St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Johnsburg has hired Brenda Baldassano as its new principal for the school’s 175th year educating children in the community.
Baldassano started her career in Chicago Public Schools. She has been an educator and administrator for 18 years.
Baldassano received her teaching degree in elementary education at Northwestern, under the Golden Apple Teaching program, and her doctoral at Northern Illinois University. She has taught at Chicago Catholic Schools and other local schools throughout her career, including St. Bede Catholic School in Ingelside. More recently, Baldassano served as principal of St. Mary Catholic School in Woodstock.
“I am excited to be entering into a new school year as principal with St. John’s School during our anniversary celebration,” Baldassano said. “Not many schools can say they have been educating for 175 years. This truly is something to celebrate.”
The school opened its doors in 1843 in a church made of logs. Many new buildings have come and gone since the original. St. John’s served the whole community until the public school was built in 1950.
The current building, where the school is now, was built in 1953. Many updates have occurred since then, including the addition of the north section of the school that houses the administration office and school gym, as well as the addition of the preschool and kindergarten classes in 1994 to the west building. The gym underwent a major remodel in 2017.
The school is focused on faith, family and academics. Jacek Junak, pastor at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, spoke at a recent “Welcome the Principal Night” for Baldassano.
“Our future is bright,” Junak said.
St. John the Baptist Catholic School is accepting registration for the 2018-19 school year. The school offers preschool two to five days a week for children ages 3 and 4, and full-day classes for students in kindergarten to sixth grade.