Cathedral Preparatory School
Villa Maria Academy
Cathedral Preparatory School
Villa Maria Academy

"Called To Lead": The Campaign for Cathedral Preparatory School, Villa Maria Academy, and Mother Teresa Academy

 February 3, 2021

Cathedral Prep Announces $5,000,000 Gift

Cathedral Preparatory School proudly announces a gift of $5,000,000 from Jean Eric Salata ’84.  The gift is designated to assist the funding for the new addition to Prep’s campus on West 10th St. The new building will officially be named “The Salata Technology and Innovation Center” dedicated to Jean’s parents, who brought their family to Erie from Chile 50 years ago. Orlando Salata, Jean’s father, a well-known local architect who designed buildings such as the Barber Center and the D’Angelo Performing Arts Center, passed away in 2009. Jean’s mother, Hilda, provided Jean the opportunity and motivation to attend Cathedral Prep.

Upon graduating from Cathedral Prep in 1984, Mr. Salata earned a degree from the Wharton School of Business at The University of Pennsylvania. After positions at Bain & Co. and AIG, Jean founded Baring Private Equity Asia and is currently the CEO. Jean resides in Hong Kong with his wife Melanie and their four children.

Cathedral Prep played an important role in Jean Eric’s life: “My Prep education has given me many opportunities that I would not have otherwise had, and I am happy to play a part in ECPS' campaign to ensure that this tradition of excellence in education will continue to be available to future Prep students for many years to come.

What is impressive about Jean Eric's donation is that he was just a regular kid not too long ago sitting in this very school. To remember his alma mater, and have the ability and willingness to help at this magnitude, speaks volumes about his character and his experience here at Cathedral Prep. On behalf of the entire Cathedral Prep family, we would like to extend our deepest thanks to Jean and his family for their support," said Interim President Dave Slomski '72. 

Jean Eric Salata’s gift pushes the Called to Lead Campaign past its goal of $48,500,000 with a total of $49,500,000.  Called to Lead will conclude in June 2022.

November 11, 2020

Cathedral Prep & Villa Villa Maria Academy Announce Exciting Groundbreaking News Regarding the Future of the School

Cathedral Prep and Villa Maria Academy have a long-standing history in the Erie Community beginning in 1921 and 1892 respectively. Throughout their history Cathedral Prep has remained an all-boys institution focusing on developing men of vision in spirit, mind and body. Villa began as an all-girls boarding school in 1892, became coeducational in 1989, and went back to an all-girls school following the merger with Cathedral Prep in 2009.  Both campuses have continued to provide a college preparatory academic environment like no other.  As times are changing and the landscape of Catholic education continues to evolve, we want to continue to remain on the cutting edge of technology and educational programs. Through the generosity of many donors we are excited to announce the GROUNDBREAKING expansion of the Cathedral Prep campus which will include a $12,500,000 million dollar addition focusing on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) programs and courses. The new building will also include a Student Life Center, which will serve the dual purpose of a dining and learning space. Additionally, the former pool space will be divided to create a dance studio and fitness center, and the Prep library will be transformed into a chapel. The decision to streamline all resources into this bold initiative also comes with the understanding and appreciation that all students benefit from this amazing facility.  Thus, the students at the Villa campus will move to the Prep Campus in September 2022 creating a coed Catholic college preparatory school with cutting-edge Science-Technology-Engineering-Arts-Mathematics facilities and programs.

The Most Rev. Lawrence T. Persico, Bishop of Erie, stated, “The initiative bringing Cathedral Prep and Villa Maria Academy together, housed under one roof, has my total support.

This is an important step to support and enhance Catholic secondary education in the city of Erie. The hopes of those who came before us, including Archbishop John Mark Gannon who founded Cathedral Preparatory School, and the Sisters of St. Joseph, who guided generations of students through Villa Maria Academy, will continue to be realized.

I also am very pleased by the school’s commitment to the community as it invests $12.5 million in the heart of downtown Erie. It’s a strong vision for the future, and area families seeking a Catholic education are extremely fortunate they will continue to have options.”

Construction on the Cathedral Prep campus will begin in May of 2021 and will be completed prior to the 2022-2023 school year. Jim Gallagher, Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Erie, added, “This is a bold and important step for Prep-Villa. I am pleased they are responding to the changing circumstances within our community and the needs of Catholic education. This move contributes to the overall vision of Catholic education in the diocese and creates exciting possibilities for future students.” Some of the new programs that will be available to all our students will be E-sports, Robotics, Engineering, Cybersecurity, Design & Fabrication, TV/Video Production, etc. We will also be updating our music, visual and performing arts spaces which will include a choir studio, dance studio and visual arts space. This will position Cathedral Preparatory School to build on the successes of the past while boldly looking to the future and continuing to be one of the premier college preparatory schools in the country.



October 25, 2019

Last evening, on October 24, 2019, history was made in the Hilbert Family Library Commons on the Cathedral Prep campus. It was there that almost 200 members of the President’s Leadership Council witnessed an amazing moment in the illustrious history of our collective mission. Today, we share that moment with you and the rest of the world. Fr. Scott Jabo, President, announced the public launch of a “Called to Lead: The Campaign for Cathedral Prep/Villa Maria Academy/Mother Teresa Academy, a $48,500,000 initiative that will serve as a transformative springboard as we take the school we love so much boldly into the future. The “amazing” part you ask? Fr. Jabo also announced that as of yesterday, we have received an astounding $33,000,000 in cash and commitments!

Although this already represents the most successful philanthropic endeavor ever for Prep, Villa, and MTA, we will still need the support of many to reach this most ambitious goal. In part of his remarks, Fr. Jabo shared “‘Called To Lead’ supports our mission to transform our students into the visionary leaders of tomorrow. I pray that the leadership that our donors show through their generosity will likewise inspire others to help further our mission. May God bless our donors for making a difference in our students’ lives!” Mike ’75 & Tina Donikowski ’77 believe “Called to Lead” is a vision in which everyone can participate “We were fortunate to attend Prep & Villa and to give our sons the benefit of Catholic education. We believe in Catholic education and want every child, no matter their ability to pay, to have that same benefit. Prep, Villa, and MTA change lives … that’s what this campaign is all about."

We ask that you keep our mission and the success of a “Called to Lead”: The Campaign for Cathedral Prep/Villa Maria Academy/Mother Teresa Academy in your daily prayers. For more in information, please click the link below to visit our virtual Campaign Headquarters.