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placeholder September 9, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 15   •   Oakland, CA
St. Michael School turns 100

Students of St. Michael School will gather with their parents and teachers at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 20 to receive a proclamation from the mayor of Livermore honoring the 100th anniversary of the opening of the school.

A parish celebration Mass in the spring, followed by a celebration dinner, saw generations of graduates return to school to share memories.

The book, "People, Bricks and Timbers," published for the parish's centennial in 1978, offers the context for the celebration:

"In 1910, parishioners looked forward to construction of a parish elementary school. The Dominican Sisters of San Rafael agreed to staff the school. Starting in April of 1910, the land was purchased and Thomas J. Walsh drew up building plans for the school and convent. Money was raised and the school built. By September 1913, St. Michael's Academy was completed and its dedication was celebrated on September 21, 1913 before a very large crowd including a lot of out of town delegations from Oakland."

The first classes were held on Monday, Sept. 22, 1913. Thirty pupils in grades 1 through 7 were enrolled to be taught religion, academic subjects and music. The first principal was Sister Ambrose Garvin, OP. Teachers were Sister M. Laurentia, OP, Sister Dominica Hartnett, OP, and Sister Bertrand O'Connor, OP.

The new building had four academic classrooms: Two grades shared each room. There were music rooms plus living quarters for the sisters, and enough extra rooms to permit boarding of a few girl students from 1914 to 1920. The first graduating class — 11 students — was in 1915.

By 1921, attendance grew to 162.

Today, 235 students, in kindergarten through eighth grade, keep the Livermore campus a vibrant place.

And, on Sept. 20, they'll have birthday cake.

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