The first graduating class of St. Pius X School 1958
The year was 1954 and in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, the sole Catholic parish, St. Mary of the Lake, was having difficulty accommodating the influx of a growing population of new homeowners. St. Pius X was started as the areas' second Catholic church.
Ken Bacchus, a local contractor, donated the entire track of land which today houses the Church and School of St. Pius X. The parish is bounded on the east by the Washington County line, to the south by Interstate 694, on the west by the Northern Pacific Railroad (Highway 61), and to the north by South Shore Boulevard.
The first Mass of the new church was offered on June 20, 1954, and the St. Pius X school opened its doors on September 13, 1955. There were six grades and the first teachers were five Sister of Saint Joseph of Carondelet. The starting enrollment was nearly 300 children.
The school expanded its classroom space in 1958, and by 1965 the school had 17 classrooms and an enrollment of over 750 students.
By 1971, parishioners faced the decision whether to consolidate school operations with St. Mary of the Lake or continue operating without sisters. The parish decided to keep the school independent rather than consolidating. Support for the school was reaffirmed after a 1978 visioning process.
In the late 80's and early 90's, the pastors of St. Mary on the Lake, St. Jude of the Lake and St. Pius X began discussing collaboration possibilities between their schools. Out of these conversations emerged the Lake Area Catholic Schools newsletter, and staff development efforts.
This success led the three schools to explore the possibility of creating a Catholic middle school for the Lake Area. After St. Jude's pulled out of the discussions, planning moved forward. A middle school was established in the 1994-1995 school year. This collaboration ended when St. Mary of the Lake added their own middle school in 2001.
In 2002, the St. Pius X parish completed building rennovations and additions, including a new Activity Center/Gymnasium, a new middle school wing, rennovated classrooms, and a new school office.
Preschool and Extended Day programs have been added over the years, and an After Hours Enrichment program was started in 2008.
Today, St. Pius X School is a vibrant learning community, devoted to teaching children the fullness of the Catholic faith, and offering a robust academic curriculum. We are committed to promoting cross-cultural understanding, cultural awareness, respect, concern, and trust for our global community.
To support those goals, the school has three partnerships.
The first is with KoAm Education Alliance, a Korean 4-8 grade student exchange program, and a student teacher internship program.
The second is a student exchange program with the Friendly Exchange organization. Guatemalan middle school students live with a St. Pius X family and attend the school for four months in the school year.
And, St. Pius X partners with St. Gabriel's Primary Boarding School in Kitui, Kenya. Currently, the school is in its second year of the partnership.