Welcome to Saint John the Evangelist Catholic School
Saint John Catholic School is a Catholic parochial school located in Valdosta, Georgia. Founded in 1941 on the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph, the school continues the Sisters’ commitment to develop in each student “a spirit of profound love of God along with the unity and reconciliation of neighbor with neighbor, and neighbor with God, always in a spirit of gentleness, peace and joy.”
Built on a rich history and tradition of excellence, St. John Catholic School has been Lowndes County’s clear choice for a quality education for over 74 years. We follow the example given to us by Jesus Christ remembering that He is the ever-present teacher in our classrooms, the model of our faculty, and the inspiration for our students. We strive and are committed to high expectations and achievement in all areas of spiritual, moral, intellectual, physical, social and emotional growth.
AT A GLANCE
- Grades: Pre-K3 – Eighth Grade
- Classes per Grade: 1-2
- Charism: Sisters of St. Joseph
- Colors: Blue, Old Gold, and White
- Mascot: The Eagle
- Curriculum of the Diocese of Savannah
- Standardized Testing: NWEA MAP
- Accreditation: AdvancED
THE EARLY DAYS
On the conference table in the principal’s office sits a well-worn prayer book inscribed, “St. John the Evangelist from Rev. H. J. Deimel, March 1942.” “If Catholicism is to survive in South Georgia, we need a Catholic School in Valdosta,” wrote Fr. Herman Deimel to his bishop over 65 years ago, With the bishop’s permission, Fr. Diemel acquired a two-story frame building on Adair Street, which was originally a hospital and later a public school, from the City of Valdosta. This building became the original St. John Catholic School location. He invited the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet to come to teach there, and Fr. Diemel moved his residence to the upstairs of the newly acquired school building so that the rectory next door to the church could become a convent.
St. John Catholic School was founded on the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1941, to develop in each student “a spirit of profound love of God along with the unity and reconciliation of neighbor with neighbor, and neighbor with God, always in a spirit of gentleness, peace, and joy.” Fifteen years later, it became evident that St. John School had outgrown the Adair Street location, and Father Thomas Payne purchased thirteen acres on the outskirts of town which he named “Mary’s Acres.”
“Mary’s Acres” was the site of a brand new St. John Catholic School. The school, consisting of five classrooms and an office, was built on Gornto Road, –and the doors opened in 1959. Five years down the road, four more classrooms and an auditorium were built in order to split the classes into their own rooms. Previously, first and second grades shared a classroom, as did third and fourth, fifth and sixth, seventh and eighth. When that task was completed, a new church sanctuary was erected at the front of Mary’s Acres and was consecrated in March 1968. The T. J. LaHood Library was added to the school complex in 1980, built over the courtyard next to the school office. The next addition to St. John Catholic School was a portable classroom to house the preschool, which began in 1991. The modular building was placed behind the convent on Mary’s Acres.
Under the leadership of Rev. Msgr. Marvin LeFrois, plans to build a new parish Center that would house a kitchen, two preschool classrooms, and a cafeteria/gym was underway. However, when the parish Center was completed, the preschool program had grown to four classes, and the modular unit was still needed! Not only had the preschool program grown, but the elementary school as well.
SJCS Board made the decision to double each grade, which necessitated the addition of two more portable classrooms, named “Eagle’s Wing East” and “Eagle’s Wing West,” one on each side of the campus. Since the diocese advocated permanent structures, a new building program was initiated under the leadership of Rev. John O’Brien. Along with enlarging the sanctuary of the church to increase its seating capacity from 500 to 750, three new buildings were added to the school: the Patty Goss Building to house the preschool and kindergarten classes, the Kloberdanz Building for grades 1-4, and a new administration building with a library upstairs. The former office and library were converted into state-of-the-art computer and science labs. The buildings were completed in 2003. The school’s most recent additions are the D. Larry Carter Family Soccer Field and the South Georgia Pecan Company Basketball Court. The athletic complex renovation project completed its first phase in January 2007.
St. John Catholic School serves not only the Catholic community of South Georgia but also welcomes students from all backgrounds,. From its original enrollment of thirty-four students to its current enrollment of over 180, it is a leading private educator in the South Georgia region.
St. John the Evangelist Catholic School empowers all students to reach their full potential and to follow the model of Christ.
The Catholic philosophy of education guiding St. John Catholic School is that the school is delegated by the parents to participate in the quality education of their children. The school, then, as an extension of the home, attempts to provide a Catholic atmosphere of love and concern. The school accepts the responsibility to assist each child in developing his/her potential: spiritually, intellectually, physically, and morally. St. John Catholic School is dedicated to preparing Catholic leaders for the Christian community.
In the context of the present economic, social, intellectual, and religious background of our specific school community, preparation for higher education is the broad objective of our school. The entire curriculum of the school focuses upon the charism of the founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, by developing in each student a spirit of profound love of God along with the unity and reconciliation of neighbor with neighbor, and neighbor with God, always in a spirit of gentleness, peace, and joy.
- We believe that Catholic education is an integral part of the church’s mission to proclaim the gospel of Jesus through worship and service.
- We believe in recognizing and valuing each student as a unique child of God.
- We believe in encouraging students to develop a love of learning and to reach their full potential: spiritually, intellectually, physically, and morally.
- We believe in fostering a sense of responsibility in students as members of the church and the wider community.
- We believe in nurturing respectful communication and in sharing the responsibility for the mission of the school with the members of the parish and school community.
- We believe in maintaining a caring, committed, and cohesive school environment that is safe, disciplined, and joyful.
- We believe in continuing the mission of our founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, by developing in each student a spirit of profound love of God, with the unity and reconciliation of neighbor with neighbor and neighbor with God, always in a spirit of gentleness, peace, and joy.