Saint John's Catholic Prep (Maryland)

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Saint John's Catholic Prep
Saint John's Literary Institution
Prospect Hall, Frederick, Maryland.jpg
Old Prospect Hall Campus
3989 Buckeystown Pike
Buckeystown, Maryland, (Frederick County), 21717
United States
Coordinates 39°24′16″N 77°26′36″W / 39.40444°N 77.44333°W / 39.40444; -77.44333Coordinates: 39°24′16″N 77°26′36″W / 39.40444°N 77.44333°W / 39.40444; -77.44333
Type Private, Coeducational, College Preparatory
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1829
Founder John McElroy
President Gordon Oliver
Principal Marc Minsker
Teaching staff 30
Grades 912
Color(s) Green and Gold         
Athletics conference IAAM/MIAA
Mascot Viking

Saint John's Catholic Prep (also known as St. John's Literary Institution) is a private, Roman Catholic, coeducational, college preparatory high school in Buckeystown, Maryland, near Frederick City. St. John's was the first independent Catholic school in the state of Maryland. It was also the first Catholic secondary school in the state of Maryland.


In 1756, a small Catholic boy's school was opened in Frederick, which provided a space for class and mass to be held. The population of Frederick was expanding, and in 1763 the first Catholic Church, St. John’s Frederick-Town Church, was constructed by Father John Williams, the first pastor in Frederick.[1] This new structure would house classes for 66 years.

John McElroy, SJ (1782-1877)

In 1822, Father John McElroy was appointed to the pastorate in Frederick, Maryland. His first major action was to work with the Sisters of Charity in Emmitsburg, Maryland in opening the St. John’s Female Benevolent Free School in Frederick, in 1824 .[1]

With the educational needs of Frederick’s girls being met, McElroy’s next task was to found an educational institution for boys in Frederick, Maryland. On August 7, 1828, the construction of St. John’s Literary Institute began on East Second Street Frederick, Maryland. The following year the construction was completed and the school was opened as St. John's Literary Institution.[2] After several years of running St. John's in Frederick, McElroy was transferred to Boston in 1847; there he would use the skills he acquired in Frederick to establish Boston College, Boston College High School and the Church of the Immaculate Conception.[3]

The Jesuits left Frederick in 1903, and transferred control of the St. John’s Literary Institution and St John the Evangelist Catholic Church to diocesan priests from Baltimore, Maryland.[1] In 1915, Father William Kane, the first diocesan pastor of Frederick, arranged for the School Sisters of Notre Dame to help staff the school. He also combined classes from Visitation and St. John's to create the first co-ed school.[4]

St. John's began allowing girls to enroll for classes in 1925. With attendance expanding, the original school structure built by Father McElroy in 1828 was demolished and a new building was erected in its place.[4]

In 1958, the school separated and grades 9-12 moved from the East Second Street location, which would continue to house St. John’s Elementary School, to Prospect Hall, a large mansion constructed on Red Hill. At this time the school was renamed St. John's at Prospect Hall.[5]

The School Sisters of Notre Dame withdrew from St John's in 1972, and a group of parents and parishioners pooled their energies and resources and reopened St. John's as the first independent Catholic School in Maryland.[4][5] In 2005, having outgrown the facilities at Prospect Hall, St. John’s acquired 46 acres of land in nearby Buckeystown, Maryland, property that was adjacent to the St. Thomas More Academy property. With the goal of moving from the historic Prospect Hall property, the school began a rebranding campaign and changed the name of the school to Saint John's Catholic Prep.

St. Thomas More Academy property located in Buckeystown, Maryland

On Monday 5, 2011, Saint John’s agreed to buy the St. Thomas More Academy property located in Buckeystown, Maryland for an undisclosed amount. The property was assessed by the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation on January 1, 2010, and was valued at $5,424,400.[6][6]

With the Buckeystown property being expanded, and with the addition of classrooms and sports fields, Saint John’s Catholic Prep moved from Prospect Hall to the Buckeystown campus in January 2013, and resumed classes January 14, 2013.[6]


In addition to high school level courses, Saint John's Catholic Prep also offers Advanced Placement (AP) courses, which are taught at a college level. St. John's offers many AP classes including Literature & Composition, Language & Composition, Art History, French, Spanish, Latin, Calculus (AB and BC), Statistics, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, US History, European History, Government, and Economics (Micro and Macro).[7]

The academic requirements imposed for receiving a high school diploma are consistent with the Maryland state requirements. St. John's also imposes academic requirements that are beyond those set by the state.[7]

Saint John's Catholic Prep offers 3 diplomas:

  • The College Preparatory Diploma, awarded to students who have fulfilled the basic academic requirements for graduation.[7]
  • The College Preparatory Diploma with Honors, for students who have fulfilled the basic academic requirements for graduation, have completed 4 advanced classes and a GPA of 3.0. The recipient of this diploma may specialize in one of two tracks, Math/Science or Humanities. [7]
  • The College Preparatory Diploma with High Honors, for students who have fulfilled the basic academic requirements for graduation, have completed 6 advanced classes and a GPA of 3.5.[7]


All boys' sports participate in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA), while the girls' sports participate in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland (IAAM).

Saint John's Catholic Prep Athletics Programs[edit]

Boys Girls
Baseball Softball
Basketball Basketball
Cross-Country Cross-Country
Football Cheerleading
Lacrosse Lacrosse
Soccer Soccer
Tennis Tennis
Track & Field-Indoor & Outdoor Track & Field-Indoor & Outdoor

Notable Alumni[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Williams and McKinsey (1910).History of Frederick County, Maryland, Volume 1, p. 381,446-447,510-511. Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore. ISBN 9780806380124.
  2. ^ Shea, John Gilmary. Memorial of the first century of Georgetown College, D.C., p 81. P.F. Collier, New York
  3. ^ O’Tool James (Summer 2007). The old man, A life in the fray prepared John McElroy for the start-up of Boston College, Boston College Magazine.
  4. ^ a b c "History=St. John Regional Catholic School Website". [1]. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  5. ^ a b "History=St. John the Evangelist Church Website". [2]. Retrieved 2012-07-25.
  6. ^ a b c Ames, Blair. "St. John’s Catholic Prep to buy school building", The Frederick News Post, Frederick, 8 December 2011.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Program of Studies=Saint John's Catholic Prep Website". [3]. Retrieved 2012-07-27.
  8. ^ "Maryland Governor Enoch Louis Lowe". Former Governors' bios. National Governors' Association. Retrieved May 26, 2012. 
  9. ^ " Winfield Scott website". [4]. Retrieved 2012-07-25.

External links[edit]