A Message from the Principal

As I write this monthly update, I look at my calendar and realize it is May 1.  Our seniors are feeling such mixed blessings as they begin the end of their days at JPII and make the transition to the next step in their lives.  We have worked hard to prepare them well and I know in their hearts they will always be Lions. Thankfully there are many memories still left to make.  Senior parents, please watch for invitations and updates for the many senior events to come.

Each year, I think our Spring tradition, “Clash of the Classes” could not get any better. This year all of our classes came together in the spirit of unity and teamwork. Each class brought different gifts but ultimately the juniors came out on top.

Come and enjoy our production of West Side Story, May 9-11.  Our performing arts and technical theater students have been rehearsing and preparing for months.  The music, dancing and stage sets are exciting and I know that our students will be pleased to see a packed audience.

Continue to check the weekly Blue and Gold for upcoming events.  It is a busy time of year at JPII and I hope to see you at as many of these events as possible.  God bless, and thank you for all that you do to make JPII such a special place.

Posted in Insider, May 2019, Message from the Principal | Leave a comment

Clash of the Classes Re-Cap

This year’s Clash of the Classes was a great success! The Junior Class pulled out a close victory over the Seniors. This was the last Student Life event for our graduating seniors. It’s been a great four years, Class of 2019!

Posted in Insider, May 2019, Student Life | Leave a comment

A Message from the Principal

Today marks the beginning of the fourth quarter and I can not believe that the year has gone so quickly.  It has been an excellent year to date and with each passing day, I observe your sons and daughter growing academically, spiritually and in kindness.  Just yesterday, I watched as three of our seniors shared their faith with our International students, and in the cafeteria, upperclassmen taking the freshman under their wings.  

In my recent letters, I have updated you on important and exciting curriculum updates.  This month I will keep it light and focus on the many end of year activities and celebrations.  These events contribute to our school culture and sense of “JPII belonging” and I encourage our families and students to participate in as many as possible.  GlitterGala auction, Community Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday, Junior and Senior Prom, Spring Musical, Clash of the Classes, Senior Week and the list goes on. I hope to see you at many of these.

As always, I am grateful for your support of St. John Paul II High School.  In particular, your flexibility with our athletic programs. With so many of our facilities off campus, I know it requires patience and an extra time commitment.  This year only the softball team is playing on campus as McKeon Park has undergone extensive renovations.

Happy Spring and thank you for all that you do to make St. John Paul II High School such a special place.

Posted in April 2019, Insider, Message from the Principal | Comments Off on A Message from the Principal

Busy Season in the Guidance Office

We are the Easter people and Hallelujah is our song! -St. John Paul II

Those words of St. John Paul II are as true now as they were when he spoke them.  Saint John Paul II also encourages us to  “Let yourselves be taken over by the light of Christ and spread that light wherever you are.”  Each day we try to live these words and encourage our students to do the same!

Throughout April and May, guidance meetings are focused on encouraging students to finish this year strong and planning for next year.  Freshmen, sophomores and juniors have met individually with guidance staff to make 2019-20 course selections. The course selection sheets have been brought home for parents to review and approve. Signed course selection sheets, along with any Course Override requests, are due back to Guidance by April 10. Applications for Advanced Placement courses are due on April 10 as well. Throughout May course schedules will be built and any conflicts will be resolved.

AP exams will be held May 6-17. These are national exam dates, set by the College Board.

April 1 marks the start of the 4th quarter of the 2018-19 school year.  Where does the time go?!?! Throughout the 4th quarter of the school year, all students are encouraged to check online regularly to keep track of their academic progress.  Be sure to follow-up with teachers on any missing homework or assignments. Start now to organize tests, quizzes, homework to use when you study for your finals.

Juniors are working on their college searches. Students who plan to visit colleges over April vacation should be sure to register for information sessions and tours at the colleges they will be visiting. Registering for and attending these events is considered a “demonstration of interest” on the part of the student and can make a difference when applying to colleges.  A Resume Writing Session was presented by Mrs. Hufnagle. These resumes will be used by Mrs. Hufnagle and teachers to write letters of recommendation to go along with students’ college applications.  All juniors should submit a copy of their resumes to Mrs. Hufnagle before the end of May. By the end of the school year, juniors should ask two teachers to write letters of recommendation for their college applications. This request should be done in person. Once the teacher agrees to write the letter, the student should give the teacher a copy of their resume to the teachers. The Guidance Office has resources for students to use to prepare for college visits and interviews.

On May 15, we will host a College Admissions Panel for juniors and their parents. Admissions Officers from 4 colleges will be with us to provide an “inside look” into the college admissions process. This event will take place from 7:00 – 9:00 PM.

Seniors will meet with Guidance to discuss their college choices and plans. April is a good time to visit first, second and third choice schools prior to making final decisions.  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 some listings and applications available in our Guidance Office. Scholarship money is out there.  Go get yours!

Guidance Activities:


4/5/19 – is the deadline to apply for the May 4 SAT. Go to www.collegeboard.org to register.

4/3/19 – AP Night – Guidance Evening – Advanced Placement Course Information:
This session is recommended for parents and students who plan to take an AP course in the 2019-2020 school year. We will review the AP Program at JPII, including the available courses, the process by which students are recommended for AP classes, the scheduling procedure, student responsibilities, as well as test ordering and payment requirements.  We will have teachers available to discuss the AP Capstone Program, AP Seminar, AP Research, and AP Computer Science Principles.  7:00 P.M. JPII Library

4/10/19 – Course selections sheets, AP applications, override requests reviewed and signed by parent, due back to Guidance.

4/14 – 4/20 – April vacation


5/6/ – 5/10 – AP Exam Week 1

5/13 – 5/17 – AP Week 2

5/4/19 – SAT

5/15/19 – Guidance Meeting for juniors and parents – College Admissions Panel – 7:00 – 9:00 PM

5/3/19 – is the deadline to register for the June 1, 2019 SAT.  Go to www.collegeboard.org to register.

5/27/19 – Memorial Day – No school

Please feel free to direct your guidance questions to:

Mark Tanguay, Director of Guidance

Maureen Hufnagle, Guidance Counselor

Posted in April 2019, Guidance, Insider | Comments Off on Busy Season in the Guidance Office

Something to Look Forward to…

On March 8, over 60 JPII students participated in March Madness! Students played cornhole, Kam Jam, Madden, Mario Kart, Smash Bros., and more while eating pizza and hanging out with friends. The event was a great success.
In April, students can look forward to Clash of the Classes on the 26th. Classes will compete in quiz bowl, tug of war, musical chairs, and many more events. Every year this event brings out the best of the student body. Mark your calendars!
Posted in April 2019, Insider, Student Life | Comments Off on Something to Look Forward to…

Choir Tour 2019: New York City! A Journal of our Days

A Journal of our Days

Wednesday, March 13
We began our tour at St. Pius X School in Yarmouth, performing a full concert for all of their students.  Mrs. Daily, their Principal, commented that she knew 20 students who were alums of St. Pius X School!  After our concert, we had lunch with their students, and even had a bit of recess fun before traveling to New York on our coach bus!

Thursday, March 14
We were up early, and on our way to Immaculate Conception School and Church, in Tuckahoe, NY, were we performed for their large school (over 100 years old!).  We met Father Sorgie, the pastor, who was Mr. Fish’s teacher back in the seminary.  After a delicious lunch provided by the parish, we were off to New York, for a Broadway Dance Workshop.  There, we learned from Bethany Moore (who has taught us twice before–she was in the cast of Pippin, and recently choreographed West Side Story) and Lauryn Ciardullo (from the cast of West Side Story and Aladdin).  This was an amazing opportunity to learn from Broadway’s best dancers!  After this, we had dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, and then saw Jeff Daniels and cast in To Kill a Mockingbird.  It was an amazing, engaging, and exciting dramatic performance!
Friday, March 15
We got to sleep in a bit, because today was our big, full concert performance at St. Patrick’s Cathedral!  When we arrived, Mass was almost finished (they have over 100 Masses every week!), and Michael Hey, their Associate Principal Organist, was ready to run through music with Mr. Fish.  We had an amazing concert for an hour at the Cathedral, and took lots of pictures and video (look for them on Facebook!).  We were surprised by how many people stopped to listen to us during our performance!  After our concert, we had an amazing, 8 course Italian dinner at Carmines!  Then, we saw Kiss, Me Kate, by Cole Porter, on Broadway, with Kelly O’Hara and Corbin Bleu….It was a dazzling performance with multiple standing ovations throughout the show! (Go see this one, if you can!)
Saturday, March 16
Our first tour stop today was singing for Rosary Hill Home, in Hawthorne, NY.  We try to sing here, every year, because it is a beloved stop.  This is a cancer hospice home, run by the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne (foundress Rose Hawthorne, daughter of Nathaniel, became Mother Alphonsa).  This was a beautiful concert for all present, many of whom were brought into the performance in their beds.  The sisters even square danced to our John Denver Medley!   After our performance, we returned to our hotel for some rest, and an “uplifting experience” that concluded with a pizza party.  Then, we were off to “defy gravity” again by seeing Broadway’s Wicked!
Sunday, March 17
We were up early again, traveling across Manhattan to Holy Family Church, the Mission to the United Nations, where we sang for Mass.  Then, we traveled back to Cape Cod, singing all along the way on the bus (this is really true)….We “Didn’t Stop Believing” all the way home to High School Road!
This was a blessed tour, and we were so happy to be able to share our music with so many people!
Posted in April 2019, Fine Arts, Insider, Performing Arts | Comments Off on Choir Tour 2019: New York City! A Journal of our Days

JPII Student Practices Good Citizenship

Congratulations to senior Luke Bagley, who was named the grand prize “Good Citizen” winner by the Captain Joshua Gray-Jonathan Hatch Chapter Cape Cod DAR of the Daughters of the American Revolution National Headquarters.

The ceremony honored members of the Class of 2019 from all Cape Cod high schools, who had been nominated as Good Citizens. Luke wrote an exceptional essay on the importance of practicing unity and civility despite political differences in order to preserve and promote the mission of our nation. Luke received commendations, an American flag which had been flown over the U.S. Capitol in his honor, and a $500.00 prize. Congratulations, Luke! Click here to read Luke’s essay.

This is the second year in a row that a JPII student has won the Grand Prize!  Kali Tanguay was the Good Citizen winner last year.

Posted in April 2019, Insider, Student and Staff Accolades | Comments Off on JPII Student Practices Good Citizenship

Successful Alumni in the News

Click here to read why JPII Alum, Ben Johnson, was awarded the Jackson W. Goss Prize in Entrepreneurship.

Posted in Alumni News, April 2019, Insider | Comments Off on Successful Alumni in the News

Ecuador Travelers 2019

Though Thanksgiving seems a long ways off, it’s time to start thinking about Ecuador Travelers 2019.  During the month of April, Mr. Lynch will be distributing information and meeting with students who are interested in this years trip. The students will participate in the Rostro de Cristo (the Face of Christ) program which offers retreat experiences for young people immersing them in some of Ecuador’s poorest neighborhoods. Students will live among the poor of Arbolito and Monte Sinai and come to understand the reality of those who struggle to live each day.   In the parish, in the homes of neighbors, in schools and afterschool programs, the students will encounter the face of Christ in those they meet.   The trip will take place during Thanksgiving week and is open to rising juniors and seniors. A meeting for interested families will be held on April 25 at 6:00 PM.

Posted in April 2019, Campus Ministry, Insider | Comments Off on Ecuador Travelers 2019

Santos Stepping Down as AD

article written by Steve Derderian, Cape Cod Times

Mark Santos confirmed Wednesday that he is stepping down as St. John Paul II’s athletic director when the school year ends June 30. Santos has been the athletic director since the 2015-16 school year and previously coached the varsity baseball team to three MIAA Division 4 state titles between 2014-16. “He’s brought a level of excellence as a coach and AD that’s hard to find,” said Christopher Keavy, Head of School for JPII and St. Francis Xavier Preparatory School.

Santos’ wife, Amy Santos, is also stepping down as the school’s athletics administrative assistant. Mark Santos said the decision was based on family reasons and to spend more time running his insurance companies. “I felt this was the best time to move forward,” Mark Santos told the Cape Cod Times. “I felt good about where we’re at. We’ve accomplished a lot throughout the years.”

Keavy said he has accepted the decision and has posted the athletic director job opening. He said he’ll accept applications over the next three to four weeks and that the goal is that the search committee will select a new athletic director by April 30.  The incoming AD will be tasked with managing the athletic programs for both schools, Keavy said.  Amy Santos has also served as a school receptionist and ran the school store. She is often involved with scheduling process, plus organizing the buses for teams.  “She’s beloved by students,” Keavy said of Amy Santos. “She’s been a big part of our school.”  Athletics at JPII has a fairly short history since the school was opened in 2007.  Mark Santos started the JPII baseball program, which began play in 2011. He led the Lions to 148 wins over seven varsity seasons, including four state title appearances. Originally going by Pope John Paul II, the Lions won three consecutive Division 4 state baseball titles from 2014-16 and six Cape & Islands League titles from 2012-2017.  Santos also coached his son, Matt Santos, during that championship span. Santos is a senior infielder at NCAA Division III Amherst College. His daughter, Allison, attends Villanova University and will be studying abroad. “It was important to be available [for them],” Santos said.

When former AD John Muldoon announced he was stepping down in 2015, Santos was chosen among over 20 applicants to take the new position.  “Muldoon established the culture, and Santos took it to another level,” Keavy said.  Santos has hired a handful of coaches over his tenure, most recently boys basketball coach Rich Dalrymple. He also hired baseball coach Ryan Soares and football coach Matt Marshall.  Aside from baseball, some other teams have risen to prominence in recent years.  The boys hockey team won its first MIAA tournament game last month and has won 27 games combined in the past two seasons. The Lions finished 16-4 in the 2017-18 season.  Girls hockey is also starting to emerge. Santos helped facilitate the beginning of a school club team that played its first games this past winter.  In 2017, the football team finished 8-2 and won the Catholic Central Small by going 7-0. The Lions went undefeated into the Division 8 South Sectional semifinals but were eliminated by eventual state champion Millis.  Santos isn’t ruling out a future return to coaching and athletic administration but said he’s happy to let somebody else take over.  “It’s time to step away and catch my breath,” Santos said. “It’s been a whirlwind nine years, but I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Posted in April 2019, Athletics, Insider | Comments Off on Santos Stepping Down as AD