Page 2-A, The St. Augustine Record, Wednesday, May 25,1977
By JACKIE FEAGIN
Historic St. Joseph Academy will mark another milestone Thursday
when 51 seniors march down the aisle of the ornate Cathedral of St.
Augustine to receive diplomas.
They're members of the school's 100th graduating class.
COMMENCEMENT WILL BEGIN AT 8 P.M. Thursday, in the
Cathedral. Graduation Mass will be offered by the Most Rev. Bishop
Paul F. Tanner, D.D., Bishop of St. Augustine, and invited priests.
Bishop Tanner and the Rev. Lawrence Redmond, a member of the
Class of 1954, will be commencement speakers.
Immediately following the graduation Mass, a reception will be held
in theK of C Hall.
As a prelude to commencement, seniors will gather tonight at the
Ponce de Leon Lodge for a banquet and presentation of awards. The
event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in the Flagler Room.
ST. JOSEPH ACADEMY DATES ITSELF FROM March 28, 1876,
when Sisters of St. Joseph received from the state a charter. Plans for
the school began moving closer to reality with the laying of a cor-
nerstone for the convent in 1874, with a portion given over to quarters
for resident students.
And while there had been students who completed the prescribed
course of study prior to that date, including Miss Minnie Bravo and
Miss Nellie Mickler in 1874, it was with the chartering that the
Academy officially could graduate students, the Sisters explain.
It was decided in the 60's that the seniors of the 1976-77 school year
would be designated the 100th graduating class, they add.
Actually, education for children in St. Augustine has been provided
by Sisters of St. Joseph for much longer than the 101 years the
Academy has been chartered.
A SCHOOL WAS FOUNDED IN 1866 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of
LePuy, France, under the auspices of Augustine Verot, who was to
become the first Bishop of St. Augustine upon establishment of the
diocese in 1870.
Prior to that time, as Bishop of Savannah, Ga., and Vicar-Apostolic
of Florida, Bishop Verot had visited his native city of LePuy and
arranged to have a group of Sisters of St. Joseph come to aid him in
missionary work, especially that of teaching boys and girls.
For several years prior, children here were being taught by a small
group of Sisters of Mercy. The Sisters of St. Joseph began their work in
November 1866, opening a school for Negro children. Early in 1867, the
Sisters organized a school for white boys.
When, in 1869 Sisters of Mercy decided to leave St. Augustine, the
Sisters of St. Joseph began to teach high school classes. Sister
Margaret Mary, who had recently arrived from Brooklyn, N.Y., was
principal, a position she held until the turn of the century.
A TOTAL OF 180 PUPILS WERE ENROLLED in the school -listed
as Public School No. 12 since it had been given status as a part of the
public school system in 1878 and remuneration of $20 per month from
county funds set aside for each of its teachers.
In 1914, when a state law was passed prohibiting teachers in a state
school from wearing the garb of any organization, the school became
parochial, with support coming from parents and patrons.
With more and more students from all parts of Florida and other
states seeking education here, a new building for the Academy was
built and occupied in September, 1908.
Since that time, more property and buildings have been added to
:accommodate new departments and give more space for larger
First School Where Sisters Of St. Joseph Taught Shown In Old Photo
And St. Joseph Academy With Wooden Porches Shown In 1926 Photo