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The Official Blog of Xaverian Brothers High School

Since 1963, the talented faculty, staff, and administrators at Xaverian have been helping young men and their parents navigate the challenges of adolescence, from making friends to mastering study skills, and from excelling on the athletic field to applying to college. For decades we have shared this knowledge via weekly parent newsletters. Now we're taking it up a level (to "extra credit," if you will) and providing everyone with our best tips and thoughts on raising and educating boys and young men. We hope you will scroll through the posts below, and be sure to share anything you find that's of value with friends and family. Check back often as we add new posts throughout the year!


Written by Michael Shippie, M.Ed.  

Mr. Michael Shippie has a Bachelor of Arts in Hispanic Studies and History from Boston College and a Master of Education from the University of Notre Dame. He has completed graduate coursework in French language and literature, and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Spanish from Middlebury College. Mr. Shippie serves as the moderator of Xaverian's International Culture Club, and has been a key chaperone on many international trips.

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Written by Michael Nicholson, Ed.D. 

Dr. Nicholson was taken by surprise when a stranger asked him if Catholic school is worth it. As a Catholic school administrator and father to children who attend Catholic schools, he should have had the perfect answer at hand…but he didn’t. Here he takes the opportunity to reflect on the reasons why Catholic education is absolutely worth the investment.

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Written by Jacob Conca, Ph.D.

Jacob Conca, Ph.D., is is the Head of School at Xaverian Brothers High School, an all-boys Catholic, independent school serving grades 7-12. He is a former NCAA football player, an avid swimmer, and father to three athletic daughters.

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Written by Michael Nicholson, Ed.D.

Choosing a private school for your child is an expensive proposition and it can be hard to know where to begin. Dr. Michael Nicholson offers his expert tips for how to look beyond the marketing materials to get to the heart of what matters in education, from curriculum to college placement.

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Written by Mary Briody, M.Ed.

With decades of experience in the classroom teaching mathematics and a master’s degree in education, Ms. Mary Briody knows a lot about how students can set themselves up for success. Here she offers concrete strategies for going from “I don’t get it!” to “I’ve got this.”

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Written by Michael Nicholson, Ed.D.

A quick daily reflection can be instrumental to helping your adolescent child to grow in self-awareness, self-love, and gratitude. Michael Nicholson, Ed.D., a private Catholic school principal, offers this simple guide.

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NAILED IT! Finding Your Place in High School Theater
Written by Julianne O’Connor

Julianne O’Connor is a trained actor and director, with a master’s degree from Castleton University and nearly a decade of experience as a middle and high school theater instructor, choreographer, and director. Here she shares some guidance for finding your perfect role in your high school’s theater program. Break a leg!

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Six Ways All-Boys Education Can Help Your Son Thrive
Written by Jacob Conca, Ph.D.

Jacob Conca, Ph.D., has been a leader in all-boys education for nearly 20 years. He is the Head of School at Xaverian Brothers High School, an all-boys Catholic, independent school serving grades 7-12. As a product of all-boys schooling himself, Dr. Conca is a firm believer that this type of educational model provides an environment uniquely positioned to help adolescent boys thrive. 

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Getting It “Write” — Tips for Tackling Writer’s Block
Written by Lucien Brodeur, M.A.T.

Lucien Brodeur has been teaching young men how to write for two decades. Now he’s sharing his wisdom to get you from “Where to begin?” to “Ready to turn in.” He has a B.F.A. in writing, literature, and publishing from Emerson College and an M.A.T. in English 7-12 from Fordham University.

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Written by Dr. Michael Nicholson

Michael Nicholson, Ed.D. is a private Catholic school principal with more than 15 years experience in education. He is a father, husband, lover of Christian rock, avid workout enthusiast, and a believer in his oft proclaimed phrase, “Win the morning, win the day!” In this blog, he talks about the importance of beginning good habits first thing every day, starting with your response to the alarm clock.
 



Written by Jen Newman, M.S.W.

Whether you’re brand new to a school or a returning student, when September rolls around, it’s a big adjustment. It can be hard for students (and parents!) to get back to early mornings, navigating the commute, and balancing homework with sports, clubs, and family time. Students may feel heightened anxiety about what their peer relationships will look like, how they’ll get along with their teachers, or how they’ll keep up with the academic demands of school. Here to help is Jennifer Newman, School Adjustment Counselor at Xaverian Brothers High School.
 



Surviving the Pressure Cooker: Navigating the Stress of High School Athletics
Written by Ted Currle
 
Participation in team sports has been shown to provide many benefits for student athletes. Through sports, young men form friendships, learn about being good teammates and leaders, grow in their resilience and perseverance, and benefit from the physical and mental benefits of exercise. However, when a young man’s identity becomes wrapped up in his sport, it can lead to mental health issues. Positive stress can quickly morph into overwhelming anxiety. What was once fun and a source of joy becomes the opposite, and depression can set in quickly. Ted Currle, a former D1 NCAA athlete and current high school coach and athletic director, offers the following advice to student athletes who need help managing the stress of high school athletics so they can get back to enjoying the game.



From “AHHHHH!” to A+, Steps to Ace Any Test
Written by Stephen Steinbergher, M.Ed.

Stephen Steinbergher has more than 20 years of experience in school counseling and has extensive expertise in study-skills curriculum planning and implementation. Here he provides simple and concrete steps for students to employ to find greater success on school assessments.

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Applying to College 101
Written by Michaela Fitzpatrick, M.Ed.

Choosing the right college can be overwhelming, but there are tried and true tips that can help make the process work for you. Here’s a comprehensive (but approachable!) guide to the college application process from Michaela Fitzpatrick, a veteran college counselor and Director of Counseling at Xaverian Brothers High School. She’s a firm believer in finding the best-fit college for each student; there’s no one-size-fits-all college or university! Follow the tips in this blog to find yours. 

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Xaverian is a Catholic, college-preparatory school for boys in grades 7-12. As an inclusive community, we embrace diverse experiences and perspectives, welcoming students and families from all faiths and backgrounds. Through exceptional academics, athletics, the arts, faith formation, and service opportunities, we help young men discover their unique gifts and talents so they can share them with a world in need.