ST. ANN SCHOOL HISTORY
For over 165 years St. Ann has been the Rock of Normandy, from humble beginnings with a long legacy of excellence, St. Ann Catholic School continues the tradition today. The St. Ann story began with the generosity of Mrs. Anne Lucas Hunt when she donated the land and money to build St. Ann Church and School. A frame church was finished in early 1855. In 1856 under the direction of the great Jesuit Missionary Fr. Pierre-Jean DeSmet St. Ann parish and school got their real start with the construction of the stone church and the opening of a school in the frame church.
ST. ANN SCHOOL School EXPANSION
Several different groups of religious sisters have taught at St. Ann School over the years. The Sisters of Mercy ran the school until 1884 when the Sisters of the Good Shepherd took over. In 1898, the Sisters of Loretto assumed care of the school and would serve there for 72 years. Over time the one-room schoolhouse in the old church could not meet the needs of the growing community. A five-room frame school building was completed in 1905. Our historic brick school building was opened in 1926. From the 1930’s until 1952 the school gymnasium was used as the parish church complete with a choir loft. The building was expanded in the 1940’s and again in the 1950’s. More recently the school building has been wired up with state of the art computer networking and Wi-fi wireless access..
Dedicated to INNOVATION
St. Ann Catholic School has always been dedicated to innovation. Kindergarten was added in the early 1940’s. In 1971 a lay School Board was established, and the school had its first principal who was not a religious sister. The St. Ann Catholic School community has always extended beyond the students and teachers. Since 1935 the St. Ann Men’s Club has organized athletic events for the school children and offered scholarships for students heading off to high school. In the 1940’s, women of the parish worked in the school cafeteria. The Women’s Club worked with the school in the 50’s and 60’s. In the early 1970’s, a Home and School Group was formed, which, for the first time, included fathers. In 1986, St. Ann Catholic Parent Organization (SACPO) was founded. Now known as the St. Ann Parent Organization (SAPO), it coordinates parent volunteer activities, offers growth opportunities for parents and students, and supports communication between home and school. Each new graduating class joins in the legacy of thousands of proud St. Ann graduates.
St. ANN Early Childhood Center
In 1997, parishioners, alumni and friends of St. Ann donated time, money and thousands of working hours of “sweat equity” to convert the old convent into the St. Ann Early Childhood Center, a wonderful preschool where parish and neighborhood children learn and play and prepare for kindergarten. The Center offers children ages 2 to 5 years old a loving atmosphere where children are excited about learning.