Pope John Paul the Great Catholic High School (Virginia)

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Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School
17700 Dominican Drive
Dumfries, Virginia, (Prince William County), 22026
United States
Coordinates 38°34′0″N 77°17′15″W / 38.56667°N 77.28750°W / 38.56667; -77.28750Coordinates: 38°34′0″N 77°17′15″W / 38.56667°N 77.28750°W / 38.56667; -77.28750
Motto Veritas
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 2008
Authority Diocese of Arlington
Oversight Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia
Principal Sr. Mary Jordan Hoover, O.P.
Asst. Principal Mr. Shawn McNulty
Chaplain Rev. Bjorn Lundberg
Grades 912
Enrollment 610 (2013)
Average class size 20:1
Classes offered College Prep; Advanced, Honors, and AP
Campus size 40 acres (160,000 m2)
Color(s) Green, Black and White             
Mascot Wolf
Team name Wolfpack
Accreditation SACS[1]

Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School is a private, coeducational Catholic high school in Dumfries, Virginia led by the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia. As a diocesan school of the Diocese of Arlington, it is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

In 2012, it was named to the Cardinal Newman Society's Top 50 Catholic High Schools list.[2] It was placed on the list again in 2014.[3]

In 2013, it was chosen by the editors of Virginia Living Magazine at a 2013 Top Virginia School.


The school broke ground in September 2006 as the newest high school in the Diocese of Arlington with a construction cost of a state of the art facility at $60 million, funded by bonds, donations, and a capital campaign.[4] The school was built on 40 acres of land, valued at $14.5 million, that was given to the diocese.[4]

In October 2007, the Diocese announced it would be named after Pope John Paul II based on his emphasis on evangelization of young people and sanctity of life issues.[5] The school has a unique bioethics curriculum which is "designed to give students the background to understand the Catholic church's position on scientific advances."[6]

The school is led by the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, commonly known as the Nashville Dominicans, an order of Catholic sisters known for its adherence to Catholic doctrine, focus on interaction with students, and its growth at a time when other orders have grown more liberal and lost vocations.[4]

The newly constructed school opened to incoming 9th and 10th graders in August 2008.[7] The school's first graduating class graduated in 2011.[8] Graduates from the Class of 2012 and 2013 were accepted into a number of excellent universities, including Ivy League schools, military appointments, Catholic institutions, and all top Virginia schools. Combined, these students earned more than $12 million in academic scholarships to the universities of their choice.

In August 2013, the school opened with more than 600 students. The school is building up to an eventual capacity of 1,000 students.[6]

In MAY of 2014, it was announced that the name of the school would be changed to Saint John Paul the Great in honor of his canonization in April of the same year.

The school is unique in that it is the only high school in the U.S. to offer a 4-year Bioethics Curriculum, and have a unique House system. The school has 8 different Houses named after different Roman Catholic Saints. Houses compete against each other throughout the month to earn the title "House of the Month" and eventually, "House of the Year". Houses are a way to build smaller communities within the larger community so that everyone has a place to belong, and ways to get involved. For more information about the House System at John Paul the Great, please visit: http://www.jpthegreat.org/student-life/house-system/


The school offers 17 sports. In 2009, the varsity football team completed their second season with a record of 9-1 and was the first team to represent the school in a state playoff tournament.[9] The junior varsity boys basketball posted the first winning record for a basketball team with nine wins and three losses. In the 2010-2011 school year, both JV soccer and JV basketball went undefeated with soccer having an 11-0 season and basketball a 14-0 season. In 2012, John Paul the Great's boys track and field team won the Catholic State Championship, the first state championship won in the school's history. In 2014, the boys' track and field team won the Catholic State Championship again.

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