Reflecting on Valley's tradition of Catholic education


As Walla Walla celebrates its sesquicentennial, the Walla Walla Catholic Schools will reflect on the tradition of Catholic education that began in the Walla Walla Valley in 1864.

From the simple structure of St. Vincent’s Academy at Fifth Avenue and Poplar Street, Walla Walla Catholic Schools have grown to two campuses that educate preschoolers through 12th-graders.

Catholic education continues to fulfill an important role in our community, and we take pride in our commitment to educate within a structure that appreciates the power of relationships — to God, to self, to family and to community.

Our faith compels us to strive for success in all aspects: spiritual growth, academic achievement, community service and co-curricular involvement.

As a faculty member and parent, I have experienced the genuine benefits that accompany a school system where motivation, correction and support are generated from unifying values.

Our work to exceed the state’s common core standards is constructed upon a foundation of common core values. It is these encompassing values of faith, intellect, service and engagement from which we draw our vision and our strength.

Because faith, academics, service and activities are interwoven, not merely the students, but the entire family becomes an integral part of our success.

For nearly 150 years families have sacrificed and given of their time to realize the rewards of Catholic education not only for their children but also for themselves. The sense of family permeates beyond the halls and classrooms.

Reliance on the spirit of volunteerism prompts parents to work together at various fundraisers, to help transport students to activities, and to actively support each other.

The relationships developed within the student body and the parent corps underscores the commitment to Catholic education. Parental participation and support allows the vision of WWCS not only to grow but to flourish.

Through the inevitable struggles of life, the students and families learn to hold each other up in prayerful support.Through our spiritual retreats, students mature as individuals and bond together as a class. Through small class sizes, students are held accountable. Through numerous service projects, students appreciate the virtue of charity. Through the arts and athletics, students realize there is a role for everyone. Through the years, students develop a faith that empowers them to pursue excellence — to fulfill a God given purpose with their lives.

In this pursuit of excellence, we understand our frailties, and it is our shared passion for our students, our families and our faith that sustains us.

Each day we are reminded to reach beyond ourselves and recognize that we are part of something much bigger than ourselves.

We are charged with the responsibility of honoring the sacrifices made by so many for so long to begin and sustain Catholic education in the Walla Walla Valley. With the courage of our convictions, we will continue to fulfill and celebrate our role in the community.

Christy Richard teaches English at DeSales Catholic High School.


crowley9 2 years, 11 months ago

Thank you Christy, well said.


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