New St. Patrick principal looks forward to furthering values of Catholic education

The Fighting Irish of St. Patrick Catholic High School have a new leader.

Now, he’s speaking to News 25 about his goals and vision as he prepares for his new role.


Paul Knapstein

Paul Knapstein was selected after an extensive candidate search by the Diocese of Biloxi.

He takes over for the 2023-2024 school year, replacing Dr. Matt Buckley, the new superintendent for the diocese.

Knapstein says the hiring process was a whirlwind, but as a longtime resident of the Gulf South, he thrilled to be headed to the Mississippi Coast.

With more than 30 years of experience in education, Knapstein says his hope as principal is to further the values of Catholic education already in place at St. Patrick.

“What drew me to St. Patrick is the dedication to forming young men and women of faith, that the Diocese of Biloxi has, and at St. Patrick’s specifically it’s forming intentional disciples. That really…kind of resonated in my heart.”

Knapstein is the current interim principal at St. Michael Catholic High in Fairhope, Alabama.

He’ll begin his role at St. Patrick this summer.

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