Saint John's Prep School exterior

Garden Project

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As we celebrate 160 years of Saint John's Preparatory School, we are reviving a spiritual and tangible place of growth, our campus vegetable garden. The space is nestled between the middle school, Saint Michael Hall and the soccer fields. Middle school science teacher, Bob Ellenbecker, spearheads the project to fill this fertile space with organic vegetables. During the last two summers the garden has been dormant, and now Bob is bringing it back to life.

Bob is undertaking the garden’s revival as a tribute to his sister, Mary Ellenbecker Johnson. She’s currently fighting cancer and unfortunately, doctors have given her just a few months to live. Mary taught biology at Saint John’s Prep for 18 years before joining the faculty of the St. Cloud Technical College. While at SJP, Mary also was a state champion Envirothon coach. Many of Mary’s former students credit her for igniting their own passions for biology and science. abbott and ellenbecker.jpg

She’s known to alumni/ae of all ages as a teacher and ardent supporter of Saint John’s Prep-She’s married to Charlie Johnson ’74 and is the mother of Ben.
Bob is working with Owen Miller ’22, a Boy Scout, to coordinate supplies, labor and volunteers to bring the garden back to life. Together they’re coordinating students to build a fence and plant the vegetables. Teachers Dan Stark and Charles Miller are also working on the project. Abbot John Klassen, OSB ’67 blessed the newly turned garden during a campus prayer service.

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 Prayer Request

 Cast your care upon the Lord and God will support  you. 
 Psalm 55:23

 Everyone at Saint John's Prep is keeping Mary, Charlie '74  and their son Ben, close to their hearts during this difficult  time. Mary remains an important part of our SJP family. 

 Mary served Saint John's Prep as a teacher, coach,  mentor and friend. Mary remains a good friend to many  graduates and family members. We ask you to pray for  Mary and her family.

To learn more about Mary's journey and suppport her during this time, click here.


Upcoming Benefit Events for Mary Johnson

Benefit for Mary Ellenbecker Johnson
Minnesota Street Market, St. Joseph
June 8, 2017 
Join the Minnesota Street Market Co-op for a food and music benefit for Mary Ellenbecker Johnson on June 8 from 5:00-7:00 pm. Mary served as a biology teacher at Saint John's Prep for 18 years. She and her family are struggling with medical bills from a long battle with cancer.  All proceeds will help with medical bills and expenses. The entry fee is $10. Mr. Engholm will be one of the musicians performing at the event! 

June 22, 2017
Bravo Burrito Fundraiser for Mary Ellenbecker Johnson
Sauk Rapids VFW
901 N. Benton Drive, Sauk Rapids, MN

Bravo Burrito is hosting a Mexican buffet on June 22 at the Sauk Rapids VFW to support Mary Ellenbecker Johnson. The meal is $10 per person and all proceeds go to the Johnson family.


ISACS - independent schools association of the central states - accredited member school