BENWOOD - Located in Center Benwood, SS. James and John has been in existence since 1876.
During those 136 years, many changes have taken place; however, the basic tenets of a faith-led education have remained.
Added to this time-honored Catholic identity, students are also trained in 21st century skills that enable them to be competitive with any other student in the state.
Featuring grades from 3-year-old preschool through eighth, SS. James and John students begin each day with Mass. A rosary service is said each Wednesday, and each Thursday a full Mass is attended.
Monday, Tuesday and Friday are designated as "express masses" with Father Bekeh Utientiang, the St. James and St. John parishes' priest, presiding.
Bekeh is very involved with the school and actually teaches religion each Friday to sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students. The other religion classes - required of all grades - are taught by Jonette Giovengo, the full-time religion teacher on staff.
Following this, students begin their academic day, which is centered around a rigorous course of study based on the West Virginia content standards used for all students in the state. These objectives are then enhanced with materials and instruction that make SS. James and John the unique school that it is.
Extra-curricular activities are available to all students who are interested in academic activities and/or sports. A full month of drama is just one of the enrichment programs offered.
This year this was highlighted by a two-hour Christmas showcase that featured every student enrolled in the school and which was attended by over 550 audience members.
Enrollment at the school increased by 27 percent for the 2011-12 school year, and another increase is expected for the next school year. Open enrollment is scheduled for the week of Feb. 20, and interested parents are encouraged to call the school at (304) 232-1587 for information or for a tour of the school's campus.
CATHOLIC SCHOOLS' WEEK EVENTS