Lights! Radio! Action!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jennifer Cole
Director of Communications
High School Dedicates New Field Lights;
Launches New Radio Station: 106.3FM WJPN
Dumfries, VA – May 24, 2016: Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School has expanded opportunities for students with the addition of stadium lights on their football field and the launch of a new radio broadcasting initiative. The dedication for both ventures took place during an evening ceremony led by outgoing principal, Sr. Mary Jordan Hoover, O.P., on Friday, May 20, 2016.
While serving different purposes, the light and radio projects are intertwined and donors who made them possible were honored during the dedication ceremony.
Sr. Mary Jordan explained that “…the idea of a Catholic radio station in Prince William County was brought to us by Mr. Tom Vetter. He had a desire to share the Catholic faith with commuters on 95 and approached me to see if we might also be interested.” Hoover continued, “It was the perfect time for us, as we were looking at different ways to help our students use their training from bioethics class in the real world. It is an excellent educational opportunity for our students, and a perfect fit with our mission as a Catholic school.”
It took about two years to complete the initial FCC application requirements before the school was approved to host the station, and a signal assigned: 106.3FM. The school chose call letters from a list of those available, selecting WJPN. The project was in danger of being indefinitely delayed due to unforeseen issues with antenna placement, until an unexpected offer was made Mr. and Mrs. Mike and Corrine Kosar to help with seed money for stadium lights.
As a new school, John Paul the Great was still years away from being able to afford stadium lights for their football field.
However, as Sr. Mary Jordan explained at the dedication ceremony, “The Holy Spirit was at work again! Just when we thought we would have to delay the radio project, I received word that a new John Paul family wanted to help us add lights to the field. It turns out that a tall pole on our field was the only feasible place for radio antenna.”
Supporters of Catholic education, and inspired by the radio initiative, Mr. and Mrs. Kosar moved forward swiftly with a donation to cover the entire cost of adding stadium lights to the field, enabling the radio project to continue.
Corrine Kosar could not attend the dedication, but her husband was there to officially turn on the lights and kick off the ceremony.
“We are tremendously grateful for the inspired ideas and generous contributions of the Vetters and the Kosars. Their gifts will impact our school and our community for generations to come,” Sr. Mary Jordan said.
106.3 WJPN is a Low Power FM signal which broadcasts approximately 10 miles from the school. For now, the school will simulcast EWTN Catholic Radio Network but run its own call letters and a brief student-led interview about the new initiative. Next year an introductory broadcasting course will be offered to students covering topics such as ethical use of technology and how to produce professional content. Eventually, student and teacher-created content could include talk shows, broadcasting of a class, schools news, and calling live sports games.
The dedication ceremony came at the end of the third annual Beach Bash, a student-led event sponsored by the John Paul Service Club. Proceeds raised from the afternoon of games, food, and raffle prizes were donated to Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington.
Adding to the excitement of the day was the school community’s first chance to meet incoming principal, Dominican sister, Mary Veronica Keller, O.P.. In July, Sr. Mary Veronica will replace founding principal, Sr. Mary Jordan, who has been tapped to help open a new Catholic high school in the Diocese of Phoenix, Arizona.
Before students and alumni began rounds of flag football under the new lights, a flash mob to the tune of We Are Family took to the field in a surprise tribute to Sr. Mary Jordan. The student-choreographed dance included about 80 people, mostly students and some faculty, who practiced for a week during their lunch break undetected by the principal.
About Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School:
Established in 2008, Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School is a co-educational, college-preparatory, high school currently serving more than 730 students from Northern Virginia. It is the only high school in the United States to offer a 4-year Bioethics Curriculum©. In only 8 short years, Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School has produced high achieving graduates who attend some of the nation’s best colleges and universities including Ivy League schools, Catholic institutions, and military academy appointments. Athletic achievements include state championships, and students playing division I – III sports in college.