Best Private Elementary School
Best Private Middle School
Instilling Morality, Character and Compassion
By Jim Mahaffie
Serving pre-K through eighth-grade students, St. John is a coeducational school for students from Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. Adding to a long list of honors and awards over many years, the school was voted a winner in the Best Private Elementary and Middle School category in The Frederick News-Post’s Best of the Best readers’ choice awards.
“This is a wonderful tribute,” said school Principal Karen Smith. “Many News-Post readers are parents and students here, and it’s nice that everyone who voted for us has this faith in our school.”
St. John has much to brag about. Its teachers are highly effective educators. Music teacher Peggy Frazier was recently recognized as the Catholic school teacher of the year by the Knights of Columbus and was also recognized as a Teacher of Excellence by the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
St. John is a wonderful example of what a truly modern Catholic school looks like, seamlessly integrating a 21st-century education with the values and traditions of the Catholic faith. “We all know your child’s name, their learning style, strengths and limitations, and we engage them daily,” said Smith. “We work hard to ensure children graduate from St. John with morality, character and compassion.”
Designated a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) school, St. John’s innovative programs include school-wide Wi-Fi, Chromebooks and iPads for instruction, science and computer labs, 3-D printers accessible to students and a Maker Space Laboratory for creative ‘inventioneering.’ There is a wide range of language arts and leadership opportunities, too.
“I love the community of St. John Regional Catholic School because it provides my children with a solid education in a safe and caring environment,” said Carmela Stadter, an SJRCS parent. “We couldn’t ask for better teachers that are developing a strong faith and academic foundation that my children will rely on throughout their lives.”
Students are proud, as well. Brooke Hill is a seventh-grader at St. John. “I think my school deserved to win the Best of the Best because I have fun while I learn, my teachers really care about me and are really nice,” she said. “If I’m feeling down or having a hard time with my studies, I can go to anyone at school, friends or teachers, and they will help me through whatever I need. I love my school and I am happy to be a student here.”
St. John has been shaping young hearts and minds since 1829, when the school began as St. John’s Literary Institution on East Second Street in Frederick. St. John was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2009, meaning student achievement in English and math was among the top 15 percent of students across the country. Private schools can receive the Blue Ribbon award once every five years, and St. John was one of only 50 private schools to receive this prestigious honor. Other honors include being named a STEM school by the Archdiocese of Baltimore, as well as a Maryland Green School; receiving a PRIDE designation—Pupils Receiving Inclusive Diversified Education; winning a Best Workplace Award from The Washington Post; and winning in Frederick Magazine’s Best of Frederick competition.