AVONDALE — Families and community leaders were among those gathered on a windswept dirt lot Jan. 27 to witness the groundbreaking for the newest Catholic high school in the Diocese of Phoenix.
St. John Paul II Catholic High School, slated to open for the 2018 academic year, will be built beside St. Thomas Aquinas Parish. The far-west Valley is one of the fastest growing areas in the state and while it boasts Catholic elementary schools, there hasn’t been a Catholic high school nearby. Until now.
Dan De Battista, who substitute teaches at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School, where two of his grandchildren attend, was excited. He’s hoping they will one day attend the new Catholic high school. He said he’s taught in public schools and the difference in settings was huge.
“It’s a gift for this area — it’s a gift from God to be able to have this,” De Battista said.