Saint John Paul II Academy is a Catholic college preparatory school in the Diocese of Palm Beach, following the tradition of Saint John Baptist De La Salle and the Brothers of the Christian Schools.
The school provides a rigorous academic curriculum designed to prepare students for success in college and in life. The faith-based learning community fosters excellence in all programs and enables the spiritual, academic, artistic and physical development of each student. Dedicated faculty and staff instill the Gospel values of tolerance, concern for the poor, justice, peace and responsibility while welcoming students of all beliefs and backgrounds.
Notable Academics and Extracurriculars
Last year, like years in the past, the school year was full of outstanding accomplishments by Saint John Paul II students and staff. In athletics, the girls’ soccer team won District Champion and competed in the Regional Championship game. The girls’ volleyball team won the District Championship and a total of 7 teams qualified for and competed in the Regional Tournament. Coaches Jeff Atkins (girls’ soccer) and Pete Graffeo (baseball) won Coach of the Year honors for their respective sports.
Artistically, our thespian troupe put on two performances – Twelve Angry Jurors in the Fall and Into the Woods in the Spring. Coordinated by faculty members, Ms. Gina Bentivegna and Mrs. Mary Forney, SJPII students hosted two Fine Arts Nights where students displayed artwork and performed musical selections for an audience of students and parents.
The Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. Students interested in careers in these fields are encouraged to join DECA. The club meetings provide opportunities to learn about leadership, management, and business through club activities and successful business leaders as guest speakers.
Saint John Paul II Academy has seen exceptional growth in the Robotics program. Under the supervision of faculty member, Mr. Adrian Stebbins, the number of students involved has more than quadrupled in less than five years.
The school has also partnered with Amerigo International, an organization which places international students in Catholic high schools in the United States. This year, we will have more than 20 students from 7 different countries.
Lastly, the school recently completed a 5-year process to become a formally sponsored ministry of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (Lasallian).
Individualized Attention Tailored to Each Student
Saint John Paul II Academy provides school counseling services to support students as they proceed through their academic journey. School counselors are an integral link in the educational system. They promote educational success by enhancing the development of academic skills, interpersonal skills and self-understanding. Because of their commitment to Catholic values, counselors work with students to help them recognize their God-given talents, and they encourage them to share these talents with others. School counseling services also educate students in decision making, problem solving, goal setting, self-esteem and educational occupational opportunities.
Counselors also assist students and their parents in the sometimes confusing, yet always exciting, college selection process. Help is available to complete applications for admission and write letters of recommendation. The College 101 program is designed to provide opportunities for families and students from all grades to discover new information on the college and university search and application process. Juniors and seniors have many opportunities to meet with representatives from the innumerable colleges and universities who regularly visit the school throughout the year. Counselors are also available to meet with students and their parents during the summer months for those who wish to get a head start on the college selection process.
Finally, the school has partnered with the Ray Dass Test Prep company to provide a comprehensive SAT preparation program, beginning in the ninth grade. Saint John Paul II Academy is the only school in Palm Beach County to offer the complete Ray Dass program.
Fostering of Spiritual Growth in Faculty and Students
According to Brother Gerard Rummery, FSC, a former General Councilor to the Brother Superior and Lasallian scholar, there are three doors of entry to the Lasallian world—faith, service, and community. The Lasallian Youth is a club dedicated to having students access the Lasallian charism through these doors. Club members assist in various service activities both inside of school and in our South Florida community in the tradition of John Baptist de La Salle.
In addition to school Masses and religion courses, the school also offers a retreat program for students to experience a sense of Christian community that is essential for religious education to take place. Attendance on the retreat days is required for freshmen, sophomores and juniors. Each retreat has a particular theme, and through prayer and discussion, is structured to help the students grow in their relationship with God through Jesus Christ. The retreats are also designed to help students grow in self-knowledge and to develop Christian community among their classmates.
A parent group gathers weekly in the school’s chapel on Tuesday mornings to pray for students, faculty, staff, and any special prayer requests and intentions. On the first Tuesday of each month, the parent group prays the rosary and a part of the weekly prayer is dedicated specifically to the parents’ children, by placing the class rosters on the altar.
Initiatives in Support of a Wholistic Education
Saint John Paull II Academy has a robust service program, which requires students to fulfill 25 service hours a year. At least six of the 25 hours accrued must be of direct service to the poor and marginalized.
Students collectively logged more than 12,000 of service during the 2018-19 school year. In early February, the National Honor Society sponsored a food packing event that packed more than 80,000 meals to be sent to families in need.
The school also has a local chapter of Best Buddies, which encourages students to be an advocate for individuals with an intellectual or developmental disability and provide them with a friend or a mentor. Best Buddies is the world's largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The Model United Nations group on campus introduces students to the world of diplomacy, negotiation, and decision making. At Model UN, students step into the shoes of ambassadors of countries that are members of the UN. They prepare draft resolutions, plot strategy, negotiate with supporters and adversaries, resolve conflicts, and navigate the UN’s rules of procedure – all in the interest of resolving problems that affect the world.
Why St. John Paull II Academy is Something Greater
“At Saint John Paul II Academy, we believe that education is not merely about imparting a series of skillsets, but rather to inspire each person to come into the fullness of his or her own potential, and to use that potential to make the world a better place.” - Edward B. Bernot, M.Ed., principal