Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow

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The St. Brigid/Our Lady of Hope Regional School celebrates 100 years of education and community

Rendering of the first school on Post Avenue in 1918. Today it is St. Anthony’s Hall.

St. Brigid/Our Lady of Hope School held its first classes in 1918, and had eight classrooms—four on the first floor and four on the second floor. The original schoolhouse, now used as a meeting hall known as St. Anthony’s Hall, still exists on Post Avenue and was built in the 1890s. By the 1950s, the school needed more space to meet its growing class sizes, and the current location at 101 Maple Ave. was built, with extensions added soon after.

Today, the school is a learning community of children, professional educators, parents and families, clergy and lay ministers striving to share the message of Jesus Christ.

1904

Rev. William F. McGinnis

Rev. William F. McGinnis, DD was the pastor of St. Brigid’s Church. It was Dr. McGinnis who was responsible for the building of the current beautiful stone church. Some time after the completion fo the new church, the old building was moved across Post Avenue, where it was remodeled to hold eight classrooms. This became the first school.

1918 

St. Brigid, the first Parochial School in Westbury, began classes for the first time. It was run by the Sisters of Notre Dame.  

1933 

Class of 1933

1944 

Fr. James A. Sullivan became Pastor. Faced with a growing population and an overcrowded school, he went door to door begging for help from his devoted parishioners to build a new school.

1954

Fr. Thomas F. Code succeeded Fr. Sullivan and worked incessantly to raise funds to pay for the completion of the new school.

1955 

The New St. Brigid’s School was built in 1955 on property purchased from the Hicks family. Image from A Pictorial History of St. Brigid’s Parish by Alfred Peck

The day of dedication. Bishop Kearney came to dedicate the New School. The school opened on September 8, 1955 with an enrollment of 1,020 students.

1963 

The popularity of St. Brigid’s School continued to grow. On October 7, 1963, ground broke for the new addition. In September 1965, the school opened with all students under one roof for the first time.

1975 

First grade 1975-76

Fr. Fred Schaefer becomes Pastor. A new wave of immigration was beginning. Funding was needed to allow these children to attend St. Brigid’s School. To help low enrollment school leaders decide to accept non-Catholic students. 

1987 

Fr. Francis X. Gaeta becomes pastor. He hired Christine Lombardi to be Principal. This was the first time in 72 years St. Brigid’s did not have a SSND as principal.

1995 

St. Brigid/Our Lady of Hope Regional School renamed.

1997 

Mr. Paul Clagnaz becomes Principal

2001 

The World Trade Center was attacked on September 11th. Sadly, the school lost the father of two young girls that day.

2004 

The Catholic Elementary School Study Committee was formed by the archdiocese. This committee would take surveys and analyze the decline in enrollments.  

2005 

Partnership with St. John’s University School of Law for Middle School Mock Trial Program began.

2005 

Class with SMART board

First SMART Boards (Interactive White Boards) installed

2010 

2010 Boys Basketball Champs

Boys Basketball Champs (Catholic Middle School Athletic Association)

2014 

Celebrated Sister Marie Patrick’s Golden Jubilee as a School Sister of Notre Dame

2015 

A new playground is dedicated for Early Childhood children.

2016

STEM Lab added to Middle School program

2017

Toddler Plus program added to offerings

2018

Google Expeditions (Virtual Reality) added to offerings

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Joseph Catrone is the editor of Farmingdale Observer, Hicksville News, Levittown Tribune and Massapequa Observer. He is also a contributing writer to Long Island Weekly and Anton Media Group's special sections.

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