Principal hired for proposed Pope John Paul II High School in Bluffton

Pope John Paul II, a new high school proposed for the Bluffton area, is one step closer to reality.

In fact they are so close, the diocese has even hired a principal to guide the new school.

Msgr. Richard D. Harris, vicar general, said the Lowcountry Deanery parishes have been involved in a capital campaign for the past year to raise $7.5 million to open the school.

They are close to the benchmark required to break ground, said Jacqualine Kasprowski, the new associate director for secondary education.

Diocesan officials hope to begin construction this fall, with the possibility that the school could open in 2013, Msgr. Harris said.

In light of their progress, Christine Paul was chosen to oversee the opening of the new school, which will serve students from seventh through 12th grade.

Paul has more than 20 years of experience in four different Catholic schools, including 15 years as an administrator.

She will start on Sept. 4, Msgr. Harris said.

A second high school, which was on the drawing board for the Myrtle Beach area, has been put on hold.

Kasprowski said other schools in the diocese that are gearing up for major renovations and construction include Charleston Catholic, St. Anthony of Padua in Greenville, and Cardinal Newman in Columbia.

Pope John Paul II High School, Bluffton
Principal: Christine Paul
Age: 55
Hometown: North Augusta
Education: A bachelor’s in education, and master’s in administration and curriculum
Previous position: Principal of Aquinas High School in Augusta, Ga.
Family: Husband Allan and two grown sons
Who influenced your life? My dad was the superintendent of schools for 30 years and loved his job — said it was important to enjoy your work
Who would you like to meet? Pope John Paul II — he was such a proponent of Catholic education and so influential with teenagers.