DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) - St. John’s Elementary in Darlington celebrated 200 years of education this week. Friday morning, they wrapped up a week-long commemoration with hundreds of students and staff marching around the historic school grounds led by the Darlington High School Band.
The celebration kicked off Monday with the reveal of a time capsule that holds items dating back to when the school first opened its doors.
The following days included an art gallery, a concert by the school's choir and a Taste of Saint John's food and history event for the community.
"What this means to this area is continuity of the tradition of excellence that started 200 years ago,” the school’s principal, Dr. Karen Kinloch, said.
Founded in 1818, St. John’s Elementary served as a source of learning only to boys at the time. Throughout the years it was also an important military site acting as a camp and hospital for troops during the Civil War.
Today it houses 625 students and dozens of hard-working staff.
"This school contains such awesome instructors and educational support staff that are truly making a difference in the lives of our students in the St. John's community," Kinloch said.
One of them is a 4th-grade teacher, Danielle Mosley, who attended the elementary school from 1991-1998
"It's kind of like a community, like a little family um I still remember the teachers that I had in St. Johns and some of the ones are still on campus today," Mosley said.
Now with 200 years of academic excellence under their belt, Mosley and other staff hope the tradition continues and may even lead some of the new generations back to the way it all started.
"I already have a lot of them saying they want to be teachers and work here so hopefully they take what they learned and are successful in the future," Mosley said.
“Our students, the staff, the community we take great pride in team SJE and that is what sustains us,” Kinloch said.