Student Life

Faith & Service, Athletics & Activities

Student Life

The Kennedy Experience is one filled with opportunity. The opportunity to serve as well as to explore and grow in faith, participate in multiple clubs and organizations, and compete in state winning athletics.


Learn more about the integral role of faith in the Kennedy Experience. 


Learn about the importance of service to the Kennedy Experience.


Learn more about the variety of activities available to our students.


Learn more about the championship athletic programs we offer.


The teaching and practices of the Catholic faith are integral to the Kennedy experience. As a Catholic school, we believe in educating the entire person: body, mind, and soul. We want your child to grow into an adult who will live out the mission of Jesus and promote peace and love in our world.

You do not have to be Catholic to come to Kennedy!
We welcome students of every belief with open arms.

Campus Ministry

The Campus Ministry Department of Kennedy Catholic seeks to foster lives of faith and service among the students, faculty, and staff. Campus Ministry provides students at Kennedy Catholic with opportunities to deepen their relationship and encounter Christ as well as provide opportunities to live out their discipleship through participation in the weekly celebration of the mass, reconciliation, retreats, and service in the Shenango Valley and the surrounding areas. The many programs of the Kennedy Catholic Campus Ministry are centered around the Eucharist and based on the school’s motto, Christo Servire – to serve Christ.


Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools offers a variety of retreats and reflections each year for grades kindergarten through twelfth. The cornerstone of our retreat program are the retreats offered for middle and high school students. To attend retreats, your child is required to complete and return permission form and pay a $3 lunch fee to Mrs. Polesnak. Your child may dress comfortably for retreat days.

Retreat dates for grades 7 – 12:

Retreat details:

  • Location: 

Retreat dates for grades Pre-k-6
    November 8th-6th Grade
    November 22nd-5th Grade
    December 6th- 4th Grade
    January 10th- 1st Grade
    February 7th- 2nd Grade
    April 4th- Kindergarten
    April 25th- 3rd Grade

Spiritual Opportunities & Ministries

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is a time to deepen our relationship with Jesus and is open to all students and family members. The evening will be filled with music, reflection, meditation, silence and Sacred Scripture. To attend, enter through the front double glass doors. Adoration will take place from 7:00-8:00pm in the KCHS Chapel the following Tuesdays:

We do offer spiritual growth through…
Weekly and Holy Day Masses offered:
  • In person Masses in small group settings with our local parish priests.
  • Lay Ministry training for Masses are offered and sanctioned by Bishop Persico and Parish Priests
  • Readers
  • Eucharistic Ministers
  • Sacristians
  • Altar Servers
Advent and Lenten Prayer services provided system wide
Reconciliation Services provided for all Catholics in our school system during Advent and Lent


Action Club Service opportunities
System Wide activities for serving the community
  1. Thanksgiving Food Drive Benefits the surrounding community
  2. Christmas Toy Drive Benefits the Prince of Peace
  3. Halloween Party/Treats Benefits MCAR
  4. Easter Drive Benefits the Prince of Peace
John XXIII Convalescent Home Ministry
Cards and Visiting Ministry with the Nursing Home located on the campus of Kennedy Catholic.
Divine Mercy Encounters are offered 3 times a year for students in the Dioceses of Erie 10th through 12th grade
“DME is a three day retreat program. Each day has a different focus: Friday is the Day of Invitation, focusing on how God is inviting us into relationship. Saturday is the Day of Encounter, where we encounter God through the sacraments, Adoration, and others. Sunday is the Day of Commission, where we as a community are empowered to evangelize and share our faith.”

 The weekend includes talks, exposure to different types of prayer, Mass, community, and much more. The weekend runs from 10am on Friday to 5pm on Sunday, and retreat participants stay onsite for the weekend.


Centuries ago, St. Teresa of Avila wrote “Christ has no body but yours, no hands, feet on earth but yours.” These words are still true today. At Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools we strive to teach your child to provide compassion in Christ through acts of charity and service. Our students’ actions support a multitude of community programs and individuals in need.

With this mission in mind, at the beginning of every school year, we offer orientation about the service requirement. Your student will attend a service fair to meet with mentors and volunteers from different nonprofit organizations in our community.

Kennedy Catholic Service Policy

Requirements for Service Hours

  • Service is an activity that is supervised by an adult , non relative (over 25) where students help in their schools, churches or non-profits. Service can also include fundraising for other service organizations.
  • Service may not occur in a for profit business.
  • There can be no monetary compensation for service performed.
  • Service must be for an individual or group other than the student’s family.
  • Service can be performed outside or during school hours, provided that any absence from school for service is approved in advance by the Academic Principal.
  • Hours performed for Confirmation and National Honor Society will also count towards this service requirement.
  • Activities of the Action Club and Rotary will also count towards this service requirement.
  • Hours cannot be rolled over to the following academic year.  ie:a student cannot perform 100 hours of service in their freshman year and meet the requirement. Students must perform a minimum of 25 hours per year.

Kennedy Catholic Service Policy

Hours Requirement

Prior to graduation, students must complete the following service hours:

  • 9”‘ Grade: 25 hours
  • 10”‘ Grade: 25 hours
  • 11”‘ Grade: 25 hours
  • 12”‘ Grade: .25 hours

Students are given ample time and opportunity to complete these requirements throughout the year. Students are able to complete all 25 the summer prior to their next grade level.

If a student joins KCFS after the beginning of the school year, the service hours will be prorated for that year.

Effect on Graduation

Students will not graduate from Kennedy Catholic without meeting their service requirements. Juniors will not be allowed to begin Senior year until all delinquent hours are made up.


The Kennedy Experience isn’t complete without providing opportunities for all students to discover their passions. We offer a range of activities for your child to engage their creativity, expression, and curiosity.

Kennedy Catholic Middle/High School

  • Athletics
  • Clubs (Action Club, Spanish, Chess, Forensics, and more)
  • Campus Ministry
  • Organizations

Saint John Paul II Elementary School

  • Athletics
  • Student Council
  • National Elementary Honor Society
  • SOAR


One word defines Golden Eagle Athletics: Excellence. We have the championships to prove it with more than 125 state, district, regional, and conference titles in 18 girls and boys sports. As a school with a tradition of athletic excellence, we believe that sports can teach many important lessons for life such as hard work and a dedication to learning will yield good results. If your student-athlete has discipline and a burning desire to compete, he or she should be wearing KC Maroon and Gold.

Athletic Eligibility

It is the policy of Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools to support scholarship among our athletes, who are held to PIAA and school standards of academic achievement. Please refer to the Student Parent handbook for more information on eligibility.

You can also visit for more information on PIAA’s policies on athletic eligibility.

Kennedy Catholic Middle/High School Athletic Programs

Fall Sports:

  • Cross Country
  • Girl’s Tennis
  • Boy’s Golf
  • Girl’s Golf
  • Volleyball
  • Boy’s Soccer
  • Girl’s Soccer
  • Cheerleading
  • Danceline
  • Football

Winter Sports:

  • Boy’s Basketball
  • Girl’s Basketball
  • Indoor Track
  • Cheerleading
  • Danceline

Spring Sports:

  • Girl’s Track
  • Boy’s Track
  • Baseball
  • Softball
  • Boy’s Tennis
  • Lacrosse

Saint John Paul II Elementary School Athletic Programs

Winter Sports:

  • 4th-6th Grade Girls Basketball
  • 4th-6th Grade Boys Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Danceline

Other Programs:


Athletic Philosophy Statement

Competitive sports are contests, the goal of which is to win.  The guiding purpose of entering a formal contest, in contrast to social or intramural games, is to be the victor.  From Plato to the present, thoughtful people have observed that competitive sports sharpen one’s wits, poise, mental toughness, character, physical ability, sense of teamwork and fairness, and capacity for self-sacrifice for the common goals of the team all in a constructive and controlled exercise of our assertive instincts.  It should be obvious that none of these good things can happen if winning is not the goal–there simply would be no test of wills to bring them out.

As a game in a civilized society, all athletics are governed by rules that set the challenges and ensure fairness, and by sportsmanship that is a positive and humane attitude toward the opposing team, the referees, and one’s teammates.  Paradoxically in sports, within the rules of the game and in a spirit of sportsmanship, one can do many things that they are not otherwise allowed to do in society: steal the ball, deceive, trap people, deny people, pressure, wear out, etc.

Students participating in sports are human beings with feelings.  While their feelings should always be acknowledged, they are not always appropriate.  Disrespect, arrogance, and defeatism should be overcome and give way to a willingness to learn, genuine self-respect and confidence.

One especially inappropriate feeling is to identify objective accomplishment in sports with self-worth.  So if a student does not make the team, is not a starter, or just has a bad day, he or she may feel worthless.  Not everyone can be a brilliant student or an outstanding athlete; but we are all acceptable, worthwhile persons who should be loved unconditionally for what we are, not for what we can do or what we cannot do.

It helps when parents cooperate with coaches to encourage realism in their children regarding strengths and limitations while at the same time fostering genuine self-esteem.  Feeling personally superior to others due to greater athletic ability or inferior to others because of lesser ability are both rooted in the same fundamental error: conditional love.

The players are responsible to earn their spot on the team.  If this is not insisted upon, effort and a willingness to learn are not rewarded, laziness is encouraged, and discipline breaks down. Starters will be those players who consistently demonstrate a high degree of coachability and accomplishment.  Their starting position is by no means assured: it can and should be challenged by other players throughout the year.  Those players who are not starters at a particular time should work to improve their game so they can rise in their position on the team.

The members of a team will be played strategically, i.e., according to their relative strengths for the purpose of winning the game. Effort will be made to give the members of the team as much playing time as possible; however it will depend on game conditions, their position on the team, and their ability at the time.  It cannot be guaranteed that every player will play in every game. Improvement, attitude, school behavior, academic progress, work ethic at practices, and performance will always be taken into consideration.  Please stress at home that desire and effort can make up for a great deal of missing native ability.  Larry Bird was one of the less-gifted athletes in the NBA, yet he is widely regarded as one of the greatest players ever.

Practices will be highly organized, competitive, and demanding.  They are structured to teach the fundamentals first, insisting on their proper execution, and then to build an offensive and defensive system on them.  Encourage your children to improve on the fundamentals during their free time.  Excellence is never an accident; it is planned.  Professional athletes go to camps to work on the basics.  Certainly high school students can give them the attention they deserve.

Sports can teach many important lessons for life: hard work and a dedication to learning yields results; the good of the team as a whole is more important than an individual’s interests; and our emotions serve us when they are not out of control.  Student-athletes will learn that anything they do should be done with intensity and passion striving for excellence.  St. Paul wrote in a letter, “Whatever you do, work at it with your whole being.” (Col 3:23)

Parents and coaches should work together for the good of the players and the advancement of the team.  Our coaches are available to discuss a student athlete’s needs or any other matter relevant to the program.

In closing, we believe that Catholic sports programs should provide an alternative to the excesses in our society.  To Godlessness, we will pray before games; to unsportsmanlike behavior, our teams should be young ladies and gentlemen; to uncharitable and negative fans, ours should cheer positively and enthusiastically.

We must be ever aware that our teams, students, parents and fans represent a Catholic School.

Testimonial from the Campbell Family

From Kennedy Catholic my children have received spiritual inspiration, exceptional academics and extracurricular activities just as the mission statement intended. For my oldest daughter Princess who just graduated and heading to Stanford, she is definitely ready to pass this on the next phase in her journey and new educational community and the world.Thank you Kennedy Catholic for giving only the best!!!!!

Dr Linet Campbell 
Mother to Princess, Precious, Patience & Paris Ochweri 


Testimonial from the Southworth Family

Kennedy Catholic is a phenomenal school. The teachers, students and staff saved my son’s life. We are forever grateful. 

The Southworth Family-
Lena, Adrian & Maxwell


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 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 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 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