IN 2002, a group in our area of the Archdiocese gathered and formed a grass-roots committee of parents who saw need for Catholic high school education in Selma, New Braunfels, and Seguin. Though nine Catholic high schools exist in San Antonio, the closest is a significant commute from most of these communities, and so only a small group of students from the northeast Catholic K-8 schools actually continue in Catholic education beyond 8th grade. The committee began to grow as more parents heard of the effort; all were energized to know of that this could become a reality for their children and community.
In 2005, an official planning committee was formed with representatives from four feeder schools, and began the real work of creating a school: the mission and vision first, then curriculum, and outreach. An in-pew survey at area parishes confirmed a widespread interest and support for a Catholic high school. Early in 2007, the group met with Archbishop Gomez to get his blessing to open as a Catholic school. The Archbishop went one step further than that: he requested that the school open as an Archdiocesan high school.
With this support from our Archbishop, the committee became school council and set to its first tasks: hiring a principal, finding land, choosing an architect, and raising the necessary funds to open. In October 2007, a formal kick-off announced the school to a broader group and set an important date for families and students: John Paul II will open in August 2009.
The school council met a number of these goals in 2008. In May, Andrew Iliff was hired as the founding principal. In August, the Archdiocese purchased land for the establishment of the high school: 53 acres on the corner of Friesenhahn Road and FM 482, just one-half mile west of IH-35 in northeastern reaches of Schertz. In December, JPIICHS and Comal ISD negotiated the sale of the Comal Elementary buildings and the 16 acre campus just across FM 482. JPII's bid was accepted through a public bidding process. In 2009, the school registered students and hired teachers, eventually bringing on a staff of ten part- and full-time faculty and staff, along with four coaches.
On 17 August 2009, with 34 freshmen and 10 staff members, John Paul II opened its first day of official classes. On 16 August 2010, with 61 freshmen and sophomores, and twelve staff members, John Paul II opened the second year of classes. On 11 August 2011, with 100 students, in grades 9-11, and sixteen staff members, JPII opened for year three.
In December of 2011, the school officially received accreditation from TCCED (Texas Catholic Conference Education Department), which is a part of TEPAC (Texas Private School Accredition Commission) and TEA.
Year four opened with 150 students, and saw the school's first graduating class on 18 May 2013. Our second class graduated in May 2014, reaching 50 total SJPII alumni in the world.
St. John Paul II, pray for us!