BUSINESS: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School
For Laura Gallagher, principal of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School in Edmond, her work as an educator and her faith are inseparable. Indeed, the school’s Catholic affiliation is paramount to its mission.
“Our Catholic identity is what we’re most proud of, that we are raising our church leaders of tomorrow,” Gallagher says. “Our faith is infused into every component of our curriculum. It permeates the walls of this building.”
St. Elizabeth is affiliated with St. John the Baptist Catholic Church and has just celebrated 25 years of Catholic education in Edmond. The school was founded by Fr. John Petuskey in 1990. “He believed strongly in Catholic education, and started the effort to bring a Catholic grade school to Edmond,” says Gallagher.
The school was named for Elizabeth Ann Seton, born in New York in America’s colonial days, who would go on to found the first Catholic school in the United States. She was the first American-born saint canonized by the Catholic Church.
From its humble beginnings with 85 students, offering classes from kindergarten to third grade, St. Elizabeth grew, adding classes through eighth grade, and prekindergarten. Over time, athletics were added as well. St. Elizabeth also offers courses in music, art, physical education, foreign language, and technology. The school now serves more than 350 students.
Gallagher points to the school’s rigorous academic standards, small class sizes and curriculum based on gospel values and Catholic social teachings, as being unique and distinctive in central Oklahoma. “We are deeply Catholic, and very, very proud of that,” she says. Gallagher is in her second year as St. Elizabeth’s principal, and she sets the tone every day. “The most rewarding thing about being here is that I have a chance to practice and grow in my faith at a job that I love. I go to a job every day that helps me along my spiritual walk, and I’m surrounded by people who share those values and beliefs.”
Those values and beliefs fill the halls of St. Elizabeth’s, with the dedicated faculty and staff working daily to fulfill the school’s mission statement: “Awakening to the beauty of God by serving others with love, embracing our differences while seeking academic excellence, all in the spirit of Jesus Christ.”
More information about St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School is available at 348-5364, or stelizabethedmond.org.