The Free or Station School for European and Euroasian children was started in 1830 and remained on Government grant till 1874. There were no public schools at Meerut for the non-regimental population from 1874 to 1881. Various private schools were attempted but the want of a good school was strongly felt.
In July 1881, a Girls Upper School was started by Miss Snelleking in Soldier's Chapel. It was the vision of Venerable Archdeacon J. Baly and Rev. Oscar D. Watkins, Chaplain of Meerut, that St. John's School was founded for European and Euroasian children. Miss Snelleking's school with 27 children was handed over to the Chaplain of Meerut in January 1882 and was named St. John's Girls Upper School. Miss Johnstone was appointed as the first Headmistress of the school. Two more branches of St. John's School were opened in April 1882 in a rented bungalow on Boundary Road belonging to Mr. Becon. The schools were named St. John's Boys Upper School and St. John's Lower School respectively. Mr. I. H. Taylor was appointed the Headmaster of these schools.
A Government grant of Rs. 100/- per month was sanctioned for the Boys Upper School w.e.f. 1st April 1882.
In July 1890, the rented bungalow on the Boundary Road was vacated and children were shifted to the Soldier's Chapel. The three branches of the school were merged and named St. John's School. Miss Roberts became the first Headmistress of the school after the merger of the three branches. In July 1891, due to the sincere efforts of Rev. J. I. B. Cockin, the school shifted to the west portion of Begum Sumroo's Chapel on Bank Street. Begum Sumroo's Chapel was constructed in 1831 and consecrated as St. Paul's Church by Bishop Wilson in 1840. Mr. Daniel was appointed as Headmaster when the school shifted to its present location on Bank Street.
In 1898 the Primary School was upgraded to a Middle School. Before Independence, the school basically catered for European and Euroasian children but after Independence its status changed to Anglo Indian School. Indian and Anglo Indian children were allowed to study in the school. Mrs. Mona Devalal was the first Indian Headmistress, who served from 1947 to 1951. Mr. Edwin S. Lyall served as Headmaster from 1951 to 1953 and later Mrs. I. E. Reid joined as Headmistress in 1954 and remained in service till 1961.
Mrs. M. Devalal
1947 – 1951
|Mr. E. S. Lyall
1951 – 1953
|Mrs. I. E. Reid
1954 – 1961
|Rev. C. H. Herbert
1961 – 1984
|Mr. C. V. Ellis
1985 – 1997
|Mr. S. V. Prasad
1998 – 2009
| Mrs. Chandralekha Jain
2010 – till date
In July 1961, Rev. C. H. Herbert joined as Principal of the school and with his sincere efforts, in 1964 provisional affiliation was granted by Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi for Higher Secondary level and class IX started. The name of the school changed to St. John's Higher Secondary School. The school session was also changed from January-December to July-June. The first batch of Higher Secondary class passed out in 1967.
In 1975, 10+2 system was introduced by C.B.S.E. In 1977, the first batch of 40 students passed class X examination conducted by C.B.S.E. and same year it was the last batch of Higher Secondary passing out. In 1977, class XI started and first batch of 47 students passed class XII examination in 1979. In 1981 the school name was changed to St. John's Senior Secondary School.
The Centenary celebrations began on 18th November 1982 with a thanks-giving service led by Bishop Robinson. The celebrations continued for a week.
15th December 1984 was the saddest day in the history of St. John's School, when its most admirable Principal, Rev. C. H. Herbert passed away. The whole city mourned his untimely death. Mr. D. V. Chauhan officiated as Officiating Principal till June 1985. In July 1985, Mr. C. V. Ellis joined the school as Principal and continued till June 1997. Mr. D. V. S. Chauhan again officiated as Principal till Mr. Samuel Vincent Prasad joined on 10th March 1998 as Principal. He passed away in 2009, after which Mrs. Chandralekha Jain took over in 2010 & is shouldering the resposibility till date.
The School is proud of its ex and present students who excel in every sphere of life. The school has produced many eminent scientists, doctors, engineers, educationist, army officers, administrators, managers, lawyers and successful businessmen who are settled in different parts of India and abroad.
The Quasquicentennial celebrations (125th Anniversary) began on 22nd January 2006 with a thanks giving service led by the Rt. Rev. S. R. Cutting, Bishop of Agra. The celebrations continued for three days. The school has reached the historic landmark of 125 years of distinguished service to the nation. With the experience of the past and solid foundations, the school is geared up to face the future with confidence, fortitude and courage.