St. John's College High School

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St. John's College High School
St. John's College High School, Washington DC (1851) crest.png
2607 Military Road, NW
Chevy Chase, Washington DC 20015
United States
Coordinates 38°57′44″N 77°3′17″W / 38.96222°N 77.05472°W / 38.96222; -77.05472Coordinates: 38°57′44″N 77°3′17″W / 38.96222°N 77.05472°W / 38.96222; -77.05472
Type Private, Military
Motto Religio, Scientia (Latin)
(Religion, Knowledge)
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1851
President Mr. Jeffrey Mancabelli
Principal Mr. Christopher Themistos
Faculty 75, with 70% hold a master’s degree or higher
Gender Coeducational
Enrollment 1,200 (2016)
Campus Urban
Campus size 30 acres (120,000 m2)
Color(s) Scarlet and Gray         
Athletics conference WCAC
Accreditation MSA[1]
Dean of Students Courtney Hall
Dean of Academics Shannon Egan
Admissions Director Susan Hinton
Athletic Director Brian Griffin
Head of JROTC Program CSM McConnell
JROTC website JROTC website

St. John's College High School in Washington, D.C., established in 1851, is the second oldest Catholic Christian Brother's school in the United States, and the oldest Army JROTC school. It was founded by Brother John of Mary, F.S.C., and two other Christian Brothers in St. Matthew's parish, 15th and G Streets.


The second oldest Christian Brothers school in the United States,[citation needed] St. John's College was established for young men by Brother John of Mary, F.S.C., and two other Christian Brothers in St. Matthew's parish, 15th and G Streets NW. The three men had been members of the faculty of Calvert Hall College, Baltimore, since its founding in 1845.

A JROTC program, that is now optional, was established in 1915 under the guidance of the United States Army and Major J. Dupray. In addition to regular classroom instruction, cadets participate in regional and national competitions as members of Raiders,[2] the Drill team (called the "McGovern Rifles", see Notable alumni below) and rifle team (Marksmanship club) and Color guard. The Regiment participates in many events each year, such as the annual Cherry Blossom Parade, and Presidential inaugurations (including the 2005 Inauguration of George W. Bush). As of 2005, 50 percent of the students participate in the JROTC Program.

Because of space limitations, the Brothers moved the school to Carroll Hall at 10th and G Streets NW in 1866 at the invitation of Father Walter. In 1868, the Brothers returned to St. Matthew's parish at the request of Father Charles White, who had built a new school named St. Matthew's Institute at the corner of 16th and L Streets NW.

In 1878, the Brothers purchased the 1225 Vermont Avenue NW site of St. John's from the estate of General Montgomery C. Meigs. In August of the same year, the construction of the building was begun. At first it was known as St. John's Collegiate Institute, and finally, in 1887, it assumed its title of St. John's College. In that year, the college as incorporated under the District of Columbia statutes with the power to confer the academic degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts. At the commencement of June 24, 1892, the bachelor's degree was conferred on six young men.[citation needed]

As the undergraduate departments of The Catholic University of America and Georgetown University expanded, it was decided in 1921 by the Board of Trustees of St. John's to discontinue the college department and devote the school facilities to secondary education alone. In the meantime, St. John's did pioneer work in commercial education by opening a school of commerce and finance at 13th and Massachusetts Avenue NW. Three years after the college department was discontinued, the annex building, housing the gym, swimming pool, and freshman classes, was built.[citation needed]

St. John's grew for the next thirty years, until it became apparent that the Vermont Avenue facilities were no longer adequate. With further expansion in mind, the Brothers purchased the present campus bounded by Rock Creek Park. This property, together with the mansion located there, provided sufficient space for the freshman classes and athletic events.[citation needed]

As the Vermont Avenue buildings became less useful, the Brothers decided to build a new school on the Military Road Campus. The new St. John's opened to more than one thousand students in September 1959.[citation needed]

In 1991 St. John's became a co-educational military optional institution.[citation needed]

Curriculum and statistics[edit]

St. John’s enrolls a student body that is ethnically and economically[citation needed] diverse. The student population of approximately 1,140 students is drawn from many communities in the Washington metropolitan area. A number of international students attend each year as well.

The ethnic breakdown of the student body is as follows: Caucasian, 54%; African American, 29%; Hispanic, 9%; Asian, 6%; other, 2%.[citation needed]

Requirements for Graduation
English 4 years
Religion 4 years
Laboratory Science 3 years
Social Studies 3 years
Mathematics 4 years
Modern Language 2 years

In 2005 there are 280 students in the ninth grade; 281 in the tenth grade; 271 in the eleventh grade; and 246 in the twelfth grade. In 2009 there are approximately 276 students in the sophomore class.[citation needed]

The average class size is twenty-three students. Admission to St. John’s is selective.[clarification needed] Approximately thirty-five percent of students receive some form of financial assistance.[citation needed] There are 75 faculty members, 70% of whom hold a master's degree or higher.


The Benilde Program enrolls students with diagnosed learning differences. Students in this program attend regular classes and can participate fully in the co-curricular life of the school, but have scheduled time for assistance and skill-building; they are not grouped together in one class, but are integrated in their grade.[citation needed]

The De La Salle Scholars Program is a four-year academic program that provides opportunities for in-depth study, small group discussion, and interdisciplinary, independent and experiential learning. All students must complete a senior project in order to graduate.[citation needed]

Letter Comment Point value
A Excellent 10090
B+ Very Good 8985
B Good 8480
C+ Average 7975
C Below Average 7470
D Passing 6965
F Failure Below 65
W Withdrawn No credit
I Incomplete No credit


There are two semesters in the St. John’s academic year. The final grade earned for a course is the average of the two semester grades. Semester grades are determined using the following formula: Quarter 1 (40%) + Quarter 2 (40%) + Semester Exam (20%). The following scale is used to determine letter grades:

Standardized testing[edit]

The middle 75% of the class of 2003 scored between 600 and 610 on the verbal section of the SAT, and between and 600 on the math section.

Advanced Placement and Honors programs[edit]

Honors courses:

  • Honors Algebra I / Geometry
  • Honors Algebra II
  • Honors American Literature
  • Honors Anatomy & Physiology
  • Honors Biology
  • Honors British Literature
  • Honors Calculus
  • Honors Chemistry
  • Honors Jesus & Church
  • Honors English 9
  • Honors French 4
  • Honors Pre-Calculus
  • Honors Scripture
  • Honors Spanish 4
  • Honors World Literature

Advanced Placement courses:


St. John's teams play in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference.


The 2008 St. John's vs. Gonzaga College High School football game was recognized as one of the top 25 rivalries in the nation by inclusion into the Great American Rivalry Series. In 2013 the football team beat their rival Gonzaga and made it to the WCAC championship game[clarification needed] for the first time in over 20 years, where they beat the DeMatha Stags, 81-10.[3][4]


In 2007, the St. John's girls soccer team was ranked #1 in the nation in early September.[5] After finishing with two losses for the season, they were ranked #5.[6] In 2011 they were ranked #15 in the nation at the end of the season.[citation needed]


A new field with multipurpose for football was installed in the summer of 2009.[citation needed]

St. John's College High School JROTC Regiment[edit]

St. John's is home to one of the nation's first 100 US Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program. A mandatory military program was established in 1915 under the guidance of the U.S. Army and Major J. Dupray, the program is now optional today with less than 1/5 of the student body enrolled. The St. John's Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps is one of the 100 original programs established by the U.S. Congress in 1915. Since its inception over 90 years ago, the mission of the St. John's JROTC program has been to motivate students to become better citizens with the goals of developing leadership, citizenship, self-confidence and discipline.

Students are enrolled in one credited class per year while participating in the JROTC program. In addition to regular classroom instruction, students may also participate in challenging and fun activities throughout the year. Cadets participate in regional and nation competitions as members of the Raiders Team, Drill Team, Rifle Team, and the Color Guard. Furthermore, cadets may join the Regimental Band, and a limited number of cadets may attend an adventure-oriented summer camp. One of the highlights of the year is the annual Regimental Ball (The Regiment just held its 88th Regimental Ball). Each year the JROTC Regiment marches on the football field prior to the annual football game between St. John's and Gonzaga. In May the Regiment undergoes its annual federal inspections (AFI). The St. John's JROTC Regiment is an Honor Unit with Distinction, the highest unit award possible for any JROTC unit. The JROTC motto is "To motivate young people to become better citizens."

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ MSA-CSS. "MSA-Commission on Secondary Schools". Retrieved July 31, 2009. 
  2. ^ called the Rangers until changed in 1994
  3. ^ Parker, Brandon. "DeMatha tops St. John’s to capture first WCAC football championship since 2008". Retrieved 4 March 2015.  External link in |website= (help)
  4. ^ Coach Joe Patterson enters his fifth season at the helm. From the St. John's website. Retrieved on November 25, 2007.
  5. ^ NSCAA/Adidas National and Regional Rankings: National 2nd Poll. National Soccer Coaches Association of America (September 18, 2007). Retrieved on November 25, 2007.
  6. ^ NSCAA/Adidas National and Regional Rankings: Final Regular Season Poll. National Soccer Coaches Association of America (September 18, 2007). Retrieved on November 25, 2007.
  7. ^ {{Cite web|url= James Kimsey|publisher=Kimsey Foundation|accessdate=October 12, 2007}}
  8. ^ Graham, Scott; Staff (December 26, 2003). "The man behind the 'armour'". Baltimore Business Journal. Retrieved October 12, 2007. 
  9. ^ "Washington Post Spring 2008 All Met - Baseball". The Washington Post. 
  10. ^