St. Viator School History
St. Viator School was started in 1902, 14 years after the Clerics of St. Viator founded the St. Viator Parish. Father Thomas McCormick, the pastor of the parish at that time, chose the Sisters of St. Joseph to be the teachers in the school. In the beginning, two sisters taught 40 school children.
At that time, the school was a modest building located near the parish's frame church. Construction began in 1910 on the original section of the present-day school building. The church was on the first floor, and the classrooms were on the second and third floors. From 1916 until 1924, the Sisters of St. Joseph also ran a girls' high school in the same building. In 1929, when the present Church was dedicated, the entire building became an elementary school for roughly 800 students.
In the late 1950s, construction began on a new recreation center on the north end of the campus. Throughout the following decades, thousands of students and community members used the gym and the meeting rooms for athletic competitions, school dances, the famed St. Viator Haunted House, and “Open Gym” nights. In 2014, the Recreation Center was dedicated the “Fr. Edward Cardinal, C.S.V., Recreation Center,” in honor of the St. Viator’s Pastor at the time when the center was built. Also in 2014, the actual gym was named the “Gary Galati Gymnasium” in honor of parent Gary Galati’s 30+ years of service to the St. Viator Athletic Association.
St. Viator Today
Enrollment is no longer at 800 students, but the 3-story school building still operates at a high capacity. It now houses a variety of rooms tailored to specialized educational resources. In the Language Lab, students can choose from over 20 foreign languages through the Rosetta Stone program, explore instruments in the Music Room, learn computer-based skills in the Technology Lab . There are also rooms dedicated to the Fine Arts program, “Art Zone”, a Science Lab, Reading Enrichment, Title I instruction.
Things change over the years, yet one thing remains constant: St. Viator School is still guided by Father McCormick's belief that setting high standards for education is an utmost priority. The St. Viator School mission is to instill a life-long love of learning, a respect for all people, and a commitment to Catholic social justice and peace.