Our School

At St. John the Evangelist Catholic School, it is our mission to be an inclusive Catholic learning community that inspires every student to achieve their full potential through faith and education. We recognize our call to love and serve from our Master teacher Jesus Christ, and we are committed to creating a Catholic learning community under the protection of Mother Mary.

The Catholic Graduate Expectations are our foundation as we strive for academic excellence and the acknowledgement of those who achieve it. We recognize God as the source of all life and actively work to focus on social issues within our local and global communities.

We celebrate the diversity within our community with a collaborative approach to learning, in cooperation with parents, the Catholic faith community, and other organizations that recognize the value of our mission. Within the context of Catholic teaching and Sacramental living, our school community strives to demonstrate respect and reverence for all life, thus nurturing a safe, Christian environment for the entire school community.

School Year Calendar 
Our board's School Year calendar is now available. We encourage parents and guardians to stay informed of upcoming school events, we ask that you please subscribe to our school calendar web page to receive the latest updates and emails on activities happening at school. 
Child Care Partner 

We are pleased to partner with the YMCA to offer before and after school child care services at St. John the Evangelist Catholic School. 

For more information, contact: tiffany.hickey@ymcagta.org or leanne.morton@ymcagta.org

School Hours 

Our school hours are as follows:

9:00 a.m. - School begins
10:05 - 10:20 a.m. - Morning recess
11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. - Lunch
2:10 - 2:25 p.m. - Afternoon recess
3:30 p.m. - Dismissal

School Prayer 

Our school prayer is as follows:

Dear God,
We, your children, pray that we may bring peace and joy
to all those whom we meet today,
being kind and caring like your special friend, St. John.

He was a student of your Son Jesus, and a teacher of the good news;
help us to spread St. John's words that we are all created in your image.
Help us to respect and protect your creation.

Like St. John's eagle, help us to soar above all anger and hatred.
Look after those who need you today in a special way
and hold us all in the palm of your hand.
We ask these things, with love, through our Mother Mary
and Jesus, your Son and our Brother.

St. John the Evangelist, pray for us.

Patron Saint

Our patron saint is St. John.  John was one the twelve apostles who followed Jesus. He was the son of Zebedee and Salome, and the brother of James the Great, another one of the twelve apostles. His father was a fisherman and his mother, Salome, became one of the holy women who followed Jesus, along with Mary Magdalen.

Both John and his brother James were followers of John the Baptist at first, but later became disciples of Jesus. John was probably the youngest of the twelve apostles, and called himself the "disciple whom Jesus loved". Both John and his brother had a fiery nature, so Jesus called them the "sons of thunder". Among the twelve John held a special place: With Peter and James he witnessed the Transfiguration and the Agony at Gethsemane; He was the only one of the twelve who stood at the foot of the cross, when Jesus died. And finally, Jesus charged him with the care of His mother.

After Christ's death John was one of the pillars of the early Church. Tradition holds that he moved to the city of Ephesus, with Mary, the mother of Jesus. From there he ministered to several Christian communities in Asia Minor. During the reign of the Roman Emperor Domitian (81-96 AD) he was exiled to the island of Patmos, where he wrote the three letters named for him, and the book of Revelations (also known as the Apocalypse). He returned to Ephesus, where he wrote his gospel (about 100 AD). He died in the year 104 AD, at an advanced old age.

John is often depicted with an eagle, in reference to the opening words of his gospel, where his ideas soar to mystical heights. He is called the Apostle of Charity, for the love he received from Jesus, and the love for his people, which is evident in all his writings. 

Our History 

St. John the Evangelist Catholic School was opened in September 1955. The original school consisted of only four classrooms, designed to accommodate 160 students from grades 1 through 8. The Sisters of St. Joseph were invited to assume the leadership of the new school. Under the guidance of the first principal, Sister Leona, the school began its mission of Catholic education.

She was succeeded by Sister Enid (the daughter of Frank Selke of hockey fame) in 1957. It was only natural that the students of St. John the Evangelist became staunch supporters of the Montreal Canadiens. In 1958, the school was visited by a contingent of Montreal players, including Frank Selke and Maurice "Rocket" Richard. In response to a growing population, four more classrooms were added to the existing school in 1958.

Leadership changes

In 1959, the Sisters of St. Joseph withdrew from St. John's. Father Leo J. Austin, pastor of St. John the Evangelist Church, invited the Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception to take over the teaching and administrative duties at the school. Sister Mary Rose Moran was appointed principal at this time. The school continued to grow over the years. By 1962, there were 12 classrooms. It was in this year that Kindergarten was officially introduced to the St. John community. In 1966, the gymnasium and library were added to the school, along with eight more classrooms, one of which was used as a library. Sister Mary Rachel took over as the principal of the school and remained for one year. In 1967, Sister Marie Ann Bondy was appointed principal and remained until 1979.

It was at this time the school's first lay principal, Frank Corrigan, was appointed. In 1999, the school library was transferred from Room 8 to the new addition at the front of the school. The school office, now located at the front of the building, was also added at this time. 

New programs

In September 2010, St. John the Evangelist became the site of a Board Full Day Kindergarten Pilot Project. In the summer of 2012, three existing Primary classrooms were renovated, resulting in two fully serviced Full Day Kindergarten classrooms. Beginning in September 2012, St. John the Evangelist became a Ministry of Education Full Day Kindergarten program school where a Teacher and an Early Child Educator work together in the classroom to teach the children.

One Grade 1 French Immersion and one Grade 4 Extended French class opened in September 2012, resulting in a school population of 220. St. John the Evangelist Catholic School is not just a school made of bricks and mortar. It has been a school blessed with dedicated families, staff and administrators, caring clergy, trustees and a Catholic School Council committed to Catholic education.


Founding Pastor: Reverend P. Laurent
Pastor 25 years ago: Reverend Leo J. Austin
Present Pastor: Reverend Damian Ali

Distinguished Alumni

In March 2012, the Durham Catholic District School Board embarked on a Board-wide project to recognize successful graduates from St. John the Evangelist Catholic School and to acknowledge their careers and accomplishments.

Father Charles T. Forget, Pastor
Father Forget is the middle child of seven children, all of whom attended school at St. John the Evangelist. It was in his Grade 1 class that he received a mysterious spiritual confirmation one day of his future vocation to be a priest. Looking back, he could see how the strong connection between his family's home life, the parish church and the school he and his brothers and sisters all attended made for a unified sense of life lived in God. He has been a priest now for 19 years and is pastor of St. Leo Parish in Brooklin. He feels that his school life was an integral part of his vocation story.

Bob Chow
Bob Chow is an Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair in Retinal and Early Eye Development at the University of Victoria. His work examines the formation of neuronal cell types in the retina, with the goal of revealing mechanisms that will guide the design of treatments for retinal and other neuronal diseases. He received his BSc at the University of Toronto, got his PhD at New York University, and did his postdoctoral training at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. He got his first big break in Grade 8 as a Durham Catholic District School Board regional science fair finalist. Bob graduated from St. John the Evangelist Catholic School in June 1982.


As Catholic educators, we live according to our Father's code and to lead our students, by example, to live the basic truths of the gospel message. This is an awesome, yet inspiring challenge which we share with the parents of our young men and women.

Children learn what they live. Each day we have the opportunity to teach our students:

  • to love by the way we love;
  • to be generous by our generosity;
  • to be passionate by our compassion; and
  • to be forgiving by the way we forgive.

However, a person cannot give what he or she does not have. Unless we are living the Gospel message, we cannot lead our students to do so.

There are many hallmarks of a Catholic educator, including:

  • Prayer - The challenges of our vocation, and indeed life in general, are great. To meet them we need to follow Christ's advice that we "ask the father in My name". Each Catholic educator has a duty to expose students to his or her particular style of prayer in order to assist students to recognize the value of prayer in daily life.
  • Eucharist - Parish, school, and staff liturgies provide opportunities to celebrate our faith. Our example can testify to the Eucharist as a joyful source of strength and community building.
  • Social Justice - This is the heart of the Christian message, that we "love one another as I have loved you". As our brother's and sister's keepers, we must be concerned about the aged, the poor, the oppressed, and any other marginalized group - both at home and abroad.

Student Agenda

Read our student agenda for information on school procedures, dress code, and more.


Below are links to resources to help you achieve success while at St. John the Evangelist Catholic School.

Contact Us 

We welcome your questions, comments and concerns.

Principal: Ana Smith

1103 Giffard Street,
Whitby, ON  L1N 2S3

Telephone: 905-668-4011
Fax: 905-668-9401

Follow us on Twitter @StJohnCS