St. John Elementary School, organized in the latter part of the 19th Century, has displayed remarkable growth and commendable accomplishments since its establishment.
The first school plant was located near the previous site of the "Household of Ruth Lodge." The school was first operated three months a year. Later, the school term was extended to four months a year. A compiled book, The Blueback Webster, was the only textbook used. There was one book per family. The principal of this school shared the term with Springfield School. Mr. Robert Baker, Principal of St. John in the early thirties, shared the term after Christmas. Pupils who wished to attend school the full term could transfer from one school to another and take advantage of work. Some of the teachers of this 19th Century school were: George Witherspoon, Johnny Jones, Frank Reed, Emma Reed, Miltilda Reed, Fernand Wester, Lula Longsworth, Aaron Preston, and Polly Duhart.
In 1936, the old school was torn down and moved across the road on the present site which faces the cemetery. This site was purchased by the county from Mrs. Sara McJunkins, an old citizen of this community. While this school building of four rooms was being constructed, classes were held in St. John Church which was an old wooden structure that stood almost in the same site, but across the road from where the brick structure stands today. Mrs. Onelia Collier was the first principal of this school.
In 1949, the county launched a school consolidation program. School buildings were moved from the Robertsville, East Quincy, Pine Grove, Solomon-Campbell, and Greenshade communities to the St. John School site. The program did a great deal to improve instruction and provided adequate facilities and equipment for all schools.
At the end of the 1949-50 school year, St. John School consisted of nineteen classrooms, an office, library, first aid room, a small kitchen, a coal and pump house, and a staff of 19 teachers and one principal.
During the 1955-56 school term, the seventh grade was added and in the 1956-57 school term, the eighth grade was added. During the decade of 1960, a wing was constructed on the east end of the campus to accomodate the expanded enrollment. This wing consisted of nine classrooms, a main office, a storage room, boys and girls restrooms, and a furnace room. Also, during this time, the Exceptional Student Program came into existence.
In 1964, another classroom building was added to replace the ones torn down. This building consisted of twelve classrooms, an exceptional education room, boys and girls restrooms, furnace room, and storage room.
In 1966, a cafetorium was added and construction began on a junior high school wing and library. By the 1967-68 school year, St. John had a new building to house the library and junior high school. This building consisted of seven classrooms, boys and girls restrooms, and a library containing a main reading room, office, workroom, and a conference room. Also, during this time, the Guidance (1966-67), Art (1968-69), Reading (1968-69), and Music (1968-69) Programs came into existence.
By 1970-71, the seventh and eighth grades were transferred to Quincy Middle School. In 1971-72, a self-contained exceptional education class was added. It was the first of its kind at the school. The portables were added during the 1972-73 school term. In 1980-81, the sixth grade was transferred to Quincy Middle School.
In 1986, the sixth grade department was transferred back to St. John. A portable was added in 1987-88 to be used as a computer lab. Another portable was also added in 1988-89 and served as a Chapter I Pre-K classroom.
During 1989-90, the district re-roofed walkways at the bus circle, poured sidewalks, graded for drainage, and painted all exterior surfaces. A playground area for Pre-K was constructed. The sixth grade was moved back to Carter Parramore in 1991.
The school has had fifthteen principals: Mr. Robert Baker, Mrs. Onelia Collier, Mr. Roosevelt Anderson, Mr. Alphonso Killings, Mr. Edward Houston, Mrs. Josie B. Jackson, Mr. Frank Robinson, Mr. Phillip Dorsey, Mr. William A. Grice, Mrs. Vivian D. Kelly, Mrs. Elizabeth E. Turner, Mr. Wilbert Caldwell, Mr. James A. Ray, Mrs. Ida Walker, Mrs. Allysun Davis and presently Mr Maurice Stokes.