Port Washington has supported Catholic education since 1853 when the first Catholic school was established by Fr. F. X. Sailer. Since 1855, the Sisters of Notre Dame, the Sisters of the Dominican Motherhouse, and the Agnesian Sisters have all handled teaching duties at various times. In 1916, St. Mary’s School was built under the supervision of Monsignor Peter Holfeltz and served students in 1st through 10th grades. The original structure has undergone a number of expansions and remodels. The subsequent school was established to support St. Peter’s Parish in the 1960s and served students in 1st through 8th grades.

As enrollment declined in the 1980s, the school combined to form Port Washington Catholic School, which is now St. John XXIII Catholic School (SJ23).

Today, SJ23 provides a faith-based education option for almost 200 students in grades preschool through 8th grade. Together, with the support of St. John XXIII Catholic Parish, our school functions as a parochial school option for students in northern Ozaukee County.

SJ23’s rigorous, integrated, hands-on philosophy promotes differentiated instruction, encourages creative expression, promotes critical thinking, and provides students with the opportunity to obtain skills needed to be successful, compassionate learners for the future.

In partnership with parents, our administration, faculty, and staff provide a Christ-centered environment that stresses basic academic skills and competencies, as well as the arts, music, and technology. We pride ourselves in producing graduates who are well prepared to excel in any high school they choose.

It’s the middle of the school year. Can I still enroll my child(ren) at SJ23?
Yes. SJ23 welcomes families to apply for kindergarten through 8th grade throughout the year. Students of all races and ethnic backgrounds are welcome and encouraged to enroll. The enrollment process begins January 1st in the school year prior to enrollment; however, students may enroll at SJ23 on an ongoing basis, at any time.

Besides academics, what can my student(s) become involved with at SJ23?
Girls Volleyball, Boys Volleyball, Girls Basketball, Boys Basketball, and Extracurricular Clubs. We will now be offering extracurricular clubs on Wednesdays after school. 2022-2023 Clubs Include: Robot Coding, 3D Printing, Art Club, Knitting & Crocheting, Chess, Construction Club, Baking Club, Sunshine Club, and Culture and Cooking Club.

How can I afford tuition?
– SJ23 offers a Welcome Scholarship. The scholarship is a one-time, 15% discount (per child), given to any first-time families attending St. John XXIII Catholic School, or families returning to St. John XXIII Catholic School after a major absence (two or more years).
– We also offers tuition assistance to families who find meeting tuition expenses for their child or children a financial challenge. Families who apply for tuition assistance are able to negotiate tuition payments through this program. A dedicated fund has been established to assist families interested in giving their child or children the gift of Catholic education.
– Through the Lawrence N. Stern and Mary Jane Stern Scholarship, we have $80,000 to award families that apply. The application deadline is May for the following school year.
– In 2013, the Wisconsin Legislature approved a state budget bill (2013 Wisconsin Act 20), which established a tax deduction credit for private school tuition. Parents with dependent children in a private school are now able to receive a tax deduction for tuition.

The public school offers a lot of great electives for students. Does SJ23 have electives?
Yes. We offer the following electives for students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, including: Coding, life skills, future city, guitar and music technology, and more!

I need help with child care before school. Do you have child care I can participate in?
Yes. Before and after school child care is available to all registered SJ23 preschool through 6th grade students on all regular, early dismissal, and in-service school days. Our child care program is an extension of our classrooms and reflects the values of our faith in a warm, supportive, family atmosphere. Our program aims to enhance and support the emotional, social, and academic goals of our students. Child Care Program Hours: Monday — Friday, 6:30am — 6:00pm

What is the dress code at your school?
SJ23 participates in a school uniform program. Please refer to our Parent Student Handbook to learn more about our uniform policy. When you buy uniform items from Lands End, the school benefits from a percentage of your order. You may also shop at any retailer that sells uniform apparel, as well as participate in our uniform exchange program. Spirit Wear is available at different times throughout the year. Keep an eye out for dates and the links to purchase t-shirts, hats, sweatshirts, and more!

A Destination to SERVE. LEARN. LOVE. LEAD.…as Disciples of Christ.

SERVE: We instill a love of God by being Disciples of Christ and by embracing our Catholic Identity. We demonstrate human dignity by bringing the beatitudes to life through our service to those in need.

LEARN: We believe in fostering a love of learning within a student centered environment. We believe in challenging our students to their highest potential, while embracing diverse learning styles, in a working partnership with parents, students, and teachers.

LOVE: We value education, worship, and service as a pathway to success for all. We value a genuine love for God, others, and self.

LEAD: We challenge our SJ23 Community to be role models spiritually, intellectually, and socially in their lifelong journey, while serving the greater good. We challenge our students to be leaders in the global society, while serving the greater good.

The SJ23 School Advisory Commission serves as an advisory body to the school principal or administrator. It assists with policy development, identification and expression of educational goals and objectives, budget planning, marketing, and public relations.

School Advisory Commission Members

  • Nikki Kiss
  • Cindy Becker
  • Dave Didier
  • Jennifer Gaskell
  • Rachel Lorier
  • Dan Hubacek
  • Randy Jerome
  • Barb Worzalla
  • Jennifer Zirbes
  • Fr. Patrick Wendt



The cross is the principle symbol of of Christianity that represents salvation, sacrifice, and service. It also represents the binding and uniting force of our four merged entities – St. Mary’s, St. Peter’s, Immaculate Conception, and St. John XXIII Catholic School.

Each of these shapes represents each of our four entities. The different colors represent the unique identity and gifts that each one brings to our new, united parish. Together it communicates acceptance, strength, diversity, unity, and a vibrant and bright future.


The reason for the color blue in the school logo is multi-faceted. Blue is a color often associated with tradition, education, authority, and has a spiritual component.

It has also been one of the school colors (which are red and blue) for over 25 years. These colors are in the school uniforms, athletic uniforms, etc., and are the colors most associated with the school. In an effort to try to bridge the Port Catholic into the St. John XXIII Catholic School identity, blue and red have remained part of the school logo. Interestingly, when the two colors are combined, they make purple, our parish color. Fitting, as our students are the foundation of the future of our parish.

GREEN: Hope, life, resurrection, bounty, reliable, and new beginnings

GOLD: Light, glory, purity, splendor, nourishing, hospitable, and comfort

RED: The Blood of Christ, love, powerful, motivating, exciting

BLUE: Heaven, strong, loyal, thought-provoking, reliable, authoritative

Be Christ Inspired – Joyfully Live Our Call | Become a Parish Member Today

St. Mary’s Church Site
451 N. Johnson St.
Port Washington, WI 53074

St. Peter’s Church Site & Parish Office
1800 N. Wisconsin St.
Port Washington, WI 53074

Immaculate Conception Church Site
140 W. Church St.
Saukville, WI 53080

CLICK HERE to visit the Parish Website.

“Catholic education has already influenced our family to become closer to God and our community. We look forward to continuing to show our love of God through more services to others. St. John XXIII Catholic School’s persistence at building relationships and providing a better sense of community, and ability to see the face of Christ in all aspects of life encourages us to do the same. We appreciate how SJ23rd integrates charity as a critical element of its regular curriculum and how students are encouraged to share their talents and resources with others who are in need. Catholic education influences us as parents to provide more focus on creating a family atmosphere animated by love and respect for God and all humankind. We have been enriched by the grace and office of the sacrament of matrimony and have already been encouraged to enhance our family’s knowledge of God, to worship Him, and to better love their neighbor. We officially began instilling this in the girls and the faith received in Baptism and the Holy First Communion. We are beyond blessed they have found their first true experience of the Catholic Church. We now recognize the inestimable importance a truly Christian family has for the life and progress of God’s own people. Catholic Education is important to our family because it develops a strong religious foundation with its daily exposure to the Catholic faith. We are confident that Catholic Education will prepare our girls to be faithful disciples of Christ by developing their whole person – spirit, mind, and body – through spiritual and academic formation based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is fundamental our girls attend at a Catholic school because of it focuses on providing a strong moral and ethical foundation not able to be provided in the public school system. It also will better equip to inspire decision‐making skills that will be critical throughout their lives. Overall, it is important to us curriculums do not revolve around standardized testing, rather, provides enrichment, perspective, a strong religious foundation and instills a love of learning for all students.” – Current Family

“Our first year at St. John XXIII Catholic School has been nothing less than perfect. We couldn’t be more gratified with the love, care, and faith provided to our children day in and day out. SJ23 came into our life at just the right time.” – Current Family

“[Our daughter] is suspected to have a sensory processing disorder. We needed a more nurturing environment to help her as she was struggling to find her way at the public school. She struggled making and keeping friends, but this all quickly changed upon starting at SJ23. For the first time, she loves going to school and thanks us at least repeatedly for making the change. This is all thanks to smaller class settings, more structured environment, being held accountable for her actions and of course, her teachers, her wonderful classmates, and all the great faculty/staff. SJ23’s desire to place a strong emphasis on the social and emotional well‐being of students is noteworthy. We applaud the school’s ability to teach fundamental skills necessary for wellbeing and life effectiveness. We are confident these skills have already improved her quality of learning and life. Our other daughter is absolutely thriving! Her growth in all academic areas is astonishing. The individualized learning, she is receiving and support from her classmates has never been seen before.” – Current Family

“…Today she told me how much she loves her school. They’ve remained open and complied with all measures to ensure students can learn in the best possible environments. They are deeply committed to her success. I don’t even know how to describe the level of involvement other than it blowing me away, every time I stop to think about it.” – Current Parent

“We are incredibly grateful for having become a part of St. John’s family. We have absolutely seen our children find a new love and appreciation of learning! Their teachers have been so incredibly supportive towards fostering a deeper understanding of their faith as well. We can not say enough how grateful we are.” – Current Parent

“We cannot say enough great things about our experiences at St. John XXIII. Our child has grown both academically, socially, and spiritually. The teachers and support staff are outstanding! I truly appreciate the continual communication. We know when our son is at school he is safe, being challenged, supportive, encouraged, and treated like family. We look forward to next school year continuing at St. John XXIII!” – Current Parent

“I am beyond grateful for what St. John XXIII and the entire staff has done for my family. My kids would not be in the places they are if it weren’t for the dedication and love of the teachers and staff. THANK YOU ALL.” – Current Parent

“SJ23 is our home away from home. Our entire family feels the love and kindness that radiates from the teachers and staff. [We] know that everyone that works with our children truly cares about not only their academic progress, but especially their well-being and character development. We value the open communication and relationships we have developed at school. Our kids are excited about learning and they feel how excited their teachers are to help them grow. We feel welcome in the SJ23 family and love the relationships we have made with other families. We are grateful for all SJ23 does to support our children in their journeys to grow closer to Christ.” – Current Parent

“We came because of COVID, but we will stay because of the wonderful community and education for our children.” – Current Parent

“We wanted our children to receive a strong education this year with Covid shutting down so much. The teachers, staff, and school atmosphere were welcoming to our children who transferred as well as to our family. Our children’s educational growth was evident and they expressed how much they enjoyed school all year long. When moments of quarantine had to occur, the teachers kept our children engaged and continued to further their learning with strong expectations for them. St. John’s School was wonderful in so many ways and we look forward to the future years to come.” – Current Parent

“Outstanding family community/professionals.” – Current Parent

“A Catholic Education builds a faith that will follow me wherever I go in life. It’s important to me that St. John XXIII values academic success. Catholic Education is preparing me for the future and helping me become a better person.” – Evelyn Camilo (Current Student)

“This school shaped who I am today. It helped shape my personal set of morals and values, which guide my decision making today, and encourage me to make a difference in the world.” – Ben Schueller (Former Student)

“2020 was a year that no one will forget. Our daughter did not do well with hybrid schooling, so when we reached out to SJ23 in November we were in crisis mode. Every single person we came in contact with was helpful, kind, and understanding. Our daughter was a different person, even just from the day she spent shadowing! The school and teachers have been amazing, and it was an easy decision to continue her education at SJ23 beyond the 20-21 school year!” – Current Parent

“I love the whole experience provided at SJ23. The development focus provided not only includes the curriculum taught but also building faith, character, and community. I can’t say enough good about SJ23!” – Current Parent

“SJ23 has brought more to my family than I could have imagined. It truly is about the kids, education and community. Thank you to all of you!” – Current Parent

“SJ23 becomes a part of your family! All staff and parents are active participants in educating our children! Fantastic environment for success!” – Current Parent