Dr. Leo St. John (1936 – 2023)

Dr. Leo St. John, a long time and magnificent California educator, passed away recently at Stanford Medical Center after a short illness.  He was 86 years old.

He served many roles with distinction and compassion.  He was a superintendent in the Oakley, Round Valley Unified and North Monterey County Unified School District.  He practiced a collaborative leadership method and flawlessly modeled and instituted it throughout his school communities.  California Distinguished School honors and curricular innovation were among the noteworthy accomplishments under Dr. St John’s leadership as Superintendent.

Dr. St. John began his career as a 4th grade teacher before moving to Detroit, Michigan to earn his Doctorate in Education at Wayne St. University.  He taught

aspiring teachers at the university while earning his advanced degree.

In the years that followed, Dr. St. John served in several leadership positions including Director of Curriculum and school principal in California and Alaska.  His work in Alaska was noteworthy as he served as the first Principal of Bethel Regional High School.  The school’s boundaries were wide and often available only by air travel.

Leo’s wife, Pat, predeceased him in 2021.  She was a true partner in the school communities he led.  Leo is survived by one daughter (Morgan) and two sons (Kelly and Peter; five grandchildren and six great grandchildren and his brother, Martin.

A Celebration of Life for Dr. St. John will be held on Saturday, April 29th from 12:00 – 4:00 PM at Casa Maria (406 2nd St., San Juan Bautista, CA 95045), a beautiful large venue adjacent to Mission San Juan Bautista.  The event will include a fully catered lunch.  An informal program is planned, including an opportunity for people to share.  No RSVP is necessary.  The venue can accommodate 200 people and the family welcomes all.  Casual dress is recommended.

Dr. St. John had a quick wit and boundless humor.  He was a masterful leader and a terrific person.  He was beloved by all who knew him.