As our city continues to grow and evolve, Wallingford hosts many historic gems. This week, the artifact comes in the form of some energetic and educated teenagers. We join with the community of St. Benedict School in celebrating the graduation of its 110th class of 8th-grade students.
A look back…
St. Benedict School opened in September 1908 by two Sisters of the Dominican Sisters of Edmonds, Sister Mary Vincentia Murphy and Sister M. Josephine Ratte, who lived at Holy Angels Academy in Ballard and walked to and from school.
St. Benedict had an inaugural enrollment of 66 students that year—31 boys and 35 girls. The original school was in the basement and on the first floor of the church building, with the sanctuary on the second floor. The original school faced Densmore, directly across from the current Rectory on 49th. Throughout the 1910s–1920s, the school continued to grow with additional students and teachers, eventually outgrowing the original building. The current school building opened in December 1924. At that point, the Parish Rectory Building (current Parish Center across the street from the school) became the convent house for the Sisters. By the 1930s, enrollment was close to 500 students per year.
In 1943, the St. Benedict School Mothers Club was organized to aid the school. 1943 also brought the Kindergarten class, a sewing class for girls in 7th and 8th grades.
In 1982-1983, the Dominican Sisters of Edmonds, who started the school nearly 75 years prior, gave up their teaching positions and also their residency at St. Benedict, thus ending their association with St .Benedict School. At that time, the St. Benedict Convent House became the St. Benedict Parish Center.
Also notable about 1983, is that it is the year The Great Wallingford Wurst Festival first began as a small school fundraiser. (More on that soon! Mark your calendar for September 13–14th)
A look forward…
This Friday, the 110th 8th-grade class will graduate from St. Benedict Catholic School with 18 students, all of whom were accepted to area Catholic high schools, many with honors. They exemplify the long-standing tradition of the school—they are intellectually curious, faith-filled, and caring community members. Please join us as we salute them!