St. John the Evangelist School welcomes all children of the parish to a Christ-centered education of the whole person. Enter the school website here.
On September 24, 2013, the auditorium exploded with cheers and vigorous waving of blue pompoms as Sr. Kathleen Lannak announced that St. John the Evangelist had been selected as a National Blue Ribbon School. One of only fifty private schools in the nation to be given this designation in 2013, SJE was also one of only seven Maryland elementary schools, public or private, to win the honor as a “high-performing” school. That means that SJE was ranked among the highest performing schools in reading and math, with its students testing in the top ten percent of all students in the state in those areas.
Public and private schools submit applications that discuss all aspects of a school’s “personality”: student academic achievement, school culture, extracurricular activities, and parent involvement. Sr. Kathleen noted that a particularly strong aspect of SJE’s application was our emphasis on building a culture of virtue and also the vital sense of community that anyone who enters the school immediately understands.
Administrators and teachers kept the news of the designation secret from the students, only telling them to wear blue to school today and that Auxiliary Bishop Barry C. Knestout, who is also the former pastor of SJE parish, was coming to visit. Mystified students arrived at school to find blue balloons, a ribbon-bedecked entrance, and teachers wearing blue. Their excitement was palpable as they filled the auditorium; their cheers when Sister Kathleen made the announcement were deafening.
Sister Kathleen, Bishop Knestout, and SJE’s current pastor, Monsignor John Pennington, congratulated students and teachers alike for this high honor. Each of them noted that the students’ hard work was the reason for this designation, but also emphasized that SJE is a place where students are recognized for more than hard work and achievement – they are seen as beloved children of God who are called to love the Lord and one another so that they can go into the world to make it a better place after their time at SJE. After the speeches, the entire school, administrative staff, the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, teachers, students, and parents in attendance gathered for photos. As a special treat, teachers handed out blue lollipops to the very excited and happy students.
See U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan’s announcement of the 2013 National Blue Ribbon Schools winners here: http://www.ed.gov/news/press-
Written By: Colleen Zarzecki
Photos By: Michael Colella
For more information about the parish school or to arrange a visit, contact:
Sr. Kathleen Lannak, I.H.M.
St. John the Evangelist School
10201 Woodland Dr.
Silver Spring, MD 20902