Coastal Community Foundation Announces Discover St. John’s High School Initiative

February 20, 2017

Partnership with St. John’s High School and donors aims to boost enrollment at local public school

CHARLESTON, SC: February 20, 2017 – Coastal Community Foundation, a philanthropic organization serving coastal South Carolina, today announced the Discover St. John’s High School initiative, a community leadership partnership between the Foundation, school and local donors to boost enrollment at St. John’s, the local public high school for Johns Island and Wadmalaw Island.

By highlighting the recent successes of St. John’s and reintroducing it to current and prospective students, the initiative aims to recruit an additional 50 middle school students for the 2017-18 school year and build a future where St. John’s is a school of choice.

“We’re pleased to work with others in the community who are committed to building on the recent successes at St. John’s High School through the Discover initiative,” said Dave Schoenholz, a Kiawah Island resident who is helping lead the effort. “I hope others join us in creating a bright future as we grow the student community at St. John’s.”

The Discover St. John’s High School initiative is a community leadership project of Coastal Community Foundation, with roots in donor interest in the school. Last summer, the Foundation began convening local donors alongside the St. John’s PTO and school administrators to hear directly from the school about its successes and challenges, after noticing a trend in donors who wanted to invest in the success of St. John’s High School.

Student offerings have improved at St. John’s High School in recent years: there are opportunities to earn 30+ college credits through AP courses; career academies focused on computer science, hospitality and the culinary arts; and a small student to teacher ratio. However, the school still struggles with student enrollment numbers.

“St. John’s High School, anchored behind century-old live oaks, often goes unnoticed by many people who are new to the island community,” said Andre Dukes, Principal of St. John’s High School. “We are very grateful to the friends of SJHS who are helping us communicate our vision of excellence for the young people who reside on Johns and Wadmalaw Islands. Our goal is to inform, educate and motivate our community about the programs and offerings afford to our students.”

The Discover St. John’s High School initiative consists of a two-part marketing and engagement campaign. The marketing campaign reintroduces students to the school through a creative video, social media and other collateral, while the open house component brings students and parents to St. John’s High School to experience activities, meet with teachers and learn more about the school’s successes. Campaign materials were created by Touchpoint Communications, a communications firm headed by Foundation board member Colleen Troy, with videography produced by Lunch and Recess.

Troy shared, “At Touchpoint Communications, we each share a love of community and a real desire to use our talents for the greater good, so we were thrilled to help with this worthy effort to strengthen a community high school, by providing some initial strategic planning, connecting St. John’s High School with some strong creative talent and using some of our own channels to help spread the word.”

To learn more about the Foundation’s community leadership work, visit.

About Coastal Community Foundation: Coastal Community Foundation works with people and organizations in our region who want to make a lasting difference through philanthropy. By understanding local needs and remembering the unique history of our region, the Foundation carefully invests resources to protect, enhance and change our community for the better. The Foundation serves Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry and Jasper Counties. To learn more, go to or call (843) 723-3635.

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