Letter from the Principal

Blessings during this season of Lent.  At St. John Paul II High School, we embrace Lent with prayer services, Stations of the Cross and giving back to our community through service.  At the same time, our calendar is filled with student life activities. Our 3×3 basketball tournament, senior breakfast, March Madness, Clash of the Classes, Prom, and countless other events are in the planning stages.

Also, this month students will be working with their guidance counselors to register for courses for next year.  Course selections will be sent home for parents’ review and signature before choices are finalized. We are completing the 2020-2021 Course Description Book and it will provide you with details on our curriculum offerings for next year.

This year we will have our first group of students eligible to receive the AP Capstone diploma designation. Our newly introduced class, AP Computer Science Principles has been very well received and our plan is to offer this again next year.

As always thank you for all that you do for JPII.  I am truly grateful for our wonderful students and families.


On March 4, Student Council will sponsor a 3-on-3 basketball tournament. Prizes will be awarded to the winning team, the best-dressed team, and the winner of a half-court shot contest. The cost of entry is $10 for each team. There is no cost to attend. Come by the SFXP gym after school to watch the games!
Another big event will be held on March 27: March Madness. Board games! Video games! Pizza! Ice cream! March Madness has it all. Stay tuned for sign-up details.
March also features an opportunity to give back. The National Honor Society is sponsoring another blood drive on March 12 from 10 am to 4 pm. Students under the age of 18 must have parent permission to give blood. Free pizza and gift cards for those who donate. Give a pint, save a life!

‘March’ing Into Meetings with Guidance

With the second semester in full swing, students will focus on maintaining their study schedules and continuing to practice good study habits. Interim grades and teacher
comments, which were posted last week, provide good opportunities to assess progress
and make any necessary adjustments. Guidance meetings this month will focus on a
review of the interim reports and scheduling classes for next fall.

Seniors have been bringing in their acceptance letters and we are very proud of them!
We continue to encourage seniors to search and apply for outside scholarships to help
finance their college expenses.  Our favorite online search sites are fastweb.com and
collegeboard.com. Your own town’s public high school and library are good sources of
information for outside scholarships.  There are also listings and applications available in
our Guidance Office. Seniors should use yellow cards to request transcripts,
recommendation letters from Guidance to complete their scholarship applications.

Juniors are meeting with Mr. Tanguay to review the college search process and work on
their lists of schools. They will work on their resumes in English classes this month. This
document is used for college visits and for teachers, guidance, and others as they write
letters of recommendation. Students planning to visit colleges over April vacation are
encouraged to register for tours and information sessions. During March, each junior will
meet with Mr. Tanguay to review the junior year and select classes for senior year.  The
course selections will be brought home for parents’ review and signature before the
choices are finalized.

Sophomore Guidance meetings continue interest/career pathway exploration and begin
the college search. Each sophomore will meet with Mr. Tanguay during March to review
the year and select classes for junior year.  The course selections will be brought home
for parents’ review and signature before the choices are finalized.

Freshman and their families are encouraged to review the interim reports posted last
week. If things are going well, keep up the good work! If there were areas where you
would like to see some improvement, then change something, try a new strategy. Study
differently, not necessarily more, see teachers for extra help. Each freshman will meet
with Mrs. Hufnagle during March to review freshman year and select classes for the sophomore year.  The course selections will be brought home for parents’ review and
signature before the choices are finalized.

Guidance Activities:
3/11 – Incoming freshman registration sessions (Class of 2024) 3:00 – 7:00 PM
3/11 – Wednesday Evening Guidance Session – AP Program and Academic Planning

Please feel free to direct your guidance questions to:
Mark Tanguay, Director of Guidance             Maureen Hufnagle, Guidance Counselor
mtanguay@jp.dfrcs.org                                                mhufnagle@jp.dfrcs.org

St. John Paul II Science and Engineering Fair

The annual St. John Paul II Science and Engineering Fair was held on Thursday, February 13th, 2020. With over 30 projects, over 50 participating students, and judges from industry and medicine across Cape Cod, it was a successful night where these science students presented their years’ independent research and experimentation.  The winners of the High School division of the science fair were:

  1. Jacob Lenau (‘23): Photosynthetic Rate in Salinity-Stressed Algae. Jacob observed how salinity in the environment impacted the rate of photosynthesis in algae. By collecting local algae and building a specialized apparatus, Jacob was able to measure the production of oxygen over time while varying the salt concentrations of the water.
  2. Maggie Crofford and Chloe Lawson (‘23): Determining the Annual Fertility Rate of Horseshoe Crabs. Maggie and Chloe have worked closely with the Associates of Cape Cod to learn about collecting gametes (sperm and egg) from horseshoe crabs, fertilizing and storing the eggs, and monitoring the development of the eggs until hatching. 
  3. Dylan Palmer (‘20): Turns Out, The Earth Is Round. Dylan launched an impressive weather balloon with an on-board camera to record footage of our atmosphere and the curvature of the earth, as well as collect massive data on temperature and atmospheric conditions.

Several student projects will represent JPII at the Southeast Regional Science Fair at Bridgewater State University on Saturday, March 7th: Jacob Lenau, Maggie Crofford and Chloe Lawson, Liam Powell, Delaney Burrell, Kendal O’Brien (‘22), and Kellyn Thayer (‘22) will attend. The Regional Fair hosts hundreds of students from southeastern MA, and students who place in the Regional Fair are eligible to move on to the state level MSEF at MIT in May.

Going on Tour!

Tuesday, March 10:  6:30 PM TOUR KICKOFF CONCERT in JPII Auditorium
Wednesday, March 11:  Concert Performance at St. Francis Xavier, Acushnet, and Travel Day to New York
Thursday, March 12:  Concert Performance at St. John Catholic School, Goshen, NY, attendance at Broadway Workshops (both acting and dancing), dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company and Beetlejuice on Broadway!
Friday, March 13:  Performance at the Main Flagpole at the Statue of Liberty, as well as tour of Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  Dinner at world famous John’s Pizzeria and West Side Story on Broadway!
Saturday, March 14:  Performance at Rosary Hill Cancer Hospice Home, Tour of Ground Zero, Dinner at Buca di Beppo and Broadway performance of Come from Away.
Sunday, March 15:  Sing as Choir at St. Monica Church, 413 East 79th St., New York, NY, and travel back to Cape Cod!

Love and BeLoved

The month of March is one of the busiest in the Campus Ministry calendar. Between Junior Retreat, Lenten Prayer Services, and the annual BeLoved Retreat, our entire staff is hard at work for the next few weeks. On a personal level, what I look forward to most in March is the BeLoved Retreat. For the past four years, we’ve partnered with Bishop Stang High School to sponsor this all-girls weekend retreat experience. Every year I go, I come away with something new; and every year I go, I always leave with my faith rejuvenated in a way that I’ve never quite found anywhere else. BeLoved is open to female students in grades 9-12, and I encourage anyone who would like to learn more about the weekend or obtain a permission form for their student to contact me.
Within our school, the Lenten Prayer Services are an integral part of our seasonal observance. They provide a truly wonderful opportunity for us to gather before the Lord in prayer, hear His Gospel, and listen to thoughtful reflections from members of our community. So often we forget or are unable to take time for God in the hustle and bustle of daily life, and these services help our students (and teachers!) take time to refocus our attention and effort to the Lord.

A Letter from the Principal

We just concluded Catholic Schools Week, the annual celebration of Catholic Education. The theme this year was Learn, Serve, Lead, Succeed, and we added our overall charism, “Communicate Christ”. The theme encompasses the core values of our school and it is these qualities that make Catholic schools succeed.

Celebrating Mass with students from St. Pius X School was a wonderful way to kick off the week. Each day we recognized two students and one faculty/staff member that excel in one of the major themes from Catholic Schools week and I know that they were so well received.

Our students experienced faith based speakers; Maggie Craig for female students and Colonel Manning for our male students. We included a service component and thanks to so many families, our homeless community in Hyannis will receive backpacks, warm socks and gloves. The Youth Street Reach team will deliver these to the next homeless breakfast.

As we enter the second semester, we are focused on assessing any curriculum improvements for the 2020-2021 school year. In my next Principals report, I will highlight the Pre-AP program which we will introduce for Grade 9 Biology and English.

Thank you for helping to make St. John Paul II High School the special place that it is.


Lions Fans, the winter sports season is a bit past the midway point of the season and we already have two teams that have clinched spots in the MIAA tournament.  The Girl’s Basketball team is currently 12-2 and undefeated in the cape and island league. The Boys Hockey team is 14-2-1, and having the best start to a season in the history of the program.  Swimming concluded their season this past weekend with the boys finishing in 5th place. Boys basketball has swept the season series with league members Falmouth Academy and Rising tide. Girls hockey remains unbeaten so far this year with two games remaining. Please remember the spring sports meeting is being held on February 24th at 5:00 P.M.. We look forward to seeing everyone the rest of the season and hoping for terrific end to the winter season.

Message from Guidance

“A person is an entity of a sort to which the only proper and adequate way to relate is love.”
― John Paul II, Love and Responsibility

With the second semester in full swing, students will focus on maintaining their study schedules and continuing to practice good study habits.  If semester exam results or first semester grades were not what was hoped for, students should make adjustments in their study habits and spend time with teachers and peer tutors to improve results.

Midyear Reports, including seniors’ new transcripts and updated GPAs were uploaded to the Common Application. Seniors met with Mr. Tanguay at the end of January to discuss their college applications, and to encourage them as they make their college decisions. We regularly encourage seniors to search and apply for outside scholarships to help finance their college expenses. The bulletin board in the main hallway has a list of the scholarship awards some local organizations are offering.  This information is emailed to parents of seniors on a regular basis. Online scholarship search sites such as fastweb.com and collegeboard.com are excellent sources for free money. Your own town’s public high school and library may also have information regarding outside scholarships. Scholarship money is out there. Go get yours!

Freshmen reviewed their first semester report cards and discussed second semester strategies for continued, or improved academic progress. As always, students were encouraged to see their teachers for extra help sessions.  This “free tutoring” is a tremendous benefit of our school, and is a great way for students to achieve academic success.

During February, Juniors will continue meeting to plan and prepare for the SAT, and refine their college searches.  On February 12, at 7:00 PM, parents of juniors are invited to a Guidance Session on Standardized Testing

All students are encouraged to work closely with teachers to develop strategies for success in the second semester and beyond.  Regularly practicing good study habits and attending teachers’ extra help sessions will have a positive impact on students’ academic progress.

Guidance Activities:


2/12/20 – Junior Parents – Standardized Testing Session, 7:00 PM, Library

2/17/20  – 2/21/20  – February vacation.

Please feel free to direct your guidance questions to:

Mark Tanguay, Director of Guidance

Maureen Hufnagle, Guidance Counselor