St. John Paul II Catholic Secondary School

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St. John Paul II Catholic Secondary School
St. John Paul II Catholic Secondary School.JPG
685 Military Trail

, ,
Coordinates43°47′23″N 79°11′58″W / 43.789829°N 79.199549°W / 43.789829; -79.199549Coordinates: 43°47′23″N 79°11′58″W / 43.789829°N 79.199549°W / 43.789829; -79.199549
School typeCatholic High school
IB World school
MottoLaudetur Jesus Christus
(Praised be Jesus Christ)
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
School boardToronto Catholic District School Board
SuperintendentShawna Campbell
Area 8
Area trusteeNancy Crawford
Ward 12
School number531 / 751537
PrincipalMichael Wetzel
Enrollment1352 (2017-18)
Colour(s)Navy Blue, Silver, White             
Team namePope Panthers
NewspaperOff The Wall
ParishSt. Thomas More
Specialist High Skills MajorSports, Business, Health and Wellness
Program FocusInternational Baccalaureate
Extended French
Broad-based Technology
Hospitality and Tourism

St. John Paul II Catholic Secondary School (occasionally known as SJPII, St. John Paul II, SJPIICSS, JPII, or in short, Pope); known as Blessed Pope John Paul II Catholic Secondary School and Pope John Paul II Catholic Secondary School before the beatification of John Paul II is a publicly funded high school in West Hill and Seven Oaks neighbourhoods of Scarborough, which is the eastern part of Toronto, Ontario, Canada part of the Toronto Catholic District School Board. The motto for Pope is Laudetur Jesus Christus which translates as "Praised be Jesus Christ".



John Paul II is considered by some authorities to have helped to end Communist rule in his native Poland and eventually all of Europe.[1] John Paul II worked to improve the Catholic Church's relations with Judaism, Islam, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion. He was criticised by progressives for upholding the Church's teachings against artificial contraception and the ordination of women, and by traditionalists for his support of the Church's Second Vatican Council and its reforms.

He visited 129 countries during his pontificate, beatified 1,340 people, and canonised 483 saints, more than in all of the preceding five centuries. He named many cardinals, consecrated or co-consecrated many bishops, and ordained many priests.[2] A stated goal of his papacy was to transform and reposition the Catholic Church, and "to place his Church at the heart of a new religious alliance that would bring together Jews, Muslims and Christians in a great [religious] armada".[3][4] On 19 December 2009, John Paul II was proclaimed venerable by his successor Benedict XVI; he was beatified on 1 May 2011 and canonised, together with John XXIII,[5][6] on 27 April 2014, Divine Mercy Sunday.[7]


In September 1955, the first high school in the area West Hill Collegiate Institute opened to serves the growing communities of West Hill, Guildwood and Highland Creek years after the end of World War II. Over the years, several catholic separate schools in the Metropolitan Separate School Board (later became the Toronto Catholic District School Board) were established: St. Martin De Porres and St. Ursula in 1964, St. Thomas More in 1968, St. Malachy in the 10 acre site in 1969, St. Edmund Campion in 1971, St. Bede in 1978, and Cardinal Leger in 1988. The adjacent Military Trail Public School was built in 1968.

Realizing the overcrowding in Cardinal Newman to the south and Francis Libermann to the north due to growing population of Roman Catholics in the West Hill area, the Metropolitan Separate School Board began establishing a high school within the boundaries of St. Thomas More Roman Catholic Church. On September 6, 1983, the MSSB established Pope John Paul II Catholic Secondary School with the first 135 students in twelve temporary, portable classrooms next to the closed St. Bede. Paul M. Howard served as its inaugural principal for the first four years. The student population doubled in 1984, as did the number of portable classrooms over the years.

By 1985, Pope began construction of the current physical structure accommodating 1,074 pupils with the first 12 classrooms. Until its completion in September 1988, the building now consists of the gymnasia, library, cafeteria, tech shops, and addition classrooms. Although Pope's current building was opened and blessed in early 1989, 23 portables were placed due to the growing student population.

The Board approved the renaming of the school to Blessed Pope John Paul II Catholic Secondary School on June 16, 2011, following John Paul II's beatification the previous month.[8] In June 2014 the board renamed the school to St. John Paul II Catholic Secondary School after John Paul II's canonization.[5][9][10]



New tracks built for Toronto 2015 Pan American Games

St. John Paul II sits in a 14-acre land once held by the former St. Bede. The facilities consists of a baseball diamond-like structure building with 41 classrooms, seven science laboratories, three gymnasia, a large library, a student services area, a drama room, two music rooms, a drafting room, two tech shops, and two art rooms as well as a 400m eight-lane track and athletic field regularly found in public secular collegiate schools. To meet demand for overcrowding, there are 13 portable classrooms in place. As of 2017-18 school year, there are 1352 students attending SJPII.

During the 2015 Pan American Games, St. John Paul II received a newly paved track and hosted the roller speed skating competition.


SJPII, a publicly funded separate high school, provides a religious studies program in each year. The school was accredited by the International Baccalaureate Organization in 2002 with its first class of IB Diploma students graduated in 2005. The school also provides gifted, cooperative education, and extended French programs, as well as English and French Writing Clinics, a peer helper program (P.A.S.S) and a Math Help Centre.

Student life[edit]

Various councils run the majority of SJPII's inter and extracurricular activities. These councils are the Executive Student Council (ESC), Safe Schools Council (SSC), DECA, and the Environmental Council. Following in their lead of student engagement are a multitude of clubs including the Health Action Team who runs the Breakfast Club. There is also a school newspaper by the name of "Off the Wall", that is published four times a year.[11]

Ninety percent of SJPII graduates go on to post-secondary education. About 1 in 20 graduates does so with a scholarship.[12]


As of 2018 the principal of SJPII is Michael Wetzel who previously attended the school from 1987-1992 and served as vice-principal from 2009-2011. Wetzel taught at Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School for several years.[13] From 2006 to 2013 Paul McAlpine was the principal and Louise Brighton the vice principal.

Notable students[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lenczowski,John. "Public Diplomacy and the Lessons of the Soviet Collapse", 2002
  2. ^ "Pope John Paul II". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  3. ^ Odone, CristinaCatholic Herald, 1991
  4. ^ Geller, UriThe Jewish Telegraph, 7 July 2000
  5. ^ a b "Report: Pope Francis Says John Paul II to Be Canonized April 27". National Catholic Register. 3 September 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-06.
  6. ^ "Popes John Paul II, John XXIII to be made saints: Vatican". Reuters. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
  7. ^ Povoledo, Elizabetta; Alan Cowell (2013-09-30). "Francis to Canonise John XXIII and John Paul II on Same Day". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2013-09-30.
  8. ^
  9. ^ TCDSB Policy Register School Names S.07
  10. ^,%202014/school%20name%20changes.pdf
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-11-02. Retrieved 2005-11-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ Official website Archived 2005-11-02 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-05-14. Retrieved 2014-06-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^

External links[edit]