St. Leander Catholic School, an educational ministry of St. Leander Parish since 1881, empowers prekindergarten-eighth grade students to achieve their highest level of academic success and creative potential in preparation for the challenges of the future. Teachers and families work collaboratively to inspire excellence in a safe and welcoming Catholic environment that fosters and supports each child's spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical gifts. We educate and nuture students to live in faith through prayer and service to all.
Saint Leander School graduates students who understand the teachings of the Catholic Church, respect all life, and are committed to serving others. We recognize parents as the primary educators of their children who support and cooperate with teachers to provide curricular instruction and opportunities for varied learning experiences. The school provides a safe and disciplined environment where students are expected to do their personal best as they strive toward academic excellence. Students learn to show respect for themselves and others by demonstrating an appreciation for the cultural, economic and religious diversity of the community. In an atmosphere of respect and tolerance, students grow in appreciation of their God-given value and the dignity of each person.
1881 – 2006 “The First One Hundred Twenty Five Years”
St. Leander is an educational community rooted in the Catholic tradition. It has always reflected the growth and diversity of the parish and the community surrounding it. The idea of the school was first seriously envisioned by the third pastor, Fr. John McEvoy in 1880.
Thanks to assistance of Mr. P. Matthews and other devoted parishioners, Fr. McEvoy purchased the old court house and the goal became a reality. Fr. McEvoy requested that the Dominican Sisters of Benicia staff a boarding and day school. His request was granted during a Conventual Council in March, 1881. In April, 1881, Archbishop Joseph Alemany, assisted by Fr. McEvony and neighboring pastors Frs. McNally and deCampos, officiated at the solemn blessing and naming of St. Mary’s School.
In August, 1881, St. Mary’s parochial school opened “in earnest.” St. Mary’s parochial school offered a complete grammar and high school course for girls. In the summer of 1883 it was decided to include boys in the grammar school grades. In August, 1898, Fr. O’Mahony became paster after Fr. McEvoy died after a long illness. In 1900 St. Mary’s high school program was discontinued due to declining attendance.
In 1907 a new one-story building was completed to meet the needs of the greater number of students. In April 1926, the old St. Mary’s School was demolished and replaced with a new two story school. In 1955, at the request of Fr. Ryan, Pastor, the School name and Convent changed to St. Leander.
When the Dominican Sisters withdrew from the school in the late 1970's, the responsibility of educating St. Leander’s youth was passed on to a completely lay staff. Those staff members, and all who have followed, have passionately continued the work the sisters began so long ago.
…In 2006 St. Leander School celebrated its 125th anniversary!