Principal’s Letter

“It’ll be better if we walk through death like we walk through life.”  Jody Desclos

Mrs. Jody Desclos, former St. John teacher, passed away last weekend. Jody, mother of Kathryn Chandler, our Co-Director of XDC, and grandmother of current students Elmer, Leo, and Ethan exemplified the mission of our school. Over the past few days, we have been remembering how she walked through life with faith, compassion, and love. She saw goodness in everyone; she walked her talk…living and modeling the principles of equity and social justice. All of us, colleagues and thousands of former students, who had the good fortune to work with Jody or be a student in her classroom, are grateful for the many ways she influenced our lives. Her essence was driven by unconditional love, a strong loyalty to family and friends, and an unforgettable laugh. We are better people for having experienced her gifts to Catholic education.

Jody’s greatest joy was spending time with Leo, her husband, their four children, and six grandchildren. When she wasn’t on annual summer roads trips to the Tetons of Wyoming, Jody poured her energy into teaching. She taught numerous subjects and grade levels over the course of 42 years at St. John School. Her greatest passions were social studies, religion, and art. In 1998 Jody launched the first-ever school trip for 8th graders to Washington DC. Famous was the night tour she led at the haunted colonial cemetery in Virginia. Her storytelling and ability to bring out the best in everyone made her a master teacher. Jody was awarded the prestigious Eagle Award, for exemplary service to St. John School, at the school Endowment dinner in 2014. Jody’s second career at St. John was teaching art to all students. Her art lessons reflected so many cultures and races. She regularly brought in ‘treasures’ for students and colleagues ranging from stuffed toys to depictions of the Virgin Mary from South America or earrings from Africa. She was a gifted artist herself and spent much of her time in retirement painting and creating.

Jody’s vibrant spirit is missed, but her sense of justice, her passion for equality, and her all-embracing love will forever permeate the walls of St. John School. Thank you, Jody.

Virtual conferences are coming up next week. If you haven’t done so already, please sign up for this important time to check in with your child’s teacher. Progress Reports, along with MAP scores, for students in grades 3-8 were sent home with your child today. This information is useful in preparing for your child’s conference. To make the best use of this precious time, do some preparation at home. Talk with your child about what is going well, what their favorite subject is, and what might be challenging for them. Talk about goals they have for the rest of the trimester. At the conference, share what you have learned with your child’s teacher. Thank you for your preparation and participation.

Attention: for those school families who are paying the parish tuition rate, this weekend is our annual State of the Parish presentation at all three Masses. In order to remain eligible for parish tuition, each family must “attend” the State of the Parish video presentation by accessing it on the Parish website beginning Saturday, October 23, after the 5pm Mass. We would, of course, love to see you at Mass too.


Bernadette O’Leary