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placeholder Treasuring
Catholic schools' legacy of excellence

St. Elizabeth
High School

St. Martin de Porres
Regional School

St. Jarlath School

St. Jerome School

St. Lawrence
O'Toole School

Our Lady
of the Rosary


39 teams join
in Girls' CYO Basketball Playoffs

26 teams participate
in CYO Boys
Sand Vollyball

Records broken
at annual track
and field event

Scholarship winner: CYO helps one become a leader

Senior Living
& Resources

Honoring the
grande dame of the Catholic Daughters

Generations unite
at St. Leo's Grandparents Appreciation Day

celebration for centenarian Sister

Just for Seniors

Fall prevention:
Risk factors
and advice

Choosing a
home care agency
you can trust


Pilgrimage doesn't
end with the journey
— a reflection

Statue shot at
San Leandro parish

placeholder June 26, 2017   •   VOL. 55, NO. 12   •   Oakland, CA
Treasuring Catholic schools' legacy of excellence

The first graduating class, as fifth-graders.

The Class of 2017 of St. Jerome School.
Courtesy photos

St. Jerome School

'Our little gem of a school on the hill'

In 1941 Msgr. James Rohan established St. Jerome Parish in El Cerrito. Under his leadership, the parish quickly grew and through its prosperity, the parish approved property for the founding of St. Jerome School.

School Facts

Opened: September 1955

Order first affiliated: Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary

Closed: June 2017
On Aug. 21, 1955, Monsignor Rohan welcomed five sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary to the school and parish.

The school opened its doors in September 1955 with the first students filling grades one through four with a total enrollment of 160. A new grade was added each year until September 1959, when the school enrolled grades one through eight.

There were 369 students in 1960.

In 1982, a kindergarten was added. In 1985, Red Balloon, an extended day care program was established to meet the increasing needs of working parents of the school's community.

At the school's 60th reunion, more than 300 people — 160 alumni — gathered for dinner and conversation, and much poring over the books of class photos preserved by Jim Almeida, Class of 1972.

Almeida, the middle child of the five Almeida children who graduated from St. Jerome School, said about 300 people came to a farewell party on the El Cerrito campus earlier this month. Photos of that event show the alumni looking through books of photos and enjoying each other's company.

That's reflective of how St. Jerome School operated, Almeida said.

"When we went to school, 90 percent lived within a mile and a half," he said. Not only were they neighbors, but they knew each other's parents as well.

After being away from the area for a time, Almeida moved back to the parish and became involved in CYO. Another generation of his family has ties there, too: His sister's daughter graduated from St. Jerome School last year.

The school distinguished itself with academic excellent in a Christ-centered environment. Students provided service to each other and to the community. The school was proud that its graduates attended such universities as UC-Berkeley, UC-Davis, UCLA, Cal Poly, Cornell and Stanford.

The school's last Facebook post shows the student body and the teachers on the altar of St. Jerome Church. The post reads: "Sweet St. Jerome Catholic School endings ... thank you to everyone past and present who has supported our little gem of a school on the hill."

Michele Jurich

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