News & Stories

Regional Newsletter

Campus Connections – September 2019


Dear Parents,

Welcome back to Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy and a very special welcome to our new parents and families! We are very excited to embark upon a new year of hope, good fortune, new opportunities and new friends.

We have been very busy this summer! Our buildings have been painted and cleaned. Technology updates have occurred at the Neponset campus. We are excited to announce that we have a new website to spread the good news of our school. This year, you will see four common themes thread throughout the website and our campus that exemplify our collective strengths and vision.

Where students are known, loved and called to excellence. Our students love to come to school! We see that even in these summer months as our summer program children talk excitedly about their new teachers and classrooms. We are a family and so proud of each scholar who walks through our halls. I am looking forward to listening to our staff lead our students in learning and hearing our classrooms filled with laughter.

Where students become leaders with faith and values. All students attend weekly masses that encourage them to grow in faith and values. Much like our students, each campus is unique and special with their activities and outreach. We are excited to have the Mayor visit our Neponset campus this fall to unveil the fairy doors our students created last year. The project encourages the community to explore its own neighborhoods with the help of the Martin Richard Foundation Bridge Builders Grant. The grant was also received by our Lower Mills students who created blankets for homeless veterans. The young leaders then delivered them into welcoming arms.

Where students succeed with outstanding academics. We are excited to introduce new programs to our curriculum including updates to our Math curriculum for all grades and a new writing program for middle school students. Bridges Math will be used in grades K-5 and Illustrated Mathematics will be used in grades 6-8. Both curriculums equip teachers to fully implement the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics in a manner that is rigorous, coherent, engaging, and accessible to all learners. We are an Academy moving forward to provide your child with the very best in Catholic Education.

Where students thrive in a safe and diverse community. In speaking with parents, faculty, staff and our Regional Office, everyone has shared with me their love of our school community. Catholic schools have a long history of providing a warm, loving and challenging environment for their students. Students flourish when they feel loved and part of a community.

You will see several new faces on our campuses including teachers, aides, support staff and tutors. At the regional office, we are pleased to recognize Mrs. Tina Higgins, who has replaced Mrs. O’Keefe, as our Director of Finance and Operations. Mrs. Higgins, a proud Neponset parent, will continue to support and help families navigate our tuition portals. And we are also fortunate to welcome another parent, Mr. Mark Hegarty to our regional office team. We are excited for the gifts these talented and dedicators educators will bring to our Academy and to Catholic education.

It is our prayer and expectations that this will be a growth filled, God filled and exciting school year. Please continue to encourage your children to be the best person and student they can be. We will remind them of this of daily and encourage them to use their gifts and talents to become the persons God has planned them to be. We will continue to nurture, challenge and affirm your child. Thank you for entrusting your child to the Academy. We will keep you in our prayers and please keep the Academy in yours.

May God continue to bless you and our Academy.
Kate Brandley
Regional Director

The Academy would like to welcome our new teachers and staff!

Paula Callahan – PreK
John DeMeo – Grade 5
Charlene Folan – Nurse
Marjorie Gillis – Nurse
Joseph McCusker – Grade 7
Karla Ochoa – PreK Aide
Marva Vieux – K1 Aide
Elizabeth Wellman – Grade 3

Lanlan Bao – Middle School Science
Hannah Chin – Grade 2
Nicole McManus – PreK Aide
Hannah Mullaly – 2.9 Aide

Molly Tilton – Grade 4
Lorna Vaughen – Social Studies

Fran Camillo – 2.9 Aide
Emily Carrara – PreK C Aide
Danielle Chambrelli – Grade 1
Jonathan Felch, K2 Aide
Kristin Gray – K2 Aide
Kevin Griffin – Grade 3

Mark Hegarty – Business Office
Mark Levy – Business Office

The Academy would like to extend thanks to the teachers and staff who have moved on from our campuses.


Bridget Donaghue
Robert Glaskin
Sabrina Hererra
Shannon McDonough
Kari Patts
Sandra Volcy-Jones

Caroline Cikacz
Kathleen Haley
Sarah Hockey
Daphne Marcelin
Kristen Millar
Jeanne Pierre
Talia Siravo

Kaitlyn Dunne
Channing Hodgkins
Michael Kolton
Christopher Polensky
Michelle Riggs

Caitlin Romano

A Message from the Business Office

Welcome Back! It has been a busy summer in the Business Office and we look forward to a wonderful school year. FACTS is the tuition management company we use to collect tuition and financial aid. This year we will also be using FACTS to manage extended day billing and grade 8 graduation fees.

Financial aid allocations have been made for all returning families. New families to the Academy who have applied for Financial aid will be notified by September 20th. An active FACTS account is required for all students attending the Academy. If your FACTS account is in an invalid status for any reason you must update your FACTS account. There is a link on our website to Parents Web and FACTS.

We encourage you to contact us with your questions so we may provide you with all the information you need. We recommend making an appointment to meet with us, we know we can serve you well. Please call or email us to make your appointment, please allow a two-day notice.

This year we will be using FACTS for extended day billing. Billing will continue to be done weekly. Charges will be added to families FACTS accounts by Tuesday of each week and the payment will be processed the following Monday by the same method and from the same account used for tuition. No changes will be made to the billing and payment process for extended day vouchers.

Please note that FACTS tuition payments begin in July. If you have missed any payments over the summer you must make those payments online, by calling FACTS Management at (866) 441-4637 or the Business Office. Your child’s continued enrollment in the Academy is dependent upon prompt tuition payments. Please refer to the tuition policy on the tuition page of our website at

Tuition Payments: 617.265.0019 x 7004, 7202 or or
Vouchers: 617.265.0019 x 7004, 7202 or
Lunch Verification: 617.265.0019 x7007
Financial aid: 617.265.0019 x 7004, 7202 or or

The Jonathan and Jessica Demosthene Scholarship

Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy parent Lionelle Demosthene was inspired to create a scholarship for the Academy’s class of 2020 after listening to parents at St. Sebastian’s speak about the benefits of giving back to the Needham-based Catholic school where her son attends 8th grade.

Her son, Jonathan, would have been a member of the SJP class of 2020 had he not moved on to St. Sebastian’s after 6th grade. Her daughter, Jessie, is now in the fourth grade at the Academy. “The St. Sebastian parents spoke about how their students’ opportunities would not have been possible without their continued contributions,” recalled Desmosthene. “I think the need is great for families at the Academy so I decided we should give back to our community here, too.”

As a result, The Jonathan and Jessica Demosthene Scholarship will be awarded this year to a member of the Class of 2020. Jonathan and Jessica are very proud of the opportunity. “I learned about St. Sebastian’s during a visit from their students who tutored Academy students,” explained Jonathan. Then during the Academy’s 4th grade field day at St. Sebastian’s, he looked around and decided that this is where he wanted to continue his education.

Jonathan is grateful to all his teachers at the Academy. He is especially appreciative of all the time and effort Ms. Roell put in to help him apply to secondary schools.

Jessica loves the Academy, her friends and her teachers. A student in Mrs. Sirvano’s class last year, she expressed how the kindness of teachers and friendship of her peers is why she is anxiously awaiting the first day of school.

The teachers are kind and they also push her to be the best she can be. “During MAP testing, I was really struggling with a question. My teacher would not tell me the answer, but she helped me to realize that I already knew the answer,” said Jessica.

For Jonathan, it is the friends that he made during his years at the Academy that still complete his inner circle. He is excited to be able to give back to them and his former class. He understands the lesson his mother is instilling in him and his sister about the importance of giving back to your own community.

“I want my children to understand why we give back to community,” explained Demosthene. When asking them if they understood, both nodded their heads in agreement. The siblings promised to continue the tradition their mother began as they get older.

The students at the Lower Mills campus have a new scholarship to strive for this year – The Jonathan and Jessica Demosthene Scholarship – all thanks to one family that has been by their side all along.

New faces at Neponset

During the Neponset Campus New Family Orientation held on August 22nd, we welcomed new scholars to the Lolek Family! 🙂

Summer with the Women in Blue

This summer, five Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy Lower Mills students were fortunate to participate in “Summer with the Women in Blue” Camp thanks to a partnership between Massachusetts Association of Women in Law Enforcement and Boston Centers for Youth and Families.

Officers from Boston, along with others from Wellesley, Brookline, the Boston Fire Department, the Massachusetts State Police, the FBI, Amtrak Police, DEA, Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, Massachusetts Park Rangers, Northeastern Univeristy Campus Police Department- all volunteered to work with the sixty middle-school-aged kids in the “CSI”-style camp. Other leaders from the Attorney Generals Office and the District Attorney’s Office as well as BPD Forensics, Firearms, K9, and SWAT units assisted with the Camp’s programming. During the camp, female officers taught the girls about processing a crime scene, self-defense, forensics, and much more.

“We introduced them to strong female role models–both in uniform as well as out of uniform,” explained Boston Police Department Deputy Superintendent Nora Baston. “The goal was to empower and inspire young girls to be anything they want to be.”<\span>



  • Please be sure to return all forms that were sent home in the summer packet to your campus office as soon as possible. Please call your campus office to have additional forms sent to you.
  • The Academy’s Regional and Business office is located at: 2200 Dorchester Ave., 2nd floor, Dorchester, MA 02124. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm.
  • The Afterschool Fine Arts classes are scheduled to begin in October. Registration forms will be sent home to sign up for classes. Please return the form with payment to your campus office. Classes will be offered in dance, violin, keyboard and guitar. We look forward to having you join us in October!
  • UNIFORM REMINDER: Uniforms are required for all students beginning on the first day of school. Please refer to the school website for a complete uniform lisitng. To order uniforms, please contact Collegiate House at and use our school code SJPA. You may also call them at 781-219-4952.

Thank you!

  • Thank you to all of our families who joined us for our Summer Program held at the Lower Mills Campus and our Early Childhood Summer Program at the Columbia Campus. Both were a huge success! During the eight week program, over 100 students participated in challenging grade level enrichment, arts & crafts, dance, technology, sports, group activities and fun feild trips! A special thank you to all our staff who worked so hard to make the summer a success!
  • Fine Arts Summer Camps: Over the summer, the Academy again held the June Fine Arts program, held at the Lower Mills Campus. The program was conducted over one week and included classes in music games, notation, rhythm exercises, bells, glockenspiels, song, art, theater, and dance. Thank you to all who participated and thank you to staff that made such a successful program for our students.

Lifelong Learners
Lower Mills Pre K teacher Tia DiRienzo speaks during professional development day for our early childhood educators and guidance counselors. The session was led by the Collaborative for Educational Services.