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History:

History:

Saint Michael School was founded in 1899 by Father John Kearns and members of the Sisters of Mercy from Erie, PA. Since that time, Saint Michael School has provided an educational environment where Christian values are emphasized and students are challenged to strive for excellence and become life-long learners. The Sisters of Mercy withdrew in 1972.  
 
The present school was built in 1903 and served as a high school until 1965 when the high school closed and Kennedy Catholic High School in Hermitage was built.
 
In the fall, the newly renovated building will house pre-school through grade eight.
 
With the erection of the present church, the old church was turned into a Sunday school and it served that purpose until 1899 when Father John P. Kearns remodeled it to provide the first parochial school of the parish. Father John arrived on November 10th, 1898 and it was only two months later, on January 9th, that the first few pupils of St. Michael’s School were at their desks. The old school had only two rooms but from the first day, provided for eight grades. From the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Mercy in Titusville came Mother M. Theresa, Sister M. Alexius, and Sister M. Ursula to assist Father John in what must have then seemed a bold enterprise.   Because the school was opened at the mid-semester the enrollment was small the first half year (about two students to a grade), but in the fall of the same year the two classrooms were filled to capacity. Father John felt keenly the need of keeping the education of his spiritual children under the wing of the Church, not only during their grade-school days, but in the high-school years as well. Accordingly, in 1903 he built the present St.

Sister M. Ursula

Michael’s School with that in mind. At that time, what had been the original church, the original Sunday school, and the original parochial school, was sold to a Mr. Gillespie who moved it further north, across what is now Orchard Street. Graduates of the two-year high school course in 1906 were: Sister M. Fabiola (Cherubina Christopher), Mrs. Mary Doran Denslinger, Mrs. Katherine Doran Williams, Clara Hoffman, Mrs. Nora Bresnan Henderson, Mrs. Mary Robinson Barrett, Sister M. Antoinette, (Mary Walsh.)  Graduates of the first full four-year course in 1910 were: Mrs. Marie Fitzmartin Husted, Sister Mary John (Minnie Brown), Mary Kane, Mrs. Julia converted it into a triple apartment house. In 1904, a one year commercial course was added to the curriculum, and in 1905 a second year of classical studies. In the fall of 1906, St. Michael’s became a full-scale four-year high school. Its first graduation class ceremonies for the two-year course were held in 1906, and for the full high-school course in 1910.
 
Other Sisters of Mercy who pioneered Catholic education in Greenville were: Mother M. Austin, Sister M. Nolasca, Sister M. Clare, Sister M. Antonia, Sister M. Sebastian, Sister M. Mercedes, Sister M. Pierre, Sister M. Regis, Sister M. Philippa, Sister M. Eugenia, and Sister M. Bernard. The above names and many more, too numerous to mention will, we are sure, call back many fond memories for the members of St. Michael’s Alumni. In 1911 and 1912 the school had no candidates for commencement, but from 1913 to 1965, Saint Michael’s had annually presented, to the community of Greenville, at least a few Catholic High School graduates. The smallest class was that of 1913 with only two graduates: Mrs. Dorothy Brown Wittenauer and Mrs. Alice Robinson Collins; the largest was that of 1950 with thirty-one. Large or small, each class received at the hand of the devoted Sisters of Mercy a fine secular education, plus the Christian philosophy and doctrine so necessary to the creation of personalities of real moral worth. To Father John Kearns and to St. Michael’s parishioners, is owed a huge debt of gratitude for the spiritual awareness that prompted them to shoulder the burden of building and maintaining a complete Catholic educational system in Greenville. The same spiritual awareness has been kept alive down to the present time. That our parishioners of today have caught the proper spirit too, is evidenced by the large-scale improvements made in the school even within the last year. And so, Catholic Education moves on in Greenville, ever true to its purpose—to restore all things in Christ through the lives of its students.
 
Certainly the Sisters of Mercy by the quiet, self-effacing inspiration of their lives, and the self-sacrificing devotedness of their labors in Greenville  proved that they had no peers. We wish to thank them for their loyalty and devotion. Living or dead, we commend them to God. We feel we cannot conclude this account of the early days of Saint Michael’s School without noting, for the benefit of those who will follow us, a few of the names of those pioneer days. Because we fear to offend anyone by accidental omissions, and because it is almost impossible to be certain of all the names of those who attended Saint Michael’s in its first year of existence, we limit ourselves here to the record of those who graduated from High School courses. Though there were no graduating ceremonies, the first group to go through the grade school and finish the one-year High School Commercial course in 1905 included School provides four complete courses: Classical, Scientific, Commercial, and General. In addition, true to the old ideal of a “sound mind in a healthy body”, it affords its student body full opportunity for bodily development with its Physical Education program. The latter includes a full annual schedule of girls and boys basketball competition, along with a K-6 soccer program, 1-8 grade swim program and cheerleading. In accordance with the growth and progress of our school, Mr. Walter Malys, a graduate of Youngstown College was hired in the fall of 1948 as a full-time teacher, and coach of football and basketball. The teams of the “Irish”, as they are locally known, have always been truly representative, making up in spirit what they lack in numbers. Recent evidence of this was furnished last winter when our varsity  basketball team was runner-up for the Championship of the Erie Diocese and our varsity cheerleaders took first place in the Erie DIocese competition.
 
 
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