Our History — A School Opens Its Doors



St. Paul the Apostle School enrolls approximately 540 students each academic year in double classrooms for grades K-8, offering a rigorous education centered on the whole person, helping prepare student for success in high school, college, and life. The school community is led by Principal Richard Billups.

The school was established in 1935 under the guidance of the Paulist Fathers and the Daughters of Mary and Joseph. The school originally consisted of three box-like wooden bungalows with a temporary church located on Ashton Avenue. Led by the first principal, Mother Mary Aquinas, ninety students from grades two to six arrived for that first day of school. A six classroom structure built around a beautiful garden patio would soon replace the bungalows.

As the parish and school became entrenched in Westwood, the current parish hall would serve as the church. In the 1950′s our permanent church was constructed under the leadership of the then pastor, Father Burns. At the same time the school added an extension to the original patio building bringing the classroom count to fourteen and included a cafeteria on the lower floor. The parish grounds included a parish center, rectory, convent, school, and church.

Since then, the school expanded from the original six classrooms to 22 and currently includes a Science Lab, Early Literacy Lab, Art Literacy Studio, and Day Care Room. Families and students have been served by principals Mother Mary Bonaventure, Mother Mary Viator, Sister Frances Marie, and Sister Stella Maria Enright.

Sister Stella led our school community for 47 years and she continued to share the DMJ charism and her wise leadership with students and families over that time. Her vision for the future of St. Paul the Apostle School was realized when dreaming, planning, and fundraising led to our most recent expansion. Completed in Fall 2014, it included the Hilton Learning Center and McCarthy Gymnasium, containing 35,000 square feet designed for advanced learning and technology, as well as a 7,150-square-foot gymnasium built on the previous convent grounds.  This new building houses a state-of-the-art media center/library, classrooms dedicated to Spanish language study, and acoustically engineered music/choir rooms. The facilities support our students and provide faculty with the space and resources in which to deliver an innovative and rigorous curriculum and promote our dedication to  21st century teaching and learning.

Our school community came from humble beginnings but was blessed with faith filled and visionary leaders. We treasure our history and move forward, assuring the bright future of St. Paul the Apostle School.   We are grateful to all who have supported us along the way and anyone who has been part of the school community knows, the friends you make at St. Paul’s become friends for life.

 

 

 

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