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Looking at the school's history, providing a snapshot of student life and those individuals who help to promote the school's mission.
Last Updated: Apr 13, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Inspirational Leaders Print Page

In Memory of Claudia Puryear

Claudia and Bill Puryear were instrumental in the creation of Pope John Paul II High School.  The school library honors this contribution by its name, "The Claudia and William Puryear Library."

Claudia Puryear passed away on December 22, 2015.  Founding Headmaster Hans Broekman compared Claudia to Martha in the Gospel, who "opened her home (providing) a hospitality which was spiritual,  beautiful, humble, and genuinely feminine. All who experienced (Claudia's) hospitality were enriched by it, because it made possible a true encounter of friends and souls."  Read the full text of Broekman's letter in the below link.

Honoring Bill Puryear

Bill Puryear was honored at the 2010
JPII Peoplechase for his contributions
to the school. 

Founding Headmaster Hans Broekman
credited Mr. Puryear with setting a strong
direction for the school:

"(Bill's) inspiration was Pope John Paul II himself. He set himself the target of making sure that the school would reflect not only the late Pope’s spiritual, but also his intellectual and educational values. This is the reason we have a beautiful theatre, a large library, a beautiful crucifix in our chapel, a statue of the Pope in our courtyard, why and how we recruited JJ Ebelhar, Karen Phillips and Betty Mayberry, for this reason the school set it sights high from its earliest beginning, perceived itself as called to be a city on a hill, a transformational place and presence."


    Pope John Paul II High School: Early Beginnings


    Jim Power poses with Bill Puryear at the
    school site on Nov. 19, 2000.  Mr. Puryear
    lent his financial expertise to the school
    building project.


      Founding of JPII Panel Discussion

      Bill Puryear joined a panel of founding board members, faculty, alumni, as well as Ann Carrell and founding headmaster Hans Broekman to discuss the beginnings of Pope John Paul II High School.  In this video excerpt, Puryear discusses "the miracle of JPII": "Even before there was a building, there was faith that (the school) could be made to work." 

      Bill Puryear, Author and Historian

      Bill Puryear was one of the featured writers at the 2013 Writers Cafe, reading from the book series, Founding of the Cumberland Settlements, which he co-authored with Doug Drake and Jack Masters.  The first book in this series won the prestigious Tennessee History Book Award.  Mr. Puryear listened with great interest to the student writers and spoke to several students during the Writers Cafe, encouraging them in their writing.


        Tributes to Bill Puryear

        Richard Stephenson, former English Dept. Chair, with Bill Puryear at the 2013 Writers Cafe.


        History of the Cumberland Settlements

        Cover Art
        The First Southwest - Bill Puryear; Jack Masters; David Wright (Artist); Shirley Wilson (Contribution by)
        Call Number: REF 976.8 PUR
        ISBN: 9780982462713
        Publication Date: 2012
        Third volume covers the Cumberland and Duck River Settlements and features how Tennesseans expanded our nation South and West.

        Cover Art
        Thoroughfare for Freedom - William Puryear (Editor, Illustrator); Jack Masters (Photographer, Maps by)
        Call Number: REF 976.8 PUR
        ISBN: 9780982462744
        Publication Date: 2011
        The second atlas of the Cumberland Settlements shows who came, how they came, and where they put down roots.


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