St. John the Evangelist Catholic School Receives
National Blue Ribbon Designation
St. John the Evangelist Catholic School, has been named a National Blue Ribbon School by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan along with other a select number of high achieving schools across the nation. Considered the nation’s highest award of educational excellence, the National Blue Ribbon designation has been granted to qualified elementary and secondary schools throughout the nation since 1982. It is believed that St. John the Evangelist is the first school within the surrounding U-46 boundaries to have received such a distinction in the history of the award. Continuing the Archdiocese of Chicago’s strong tradition of educational excellence, St. John the Evangelist was one of several schools within the Archdiocese to receive a National Blue Ribbon designation this year.To date, The Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools has received more Blue Ribbon Awards than any other school system in the country.
Comprised of 288 students from pre-school through 8th grade and 22 faculty and staff members, St. John the Evangelist has been providing an excellent environment for learning for more than 50 years. The school staff, under the direction of Principal Mary Ellyn Billmeyer, set their sights on achieving this national recognition several years ago and prepared a strategic plan that would take their already strong curriculum to National Blue Ribbon heights. To be eligible for the award, the performance of all tested students in the school must be in the top 15 percent of all schools tested in the state for both reading (English language arts) and mathematics.
Mary Ellyn Billmeyer, Principal:
“By winning this award, it validates all of the hard work and dedication our children have put forth. The faculty and staff have done an excellent job in guiding our students to become lifelong learners with an emphasis on caring for others in need. This honor could not have been achieved without the constant encouragement and support of the school and parish community. I humbly thank all of the members of the St. John the Evangelist Community and I am so proud of our children and staff.”
In addition to strong academic standards, St. John the Evangelist School complements its curriculum with a variety of extracurricular and co-curricular activities designed to create a nurturing and caring school environment. Character qualities such as Respect, Organization, Attitude and Responsibility are emphasized in the ROAR program that reinforces character development with tickets that can be traded in for special treats donated by parents, staff and parishioners.
Students at St. John the Evangelist School are also given opportunities to develop into capable, caring citizens by making every day Veteran’s Day with veteran classroom visits, and the creation of cards and care packages throughout the year. Older students spend time packaging meals with Feed My Starving Children to show them that they can make a difference in the lives of others.
Fr. Ted Schmitt, Pastor:
“I am extremely proud of our Blue Ribbon award, because it showcases the excellence of Catholic Education A great school is a direct result of an outstanding principal and devoted teachers.”