Saint John Paul the Great gets new principal

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Dominican Sister of St. Cecilia Mary Veronica Keller will become principal of Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School in Dumfries in July, according to an announcement from the diocese May 4.

"It brings me great joy to make this appointment," said Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde.

"Sister Mary Veronica will build on the tradition of excellence established under the leadership of founding Principal Sister Mary Jordan Hoover, O.P., who has helped to form a community rooted in prayer, study and service," he said.

Sister Mary Veronica currently serves as principal of St. Pius V School in Providence, R.I. Prior to that, she taught at St. Croix School in Stillwater, Minn., and St. Cecilia Academy, Nashville, Tenn., where she taught with both Sister Mary Jordan, outgoing principal, and Sister Mary Brigid, chairwoman of the religious department at Mount de Sales Academy in Baltimore, both of whom will head to the Diocese of Phoenix in July to establish a community and lead the newly founded St. John Paul II Catholic High School that will open in the fall of 2018.

"Sister Mary Veronica brings not only a wealth of experience as a gifted educator and administrator," said Bishop Loverde, "but also a personal acquaintance with our diocese, having lived and worked here prior to entering the Dominican Sisters in 1993."

Sister Mary Veronica was a member of St. Bernadette Church in Springfield prior to entering the Dominican Sisters in 1993. She also taught at Potomac High School (1987-89).

She earned a bachelor's in English from James Madison University in Harrisonburg in 1985, a master's in educational leadership from Christian Brothers University, Memphis, in 2007, and a master's in biblical studies from Providence College in 2008.

Sister Mary Veronica said she is looking forward to getting to know the Saint John Paul the Great community and will visit the school over the weekend of May 20-23.

She also will attend the blessing of the radio tower and lights at the school stadium May 20.

"I am very happy that Sister Mary Veronica will be the next principal at Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School," said Sister Mary Jordan. "She is an experienced educator who approaches life with joy and kindness."

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016