A Motivating Experience: Julian McFarlane ’26 Follows in Brothers’ Footsteps
December 7, 2023
For sophomore Julian McFarlane, there was a certain comfort – and excitement – level when it came to attending Christian Brothers Academy.
McFarlane had the opportunity to watch and learn from his two older brothers, Miles ’23 and Tristan ’24, as he prepared to become a CBA student.
“I could always see how happy they were here,” McFarlane said. “They really enjoyed the brotherhood and the friends that they made. I wanted that to be me too.”
It was almost too perfect then that all three McFarlane brothers were able to be students at the Academy together for the 2022-2023 school year. With Miles as the senior driver, the three boys would travel together to Lincroft from their hometown of Brick. Of course, they had prior experience attending the same school together, as they are proud alumni of St. Dominic School in Brick.
It was at St. Dominic where the McFarlane brothers built a strong foundation in a Catholic school environment.
“Coming from St. Dominic, I wanted to continue my Catholic education, as well as challenge myself academically,” he said.
McFarlane is one of 10 St. Dominic students in CBA’s Class of 2026. Currently, there are 18 St. Dominic graduates throughout all four grade levels.
McFarlane acknowledges that adjusting to CBA with classmates from St. Dominic was an ideal scenario. He is quick to point out however, that regardless of what middle school a student comes from, friends can be made quickly in the halls of CBA.
“Everyone is close knit. It is not just freshmen interacting with freshmen. Last year as a freshman, I knew juniors and seniors. I was friends with sophomores, so I really like how everyone gets so close.”
He also realizes that the interpersonal relationships extend beyond just fellow students. Through his involvement in clubs such as SADD or Pegasus Yearbook and athletic programs like track & field, McFarlane has developed bonds with both teachers and coaches.
He credits the faculty and staff at the Academy for setting the best example for students, viewing them as role models because of their maturity and confidence. McFarlane made sure to compliment his school counselor, Ms. Gina Morrello, and CBA’s head track & field coach, Karl Torchia, as two shining examples.
“Some of the most valuable relationships in my life have been developed here,” he said. “My track coaches, teammates, school counselors and teachers have all helped me grow at CBA.”
Linking the classroom with his athletic endeavors, McFarlane has used his track teammates as great resources for his academic success at CBA. He notes the amount of times that he has reached out to upperclassmen on the team when he has needed some guidance in a tricky subject.
“They have helped me transition into certain classes, but also they’ve played a role in helping me succeed in classes based on sharing their own experiences.”
With only a few months gone by in his sophomore year, he has plenty of time at the Academy to look forward to. He understands, however, that he should not take any time in high school for granted.
“I know I want to delve into the brotherhood that CBA has to offer by getting more involved in activities as well as service,” he said. “You can build different kinds of relationships in those areas that I know are worthwhile.”
And after seeing the success of his older brothers and experiencing his own, McFarlane would be the first to recommend CBA to a middle school student.
“I have no doubt that this is the best high school experience in New Jersey.”