JPII Back to School Newsletter

Welcome, we are glad you're here!


A big thank you for your patience with all the transition this summer. In the front office, Mrs. Ford will be helping Mrs. Hoffman and myself learn the ins and outs of JPII. The office will be back in full swing as of Monday, August 13th. As we organize and update our files, please know that we will have some new paperwork to fill out at Open House, this is to ensure the safety of your children. Feel free to stop by or call with any questions.

Our Mission and Vision

St. John Paul II Catholic School Mission Statement:

In unity with St. Matthew's Catholic Church, St. John Paul II Catholic School is committed to fostering a strong Catholic foundation of faith, family, community and academics in a Christ-centered environment.

St. John Paul II Catholic School Vision Statement:

Catholic education is an explicit expression of the evangelizing mission entrusted by Jesus to His Church. Our mission at St. John Paul II Catholic School at St. Matthew's is:

  • to teach the message of Jesus Christ through prayer, word, and example;
  • to promote self-confidence, moral and spiritual values, enabling the student to reach full awareness of their God-given talents;
  • to build within the parish setting a strong community based on Christian faith and service;
  • to provide a structured and enriched education program in an atmosphere that empowers students to achieve their potential as children of God who impact the local and global community.
This process is enhanced by parents, staff, teachers and administrators whose lives are modeled on Gospel values as they teach, serve and build community as Jesus did.


Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year. I am very excited for this new learning opportunity to lead your school. I want to take just a few minutes to introduce myself to you and what my goals will be for this upcoming year.

Other than college, Gillette has always been my home. I grew up attending Mass at St.Matthew's Church and am now blessed to raise my own family in the church. My husband, Ryan and I celebrated our fifteen wedding anniversary this last summer. Our greatest accomplishment has been our two children, Drew and Kendall. Drew will be in fifth grade at JPII and Kendall will start her high school journey at Thunder Basin High School this fall. We spend a lot of time traveling with sports, golfing, and enjoying fun family vacations together.

This will be my eighteenth year in education. I graduated in 2000 from Montana State University-Billings with my bachelor's degree in Elementary and Special Education. I began my career at Lakeview Elementary teaching second and fourth grade for ten years. The opportunity presented itself to assist in the opening of Buffalo Ridge. I transferred to Buffalo Ridge and taught second grade for the next four years. During my years of teaching, I was very active on a variety of committees and have always been fascinated by the reading process and literacy development. I pursued my life long goal of obtaining my Master's degree from Walden University and soon after accepted the position of the Elementary Language Arts Facilitator. In this position, I worked closely with teachers, instructional facilitators, and administrators. I also had the opportunity to work closely with some of the best educational researchers in field. This past year, I joined the JPII staff and taught third grade. In the upcoming year, I will embark on my newest learning opportunity of serving as the principal of JPII. God has truly blessed me with a love of learning and working with amazing students and teachers throughout my career. My goals for this upcoming year are:

* To build relationships with students, staff, and parents

* To create an environment where students feel safe, loved, and empowered as learners.

* To know every student and parents' name by the end of the year

* To celebrate the amazing students, staff, and incredible learning happening at our school.

* Communicate through a variety of forms of media (monthly newsletter, website, facebook, apps)

This year will be full of many celebrations and opportunities to learn and grow from one another. I look forward to working with each and everyone of you. See you soon!

Vanessa Gemar

School Uniform Exchange

Monday, Aug. 6th, 8am to Friday, Aug. 10th, 1pm

JPII Lobby

We will display our collection of school uniforms in the lobby of JPII, you are welcome to stop by throughout the week and exchange uniforms. You can also shop for your specific school uniform needs at

To shop, simply follow these steps:

  1. Visit and Click on “Shop By School” in the top navigation of the website.
  2. Enter our school code (QS5CKQN)
  3. Click on our School Name
  4. Shop our school’s dress code list

Click on the link below for the specific dress code requirements at JPII:

Meet and Greet at Edwards Shelter

Wednesday, Aug. 15th, 6-8pm

900 Edwards Street

Gillette, WY

Come enjoy a dessert social and meet the staff of JPII. We have lots of new faces. If possible, please bring one school supply item to donate to the Council of Community Services. We look forward to meeting you!

Mallo Camp for 5th and 6th Grade Students

This year Mallo Camp will be from August 22-24 for students enrolled in fifth and sixth grade. Click on the following link for more information. We will have a brief information meeting about Mallo Camp at Open House. Click on the following link for more information: Mallo camp information

* We need parent volunteers to stay in cabins and/or help with lessons. If you are interested, please email me or fill out the following form. Please fill out the form below.

Robotics Coaches Needed (VEX IQ)

We have an exciting opportunity at JPII to participate in learning and competing with robotics. If you are interested or know of a grandparent that would be interested in helping coach a robotics team please email me. Depending on the interest, we may have more than one team. This could likely be an after school club or possibly an elective for the middle school. The first training will be offered Friday, August 3rd & Saturday, August 4th at AREA 59 (in Gillette). Below is the link to more information about the VEX IQ.

Fall Fest

Mark your calendars for September 22nd for Fall Fest. Please stop by the office and pick up your raffle tickets!
St. John Paul II Catholic School Website

We will continue to update our website with TONS of great information .

St. John Paul II Facebook Page

Will update our Facebook page with new and current information