May 24, 2021

Amber Roseboom
Director of Media Relations
Catholic Diocese of Arlington

Saint John Paul The Great Catholic High School In Potomac Shores, Va., To Hold In-person Graduation Ceremony For Class Of 2021 This Friday, May 28; Graduates Bring Up To Four Guests

Following Hybrid (In-Person and Virtual) Learning Since Fall 2020, All Students Permitted to Return to Full-time, In-person Instruction as of this May

All Grade Levels Will Be Full-Time In-Person for 2021-22 Academic Year 

ARLINGTON, Va. - Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School in Potomac Shores, Va., is capping off an unprecedented year with an in-person graduation ceremony for the Class of 2021. Each graduate is permitted to bring four guests to the celebratory occasion. The ceremony, to be held on the school's football field, will take place Friday, May 28, at 10:30 a.m. Saint John Paul the Great and all high schools in the Catholic Diocese of Arlington safely re-opened at the beginning of the 2020-21 academic year for hybrid (in-person and virtual) learning, as all 41 brick-and-mortar schools reopened for fully in-person or hybrid instruction.

“In a year of challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are so blessed to be holding an in-person graduation ceremony after a year of in-person education! I am so happy to celebrate our Class of 2021 and their impressive achievements on all levels,” said Head of School Sr. Mary Veronica Keller, O.P. “These students truly accepted the reality of what we were facing and embraced the difficulties presented by the pandemic with maturity, resilience, and faith. This year, we experienced the joy of being together as a community, despite the challenges before us. Our students truly followed the words of our patron, Saint John Paul II: 'Never doubt, never tire, and never become discouraged. Be not afraid.'”

Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School Class of 2021 Graduation Ceremony

Date and Time:        
Friday, May 28, 10:30 a.m.

17700 Dominican Drive, Potomac Shores, VA 22026

Football Field

(In the event of rain, the ceremony will be moved indoors and split into two events, one at 9 a.m. and one at 12 p.m. The graduates would then be permitted to bring two, as opposed to four, guests. The ceremony will be livestreamed here.)

Media Credentials:   Interested media, contact Amber Roseboom, Director of Media Relations, Catholic Diocese of Arlington, at 571-215-8731 or

In addition to offering hybrid instruction for the entirety of the 2020-21 academic year to date, Saint John Paul the Great began phasing students back to full-time in-person instruction this spring. On March 29, all seniors were permitted to return to full-time in-person learning, and, beginning May 3, this was opened to all students, grades 9-11 included. This fall, the four diocesan high schools plan to resume full-time in-person instruction for all grade levels with ongoing COVID-19 mitigation safety protocols in place.

Saint John Paul the Great's Class of 2021 graduates include 92 AP Scholars and three National Scholars, with four students commended for National Merit and three for National Hispanic Recognition. There are also six 2021 graduates who earned appointments to military academies.

“The in-person graduations for the Class of 2021 in our diocesan high schools are a particular highlight in a year of remarkable accomplishments. It was an incredible challenge for all of our school communities to adjust to COVID-19 protocols,” said Dr. Joseph Vorbach, Superintendent for Schools, Catholic Diocese of Arlington. “In-person graduations are a mark of the resilience of the graduates and of hope for a continued gradual return to the norms and traditions of school life going forward. We salute the Class of 2021!”

For more information on Catholic schools in the Diocese of Arlington, visit here.

Interested media should contact Amber Roseboom, Director of Media Relations, Catholic Diocese of Arlington, at 571-215-8731 or

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The Catholic Diocese of Arlington was established on August 13, 1974, and is home to 71 parishes and more than 460,000 Catholics. There are currently 276 priests serving in the Diocese and 45 seminarians discerning a priestly vocation. The Diocese has 37 parish (K-8) schools, four diocesan high schools, four independent Catholic schools and five free-standing (not connected with a parish school) pre-schools, serving more than 17,000 students. 

The Diocese includes the seven cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas, Manassas Park, and Winchester and the 21 counties of Arlington, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, Frederick, King George, Lancaster, Loudoun, Madison, Northumberland, Orange, Page, Prince William, Rappahannock, Richmond, Shenandoah, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Warren and Westmoreland.