About Us

Christo Servire

Mission Statement:

The Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools is a regional college preparatory Roman Catholic school system of the Diocese of Erie from Preschool through Grade 12. We are committed to providing spiritual inspiration, exceptional academics and extracurricular activities as all of us strive “to serve Christ” (Christo Servire).

Our Vision

The Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools is a Christ-centered faith community that exists as a response to Jesus’ mandate: “Go and teach all nations.” In fulfilling this mandate, we open our doors to a population of diverse racial, ethnic, religious and economic backgrounds and thereby live our motto Christo Servire, to serve Christ. We strive to provide students with an exceptional educational experience that encompasses academic excellence, outstanding extracurricular activities and continual spiritual growth. We guide our students in their spiritual, moral, intellectual, emotional, social and physical development by providing an atmosphere conducive to acquiring and increasing knowledge on all levels.

As a Catholic community, we celebrate liturgies and unite our prayers in response to the needs of the wider community. We also provide for the broadening of our views so the students may seek social justice in a global society.

Investing in Tomorrow

Through systematic instruction in the Catholic faith, the Christian message is communicated and commitment to Christ and His values is fostered. Teachers at Kennedy Catholic have the opportunity to present a complete picture of the human person with both a spiritual and physical nature. Your child will be taught to look not only at traditional values and events, but also to look critically at issues and events in light of Gospel values. Daily personal prayer and community worship strengthen the commitment to serve one’s neighbors and to become aware of the fact that this extends beyond their school and the parish community.

Your child will live in a world with the need for technological expertise with great competition in the work place. Statistics and surveys attest to the fact that students in Catholic schools in many cases surpass them. Our boast, however, is the fact that we can offer something above and beyond what other schools are permitted to offer–namely, that of religious instruction. We can be truly proud of the fact that we can teach the whole child, not only in the academic area, but also in the spiritual realm. Your child is truly worth the investment of quality Catholic Education!

The Kennedy Experience

The Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools offers your child exceptional academic programs that prepare them to achieve and succeed in college and beyond. As a student at KCFS your child will engage in exceptional academic programs,  obtain spiritual guidance, and benefit from religious instruction.  Combining academics with spirituality is at the heart of the Kennedy experience. Additionally,  your child will have access to a vast array of extracurricular activities and athletic programs, and the opportunity to enrich and enhance their community by serving others. These benefits are what allow our graduates to excel in their fields and assume leadership positions in communities both here in the United States and abroad.

Our total commitment to our vision enables us to provide you with the most exceptional primary and secondary education available in our region—an education that has enabled thousands of students to excel in their fields and assume leadership positions in communities both here in the United States and abroad.

Again, welcome and remember, at Kennedy Catholic, we teach life.

School Facts and Statistics

Kennedy Catholic Middle/High School…

is a co-educational institution providing instruction for grades seven through twelve, with a student population of nearly 270. Kennedy Catholic is a Diocese of Erie secondary school and is accredited by the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges. The school is a member of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association and competes in PIAA District 10.

Quick Facts

  • Founded: 1964
  • Grades: 7th through 12th Grade
  • District: Shenango Valley Catholic School System Diocese of Erie
  • Accreditation: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  • School Mascot: Golden Eagles
  • School Colors: Maroon and Gold
  • Cafeteria: Hot Lunch Daily
  • Principal: Mrs. Erin Marks
  • Address: 2120 Shenango Valley Freeway, Hermitage, PA 16148
  • Telephone: (724) 346-5531
  • Fax: (724) 346-3011

Saint John Paul II Elementary School…

is a co-educational institution providing instruction for grades mini pre-k through six, with a student population of nearly 120. Saint John Paul II Elementary school is a Diocese of Erie school and is accredited by the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges. Ample facilities include a well stocked library, separate rooms for computer, music, art, enrichment, remedial help, and a gymnasium with a stage.

Quick Facts:

  • Founded: 2011
  • Grades: Pre-Kindergarten through 6th Grade
  • District: Shenango Valley Catholic School System Diocese of Erie
  • Accreditation: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  • School Mascot: Golden Eagles
  • School Colors: Maroon and Gold
  • Cafeteria: Hot Lunch Daily
  • Principal: Mrs. Kathryn Tiefenthal
  • Address: 2335 Highland Road, Hermitage, PA 16148
  • Telephone: (724) 342-2205
  • Fax: (724) 704-7397

Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Erie…


Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Erie…

School Administration & Board

Office of the President

A message from Mark Ferrara, President, the Shenango Valley Catholic School System & The Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools.

Dear Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools Family:

As the new President of the Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools, it gives me great pleasure to give Mr. Vincent F. Cardamon a heartfelt thank you for serving as the Acting President for the last year.

As all of you know, his passion, commitment and love for our students, staff and school are second to none! Mr. Cardamon was asked last June to serve in this interim role for one year and during that short time, he has been instrumental in providing the necessary guidance, support and leadership during some very unprecedented times. So once again, THANK YOU, Vince, for all that you have done!

I bring 40 years of professional educational experience from the public school arena to the role of President. My background ranges from teaching, coaching, advising and most recently, serving as a superintendant and consultant. As a life-long Catholic, I am especially excited about serving KCFS and continuing to build on the Mission of the School System and the school motto, “Christo Servire”. On a personal note, my wife Jan and I will celebrate 37 years of marriage next month. We have five wonderful children and three rough and tumble grandsons who are the love of our lives!

As the new President, I am looking forward to meeting each of you as the new school year begins. As you so vividly know, the COVID 19 issues have changed so much of what we took for granted. Yet, much work is underway to hopefully open the 2020-2021 school year on time and in person.

The exact details are to be finalized and we will keep everyone fully informed throughout the upcoming weeks.

Serving as President is very humbling, exciting and rewarding! My father had a favorite saying that was, “many hands will make the load lighter.” I will be looking for your “supporting hands” and especially prayers as we begin this new journey together. I am a firm believer that together we can accomplish anything.

If I can ever be of assistance to you, please call me at 724-346-5531 or email me at

In closing, my prayers and thoughts are with you for a rewarding, relaxing and safe summer!


Mark Ferrara
President, Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools

Organizational Chart


The Most Reverend Lawrence T. Persico, J. C. L.
Bishop of Erie
Mr. Mark Ferrara
President, Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools
Mrs. Erin Marks
Co-Principal, Kennedy Catholic Middle/High School
Mrs. Kathryn Tiefenthal
Co-Principal, St John Paul II Elementary School
Mr. William Blum
Director of Finance and Assistant Director of Operations
Ms. Cathy Cathcart
Assistant Finance Director-AP/AR
Mr John Niemi
Director of Athletics, HS/MS IT, Facilities
Sr. Margaret Pellerite, SSJ
Director of Campus Ministry
Mrs. Patricia Polesnak
Spiritual Director-Students-Faculty-Parents
Mrs. Nicole Perry
Director of Enrollment Management
Mrs. Jennifer Rignani
Director of Advancement and Alumni Affairs
Mrs. Janet Taylor
Director of Student Life and Director of Athletics
Ms. Allison Zreliak
Director of Guidance

School Board

Ms. Kandis Suhar, Chairperson
Mr. Richard Whalen, Vice Chair
Mrs. Melissa Joseph, Secretary
Mr. Frank Hannah, Treasurer
Fr. Richard Allen
Deacon Nicholas Cirell
Fr. Thomas Whitman
Mr. Gene Sheehan
Mr. Darren Johnson
Dr. Eric Perry

Testimonial from the Miller Family

We transitioned Glenn to a Kennedy Catholic in 8th grade as we wanted him to get comfortable with the school before the important high school years.  The transition was very easy for him.  Everyone made him feel comfortable and his grades were better than we all expected.

When the transition to remote learning took place our local public school took 2 weeks to begin learning from home.  Kennedy was ready in a day.  After the first week of everyone adjusting to the new learning environment Glenn excelled and made highest honors the second two grading periods.

Glenn really enjoyed his teachers and they were readily available to him during the remote learning experience.

– The Miller Family: Dr. Glenn, Roberta and Glenn
Current KCHS Parents

Testimonial from the Gealy Family

The dedication of the faculty at SJPII has always been exceptional, however it was on full display throughout this past year. Mrs Tiefenthal was available whenever we had questions- not just during typical school hours. The classes that were continued transferred seamlessly to remote learning. We especially enjoyed the zoom story times and virtual field trips. I believe that we were given enough tools to keep our children on track and in a way that I was not left feeling overscheduled. This was important to me because as I worked from home and at the office, we were able to complete the assignments at our convenience. I take comfort in knowing that the Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools has proved the ability to adjust the classroom accordingly to these uncertain times.

-The Gealy Family: Michelle and Maryleigh
Current SJPII Parent

Testimonial from the McGoff Family

I’m so thankful for the St John Paul II elementary family! The teachers are wonderful and go above and beyond to help all of their students. The teachers are easily accessible for questions or problems. Because the parent teacher connection is so great, the transition to remote learning was so smooth. Messages from the school and teachers were received multiply times a week to keep us updated.

– The McGoff Family: Robert, Elizabeth, Isabella, Gabriella and Mirabella
KCHS Alumni and SJPII Parents

Testimonial from the Rosa Family

The thing that stands out to us in addition to an amazing education, is the family feeling you get from being part of this school system. Starting with the teachers and administrators, they go above and beyond to make sure each student is getting exactly what they need to succeed. Whether it is the principal putting on a band-aid or a devoted teacher staying after school and working during the summer tutoring a struggling child. They really care. We are so happy we chose the KCFS for our children.”

– The Rosa Family: Lewis, Elizabeth, Abby and Andrew
Former KCFS Board & Committee Member & KCFS Parents

Testimonial from Carol Shields, M.D.

“Kennedy Catholic welcomed me into its wonderful nurturing environment. Kennedy planted the seed of my career and taught me discipline, integrity, and loyalty – 3 assets for success. That opened the door to an excellent University, then Medical School, and now blossomed into a top tier medical practice in Philadelphia. My roots remain at Kennedy.”

– Carol L. Shields M.D., Class of 1975
Ocular Oncology Service, Co-Director Wills Eye Hospital