History

St. Bernard's was opened in 1963 under the guidance of the Sisters of St. Brigid.  Sister Baptist Bracken was the Head Teacher and Miss Helen Nolan was the first lay teacher and together they had an enrolment of approximately 75 pupils in Grades Prep, One, Two and Three on the first day.  

Helen Gibson (Nolan) later became a parent and then a grandparent at St. Bernard's. Mary Vassallo (Sr. Baptist Bracken) passed away on 8th May, 2016.  

1stclass 1stteachersMary Vassallo (Sr. Baptist Bracken) and Helen Gibson (Nolan) at the 50th Anniversary Celebrations in 2013

 

In 1963, there was only one building - the original three classrooms (in the red brick building) parallel with Williams Road. The small office, kitchen and toilet was at the end of the building (currently the administration storage area).

Steady growth in the west of Wangaratta resulted in St. Bernard's requiring the construction of new buildings to accomodate growing enrolments.  Major building projects occurred in 1994, 2008 and 2010.  In 2017, St. Bernard's has launched the next building project with the development of the new Early Learning Centre for Foundation students and multi purpose rooms in the Grade 3 / 4 Area. The project will be completed early in 2018.

St. Bernard's has always been blessed with spacious grounds. The bingo group, which was run over many years by the parish as a major fundraising source, purchased land in Skehan Ave and to the back of the St. Bernard's block. This has enabled our children to have safe facilities for parents to pick up and drop off their children for school, and very generous grounds for the children to play in. The grounds have steadily developed and, in keeping with St. Brigid - Carer of the Earth,  a Landscape Masterplan is in place which directs future development for the grounds.  

PAST LEADERS OF OUR SCHOOL:

The Brigidine Sisters led St. Bernard's until 1981, when the first lay principal, Mrs. Anne Bussell took over.  

 

Principals of St. Bernard's School:
1963 - 1965 Sister Baptist Bracken
1966  Sister Bertrand Lawlor
1967 - 1968 Sister Josita Vear
1969 - 1972 Sister Margaret Hill
1973 - 1974 Sister Deirdre Malone
1975 - 1976 Sister Louise Cleary
1977 - 1979 Sister Jane Frances Gorey
1980 - 1981 Sister Julie Thomas
1981 - 1989 Mrs. Ann Bussell (First lay Principal)
 1990 - 1996 Mr. Paul Haddrick
 1997 - 2007 Mr. Mark Walsh
 2008 -  Mrs. Patricia Boak