Yorkey named new principal for St. John’s Catholic School

John Patrick “J.P.” Yorkey will be the new principal at St. John’s Catholic School in Brunswick effective July 1, 2024. Shelly Wheeler has been named Superintendent of Maine Catholic Schools starting for the 2024-2025 school year. Wheeler has served as principal of St. John’s Catholic School in Brunswick with distinction since 2018.

“I’m excited to be joining the St. John’s Catholic School community.  The school is advancing positively with its distinctive mission of providing an enriching classical education anchored by our faith,” Yorkey said. “After visiting the school, meeting Fr. Phil and the hiring committee, it was clear to me that this is a good fit. I look forward to getting to know all of the students, teachers, families, school, parish support staff and the good work that lies ahead."

Yorkey has more than 30 years’ experience in education across the northeast as an administrator, principal, educator, coach and director of athletics. He was most recently the principal of Saint Dominic Academy’s Lewiston campus for the past three years.

“J.P. brings a wealth of experience and a dynamic energy that will undoubtedly enhance our vibrant school community,” Wheeler said. “His experience in athletics and coaching will foster a spirit of teamwork and resilience among our students. J.P.’s multifaceted experience and enthusiasm for education make him an exceptional choice for our school grounded in Catholic values. He will be instrumental in continuing the tradition of excellence at St. John’s.”

Before his promotion to principal of Saint Dominic Academy’s Lewiston campus, Yorkey was the dean of students and athletics. Yorkey also held other administrative roles at St. Dominic Academy including athletics director. He also served as the principal of Mount View High School in Thorndike and the assistant principal of Lake Region Middle School in Naples. In Naples, he successfully implemented a school-wide proactive discipline system based on positive behavioral interventions and support. He helped plan curriculum and district policies and coordinated the Maine Educational Assessments.  

Yorkey’s career started with a focus on athletics. He was a student teacher and coach at Longmeadow High School in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. He served as the assistant men’s basketball coach at Binghamton University in New York from 1993 through 1996. He was the director of athletics for RSU #21 and MSAD #15 in Kennebunk and Gray where he managed the athletic departments of a Class A high school and large middle school. Yorkey was also a teacher, coach and advisor for Whittier Middle School and Poland Regional High School in Poland.

Yorkey graduated from Springfield College in Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Science. He has a Master of Education degree majoring in administration from Springfield College. Yorkey earned a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern Maine in Gorham. Yorkey is a member of the Maine Principals Association, National Association of Secondary School Principals, and National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP).

St. John’s Catholic School in Brunswick serves nearly 150 students in grades pre-kindergarten through 8th grade with an enriching classical education anchored by faith. St. John’s Catholic School was established in Brunswick in 1882.

St. John’s Catholic School offers an academic curriculum in a values-oriented environment. The ministry of the school, faculty, and staff serves to support the family by assisting parents in the academic, social, and spiritual formation of their children.