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St. John the Evangelist Catholic School

Phone: 229-244-2556
Fax: 229-244-0865

800 Gornto Road
Valdosta, GA
County: Lowndes

St. John School was founded on the charisma of the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1941, to develop in each student “a spirit of profound love of God along with the unity and reconciliation of neighbor with neighbor, and neighbor with God, always in a spirit of gentleness, peace, and joy.” Fifteen years later, it became evident that St. John School had outgrown the Adair Street location, and Father Thomas Payne purchased thirteen acres on the outskirts of town which he named “Mary’s Acres.”

“Mary’s Acres” was the site of a brand new St. John School. The school, consisting of five classrooms and an office, was built on Gornto Road, –and the doors opened in 1959. Five years down the road, four more classrooms and an auditorium were built in order to split the classes into their own rooms. Previously, first and second grades shared a classroom, as did third and fourth, fifth and sixth, seventh and eighth. When that task was completed, a new church sanctuary was erected at the front of Mary’s Acres and was consecrated in March 1968. The T. J. LaHood Library was added to the school complex in 1980, built over the courtyard next to the school office. The next addition to St. John School was a portable classroom to house the preschool, which began in 1991. The modular building was placed behind the convent on Mary’s Acres.


Under the leadership of Rev. Msgr. Marvin LeFrois, plans to build a new Parish Center that would house a kitchen, two preschool classrooms, and a cafeteria/gym were underway. However, when the Parish Center was completed, the preschool program had grown to four classes, and the modular unit was still needed! Not only had the preschool program grown, but the elementary school as well.

St. John’s School Board made the decision to double each grade, which necessitated the addition of two more portable classrooms, named “Eagle’s Wing East” and “Eagle’s Wing West,” one on each side of the campus. Since the diocese advocated permanent structures, a new building program was initiated under the leadership of Rev. John O’Brien. Along with enlarging the sanctuary of the church to increase its seating capacity from 500 to 750, three new buildings were added to the school: the Patty Goss Building to house the preschool and kindergarten classes, the Kloberdanz Building for grades 1-4, and a new administration building with a library upstairs. The former office and library were converted into state-of-the-art computer and science labs. The buildings were completed in 2003. The school’s most recent additions are the D. Larry Carter Family Soccer Field and the South Georgia Pecan Company Basketball Court. The athletic complex renovation project completed its first phase in January 2007.

St. John School serves not only the Catholic community of South Georgia, but also welcomes students from all races, backgrounds, and creeds. From its original enrollment of thirty four students to its current enrollment of over 180, it is a leading private educator in the South Georgia region.

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