Knapstein named new principal of St. Patrick Catholic High School

BILOXI, Miss.- Bishop Louis F. Kihneman III has announced the hiring of Paul Knapstein (pronounced Ka-nap-stein) as principal of St. Patrick Catholic High School.

Knapstein, who is currently the interim principal and athletic director of St. Michael Catholic High School in Fairhope, Alabama is in his 30th year as an educator and spent 22 of those years working in Catholic schools.

“Mr. Knapstein has nearly 30 years of educational experience with Catholic schools as a teacher, coach, and administrator on both the diocesan and school levels working with parishes, families and children,” said Bishop Kihneman. “He is also strongly committed to Forming Intentional Disciples and has been working very hard toward that goal in his current position at St. Michael.

“I am grateful to everyone who applied and appreciate the search committee’s recommendations. Mr. Knapstein was their number one choice.”

Knapstein is a graduate of Notre Dame Catholic High School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Rhodes College in Memphis, where he earned his B.A. in History with a teaching certificate and the University of West Florida in Pensacola, where he earned a Master’s in Educational Leadership.

Prior to coming to St. Michael in 2016, Knapstein held coaching and teaching positions at McGill-Toolen Catholic High School in Mobile, John Carroll Catholic High School in Birmingham and Memphis Catholic High School in Memphis.

“My family and I are grateful for the opportunity to join the St. Patrick community. I am looking forward to working with the great faculty and staff to help form the next generation of Catholic, Christian leaders in the Diocese of Biloxi,” said Knapstein.

 “I have held every possible position of leadership in a Catholic school.  I have been a teacher, a coach, a department head, an admissions director, an athletic director, an assistant principal, and a principal.  All of these experiences have contributed to my expectations and my leadership style.”

Knapstein said he cannot wait to hit the ground running.

“I am looking forward to moving to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and meeting our faculty & staff.  I want to observe the daily operations of the school and work with our leadership team to continue the growth of our school to better serve our faith community.  

Knapstein said he is also eager to continue St. Patrick’s mission of Forming Intentional Disciples.

“Our mission as Catholic educators is clear to me,” he said. “Our job is to help our students and families form personal relationships with Jesus Christ.  If we are not contributing to the formation of disciples, we are not doing our jobs correctly.  The evangelization of our faith is a primary goal for me.”

Knapstein and his wife, Amanda, will celebrate their 29th anniversary this year.  They have three children and one grandchild.

Knapstein will take the helm at St. Patrick this summer.

“I am excited to join the St. Patrick community,” he said. “I do not take this opportunity lightly.  I hope I can help enhance the already excellent school that has served so many families over the last 15 years.”