MIDDLETOWN, NJ - Facing a severe, multi-year financial deficit, Mater Dei Prep, Middletown, will close its doors in June. The closure was announced on February 3 by Father Jeff Kegley, pastor of Saint Mary Parish, Middletown, who oversees the high school, following consultation with the parish finance council.
In his letter to the Mater Dei Prep parent community and sent today via email alert and regular mail, Father Kegley states, " It is with great sadness that I inform you that Mater Dei Prep will close at the end of this school year, June 2015. Over the many years, Mater Dei Prep has been running large financial deficits. It had been the hope of the Parish Finance Council and myself that these trends could be reversed. However, the 2014-2015 projected loss is close to one million dollars.”
Founded in 1964, Mater Dei Prep currently has an enrollment of 340 students and employs 48 faculty and staff. Enrollment numbers had recently seen some growth, but have not stabilized to the point of sufficiently supporting the school’s viability.
Father Kegley emphasizes that the closing of the high school will not impact the parish's elementary school, Saint Mary School, which has enrollment of 680 students. Saint Mary School is one of the largest Catholic elementary schools in Monmouth and Ocean County. He likewise notes that all activities, celebrations and events that were planned for the remainder of the school year for the Mater Dei Prep community would still take place.
Information will be provided to Mater Dei Prep families regarding other Catholic high schools in the area, and diocesan officials will work with faculty members regarding compensation packages and job placement elsewhere in the Diocese.
“I want to extend sincere thanks to Mr. Craig Palmer, Mr. Steve Sciarappa, MDP teachers and staff for the years of dedicated service to the Mater Dei Prep school community. I also want to acknowledge the consistent support of Saint Mary Church parishioners and the Diocese of Trenton, who has helped over the past years to keep the school open. And mostly, I want to thank all of our school families who have worked so hard in support of our mission of Catholic education at Mater Dei Prep.”