Donor Stories

In the News

Jamestown Sun - September 11, 2018

Expanding St. John's


Marlys Gallagher, Alumna and Parishioner 

Dear Friends of St. John's Academy,

I cannot imagine my life without a foundation in Catholic education. As a student at St. John’s Academy, I remember feeling a closeness to my classmates because of our shared relationship with God. I always felt cared for and safe at the school. I learned the value of helping others through penny drives and community service events and developed life-long friendships. As a grandparent of current students, St. John’s Academy continues these traditions and values. To this day, the small class sizes and shared faith foster close friendships. Similarly, the Sisters from my time at the school are gone, but a group of devoted teachers have inherited their dedication, enthusiasm, and love of learning. 

Right now, we have an opportunity to ensure that a Catholic education continues to be available in Jamestown for future generations. Renovating the existing building will allow us to build amenities that are designed for students at this age-level and to enhance classrooms for modern education. The plans also include positive new features. Personally, I think the new chapel will be a great addition. I have many fond memories of masses and retreats at the chapel in the demolished convent. With the new chapel, children will be able to experience weekly mass and priest visits in the same kind of spiritual setting that I enjoyed as a student. Additionally, a bright, open cafeteria for children to eat and socialize is badly needed. Overall, I believe this project will create a more inviting school for students, families, and the entire community.

St. John’s Academy has been a significant landmark in Jamestown for more than 125 years.  I believe the school should continue to serve the children of our community for the next century. Please join me in investing in this important institution.

Marlys Gallagher

Campaign Honorary Chair


Ben and Brenda Kirkeby Family, School Parents and Parishioners

Dear Fellow Parishioners,

As parents, we chose to enroll our students at St. John’s Academy because we wanted them to have a good education in a Catholic-Christian atmosphere. St. John’s Academy has provided a nurturing environment since our kids began childcare. They are now in the 6th and the 8th grades. Time flies! 

While we believe that teaching great values starts at home, we also wanted our beliefs to be built upon and reinforced during the 7+ hours per day our kids spend in school. Faith education at St. John’s opens doors and prompts conversation within our family about faith and God.  We love that at the Academy there is a consistent message from people our kids know, love, and trust, such as parents, teachers, priests, and administrators.

Today, we are really excited about the renovation and expansion of the school. In particular, we believe that the new chapel at the heart of the school will be a great way to keep God literally present, front, and center in the children’s daily lives.

We feel as though God called us to provide for future generations by participating in A Campaign for St. John’s Academy.  Although our kids will not see this come to fruition while attending the school, we are passionate about helping provide a state-of-the-art facility for others.  As parishioners or school families, each of us is benefiting from what others sacrificed and provided years ago.  We believe it is our turn to contribute to something beyond our own immediate needs and desires and build something great for the next generation.

Ben and Brenda Kirkeby

Campaign Volunteers