Administration

Mr. Lawrence Fitzgerald

Principal

Mr. Fitzgerald was the principal of Sacred Heart School in Groton, CT for 6 years, and principal of the Holy Family Catholic School in Fairfield, CT for 8 years. He is also a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel.

He serves on the Commission for Independent Schools for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the agency responsible for accrediting all Catholic schools in New England. He has served on the Professional Development Committee, Curriculum Committee, and Technology Committee for the Diocese of Norwich.

In addition to his CT state certification as a school administrator and physical education teacher, he also possesses a 6th-year professional certificate in administration from Sacred Heart University and has completed the Emmaus Leadership Program for Catholic School Principals.


Ms. Tiffany Ruvolo

Director of Advancement, Communications, & Marketing/Assistant Principal

Ms. Ruvolo taught in Catholic Schools for 30 years in grades PK through 8th grade before transitioning into her current role as an Administrator. She received her Bachelor’s degree, in Elementary Education, from the University of N.Florida and her Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction.

She holds a Connecticut Professional Certification in  Elementary Education with endorsements in Middle School Social Studies as well as Middle School Integrated Learning.

Ms. Ruvolo has also served as a member of several NEASC visiting accreditation committees in New England and Accreditation Committees in Florida.

 


Mrs. Betsy Leyden

Business Manager

Mrs. Leyden is an experienced accountant in the private industry who has also worked in Catholic Schools. 

Mrs. Leyden manages school finances.

She and her family are active members of St. Joseph, Rockville and her children attend a Catholic school in Manchester.


Faculty

Ms. Taylor Pettingill

Computer Science and Technology

 

 

Mrs. Joan Smith

Pre-Kindergarten

Mrs. Joan Smith graduated from Bentley (College) University with a BS degree in Marketing Management. She has 22 years of teaching experience and has worked with students from Pre-Kindergarten through High School. 

Mrs. Smith has 16 years of experience in Early Childhood Education in Catholic Schools. 

She has been an active member of the Middletown Early Childhood Network and has attended numerous workshops that assist in supporting Early Childhood Education. 

Mrs. Smith is a product of Catholic education and so are her grown children.  

Her son and daughter attended St. John School, in Middletown, as well as Xavier and Mercy High School.

Mrs. Amanda Hearn

Preschool Teacher's Assistant 

Mrs. Hearn is a 10th-year teacher originally from Johnstown, Pennsylvania. She graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in 2005.

Mrs. Hearn moved to Delaware in 2007 where she met her husband and had their son, Liam.

She taught at a public school in Delaware for 5 years and then moved to Middletown, CT with her family.  

 


Mrs. M. Patricia Cala

Kindergarten

Mrs. Cala graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She is certified to teach grades K-6.

Mrs. Cala has over 25 years of classroom teaching experience that includes: Kindergarten, 1st Grade, and 2nd Grade.

She has taught in Alabama, Georgia, and Germany. 

Mrs. Cala also has experience working with Early Intervention and in the Child Welfare System.

She enjoys spending time with her family and traveling. 

 

 

Mrs. Sophie Formica

Kindergarten Instructional Aide

Mrs. Formica has been a Paraprofessional for over nine years in both public and parochial schools working with students ranging in age from kindergarten through fourth grade.  

She has provided assistance in the Resource room working with students one-on-one and the Aftercare program at JPII.

Has been a Mentor through the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce and a past C.C.D. teacher at St. Sebastians church in Middletown.

Mrs. Formica holds an associate's degree in Human Services from Middlesex Community college.

In her spare time, she enjoys reading, hiking, gardening, going to the beach, and spending time with her husband and two daughters.


Mrs. Nicole Kelly

First Grade

Mrs. Kelly graduated from Pace University with a degree in Elementary Education and received her Masters of Art & Teaching from Sacred Heart University.

She has been teaching for 29 years, 21 of those years have been dedicated to working in Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Norwich as well as the Archdiocese of Hartford.

Mrs. Kelly also holds Connecticut State Certification in Pre-K through grade 6.


Mrs. Theresa Sammataro

Second Grade

Mrs. Sammataro graduated from Teikyo Post University with a Bachelor of Science in Pre-Law and received her Masters in Elementary Education from the University of Bridgeport.

She had taught Pre-school for many years and has been teaching Elementary Education in the Norwich Diocese for the past 12 years.

Mrs. Sammataro spent many years teaching Faith Formation at Saint Joseph’s Church in New London.

She loves spending time with her family and friends at the beach, traveling, and watching football. She also enjoys traveling with her two sons and husband to Delaware.

Mrs. Sammataro embraces individuality as a true gift from God and encourages her students to embrace their uniqueness.


Mrs. Ulli Dzimian

Third Grade

Mrs. Dzimian has 22 years of experience educating young learners on the elementary level.

She grew up in Germany and moved to the U.S. where she earned her B.A. degree summa cum laude in Foreign Languages and Literature at the University of Hartford.

Prior to her teaching career, she worked as a research librarian and translator at Ciba-Geigy’s Toxicology Laboratory.

Mrs. Dzimian and her husband have two daughters who both attended St. John School and Mercy High School. She enjoys traveling, hiking, and reading.


Mrs. Patrice Cirucci

Fourth Grade

Mrs. Patrice Cirucci graduated from the University of Saint Joseph with a B.A. in English and returned for her Master's degree in Literacy.

She is certified in K-6th and has taught these grade levels in East Hartford, West Hartford, and Hartford. Mrs.Cirucci taught 1st grade for the last 4 years at Saint Brigid-Saint Augustine School in West Hartford.

During the summer, she teaches Kindergarten-2nd grade through the YMCA Bell Excel Program and tutors students of various grade levels.

Mrs. Cirucci found a love for Catholic schools when she attended Mercy High School in Middletown. 

In her free time, Mrs.Cirucci enjoys running, biking, and swimming with her husband. 


Mrs. Kathy Pellitier

Fifth Grade

Mrs. Pelletier is a product of Catholic Education. She has a degree in Early Childhood Education from Southern Connecticut University where she graduated with honors.

Mrs. Pelletier has been part of the JPII community for 10 years. She is a past president of the Home and School Association and has led many programs and fundraisers.

She has three children who have all gone to Catholic schools, two of whom attend JPII. 


Ms. Emilia Lynch

8th-grade advisor

Middle School Literature & Religion

Ms. Lynch graduated from the University of St. Joseph with a B.A. in English and received an M.S. in Educational Leadership from Central Connecticut State University.   She is certified in Secondary English/Language Arts. 

Ms. Lynch is a product of Catholic Education and has been a member of the JPII faculty since the school's inception in 2013.

 Throughout her tenure at JPII, she served as faculty advisor for the Yearbook, chaired the faculty Sunshine Club, and co-chaired the JPII NEASC self-study as well being a member on various NEASC Visiting Committees. 

Ms. Lynch has a passion for theater and currently oversees the JPII Drama Program. 

She also serves as the Middle School Team Leader and advises the eighth grade. 

Mr. Nicholas Ruck

7th-grade advisor

Middle School Social Studies and Language Arts

 



Mr. Mitchell Hamilton

6th-grade Advisor

Middle School Science 

Mr. Hamilton is a lifelong lover of the sciences, with an educational background from CCSU and prior experience as a middle school science teacher at St. Brigid-St. Augustine Partnership school prior to its closing.

Passionate about delivering a technology-integrated, and quality, S.T.E.M. education, he is the newest member of the St. John Paul II family.

 


Mrs. Allison Donnelly

Middle School Math

Mrs. Donnelly earned her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Eastern Connecticut State University and her Master's in Mathematics for Certified Secondary School Teachers from Central Connecticut State University. 

She is a Connecticut Certified Professional Teacher in Mathematics for grades 7 – 12. 

Prior to joining St. John Paul II, she taught mathematics for over 13 years including 10 years at Northwest Catholic High School in West Hartford and over 2 years at Xavier High School in Middletown before taking time to be at home with her youngest son. 

Allison lives in Middletown with her husband Kevin and their three sons Aidan (JPII alum), Tristan (JPII student), and Kylan (JPII student).


Dr. Victor Triay

Middle School Spanish

Dr. Triay has over 25 years of Spanish teaching experience. He has a B.A. from the University of Florida and a  Ph.D. from Florida State University.

He is a full-time history professor at Middlesex Community College and a published author.

His wife, Emy, is the elementary Spanish teacher at the school.

Dr. Triay also guests lectures in Social Studies and Religion classes at the school.


Mr. Matthew Guevara

Spanish Grades PK - 8

 


Mrs. Jill Hernandez

Music & Band

Mrs. Hernandez teaches general music for preschool-Grade 8, middle school choir. and is the music director for the drama program. 

A staff member of  CT Future Musicians,  she is also the instrumental teacher and Band Director for Grades 4-8.  Which is run by CT Future Musicians.

Mrs. Hernandez has over 30 years of teaching experience and is CT certified in PreK-12 music. 

She earned her B.M. in music education from the University of Hartford, Hartt School of Music. 


Mrs. Barbara Lee

Art Teacher

Mrs. Lee graduated from Central Connecticut State University  with a B.S and MS degree in Art Education.  She is passionate about art both in the role of teacher and as an active artist herself, focusing on drawing, painting, sculpture, and textiles.

She has 27 years of experience teaching art to students from Pre-K through high school and has taught for most of her career in the Lebanon School District in CT. 

Mrs. Lee holds a Connecticut State Certification in Art Education. 

Besides creating her own personal artwork, Mrs. Lee enjoys camping, swimming, traveling and spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren.


Mr. Branislav Obrenovic

PE Teacher

Mr. Obrenovic (Coach Branko) holds a Master’s Degree in Physical Education and Sport. Grew up and educated in Serbia and Croatia, he graduated from the Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, at the University of Belgrade, Serbia.

He has more than 20 years with a variety of experience and knowledge in physical education and sports, working as an athletic director, head coach, and coordinator with youth ages PK-12 at Schools and recreation centers back in Europe.

He is a professional soccer coach and holds, UEFA “A” Coaching License, with national and international coaching experience. For the last four years, he has been working as a head soccer coach of multiple premier soccer teams at Sporting CT, Middletown. Also, he is a Coaching Director of the Youth Development Program at the Cromwell Chill Soccer Club, as well as, Coaching Director at the Middletown Youth Soccer, Park & Recreation.

Mr. Obrenovic (Coach Branko) has teaching experience in the US, working two years at Middletown High School, as a Building Substitute Teacher, before starting to work as the Physical Education teacher at St. John Paul II, in 2019. He likes to spend his free time outdoors or traveling with his family.


Resource Room


Mrs. Anna Dennehy

Resource Room Teacher and Coordinator

Ms. Anna Dennehy graduated from the University of Saint Joseph with an Undergraduate degree in English and Elementary Education and a Masters's degree in Literacy.

She holds a Connecticut State Certification in Elementary Education Kindergarten - 6th grade.

Ms. Dennehy has been in the education field for 12 years, 8 of those years being in Catholic Education.  During her 12 years in education, she has taught in grades kindergarten through 8th in some capacity. 

In addition to teaching in the Catholic school system, Ms. Dennehy attended Catholic institutions from preschool through college.  When she is not teaching she enjoys spending time with her children (who constantly keeps her on her toes) and husband.  


Mrs. Nicole Milardo

Resource Room 

Mrs. Milardo has been teaching in the Catholic Schools since 2006. She started at Saint Sebastian School and was transferred to St Mary's School. Mrs. Milardo was the lead preschool teacher until 2013.

Today at JPII, she enjoys her role as the children's learning support teacher in the Resource Room. Nicole is a graduate of Briarwood College with an Associate's Degree in Early Childhood. Change is the end result of all true learning.


Aftercare 

Ms. Gabrielle Bruckner

Extended Day Program


Ms. Sabrina Corsino

Extended Day Program

Mr. Anthony Moran

Extended Day Program


Nurse

Mrs. Marianna Kiger

School Nurse

Marianna holds a BS in nursing from SCSU and was working in Medical Telemetry at the HOCC and Hartford Hospital.

Prior to joining the Middletown Schools nursing team and St. John Paul II school, Marianna worked as a substitute school nurse for Middletown and Glastonbury schools.

Marianna enjoys working with children and promoting the health of students.

In her free time, she likes to spend time outdoors and traveling with her family.