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St. Louis School celebrates 50 years

Published: Monday, Aug. 18, 2014 2:59 p.m. CST

PRINCETON — St. Louis Elementary and Junior High School opens this week with its 50th 2014-2015 class with the theme of “Celebrating our Past, Believing in Our Future.”

The primary school was completed and opened in 1964, and soon had grades 1 through 6. The Sisters of Mary of the Presentation from North Dakota made up a majority of the teachers as well as the principal. In 1978, kindergarten was added, along with a new library. In 1998, St. Louis School received full state recognition as a non-public school and retains this status today. It was in this same year that the new Harkrader Hall addition made it possible to have a new library, computer lab and Director of Religious Education Office. In 1999 a seventh grade was added. The year 2000 marked the addition of the eighth grade. In 2005, a preschool was opened for the first time ever, located in the old Convent building.

St. Louis School has a strong Catholic identity, emphasizing the basics of the Catholic Faith, liturgies, devotions and the virtues necessary to live the Faith. Not only is St. Louis School recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education it has been accredited by the North Central Association on Accreditation and School Improvement (AdvancEd). St. Louis School also has a strong emphasis on academics, volunteerism, and offers a music, art, and P.E. program, along with a number of extracurricular activities and programs such as band, Student Club, Art Club, and a number of sports for girls and boys. St. Louis School offers a before-school and after-school program called “Latch Key.” It has the advantage of offering a one-stop drop for students, preschool through eighth grade. Financial assistance is available for any qualifying family wishing to give their children a solid Catholic education at St. Louis School.

Many events are being planned for the celebration year, including a first reunion of all graduating classes on Sept. 13 of Homestead weekend, a parish float in the Princeton Homestead Festival parade, and a gala auction and dinner on Nov. 15 in the Parish Hall.

Parents and staff will come together for their kickoff “Meet the Teacher” night on Wednesday, where 21-year Principal Mary Paula Schmitt will walk parents through the exciting year to come, and on Friday the summer reading program awards will be announced.

For more information about the 50th events, call the school. Enrollment and registration is also open through August and tours are available by calling 815-872-8521.

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