Sign in with Facebook   |  Login   |   Create Account
The Year-Round Source for Monterey Bay EventsMonday Dec 11, 2017Monterey Bay Weather

    Venue Directory

    santacatalinaschool.jpg

    Santa Catalina School, Performing Arts Center


    Comment on Facebook

    The Spanish colonial style of architecture on campus recalls the foundation in 1850 of the original Santa Catalina Convent and School in Monterey, then capital of the new State of California. Rev. Joseph Alemany, Bishop of Monterey, and Sister Marie Goemaere, a Dominican Sister who had shared with him a treacherous journey from Europe to the West Coast, housed Santa Catalina in an adobe building near the Custom House in what is now downtown Monterey. Its students-daughters of town residents and nearby Spanish landowners-were taught in Castilian Spanish. Apart from the Spanish mission schools, Santa Catalina was the first Catholic school in California, and it marked the foundation of the Dominican presence in the state.

    By 1854, the state capital had moved to Benicia. Mother Goemaere and her community of Sisters moved their school there as well. Its name was anglicized to St. Catherine's Academy, and its new students were American girls whose families had moved west from the eastern United States. The curriculum, now taught in English, included reading, grammar, geography, foreign languages, astronomy, arithmetic, philosophy, science, and music theory and performance. Students also learned the Old World crafts of silk embroidery and tapestry.

    Almost a century later, Sister Margaret Thompson, Mother General of the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael, decided to re-establish a Dominican school for girls in Monterey. She appointed Sister Mary Kieran as superior of the Convent of Santa Catalina and first principal of the new Santa Catalina School, which opened in the fall of 1950 on a beautiful estate purchased from Col. Harold Mack.

    Under Sister Kieran's visionary leadership over the next 15 years, the school grew from a single building-Col. Mack's Hacienda-to include 14 new classroom, office, and dormitory buildings, as well as the Rosary Chapel, swimming pool, athletic field, and tennis courts.

    After Sister Kieran's death in April 1965, Sister Carlotta became principal. Long before "educating the whole child" became a buzzword, Sister Carlotta articulated this approach to guiding young people toward intellectual attainment and social, physical, and spiritual well-being. Over the course of 35 years as Head of School, Sister Carlotta's energy, faith, and leadership kept Santa Catalina School true to the values and standards at the core of its Mission, yet able to adapt to a complex and changing world.

    Sister Carlotta worked closely with Sister Jean to establish a Preschool-Kindergarten program in the Lower School. By enrolling boys in the Preschool, Sister Jean was responsible for bringing coeducation to Santa Catalina, and Sister Carlotta encouraged boys to continue in the Lower School through the Eighth Grade.

    In the fall of 2002, Sister Claire became Head of School after serving since 1972 as a teacher, counselor, and administrator. She has been dedicated to excellence in all phases of campus life, to providing opportunities for growth for students and faculty alike, and to creating a stimulating environment for learning and living. She enriches Santa Catalina School with her sharp focus, excellent judgment, infectious sense of humor, and love for the school community.


    • At-a-
      Glance

      • Contact Info

        Santa Catalina School, Performing Arts Center

        1500 Mark Thomas Drive
        Monterey, CA 93940

        Phone: 831.655.9300   |   Official Website

      • Map

        Full map and directions

      • Accessibility Services

          There is no accessibility service information available at this time.

        • Current Events

          There are no current events at this time.

        • Upcoming Events

          There are no upcoming events at this time.


      • NOTE: We do our best to ensure all information is accurate. However, it's a good idea to visit the website or call the venue to verify the information.

    • Current &
      Upcoming Events

      • Current Events

        There are no current events at this time.

      • Upcoming Events

        There are no upcoming events at this time.

    • Past
      Events