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St. John's College High School

St. John's College High School in Washington, D.C., established in 1851, is the second oldest Christian Brothers 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, at 15th and G Streets.

St. John's College High School
2607 Military Road, NW
Chevy Chase, Washington, D.C. 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
Motto Religio, Scientia (Latin)
(Religion, Knowledge)
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1851
President Jeffrey Mancabelli
Principal Christopher Themistos
Assistant Principal for Student Affairs Ivan Wilkins
Assistant Principal for Academic Affairs Shannon Egan
Faculty 75; 70% hold a master's degree or higher
Gender Coeducational
Enrollment 1,100 (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 Bell, Karl Danso
Admissions Director Susan Hinton
Athletic Director Brian Griffin
Head of JROTC Program CSM McConnell
JROTC website JROTC website



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, which 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 (called the Rangers until 1994), the drill team (called the "McGovern Rifles"; see notable alumni below), 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.[citation needed]

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 that 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 the title of St. John's College. That same year, the college was 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. 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. In 1991 the school became a co-educational military optional institution.[citation needed]

In 1977 someone wearing a hoodie and a surgical mask enterered the cafeteria before joining the lunch line, and attempted to rob the cashier. The school business director, William McGregor, confronted the suspect and consequently was shot in the face, right leg and arm and below his right ear in the confrontation according to the police.The suspect exited the building and shot a student in the shoulder in his escape.[2]


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 in 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 lost to the Dematha Stags.[3][4] On Nov. 18, 2017, St. John’s varsity football team defeated Gonzaga 30-7 to win the 2017 WCAC championship. They finished the season having gone undefeated in the WCAC for the first time since 1976 and having won the school’s first football conference championship since 1989.[5] The 2017 team is also the only St. John's football team to ever defeat both DeMatha (first win since 1994) and Gonzaga twice in the same season. In 2017 the St. John's varsity football team finished their season ranked 17th and 19th in the country, after starting the pre-season ranked No. 21.[6][7][better source needed]


In 2007, the St. John's girls' soccer team was ranked #1 in the nation in early September.[8] After finishing with two losses for the season, they were ranked #5.[9] 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 was one of 100 original U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps programs established by the U.S. Congress. Originally mandatory, the program is now optional, and less than one-fifth of the student body is enrolled.

Notable alumniEdit

  • Hugh Everett III, American physicist who first proposed the many-worlds interpretation (MWI) of quantum physics, which he termed his "relative state" formulation.

External linksEdit