Catholic Schools Week

Catholic Schools Week this year has a special meaning for me.  I love being here at St. John Parish and School.  It’s been a blessing to be a part of this community.

Those blessings have been especially abundant these last few weeks.  On Christmas day, one of the teachers ran up to the school to grab eggs she had forgotten (a precious commodity these days) and then discovered water in the halls at school.  Unfortunately, a pipe had burst in the ceiling during our cold weather snap.  We are uncertain when the pipe burst but estimate it was running for about 12 hours.  Paul and Larry dropped everything on Christmas day to rush over to the school and began siphoning water.  They are heroes.  The water reached over 10 classrooms including the office and supply rooms.

We were able to call in a restoration company first thing on December 26.  However, the work being done was not satisfactory to ensure a safe return for our kids.  Another company was brought in and has been doing a thorough and amazing job.

The project is expected to be completed in two months.  Floors need to come up and vinyl walls come down.  It’s a major restoration.

In the meantime, our amazing teachers and students have settled in the old JCMS south building.  It’s a tight fit as special teachers are on carts roaming from room to room.  I cannot say enough about how amazing our kids have been throughout this transition.  They miss their rooms, but the kiddos have worked hard, been good friends, and focused well despite new surroundings.  Shouting from the rooftops, I want everyone to know how amazing our staff is!  A big shout out to Pat Putra and Heather Shaughnessy for their seamless transition coordinating everything and moving the office.  Nothing has been dropped.  I’m incredibly grateful to Antoinette LaCinski, our technology teacher, who has been working so hard to ensure everyone has exactly what they need and doing it all with an incredible disposition.  Last and certainly not least, my heart is overflowing with gratitude for our teachers who have been displaced.  They have moved their rooms, cleaned out items that were drenched or ruined, and so much more.  I cannot do enough justice in this article to show them how much I am thankful for each of the teachers who had to move. They are a team.

Our parents have been amazing with offers to help, treats, coffee, and lunch.  It has been so appreciated.  After cleaning out classrooms for over 8 hours one day and having to come in and teach the next in a new room with limited supplies, not having to pack a lunch was such a blessing.

This amazing team of students, teachers, and families is part of a long tradition of excellence at St. John.  In fact, 2023 begins our 150th year of Catholic education here in Jackson, starting right here at St. John. The sisters from Immaculate Heart of Mary first opened the school doors on September 15, 1873.  Stay tuned for our history of St. John School and the wonderful ways we plan to celebrate our Catholic tradition and history of education in Jackson.  Parishioners Judy Smith and Tony Shaughnessy have put together a brief history of the origin of St. John, and you’ll see excerpts throughout the year and learn more about the people and places that came before us.

As we celebrate Catholic Schools Week, we have so much to be thankful for.  A burst water pipe might be a reason to grumble if we did not have our feet firmly planted with Christ.  This week kicks off celebrations with fun, faith, and family.  From crazy sock day to “souper” bowl day where the students get to wear their favorite team shirt, there’s something fun each day.  In addition, our fun is woven together in acts of service and faith as students collect cans of soup (hence “souper” bowl day) and take them to Mass and Adoration.  We are especially looking forward to bringing back lunch with our families this year.

A Catholic education at St. John is about so much more however.  We are a family.  Our school is a place where your child can learn in a safe environment, knowing the pillars of our faith are being taught.  Religion is not just a separate class in school but the foundation for all we learn.  Our school is a place to challenge students academically.  Individualized learning is a priority to meet each child’s unique needs.

If you would like to see your child in a safe, academically rigorous environment with Christ at the foundation, come check us out.  I would love to meet with each family individually to learn about your child and family’s goals while you learn more about St. John.  Give us a call today at 517-784-1714 to set up a tour today or email me at  We also will be holding an open house on Sunday, April 16.  Parishioners, come visit to take a trip down memory lane or see what has (or, has not) changed.  Prospective families ,come to discern if our St. John family is the right place for your family!

Stay tuned for more of our St. John School history in future bulletins as we celebrate our 150th anniversary of Catholic education all year long.