Middle School

Meet the Middle School Team

Mr. Sean Dillon, Assistant Principal

To lead the new division, Saint John’s welcomed Sean Dillon in the summer of 2019. Mr. Dillon has dedicated his career to boys’ middle school and Catholic education and possesses a keen understanding of the importance of the seventh and eighth grade years to the academic and personal success of students as they continue to high school and beyond.

Mr. Dillon joined Saint John’s after fifteen years at Nativity School of Worcester, where he served first as a teacher and most recently as Principal for the past ten years. Mr. Dillon earned his B.A. at the College of the Holy Cross, an M.A. in teaching from Clark University, and an M.Ed. in education leadership, with a concentration in Catholic school leadership, from Boston College.

Working closely with Headmaster Zequeira and Principal Granados, Mr. Dillon oversees the development of the middle school and the hiring of new full-time faculty and staff including a middle school counselor, one-to-two specialists (art, music, computer science, etc.), and an administrative assistant.

In reflecting on his role at Saint John's, Mr. Dillon reflected, “I am excited to join the team at Saint John's, a mission-driven school with a proven track record of providing a quality Catholic education to young men in grades nine through twelve,” says Mr. Dillon. “I am looking forward to using my experience in a similar setting on the middle school level to help lay the foundation for the new division and to develop the school's robust program further into a comprehensive six-year experience."

Ms. Kelly Collins, School Counselor

This summer, Kelly Collins will join the Saint John’s community as the School Counselor for the Br. Robert Treanor Middle School Division, opening this fall. 

Ms. Collins graduated from Saint Anselm College with a B.A. in Psychology followed by receiving her Master of Arts in School Counseling from Boston College. During her graduate program, Ms. Collins completed her Graduate Practicum as a Guidance Intern for Brookline Public Schools. Following her graduation, she went on to serve as a School Site Coordinator for the Winship Elementary School (Boston Public School District) where she provided individualized social-emotional and behavioral support for students, lead Student Support Teams to create networks for support where needed, and facilitated the Wellness Council to promote healthy lifestyles within the community. Most recently, Ms. Collins works as the Director of Guidance for grades six through eight at Monsignor Haddad Middle School - a Catholic, co-ed middle school located in Needham, Massachusetts. In this role, she helps to build academic and social-emotional skills, leads weekly learning classes, and assists eighth grade families with their transitions to high school. 

Kelly reflects, “I am excited to be joining Saint John’s for the inaugural school year of the Br. Robert Treanor Middle School Division. As a middle school counselor, my goal is to support students academically, socially, and emotionally during such a unique phase of their lives. I welcome the opportunity to engage with the students, connect with families, and collaborate with my colleagues to maximize the student experience at Saint John’s. I am humbled to be joining a school community that excels at fostering personal growth through Xaverian values while providing an exceptional education for young men.”

In addition to her counseling experience, Ms. Collins also coaches basketball, field hockey, and coordinates the school ski club. 

Ms. Collins also has ties to Saint John’s, having worked as a Camp Counselor for Camp Saint John’s from 1998-2005. We look forward to welcoming Ms. Collins back to campus this summer.
 

Mrs. Lauren Favulli, English

Lauren Favulli is among the newest faculty to be joining the Saint John’s community as an English faculty member for the Br. Robert Treanor Middle School Division, opening in the fall of 2020. 

After graduating from Assumption College in Worcester with a B.A. in English and a minor in Middle School/Secondary Education, Mrs. Favulli continued her education at Worcester State University - completing a Post-Baccalaureate Program and receiving a Master of Education in Secondary Education. Mrs. Favulli also completed a Graduate Certificate in Online Learning with Bay Path University. Mrs. Favulli has a spectrum of teaching experience from middle through post-secondary experience, including working as an adjunct Literature and Writing Instructor at Anna Maria College, Becker College, and Bay Path University, an English teacher at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School, and served as an Academic Advisor at both Worcester State University and Quinsigamond Community College. Most recently, Mrs. Favulli also serves as an ELA Teacher for seventh and eighth graders at nearby Saint Mary’s School here in Shrewsbury. 

Mrs. Favulli is excited to begin teaching at Saint John’s and joining the Pioneer community. She reflects, “I have had the pleasure of sharing my enthusiasm for writing and literature for thirteen years now with hundreds of incredibly bright and talented young learners. I am beyond excited to begin my next chapter of teaching at the Br. Robert Treanor Middle School Division at Saint John's High School to not only share my love of literature with its students, but to join a school that shares a great faith, a strong sense of community and a commitment to academic excellence."

Please join us as we welcome Mrs. Lauren Favulli to the Saint John’s community.
 

Mr. Joe Murphy '16, Religious Studies & Campus Ministry

On July 1, Joe Murphy, Saint John’s Class of 2016, will join the Br. Robert Middle School Division team - serving as faculty for middle school Religion and as the division’s Campus Minister. 

After graduating from Saint John’s in 2016, Joe went on to graduate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a degree in Communications. During his time at Saint John’s, Joe received both the Daniel Manning Award, given to a student who shows dedication to their school, community and faith, and the Ted Provo award, given to a student-athlete who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance and dedication. 

When asked to reflect on his new position, Joe excitedly responded, “I am ecstatic to be returning to Saint John’s, a place I consider a second home. I look  forward  to working with and educating the true Pioneers in the first ever class of the Br. Robert Treanor Middle School Division - I am both thrilled and energized to be part of this new chapter in Saint John’s history. At Saint John’s, the educational experience goes far beyond the classroom; the development of strong character,  core moral values, and being a positive contributor to society takes place on the playing fields, in the halls and in every aspect of the SJ journey. The opportunity to now join the faculty and staff that helped shape me into who I am today is a dream come true, and I cannot wait to pass what I learned during my SJ experience to the students by my example, my teaching and through my role in campus ministry.”

Mrs. Kristen Outler, Science

On July 1, Kristen Outler will be among the many to join the Saint John’s community as a part of our faculty for the Br. Robert Treanor Middle School Division. 

After graduating from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in nearby Worcester, Massachusetts, with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Biotechnology, Mrs. Outler served as a science teacher for Teach for America at West Side High School in Newark, New Jersey. She then continued her career in teaching at Burnet Middle School in Union, New Jersey starting as a Behavioral Disabilities Teacher and, most recently, serving as a Middle School Science Teacher.

Alongside her duties within the classroom, Mrs. Outler has also been involved with numerous community roles including serving as a Student Council Advisor, planning and executing school events and spearheading the High Five Program which aimed to create a digital school-wide incentive program to easily acknowledge students for making smart choices. 

As Mrs. Outler reflects on the start of her new role, she notes, “I am so excited to have the opportunity to bring my love of teaching science and my passion for helping students realize their potential to the Br. Robert Treanor Middle School Division at Saint John's High School. I am dedicated to helping every young man develop a passion and appreciation for science and STEM careers, practice values-driven conversation and collaboration, and find his purpose while being a successful, contributing member to the Saint John's community.

Please join us in welcoming Mrs. Outler to the Saint John’s community.
 

Mrs. Christine Petkus, French & Fine Arts

Saint John’s is excited to welcome Christine Petkus to the faculty for the Br. Robert Treanor Middle School Division teaching Middle School French and Fine Arts.

With a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Ottawa and a Master’s in Music, with a concentration in Opera, from the New England Conservatory of Music, Mrs. Petkus joins our community with extensive education and experience in her fields. Prior to accepting her new role at Saint John’s, Mrs. Petkus served as a music teacher at All Saints Academy in Webster, Massachusetts, teaching students from Pre-K through Grade 8. Before joining the school environment, Mrs. Petkus spent fourteen years teaching private lessons in both Canada and the United States. 

As Christine prepares for this coming year at Saint John’s, she shares, “what I am most excited about is sharing my passion for the arts and foreign language with our students and helping them to learn and grow through their own creativity. I am thrilled and humbled to be collaborating with such a talented and dedicated group of educators and support staff.”

Mr. Jason Pink, Social Studies

This summer, Jason Pink will join the Social Studies faculty for the Br. Robert Treanor Middle School Division at Saint John’s High School, opening fall of 2020. 

Mr. Pink graduated from Assumption College with a double major in Secondary Education and History and is now in the process of completing his Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Boston College. Immediately following his graduation from Assumption, Mr. Pink began working in the classroom - first, as an Instructional Learning Assistant for Grade 7 at Bellingham Memorial Middle School, followed by working as a Theology teacher for sixth through eighth graders at Blessed Sacrament School in Walpole. Most recently, Mr. Pink serves as a Social Studies teacher for fifth graders at Guilmette Middle School in Lawrence. In addition to his efforts in the classroom, Mr. Pink has also been involved in leading community service clubs and serving as the head coach for boys’ and girls’ middle school basketball teams.

A graduate of Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood, Massachusetts, Mr. Pink is very familiar with the experience and values of a Xaverian Brothers education. Mr. Pink reflects, “I am excited to have the opportunity to build something new that furthers the ability for young men to receive a Saint John's education. As a Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School graduate myself, I have seen and been personally impacted by this type of education. To give young men the opportunity to grow and flourish under these values before entering high school is a unique opportunity that will strengthen bonds between the students, the school, and the community for the rest of their lives. When looking for where I wanted to teach, I always came back to the idea of teaching where there is a strong community and identity. Saint John's exhibits both of these qualities and I could not be more excited to begin teaching with the incoming class of 7th graders!"

Please join us as we welcome Mr. Jason Pink to the Saint John’s community.
 

Ms. Kathleen Schlegel, Spanish

On July 1, Kathleen Schlegel will join the faculty of the Br. Robert Middle School Division at Saint John’s teaching spanish language to our incoming seventh graders. 

Ms. Schlegel is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish with a concentration in Latin American and Latino Studies. During her time at Holy Cross, she participated in a Study Abroad program for one year at La Universidad de Leon in Spain. Ms. Schlegel also has most recently completed a Master’s degree in Special Education from Assumption College. 

In her current position as a teaching fellow at the Nativity School of Worcester, Ms. Schlegel teaches Spanish lessons involving vocabulary, grammar, and culture for seventh and eight graders, facilitates the Passport to Adventure Club in which students explore other countries’ cultures and customs, and implemented the first Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration. In addition, Ms. Schlegel connects with students outside of the classroom as a soccer and intramurals coach.

Upon reflecting on her new position at Saint John’s, Ms. Schlegel shares, “I am so excited to have the opportunity to be a part of the beginning of the new Brother Robert Treanor Middle School Division at Saint John’s High School. I look forward to sharing my passion for the Spanish language and culture with the students as well as working to assist them in their growth as members of the school community. I am honored to be joining a school that is values-driven and that provides opportunities for physical, emotional, and spiritual growth.”

Mr. Peter Smith, Math

On July 1, Peter Smith will be joining the Saint John’s community as the school’s first official faculty hire for the Br. Robert Treanor Middle School Division, opening in the fall of 2020. 

After graduating from Allegheny College with a B.S. in Computer Science with a minor in Economics, and both a Master’s in Computing in Education and a STEM Leadership Certificate from Columbia University’s Teachers College, Mr. Smith has been involved in coaching and teaching at the middle school level. Since 2006, Mr. Smith has been an integral member of the Worcester Academy community - starting as a staff member as the Director of Academic Technology, and transitioning into the classroom as a Middle School Math Teacher. 

Alongside his role inside the classroom, Mr. Smith also served as the school’s Director of Online Education and Blended Learning, working to develop and implement various initiatives within the middle school including the Lead iPad Program. Pete was also an advisor for seventh-grade students and coached middle school soccer, basketball, and track.

Upon reflecting on his new position at Saint John’s, Mr. Smith shares, "Early in my life I felt called to work with young people, to help connect people to their passions and help them see what their life-chances could be. I have been blessed to fulfill that calling through teaching for the past 14 years. I am excited to connect with the families of Saint John’s and help breathe life into a new educational experience that ties faith, academic inquiry, and excellence together in the new middle school division."

Mrs. Cynthia Xenakis, Administrative Assistant

This summer, Cynthia Xenakis will join the staff for the Br. Robert Treanor Middle School Division as the Middle School Administrative Assistant. 

With a Bachelor of Arts in English and Secondary Education and a Master’s Degree in Counselor Education and Psychology, both from Boston College, Mrs. Xenakis has held long-standing Director of Guidance roles at the Keefe Vocational Technical High School in Framingham, Trinity Catholic High School in Newton, Our Lady of Nazareth Academy in Wakefield, and Notre Dame Academy in Worcester. In her roles within the Guidance Departments at these institutions, Mrs. Xenakis led various initiatives, events, and workshops tailored to meeting the specific needs of students through the admissions process through the college application process. Most recently, Mrs. Xenakis served as the Executive Assistant to the Head of School at the Bancroft School in Worcester where she managed many events, communications, and daily coordination of schedules. 

In reflecting on her new role at Saint John’s, Mrs. Xenakis notes, “Having spent 10 years at Notre Dame Academy in Worcester, I have had many wonderful opportunities to connect with the Saint John’s High School community. In my experience, I have always admired the school’s professionalism and dedication to providing a well rounded, Catholic education to students. My fondest memories of Saint John’s High School students are of the many friendly, respectful, and dedicated young men who joined the Notre Dame Spring Musicals and blessed us with their superior acting and singing talents. I am proud to be joining the Br. Robert Treanor Middle School Division and look forward to working with the entire Saint John's community.”