History

April 23, 1914, Father Robert Armstrong announced that 5 acres of land had been acquired at the present day site, for a church, school and residence. The land had a farmhouse, which would be used as a convent by the Dominican Sisters of Tacoma, who had agreed to staff the school.

July 4, 1914, Ground breaking ceremonies were held for a facility which would be a combination school/church, designed in a mission style with stucco covering, as was planned for the church that was to be built later. It was built on what is nw 12th Avenue. A platform was erected on the old farmhouse, at one corner, which became St. Catherine’s Convent. The house was located between the present rectory and school on what is now Chestnut.

September 1, 1914, Four Dominican Sister arrived from Tacoma, a day earlier than expected, with no one to greet them at the train and to find the school not ready for use. One of those four nuns was the legendary Sr. Mary Sabina.

September 8, 1914, Classes began at 9:00 a.m. in the convent, with 47 students enrolled, some in each of the eight grades. Some rooms in the farmhouse were turned into classrooms, two classes were held outside under the trees. Students sat on planks held up by apple boxes.

October 21, 1914, First day of classes in the new school. Enrollment had grown up to 108 students. On the following Sunday, Fr. Armstrong said the first Mass, in the large assembly room of the second floor of the school. An estimated 200 familes were a part of the parish. It was dedicated by Bishop Edward O’Dea in December.

By 1921, the school enrollment was almost 300 students.

January 7, 1949, Excavations began for a combined school and convent, along Chestnut and 14th Avenue.

September 11, 1950, Classes start in new 5 story building. The school included 20 classrooms, an auditorium, a gymnasium, a cafeteria and a convert to house 32 sister. 756 students were enrolled.

September 1968, the original school was torn down, having served the parish for 60 years.

1975, After 60 years of service to St. Paul Cathedral School, the Dominican Sister left the school. Since that time St. Paul Cathedral School has been facilitated by mostly lay teachers.

Early 1980’s, St. Paul Cathedral School introduced the Early Childhoold Education classes. The school welcomed a day-care, a pre-kinder program and well as a Kindergarten program.

Today, we welcome students from 3 year old Pre-Kinder through 8th grade, from all backgrounds. We at St. Paul Cathedral School prides ourselves in the academic acheivements of our students. St. Paul Cathedral School has been at the top of the DIBELS testing for students in Kindgergarten through 5th grade. Our state testing scores for all state tested grades have been very high as well. Our 2010, 8th grade graduates scored in the 97% in Mathamatics. Most of our graduates go on to honors courses in high school and beyond. The partnership between our students, staff and parents have and will continue to pay off for all students wishing to achieve greatness. Over the near century many upstanding community leaders, started their education here and have excelled in their lives.