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. Mary died after battling cancer on July 3, 2017. 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

Mary was known to alumni/ae of all ages as a teacher and ardent supporter of Saint John’s Prep-She’s married to Charlie Johnson ’71 and is the mother of Ben '00.
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 will always be an important part of our SJP family. 

A memorial service in honor of Mary will be held in the Saint John's Prep Weber Center on August 3, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.

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

To learn more about Mary's journey and suppport her family, click here.


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