Dear St. John School Families,
Winding down one school year is truly the catalyst for gearing up another. While we certainly intend to cherish the moments that remain with our soon-to-be-graduates (I’ve been breaking in my walking shoes for our adventure in the Grand Canyon), change is a constant and we keep looking forward.
As we look ahead, staffing is one important consideration. We want to have the right people in the roles that allow them to use their God-given talents and be fulfilled as educators. The following list outlines changes that are on the horizon:
- Scott Osbourn will take on the full-time role of Assistant Principal for our school. He completed his Master’s in Education Administration this month and is eager to contribute more fully to the leadership of programs and people within this ministry. The school has needed to move in this direction for several years. It is time, and he will be a tremendous asset.
- Erin Shidner will become the math teacher on the 5th and 6th grade team. Math is what she desired to teach when moving into the middle school last year; it is great to see her excitement about implementing the curriculum that Scott Osbourn has helped to develop.
- We are quite hopeful about a teaching candidate that would bring several years of classroom experience, along with a passion for making science an integrated inquiry experience for middle school students. Several of our middle school staff had the opportunity to interview him subsequent to a first round interview with Scott and me as well as a second round interview with Pastors Hower and Peterson.
- Steve Schroeder has decided to retire from his position as social studies teacher. As many of you are likely aware, Steve is the staff member with the greatest career longevity on the entire St. John ministry campus. He will definitely be missed. As the calendar turns to May, not only will we be looking for a social studies teacher, we will be celebrating Steve’s 28 years of service. More about that shortly.
- Mary Dodge has had it on her heart to be a full-time mom and grandmom, so our loss is her family’s gain. She has been a blessing to many in the role of our Early Childhood program’s administrative assistant. We are fortunate indeed to have someone from within our educational family who is qualified and joyous about stepping into the vacancy. Peggy Kamrud has agreed to pick up where Mary leaves off.
Providing effective tools for strengthening students’ skills across age levels and subject areas is part of our commitment to educational excellence. That will not change. As I shared with you in my February letter, we will continue equipping our Learning Specialist, Brooke Otto, with resources so she can maintain consultation with our teachers on appropriate differentiation to maximize students’ potential. We have identified SPIRE as the reading fluency program we will add to our Resource Center’s toolkit. SPIRE comes highly recommended by Special School District, and several area schools are realizing success with this program.
What follows is information about a few important events that will occur in the month of May.
May 2—National Day of Prayer observance, St. John Sanctuary from 7:30-8:30am
You are invited to join St. John teachers and ministry staff at our “Open House” National Day of Prayer event from 7:30am-8:30am. You’ll have the opportunity to send encouraging notes to our community and government leaders at all levels, spend some quiet time in prayer in our sanctuary and grab a quick continental breakfast on your way to work. As childcare will not be available, we ask you to drop off your children at school and then join us after 8:00am. Let us pray without ceasing!
May 8—Celebration Chapel, St. John Sanctuary from 8:30-9:15am
You are invited to join us for a double send-off celebration. Pastor Ryan will lead Chapel and commission the 8th graders as they move on to the next phase of their faith lives and academic careers, serving Christ in a changing world. We will also commemorate Steve Schroeder’s many years of faithful service here at St. John. While the Middle School House groups celebrate their 8th grade leaders after Chapel, the adults are invited to a reception for Steve Schroeder in the sanctuary lobby.
May 9—Spring Musical, “Dear Edwina, Junior” 7:00pm in the St. John Sanctuary
More than 30 cast members have been rehearsing and singing with Mrs. Doyle and Mrs. Slavens in preparation for the Spring Musical, “Dear Edwina, Junior.” Please join us for an evening of artful entertainment staged by our Middle School students. We invite you to stay for cookies and lemonade following the performance.
I hope to see you there!
May 20—8th Grade Graduation Ceremony, St. John Sanctuary from 7:00-8:30pm
The 8th graders will go from hiking gear to cap and gown in a short span of time. School faculty and House group students will process into the sanctuary as the Chapel Band plays and family and friends are gathered to honor our graduates. Please take time as a family to pray for these young people who have shown such tremendous leadership and who join decades of St. John alums. Parents are hosting a brief reception in the sanctuary lobby following the ceremony.
May 3-24—Parent Survey
Every family is encouraged to complete the survey! We want the data we collect and analyze to give us the most accurate, broad-based results possible. We will use what you share with us to inform our goal setting and planning. If you have multiple children, and feel so moved, you may take the survey again to reflect the individual student experience at St. John. All survey responses will be submitted anonymously. In addition to scaled responses, you will have an opportunity to share thoughts using your own words. If you only filled out the scaled responses, the survey should take no more than 6 to 8 minutes of your time. We certainly hope you will take a few extra minutes to share any specific commendations or concerns as well. The email with the digital link will be arriving soon.
As we shift our focus from Colossians 3 verses about family to the final verses in that chapter about serving the Lord, may you find abundant joy in all you do in His holy name.
Principal, St. John School