The Blue & Gold

Head of School Message

One Week Countdown

Welcome to the new school year, and welcome to the new format of The Blue & Gold. Previously, The SFXP Currents and the JPII Insider were created separately and published in different formats. Now, each month you will receive an on-line letter from me highlighting matters of interest to our whole school and links to the SFXP Currents and the JPII Insider. The SFXP Currents and JPII Insider will continue to provide the information you are accustomed to receiving, but in a digital format where families can more easily see information and events pertaining to the middle school and high school (SFXP Currents will no longer be printed and sent home). Hope you like it!

It has been a good, productive summer. New fiber-optic cabling will greatly enhance the speed and reliability of the wireless network in both the SFXP and JPII buildings. The SFXP first floor is appreciably brighter due to new floor tiling and improved lighting. Currently, the sidewalk is being extended down High School Road with the benefit of new drainage (should eliminate the mini-lake at the rear of the SFXP building). We’ve created a JPII TV studio in Room 105 and the St. John Paul II statue is receiving some TLC. As always, the maintenance staff has worked hard to clean and repair our buildings and grounds.

Plans are in place for curricular improvements. SFXP Latin will migrate to Grade 8 reading, which has been assigned an additional two days per cycle. AP Seminar is ready to launch, thus beginning the AP Capstone program for high school students. Principles of Engineering, newly offered this year, is ready to go.

The strength of our school is clarity of mission and our caring, committed staff. This year, we welcome eight new staff members.

  • Mr. Nicholas Christian joins the faculty teaching two classes of English 11. Mr. Christian is currently obtaining his M.A. in creative writing and is a veteran member of the Lions football staff.
  • Mrs. Stephanie Fox begins in August as our JPII receptionist. Mrs. Fox knows our school well as an SFXP graduate and as the sister of Nick Glaser, ‘17.
  • Mr. Abraham Kane is a graduate of Franciscan University, earning two Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Theology and Catechetics.  During the last two years, Mr. Kane served as a missionary teacher at Our Lady of Mount Carmel High School in Belize. He will teach grade seven religion and grade eight religion.
  • Ms. Jenna LaPerriere will teach Spanish as a temporary substitute for Mrs. Drane, who will begin the year on maternity leave. Ms LaPerriere has taught at New Bedford High School.
  • Mrs. Elena Mytarkina assumes leadership of the JPII French program. Mrs. Mytarkina is an experienced French teacher who is relocating from Connecticut. Additionally, Mrs. Mytarkina is an AP Russian language reader.
  • Mrs. Melissa Pascarelli will serve as our grade five geography teacher. Mrs. Pascarelli is a member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, where she serves as a grade five religious education instructor.  Her daughter, Ava, is a seventh grade student at SFXP.
  • Mr. Mark Pumphrey, a veteran teacher from schools such as Notre Dame Academy and BC High, comes on board teaching physics and chemistry.
  • Mrs. Laurie Uguccioni, while not new to us as a Director or accompanist, now joins the faculty teaching grade five and grade six music.

Often, in our busy adult lives, we wish we had more time for relaxed learning. This year, we are pleased to offer a special opportunity for parents and friends of the school. Dr. Marc LePain,  Professor of Theology, Assumption College will present adult learning conversations for friends, parents, grandparents of St. John Paul II High School & St. Francis Xavier Preparatory School. Dr. LePain is an engaging teacher and friend of JPII & SFXP. In order to plan this opportunity best, please take the following brief survey.

In closing, a favorite saint of mine is St. Clare of Assisi, whose feast day is August 11. As we turn to our year together, let us offer this blessing for all of our students, taken from St. Clare’s second letter to Blessed Agnes of Prague:


What you hold may you always hold.

What you do, may you always do and never abandon.

But with swift pace, light step and unswerving feet,

so that even your steps stir up no dust,

Go forward, the spirit of our God has called you.


Thank you for all you do for St. John Paul II High School & St. Francis Xavier Preparatory School!

Christopher W. Keavy, Head of School