OUR HISTORY: Built on Tradition, Preparing Students for the 21st Century
Established in 1922, St. Catherine Parish has been a long-standing, integral part of the Sherman Park community – and for nearly all of its history, an elementary school has been an important part of this Roman Catholic Parish.
In 1923, parish leaders and members decided to erect a barrack-style building for a church and a small bungalow for a rectory. Classrooms were formed by using canvas curtains that were pulled down to divide the church into three classrooms. On Fridays, all school books were taken home, tables disassembled, kneelers put in place and curtains pulled up for Sunday Mass.
There were 120 children enrolled in the fall of its first academic year, with three School Sisters of Saint Francis teaching all eight grades. June of 1924 saw St. Catherine School’s first graduation: a class of seven students. Outside of school hours, the building was used as a parish hall for bazaars and card parties to raise funds for the parish. Some of these funds were used to construct new buildings for the parish and parish school, and completed at the end of the 1920s, these buildings still stand today.
Through its history, St. Catherine School established a reputation of providing a solid academic education immersed in the context of Roman Catholic beliefs and practices. This tradition continues today. While education and personal development is taught through the lens of the Catholic faith, families of all faiths and traditions are welcome and encouraged to attend St. Catherine School. Our school offers a safe, stable learning environment for children to grow and prepare for their futures. We work tirelessly so students and their families can view St. Catherine’s as not only their school, but their spiritual home.
A look to the Future
Beginning with the 2016-17 school year, St. Catherine School has been chosen to be a part of a new network of Catholic schools called Seton Catholic Schools, an Archdiocese of Milwaukee Initiative. The goal of Seton Catholic Schools is to streamline processes so our school is able to offer students more of what they need – personalized learning, technology, programs and services — to ensure they have the support and resources they need in and beyond the classroom. Preparing students in the 21st century has evolved and so are we. How we teach and how students learn and process new information has changed. We’re gearing up to meet the needs of students in a whole new way.