Our Faculty and Staff

Saint John Paul II Catholic School (SPJII) is firmly committed to recruiting the most qualified professionals available to be members of our faculty and staff. An interested, enthusiastic, and devoted faculty is an integral part of providing the finest education possible. Our teachers are our most important resource. As dedicated and talented professionals, they strive to reach every student. Saint John Paul II Catholic School is proud to have an impressive, innovative, creative, and concerned staff.

Administration

Mr. John J. Donohue III
Principal
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Biography

About Mr. John Donohue III

A native of the metropolitan New York City area, Mr. John J. Donohue III and his wife Mary Claire raised their five children in New Hampshire. Mr. Donohue has been the inaugural principal of John Paul II Catholic High School in Greenville, NC, since 2012. He succeeds SJPII Principal Dr. Janice Jett.

A graduate of Magdalen College, Bedford, New Hampshire, Mr. Donohue holds advanced degrees from Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, and Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Cambridge, Massachusetts. He also studied in the doctoral program in education administration at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Mr. Donohue began his career teaching history, literature, and theology at Seton High School, Manassas, Virginia, and political philosophy and Catholic social teaching at Christendom College, Front Royal, Virginia, followed by twenty years teaching and in director positions at his alma mater, Magdalen College. He then was headmaster, taught, and coached soccer and basketball at Mount Royal Academy, Sunapee, New Hampshire, where he was director and co-founder of the academy's high school. Mr. Donohue later accepted the position of principal of St. Egbert Catholic School in Morehead City, North Carolina, before serving as principal of John Paul II High School in Greenville.
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Gordon Dozier
Bookkeeper
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About Gordon Dozier

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Office Staff

Jen Edwards
Executive Administrative Assistant to the Principal and Academic Dean
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About Jen Edwards

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Deborah Lawson
Advancement Director
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About Deborah Lawson

"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." - C.S. Lewis

It is with an open heart, open ears, and an open mind, that Mrs. Lawson comes to St. John Paul II School each day! With love of children, learning, and education, Mrs. Lawson can be seen snapping photos of your beautiful children, giving tours to new prospective families, or touring benefactors around the campus. Mrs. Lawson has been involved with St. John Paul II School since its inception and is somewhat of a school historian.

In addition, Mrs. Lawson’s responsibilities include admissions, advertising and public relations, major gifts, donor coordination and retention, and fundraising. Among her other activities, Mrs. Lawson is currently president of the Board of Directors of Life Care Pregnancy Center in Carthage, NC. She is a NC licensed real estate agent, which she has held for over 20 years. She is a member of, and participates in church activities at St. Anthony of Padua in Southern Pines.

Mrs. Lawson resides in Southern Pines with her husband Jim, son Christopher (SJPII class of 2016), and daughter Meghan (SJPII class of 2021). She is a proud hockey and lacrosse mom, as well as a horse-girl mom, who enjoys traveling and watching her children grow in their education and outside endeavors!
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Lisa Noyes
Business and Enrollment Manager
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About Lisa Noyes

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Our Faculty Members

Lower School

Mrs. Mary Herpy
Kindergarten
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About Mrs. Mary Herpy

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Ms. Kristen Holton
Pre-K 4 & Fourth Grade & Fifth Grade Math, Science, and Social Studies
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About Ms. Kristen Holton

This is Mrs. Holton's 13th year of teaching pre-kindergarten at SJPII. She has created an environment which gives the children an opportunity to learn through hands-on experiences. Mrs. Holton adapts her teaching style to benefit all learners in her classroom. Positive reinforcement is key to helping children thrive in a school environment. Mrs. Holton enjoys having parents volunteer in the classroom. She sends weekly newsletters to keep parents informed about their child's education at SJPII.
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Mrs. Heather Girard
First Grade
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About Mrs. Heather Girard

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Mrs. Christine Bennet
Second Grade
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About Mrs. Christine Bennet

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Ms. Tara Pellasce
Third Grade
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About Ms. Tara Pellasce

Coming from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Tara Pellasce is joining SJP2 as their third grade educator! Ms. Pellashce graduated from Pennsylvania State University, with her undergraduate degree in special education. Currently, she is enrolled at Johns Hopkins University and is intended to receive her MsEd in curriculum and instruction in May of 2019.

In the past, Ms. Pellasce has taught students all over the world. She began her teaching journey in Otavalo, Ecuador. There, she taught English as a second language. Soon after, Ms. Pellasce taught ESL in Accra, Ghana. Previously, she has taught special education in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and second grade and kindergarten in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Ms. Pellasce is new to the region and is looking forward to spending time with her dog and fiance outside, in God’s nature.

Ms. Pellasce is excited to be a part of a school family that has the opportunity to come together in prayer each day. It is a blessing that God has given her the beautiful vocation of teacher. She truly believes that the SJP2 has many opportunities to grow each child in his/her faith.
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Mrs. Kirsten Hilpert
Fourth and Fifth Grade Math, Science, and Social Studies
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About Mrs. Kirsten Hilpert

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Ms. Leeann Felicetta
Fourth Grade and Fifth Grade Language Arts and Religion
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About Ms. Leeann Felicetta

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Middle School

Mrs. Lori D'Argenio
Seventh Grade Social Studies, Eighth Grade Religion, and Sacristan
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About Mrs. Lori D'Argenio

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Ms. Jessica Foley
Language Arts
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About Ms. Jessica Foley

Mrs. Jessica Foley joined the St. John Paul II Catholic School family in 2015 teaching middle school English/language arts to the 7th and 8th graders. Over the years, her teaching responsibilities have evolved to also include 8th grade social studies. In addition to her time in the classroom, Mrs. Foley can also be found assisting with the drama program after school as well as overseeing the student-run yearbook. Prior to coming to SJPII, Mrs. Foley taught English to 10th and 11th graders in California and before that she was found teaching English as a second language in both Japan and South Korea.

Mrs. Foley currently resides in Whispering Pines with her husband, Patrick, their one-year-old son, Thomas, and their dog, Scout. In November, they’ll be welcoming a baby girl to the family. Both Jessica and Patrick grew up in the Bay Area, more specifically, the garlic capital of the world, Gilroy, California. However, Patrick’s career in the military has led them to places near and far: Missouri, South Korea, Colorado, and now, North Carolina.

After spending 13 years in Catholic education as a student, Mrs. Foley continued her education with the Jesuits at the University of San Francisco. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in criminal justice in 2009. Her original plans of attending law school were overturned when she realized in her senior year of college that her true passion was in education. She then earned her teaching credential from Santa Clara University (more Catholic education!).

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Mrs. Pamela Francis
Sixth Grade Math, PreAlgebra, and Social Studies
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About Mrs. Pamela Francis

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Mrs. Lori Haley
Seventh and Eighth Grade Math I1 and I2 and Academic Dean
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About Mrs. Lori Haley

A 38-year teaching veteran, Mrs. Haley’s passion for teaching and learning increases every year. Mrs. Haley believes that all students crave the intellectual stimulation afforded by rich and engaging mathematical investigations. It is her professional goal to develop and continually strengthen classroom strategies that provide her students with meaningful learning opportunities. Mrs. Haley shares that she values the daily opportunity she has to share her faith and to pray with her students. Mrs. Haley has a master’s degree in middle grades mathematics and earned National Board Certification in early adolescent mathematics. She has been married for 38 years, has three grown children, and three wonderful granddaughters.
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Ms. Terry Nickens
Science
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About Ms. Terry Nickens

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Mr. Patrick O'Connell
Sixth Grade Religion, Social Studies, and Eighth Grade Social Studies
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About Mr. Patrick O'Connell

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Special Area

Ms. Abbey Flores
Athletics Director, Safety Coordinator, Pre K–8 Physical Education
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About Ms. Abbey Flores

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Mrs. Jennifer Peters
Pre K–8 Art
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About Mrs. Jennifer Peters

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Mrs. Magdelena Posada
Pre K–8 Foreign Language
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About Mrs. Magdelena Posada

Mrs. Forero-Posada is the teaching assistant for fourth grade and the Spanish teacher for pre K–3rd grade. She has a bachelor of business degree from the University of Technology, Sydney and a graduate degree in international relations from UJTL in Bogota. Mrs. Forero-Posada is a native Spanish speaker and is fluent in German. She is an Army wife and two of her passions are reading and traveling. She believes one of the best gifts we can give our children is the opportunity to learn other languages early on and be exposed to different cultures. As a parent to two students and a teacher, she wants to provide each child the necessary tools to become the best version of themselves. “Be brave. Take risk. Nothing can substitute experience.“ - Paulo Coehlo
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Mrs. Charlynn Walker
Pre K–8 Music
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About Mrs. Charlynn Walker

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Support Staff

Ms. Ewa Blaszczec
Aftercare Assistant
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Ms. Jacqueline Leeper
Resource Director
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About Ms. Jacqueline Leeper

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Mrs. Valarie Mahmud
Fourth and Fifth Grade Assistant
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About Mrs. Valarie Mahmud

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Ms. Rebecca Marsh
Second Grade Assistant
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About Ms. Rebecca Marsh

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Ms. Jennifer Parscal
Kindergarten Assistant
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About Ms. Jennifer Parscal

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Ms. Ann Quinlan
First Grade Assistant
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About Ms. Ann Quinlan

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Ms. Meredith Richard
Third Grade Assistant
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About Ms. Meredith Richard

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” - Desmond Tutu

Stop by our second grade classroom and you will find teaching assistant Meredith Richard helping our second graders with their reading, writing, and math, or perhaps tying shoes or checking homework folders or turning the jump rope on the playground. Before joining our staff in 2016, Mrs. Richard was a stay-at-home mom to her five children, four of whom graduated from SJP2 and one who is currently a fifth grade student. Mrs. Richard volunteered in the school library for several years before joining our staff in 2016 and she continues to share her love of reading with her students.

Blessings,
Meredith
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Ms. Nancy Sheets
MS Assistant
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About Ms. Nancy Sheets

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Mrs. Kathleen Tanski
Aftercare Director
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About Mrs. Kathleen Tanski

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Ms. Julie Tipton
Pre K Assistant
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About Ms. Julie Tipton

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Ms. Kendra Tranel
MS Assistant
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About Ms. Kendra Tranel

Mrs. Tranel joined our middle school team in January 2016. While Mrs. Tranel and her family have been members of the SJPII family for much longer, her journey on to staff has been an ever-evolving one. During the school week, Mrs. Tranel can be found in a variety of classrooms assisting our 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students throughout their academic days. When she is not in the classroom, Mrs. Tranel is often seen displaying students’ work and decorating the hallway outside the middle school classrooms. Prior to her work in the classroom, she became a familiar face among the students as a weekly volunteer in the school library.

Mrs. Tranel resides in Whispering Pines with her husband Dan, sons Keaton (SJPII alumni class of 2015), Broderick (SJPII class of 2019), and Taylon (SJPII class of 2022), and daughter Nyah (SJPII class of 2024). Outside of school, Mrs. Tranel’s family keeps her very busy with a variety of sports and activities, including football, soccer, swimming, and music.

Before making their move to North Carolina, Mrs. Tranel and her family made their home in Iowa. Mrs. Tranel graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor's degree in political science and a minor in criminal justice. Mrs. Tranel also holds a certificate in paralegal studies and worked for many years as a paralegal in Iowa before moving to the Sandhills and seizing the opportunity to spend more time with her family.
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