Ground was broken for Sacred Heart School and a convent on October 30, 1951. On September 24, 1952, six teaching Sisters of Saint Joseph of Newark arrived. The following day the six Sister with Sister Mary Claver as Principal, and two lay teachers officially opened the school with an enrollment of 314 students, in grades kindergarten through sixth grade.
As noted by one of the sisters: On September 24, the first staff arrived at the Convent at 10:00 am as scheduled by the Pastor, Rev. Gerald Moore. It was difficult to enter the building as there were workmen everywhere. There was no food in the house and no room to prepare it, if any could be found. However, about 1:00, one of the ladies of the parish brought us a wonderful lunch, after which we went to the school to locate our classrooms. The same state of disorder prevailed there so all we could do was to each choose our classroom and return home. The first Mass was offered in our convent on September 24, and the Blessed Sacrament reserved.
The next morning we opened school and registered 314 children. Several ladies of the parish were on hand to help distribute books, paper, pencils, etc. We dismissed at noon and did not return until the following Monday, September 29, as there was a shortage of about 150 desks. From then, and until the middle of November, we carried on in the midst of various forms of building activities.
By 1954 the school had grown from kindergarten to eighth grade, from 314 students to 685, from a teaching staff of eight to a staff of fifteen. A two level wing with three classrooms on each level was constructed on the southeast side of the school in 1953-1954 to handle the increasing enrollment. By the fourth year, the enrollment had reached 750 students. In September of 1955, Sister Mary Basil, C.S.J. (Sister Johanna Vogelsong, C.S.J.) assumed the duties of principal.
By September 1957, the number of classrooms increased to twenty and four portable classrooms were added at the Church on the Main Street site. During the summer of 1958, three more portables were added at the Main Street location bringing the total classrooms to twenty-two. By 1959, enrollment had reached 935, requiring fifteen Sisters and eight lay teachers. Five school buses were transporting 600 children daily.
Kindergarten classes were available for only the first four years of the school and a ninth grade was available for two years (1957-1959). Rising costs of education and staffing caused the closing of both.
Sister Edmund, C.S.J. (Sister Joan Leonard, C.S.J.) began the first of her six years as principal of Sacred Heart School in 1961. Also, during 1961, a school library was begun in the former kindergarten room.
In 1969, the bus garage was remodeled into an audio-visual facility currently named the Moore Theater, and the school library was enlarged. Also, the original yard storage room was remodeled into a general science classroom.
Sister Margaret Wood, C.S.J. became principal in 1967, and she directed the school for the following four years.
Rev. Gerald T. Moore was assigned as Pastor to St. Cecilia’s Church in Winslow, Washington on September 17, 1971. Father Moore was pastor of Sacred Heart for twenty-two years during which time the parish grew from 165 families to 1,065 registered families.
The Very Rev. William E. Gallagher became pastor at Sacred Heart and Sister Margaret Casey, C.S.J. became principal of the school.
In September of 1972, the school enrollment was 385 and ended the term with 400 students and a faculty of 23.
A change in enrollment began when neighboring parishes of St. Louise of Bellevue, St. Monica’s of Mercer Island, and St. Brendan’s of Bothell were formed and built schools which a portion of Sacred Heart students were then assigned to attend.
In 1994, a capital campaign was undertaken, led by Dan and Julie Coleman, to update and expand the school facility. Computer “pods” were built for all for each grade to share a computer lab. This allowed computers to be added to all of the classrooms. The middle school hallway was extended, including five new classrooms and a new bathroom. A music room was also added next to the Moore Theater.
Sacred Heart School Principals
Present – 1952
2008: Mr. David Burroughs
2002: Dr. Carola Wittmann
1990: Dr. Karen Matthews
1986: Mr. William F. Feaster
1984: Mr. Terry Jones
1983: Mrs. Margaret Smith
1982: Ms. Mary Britton-Simmons
1979: Sister Shirley Roberg, S.N.J.M.
1974: Sister Rachel Acosta, S.P.
1971: Sister Margaret Casey, C.S.J.
1967: Sister Margaret Wood, C.S.J.
1961: Sister Edmund, C.S.J.
1955: Sister Mary Basil, C.S.J.
1952: Sister Mary Claver, C.S.J.