The History of
St. Edward Catholic School
Little Rock, Arkansas
When the parish was established in 1884 by German settlers, provisions were made for a school room. The school opened in September 1885 with 64 pupils. Lay teachers operated the school for several years. Mr. Hemsteger began teaching in 1885. He was suceeded by Adolph Benetz. Mr. Benetz was succeeded by Joseph Stutzer. In 1890, Mr. Stutzer moved to Morrilton, Arkansas. In 1892, Olivetan Benedictine Sisters from Jonesboro were asked to take over the school.
Also in 1892, the new pastor, Father Fintan Kraemer, felt that a man would be better to teach the big boys, so the Olivetan Benedictine Sisters were replaced by Professor Joseph Duerr. Mr. Duerr began the 1894 term with 60 pupils. At the beginning of the 1895 term, Benedictine Sisters from St. Scholastica's Convent in Shoal Creek, Arkansas, were engaged to teach the smaller children. In 1896, Mr. Duerr resigned for health reasons and the Benedictine Sisters took complete charge of the school. By 1899, six sisters were teaching kindergarten, regular classes, and music.
Since 1885, St. Edward's School has been conducted in three different buildings. Classes at first were conducted in the building which was divided into church, school, and parsonage. In 1924, the old church building was moved about 80 feet, on the Ferry Street side of the church property, and remodeled to serve as school and parish hall. It served until the present school was dedicated in 1955. An annex containing a large gymnasium and additional classrooms was added in 1962. Peak enrollment of 360 pupils was in 1965-1972. In 1992, the two remaining Benedictine Sisters retired, and a lay principal, Mrs. Vernell Bowen, was hired.
Mrs. Bowen was named Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the diocese beginning with the 2001-2002 school year. The 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Theresa Hall, took her place. Under Mrs. Hall, plans were made to upgrade and expand the school. In May 2007, the rectory was torn down and construction began on a new school building. The building was completed in September 2007. The three-story building includes a state-of-the-art science lab, a computer lab with 35 student computers, a media center/library, five classrooms, the school office, a conference room, a faculty lounge, and 2 multi-purpose rooms. In 2009 Mrs. Hall stepped down as principal and became the Associate Superintendent for the diocese with Mrs. Bowen. Mr. Jason Pohlmeier was hired to start the 2009-2010 school year.
St. Edward Parish and School have now served downtown Little Rock and Central Arkansas for 125 years. In honor of this milestone a year-long 125th Anniversary celebration began in 2009. To mark this occasion, the students created an anniversary logo, filled and buried a time capsule, and planted a tree near 9th Street. In October 2010 a very successful 1st Annual St. Edward Oktoberfest concluded the anniversary festivities and began the next stage of the St. Edward story.
Principals of St. Edward School
|1885 - ?||Mr. Hemsteger|
|? - ?||Mr. Adolph Benetz|
|? - 1890||Mr. Joseph Stutzer|
|1892 - 1894||Olivetan Benedictine Sisters|
|1894 - 1896||Prof. Joseph Duerr|
|1898 - 1908||Sr. Agatha (later Mother Agatha)|
|1908 - 1920||Sr. Perpetua (later Mother Perpetua)|
|1920 - 1926||Sr. Charitas|
|1926 - 1930||Sr. Hilda|
|1930 - 1931||Sr. Dolores|
|1931 - 1932||Sr. Charitas|
|1932 - 1933||Sr. Patrica|
|1933 - 1935||Sr. Alexis|
|1935 - 1943||Sr. Louis|
|1943 - 1951||Sr. Henrietta|
|1951 - 1959||Sr. de Chantal|
|1959 - 1992||Sr. Hermana|
|1992 - 2001||Mrs. Vernell Bowen (Current Superintendent of Arkansas Catholic Schools)|
|2001 - 2009||Mrs. Theresa Hall (Current Associate Superintendent of Arkansas Catholic Schools)|
|2009 - Present||Mr. Jason Pohlmeier|