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December 21, 2004 > Our Lady of Guadalupe School Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Our Lady of Guadalupe School Celebrates 40th Anniversary

by Susana Nuñez

On Saturday, October 23, Fremont's Our Lady of Guadalupe School celebrated 40 years of educational excellence. Past students and staff were in attendance as well as current students and their families. Judy Nye organized the event with a fun 60s theme enjoyed by everyone, while Mardelle Harmuth coordinated the mass. The celebration proved to be a success with ticket sales exceeding the school's quota.

The Our Lady of Guadalupe School was first known as the St. Leonard School, established in 1959. On the opening day of the St. Leonard School on September 8, 1964, 148 students were enrolled. The school was a one-story concrete block structure which included eight classrooms, a library, administrative offices and offices for the parish religious program. On Sunday, May 16, 1965, Bishop Floyd L. Begin of Oakland dedicated the school with the first graduation taking place in June 1970. In recent years, several new buildings have been added, including the Regina Bigley Learning Center, which is home to the Extended Care Before and After School program. In addition, the school's kindergarten program was launched in 1987 and the state-of-the-art computer lab and library were completed in 2001.

The St. Leonard School became St. Leonard - Santa Paula School and is now known as the Our Lady of Guadalupe School. Students from the school's first graduating class attended the event and spoke about their memories from the school when it was still St. Leonard. Former principals Sister Mary Susanna Vasquez, O.P., Sister Janice Therese Wellington, O.P. and Sister Carmel Marie, O.P. also shared their memorable experiences during their time at the school. The evening included a social hour and open house, as well as a pot roast dinner catered by Michael King, the Dominican Sisters own chef. The meal reflected the 60s theme and the desserts that followed were provided by the parents. Entertainment included liturgical dancing by some of the student body's girls and a video by parent Mr. Pedrigal showing the history of the school.

"The event went very well and it provided historical insight on the school's background and how much it has grown over the past 40 years," said Lorrie Keltie of the Our Lady of Guadalupe School.

Everyone enjoyed an evening full of memories due to the hard work and dedication of the school's staff and parents. Their next big event begins on Jan. 30, kicking off the Catholic School enrollment week for students planning to attend the school in the upcoming year.

For more information contact Our Lady of Guadalupe School 40374 Fremont Blvd.
Fremont, (510) 657-1674.

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