The beginning of February 1913 saw a great new activity in the life of St. Barnabas Parish. Sister Mary Bertille Garrity, Sister Gertrude Marie Callahan and Sister Agnes Marion Cummings had arrived to undertake the establishment of a school and began registering students on the Feast of the Epiphany.
In total, 76 children were registered on the opening day. They were divided into three grades and classes began in the basement of the Church. Their classrooms were meager, with walls painted black to be used as blackboards.
However, with registration growing, the Church basement quickly became inadequate and so a frame school building of two classrooms was constructed and made ready for the September 1913 term. Sister Bertille had grander plans and would brook no limitations. She proposed a permanent school building.
War rumblings in Europe, and conservative growth in the area, curbed her aspirations and a single hall with six classrooms and a principal’s office was approved.
On May 16, 1915 the cornerstone was laid and on April 13, 1916 John Cardinal Farley dedicated the new building. Another milestone occurred in 1916 as our parish celebrated its fifth anniversary. We could now boast of a fully graded school ready to graduate a first class of 30 boys and girls in June. Some names from that graduating class are: Mary Barrett, Gertrude Brennan, Frances Cotter, Helen Spiehler, Edna Klein, Josephine Mullen, Rosalie Lynch, William Kavanaugh and Walter Lundrigan. Edna Klein and Rosalie Lynch both became Sisters of Charity.
Monsignor Edward Barry, Pastor of St. Barnabas Parish, started the celebration off on February 25, 2013 by providing cake to all of our students. Needless to say, every child left the cafeteria with a big smile on their face!
Also held were a Spring Open House – an opportunity for anyone from the Parish to walk through the halls of our great school and revel in the history of the great St. Barnabas – and, in the Fall, a big Dinner-Dance celebration of St. Barnabas Elementary School!