NEWTOWN—St. Rose School opened its doors on September 3, 1958, and was originally a first through fifth-grade school. Within three years it added a middle school. Many years later, in 1989, a kindergarten was added and eventually, in 2000, a preschool emerged and is housed in the former convent with thriving 3-year-old, 4-year-old and Step Up programs. Initially run by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, St. Rose School has been guided by several religious orders through the years. In 2008 an addition was made to the school adding a state of the art science lab and modern gathering hall/gymnasium, a library, music room and more.
In memory of their patroness, St. Rose of Lima, St. Rose School has always been committed to service. Their students, faculty and families are encouraged to be the hands and heart of Christ in the community. They are a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Spanish and Mandarin are taught to students in preschool through eighth grade. Enrichment programs such as mock trial, advanced math, musical theater, instrument instruction, basketball, track and cheer offer enhanced learning opportunities that promote well rounded and knowledgeable young men and women who develop the skills and confidence they need to take the next step into high school and beyond.
The Mass was a beautiful representation of the threads of love, learning and prayer that bond students and families from every generation. The choir was made up of current and alumni students, and readers were Karen (O’Connor) Kravec ’89) and Charles Asetta ’15. Mrs. Peggy Baiad, alumni parent of children in years ’81, ’85, ’87 and ’89 read the prayers of the faithful. Monsignor Weiss was the main celebrant joined by Father Alphonse, Father Krzysztof, Deacons O’Connor, Roos and Scinto.
Dr. Cheeseman attended the Mass and delivered a message from the bishop as well as expressing his own sentiments about the value of a long-standing commitment to Catholic education and the recognized successes of St. Rose School graduates. State Representative Mitch Bolinsky and Senator Tony Hwang presented a Citation from the State of Connecticut in recognition and gratitude for St. Rose School. Newtown First Selectman Dan Rosenthal presented a proclamation from the town during the afternoon as well.
The celebration was an Oktoberfest theme with St. Rose Church Knights of Columbus grilling hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers and bratwurst. Hot pretzels were a big hit as was the Beer Garden for guests 21 and over with a photo ID. A DJ played lively music. St. Rose School Student Council and National Junior Honor Society students ran games and crafts for the children including sand art cross necklaces, spin art designs, face painting and bowling. St. Rose School memorabilia and spirit wear were on site and a popular attraction. Tours of the school were offered with alumni as far back as the class of 1965, sharing their memories as they walked the old halls and discovered the new ones.
The entrance to the field was a replica of the original school building lined with photo boards of students and activities through the years. A giant balloon 60 was on either side of the entrance and hay bales were scattered around. Red and white (school colors) checked tablecloths and yellow mums created a lovely atmosphere in the main tent while the Beer Garden was traditional blue and white with pennants and Oktoberfest banners bringing it to life.
School spirit filled the air throughout the afternoon confirming that once you walk the halls of St. Rose School it is forever in your heart. Dedicated to academic excellence, stellar service and living the Gospel values, St. Rose School has been a second home to thousands of students for 60 years and it continues to thrive. 60 years and going strong!