Brief History

Year 1959. Chandigarh had become the new capital of Punjab in the nineteen fifties. The Capital Project had built this school as an English medium school and the Christian Brothers were requested to take over the school. The Brothers acquired the property and building on 15th November, 1959. The first Christian Brother to be involved with the school was Br. J. Crease.

By January 1960, pupils for classes 3 to 8 were being admitted. The first Principal was Br. Morrissey. The new school opened on 1st February, 1960. 41 pupils were present on the occasion.

Official support to the school soon came from the Punjab Government. To quote the Punjab Chief Minister of the day, Pratap Singh Kairon, “Another commendable step in the development of the town (of Chandigarh) is the establishment of two educational institutions for boys and girls in the shape of St. John’s High School in Sector 7-E (now 26) and Carmel Convent School in Sector 9. These schools fulfill a long-felt need for better educational facilities in the capital” .

By the end of 1960 the grounds were being laid out. As part of the greening of Chandigarh, the school campus was soon the setting for flowering trees, colourful shrubs and a variety of roses-a feature that we are still very proud of.

In 1961 application was made for affiliation of St. John’s to the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations. The first batch for the I.S.C. appeared in December 1963. They secured 100% passes. By now the number of pupils in the school had crossed the 500 mark.

By the beginning of the new school year of 1966, St. John’s saw a change in Principal. Br. Morrissey ended his term to be replaced by Br. O Shea who was to remain for 5 years. 100% success in the Indian School Certificate Examination in 1965 with all boys securing 1st Divisions was a fitting tribute to Bro Morrissey on his departure from St. John’s. By now the roll call in the school had crossed 600.

A new Principal had arrived in St. John’s in the person of Br. Tynan in 1971. The years following saw an annual increase in the number of boys on the roll. During this time the school magazine The Soaring Eagle saw the light of the day.

1977 saw a new Principal arriving to carry on the good work of Br. Tynan, in the person of Br. Walsh. By this time the school had switched to the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education and the final class in the school was now to be the Class X.

In 1980 Br. Bela became Principal of St. John’s. By now a new school year became imperative with the change in the dates of the I.C.S.E. examination. This meant the new school year commenced in March rather than in January. Another development was the functioning of the St. John’s Old Boys Association (SJOBA).

At the end of Br. Bela’s Principalship in 1986, a new Principal was appointed for St. John’s. He was Br.Whiting. Plans were drawn up to erect a new assembly hall and extra class- rooms as a new class was now being added on each year.

1988 saw a change in Principal in the person of Brother Pinto and very soon a new two-storied block as well as a hall came up. By now numbers on the roll had crossed 1200. Br. Pinto introduced Computer Education, initiated the Learning Centre in St. John’s and launched “The Galaxy” . To cope with the tremendous pressure for admissions, the need for a new section was felt and another section was added to two junior classes and thus the ‘C’ section came into existence.

In 1990, Br. S. D Souza took over the administration of the school as the new Principal. His tenure of six years was remarkable for many notable achievements. The school switched over to the CBSE in 1993-94. With the co-operation of the staff, parents and the active participation of the Old Boys, a basketball court and a tennis court were added to the facilities already available. With the construction of the Br. Edmund Rice Wing, the second phase of construction was also completed by him. This would ensure an adequate number of classrooms to accommodate the extra section in the coming years.

In 1996 Br. C.D Abreu took over as Principal. Since then, St. John’s has seen rapid change. The vision and charism of the Christian Brothers, which was and still is the education of boys, particularly the poor and underprivileged led to St. John’s launching “Indradhanush”, a special programme for the economically backward children. Br. D’Abreu also initiated the Creative Learning Integrated Programme (CLIP) and opened “Horizon” for the mentally challenged children.

In keeping with the new policy and thrust of the Congregation of Christian Brothers in India, to involve and include lay men and women in shared leadership and governance of Christian Brother schools. Mrs. P. Cheema, was appointed and served as Principal with effect from April, 2001 to March 2007. Under her capable administration the school was rated the No. 1 school in 2002 by Outlook Magazine. St. John’s was awarded the National Computer Literacy Award in the category of private schools in 2003 and is the current holder of the Best Library and Best Librarian, Maximum Prizes and Maximum Participation in the Chandigarh Librarians’ Association. She also introduced the Clubs, The Horse Riding School and the Maths Laboratory into St. John’s. In recognition of her great contribution to the field of academics, the govt. of Australia awarded her the prestigious Endeavour India Executive Award.

In April, 2007 Mrs. Kavita Chatterjee Das was appointed as the new Principal. Under her able guidance the school’s national rankings have dramatically improved and the school is now ranked as the NO. 1 school in Punjab/Haryana/Chandigarh. It also ranks among the top 3 schools in the country. CCE was introduced under her supervision and the school chose to implement it all the way from KG to Class-X right from the start.


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