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 160. 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: Janet Halicki
  • 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 160. 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…


School Administration & Board

Office of the President

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


Dear Kennedy Catholic Families and Friends,

I would like to begin by thanking you for the outpouring of support and kind words I have received since the announcement of my appointment as President of the Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools.  I am honored to serve in this position and filled with pride to return to Kennedy and continue the good work of so many.

In my efforts at the Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools, I hope to strengthen a culture in our schools that focuses on each child’s spiritual, emotional, physical, and academic growth as a whole.  Students at Kennedy Catholic are given the opportunity to grow each day in an environment that encourages their faith formation and places an emphasis on the importance of academics.  My hope is to foster the individual strengths and desires of our students, which will allow them to development confidence in their ability to analyze, lead, and serve.

On a personal note, I am truly invested in this school system.  My husband and I are proud to be alumni of Kennedy; our experiences at Kennedy and the education we received have served us well.  I was afforded leadership and service opportunities here that showed me what it means “to serve Christ” (Christo Servire).  Now, my husband and I are thankful we can provide our three children with a Catholic education at St. John Paul II and Kennedy Catholic.  It is my sincerest aspiration to bring Kennedy forward for the benefit of many future generations of Golden Eagles.

There is no doubt in my mind that Kennedy Catholic has a strong future.  We are fortunate to have so many talented and committed individuals contributing to fulfilling Kennedy’s mission.  The teachers and principals have shown true dedication during this past schoolyear, and I am immensely thankful for each of them.  Our enrollment and advancement efforts have been reinvigorated and we are working on strengthening our alumni outreach and connections.  We are continuing our strategic planning efforts and are grateful for the time and effort of the volunteers assisting us in that process.  There is hard work to be done, but no hurdle is insurmountable when we work together.

I humbly ask for your prayers and support for the entire Kennedy Catholic Family as we work through this transition.  Please know that I, in turn, keep all of you in my prayers.

If I can be of assistance to you, please call me at 724-346-5531 or email me at mjoseph@kennedycatholicschools.org.


Melissa Joseph
President, Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools


The Most Reverend Lawrence T. Persico, J. C. L.
Bishop of Erie
Mrs. Melissa Joseph
President, Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools
Mrs. Janet Halicki
Principal, Kennedy Catholic Middle School/High School 
Mrs. Kathryn Tiefenthal
Principal, St John Paul II Elementary School
Mr. William Blum
Director of Finance and Director of Operations
Ms. Cathy Cathcart
Assistant Finance Director-AP/AR
Mr. John Niemi
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. Janet Taylor
Director of Student Life and Director of Athletics
Ms. Allison Zreliak
Director of Guidance
Mr. Ken Madison
Director of Student Affairs

School Board

Ms. Kandis Suhar, Chairperson
Mr. Richard Whalen, Vice Chair
Dr. Maureen Dunn, Secretary
Dr. Eric Perry, Treasurer
Fr. Richard Allen
Fr. Thomas Whitman
Mr. Gene Sheehan
Mr. Darren Johnson
Mrs. Candice Bartosh
Ms. Elizabeth Yanelli Shreckengost
Mrs. Leanna Litrenta
Ms. Christen Whalen
Ms. Deanna Yarboro-Brown

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