Mrs. Amy Steppig implemented the Classical Curriculum at John Paul II Preparatory School, as Dean she has coached parents and students in how to excel in the 3-day hybrid model. Over her 9 years at JPII, she has helped develop a unique model for Catholic, Classical education. Prior to becoming a teacher and then administrator, Mrs. Steppig worked as a youth minister and catechist at several area parishes and is a certified catechist for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Since 1997 Mrs. Steppig is an active member of the homeschooling community in South St. Louis.
Mr. Sebastian Garren has had the pleasure of teaching at JPII for the past 6 years. As Dean he oversees the executive function of the high school including discipline, curriculum, the house system, teacher assistance, and parent resources. He has taught six different courses and loves working with the students, teachers, and parents of the JPII community – whether it be on academic issues or preparing a surprise piñata party for the Principal.
He is the founding director of St. John Paul II Preparatory South Campus and teaches a broad range of classes to students, which are known for perfectly balancing delight with real learning.
An avid reader, he reads economics, folk tales, science fiction, history, and children’s books. Really everything except 19th century French novels, which he has an irrational prejudice against.
Mr. Kenneth Colston is a veteran teacher of languages. He taught at The Thomas Jefferson school for 35 years. His essays on humane letters appear in the St. Austin Review, the New Oxford Review, and Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture.
After experiencing the education at Thomas Aquinas College, Mr. Martel knew what he wanted to do with his life. The delight and wonder of learning were what he wanted to pass on to the younger generations. He has been involved with the home-schooling community here in St. Louis since the 1980’s and served as teacher at Gateway Academy and now currently at St. John Paul II. What Mr. Martel likes about JPII is its dedication to a classical curriculum as the best foundation for a solid education and its 3-day format allowing the parents to actively exercise their very important role of mentoring their children’s formation. The Catholic faith also plays a central role in the presentation of all academic subjects integrating faith and reason so necessary for proper human development. All that he loved and was privileged to learn while at Thomas Aquinas College is what he wishes for all students of JPII.
A proud New Yorker, Nicholas Rao was born, raised, and homeschooled in the wilds of Greenwich Village, Manhattan. He graduated in 2018 from The Catholic University of America, with a double BA in philosophy and Italian Studies, and is currently pursuing his master’s degree in philosophy at Saint Louis University. His passions include music and theater, modern languages, and international travel. As a violinist, he has performed with various orchestras in venues from Carnegie Hall to The Kennedy Center, and served as concertmaster with The College Light Opera Company for a summer season. He taught French for two years with the French Academy/Alliance française. He has visited 25 countries in Europe and will happily tell you about how he hitchhiked from Western Romania to Belgrade, Serbia.
Mrs. Oliver is a native of St. Louis and attended St. Joseph’s Academy. After graduation from college, she worked at Southwestern Bell for 8 years before retiring to be a stay-at-home mom. She and her husband have eight children, four of whom graduated from JPII. She has home schooled for 23 years, as well as serving on the committee of the ARCH Co-op. There she taught art, history, personal finance, and apologetics. She is excited to be joining the faculty at John Paul II South!
What she loves most about JPII is the partnership between the students, teachers, and parents in forming the students to be well-educated, faith-filled Catholics.
Sophia Forget studied Theology at the University of Dallas, where she discovered the joy of the pursuit of wisdom in learning and in life. She is deeply grateful for the personal and intellectual formation she received in being challenged to engage classical and Christian texts from the whole range of human history, from ancient to contemporary. She is interested in the inter-disciplinary dialogue that gives vibrancy and vitality to education, and she is particularly fascinated by the interrelation of theological reflection with philosophical and literary forms of discourse. While at the University of Dallas she worked as a tutor and a student mentor, and finds joy in helping students discover connections between ideas, develop character and virtue, and grow in wonder and awe at the world, oneself, and human relationships. She is thrilled to return to St. Louis, her hometown, and to begin teaching this fall at JPII. She looks forward to handing on, with the help of the Holy Spirit, the gift that she has received in a stimulating and formative Catholic classical education.
Mr. Brendan Steppig is a practicing graphic artist in the St. Louis area specializing in pixel art. A graduate of JPII himself, he brings Christian zeal to the art of drawing. He has designed the House Crests for both North and South Campus.
It takes a community to form the next generation of saints and leaders. If you would like to participate in building up JPII South Campus, contact us! Tell us how you would like to contribute. Volunteers and people looking for part-time work especially welcome!
We need teachers, club coordinators, coaches, office helpers, and more! There’s a lot to do to prepare our kids to live and defend the Catholic faith with confidence and joy.
All volunteers and staff are Prevent and Protect certified.