The complete 2020-2021 academic calendar can always be found on our homepage as well as jp2highschool.com/calendar. You can subscribe to the main JPII and athletics calendars by visiting the Calendar page and using the URLs and instructions at the bottom of the page to add them to your iOS or Android device.
The 2020-2021 school year starts with Jump Into JPII! for all new students on Monday, August 17:
Click here for the complete 2020-2021 Supply List which includes general supplies for all students and supplies needed for specific courses.
Please print and fill out the following forms. You can mail them to the school or have your students turn them in at Jump Into JPII!
Fr. Magee is compiling a list of students who would like to help with parts of the Mass. If you would like to be in the choir, be a reader, and/or be an altar server (must be Catholic), please let him know by filling out the Mass Ministry Interest Form. If you have questions, you can email him at email@example.com.
A few changes have been made to the bell schedules. Assembly will now be held prior to 1st period. All versions of the bell schedules can be found here.
There will be a mandatory meeting via Zoom videoconference on Monday, August 3 at 6:30 p.m. for all parents of student-athletes who are interested in playing a sport during the 2020-2021 school year (student-athletes should watch as well). Youngs Physical Therapy and Sports Performance will introduce their sports medicine staff and go over important information for the upcoming athletic seasons. A link to access the Zoom meeting will be sent to all families a few days before the meeting.
Students will be responsible for their summer reading works as some of their first grades in the first quarter.
If you have placed a spirit wear order with E.B. Sports, please be aware that adidas did shut down during the pandemic which has caused a backup in fulfilling orders. Therefore, E.B. Sports may or may not have the item you ordered in the color and size you ordered in stock and therefore your order may be delayed.
11th grade parent Denise Donica has been making masks and has navy and gold fabrics to make masks for JPII Saints to show school spirit. They have yellow on the back and your choice of the fabrics in the photo on the front. Elastic straps will be adjustable. To place an order, email Mrs. Donica at firstname.lastname@example.org with the number(s) of the mask you would like. A donation is appreciated but not required ($8 has been a suggested amount, you can Venmo her at @Denise-Donica).
Summer workouts for Saints sports were scheduled to end today (July 26) and the dead period for winter and spring sports was scheduled to start tomorrow (July 27) to officially start the fall sports season. The NCISAA has pushed back the official start of the fall sports season to August 10 and therefore all sports are allowed to continue summer workouts until August 9. Please note that NCISAA requirements restrict the number of summer workout participants for some sports. Please contact the coach (contact information below) prior to attending a workout. The workout schedule is posted on the calendar and on jp2sports.com.
Clint Gibson returns to his native eastern North Carolina to teach science at JPII. Gibson spent the last three years teaching physics and engineering and serving as faculty advisor for the robotics club at Trinity Hall School in Tinton Falls, NJ. He has also taught computer science, math, and physics at Commonwealth Academy in Alexandria, VA.
Gibson said he chose to join JPII because he could feel that the school is a caring community dedicated to education. “Fundamentally I believe that education is how we build peaceful, functioning, and progressive societies. I derive great satisfaction from knowing I help bring others closer to understanding and pursuing their own ambitions,” Gibson said. As a science teacher, Gibson shares the JPII philosophy that in order to learn science you must do science. “I think that students gain the most from being able to ask questions and have the freedom to investigate for themselves, which is why I try to have my classes be as lab-based as possible to give students an authentic experience,” Gibson said.
Gibson earned both a bachelor of science in physics and aerospace engineering from NC State University, a master of science in theoretical physics from the University of Helsinki, and recently completed his master of science in science education through Montana State University. After realizing his vocation in education, he completed teacher licensing courses at the University of Virginia. Outside of school, he loves reading, gardening, and being outdoors camping and hiking. He also enjoys aviation and is a licensed private pilot.
Anita Koen is a national board-certified teacher in mathematics who recently retired from North Carolina public schools but does not wish to stop teaching. She comes to JPII after teaching at South Central High School for the past 14 years. In 2013, Koen was named Teacher of the Year at South Central and was a finalist for Pitt County Teacher of the Year. At JPII she looks forward to the “positive atmosphere, being able to get to know my students, and helping them to enjoy math. Or, at least, feel less anxious about learning math.”
Initially teaching was a backup plan for Koen. “I really thought computer programming was what I wanted to do,” she said. “After my graduation from college, I had an internship at NASA in Hampton, VA but quickly found that it was a lonely job. I decided to apply for a teaching job back home and taught for three years.” With her husband in the military, she was able to be a stay-at-home mom for the next 12 years until the early 1990s when she began teaching again. “It was at this time that I realized that teaching was more than just dispensing mathematical information. It was a way to influence young people and it became a calling for me,” Koen said. Teaching became so much more than just a backup plan for her. “I feel that God put me in the classroom and placed a calling on my life. I became a teacher to help students grow and reach their potential, both mathematically and in life.”
Koen does not want her students to leave her classroom with only mathematical skills. “I do not wish to create mathematical robots who can only reproduce mathematical processes,” she said. “I wish to create mathematical thinkers, who understand how and why math works. I like to do this through discourse, student-to-teacher and student-to-student. I like for students to see how math works in the real world and to see its relevance to their life.”
Koen holds a bachelor of arts in mathematics with an emphasis in education from Mary Baldwin College and a master of arts in education with a concentration in secondary mathematics from East Carolina University. She is married to SFC (Ret.) Jeff Koen and they have three adult daughters who are all married and 10 grandchildren. In her spare time, she loves to read, garden, exercise (walking and dancing especially), spend time at the beach, and spend time with her family.
From an early age, Zeke Zylis developed a love for learning about the Roman Catholic faith he was given through his parents, godfather, and priests. As he grew, his curiosity for the faith invited him into a relationship with Jesus Christ. It is this relationship with Christ and love of learning that has led him to teach theology at JPII.
Zylis is joining the JPII family because he is attracted to how the life of the community revolves around Jesus Christ. “I look forward to following where the Lord is challenging me to grow and continually forming me into who He wants me to be,” he said. Zylis first wanted to become a teacher while reflecting on the teachers in his life and how they formed him in the Christian values. “The first teachers are the parents; therefore, I believe teachers need to carry on the ideal Christian life from the home into the classroom. As a teacher, I cannot sit on my “high horse” pretending to know everything; I have to walk at their level and humble myself to allow for Christ to work.”
Zylis graduated from Catholic school in Florida and received his bachelor of arts in philosophy from St. John Vianney College Seminary. He is currently pursuing a master of arts in theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville. His parents, two younger sisters, and black lab Abby all live in Florida. In his free time, Zylis enjoys meeting new people, spending time with friends, and being outside either hiking, biking, or kayaking. He likes to end his day in silence with a holy hour, reading a book, or praying the rosary.
After five years of coaching at his alma mater Washington High School, Ralph Biggs has been named head coach for men’s basketball at John Paul II Catholic High School.
Biggs coached the Pam Pack women’s basketball team from 2015-2020 which also included a year as both the men’s and women’s coach after stepping in for a coach who resigned. His teams had winning seasons in four of the five years and made the state playoffs three straight years. He was named the 2A Eastern Plains Conference Coach of the Year in 2016.
After playing at Washington High, Biggs played Division I college basketball at Towson University where his 1,387 career points still ranks high on the list of all-time Tiger scorers. Biggs went on to play professional basketball for 16 years in Holland, Belgium, and Russia where he had a career scoring average of 15.1 points per game. During that time he was Dutch League MVP and Champion in 1999, Belgium League Champion in 2001 and 2002, Belgium Cup Champion in 2001 and 2003, and Belgium League and Playoff MVP in 2002.
Biggs was honored by Towson University in 2017 with an induction into their Athletics Hall of Fame.
Jessica James brings 15 years of cheerleading and coaching experience to JPII as the Saints new head cheerleading coach. Her coaching career started at Farmville Middle School but she was quickly recruited by her alma mater Farmville Central High School. James led the Jaguars cheer squad to historical success including back-to-back North Carolina High School Athletic Association State Championships in 2016 and 2017, the Cheer LTD National Championship, and the Eastern Plains Conference title which was a first for the school in decades. She is eager to build on the short history of the JPII cheer program and take it to new heights!
James holds a degree in healthcare management from Pitt Community College. She and her fiancé Zach have two labradors: Sterling and Winston.
Trayce Wilson-Ruffin has been named the new head volleyball coach at JPII. He started his coaching career at East Carolina Junior Volleyball Club (ECJVC) under former Saints coach Kelley Krainiak and over the past 5 years he has coached some of the top teams for ECJVC. Wilson-Ruffin has played on the ECU men’s club volleyball team and has been a practice player for the ECU women’s volleyball team. He is currently a senior at ECU majoring in sport studies with a minor in business.