A BRIEF HISTORY OF Christ the King Catholic School
In 1884, Most Reverend Louis DesGoesbriand, Bishop of Burlington, purchased a piece of land on Green Street, now known as Killington Avenue. On this land in 1885 was erected a red brick, four-room school by Reverend Charles Boylan at the cost of $6,000. The school, named Saint Mary’s, was the forerunner of the present Christ the King Catholic School. It belonged to St. Peter’s Parish which was established in 1884 with 500 parishioners. Realizing that his flock had grown tremendously and that the children in the eastern part of his parish lived a considerable distance from the school, Father Boylan felt the need to build a school to accommodate them. In September 1886, St. Mary’s School went into operation with the opening of three of its four rooms.
On the death of Father Boylan in 1886, Reverend Thomas J. Gaffney became the new pastor of St. Peter Church. One of the greatest pleasures of Father Gaffney was to visit St. Mary’s School and have two or three of the lower grade children ride his big St. Bernard around the classroom. His love for children prompted the establishment of the Gaffney Scholarship which was a four-year tuition at Mount Saint Joseph, then a girls’ school.
The Sisters commuted each day from Mount Saint Joseph Motherhouse by horse and carriage driven by Patrick Flynn. The two schools kept in close contact with each other having the same curriculum and the same extracurricular activities. The pupils of old St. Mary’s walked down two by two to take their monthly exams in St. Peter Hall. On days during Lent, they also traveled to St. Peter to make the Stations of the Cross since this was their parish church. All parishioners made this journey for Sunday Mass and Benediction.
In 1907, Father Gaffney received the reward for his zealous labors, and was succeeded by Father John Brown. The same year the parish was divided and the Catholics in the eastern part of Rutland were given their own parish with Reverend William N. Lonergan as pastor.
The new parish, called Holy Innocents, lacked a rectory, a church and money, but it had a Catholic School and many devoted parishioners. In spite of financial difficulties, Holy Innocents School continued to thrive and expand because of the faith and zeal of the Pastor, the fidelity and hard work of the Sisters, and superb cooperation of the people.
Father Bernard Kelly succeeded Father Lonergan in 1918, and for eight years he prayed, worked and sacrificed. Finally, in September 1927, the modern beautiful Christ the King Catholic School was ready for operation. The school had come a long way from the original four-room St. Mary’s. In June 1928, the first graduation from Christ the King was held.
At the death of Father Kelly in 1932, Reverend John M. Kennedy became pastor. Two additional classrooms were opened to accommodate the increasing number of students.
It soon became obvious that still more room was needed, and Monsignor Kennedy sought to remedy this situation by adding a second story to Christ the King Catholic School. This addition included seven classrooms, a library and a music room. It was ready for occupancy in September 1951.
In September 1966, a second building opened its doors to the seventh and eighth grades.
In addition to five classrooms, this building housed a science lab, a teachers’ room, a multipurpose room, which served as a gymnasium and cafeteria, as well as a large storage room and two smaller rooms, which served as offices.
Father James Engle became pastor in 1971 and renovated the school. In the following years, the other Catholic elementary schools in the city (St. Peter and Immaculate Heart) were closed. Some of the students from these schools enrolled at Christ the King Catholic School. In 1983, Sister St. Michael retained principalship of the junior high and Mrs. Rosemary Canney became principal of the elementary school.
In June of 1985, Father Reid C. Mayo was appointed pastor of Christ the King. He appointed Sister Rita Marie as the new principal of the entire K-8 program. A renovation of the interior of the grade school was completed in the summer of 1985, with refinishing of all floors, new desks in six classrooms and a painting of the entire interior. The parents of the students accomplished this work. In the summer of 1986, the library was moved across the hall to a larger room. Tables and chairs were replaced with new ones and carpet was installed.
With the addition of music to the curriculum, a new room was designated for music education and chorus. In 2001, Music and Art were moved to Moroney Hall where there is ample space for the innovative program that is now in place.
With the initiation of an Early Education program, a classroom was designated to meet the needs of four-year olds. Program approval was granted by the State Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services in 1987 and is renewed each year.
A new system of bookkeeping was inaugurated by establishing a separate set of books and a separate budget for the school. A new school board was appointed with provisions for annual elections to provide for continued board renewal. The president of the Parents’ Club, a member of the Athletic Association, and a faculty representative also report monthly to the school board.
Having completed an energy audit of both school buildings, a technical assistance study was completed and application for federal funding was made in December of 1985, requesting assistance to implement measures to reduce energy consumption. The grant was funded in the spring of 1986.
The School Board developed a five-year plan which included a salary scale for teachers and a benefits program.
During the summer of 1987, the gymnasium was renovated, new lighting was installed and new furnishings for the cafeteria were acquired. The fall of 1988 saw the beginning of the French program for students in grades seven and eight. A school guidance counselor was added to the staff in the fall of 1990. In 1999, the Academic Support Coordinator replaced this position.
Architects worked on plans to renovate the elementary school building and a major capital funds drive was undertaken in the fall of 1988. New fuel tanks were installed and new entrance doors were completed in the fall of 1989. In 1990, two new furnaces and thermopane windows were installed throughout the elementary building.
The first phase of the renovation of Moroney Hall was begun in 1995 with new lighting, excavation of the area under the stage, restoration of the tin ceiling and extensive woodwork. In the spring of 2002, the stage renovation was completed with the stage being extended and stage lighting installed.
Sister Rita Marie Emerson retired in June 1996. Mr. Jeffrey Johnson was appointed principal in August of 1996. Mrs. RoseMaria DiOrio Doran was selected as the principal in July of 2000.
Thanks to the generosity of 34 donors, a 21 station networked computer lab was established in 2002 and is housed in the elementary building.
An after school program was implemented in the fall of 2004 and S.P.I.R.I.T. (Safe Program In Response to Interim Transition Time) and continues.
In the fall of 2005 an Instrumental Music Program was instituted in grades 4-7. Through the generosity of Mount St. Joseph Academy we were able to share the services of Dr. Robert Zimmerman.
Thanks to the generosity of a local business CKS took its spring musical “High School Musical” to the Paramount Theatre for two performances.
In the spring of 2008, CKS was evaluated by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and received its NEASC accreditation in June 2008. The NEASC committee’s report underscores the quality of education, dedication to a student-centered curriculum and exemplary faculty at CKS.
In June 2008, Father Mayo retired as pastor of Christ the King Parish. Father Justin Baker was appointed as pastor in July 2008. As well, in July 2008, Rutland Catholic Schools was formed, merging Christ the King Catholic School and Mount Saint Joseph Academy.
In June 2009 Mrs. RoseMaria Doran retired after more than fifty years in education. Mrs. Carol Wincowski was selected as principal, beginning in July 2009. During 2009-2010 Efficiency Vermont was consulted and thus upgraded lighting throughout the school. In addition a three year plan for Rutland Catholic Schools Science/Technology Initiative was implemented as a vehicle to help us accomplish our goals for our students. CKS was able to purchase Interactive Whiteboards for four classrooms and the Middle School Science Lab was updated.
In 2010, a before school care component was added as well as Edline, an online grading system for Grades 2-8. Singapore Math In Focus, math curriculum designed for mastery level skills, was implemented in Kindergarten through Grade 5.
In June 2012 Mrs. Carol Wincowski returned to teaching. Mrs. Mary Guggenberger was selected as principal in July 2012. Singapore Math in Focus expanded to include Grade 6.
In September 2013 Latin was added to the curriculum for grades six through eight twice a week and Spanish was introduced to Preschool through Grade 5 once a week. Latin and Spanish books were purchased in August 2014.
In 2014, a 1:1 Chromebook program was implemented in grades seven and eight. The grammar curriculum for grades three through eight was strengthened with the purchase of books and materials aligned to the Common Core Standards.
In July 2015, Mrs. Mary Guggenberger accepted a principal position at Killington Elementary School. In August 2015, Mrs. Susan Hackett was selected at principal. The 1:1 Chromebook program was extended to include grade six. A new school support system called Renweb was implemented.
In August 2016, Mrs. Susan Hackett accepted alternate employment. In August of 2016, Mrs. Lila Millard was appointed Interim Principal.
In July 2017, a new model for administration was adopted. Mrs. Sarah Fortier was appointed Principal of Christ the King Catholic School and
Mount Saint Joseph Academy. Mrs. Lila Millard was appointed Assistant Principal of Christ the King Catholic School.
In July 2019, Mrs. Sarah Fortier accepted alternate employment. Mrs. Lila Millard was appointed Interim Principal.
On March 17, 2020, Governor Scott declared that all schools in the State of Vermont were to close their doors to in-person instruction du to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic. Christ the King continued to educate its students through remote instruction. This “daily” education model had several facets. For younger students packets were created and distributed to continue to educate students. From the Fifth grade and up, remote instruction was done virtually. Teachers worked tirelessly to maintain new instruction and engage students to continue to learn.
On July 1, 2020, Mrs. Lila Millard was appointed as Principal of Christ the King School.
On September 8, 2020, students will return to in-person instruction at Christ the King School.