JPII Transition to Independent Status Now Official

John Paul II Catholic High School (JPII) has officially transitioned from a diocesan school to an independent, diocesan-approved, college preparatory Catholic private high school effective Thursday, July 1, 2021. Diocese of Raleigh Bishop Luis Rafael Zarama and Superintendent of Catholic Schools Lytia Reese previously announced the transition on January 22, 2021. This change, which was prompted by the recent growth and success of the school, enables the school to continue to flourish by maintaining and expanding investment beyond the diocese’s ability to do so in the previous structure.

The leadership of the school includes Mr. Richard and Mrs. Colleen Balot, a nine-person board of directors, and Mrs. Katie Stanley who will serve as principal. The Balots became involved in JPII when Mr. Balot was on the exploratory committee and a founding board member of the board of directors for JPII. Since then, both of them have shared their time, talents, and treasure to grow JPII, investments which have been integral to JPII becoming the fastest-growing private high school in eastern North Carolina. Some of those investments include $2M in tuition assistance, ownership of the entire school campus, and numerous facility enhancements. The Balots have set up JPII as a 501(c)3 nonprofit as part of their philanthropic commitment to Greenville and the Catholic community. Mrs. Balot and their four children are members of the Catholic Church. Mr. Balot will serve as the president of JPII for the 2021-2022 school year and will report to the board.

All 501(c)3 nonprofits have a board of directors and the following people have been appointed to serve as board members for the independent school:

  • Dr. Tom Ruffolo (chair), practicing physician
  • Dr. Kimberly Alford, emergency physician for ECU Physicians
  • Dr. Patricia Anderson, professor and chairperson in the ECU Department of Elementary and Middle Grades Education
  • Mrs. Caroline Blick, active community volunteer
  • Mr. PJ Connelly, mayor of the City of Greenville
  • Mr. Terrence Copper, owner and operator of The Premier Sports Academy
  • Dr. Mark Dellasega, retired physician
  • Dr. Amy Gross McMillan, chair of the ECU Department of Physical Therapy and alumni parent

Mrs. Katie Stanley, who has spent the last seven years in Catholic education at Saint Peter and JPII, has returned to JPII as the principal. Stanley is certified as a NC principal and holds a master of arts in school administration from the Reich School of Education at Appalachian State University where she was the recipient of the Jerome H. Melton Scholarship for Teaching and School Administration. During her 15 years in education, she has held numerous leadership positions including chairing departments, serving on school improvement teams, and as director of student life at JPII from 2016-2019. In 2017, she participated in the Diocese of Raleigh Leadership Academy and the Cardinal Gibbons High School Educator Leadership Conference.