For generations, Catholic education has been a force for good in our South Sound community, championing academic excellence for a higher purpose: the betterment of our world.
Our region is home to several Catholic K-8 schools and a Catholic University. St. Martin's High School educated South Sound students until 1974 and St. Placid's High School until 1985. Their closure left a gap in the educational continuum, and families felt that loss.
In the Spring of 2004, Cecilia Brennan, founding president of the JPII Board of Directors, began a 6 year process to resurrect the tradition of Catholic secondary education in our community. Together with a small but committed group of individuals, Ms. Brennan began the rigorous process of informational meetings, feasibility studies, leadership development and, of course, fundraising.
In September 2007, the School's Board of Directors selected "Pope John Paul II" as the School's patron and namesake. They hired founding principal Ron Edwards and founding faculty member Therese Allin to develop a rigorous college preparatory curriculum deeply imbued with the charism of John Paul II.
In 2010, Pope John Paul II High School opened its doors to its inaugural classes--20 freshman and sophomore students from throughout the South Puget Sound. With great courage and tireless energy, these student leaders fielded the School's first volleyball and basketball teams and cheer squad. They established a jazz band and published a yearbook and school newspaper. They served as the school’s greatest ambassadors, leading tour after tour of the school facility and engaging with donors, volunteers and prospective students with great pride and poise. They reached out to the greater community, serving the poor and disenfranchised in venues throughout the region and launched a community-wide drive to support an impoverished school in Tanzania. All the while JPII's inaugural classes maintained a campus-wide GPA greater than 3.4.
Every day, JPII's students validate the mission of the School: to develop young men and women who are intellectually strong, spiritually alive, and committed to serving others.
September 2010: Pope John Paul II High School begins educating students in space generously donated by St. Michael Parish, Olympia.
Fall of 2010: JPII fields its first women's volleyball and men's basketball teams and cheer squad.
October 2010: JPII establishes its first student jazz band.
January 2011: JPII opens the doors of its new facility, a renovated firehouse in Lacey, Washington.
April 2011: JPII's History Team qualifies for and competes in the National History Bowl and Bee in Washington DC.
May 1, 2011: The JPII community joyfully celebrates the beatification of the School's namesake, Pope John Paul II.
May 2011: JPII students publish their first yearbook and online newspaper.
June 2011: JPII's inaugural classes complete their first academic year, with a campus-wide, average GPA exceeding 3.4.
September 2011: JPII opens its second academic year with an enrollment more than double its inaugural year.
September 2011: JPII fields its first cross country team and establishes its first student choir.
November 2011: JPII students establish the first student body government.
April 2012: For the second year in a row, JPII's History Team competes in the National History Bowl and Bee in Washington DC.
April 2012: JPII honors its first National Merit Scholar.
March 2013: JPII fields its first baseball and fast pitch teams.
April 2013: For the third straight year, JPII's History Team competes in the National History Bowl and Bee in Washington DC.
May 2013: JPII holds its first prom.
June 2013: JPII graduates its first senior class.
August 2016: JPII completes the renovation of its facility to meet the needs of its growing student body, adding two general purpose classrooms, a performing arts classroom, a second science lab and increasing the commons space.