Since notifying families on April 23, of a potential closing of Pope John XXIII High School at the end of the academic calendar in June 2019 a number of distinguished alumni, parents and families have worked together to ensure that the school would thrive not just survive after the alleged criminal actions of Philip Morgaman, founder of United Schools Association and International Residence Management, put the school in financial jeopardy. Beginning that same day, following a plea to the Archdiocese of Boston coordinated by principal Thomas Mahoney ’70, a new team was formed to set a fundraising goal of $1.5 million and draft a new strategic plan to ensure the viability of Pope John for years to come. With just less than two weeks left before a decision is to be made of the school at 888 Broadway in Everett, a working committee of distinguished alumni has been assembled to use the school’s history, current demographic assessment, and resources to develop a roadmap for success. This team has an extensive background at prominent businesses in finance, wealth management, risk and project management, and experience working with investors and on boards throughout the community. Not only are they working swiftly to build a strategy, but to align this product and process to the mission that was started by the Sisters of St. Joseph and Cardinal Cushing in 1966. The current and prospective, registered students at Pope John XXIII High School are the priority for this strategy. It is the hope of the team and administration that these students in their care will continue on with their Catholic education and will have a home at Pope John in the fall of 2019, but also in the many years to come. The vision of PJHS is to after graduating the 50th class on May 23.
In the first 14 days, under the direction of Paul Sobolewski, athletic director, and Kelleyrobin Mulvihill, director of development, outreach on social media to alumni, parents, and friends of Pope John, raised nearly $76,000 in gifts and pledges. This remarkable effort has been made by more than 325 donors to the #NotDeadYet Facebook Challenge. The news media from all the major networks have carried the story on their newscasts bringing Pope John’s story into living rooms around the greater Boston area and inspiring viewers to reach out, donate, and call in to help continue the Pope John legacy and offering of support to keep to the school open. To that end, young alumni, parents, and faculty have initiated events and activities to support the efforts of the working committee in the coming weeks including a car wash that raised $3,000 and restaurant nights at local businesses coming up this weekend. These activities will not only contribute to the overall financial goals, but will reignite the family environment and cultivate relationships that make PJHS a special place.
Finally, to keep up to date with everything happening in the coming weeks, visit popejohnhs.org/notdeadyet and get involved.