By Becky Holland, firstname.lastname@example.org
MARSHALL – Principal Alexis Rivas looks around the building that houses St. Joseph’s Catholic School on South Garrett Street in Marshall. His thoughts were on the coming days – the ending days of the school.
In the early Spring of this year, administration with the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Marshall announced that the school would be closing its doors the last day of school in May. It is not the first time that the school has had to do this in its long tenure, but it is still sad news.
“St. Joseph’s Catholic School has had a historical presence in the Marshall community since 1877,” Rivas said, continuing. “It began as St. Joseph Institute for Boys, and later merged with St. Mary’s Academy to be known as St. Joseph Catholic School. In the early 1960s, Holy Cross Catholic School merged with St. Joseph’s to become the school we are today.”
Rivas, who has only been the principal of the school for a year, found out in April that the school was closing. “They decided to close due to the decline in enrollment and lack of resources available,” he said. St. Joseph’s Catholic School currently has 34 students in grades Pre-K through fourth grade.
“Most of the students are looking into going back into the public school system, some are looking into Longview and a few are considering going to Trinity Episcopal School,” Rivas said.
Santiago Suarez, 11, has attended St. Joseph’s Catholic School since he first started school. “I am pretty sad about it … I have been going here forever … I learned a lot about Jesus here,” he said. Santiago will be transferring to Sam Houston Middle School.
His classmate, Esther Perez, 10, will be going to Trinity Episcopal School. “Having St. Joseph’s close is sad for me because I have been attending school here for most of my life,” Esther said, adding, “They have taught us about God, Jesus and how much God loves us.”
As per where the status of the teachers currently employed at St. Joseph’s, Rivas said, “So many of them were retired before they came, and they just came back because they love what they do.”
The school will be utilized, Rivas believes, for religious purposes on Sundays and possibly during the week for church activities. As to how Rivas would like to see the year end, he smiled, “I really would like for us to end on a positive note – with a bang … This is going to be a new era for us all.”