St. Michael School provides a Christian-centered, values-based learning environment for students of all economic, racial and spiritual backgrounds, supported by a program of academic excellence. We educate the whole child with the support of parents, teachers, alumni, and community in a unified goal to graduate students with skills to become productive and responsible citizens in the 21st century.
Since 1882, St. Michael School has opened its doors to thousands of students whose families have sought a faith-based education for their children. Over the years the school has maintained a tradition of academic excellence, and its graduates have moved on to great achievements.
Keeping the Tradition Alive
The school’s vision is to provide our community with a continuous source of well-educated and socially responsible young people to carry on the traditions of the Catholic Christian Faith. Look around — our graduates are the leaders of ours and many other communities. To ensure this vision, the School Development Committee has added Before & After school programs, upgraded professional development and enhanced the daily academic format of the student’s day. Administrative change has brought a 12 percent increase in enrollment over the past few years! St. Michael’s School is optimistic about the sound educational resources they provide — dedicated leadership, committed educators, improved technological resources and devoted alumni and community support.
Saint Michael School is built on land previously part of the old Yates County Fairgrounds. The original one acre plot was purchased for $1200.00.
Saint Michael School’s first cornerstone was laid May 14, 1882, by the Rt. Rev. Bernard McQuaid, the first Bishop of the Diocese of Rochester. It is made of Onondaga limestone.
The original school was 37 feet by 61 feet and two stories high. It was built by John Meehan of Canandaigua for $6400.00
Saint Michael School was dedicated on September 1, 1883. Five Sisters of St. Joseph from Rochester, NY made up the little colony sent to Penn Yan at that time. They were: Sister Alcantara Carroll, Sister Isidore McKeon, Sister Felicitas Doran, Sister Seraphine Glavin (taking charge of the school), and Sister Cleophas Grimes (who managed household affairs).
Saint Michael School is an outgrowth of Penn Yan’s first and only Catholic parish, formed in 1850 under the leadership of Rev. Michael Gilbride. However, the first pastor of the school was Rev. Eugene Pagani, who served in that capacity for seventeen years.
In 1954, during the pastorate of Rev. Francis Waterstraat, a six classroom addition was built in the rear of the original school. A campaign goal of $100,000 was set and met for this project.