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Gala to help St. Patrick’s school celebrate 100th anniversary

Posted 10/28/22

St. Patrick’s School, 354 Elizabeth St., is celebrating 100 years of education.

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Gala to help St. Patrick’s school celebrate 100th anniversary


ONEIDA — St. Patrick’s School, 354 Elizabeth St., is celebrating 100 years of education.

The Guardians of St. Patrick’s Elementary School Foundation Inc. will host a 100th Anniversary Gala at The Kallet Civic Center from 7 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5.

The school attributes its longevity to the “selfless dedication” of its benefactors, including volunteers, families, teachers, staff, administrators, and parishioners for over a century.


According to the announcement, the preparations for the school began many years before building started. The Rev. John H. McGraw came to St. Patrick’s Church in October 1913 with a goal to build a parochial school. In 1919, McGraw announced the property behind the church had been purchased for the school. The foundation was completed during the summer of 1920.

McGraw and a committee from the church raised $50,000 for the new school and convent, which cost $163,000 in total. The dedication of the school and convent took place on Sept. 4, 1921. The sacrament of confirmation was administered the same day and Bishop John Grimes blessed every room of the building. More than 3,000 people attended the event.

The school opened to students on Sept. 7, 1921. Its six faculty members were nuns from the Immaculate Heart of Mary Order from Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Each grade level, from first through sixth, had a single class. 211 students were enrolled on the first day but the number swelled to 280 by the second week.

The first commencement exercise was held on June 30, 1922 for sixth grade students.

In the fall of 1922, soldiers and sailors of Oneida who served during World War I donated a flag and flagpole to the school. They were dedicated in a ceremony on Oct. 15, 1922, as the students formed a living flag on the lawn.

The first eighth grade class graduated in June 1925. One grade was added each year and in 1927 the 10th grade class graduated. One class graduated from the school as seniors in 1930. Due to a lack of space in the building, the high school grades were discontinued at that time. Kindergarten was added in 1938.

In 1953, an addition was added to the school which provided space for a library, auditorium, enlarged gymnasium, teachers’ room, kitchen facilities, and additional classroom space. A ninth grade was added in September 1961. That class graduated in June 1962. The ninth grade was again discontinued in 1968 as space was needed for the kindergarten and the first eight grades.

Currently, the school offers Pre-K programs for three and four-year-olds as well as kindergarten through sixth grade.

In 2015, St. Patrick’s earned the Middle States Accreditation, making it the only elementary school in Madison County to have done so. “St. Patrick’s continues to be a faith-centered community, focused on promoting academic excellence while developing a strong moral conscience in our students,” the school stated.

The school serves 120 students and families from areas including Canastota, Morrisville-Eaton, Cazenovia, Chittenango, Oneida, VVS, Madison, Camden, Stockbridge, and Waterville. To make reservations or buy tickets to the gala, call St Patrick’s School at 315-363-3620.


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