Category: Education & Research
Start Date: May 18, 2016
Greetings Alumni and Friends,
The Catholic Schools of Anderson, St. Mary and St. Ambrose are both rich in history and tradition. According to Joseph P. Abel’s “History of the Catholic Church in Anderson”, the first Catholic School in Anderson was organized in 1869. In 1875, five Sisters from the Holy Cross Order came to teach at St. Mary School. As the school’s population increased more Sisters came and buildings also changed with the growth. In 1923 St. Mary’s opened a high school in a new building with a gymnasium. By 1968 the high school was closed and the school is presently a PreK - 8th grade school.
St. Ambrose opened in September 1950 with students in grades 1-6 also being taught by the Sisters of the Holy Cross. The following year the 7th and 8th grades were added. By the end of the 1950’s the faculty consisted of four Sisters and three lay teachers. In the fall of 1970 the 7th and 8th grades at St. Ambrose were discontinued; however, in the years that followed kindergarten and preschool classes were added.
The schools in the nation are ever-changing and so too are the schools of St. Mary and St. Ambrose. Under the direction of Dr. Marie Williams, superintendant of schools for the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana, a transition team of leaders have met for more than a year to consider how to best serve the educational needs of the community.
The team’s goal was to establish a model in which neither school would close. As the issues were considered the decision was made to open the 2015/2016 school year as one unified school with two campuses. The name of the new school is Holy Cross School, in honor of the Holy Cross Order who faithfully served at each school. The south campus will be home to Pre-Kindergarten through First Grade, while the north campus will be Second through Eighth Grade.
We will continue to embrace our founding values -- goodness, discipline, knowledge -- and our commitment to an educational program centered on the teachings of Jesus Christ. Our parishes, parishioners and families have strongly supported the parish schools through the years. We have teachers and staff who educate with passion and compassion. Our students work to carry on our long tradition of excellence with youthful energy and enthusiasm.
As a proud partner we invite you to consider contributing to the Holy Cross School Annual Appeal. You can become a difference maker in the lives of our students whom we impact to grow into caring, loving servants to future generations. Your support benefits all of the students attending Holy Cross School and it continues our vision to prepare our students to fulfill their roles in the Church, in society and to be eternally happy in the next.
Finally, you will read a few paragraphs from our alumni who will share their stories as well as why they strongly believe in the importance of a strong Catholic education. Continued blessings to you as you prayerfully consider our request.
Peace in Christ,
Mr. Brad Kluesner, Principal
We began our formation in a Catholic school at the age of six and both graduated from St. Ambrose School after the eighth grade. Our children attended and graduated from both St. Ambrose School after the sixth grade and St. Mary School after the eighth grade, and our grandchildren now attend St. Ambrose and will transfer to St. Mary at the end of the current school year. As we reflect on our many years of involvement in the Catholic schools of Anderson, what comes to mind most is the outstanding role models our family members have encountered in the priests, nuns, principals, and lay teachers with whom we have been blessed. Jesus Himself said, “Bring the children to Me,” and that is what we have done by being in the presence of these fine role models every day who truly believe that Jesus works through them in every lesson they teach. We will always owe a debt of gratitude to our Catholic educators of Anderson.
Ed and Cheryl (Chowning) Hanlon
I can't say enough about the value of Catholic education. I have many fond memories my years at St. Ambrose school, especially those things that you can only find at Catholic schools: All-school Mass, Stations of the Cross, Morning Prayers, and Saint Day Celebrations. However, my education at St. Ambrose did much more for me than merely form fond memories; it started me on a journey with God that continues to this day. Catholic education immerses students into a faith-filled environment, supported by loving teachers and faculty who have the student's best interest at heart. This is an environment that produces happy and holy men and women who will be leaders in our city, country, and throughout the world!
Fr. Stephen Duquaine
During my years at St. Mary, I felt a strong sense of kinship and community. I believe I was able to flourish academically due to the one-on-one attention from teachers and staff members. I am beyond thankful for the academic rigor I was given. St. Mary School allowed me to grow not only academically, but spiritually as well. At a young age, I learned the importance of helping others and giving back to the community. I am grateful to still be a part of this beautiful community.
I’m grateful for having gone to St. Ambrose and St. Mary School, and I would like to personally thank all of my teachers. I think about how much my grade school and middle school teachers influenced me as a teacher to this day. What I try to do as a teacher is to help students understand that they have meaning and purpose in what they do and that Christ compels us to love and serve one another in whatever we do. The grace and patience that my teachers had with me in my education is what I try to continue to exude with my students. Their Catholic teachings have not only influenced me as a professional but as a husband, father, neighbor and beyond. I am proud to have my roots embedded in this amazing community of Catholic education.
For this, I am always grateful.