With the approval of Bishop George W. Ahr, CBA’s three laymen founders – George Sheehan, Peter Fleming and John Henderson – reached an agreement with The Brothers of the Christian Schools, under the leadership of Provincial Brother Anthony John Halpin, to staff the school and finance its construction.
The former Whitney Greentree Stables, a 157-acre farm in Lincroft, was purchased and one building was converted into what is now Henderson Hall, which held the first CBA classes. Several other existing buildings, including the Round Barn, Sprint Barn and Benilde Hall, were also used for various campus activities.
CBA won its first of over 150 state championships when head coach Vinnie Cox and the Colts captured the 1965 Parochial A basketball title. This championship laid the foundation for a dominant athletic department that now features 18 varsity sports and has been named “top non-public” program on numerous occasions.
In the very first year in which private schools were introduced to the program, the Academy earned the National Blue Ribbon of Excellence distinction from the U.S. Department of Education. The rigorous application and selection process was led by Associate Principal Peter Santanello, who also championed the introduction of technology to CBA in the 80s.
As enrollment exceeds 900 students at the start of the decade, Brother Ralph Montedoro, longtime teacher and administrator, took the helm as fifth CBA principal. Brother Andrew transitioned to become the Academy’s first school president, overseeing all operations at CBA and focusing on fundraising, alumni outreach and facilities.
CBA’s second major building addition is completed, as the $5.9 million Project 2000s upgraded the Academy’s campus facilities to better serve the student population. A new classroom wing, three state-of-the-art science labs, the McKay intramural gym with wrestling and weight training areas, two music rooms, the Academy Store, and Alumni Hall are integrated with the existing building.
In the fall, the new addition to the school building is opened and dedicated, with a visit from Bishop John Smith. Project 50th ultimately added the Quinn Library & Media Center, a new main office, guidance office suite, two upgraded computer labs, a life sciences lab and multiple classrooms. Later, a new fitness center and locker room would finish the project.
After serving as associate principal for the better part of three decades, Mr. Peter Santanello became the first lay principal of the Academy. Santanello joined the faculty in 1974 to teach mathematics, then served as associate principal for four different principals. During his time as an administrator, he was integral in CBA’s regular comprehensive self-studies and consistent high scoring on Middle States accreditation evaluations.
CBA’s 60th school year opens with a tradition that has continued since 1959: the Freshman Run. Every new class has participated in the Run – a camaraderie event for the youngest Colts – since the Academy first open its doors. The Run now bears the name of longtime cross country coach Tom Heath ’65.