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Villanova Preparatory School

Villanova Preparatory School
Villanova/ Nova
Villanova Preparatory School, Ojai, CA
Unitas ∙ Veritas ∙ Caritas
Unity ∙ Truth ∙ Love
12096 North Ventura Avenue
Ojai, California, U.S.
Ojai, California, (Ventura County), 93023
Type Private, Coeducational, day/boarding school
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Order of Saint Augustine
Established 1924
President Fr. John Keller[1]
Headmaster Carrol Hoffer[1]
Head of school Fr. John Keller[1]
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 250 (2012)
Average class size 18
Campus type Country
Color(s) [Navy (color)
Song Alma Mater (When the Twilight Shadows Gather)
Fight song Oh no. Here we Go. Nova.
Athletics conference Frontier League/ Tri Valley League (Both a part of the Tri-County Athletics Association [TCAA])
Sports 19 total
Team name Wildcats
Rival Nordhoff High School
Accreditation Western Association of Schools and Colleges[2]
Average SAT scores 1767
Average ACT scores 26
Newspaper "Nova Notes", "Vista"
Yearbook The Villanovan
Tuition $15,500 (Day) $45,500 (Boarding)
Asst Head of School Sr. Rachel Yourgales
Admissions Director Tyler Hart
Athletic Director Jon Wyers

Villanova Preparatory School is an Augustinian Catholic co-ed day/ boarding school located in the small town of Ojai, California, USA. Sitting on more than 120 acres, Villanova's campus has sports fields and trails, a gym, and tennis courts. The school is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Established in October 1924 at the request of Bishop John Cantwell (John Joseph Cantwell), Villanova was founded by Augustinians invited to California from Villanova, Pennsylvania to open parishes in the early 1920s. Villanova is a member of the Augustinian Secondary Education Association (ASEA) comprising eight secondary institutions in North America and over 100 schools worldwide. Villanova offers both a day and resident program and is the only co-ed Augustinian boarding school in the country. Villanova has a small chapel that holds mass every Sunday for both students and the public.

In 2007–2008, enrollment was 314 with some 42 faculty members.[3] Some one-third of students are boarders, and represent 10 different countries.[3]


  • Academics 1
  • Resident Life 2
  • Student life 3
  • Patron saint 4
  • The Augustinian Order in North America 5
  • Athletics 6
    • Football 6.1
    • Frontier League Affiliation 6.2
  • Controversies 7
  • Notable alumni 8
  • Notable staff members 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


Villanova Preparatory School offers a college prep curriculum for grades 9–12.

Operating on the semester system, students take seven courses each year with classes meeting a minimum of four times a week with extended 80 minute periods on most weeks.

The curriculum includes four units of religion: Old Testament, New Testament, Morality and Social Justice, and Christian Vocations. Math, English, Foreign Language, Religion and Science courses are required for all four years in order to graduate. Three languages are offered: Spanish, Japanese and Latin. The school also offers eighteen Advanced Placement or Honors courses in other subjects such as Calculus, English Composition, English Literature, and US History.[3]

Other graduation requirements include the completion of courses in: Fine Art, P.E, Health, Electives and a yearly completion of community service.

Resident Life

Villanova houses approximately sixty five boys and thirty girls.

A majority of the boarding students come from Taiwan and South Korea, with a smaller number of students coming from China, Vietnam, Mexico, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, United States and other countries. In contrast, the non-boarding day students at Villanova make up about 70% of the student body. Roughly 50% are from the Ojai Valley, while the rest of the students come from surrounding cities such as Carpinteria, Ventura, Camarillo, Santa Paula, Oxnard, Somis, and Fillmore.

Student life

Villanova Preparatory school offers its students over 20 clubs, Student Government (ASB), all school Mass, Christian service program, Class Retreats, and Drama Productions.

Annually, Villanova holds Wildcat Day, a daylong pep rally where students compete in track and field games.

Patron saint

The school is named in honour of St. Thomas of Villanova, a sixteenth-century Spanish Augustinian. Thomas was born at Fuenllana in the diocese of Toledo, Spain, in 1488 and was brought up in Villaneuva de los Infantes, a nearby town; hence his name, Thomas of Villanova. In the year 1544, King Charles V of Spain appointed Thomas as Archbishop of Valencia. Thomas succeeded in the spiritual renewal of his diocese, and gained the title 'Father of the Poor'. He gave two-thirds of the income of his diocese to care for the poor in various ways. Each day up to 500 poor people came to his door to be fed and to receive money. Other English-speaking Augustinian Colleges named for this saint are St. Thomas of Villanova College in Ontario, Canada, and Villanova College, located in Brisbane, Australia. He is also the patron saint to the Catholic college, Villanova University located in Villanova, PA,USA.

The Augustinian Order in North America

The North American foundation of the Order was formed in 1796 when Irish friars arrived in Philadelphia. Michael Hurley was the first American to join the Order the following year. Friars established schools, Universities and other works throughout the Americas, also including Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania located just outside of Philadelphia (USA) and Merrimack College (USA). Malvern Preparatory School was founded in 1842 alongside Villanova University, and by 1909 two Augustinian houses and a school had been established in Chicago, 1922 in San Diego, by 1925 this school; and Los Angeles; 1926 a school in Oklahoma; in 1947 a college in Massachusetts; in 1953 a school in Pennsylvania; 1959 a school in New Jersey and in 1962 a school in Illinois.


Villanova offers 19 sports, and has had success particularly in its aquatics department and girls' tennis team. Its athletic director is Mr. Jon Wyers.

Fall Sports include: football, boys' water polo, girls' volleyball and girls' tennis.

Winter Sports include: boys' basketball, girls' basketball, boys' soccer, girls' soccer and girls' water polo.

Spring Sports include: baseball, softball, swimming, track and field, boys' golf, and boys' tennis.


Villanova discontinued its football program in 1974, but it was brought back as an 8-man program in 2001. In 2004, the program went to 11-man as an Independent (non-league) Division XIII team. It is currently back to an 8-man program.

Frontier League Affiliation

All of the Villanova athletic teams have recently joined Frontier League.


  • In 1998 James Woodstock, a 31-year-old religion and morality teacher, was convicted of statutory rape after impregnating a 16-year-old student.[4]
  • In early 2006, it was discovered that the headmaster had hired a Latin teacher Shannon McCreery who had been convicted of second degree murder for assisting in his father's suicide in 1996. Though the headmaster was aware of the conviction, he did not disclose this information to the school's board of directors nor the rest of the staff.[5] Fallout from the incident included McCreery's dismissal and an attempt to oust the headmaster.

Notable alumni

  • William P. Clark, Jr. – Justice on the California Supreme Court, National Security Advisor to Ronald Reagan (1982–1983), and Secretary of the Interior (1983–1985).
  • Colman Andrews, class of 1962

Notable staff members

  • Parry Shen, a Chinese American actor best known for his performance in the 2002 movie Better Luck Tomorrow, worked for several years at the school as a member of the dormitory staff and Drama teacher.


  1. ^ a b c "Villanova Preparatory School Organizational Chart" (PDF). Retrieved 3 September 2013. 
  2. ^ WASC-ACS. "WASC-Accrediting Commission for Schools". Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  3. ^ a b c VPS. "School Profile" (PDF). Villanova Prep website. Retrieved 2007-08-01. 
  4. ^ Statutory Rape conviction
  5. ^ Los Angeles Mission - Head hires murderer

External links

  • Villanova Preparatory School
  • Order of St Augustine, International Homepage
  • Augnet International Cooperative Web Site for Schools in the Tradition of St. Augustine
  • The Association of Boarding Schools profile

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