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Iona Preparatory Lower School Celebrates Ribbon-Cutting for newly-updated Devlin Library & Center for Excellence

Iona Preparatory Lower School celebrated the official opening of the Devlin Library & Center for Excellence on Monday, hosting a ribbon cutting with educators, parents and supporters to usher in a new chapter for its boys in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade.

“Saint Matthew tells us, ‘With God, all things are possible,’” said Thomas R. Leto, Ed.D., President of Iona Preparatory School. “We’ve been able to do something very special here, re-envisioning our space, making our program stronger and making our facilities even better for our boys. We have a lot of people to thank.”

The initial construction phase of Iona Preparatory’s successful $10 million Centennial Campaign for Excellence, the renovation included technology and design upgrades, as well as a brand-new “makerspace” to enrich Project Based Learning. Makerspaces are at the forefront of teaching and learning, providing a collaborative workspace for students to explore their interests, become innovators, and solve problems creatively. Project Based Learning, meanwhile, is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to complex challenges. For example, seventh-graders are currently taking part in the Iron Giraffe Challenge and coming up with creative new ways to advocate and fundraise for water in South Sudan.

The second construction phase of the campaign is slated to commence in the fall of 2019 when Iona Preparatory will break ground on a 435-seat auditorium and expansion of the Paul Verni Fine Arts Center at the Upper School. Campaign funds will also be used to grow the school’s endowment for merit-based scholarships.

Brother James Kevin Devlin, Ed.D., former Headmaster of Iona Preparatory Lower School and the library’s namesake, spoke at the ceremony about his family’s commitment to education – something he is humbled to carry forth.

“This Center for Excellence is both a tribute to my mother and father, Ellen and Louis; my sister, Ellen; and our family,” said Brother Devlin, who is the Senior Director of the Office for Student Success at Iona College, “as well as a testament to all the wonderful Iona Prep teachers and students who, for over 100 years, have and continue to strive for excellence in education and assisting others.”