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Xavier High School (New York)

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Xavier High School (New York)
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City: New York, New York
Country: United States
General Information
Type: Secondary school
Founded: 1847
President: Daniel Gatti, S.J.
Principal: Michael V. LiVigni
Address & Contact Information
Address: 30 West 16th Street
City: New York
State/Province: New York
Postal code: 10011-6302
Country: United States

Xavier High School is a premier, male only Jesuit university-preparatory high school located in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. It was founded in 1847 as the High School of the College of St. Francis Xavier (also known as St. Francis Xavier's College[1]) by Father John Larkin, S.J. The school draws a select student body from all five boroughs of New York City, as well as New Jersey, Nassau County, Westchester County, and Orange County. Submission of TACHS (Test for Admission into Catholic High Schools) results is the only requirement for admission. Xavier is joined by Regis High School, Fordham Preparatory School, and Loyola School as the four Jesuit high schools in New York City. Xavier High School is known for its rigorous academic standards and extremely selective admissions process.


Famed for its academic achievements, military tradition and service towards the City of New York, Xavier is renowned for challenging its students in all academic subject fields, as well as for teaching students to think freely and to live a life "for others." Though tuition has risen sharply in recent years, a substantial percentage of the cost for each student's education is covered by the donations from alumni.

Although Xavier enjoys an impeccable reputation for maintaining its Jesuit and academic traditions, significant changes have come in recent decades. In 1971 service in the JROTC unit - which had been mandatory from the unit's inception in the late 19th century - became optional. In 2004, Xavier announced the appointment of Dr. Joseph Gerics as the first lay headmaster in the school's history, following former headmaster Fr. David S. Ciancimino's appointment as assistant to the Jesuit Provincial for the New York Province. In 2006, Mr. Michael LiVigni replaced Dr. Gerics as the school's second lay headmaster. The number of Jesuit teachers has also dwindled substantially in recent years.

On June 25, 2007, Father Daniel J. Gatti, S.J. '59, announced the end of his 10-year term as Xavier's 32nd President. On Friday, January 4, 2008, the Board of Trustees announced that Francis J. Morison '58 was elected for up to a two-year term as Xavier's next president. He will assume office on August 1, 2008. The search for a permanent president is still underway.


The school recently reduced its four-year language requirement to three years, as well as reinforced its commitment to social justice by refocusing its fourth-year religion curriculum towards philosophy rather than traditional theological subjects. Xavier offers numerous honors classes and thirteen Advanced Placement classes, some of which are available as early as sophomore year, including Biology, Calculus AB, English Language and Composition, English Literature, European History, Italian, Spanish, Physics, U.S. Government and Politics, U.S. History, and World History. For students that take AP Calculus AB Junior year, there is an option to take vector calculus as a senior. Xavier also has an AP class in Statistics, though it is not yet recognized by the school as such.

The Xavier Class of 2007 had 206 graduates, 99.5% of whom went on to institutions of higher learning. Nearly fifty continued their education at Jesuit institutions.


Xavier has a very active Campus Ministry department, which organizes retreats and community service programs. One such program, the "Companions of St. Francis Xavier", or "CFX", organizes service trips that send groups of student volunteers for a few weeks during the summer to help build homes for people in need in Tennessee, Alabama, and Mexico. The program also raises thousands of dollars each year to assist the sponsor organizations at the places of service. The group in Tennessee works with Habitat for Humanity, while the group in Tijuana, Mexico, works with Esperanza International; both organizations that are committed to building houses for the impoverished. Furthermore, there are community service requirements for all sophomores, juniors, and seniors. In February of 2008, CFX is planning to travel to Ecuador to further their service and ministry.


Xavier High School has an Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps unit, in which over one-third of the student population is enrolled. On May 12, 2005, the JROTC unit revalidated its designation as an "Honor Unit with Distinction." Colonel Anderson of the Eastern Region Command called the Xavier Regiment one of "the top five in the Northeast." Under the outstanding leadership of Lt. Colonel Roy Campbell, US Army (ret), it achieved a school record overall score of 99 during its most recent Army Formal Inspection. The Regiment marches annually in the St. Patrick's and Columbus Day parades. Xavier's Regiment has three extracurricular teams: the X-Squad, the Rifle Team, and the Raider Unit. Founded in 1937, Xavier's armed drill team, the X-Squad, is known for its performance in exhibition drill, continuing to display its excellence in a recent first place finish in the Eastern Regionals. It competes in the U.S Army National Championship and the National High School Drill Team Championship. Formerly known as the Black Jacks, the Raiders are the Regiment's physical fitness team. They compete annually in the Raider Challenge and the Commander's Cup. The Rifle Team, another longstanding pillar in the Regiment, competes nationally in post matches, as well as regional tournaments. During parades, the X-Squad, the Raiders, and by Xavier's Blue Night Band, the school jazz band, march alongside the Regiment. As a unit, it has twice has been named best high school marching band in the St. Patrick's Day Parade.


Xavier, a CHSAA member, provides its students the opportunity to pursue a wide variety of sports: baseball, basketball, bowling, cross-country, football, golf, hockey, indoor/outdoor track and field, rugby, soccer, swimming, tennis, and wrestling. Other extracurricular activities include choir, speech and debate, chess team, anime, film, science fiction, and skiing /snowboard clubs, school newspaper, The Review, drama productions, and the Blue Night Band.

Xavier's current mascot is a knight, and all of its athletic teams are referred to as the Knights. However, for many years, the teams were called the Cadets, a reflection of Xavier's military program, while a terrier was used as a mascot. When the military program became optional, in an effort to better ensure the safety of the students during the turbulent anti-Vietnam War era, the Cadet moniker became outdated. After a variety of replacements, including the 1980s Bruins, the nickname of the Knights was decided upon in the early 1990s and has been official since.

Xavier has fielded one of the top rugby teams in the United States since the club's founding in 1976.[2] The team capped a undefeated season in 2007 by winning the Tier B National Championship Tournament. The Xavier Rugby Team also won National Championship Tournaments in 1985 and 1993 and has won the East Coast/Northeast US Championship Tournament every year from since 2000.

The Xavier Football Team has also been a mainstay in school life since its origination in the late nineteenth century. It has a continued rivalry with the Bronx's Fordham Preparatory School. The two schools compete in an annual "Turkey Bowl", the oldest high school football rivalry in New York City. Their very first game against one another took place in the late 1800s when the game was called due to darkness, ending in a tie. Many of these football matches were played at Manhattan's famed date=November 2007}} Led by Coach Christopher Stevens, Class of 1983, the 2007 team was perhaps Xavier's greatest. Utilizing a classic single-wing offense, the Knights won both the CHSFL "A" Division and Playoff Championships, as well as triumphing in the Turkey Bowl.

Notable alumni

Notable graduates include:

  • Dave Anderson, New York Times writer and author
  • Donald Cook, Medal of Honor recipient, Colonel (USMC).[3]
  • Kevin Corbett, Manager of New Media, New York Giants
  • Jack Harte, Hamptons Real Estate Mogul
  • Jerramiah Healy, current Mayor of Jersey City, New Jersey
  • New Jersey|8}} from 1919 to 1921, and was Mayor of East Newark from 1907 to 1919.[4]
  • Al Roker, NBC weatherman. [5]
  • Antonin Scalia, United States Supreme Court Justice.[6]
  • Brian Schulz, Emmy Award winning Producer/Cinematographer; Major League Baseball Productions
  • Michael Sheehan, Fox News Reporter and former NYPD detective
  • Patrick Stokes, Former President of Anheuser-Busch
  • Steven Strait, Actor, fashion model, and singer
  • Brandon Tierney, ESPN 1050 radio talk show host in New York City
  • F. Paul Wilson, author of the Repairman Jack science fiction series
  • Brad Ferguson, author of A Flag Full of Stars, a 1991 Star Trek novel set in part at a 23rd century high school located where Xavier is today
  • David Fanning, an educator of note in the New York City public school system, most recently Vice-Principal of Brooklyn Technical High School in Brooklyn, NY.


  1. NY Times article, published 1862
  2. Xavier Rugby, Xavier High School. Accessed November 30, 2007.
  3. COLONEL DONALD COOK SQUARE, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Accessed November 27, 2007.
  4. Cornelius Augustine McGlennon, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed October 2, 2007.
  5. Al Roker Biography, The Biography Channel. Accessed November 18, 2007. "After graduating from Xavier High School in Manhattan, Roker studied communications at State University of New York at Oswego, where he got his first shot at weathercasting."
  6. Santos, Fernanda."Who's That Guy? Without Robes, Grand Marshal Is Mystery", The New York Times, October 11, 2005. Accessed November 3, 2007. "Justice Scalia, 69, had marched at the parade once before, five decades ago as a student at Xavier High School in Chelsea."

External Links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Xavier High School (New York City). The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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