St. Anne makes history as first school to integrate

ROCK HILL — Michelle M. Hatchett, marketing coordinator for St. Anne School, provided the following information.

History: St. Anne School was founded by St. Anne parish and The Oratorian priests in 1951. Classes were held in the renovated church rectory with 24 students in kindergarten and first-grade; second-grade was added in 1952. We were the very first racially integrated school in South Carolina, and for several years the only one. This occurred in conjunction with Brown vs. the Board of Education ruling in 1954.

Principal: Lawrence D. McLaughlin.

Number of students: Current enrollment is 285, capacity is 380.

Faculty: The school has 22 full-time and two part-time teachers.

School motto: Let it be known to all who enter here that Christ is the reason for this school, the unseen but ever-present teacher in its classes, the model of its faculty, the inspiration of its students.

Grades: K-4 through eighth-grade.

Hours: 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

After-school program: The after-school program runs until 6 p.m. and offers a snack, and homework and play time. Staff members provide crafts and help students get to practices.

School meals: St. Anne has a cafeteria and provides hot lunches prepared daily in our kitchen by Just Simply Catering for about $3.25 each.

School colors: Red, white and blue.

Mascot: The Eagle.

Sports: We are a member of the South Carolina Independent School Association and the Charlotte Gastonia Athletic Association. Our middle school students participate in co-ed soccer, cross-country, swimming, basketball for boys and girls teams, and cheerleading. The elementary students have soccer and basketball.

Let us brag: Our school is blessed with an exceptional faculty — they average 14 years experience and over 35 percent hold masters degrees — and a supportive parent group, PSA. These groups work tirelessly together to assure that our children receive the best Catholic/Christian education possible.

Foreign language: Spanish is taught to grades K-4 through fifth and is an elective in middle school.

Advanced classes: Algebra I and Honors English are offered for high school credit.

Academic teams: Math Team, Quiz Bowl Team and Spelling Bee Teams.
What sets us apart: At St. Anne, we are a community. We work hard to make the experience here the best it can be. We strive to be like Jesus’ grandmother, St. Anne: Loving, kind, always welcoming, full of pride, respectful and compassionate.

Community projects: Christmas service project; Dorothy Day Soup Kitchen food preparation by fifth-graders; Favorite Team Day and the Halloween Festival for St. Vincent de Paul; CROP Walk; Crazy Socks Day for “Open Arms” of Pilgrim’s Inn; and Crazy Hair Day for Rock Hill Police Department’s camp for girls and boys.

Our parish: We are part of St. Anne Parish and Fathers Adilso Coelho and Joseph Wahl, both Oratorians, serve as Canonical administrator and pastor, respectively. We have students from York and Chester counties and from the parishes of Divine Saviour in York, St. Mary in Rock Hill, and St. Philip Neri in Fort Mill.

Wishes for our school: Enrollment to capacity.

How we demonstrate the Catholic faith: We have two retreats for our eighth-graders, morning prayer, Friday Mass, middle-school Mass, penance, May Crowning and All Saints Assembly.

Music/art programs: The school has an outstanding fine arts program. Chorus, band and drama are offered as middle-school electives. Middle-school students also comprise our Liturgical Band and Choir, which lead the music for all school Masses as well as special services, and are typically requested as music for parish Masses. The elementary grades participate in musicals and the middle-school band and chorus have Christmas performances.

Average scores on the IOWA test: St. Anne School students consistently score well above the national averages on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.

What percentage of students are Catholic? 84 percent Catholic — 100 percent faith filled!