The History of St. Theresa Catholic School
On August 10, 1947, Bishop Byrne of the Galveston-Houston Catholic Diocese blessed the cornerstone of St. Teresa Catholic School. Classes officially began instruction on February 15, 1948 with sister Rita Malone, V. I. as the first principal. There was an enrollment at 220 students in grades Kindergarten through Eighth grade. The first graduating class in May 1948 consisted of 16 students. The school grew to 17 classrooms in 1959 and included a library, gym and cafeteria. Father Ralph Diefenbach was the founding pastor of the school. For over 65 years, St. Theresa Catholic School has continued to grow and maintain a level of excellence in education.
The campus is accessed within minutes of exiting interstate 10, just inside Loop 610. The location is adjacent to memorial park, an area popular with those who enjoy jogging, running, walking, golf, baseball, softball and tennis. The neighborhood surrounding the school has seen a drastic change during the last 10 years, with significant revitalizations and upscale new constructions. Just north of interstate 10 is the area known as the Heights, a grass-roots community with older homes which have been restored to reveal their rich character, as more people are looking to move in from the suburbs to be closer to work.
Historically, many of the students who attended St. Theresa Catholic School came from areas that were quite a distance from school, as parents would drop off their children at school and continue to work. However, the recent re-gentrification of the nearby neighbors has drastically shifted those numbers. Most St. Theresa families now live in surrounding neighborhoods and more are becoming members of St. Theresa parish. As the surrounding neighborhoods have begun to flourish, so has enrollment at St. Theresa Catholic School. Increased advancement efforts along with the re-gentrification of neighborhoods, have resulted in soaring enrollment. St. Theresa Catholic School closed out the 2012 school year with 198 students. Just four years later, enrollment is set to begin at 300 students by August 2016.
St. Theresa Catholic School continues to operate out of the same building as it did over 65 years ago. However, many improvements and modifications to these buildings have taken place over the years in order to keep up with the times. Through a successful capital campaign, grants and parish support through subsidy, many improvements have added to a “new” St. Theresa campus. The school Gymnasium and parish Fellowship Hall were completely renovated, providing the community with two state-of-the-art facilities. Some of the many campus updates include:
- State-of-the-Art Gymnasium
- State-of-the-Art Fellowship Hall
- Newly renovated administrative offices
- Re-located front reception area
- Raised ceilings and updated flooring in two wings of classrooms
- 6 new portable classrooms
- New classroom space for the Learning Resource Center, Religion, and Spanish
St. Theresa Catholic School has seen some vast changes in the last four years and looks forward to a dynamic future.