Local schools are not abundant in the area surounding the Ramona Gardens housing complex. High school-aged kids must travel to El Sereno or Lincoln Heights to attend the nearest school.
It’s a bit different for grade school children. While most attend Murchison Street Elementary, the public local school, a number of them attend a school few residents know about: Santa Teresita School— the private Catholic school in the neighborhood.
Founded in 1950 by the Santa Teresita Parish, the school has over 240 students from different areas of Boyle Heights and the surrounding area of Murchinson Ave. and Lancaster Ave. This K-8 school is over 97% Latino and is located next to Santa Teresita Church, right across the street from the Ramona Gardens housing complex.
The school counts on important community partnerships that supply everything from after-school tutoring, on-campus health services, and music lessons. These services are provided by Mount St. Mary’s College, QueensCare, the L.A. Philharmonic, and the USC Thornton School of Music.
The school’s principal, Sister Mary Katherine, 63, is in her eighth year in charge and has expanded development efforts to be able to offer financial assistance to over 91% of families to cover the annual tuition fee. Sister Mary Katherine has been an educator since 1971 and says working at Santa Teresita has been her most enriching experience to date.
Boyle Heights Beat sat down with Sister Mary Katherine to dicuss what makes Santa Teresita School special.
Read the interview at Boyle Heights Beat