A Tale of Two Schools

Their History at a Glance

Fr. Smyth is quoted as saying “A parish without a School is only half a parish.” And so, in 1893 he started building the Convent and School, very much along the style of the Convent in Antigua. This meant the downstairs as school and the upstairs as dwelling for the Sisters. It is the same building we still have to the North of the Church.

1896 — Convent High opened—40 pupils.

1897— C.H.S closed after 1 yr in operation.

1902 — Primary sch. was greatly enlarged.

1903—St. Joseph’s was formed & was under the management of Rev. Stainforth. There were 77 pupils on rol1.

1906/7 — Fr. Stainforth bought a large property behind the Presbytery and St. Joseph’s was reopened.

1911 — The Order of “La Sainte Union” accepted teaching posts at C.H.S.

1912 — C.H.S reopened with 49 pupils.

1916 — Fr. J. Hermans bought the property at Baker’s Corner.

1920 — Fr. O. Cuvelier built a parish hall on top of the old building.

1928—St. Joseph’s was badly damaged by a terrible storm.

1930 — Belgian Sisters began work in CHS. SJPS was reconstructed & completed. Uniforms were introduced. Fr. Dywer composed the school song.

1950s — School’s popularity increased resulting in a shortage of classrooms.

1960s — More classrooms were built.

1969 — “Filles de Jesus” took over.

1971—Fr. John Bergmans built 8 classes.

1976 — Mr. C. Farrier 1st Lay Principal.

1970s — An STCS Alumni became State Scholar.

1978 — Mr. V. Warner 2nd Lay Principal of STCS.

1980s —- C.H.S produced 3 State Scholars.

1981— Mrs. E. Grey 1st female Principal of STCS.

1995 — Sr. Mary Andrew appointed Supervising Principal.

1996 — Mrs. B. Franks became Vice Principal of STCS

1999—Mrs. V. Rogers was appointed principal of St. Joseph’s Primary. The Junior Savings Cooperative was introduced.

2000s — 2 more Blue Sisters will follow.

2005 — Mrs. L. Pistana appointed Principal after the Blue Sisters’ departure. 2 more classrooms were added from World Bank Funds and the Laurie Mezzalingua Resource Center was funded by the Mezzalingua family.

2006-Preparations for the merger of both schools began. Mrs. Pistana travelled to Syracuse to meet with Jill Fudo the Architect.

2007—Eastern block was demolished in preparation for new facilities and the merger of both schools. Also the stairs on the northern side of SJPS were demolished and temporary stairs erected on the southern side. STCS were housed in temporary classrooms & the junior computer lab was moved to the Resource Center. The STCS Cafeteria became fully functional & Chef Weekes was hired.

2008—Official ground breaking ceremony for Phase I, Lennox Warner & Partner and Dwayne Sturge was chosen as the contractor & project manager respectively. The Mezzalingua Family were in attendance.

2009—A new project manager, Brian Simpson, was hired to ensure the timely completion of the new building. Laurie Mezzalingua lost her battle with cancer & the schools mourn their loss of a strong woman with a willing & giving spirit.

2010—In January the new wing was completed and blessed. Students & teachers from both schools moved in on the 25th January: K—2 & Gr. 6—8. Phase II broke ground in February on 2010.

2010 – Founding Head of School, Dr. Patricia Drake Hensley, was hired to develop a vision for creating a “World Class School” at ICCS. Working with the Catholic School Board, she will plan for the future of Immaculate Conception Catholic School.