Kennedy-Kenrick Catholic High School
|Kennedy-Kenrick Catholic High School|
|250 East Johnson Highway
Norristown, Pennsylvania, (Montgomery County) 19401
|Motto||"United in Faith, Hope, and Love with Christ Forever"|
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic|
|Closed||June 10, 2010|
|School district||Archdiocese of Philadelphia|
|President||Rev. Alan Okon|
|Principal||Sr. Janet Purcell|
|Average class size||20|
|Color(s)||Royal Blue and Athletic Gold|
|Athletics||Freshman, Junior Varsity, Varsity|
|Mascot||Wally the Wolverine|
|Accreditation||Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools|
|Campus Ministry||Daniel McCarthy|
|Guidance Director||Ms. Louise Eckert|
|Athletic Director||Sandy Nadwodny|
Kennedy-Kenrick Catholic High School was established through a merger of Archbishop Kennedy High School in Conshohocken and Bishop Kenrick High School in Norristown, and opened in September 1993. It ultimately served the communities of Andorra, Blue Bell, Conshohocken, Lafayette Hill, Norristown, Roxborough, as well as many parts of Eastern and Northern Montgomery County and the communities on the Philadelphia/Montgomery line. Open enrollment, which was established throughout the Philadelphia Archdiocesan School System in September, 1993, admitted students from all the Philadelphia/Montgomery County areas.
Father John P. Paul, who served as faculty from 1993-1997, was placed on administrative leave as a pastor and then resigned in 2013 following allegations that he had sexually abused minors over 40 years ago during his time as a seminarian at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. Paul was ordained a priest in 1972. Following Paul's resignation, the archdiocese received multiple new allegations that the priest had sexually abused minors over 30 years ago, which were reported to the appropriate district attorney's office. 
Although Kennedy-Kenrick was a smaller school, the effectiveness of their programs were not affected in any way. The Field Hockey team won the PCL Championships (2008) after knocking out first place rival Archbishop Carroll.
Fall Sports: Football, Boys Soccer, Boys Cross Country, Golf, Field Hockey, Girls Soccer, Volleyball, Girls Cross Country
Winter Sports: Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball, Wrestling, Bowling
Spring Sports: Baseball, Softball, Boys Lacrosse, Girls Lacrosse, Boys Out-door Track, Girls Out-door Track
On January 28, 2008, the archdiocese announced that a new high school in Upper Providence Township, Montgomery County would replace Kennedy-Kenrick and St. Pius X High School in Lower Pottsgrove Township.
The new school, Pope John Paul II High School, is a 209,000-square-foot (19,400 m2) state-of-the-art facility with the latest 21st century technology. The school opened in September 2010.
The Final Year
The final academic school year for Kennedy-Kenrick started on September 9, 2009 with Freshmen Orientation. Throughout the year, the faculty and staff created special activities on the 17th of every month, as the 2009-2010 year marks the school's 17th and final year in operation. There are also plans underway for final celebrations of the school's rich heritage and legacy.
The last senior class celebrated its Baccalaureate Liturgy on Monday, June 1, 2010 at Visitation B.V.M. Parish in Norristown, PA.
Graduation for the last senior class of Kennedy-Kenrick, the Class of 2010, took place on Tuesday, June 2, 2010 at Gwynedd-Mercy College.
The official last day of school for current freshmen, sophomores, and juniors was Thursday, June 10, 2010 and was celebrated with a special liturgy celebrating the legacies of the four schools that led to Kennedy-Kenrick.
Hail Kennedy-Kenrick Catholic High
With pride and loyalty, we dedicate our hearts. We come together seeking truth, ‘midst friend-ships’ lasting bonds. We learn to live each day, in faith, hope and love. Hail Kennedy-Kenrick Catholic High, our school, our pride.
We fly the blue and gold, our pledge of unity. God’s providence, we know will give the strength to help succeed. With courage we join hands, together all as one. Hail Kennedy-Kenrick Catholic High, our school, our pride.
Our spirit is alive, its message clear and strong. A heritage from years gone by will thrive each dusk to dawn. The future years will hear our song of victory. Hail Kennedy-Kenrick Catholic High, our school, our pride.
Class of 2010 Graduation
The following is from a June 3, 2010 article by The Times Herald:
They were empowered to write the final chapter of a great school — and they did.
That was the accolade Sister Janet Purcell, principal of Kennedy-Kenrick Catholic High School, rendered to the school’s final graduating class at the outset of a bittersweet commencement ceremony on Wednesday morning.
Before an audience of about 400 crowded into the Griffin Complex gymnasium at Gwynedd Mercy Catholic College, Purcell told the 142 members of the Class of 2010 that they had “defined this year with special memories, friendships and successes. You completed the journey with dignity, and I thank you.”
Commencement began with the national anthem sung by 2010 graduate Carly Grace Bello and a touching processional nod to the school’s forebears, with alumni carrying the flags of St. Patrick’s, Bishop Kenrick, St. Matthew’s and Archbishop Kennedy schools, as well as that of Kennedy-Kenrick.
As master of ceremonies, Joseph Lynn, Kennedy-Kenrick’s assistant principal for student affairs, explained, St. Patrick’s High School opened in 1895 and was closed in 1955 to make way for Bishop Kenrick.
St. Matthew’s ultimately evolved into Archbishop Kennedy, which merged with Bishop Kenrick in 1993 to form Kennedy-Kenrick.
The 17th and last class to graduate from Kennedy-Kenrick was asked by Purcell to remember that the school was a “community united in faith and love with Christ.”
The literary thread continued as Meghan McNair, salutatorian, echoed Purcell’s remarks, saying her class had been given “the task to complete the 17-year-long story of Kennedy-Kenrick Catholic High School,” as each student contributed immeasurably to the school’s culture, through everything from academics to student government.
The most important element of the hypothetical book, McNair noted, was the spine, which was “formed by faith, hope and love.”
With this backbone, rooted in a love of Christ, the school was able to grow, with the unifying piece being the love shared throughout each chapter, she stated.
Following Louise Eckert’s announcing of the names of 45 students who had been awarded scholarships, the Reverend Joseph P. McFadden, Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia, encouraged the graduates to make the world a place that God intended, and live with integrity.
“This world needs your generous response to Christ,” McFadden said.
He thanked the parents for their commitment to giving their children a Catholic education and for the difficult sacrifices they have made.
The most dynamic farewell came courtesy of Shohom Basuthakur, class valedictorian.
“You’re off to great places,” he told his classmates. “Today we finally leave behind our beloved blue and gold and step foot in the real world.”
Basuthakur said that the true value of a Kennedy-Kenrick education couldn’t be measured by test scores, but in the spiritual transformation of the graduates and their positive influence on society.
Although the Class of 2010 will not have a school to revisit, the graduates will always have the community they left behind, he stated.
The backbone of the school “was never 250 East Johnson Highway ... it was the people inside the school. The spirit, hope and love that define Kennedy-Kenrick Catholic High School will live on in each and every student.”
Notes and references
- MSA-CSS. "MSA-Commission on Secondary Schools". Retrieved 2009-05-23.
- KKCHS. "School History". Kennedy-Kenrick Catholic High School website. Retrieved 2007-05-11.
- http://catholicphilly.com/2013/12/news/local-news/northeast-philadelphia-pastor-who-had-resigned-now-suspended/. Missing or empty
- Bentman, Hilary (2008-01-29). "Catholic high schools to be built". The Intelligencer. Calkins Media, Inc. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Hefler, Jan. "Camden Diocese plans for new high school." Philadelphia Inquirer. June 18, 2008. A01.