Our Mission Statement
St. Cletus Catholic School provides a challenging education rooted in Christian faith and promotes service, responsibility, and respect for others in a caring community.
- Our school strives to meet the spiritual, intellectual and emotional needs of each unique child.
- Our school maintains a safe secure environment, which enhances the students’ learning experiences.
- Our School Provides opportunities for students to engage in meaningfful community service.
- Our school encourages our children to model respect and responsibility for themselves and others.
The History of St. Cletus Catholic School (est. 1978)
Saint Cletus Catholic School celebrates its 31st anniversary during 2009. Both the parish and the school have grown with their neighboring communities. Through the years St. Cletus has embarked on new projects and initiated new programs that have rendered it a school of educational excellence on the Westbank.
The history of St. Cletus Catholic School begins with the establishment of St. Cletus Parish in 1964, which was comprised of approximately 400 families. Members of the parish met at Trupiano’s, a local grocery store, to discuss future plans. The first masses were held at Gretna Park Elementary School and later in a portable classroom that became the chapel. Reverend Jerome Mire was appointed the first pastor of the parish. Later in 1970, “Jerome Hall” named in his honor was built to house the school’s cafeteria. The first CCD classes were held in the homes of the participants. St. Cletus Church was built, dedicated and blessed in 1967.
Saint Cletus Catholic School had its origin more than 10 years later when Father Jean Meyer became the second pastor of the parish. The Archdiocese agreed to let St. Cletus begin its school with Kindergarten through 4th grade with one class of each grade. An additional grade would be added each subsequent year through 8th grade. In order to help raise the money to build the school, St. Cletus had its first “school fair” with the help of Father Jean and Father Martin van der Werff, the associate pastor. Parishioners gave their input to the building committee, and it was decided that a “metal frame” building would be constructed, a rarity for a Catholic School. St. Cletus would also be the first school in the Archdiocese to provide handicap accessibility. After the framework and walls were up, parishioners volunteered to do the electricity, carpentry, and painting of the building. Father Jean selected Sister Audrey Ruth Donnenfelser, a Marianite nun to be the first principal. Sister Mary Lourdes was the librarian that first year. Other Marianite nuns, served in both the school and parish until 2000.
The school opened its doors in August of 1978 to 190 students. It contained ten classrooms, an office, and a large open-space room in the middle for a gym. The school was dedicated on February 4, 1979. In 1980-1981, the large open-space room was filled in to make six additional classrooms to accommodate the growing student population.
From 1978 to the present, both the school and parish continued to flourish. In 1984, the school expanded its site by adding three additional classrooms on each side of the building with another open-space room in the middle. In 1992-1993 the space was filled in to construct a library, a counselor’s office, and pre-kindergarten classrooms. An additional new facility was added which served both the school and parish as a multi-purpose building. Today it houses middle school homerooms, the Extended Day Program, and organizations such as CYO and Scouts. It also serves as meeting places for various parish activities.
From its humble beginning of 190 students, today St. Cletus Catholic School has grown to an enrollment of more than 550 students in grades pre-kindergarten through eighth. The school is dedicated to its mission of providing a challenging, Christian education in a loving, compassionate environment. It seeks to foster the development of the spiritual, physical, and social needs of all of its students. It is the intent of St. Cletus Catholic School to provide the foundation to develop individual talents so that all its students become life-long learners and faith-filled contributing members of society. Now over 30 years later, St. Cletus Catholic School stands strong, is successful, and has grown to more than its founders could ever have imagined.
St. Cletus Graduates are…
- Grounded in Christian Faith
- Community minded
- Intellectually curious
- Academically prepared
- Self-disciplined and confident
- Socially responsible
- Sensitive to the needs of others