During Memorial Day Weekend, we learned that Mrs. Agnes Jacobson passed away after a long illness. Mrs. Jacobson served as Principal at St. John School, retiring from many years of service as I came to St. John School. She was instrumental in growing the school and building the strong community that we have today. During her twelve-year calling at St. John, she increased academic standards; developed a vibrant, student-involved liturgy standard that we see flourishing today; strengthened the arts, music, and drama programs; and established the Admissions and Marketing Department resulting in an enrollment increase of 100+ students. Mrs. Jacobson laid the foundation for our current Student Support Team by hiring Mrs. McCarthy, our reading specialist; our liturgical choirs, Cantionis and Schola making wonderful hiring choices in Mrs. Tsagalakis and Mrs. Pepin-Cato; and our talented Assistant Principal, Paul Kelley originally hired to further develop the Spanish language program. But her greatest strength was her faith. The beautiful statue of Mary in the courtyard was dedicated to Mrs. Jacobson, who had a deep devotion to Mary and the Rosary. How fitting it is that she went home to the Lord in May.
Mrs. Jacobson would be so proud of the news I heard from Mrs. McCarthy this week! The average growth in reading for the 2019-2020 school year for all first and second graders who completed the STAR test was a 1.6 grade equivalency gain and a 2.2 grade Instructional Reading Level gain. Well done, parent-teacher team! The intermediate grade students are completing the Achieve reading assessments this week. I look forward to getting their results as well!
I also received good news about our graduates at Bishop Blanchet High School. Once again many of our graduates achieved first and second honors in the first trimester. I counted 50 familiar St. John names! Well done, graduates! I am confident that these students will maintain their excellent scores throughout their high school career.
I look forward to seeing the report cards for our current students as well! We are almost at the end of the third trimester and this historic school year. We have scheduled times for you to return books, laptops, iPads, and to pick up your students’ belongings and report cards on June 9 and 10. This will be via a quick, safe, curb-side, socially distanced exchange.
Mr. Stinebrickner, fifth-grade homeroom teacher, is moving on to follow his dream of teaching middle school math. Although he has been at St. John for just a short time, he has made a huge impression on all his students. He will be greatly missed. Josh Sandstorm, another Mr. S., will join us in the fall! He is currently teaching fifth and sixth grades at St. Paul School in south Seattle. He loves fifth grade and is excited about joining our team.
Tomorrow’s Mass will be the last Friday, 3:00pm Mass; it will be live-streamed on the St. John Parish Facebook page. The next All-School Mass will be the Baccalaureate Mass on June 7, which will be followed by the graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020!