St. John

Organizers are planning a Sunday, June 21 (Father’s Day) reunion for St. John’s Grade School. The three-story brick structure was built in 1923, where Antl Hall is now located. The school closed in 1968 due to declining enrollment.

On Father's Day, Sunday, June 21, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Savanna will be hosting its first-ever St. John the Baptist Grade School Class Reunion.

As long-time Savanna residents will remember, the St. John's Grade School was a three-story brick building that was attached to the rear of the church where Antl Hall is located today.

The school was built in 1923 for $60,000 and played a prominent role in the education of over a thousand Savanna residents until its closure in May 1968 due to declining enrollment.

A Reunion Planning Committee has been organized to help track down former students and graduates, send event invitations, develop a reunion program and locate and organize pictures and other school-related memorabilia from over the years.

Committee members include current parishioners and former St. John's students and graduates. Anyone wanting to lend a hand with the planning would be welcome. Contact Dave or Kay Engaldo (; 815-666-7598) if you are interested.

“There is plenty of fun to go around,” said Dave Engaldo.

The committee has been able to develop a data-base of former student information based on the records that were kept after the school closed in 1968. As a result, the group has been able to create class lists, a list of graduates by year and a list of all the students who attended at least one year of instruction at St. John’s, and all will be invited to attend.

What the committee is missing is contact information. And that is where the public’s help is needed. If you or a family member know anyone who attended St. John’s Grade School and have their contact information (email, Facebook, telephone number or street address) or know someone who does, provide that information to Dave or Kay Engaldo so the reunion committee can follow up with an invitation to the reunion.

“Perhaps you can help us locate or come up with some of the following items as well,” said Dave Engaldo.

•Pictures: the school, students/classes, school events, recitals, games, etc.

•Documents: anything related to the school or events held at the school.

•Newspaper articles: special events or milestone celebrations or approximate dates thereof so the committee can research various archival materials available at the library.

•Memorabilia related to the school that would be fun and interesting.

“Put on your thinking caps and dig through those old boxes of pictures, documents and memorabilia that have been gathering dust for the past 50 years,” said Engaldo. “Help make the first St. John’s Grade School Reunion an exciting and memorable event.”