AUBURN — Who says you can’t go home?

Home is what has brought J.P. Yorkey to St. Dominic Academy as the school’s new Dean of Students and Athletics. Yorkey replaces Keith Weatherbie as the athletic director, albeit with a different title and added responsibilities.

“This is a really good fit for me, in terms of my interests and abilities, and I feel like it’s a position that I can contribute at St. Dom’s,” said Yorkey, a Poland resident.

Yorkey comes to the Auburn school after one year of being the principal at Mt. View High School in Thorndike. He said he liked everything about his time at Mt. View except the location — which is roughly an hour and a half away from his home in Poland.

St. Dom’s offered Yorkey a much shorter commute and a new challenge.

“I think that the dual aspect of the position is what makes this a good fit for the school and for me,” Yorkey said.


Shelly Wheeler, the school’s new principal, agreed that Yorkey was a good fit for the position.

“During his interview, he was very clearly a Saint. And I mean that embodying what St. Dom’s is all about,” Wheeler said. “It just seemed really clear to us that he was the person to kind of help us achieve our athletic and academic goals as a school.”

Yorkey brings plenty of experience in both athletics and academics to his new position. He spent three years as an athletic director combined between Kennebunk and Gray-New Gloucester high schools, and got back into coaching basketball while at Gray-NG. He stayed in coaching, but moved over to teaching at Poland Regional High School. Before his lone year at Mt. View, where he spent time away from athletics, Yorkey was the varsity basketball coach at Lake Region High School. At the same time he was the assistant principal at Lake Region Middle School.

“He has a lot of experience in school administration, from being a principal, to being an assistant principal, to being an athletic director,” Wheeler said of Yorkey. “We were looking for a candidate that could do all of those things, and do it well.”

Yorkey has a master’s degree in athletic administration from Springfield College in Massachusetts.

“I’ve worked in athletics for 25 years, a lot of experience in coaching,” Yorkey said. “I think in terms of my three years as an athletic director, a lot of really good practical experience going through all the seasons several times.”


Yorkey said he doesn’t think much has changed about being an athletic administrator since his last AD job more than a decade ago. He said technology has changed the role, but he called himself an “early adopter” of technology as an AD, including using the website Schedule Star at Kennebunk when only a few schools in the state were doing so.

Yorkey takes over an athletics program at St. Dom’s that is coming off a strong year, with state championships for both the girls’ hockey and girls’ tennis teams, and many playoff appearances from other sports.

“I’m absolutely excited about the school and the athletic department, where it is and where it’s been,” Yorkey said. “They offer a lot of sports for a small school, and they compete quite well. It’s very impressive and I’m very much glad to be a part of it. Looking forward to building upon the success that they’ve had.”

Wheeler said she expects Yorkey to “get the word out” to the community that St. Dom’s has strong support for all its athletic programs. And as a longtime basketball coach, she hopes Yorkey can help shape both the girls’ and boys’ programs in the coming years.

“He brings a lot of things with him that will help improve all of our athletic programs,” Wheeler said.

Besides strengthening the athletic department, Yorkey also aims to boost enrollment at the school, which he called “a tremendous resource for kids in the area.”


What else Wheeler is banking on Yorkey bringing besides new students is stability. He will be the third different leader of the athletics department in the past three schools years, with Weatherbie spending just one year in the role he took over from Gene Keene before deciding to focus on teaching at the school.

“That was a concern. That’s a concern from all of us. From the outside in, the turnover rate in this position doesn’t look good for the school,” Wheeler said. “So we had quite an interview process, and we interviewed several candidates, and I think in the end it just seemed like J.P. being the local guy, really wanting to come on board at St. Dom’s, and like I said, kind of embodying the St. Dom’s spirit. Because it seemed like the right fit, I really have no concerns about the turnover going from here. I think is going to be long-term.”

Yorkey, also on his third job in as many years, sounded like a guy who is ready to settle down in one spot.

“I was at Lake Region for eight years, and before that I was at Poland for six years. This is a great location for us. Poland is very close by,” Yorkey said. “Yeah, I could see myself being there till the end. I think you always hope that your next job is going to be your last, in many ways.”

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