St. Brendan School opened its doors to two hundred forty-one students on September 2, 1947. The school was staffed by Dominican Sisters from Adrian, Michigan. This Order was founded to preach the Word of God, to form communities of faith, and to teach with a spirit of joy, discipline, love, and faith following the teachings of the Catholic Church.
From the school’s opening in 1947 through 1955, enrollment greatly increased until it reached a maximum of four hundred thirty-eight students, with a staff of seven sisters and one lay teacher. Over time, the faculty ratio changed such that now the faculty is comprised entirely of lay teachers. Enrollment has been gradually reduced, resulting in smaller class sizes. Today, student enrollment is three hundred twenty-one students, with waiting lists for most classes.
Due to the expansion of school programs, a number of additional faculty and staff members were added over the years. The staff now includes a technology teacher, a full-time counselor, two music instructors, an art teacher, two science teachers, a dance instructor, a full-time librarian, a learning specialist, two athletic directors, a math/language arts associate, two Spanish teachers, a motor skills instructor, a physical education teacher, two Mandarin teachers, a coordinator for the after-school program, an office manager, and a development director.
To accommodate expanded programs, additional staff, increased enrollment, and broadening curriculum, we have made numerous capital improvements to our physical space over the years. These improvements have been guided by a commitment to design that uses aspects of the built environment to enhance learning, creativity, and collaboration. We annexed the Convent, built a learning center for small-group lessons, added a 28,000- volume library, constructed the Monsignor Walsh gymnasium and the 7,787 square foot Sr. Diane Erbacher Parish Center, and added a state-of the-art technology and digital media center. In 2014, we renovated and expanded the science lab, added a lovely, palm-tree shaded “Zen Garden” for the children’s enjoyment, and achieved our long-cherished dream of renovating and expanding the bottom floor of our Convent to include two full-day kindergarten classes.
Although we have evolved and expanded in ways that our founders could never have anticipated, St. Brendan Parish School carries on the mission of the Adrian Dominican Sisters by educating students in a loving, supportive community that focuses on faith, leadership and character development.