St. Catharine School (SCS) is an Advance Education, Inc. (AdvanceED) accredited Catholic elementary school within the Diocese of Trenton, educating students in Preschool through grade 8. Approximately twenty years ago, St. Catharine School adopted “Faith, Knowledge, and Service” as a school motto. These words encapsulate our identity, inspiration, and purpose in providing a high quality learning experience that supports the development of the whole child for all of the students of St. Catharine School.
Since its institution in 1931 with 45 students in the basement of St. Margaret’s Church, SCS was rooted in a long history of academic excellence in the Catholic tradition. Within this same framework today, over 350 students prevail in a technology-rich environment to better scaffold instruction and to sustain excellence through a dedication to spirituality, research, hands-on learning, and service.
Within the pursuit of educational goals and objectives, students learn to embrace knowledge and seek to share their enthusiasm with others by fostering an awareness of care and concern. Through acceptance and awakening, self-efficacy and leadership traits evolve as teachers enrich their instructional lessons with the Gospel message whenever possible. As such, students, parents, and teachers of St. Catharine School endeavor to communicate and carry out what we uphold as sacred by virtue of our Catholic identity.
On January 11, 1901, St. Ann’s Church was renamed St. Catharine Church. A summer resident of Spring Lake, Mr. Martin Maloney, had been granted permission by the Bishop of Trenton to give a new church as a gift to God in memory of his deceased daughter, Catharine. Once the plans for the new church had been granted, it was decided to rename the church St. Catharine Church. The cornerstone for the new church was laid on March 17, 1901, and the consecration of St. Catharine Church was celebrated on May 25, 1902. The original building was sold to St. John’s Methodist Church and moved to a new location.
St. Catharine Church held three hundred fifty people but the influx of summer visitors filled the church to overflowing every Mass. Plans to build a summer church with a seating capacity of five hundred people were begun. By 1920, St. Margaret’s Church, at Ludlow and Third Avenue was ready. As Spring Lake became more of an all-year residential community, St. Margaret’s opened its doors as a year round church.
The Catholic families of Spring Lake soon wanted a school for their children and so the basement of St. Margaret’s Church was adapted to make four classrooms. The order of St. Joseph of Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania sent three sisters to staff the first Catholic school in Spring Lake. Forty-five pupils were enrolled and placed in four different grade levels of education. Before long, more children were seeking admission and more classrooms were built in the basement of St. Catharine Church. Success of the school proved that a more permanent one was needed. By 1951, the present St. Catharine School opened with an enrollment of several hundred pupils. In 1965, an addition of ten classrooms was built to support the school’s growing enrollment. Recently, St. Catharine School was recognized as a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the United States Department of Education.
FAITH . KNOWLEDGE . SERVICE.