| Treasuring Catholic schools' legacy of excellence
The Class of 2017 is the last graduating class of the Oakland school.
St. Lawrence O'Toole School
St. Lawrence O'Toole School opened its doors in 1949 and gradated its first class in 1954.
Students take part in Special Persons Day in an undated photo from The Catholic Voice files.
Spiritual growth, academic excellence
St. Lawrence O'Toole was founded by the Dominican Sisters in 1949 and, at the time of its closing, served grades from transitional Kindergarten to eighth.
Yvonne Guidi Evans was a third-grader when the doors opened at St. Lawrence O'Toole School in 1949. She was there June 2, as the school closed. She has spent the past 27 years as an instructional aide in kindergarten and pre-kindergarten.
That first day was memorable. "We were all out on the schoolyard, she recalled. Mass was celebrated there. "I remember the ladies all wearing hats and gloves."
She recalls, too, her first classroom, with 51 students and one Sister.
"I was very shy," she said.
Sister Marie Alfred, OP, the principal, noticed.
"She sent me to help with kindergarten," Evans said. In helping others, her confidence grew.
When Evans joined the school staff in 1990, she joined the extended care staff.
Her duties included picking up kindergartners at 11:30 a.m. and caring for them the rest of the day.
Staffed: Dominican Sisters
Closed: June 2017
"It was a good-running school," she said. "We were like a family."
The school was the intention for a May 28 Mass; afterward, people were invited to visit the school, to take one more look at the class portraits that hung in the hallways, and share their memories.
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