Nearly thirteen years ago we made the decision to relocate our family to Jordan. When we did, some of the first connections and friends we made were through our affiliation with St. John the Baptist Church. The parishioners and parish staff were so amazingly welcoming that when the time came to enroll our children into preschool, it was without hesitation that we elected to enroll them in the Wee Angels program at St. John the Baptist School. Since that first year of preschool over twelve years ago we have put two children completely through the St. John’s program (preschool through sixth grade), another is entering the sixth grade, and a fourth is entering the third grade this year.
From the very beginning it was immediately evident that we were becoming part of something more. The teachers and staff have proven time and time again that they are truly vested in the success of each of the students. The school is small enough to allow teachers and staff to really get to know the students (and their families) on a whole different level – establishing meaningful connections not only for the grade level they teach, but throughout the student’s progress from preschool through sixth grade. These connections provide the teachers and staff the unique ability to identify and work with each student’s individual strengths and weaknesses.
Strong connections are not limited to the staff and the students. St. John’s also maintains several opportunities for children from the various grade levels to interact with each other through programs like Reading Friends, Best Friday Friends, and Church Buddies. It’s not uncommon to walk down the hallway at St. John’s and see one of the older students socializing (and role modeling) with some of the younger students. So many of the children know each other by name – regardless of the their grade. It’s just another example of how St. John’s fosters a family like setting.
We could talk to you about St. John’s academic standards, curriculum and things like annual accreditation but the real evidence of the academic performance of St. John’s as a educational institution is apparent in the number of St. John’s graduates who are named each semester in the Jordan Middle School and Jordan High School honor rolls. If that is not enough – consider the fact that since the year 2000, St. John’s school graduates have been Jordan High School valedictorians in nine of the past twelve years (2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2010 and 2012). There should be no doubt that graduates of St. John’s are given the tools they need to become well rounded, successful, and productive.
Over the years we have seen many changes at St. John’s. The building of the new school, various staff changes, the implantation of a sports program, and the addition of an active Family Association to name a few – but throughout the years and despite the changes – it’s the family atmosphere, successful academic performance, and core values and principles that are not only taught, but put into practice every single day that remain constant.
We could ramble on with all the things we like about St. John’s, but in the end they all result in one fact. After twelve years (and with up to four children in St. John’s at the same time) we can say that if we had to do it all over again from the beginning, WE WOULD… Without giving it a second thought.
We cannot imagine a better way to say what a wonderful place St. John the Baptist School is.
David & Michele Melin
On the first day of Kindergarten, for my first child, I was a nervous wreck sending him off on the bus by himself. Therefore, I decided to meet the bus at St. John’s to ensure his safe arrival. I imagined the worst…my son forgetting to get off the bus or the “big” kids trampling over him in their quest to be the first off the bus. As St. Johns is the last drop-off, all of the kids on the bus are St. John’s students. I watched the “big” kids get off the bus first and as they were all approaching the doors to go inside the building, one of the kids says to his friends, “Guys wait, there is still a little kid on the bus” and he goes back to make sure my son is safely off the bus. He didn’t know my son before that day nor that I was waiting there for him, he only knew there was a little kid arriving for his first day of school and that he could possibly be scared or lost. At that single moment I knew I had made the best choice in sending my child to St. John’s.
As our oldest child grew closer to Kindergarten age, we struggled as to where we were going to send her, and not everyone in Jordan knows that they have a choice when it comes to schooling their children. We chose St. John’s because we knew that our children would be surrounded in a Christian environment, and was the most important thing for us. Because the elementary years are so formative, it was important for us to know that they would be guided and directed to live godly lives. They will have the rest of their lives to be tested and see what the “real world” has in store for them, but if they don’t understand that it is possible to live for God everyday, they will really struggle. St. John’s helps teach Christian values and allows them to see that you can live for Jesus with each action and word that they speak.
We also chose St. John’s because my husband and I have experienced both public and private schools in our own education, and when it comes to the quality of education we received, there was not a doubt in our mind where our children would attend school. As the first year is coming to a close, I watch our daughter walk down the halls being hugged by 6th grade students, saying hi to her 2nd grade reading buddies, and developing meaningful relationships with all of the teachers and staff. We have really enjoyed getting to know the other children at school and have developed many wonderful relationships with other parents.
Her teacher, Mrs. Wondra could not be more kind, gentle, considerate, and patient with each of her students, and we know that has rubbed off on her. She commented on her field trip last week by saying, “I loved walking around holding Mrs. Wondra’s hand all day.” We could not have asked for a better teacher for our daughter!
If I could say one thing to parents, it would be that they should understand that they have a choice when it comes to their children’s education, and I would ask that they truly consider St. John’s. If tuition is an issue, just think of it as a really cheap daycare!
My daughter has absolutely no anxiety to go to school. She knows all or most of the older students and all or most of them know her. It really does feel like one big family!
I like St. John’s because the teachers are great, we get to go to mass every week and we receive a good education. St. John’s lets you pray and receive the Eucharist. I also like St. John’s because everybody knows eachother and it is also nice to have a little less kids. Also in St. John’s we do a lot of activities like Guatemala Day, the Fall Festival and, of course, Cadillac Dinner. We do all kinds of sports like basketball, football, soccer and many more.
For music we will play instruments, he will teach you how to play the recorder and much, much more. Our principal Mrs. Jungals is the best principal you can ever have. I never want to leave St. John’s but I have to move on and meet more friends. When I graduate from St. John’s I will still go to mass with my family. Speaking of mass, Fr. Yanta is the best pastor St. John’s has ever had. But a new priest will come and sadly Fr. Yanta will have to leave.
The lunches are also the best when Pat makes it.
I will never forget about St. John’s.
I like St. John’s because of the friendly environment and how close everybody is. All the teachers know all the kids names. It is like being one big family here at St. John’s. The education here is amazing. The teachers make it so we can learn at our own pace and the teachers make sure we know what we are doing before we move forward.
The food here is really good. Pat is making sure that our lunches are healthy and nutritious. The 6th graders have volunteered to help serve lunch every Friday. We are all working on trying to adjust to the change but are thankful for it also.
All of the students at St. John’s are workin on doing small things with great love. If we are caught doing something small with great love we get this slip and turn it in to get recognized for our actions. Every Monday at assembly Mrs. Jungels will announce the students names and they will come up and stand by her. It is very fun to stand up there and have everybody know that you did something small with great love.
There are outstanding basketball teams. I love being a part of the game and learning about how to be a team, having a positive attitude on the court and, yes, being competitive. On game days both teams wear their jerseys to school to signify that there is a game that night. So far the boys have won 3 out of 7 games. The girls have won 1 out of 3. Go Saints.
I am sad that this is my last year as St. John’s but I want to thank St. John’s for all they have done for getting me prepared for a very bright future.
I like St. John’s because I like our computer lab. We just got new computers last year. I like all the kids and teachers at St. John’s. They are very nice. I also like the things we learn about. I like that we have our own basketball teams. I like that we get to learn about God. I also like that our school goes up to 6th Grade. I like that I know everyone in the school!
I like St. John’s because the teachers help me learn math, spelling and they help me learn to read. If I get stuck on a word they help me with it. I like my classmate, they also help me when I am stuck. I like library because I get to take books home and Mrs. Colling reads books. I like how we do cup stacking in Phy Ed. I like when we get music, it is very fun. I love St. John’s School, it rocks!
I like St. John’s school because the school is so small we can all do things together like our Friday Friends group and assemblies. Also, because we have one class per grade. When I went to school in PA, the whole school could never go to one assembly. They had about four or five classes per grade. To have an assembly we would have to go by grade. We never got to do something as a whole school. My older sister and I almost never saw eachother. If we got lucky we could mouth each other a few words in the hallway.
Another reason I like St. Johns is because we can talk about God. If you went to a public school you sometimes feel that God isn’t watching over you even though he is. Here I feel like God is always going to be there for me, which he is. But here you get closer to knowing God. We have Mass on one day of school every week. That’s a good start because when we grow up we’ll realize going to church is important.
Another reason is because every one is extremely close. There are only 10 people in my class. We are very close and the whole school is all that close, too. I could name every person in the school. So could everybody else. When I walk down the hallway in the morning almost everyone says to me ‘Hi Karissa’. That’s a sign that we all are close.
I like St. John’s because we have the same class every year. We get to be with our friends and we know what teacher we are going to have. I also love being on the basketball team, going to Guatemala day and being in the Christmas play.
One of my favorite grades was Kindergarten. I still remember being the crooked man in Mother Goose theatre and building projects with wood. I would also like to go back to 1st grade and write another book or recite another poem. I also remember the butterflies and St. Anthony Falls. My favorite field trip was Eagle Bluff though we didn’t go on the ropes course. I am really sad to leave St. John’s but I think that the teachers have prepared me very well for the middle school.
I like St. John’s because I love Grandma and Mrs. Jungels. We get to talk about God.