St. John's Elementary School Celebrates 200 years of Educating Students

Staff Report From Florence CEO

Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

When St. John’s Elementary School opened its doors in 1818, the city of Darlington did not yet exist. Two hundred years later, St. John’s continues to educate the children of Darlington as the oldest continuously operating school in the state.

St. John’s Elementary and the local community celebrated the bicentennial recently with an entire week of exciting and educational events.

Dr. Tim Newman, superintendent of Darlington County School District (DCSD), said the history of St. John’s speaks for itself and DCSD delighted in the celebration.

“So many members of the Darlington community grew up in the halls and classrooms of St. John’s. The school’s rich history of preparing our young ones for their futures is a great treasure to all of us,” Newman said. “The Darlington County School District is excited for the students and staff there to be able to celebrate this great milestone.”

St. John’s Principal Dr. Karen Kinloch said the tradition of the school is excellence and so will be its future.

“The St. John’s Elementary Bicentennial was a celebration of the outstanding former and current faculty, students, and community members that make St. John’s a very special place for excellence in teaching and learning,” Kinloch said. “Therefore, the staff and I deem it to be both an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to advance both the mission and legacy of St. John's Elementary.”

The weeklong celebration included DCSD administrators and community members reading to students, a time capsule reveal, musical concerts, a Taste of St. John’s culinary experience and a parade. The Darlington High School Marching Falcons joined students and teachers for the parade and later played several songs for the crowd.

Student artwork adorned the hallways inside the school while the large time capsule stood on display in the cafeteria, featuring dozens of photos, keepsakes and even a piece of furniture. The Taste of St. John’s also concluded with a historical presentation in the Jean B. Taylor Auditorium.