The parish of St. John the Evangelist has been blessed to be able to be the support and foundation for the education of thousands of parishioners throughout the years since it was first established. The school system itself has changed and molded the lives of its alumni and current students, but the traditions and history of the institution has been sound over the generations of its existence. The original school was housed in the upper chamber of the pastor’s cabin, and later, a building was constructed to house the boys’ and girls’ education in a separate location. As the years progressed, there was a need for a new school building that would house all students within its walls. In 1869, work was underway for the building of this school that would be accommodating and more than adequate to provide and insure a good Christian education. This building, completed in 1870, was a three-story brick structure that contained four school rooms and a large auditorium for the parish for social gatherings. This building would be known as the German Department School.
However, the building would eventually fill to capacity – the hall would be converted to two more school rooms, and the chapel and a room in the Sisters’ house would be used as classrooms, as well. The decision was made for a new school to be built, and in 1888, this new building was completed and named the St. Mary’s building. This building served many years as the center of our students’ Catholic education.
In 1911, the need for a new school had once again existed. Despite hiccups and disasters of natural causes, the building was completed in 1913. The first “housewarming” of the school occurred in the form of the school festival in October of 1913. Since that first school festival, we have held a school festival every October since its initial conception. These festivals generate funds to help provide our students with the necessities for a quality Catholic education to this day. In 1915, the curriculum and administration was reorganized to fulfill the new diocesan school regulations, and inaugurated in September of that year. This was the first establishment of graduating classes at St. John’s Catholic School. The St. Mary’s building was remolded to serve the needs of St. John’s High School, which was formed through the tireless efforts of the Sisters of Notre Dame and approved by the Department of Education of the State of Ohio. It gained the recognition of affiliation with the Catholic University of Washington.
In addition to the previous alterations and additions to the school, many more changes would follow as the community continued to blossom. In 1940, a temporary building, the St. Louis building, was built to house students prior to the major construction of the high school (this building now stands as the hall of American Legion in Delphos). The Little Theater would be built in the basement of the St. Joseph’s building in 1942 (this now serves as the cafeteria for the students). In 1947, the Fatima wing on the St. Joseph’s building was constructed (which includes the Our Lady of Fatima Chapel between the Sisters’ Convent and the Elementary School), as well as a portable school building, Holy Angels Hall (serving as a temporary solution, has since been demolished). In 1951, the St. John’s High School (the first floor of the school where the gymnasium is housed) was built in honor of our parish’s patron saint and in honor of St. John Bosco, patron of young people. In 1955, the St. Mary’s building was torn down to make way for a new wing of the school. In 1957, the Holy Angels wing (housed on the far end of the Elementary School that currently serves as the junior high hallway), was completed. Another addition, named the St. Charles wing, was completed in 1962 (this is the hallway that serves as the main entrance to the Junior High/High School office today). In 1966, the St. John Annex would be built to serve the needs of an ever-expanding community (today houses the preschool).
The most recent project for the school, completed and dedicated in 2005 is the multi-purpose building that houses the school’s weight and wrestling rooms, an additional gymnasium, band room, and covered breezeway that connects the Elementary School to this structure, which was named the All Saints’ building. As our society has changed in the realm of technology, so has the school in the addition of computers, iPads, Smartboards, and the various amenities we offer to our students today.