Principal's Message



J Gayden-Gaines

Welcome to East St. John Preparatory Academy! At our school we are committed to ensuring that everyone is treated with respect and that students reach deep levels of profound learning through relevant, engaging learning experiences. Our priority is to provide consistent, innovative and high-quality learning experiences that enrich the lives of our students from within the classroom and beyond the classroom walls. Our staff of extraordinary teachers, support staff, paraprofessionals, and office personnel arrive each day prepared to give their best to our students, families and school.  We take pride in continuing to thrive as a community-based school where we elevate the importance of "VILLAGE EDUCATION" because it still takes a village and we fully believe that ONLY TOGETHER ARE WE BETTER!


I am very blessed to lead as principal of ESJ PREP. I am ecstatic about leading our work in transferring  passion for teaching, learning and for empowering the lives of young people each day.   Mostly, I am looking forward to building strong relationships with our community as we remain steadfast in our work dedicated to helping our students become successful lifelong learners.  Recognizing that we can’t reach excellence alone, I am hopeful that our parents and community members will actively participate in our partnership together to improve student performance and achievement.  The tasks that we are dedicated to at the PREP will never abandon opportunities to Push Students to their Full Potential.  

I am Johnika Gayden-Gaines.  I have been employed with St. John Public Schools for 15 years.  I have served as a Substitute Teacher, Teacher, Master Teacher, Assistant Principal and now Principal all at East St. John Preparatory Academy (formally East St. John Elementary).  I am a passionate and experienced educator dedicated to helping youth become life-long productive learners.  I am dedicated to making sure that all my actions are purpose-driven with an intent of making a positive impact upon quality youth education.  I believe in our students and our entire PREP community.  I believe we can move AS One to help Empower our Youth to become successful achievers.  

Looking forward to meeting with you all.  If you have any questions, concerns or ideas please do not hesitate to contact me at 985-233-0790

Thank You for Being A part of Our Team! 


Johnika Gayden-Gaines