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Our nickname, “Deacons,” was adopted in the fall of 1934 for the teams of Sacred Heart Academy, the forerunner of Shanley High School, and has been used ever since.

It is especially fitting for Catholic schools since it is derived from the Greek and literally means “servants” or “those who serve” (Acts 6). The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that Jesus “made Himself the ‘Deacon’ or servant of all” (CCC 1570).

In light of our schools’ mission, identity, and nickname, we expect our students to excel in serving God and neighbor.



To inspire excellence by teaching the total person and fostering the following of Christ, as taught by the Catholic Church.


The Shanley Shield first appeared on football helmets in the fall of 1973. It was designed by Shanley art teacher Sr. Mary Virginia Deibert, PBVM with the help of her art students.

The shield signifies strength. The cross of Christ is centered on the shield as it is the center of our Catholic faith. The “S” represents “Shanley” high school, named for Bishop John Shanley (1852-1909), who served as the first bishop of the Fargo Catholic Diocese.

Graduation from Shanley High School is the capstone for the St. John Paul II Catholic Schools student experience as Deacons.