The History of Holy Savior Catholic School
A vow was fulfilled giving birth to Catholic education in Holy Savior Parish in 1879. Because his parishioners were spared during the 1878 yellow fever epidemic, Father Peter Letilly invited the Congregation of the Immaculate Conception to send a few Sisters to Lockport to open a school.
On May 1, 1879, formal classes began in a little cottage on Tenth and Vacherie Streets. Within a few years the school moved to a new building facing the “public road” (Main Street) and advertised under the name Convent of the Immaculate Conception, offering besides Religion, all the basics, plus French, Music, and Fancy Work. Boys and girls attended, but were in separate classrooms and play areas. Many of the girls boarded.
A hurricane destroyed that school in 1893. While waiting for the new one to be built on the same spot, the school again used the original cottage, but this time the sisters moved their convent to a house across the street since their enrollment had increased to about 80. The new school was occupied in 1899.
Archbishop James Hubert Blenk requested that the school become a parochial one instead of private and that it be located on church property. The nuns sold the new school on Main Street almost immediately. The school moved back to the cottage until the completion of St. Sauveur School in 1911. By this time the enrollment had reached 110, so the move to this spacious three-story structure was a joyous one. It afforded living quarters for the sisters on the third floor, plus large classrooms on the second floor, and an auditorium and bathroom facilities on the ground floor.
During the next thirty years, the educational program continued to offer the same subjects, but began to move toward a high school curriculum. A few students graduated each year from 1918 on, but State accreditation was being sought so graduates could qualify for college with a Holy Savior diploma. Accreditation was achieved in 1930. More high school courses were added, a library was organized, a Mother’s Club came into being, and enrollment picked up.
Expansion became necessary, and, in 1940 Holy Savior High School was built, providing a Chemistry and Physics lab, a centralized library, a commercial lab, a principal’s office, and several more classrooms. The school was really a full-fledged high school now and moved forward to excel in athletics, music rallies, and various extracurricular activities. In 1951 Monsignor Dominic Perino donated funds for a gymnasium. That same year a new convent was built, freeing the third floor of the old building for use as classrooms. Some years after this however, the third floor was condemned as unsafe. Thoughts again turned to erecting a new school.
Plans were at blueprint stage when the Archdiocese decided that this central and south Lafourche area needed a Diocesan School, so the new school was constructed for this purpose. The doors to Holy Savior Central High School opened in the fall of 1964 to students from Raceland to Golden Meadow. With an excellent faculty headed by Mr. Richard Champagne, the first lay principal ever appointed by the Archdiocese, Holy Savior continued to offer exceptional Christian opportunities, and, in 1970, the Southern Association of Secondary Schools accredited the school.
For the first time in its 93-year history, Holy Savior suffered a setback. Rising costs and decreasing enrollment made it necessary to close the high school. Students, parents, and friends tried desperately to raise the necessary funds, but in June 1972, the high school closed.
The elementary school was continued with Ms. Marie Toups as principal and grades 1 through 6 moved into the building which had been built to house the high school. The following year in 1973, Mr. Edward Daigle was appointed principal, and a part-time kindergarten as well as seventh grade was added to the school. In 1981 a deaf education program staffed by the School Sisters of Notre Dame became a part of Holy Savior School. Because of declining enrollment, the seventh grade was discontinued in 1983.
In 1986 Ms. Rhea Dill was appointed principal. During her tenure the school opened a Louisiana licensed full or part-time Nursery School. The seventh grade was added again in the 1998-1999 school year. That same year the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux approved expansion to include eighth grade for the 2000-2001 school year. At the close of the 1999-2000 school year Ms. Rhea Dill retired and Mr. Gerard Rodrigue, Jr. was appointed principal for the 2000-2001 school year. Mr. Rodrigue was principal from 2000-2006. Mrs. Marie Annette Parfait was appointed principal in 2006. Ms. Parfait was principal from 2006-2011. Mr. Blaine Degruise was appointed principal for the 2011-2012 school year and the 2012-2013 school year. Mrs. Tricia Thibodaux was appointed principal for the 2013-2014 school year.
Holy Savior Catholic School currently includes a nursery program through eighth grade with a State approved curriculum and certified teachers. The educational program contains daily religious instruction, a strong emphasis on Language Arts and Math, and many other excellent curricular and co-curricular offerings. The Holy Savior Community looks to the future with hope and anticipates that Central Lafourche families will continue to avail themselves of the privileged opportunity of “The Holy Savior School Experience.”