About the Gregory Academic Center

The Gregory Academic Center was founded in 2017 with the goal of better serving and supporting students of all learning abilities. This exciting academic initiative was made possible by an anonymous donation in honor of the Gregory Family, recognizing in a special way Virginia and Stephen Gregory, who dedicated their professional lives to the intellectual and emotional well-being of the students of Saint John’s High School.

As articulated in our mission statement, Saint John's is a college preparatory school that accompanies “students in discovering and developing their God-given talents” and "fosters the formation of the whole person: spiritual, social, physical, intellectual, creative, and aesthetic.” In this pursuit of educating the whole person, the school recognizes that its students achieve success and become Saint John’s Men often through different paths and in different moments developmentally.

The school and its faculty and staff continue to recognize the need to better support and address the needs of students who have documented learning differences, students who struggle to meet, for a variety of social and emotional reasons, the challenging and rigorous academic demands of the school, and students who may need additional study skills support beyond what is offered in the classroom.

The goal of the Center is to create a space on campus where all students can gain access to academic support and assistance before, during, and after the school day. It will be staffed by a full-time guidance counselor/learning specialist and one of the two academic deans. Additional support will be provided by specially trained faculty members assigned to the center during their resource period duties and both adult and student volunteers.

Historically, institutionally and programmatically, Saint John’s High School supports students with a broad range of academic and social/emotional skills and abilities. Through the Gregory Academic Center and its Director, Saint John’s will be able to identify, assist, and support the growing number of students the school sees with these assessments and thus become a more supportive and inclusive place for its current students. 

“Saint John’s High School is an institution that has historically valued the uniqueness of each student that comes to our campus every day," said Headmaster Zequeira. “This new Academic Center will allow the school to better serve and support the students we traditionally admit to Saint John’s High School, particularly assisting in the transition to a rigorous, college preparatory curriculum.” Besides serving as a drop-in center for any student who wants additional support accessing the school’s curriculum, another primary goal of the Gregory Academic Center is to address and support the needs of students who have documented learning differences, students who struggle to meet the challenging and rigorous academic demands of the school, and students who may need additional study skills and support beyond what is offered in the classroom. “The Gregory Academic Center will create a space on campus where all students can gain access to academic support and assistance before, during, and after school and will be located in an existing, renovated room in the school’s Conal Hall.”

In addition to support from the director, administration, and faculty, students from the Brother Campion Chapter of the National Honor Society will provide opportunities for peer tutoring.

Academic Center Director

Mr. Steven Favulli will formally step into the role of Director of the Gregory Academic Center on July 1, 2017. As Director of the Gregory Academic Center, Mr. Favulli will build upon the existing support systems and expand the capacity of the community to realize these initiatives. 

“I look forward to joining the Saint John's community and experiencing the school's undeniable commitment to developing lifelong learners; well equipped with self-awareness and the skills required to make meaningful contributions to their school and world communities,” stated Mr. Favulli.  “This new program is an incredible opportunity for the students and families of Saint John's and I am honored to join the history of excellence that the school is so well known for as we work together to better meet the needs of our students.”

Goals & Objectives

The primary goal of the Gregory Center is to create a space on campus where all students can gain access to academic support and assistance before, during, and after the school day. The Center is available both for students who are identified during the admissions process or while enrolled at the school as needing additional academic assistance in order to successfully complete the rigorous academic program at Saint John’s and for students who need or want extra help. This additional level of support will help augment regular extra-help sessions that occur every day before and after school.
The main objectives include:
  1. Provide a space where all students can gain access to academic support before, during, and after school.
  2. Better and more proactively serve the needs of our students and families.
  3. Proactively identifying and serving students who have a documented learning difference or show signs of struggle with the academic transition to Saint John’s High School.
  4. Build capacity with our faculty and staff on the latest research and praxis on differentiated instruction and successfully working with students with documented learning disabilities.
  5. Provide another space and opportunity where faculty and students can develop meaningful relationships.

About the Gregory family

Virginia Gregory, one of the longest-serving members of the staff of Saint John’s High School, also has the distinction of being the only female Honorary Alumna. When Headmaster Brother Chad asked Mrs. Virginia Gregory ’H if she might be interested in helping out with some office work at the high school in February 1958 (at the time her boys Jack ’64, Michael ’66, and Steve ’67 were at St. John's Elementary), she could not have predicted that 43 years later she would be helping the school enter another century.

Soon after, from a cramped closet turned office in the school building on Temple Street, Mrs. Gregory learned the daily rhythm of the twelve Brothers and hundreds of boys who piled into the eight classrooms. She started out handling permanent record cards and filing, and quickly took on the tasks necessary to maintain a school that was rapidly outgrowing its space. She would handle all addresses and mailing, all school files, the Brothers’ day and week schedules… and anything else that arose from behind her typewriter on Temple Street! Mrs. Gregory joined the Saint John’s community at a pivotal time in its history. The school was about to relocate to Shrewsbury, and she became a crucial part of the functioning of the new school in a time of transition.

Along with the junior and senior classes, Mrs. Gregory moved to Shrewsbury in September 1961, when the “new school” was made up of two floors of classrooms and an office. Though at the time only half of what is now Conal Hall existed, the space was near luxurious for Mrs. Gregory and the Brothers.  In the mid-to-late-sixties, when it was becoming evident that there weren’t enough Brothers on staff to address the increase of students, lay faculty began arriving. Rich Sullivan ’55, Bill White ’60, Richard Doyle, and her son Stephen ushered in that new era that began the day Mrs. Gregory arrived on Temple Street. Mrs. Gregory, fondly referred to by some as the “First Lady,” witnessed the arrival of these new “giants of Saint John’s.”

Mrs. Gregory dutifully represented her post for over four decades. Whether serving as Brother Chad’s assistant, registrar, principal’s secretary, tuition biller, prom chaperone, fundraiser, book keeper, proofreader, nurse, or tailor, Mrs. Virginia Gregory not only paved the way for the hundreds of lay men and women who would serve at the school, but also indelibly shaped the day-to-day lives of thousands of Pioneers. The First Lady of Saint John’s High School, Mrs. Virginia Gregory, is a testament to the Temple Street roots and the spirit of growth built on a humble foundation of sacrifice for the good of others.

Along with his brothers, Steve Gregory attended St. John's Grammar and High School, and has since been a lifelong Pioneer educator. After graduating in 1967, he majored in English at Dartmouth and later earned a Master's Degree in English from Brown. A brilliant scholar, Mr. Gregory returned to his alma mater to teach not English, but math, including Algebra through Advanced Placement Calculus. Under Headmaster Brother Conal in 1993 Mr. Gregory served as Academic Dean on the condition that he remain in the classroom. For Mr. Gregory, teaching is his life's true vocation. 

Mr. Gregory served as principal from 2001 to 2007, helping to facilitate the transition of administration with the school's first lay headmaster. With tireless devotion he provided continuity to the school community. He returned to the classroom, where he continues to pass on life lessons and a passion for learning, encouraging all of his students to becoming independent lifelong learners. for over 40 years, Mr. Gregory has created an environment in his classroom that not only fosters intellectual excellence but also helps provide studens with firm moral development and strong character formation.

For almost five decades Mr. Gregory has been committed to the school's Xaverian mission, and is always available to every Saint John's student, whether or not they are taking a course with him. As an educator, he lives by his personal code: "Rule 0: Respect."

The Gregory family has dedicated several lifetimes of care and attention to Saint John's students, and for their tireless devotion to the moral and intellectual education of all Pioneers, the new Academic Center honors them.

    • Virginia (1960) & Steve (2012)

      Virginia (1960) & Steve (2012)

The Gregory family's ties to Saint John's go back six decades...Virginia and her son Stephen would go on to support generations of students in countless ways, from the moment they stepped foot in the Temple Street and Main Street buildings to preparing for their Advanced Placement Calculus exams.