2016 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence

 

Our History

In 1960, Fr. James Finnegan, pastor of St. George, was instrumental in bringing the Sisters of St. Joseph to the parish to open a school. After initial work, the school opened its doors to students in September of 1960 with an enrollment of 200 students in grades first through sixth. The first principal was Sr. Mark Ferris, csj, and there were five teachers.

In 1961, the first permanent school building was completed. It was the first air conditioned school building in East Baton Rouge Parish. The enrollment increased to 330 students and there were 12 teachers on staff. Kindergarten and seventh grade were added in 1961 and in 1962 eighth grade was added.

Enrollment reached 440 in 1963 and the first eighth grade graduating class of 21 boys and seven girls was recognized. In 1965 a second permanent building was completed and enrollment burgeoned to 550. The gym was completed in 1978 and a new school administration and library building was added in 1980.

The need for Catholic education continued to grow and in 1983 plans were put into effect to add a third section beginning with kindergarten and increasing each year. To accomodate these new students, temporary buildings were added to the campus.

In 1989, Mr. Jim Owens was hired as the first lay principal of St. George School. Certified catechists were assigned to teach religion, cooperative learning was introduced, new math standards were adopted, and the computer program expanded.

Mrs. Ann Bertsch became principal in 1991 and enrollment reached 800 students with all grades expanded to three sections. A developmental kindergarten class was also added. The computer lab was added and housed in a temporary building. Curriculum changes continued with the use of whole language instruction and the introduction of activity periods for grades 7 and 8.

Building Our Future Capital Campaign got underway under the leadership of Pastor, Fr. Tom Ranzino. As a result of the generosity of parishioners and school parents, $2.5 million was raised and a permanent school building containing a library, computer lab and science lab, and a parish activity center were constructed, as well as the renovation of the school administration building.

In the summer of 1997, all but two of the temporary buildings were removed and teachers moved into their new permanent classrooms. The remaining temporary buildings are being used for music and reading enrichment.

A parish and school Technology Committee was formed in the 1997-98 school year to oversee the development and implementation of a technology plan as well as address issues affecting the parish and school.

Ms. Lizette Leader became principal in 2007 and enrollment reached 1,030 students with grades 1-6 hosting four sections each. For the school year 2009-2010, all grades 1-8 will have four sections. Activity periods have expanded to include 6th grade.  With our expansion completed, our 2009-2010 enrollment began with 1,073 students.

Mr. Jack Nelson became principal in June 2012 with a focus on spiritual and professional development; advances in technology including smartboards in every classroom and campus wide wireless internet service; and a curriculum mapping program which will align our curriculum with Common Core Standards and vertically from grade level to grade level.