Since 1964, St. Rose of Lima School has been educating children, encouraging them to reach for their highest goals. Today, St. Rose of Lima is a community of almost 300 students from Kindergarten through 8th grade. The school’s bright and dedicated staff guides our students to learn, discover, and thrive.
The history of St. Rose of Lima School is deeply woven into the roots of Simi Valley itself. St. Rose of Lima Church, established in 1921, was originally located at a now-historic site in Strathearn Park, where the primary building still stands. The parish had a wide reach, and is community grew quickly. By the late 1950s, the church’s pastor, Father Patrick McDonagh, realized that the community needed more spiritual and educational support to meet current and future needs. He and his parishioners had a vision of creating a larger church and an adjoining school, along with supporting facilities such as a rectory and a parish hall. Once the master plan was set, parishioners began pledging funds immediately.
Growing to Serve a Dynamic Community
In January 1964, after much prayer and patience, the church and school’s groundbreaking ceremonies took place. St. Rose of Lima School officially opened its doors on September 14, 1964, serving 213 students. The brand new parochial school was staffed by the Sisters of Notre Dame and one lay teacher. Sister Mary Rose Anthony (Sister Rose) was appointed as the school’s founding principal. She continued to serve the school in various capacities for more than 50 years.
The school’s formal dedication was celebrated on June 16, 1968, led by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, Cardinal McIntyre. The parish hall was completed in 1975, giving the community a place to gather for social events and celebrations.
The community grew at such a rapid pace that an expansion was soon in the works. In 1990, the school received a new wing, a project headed by then-pastor, Father Michael Bunny. The expansion added a music room, a library, a faculty lounge, and adult and youth ministry centers to the school.
Leading Toward the Future
Father Joseph Shea became the pastor of St. Rose of Lima in July 2008. Following an intensive search, John Sanders was appointed principal of the school in August 2010. Mr. Sanders, an award-winning teacher and principal, brought a wealth of skills, qualifications, and experience to the school at both the elementary and middle school levels. Mr. Sanders has great expertise in math and science programs, research-based instructional strategies, hands-on science instruction, behavior management, and improving student learning. With a proven track record of success, Mr. Sanders is driving St. Rose of Lima to new heights, focusing on technology improvement, professional development, and innovative learning initiatives. He has already implemented an Accelerated Reader Program, Panther Positives Program, and Art Masters Program. He has also administered intensive teacher training in Thinking Maps and Research Based Learning Differences between boys and girls. He is spearheading St. Rose of Lima’s plan to become a leading-edge 21st Century school. Technology upgrades include wireless Internet access, LCD projectors, document cameras, and wireless tablets.
Students and their families know St. Rose of Lima School as a school with outstanding academics, a strong spiritual base, and a welcoming, supportive community. Thanks to an amazing staff, the school has a well-earned reputation as a place where students receive an excellent high school-preparatory education complemented by Catholic values and all the extras—in a nurturing, family environment. St. Rose of Lima School continues to thrive in its efforts to meet the needs of students, families, and the community.