the position. For the past eight years 2014-2022 Coach Bernardi has been the Head Boys Basketball Coach at East Lyme High School. During his tenure at East Lyme, Coach Bernardi’s teams have been the ECC Div. I Regular Season Champions in 2018 and 2019 and this past year claimed the ECC Div I Conference Championship. In 2019 Coach Bernardi was able to develop and coach the CHSCA Player of Year for the State of CT.

Prior to East Lyme, Coach Bernardi held the position of Associate Head Coach at Valley Regional High School from 2009-2014 where he was instrumental in helping lead his teams to the Class S State Finals in 2014, Class S State Champions in 2011 and the Class M State Champions in 2013. Coach Bernardi has coached on the AAU circuit at the National level with the Connecticut Basketball Club at the U16-U17 levels to help athletes with college exposure and has been a Camp counselor with the prestigious Hoop Group camps for the New England Top 100, New York Top 100 and the Academic Elite Camp.

Coach Bernardi currently serves and is an advocate on the committee for Coaches Advancement for Racial Equality (CARE) in CT and in 2016 and 2018 his teams were awarded the Board 8 Howard Dickerman Sportsmanship Award by the regional basketball officials for conduct of his staff and players during games. Coach Bernardi is a Hamilton College graduate where he played all four years and was named captain of his college team during his senior year.

Director of Athletics, Kevin Butler remarks, “It was made very clear during the interview process Coach Bernardi’s attention to detail in coaching, his preparedness on and off the court and his ability for building a positive championship culture within his programs. Jeff is an outstanding role model and will lead our Boys’ Basketball program with enthusiasm, passion and a competitive drive within the FCIAC and at the State level. Jeff is a relationship builder and will be an ambassador for the young men he leads.”

Coach Bernardi will be formally introduced to the members of the Boys’ Basketball program in a meeting before school, Thursday, May 12 at 7:30am in the Auditorium.