The 1950's and 1960's
Holy Spirit School is the culmination of many years of dreams, planning, and hard work. It reflects the growth and diversity of the parish and the community surrounding it.
The idea of a school was first seriously envisioned by the third pastor of the then Holy Ghost Church, Fr. John Curran, after his arrival in 1951. At the time, the surrounding community was growing rapidly.
The Glenmoor Gardens housing development brought a sharp increase in the population and the need for a parish school became more urgent. Fr. Curran began buying land around the church grounds from neighbors which could be used in accommodating the envisioned buildings.
Fr. Curran left Holy Ghost parish in 1953. Holy Spirit church continued to move forward with the development of the planned parish school. A parish registration drive was launched and volunteers were recruited to solicit contributions to be used for building the school. Once the goals of this effort were met, and thanks to the donation of $150,000 by two parishioners, the Brophy sisters, the dream became a reality.
Ground was broken for the school in February, 1956. The design for the buildings was to form a "U" shape, with one wing to be a parish hall. Four classrooms, an office, library, etc. were to constitute the initial construction. Thereafter, about one classroom per year would be added until the entire project was completed.
In September of 1956, the school opened and staffed by the Sisters of the Holy Names. The first principal was Sr. Mary Felicitas Supple. Throughout the 1960's the school grew until it reached one classroom for every grade from 1st through 8th.
The Holy Names Sisters remained as the largest group of teachers until June of 1978 when, due to a decrease in vocations throughout the entire Roman Catholic Church, they were no longer able to provide an adequate number of teachers. The school always had a mix of lay teachers and Holy Names Sisters, but after 1978, the entire staff was composed of lay teachers and a lay principal. Mrs. Patricia Goodman was appointed principal from 1978-1983.
The 1970's saw class sizes drop and tuition increase as a result of raging inflation and rising salaries. Holy Spirit School has been and continues to be a model of academic achievement and spiritual development. The drive for this goal of high standards has continued with programs in all basic subjects.
Mrs. Kathy Micallef was principal from 1983-1985. The classrooms were switched to house the primary grades inside of the main building and grades 4-8 were placed outside in the courtyard. The dream of a Kindergarten came during the principalship of Ms. Margaret diBari in 1985. The school was then under the leadership of Dr. James T. Brennan who was principal from 1986-1995. Dr. Brennan spearheaded many improvements and new programs. A computer lab was established in 1984 through a funded grant proposal from the Weigand Corporation. The Extended Care Program began in 1987. To enhance the Science program, a lab was built in 1988.
Responding to local needs, the principal, school board and pastor (Fr. Gerard Moran) provided the leadership and expertise necessary to facilitate the construction of a new building to house a preschool for three and four year olds. The Holy Spirit Preschool opened in early 1994, under the directorship of Mrs. Kit Elkins. The current director is Michele Filice.
Between 1995-1999 the school was under the leadership of Mr. Christopher Maricle. The school adopted the F.A.M.E. (Fine Arts Mini-Experience) Program in 1997-1998. The computer lab was completely refurbished with new iMacs, the school computer network was upgraded to ethernet wiring, and internet access was made available to the lab and all classrooms.
After being fifth grade teacher and vice principal of Holy Spirit School, Mrs. Patricia Teilh became principal in 1999. An after school foreign language program was begun. Students and school safety became a priority. Upper grade departmentalization was expanded to include a math/algebra teacher, an upper grade science teacher, and a music teacher.