Welcome to Pacelli Catholic Schools! For 148 years, Catholic schools have been a hallmark in Portage County, providing an outstanding education based on demanding academics and strong teaching of the Catholic faith. Students who attend our schools are well prepared to not only be strong, successful citizens, but young adults who live their faith and make a difference in the world.
Catholic schools have been a part of my family for at least five generations. It is a tradition I am proud of and feel that, as each generation graduated, I could witness the strong spiritual and academic foundation they received. When it came to choosing a school for our kids it was an easy decision for my husband and I – Catholic education was hands down the best choice we made for our boys.
As president of Pacelli Catholic Schools, I feel blessed to lead one of the finest Catholic school systems in the nation, as evidenced by the numerous United States Department of Education Blue Ribbon School Awards, Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Teacher Fellowship Awards , Portage County Business Council Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Education, and Diocese of La Crosse awards our schools, teachers, and staff have received.
From six weeks old until our students graduate from high school, the impact we have on our children’s lives is tremendous. As we continue our tradition of academic excellence and infusing our Catholic faith in all that we do, it is an honor to lead our five schools:
- Pacelli Catholic Schools Tim Copps Early Childhood Center (Childcare, 3K, & 4K)
- Pacelli Catholic Elementary School-St. Bronislava (3K-4)
- Pacelli Catholic Elementary School-St. Stephen (K-4)
- Pacelli Catholic Middle School (5-8)
- Pacelli Catholic High School (9-12)
We are blessed with tremendous support from 7,200+ alumni and countless friends as we continue to move forward. The gifts of time, treasures, and talent contribute greatly to our success and we are humbled by your support. Additionally, we are blessed to have 17 of our local parishes who invest more than $1.4 million dollars into our Catholic schools annually to ensure we can remain affordable and accessible to all in our community while sharing our Catholic faith.
I invite you to stop in for a visit and see firsthand the impact our schools are having in the lives of our students through individualized attention, small class sizes, and a safe, caring environment. From our humble beginnings in 1873 to today, our Catholic schools are something to be proud of as we continue to share our Catholic values and bring out the absolute best in every student we are blessed to call part of our Pacelli family.
On September 8, 1873, Holy Redeemer Mission was founded and staffed by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. It was on that same day that Reverend Russel delivered a “most impressive lecture” about the “advantage of a Catholic school and the duty of parents to see that their children receive a religious education.” He went on to extol the merits of the Sisters, who left all, sacrificed every comfort in this noble cause of Catholic education in Stevens Point.
Over the years, Catholic schools in our community continued to grow and flourish. St. Peter School began in 1887. St. Joseph School opened its doors in 1890 and was followed in 1925 by St. Stanislaus School. St. Bronislava established a school in 1914 which was destroyed by fire in 1936. With the support of a community capital fund drive, a new St. Bronislava School building was again opened in 1994.
In 1922, the Sisters of St. Joseph opened the first Catholic high school in the area, St. Joseph Academy, which was the forerunner of Maria High School. This was also the first private high school in the area. The first Catholic boys high school was established in 1947 at St. Peter Parish. Due to a switch in jurisdiction from the Green Bay to the La Crosse diocese, St. Peter High School was terminated at the end of the school year.
Pacelli High School started in 1955, temporarily housed at the St. Stanislaus Grade School until the high school construction was completed, officially opening in September 1956. The school was built in honor of reigning pope Eugenio Pacelli (Pius XII) and would be staffed primarily by a religious order of men, the Christian Brothers. Pacelli and Maria high schools merged in 1970 and operated as a dual campus for two years. At that time, the Pacelli building was sold and the whole school moved to the Maria campus, where it continues today as Pacelli High School.
The Stevens Point Area Catholic Board of Education was formed in 1967 and was the first of its kind in the state overseeing the schools. Pacelli Catholic Schools (PCS), formerly Stevens Point Area Catholic Schools (SPACS), today continue to provide quality, Catholic education to this community.
In 1986, consolidation of all schools took effect after a great deal of study, coordination, pain and cooperation by many people. A study was done by the Central Wisconsin Small Business Development Center, a unit of the Division of Business and Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and gave some recommendations for long-range facility use. The team looked at a total of 16 scenarios of combining and eliminating, one by one, and finally got to three workable solutions. Each was studied from the standpoint of building capacity, faculty and educational quality, and parish needs. On November 4, 1986, consolidation was approved, resulting in the creation of St. Peter Middle School (grades 6-8), and making St. Stanislaus and St. Stephen/St. Joseph schools elementary schools (K-5). Consolidation brought good things to our system such as an exploratory art program at the middle school, along with a campus ministry. Home economics and industrial arts can be incorporated and students attend those classes at Pacelli. This resulted in better utilization of teachers and resources giving students more opportunities.
In the year 2000, a number of committees reviewed the process of restructuring the schools, balancing out class sizes. The result was elimination of some of the larger classes and it allowed room for new families by creating an early childhood center (preschool) at St. Joseph and combining and restructuring St. Stanislaus (K-2) and St. Stephen (3-5) schools. This allowed the sharing resources more efficiently, both in terms of materials as well as people. Other areas that were improved were libraries, Home & School Associations and Hot Lunch programs.
On July 1, 2015, Stevens Point Area Catholic Schools was renamed Pacelli Catholic Schools. After the thoughtful planning and execution of a successful capital campaign, another restructuring of the schools was deemed necessary to maximize efficiency and effectiveness of our educational programming. This resulted in the relocation of the Pacelli Catholic Schools Tim Copps Early Childhood Center (childcare & preschool) to St. Stanislaus Church (Holy Spirit Parish) enabling growth and expansion, consolidating to two elementary school locations – Pacelli Catholic Elementary School-St. Bronislava (3K-4) and Pacelli Catholic Elementary School-St. Stephen (K-4), and moving grade 5 to join grades 6-8 at Pacelli Catholic Middle School for the start of the 2017-2018 school year.
To this day, Pacelli Catholic Schools continue their rich heritage, providing quality education and enriching the lives of many, all thanks to the dedicated members of religious orders who founded, expanded, and shared their Catholic values with our community.
COMMISSION OF CATHOLIC EDUCATION
The Pacelli Catholic Schools Commission of Catholic Education provides input and guidance on various topics and issues for Pacelli Catholic Schools. Regular members of the Commission include the Pacelli Catholic Schools Dean, supporting Pastors, school administrators, and representatives from supporting parishes.