Saint John's Academy has launched its Annual Fund Drive

posted Nov 13, 2009, 2:27 PM by   [ updated Nov 13, 2009, 3:08 PM ]

Dear Friends,

 Once again, we have entered the time leading to the Nativity of our Saviour Jesus Christ. This is a time cherished by all and especially loved by children.  At St. John’s the students have pledged to share the joys of this time by collecting clothing and toys for the less fortunate.  We are joyed to see that the seeds of care and concern for one’s neighbors has been planted in the hearts of these children. Our school is dedicated not only to the academic education but also to the spiritual development of Orthodox children. It is our mission to see that our students are prepared to be lights and examples to those untouched by God’s love and care.   

Our school was founded by concerned parents and clergy who saw the need to provide their children with a spiritually nurturing academic experience. The school soon attracted other like-minded families and now includes students from a variety of Orthodox traditions and from parishes across the expansive Bay Area. Over the past decade and a half the school has excelled academically, sending its graduates to some of the finest institutes of higher learning. Drawing upon classical and uniquely Orthodox methods, our school’s program is modeled to intellectually strengthen the foundations of an ethical and moral mindset, a worthy and much-needed endeavor at a time when society has replaced honor and uprightness with self-interest and dishonesty.

After fifteen years at the helm, Maria Kotar has decided to refocus her energies at St. John's. While remaining dedicated to the school and committed to its progress,  administrative responsibilities will pass from Mrs. Kotar to Rev. Deacon Matthew Steenberg in January 2010. Mrs. Kotar will return to her true love of teaching and will act as the Academy's curriculum consultant.

The incoming Principal, Rev. Deacon Matthew Steenberg, is currently the Head of Theology and Religious Studies at Leeds Trinity College in England. He is a specialist in the Church Fathers as well as a deacon in the Russian Orthodox Church.  American born, he completed his undergraduate studies at St. Olaf's College in Minnesota and received his doctorate from Oxford University where he studied under Bishop Kallistos Ware. Father Matthew has published more than seven books and has written for various religious journals. Father Matthew has contacts throughout the various Orthodox jurisdictions and is highly regarded amongst academic and theological circles. His experience as head of a department of a prestigious school will bring new ideas to the administration table and his general experience in higher education will help guide our college prep efforts.

In the past year our school’s efforts have been rewarded with the completion of the multi-year accreditation process. Later this year the school received federal approval to host students from abroad. These two events have opened many avenues for our school to expand its reach. We are very hopeful for future growth.

Unfortunately, the school has seen the increasing effects of the economic downturn on the families of our students. Many families have seen the loss of one or more jobs and a handful of families have been forced to withdraw due to financial pressures. This has taken a toll on our school’s budget. The school has made great efforts to keep the cost of our school in check and is reaching out to the community looking for financial aid for families in need. We are asking for your assistance and partnership in keeping needy families in our school. Without outside help we will be forced to raise tuition costs at a time when families are struggling.

In this time of financial insecurity, many are reconsidering discretionary giving. We understand that you may not be able to support our mission to the degree that you may have once considered. However, we hope that you share our vision in building up the next generation and will contribute to our efforts to the best of your abilities. If you would like your donation to be used for a specific need, be it a scholarship for a needy family, laboratory supplies, or underwriting a teaching position, please contact us.

We thank you in advance for your charity.


The Educators and Students at St. John’s Academy

Nov 13, 2009, 3:08 PM