ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- For 130 years, students at St. Elizabeth Academy started their day with prayer. The private school was established to promote diversity and understanding among students and staff and has for generations. A shrinking economy and enrollment caused the girls Catholic school to close its doors for good. Right now there are 130 students enrolled with 38 graduating. The 2013 class will be the last under the St. Elizabeth name.
Sophmore Anna Strzembosz says she`s learned a lot during her time at the academy.
“We can really do anything our teachers instilled that in all of us,” said Strzembosz.
Thirty-three staff members will lose their jobs at a school that brought young women from around the world. Students Maria Mense and Natalie Evans say hearing the news about the closure was devastating. Sister Susan Borgel tells FOX 2 there are plans in place for the future of the campus.
“The Sisters of the Most Precious Blood of O`Fallon own the building and our hope is to sell the building,” said Borgel.
“Back at my grade school I felt left out, but I met people who like the same stuff I did and I felt I could blossom here,” said Mense.
“It`s a big family and there`s never any bullying or fights or anything,” said Evans.
Alumna Jane Keuss says they currently have a plan to start a new charter school. Administrators want to maintain the integrity of the tradition of excellence and unity taught at the school.
The SEA Academy will be an independent public school. We will not be under the St. Louis public schools operation,” said Keuss.
The doors at St. Elizabeth Academy will close on Friday, but the lessons learned will last a lifetime.
“I think these young women are going to do great things for our city,” said Goelb.
“I`m going to try to repeat everything I learned here that accepting people is what`s important,” Mense said.
Administrators are finishing up their charter school application for the June 1st state deadline. The new school could potentially open is the fall of 2014. They are also looking for 1 million dollars in funding and hope to run the charter school in the same building.
For more information... http://sea-academy.org/
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