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About Us

JPII Mission Statement

John Paul II Catholic School educates students of all faiths in a caring, Christ-centered environment. We prepare students to be scholars with a soul in accordance with the traditions of the Catholic faith and through the intentional commitment to our core values of service, high expectations, innovation, excellence, leadership, and discipleship.  

Our History

Ideas for a Catholic high school in the Lowcountry began in the late '90s.  In 2007, organizational efforts soon got under way to build a high school. Volunteers from every parish gave numerous hours to the project by developing plans for funding, construction, and operating a high school.  Fundraising began in 2011 and the sufficient pledges were received to obtain approval from the diocese to proceed with construction with the new John Paul II Catholic School to open in the fall of 2013. After searching the area for a more desirable building site, the committee was able to negotiate with the Trask family to trade the current diocesan property for the 73 acres on Hwy 170. This was finalized in February of 2012. The site places the school near the center of the Lowcountry Deanery and with 35 minutes of our three Catholic feeder schools.

The school embarked on its second year with double the original number of students and faculty with grades 7 through 10 with an expanded curriculum. The Marian Center opened providing academic support to address and assist the diverse learning needs of the student body. An endowment fund was established to provide need-based tuition assistance for families. Athletics added football, softball, and golf. In the spring, the diocese gave approval for a capital campaign for the construction of an Athletic Center. The projected growth in enrollment and the addition of new varsity athletic teams as upper-level grades were added made the building a necessity for John Paul to be a viable, competitive high school in the Lowcountry. 

Wal Dupre is named principal. Grade 11 is added, and a House system is created to help students assimilate quickly to their new school and feel an immediate sense of belonging. Students choose House names after saints which they could model their lives after: Kolbe (after St. Maximillian Kolbe), Lisieux (after St. Therese of Lisieux), Savio (after St. Dominic Savio), and Sebastian (after St. Sebastian). The Quiz Bowl team was named Region winner, and girls cross country brought home the first team State Championship. JPII offered three Advanced Placement courses to 16 students. The Advancement Office establishes the annual Warrior Fund to ensure that JPII continues to offer a high-quality education.

The school welcomed students in grades 7 through 12 with 33 full- and part-time faculty and staff. The new 23,000 sq. ft. Athletic Center was  dedicated on September 1, 2016, and included a gymnasium, locker rooms, athletic offices, a weight room, and additional classroom space for music and performing arts.  In May 2017, JPII held its first commencement ceremony with 18 graduates. For the second year in a row the Quiz Bowl team earned Region winner. JPII offered seven AP courses in Art History, Biology, Calculus, English Literature and Composition, European History, US Government and US History. Athletics added girls tennis, an 11-man football team, cheerleading, and wrestling. The baseball team received the first of three Team Academic Excellence Award from the American Baseball Coaches Association. A member of the girl soccer teams became the first student-athlete to sign a collegiate letter of intent.

JPII launched a robotics team and added Project Lead the Way courses. For the first time in school history, a JPII student was recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program as a Commended Student. JPII was ranked in the top 1% of the Jay Mathews Challenge Index for the first time in a string of consecutive years. Two basketball players, one each from the boys and girls teams, broke the 1,000-points milestone on the court.

The JPII SHIELD Robotics middle school team MS Robotics took first place at the SCISA Robotics Competition. The Golden Warriors entered a partnership with Mercy Mission in Hardeeville to support the center by helping fill their shelves by collecting canned soups/meals and other items. The 24 members of the Class of 2019, JPII’s third graduating class, earned a total of $921,545 in academic scholarships and grants for a sum of $1,349,945. The football team went to the State Championship for the first time in school history.

John McCarthy was named principal. A focused and ambitious five-year strategic plan was revealed that included the expansion of facilities to incorporate a new athletic field complex, space for the performing arts, the next academic building, a forward-thinking STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) Innovation and Design Center. The Promise Scholarship Program, a full-tuition scholarship for a student who shows exceptional “promise”, is introduced. The first JPII Robotics Tournament is held at JPII.  In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the school year and JPII began to teach virtually, modifying and developing online curriculum. The Class of 2020 graduated during an outdoor ceremony in June. 

As the pandemic continued, JPII was able to keep school open and healthy. JPII announced its first-ever National Merit Semifinalist Scholar. High school credits were now available to 7th and 8th grader students through new Pre-AP courses. The first phase of the expansion plan launched with improvements made to the athletic facilities with the goal of creating on-campus playing fields for most sports. A new multipurpose makerspace classroom was constructed which combined two classrooms into one. An admissions coordinator was added to the JPII staff to oversee all aspects of admissions and recruitment and direct the admissions process from inquiry through enrollment. Campus Ministry introduced a student-driven Act29 Peer Ministry to develop strong Catholic leaders and Christian disciples to serve in the various components of our middle and high school campus ministry.

Student population reached an all-time high of 256 with a 91% retention rate. To alleviate crowding modular classrooms were added on campus. Academic options included 14 Project Lead the Way courses, 20 AP courses, 8 Pre-AP courses, and the AP Capstone Diploma Program. JPII moved to a semester grading platform. Three specialized teams for JPII faculty & staff were added: a student support team was added to help with the social and emotional well-being of our students;  an instructional coaching team of well-respected educators partnered with our teachers to introduce teaching strategies; and a campus ministry team was also added to focus on providing direction and guidance to all religious programs and activities at JPII.

Do not be afraid. Do not be satisfied with mediocrity. Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.

- Saint John Paul II 



Service -We know, love and serve God by loving and serving others 

High Expectations -We set high expectations for academic excellence and respectful behavior

Innovation -We inspire creativity to innovate and solve problems in new and meaningful ways 

Excellence -We strive to do our best in the classroom, on the field and stage, and modeling a Christian lifestyle 

Leadership -We empower students to be courageous Christian leaders

Discipleship -We are followers of Jesus Christ and seek to live our lives in His image