Who are we?
A Caring Community consisting of:
- Students from St. Mary’s Parish & St. Nicholas Parish
- Our “Mini Campus” includes three buildings on the St. Nicholas site
- Two pastors and two parishes support our school
- Pastors both do a weekly religion class
Who was Pope John XXIII?
When St. Mary’s School and St. Nicholas School merged, there were many decisions to be made. One thing that everyone agreed on was the name of the new consolidated school. The pastors, parents, and School Board members in 1986 all wanted the school to be named Pope John XXIII School, because he was so loved by everyone. Father Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli born in Italy was ordained a Pope in 1958. He took the name Pope John XXIII, at that time, and served from 1958 until 1963. Pope John XXIII’s motto was obedience and peace. He had a great compassion for the poor, outcasts and all people of the world and he worked hard to bring about social reform. During his years of service as the Pope, he brought a breath of newness and his friendliness reached ordinary people. It was during his time that he called the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, which helped the Catholic Church keep up with the current times. Here at Pope John XXIII School, his motto comes to life as well as his famous quote, “Every believer must become a spark of light.” After students leave our school, they are equipped with the tools necessary to embody all that Pope John XIII was about.
What makes us special?
Pope John XXIII School is located in south Evanston and serves children from three years old to fourteen years old for preschool to eighth grade. Approximately 320 students attend the “mini campus” that consists of three buildings and two playgrounds. Pope John XXIII is a Catholic school for two parishes: St. Nicholas and St. Mary’s. We are located on the St. Nicholas site but we participate equally in the parish life of both parishes. The pastors, Fr. William Tkachuk and Fr. Greg Sakowicz visit the school regularly to support the spiritual growth of the students. The day begins and ends with a whole school prayer over the public address system. Religion is taught everyday using the Sadlier Religion Series and following the newly revised Archdiocesan Religion Curriculum for each grade from preschool to eighth. The Catholic Identity of Pope John XXIII School is strong and vibrant and can be witnessed in the monthly all school children’s masses. Mrs. Nancy Marcheschi, a national presenter on children’s liturgies and liturgical dance, plans and organizes the children so there is full participation by the students.
Pope John XXIII School has excellent academics. More than half of the children consistently score above average on the TERRA NOVA standardized tests. Mean scores are in the top 10% nationally. Students are accepted to highly selective high schools and test into honors classes at Evanston Township High School. Accelerated classes are offered to challenge students starting in sixth grade. Differentiated instruction and small guided reading groups target students at their instructional level from kindergarten through fifth grade. Pope John XXIII School’s Science Olympiad Team has competed at the State of Illinois meet four times in the last five years. Most recently, in the spring of 2007, the Science Olympiad Team placed fifth in the state. Graduates from Pope John XXIII School continue their academic success by winning prestigious scholarships for college and earning placement in highly selective colleges.
Pope John XXIII School is financially vital. With the subsidy support of two parishes, good fiscal management, an Annual Fund, and a healthy endowment the school not only balances the operating budget yearly but is able to offer enhancements and capital improvements to the students. In the summer of 2006 the J Howard and Helen M. Reed Multi-Media Center was built and the Pope John XXIII library more than doubled its collection of books. Technology improvements are made yearly. Pope John XXIII School can be proud of their state of the art computer lab in the Annex building, the mobile lap-top computer lab in the Reed Media center, and classroom computers centers that have from four to fifteen computers for student use. As one of the first consolidated schools, Pope John XXIII is a success story in the Archdiocese and is used as a model for other school consolidations.