Welcome to St. Gregory Catholic School…a shining gem in the heart of Central/Downtown Phoenix!
I am Rachel Gatson, your proud Principal. I am also an alumna, parishioner, community member, teacher and school parent. So to say I know, love and appreciate our school is an understatement! I have experienced the school from every perspective. I know the school, the community and the culture…and I have a deep love and respect for them all. It is my honor to work alongside our Pastor, Fr. Andres, as well as our staff, providing a faith-filled, learning environment to our students.
I would be remiss not to acknowledge the history of our amazing school…after all, once a Spartan, always a Spartan! St. Gregory Catholic School opened its doors in September, 1949, just two years after St. Gregory Catholic Church was built. The neighboring, Catholic community financed and constructed this large project. It was the congregation’s time; talent and treasure that made the vision of this amazing school come to fruition. By 1958, the school was fully-functioning, serving Kindergarten-8th grade students. Having added a preschool program in 2002, all students are offered an excellent, Catholic education. Catholic faith and academic excellence have been at the core of St. Gregory Catholic School tradition for over 72 years!
It was this foundation of Catholicity, community, commitment and compassion that St. Gregory Catholic School was built upon and that continues to be the foundation of our school culture today. School culture defines the quality and character of the entire school community. It is based on past school life experiences and reflects values, norms, relationships, goals, leadership, teaching and learning. Therefore, it is apropos for a school principal to create a positive school culture, one that reaps and sews an accomplished school mission and vision. The culture of St. Gregory Catholic School has always been one where the entire school community shares a sense of purpose and works together to support the school’s mission. I hope you will share and support this journey with me, to continue to strengthen and define our school culture while educating the whole child, mind, body and soul.
St. Gregory Catholic School is deeply rooted in tradition. Many of the activities, rituals, ceremonies and celebrations are much as they were when they were established back in the 1950’s. The school courtyard, which was designed specifically for communal assemblies, is still used for such today. The annual Christmas pageant is as important to the community as it was in the church all those years ago. The Men’s and Mother’s Clubs are now the Dad’s and Mom’s Clubs, yet are organized to support the school in the same fashion. The sport teams are still coached by volunteers and played on the field that once was a farm behind the original school house. The school continues to rely on the generosity of the diverse community, through the same festivals and dinners, to raise needed funds for the school. There are several second and third generation families that enroll their children each year because they yearn for the same spiritually and academically sound experience they had when they were in school…the tradition surely lives on.
Needless to say, St. Gregory Catholic School has my heart. But, this is just MY story! St. Gregory Catholic School is full of wonderful stories of similar testament to the love and dedication we bear witness to everyday. This beautiful, kaleidoscope view is good news for the future of our school and Catholic education! It will help us realize the vision of St. Gregory Catholic School together; making the founding fathers and mothers, as well as all future Spartans proud. After all, we are called to serve the Lord, together, as one amazing, school community. So, welcome home to St. Gregory Catholic School, I can’t wait to meet you and hear your story!
At God’s speed,