Nativity Students Design Holiday Towels

By | News

As the season of giving quickly approaches, Nativity Preparatory Academy is thankful to all the community members who make the dreams of students become reality. Nativity’s tuition-free, Catholic education is made possible by the generous donors who support the school’s mission to provide an exemplary education to students in need. Our students are not only thankful for the opportunities they’ve been afforded through Nativity, but they love to get involved in the fundraising process in any way they can. 

Windsor Cottage, a home-furnishing and decor consignment shop in Rochester, offers Nativity students a chance to showcase their artwork on flour sack towels that are sold in the store throughout the holiday season. Two student designs are selected each year to be featured on the high-quality towels. Peggy Growney, owner of Windsor Cottage and member of Nativity’s Board of Trustees, donates all proceeds from the towels to benefit Nativity Prep. According to Growney, the towels are not only a popular commodity in the store, but they also catch the eye of customers who are unfamiliar with Nativity and its mission. 

“Those who first learn about Nativity through this project are delighted with the artwork,” Growney says. “Everyone loves these towels. They’re perfect for holiday gift giving and oftentimes, people buy a dozen at a time!”

Proceeds from towel sales help to fund a variety of initiatives including enrichment activities outside of the classroom — an effective way of improving student success. School days at Nativity are extended until 5:30, allowing students to develop new interests and passions outside of the standard curriculum. The towel project also showcases students’ artistic talents. This year, Breeya, a 5th grader at Nativity, was one of two students whose work was selected. She loves to draw and says it makes her feel good to see people buying products with her artwork. 

“It’s a ‘feel-good’ gift that actually benefits the school and makes everyone smile,” Growney adds. “How great is that?” 

“I like to help people in as many ways as I can” said Breeya “I was just excited that my artwork was going to be presented to people, and that I could be helping the school in different ways. I’m doing community service, which makes me feel good, and my artwork is on display, which also makes me feel good.”

Nativity Prep. is thrilled to have students express their creativity while also serving their school and their community. This corresponds perfectly with the school’s values of responsibility and gratitude: two key elements of the Nativity Pledge. The featured towels are available now at Windsor Cottage for the holiday season!


Jennifer Kremer Appointed Principal of Nativity Prep.

By | News

Nativity Preparatory Academy, the only tuition-free Catholic middle school in Rochester, recently appointed Jennifer Kremer of Rochester as the new school principal. In this role, Kremer is responsible for oversight of academic programs and extracurricular activities, as well as direction of the faculty and student performance.

Kremer joins Nativity Prep with 20 years of experience as a Catholic School educator. This includes 17 years of teaching Nazareth Schools, along with 19 years in various leadership roles at St. Monica Church. Kremer holds a B.A. in Music Education from Nazareth College, as well as a Master’s in Educational Administration from the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester.

“Jennifer is a consummate educator who brings a wealth of leadership experience to her new position,” said John Mattia, President of Nativity Prep. “Her passion for student success, faculty collaboration, and commitment to diversity and inclusion is a perfect fit with our mission to provide a uniquely effective education to those in need.”

“Nativity’s reputation for serving underprivileged students reflects my personal drive to make a meaningful difference in the lives of young people in our community,” said Kremer. “At the same time, I look forward to leveraging my skills and experience to build on the excellent capabilities of our dedicated faculty and staff. My first months at Nativity have been rewarding in ways I did not anticipate. The students are not only welcoming, but they see Nativity and all its members as family, and they find such worth and value in being members of this community.  I feel blessed to be part of the Nativity family.”

Among Kremer’s initial goals are to maintain Nativity’s strong 95 percent attendance rate, foster collaboration with partner educational institutions, and to enhance graduate success by supporting alumni through high school and beyond.

About Nativity Preparatory Academy

Nativity Preparatory Academy is a Catholic middle school serving inner-city Rochester students in Grades 5–8. Founded in 2009, the school is co-sponsored by McQuaid Jesuit and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Rochester. The school’s mission is to prepare students for entrance into local private and parochial high schools and eventually college. For more information,

Nativity Prep. Graduates Make College Visit

By | Our Graduates

Helping our students achieve their goal to pursue a college education is a priority at Nativity Preparatory Academy. Last September, nearly 20 million students nationwide attended college to continue their academic and professional careers. At Nativity, we aim to ensure that our graduates are not only included in that 20 million, but that they are among the best and brightest. This starts with making sure that students have the proper exposure to resources and opportunities across various college campuses. 

On Monday, October 7, Nativity sponsored a tour of the University of Rochester for 15 of its graduates who are now juniors and seniors at McQuaid Jesuit, Our Lady of Mercy, Bishop Kearney, and Aquinas Institute. The event featured a campus tour and an informational session with a campus Dean. John Mattia, Nativity President, said the school is excited to provide this opportunity for its growing alumni community. 

“Our mission is to support graduates in high school, college and beyond,” Mattia said. “As part of that mission, it is imperative that we expose our graduates to opportunities in higher education, and we’re planning more college visits with our graduates throughout the remainder of the year.”

This was the first time Nativity has sponsored a college tour for high school students. For a number of the students, the University of Rochester will now be included in the list of schools they apply to for their continued academic pursuits.

This new partnership between the University of Rochester and Nativity, made possible through the Miller Family Scholarship, is one way that Nativity alumni can begin to see themselves in spaces that have historically been off-limits financially or academically,” said Meredith Smith, Director of Graduate Support Services at Nativity. “By having our alumni visit the University of Rochester, many students were able to see themselves at a school that rigorously trains its students to be thinkers and leaders. Nativity alumni came away from the visit with bright eyes poised to reach for the best post-grad options available to them.”

Nativity’s education model takes students from underserved communities and instills in them the confidence and skills necessary to take on the world as leaders and professionals. With the help of colleges like the University of Rochester, Nativity works to prepare its students, during their time in the school and beyond, to achieve success in whatever field they choose in college, professional careers, and community life.



2019 Nativity in Bloom: Event Recap

By | News

The 8th annual Nativity in Bloom event was held on May 3, 2019. This fundraising event includes a silent auction, performances by Nativity Prep and opportunities to learn more about the amazing things happening at Nativity Prep.

Nativity Preparatory Academy to offer free tuition for inner-city students

By | News

In an unprecedented move by a local privately-operated urban middle school for students in Grades 5-8, Nativity Preparatory Academy  has announced that, starting this fall, they will eliminate the tuition structure, leaving only an annual activity and supplies fee for each student. Based on a nationally renowned educational model, Nativity Prep is entering its 10th year of providing a Catholic middle school education for underserved Rochester inner-city youth.

“Providing our students with an exceptional education focused on the whole person is at the heart of our mission,” says Principal Maria Cahill. “Thanks to the generous support of our donors, we are removing any financial barriers to obtaining a Nativity education by making this a tuition-free school.”

Nativity Prep is small by design, with a current student capacity of 80 students.  The school’s intimate, nurturing academic environment is coupled with a strong sense of spirituality, morality, and personal responsibility. Nativity welcomes a diverse background of faith traditions with the unifying purpose of caring about education.

“Nativity Prep is an incredible story,” says John Mattia, the school’s President. “The majority of our graduates attend one of the area’s college prep high schools and continue on to college. An education at Nativity Prep has proven to be life changing.”

An extended school day and academic year, along with a strong enrichment program, offers students and families an immersive experience. Dedicated and caring administrators, faculty and staff personally mentor and support students well after graduation.

“We hope that this new tuition-free structure will help to ease any potential financial burden affiliated with choosing a Nativity education,” Cahill explains. “Parents should have the ability to choose the right school for their child, and cost shouldn’t be the deciding factor.”

Nativity Prep is still accepting applications for the 2018-2019 school year. Interested families should call 585-271-1630 for more information.

Upcoming and Recent Events

Billy D’Antonio Summer Golf Classic: August 1, 2020

Join us for the 2020 Billy D’Antonio Summer Golf Classic!

Billy D Golf is committed to emulating the character, spirituality, and selflessness of our beloved friend William D’Antonio through the game of golf. Billy’s compassionate spirit is exemplified in his work with Nativity, as he taught the less fortunate in the classroom, on the basketball court, and in life.

While modeling the passion Billy had for helping others, Billy D Golf honors his legacy by raising Funds for Nativity Preparatory Academy, as a tradition for years to come.

  • Date: August 1st
  • Time: 12:30 PM shotgun start

Alumni Christmas Party: December 13, 2019

Are you an alumnus of Nativity Prep? Join us for the 2019 Alumni Christmas Party – a great chance to get together with classmates, teachers and current students to celebrate the holidays!

  • Date: December 13, 2019
  • Where: Nativity Preparatory Academby
  • When: 4:00-7:00pm

Second Annual President’s Reception: October 24, 2019

Join us for the Second Annual President’s Reception!

The event will feature updates on school affairs from President John Mattia and our newly appointed Principal, Jennifer Kremer. They will be highlighting the milestones and successes taking place every day at Nativity Rochester. Refreshments will be provided.

  • Date: October 24th
  • Where: Nativity Preparatory Academy
  • When: 5:30-7:00pm

2019 Billy D’Antonio Summer Golf Classic: August 3, 2019

Join us for the 2019 Billy D’Antonio Summer Golf Classic!

Billy D Golf is committed to emulating the character, spirituality, and selflessness of our beloved friend William D’Antonio through the game of golf. Billy’s compassionate spirit is exemplified in his work with Nativity, as he taught the less fortunate in the classroom, on the basketball court, and in life. While modeling the passion Billy had for helping others, Billy D Golf honors his legacy by raising Funds for Nativity Preparatory Academy, as a tradition for years to come.

  • Date: August 3rd
  • Time: 12:30 PM shotgun start

Nativity Preparatory Academy
15 Whalin Street
Rochester, NY 14620